Encouraging Words for Today

Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.
~ Psalm 96:13 (NIV)

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Encouraging Words for Today

For you created my inner organs. You wove me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and my soul knows that very well.
~ Psalm 139:13-14 (EHV)

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Encouraging Words for Today

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
~ Psalm 16:8 (EHV)

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Sunday Worship Service ~ September 6, 2020

Sermon topic: What the Lord Did Once in a Desperate Time – 1 Kings 21:1-20

Bulletin

Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal

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Labor Day Prayer

Gracious heavenly Father, as the United States pauses to rest and contemplate the freedom to work and the employment opportunities that are available to us, may we never lose sight of the fact that it is only because of your grace and favor that we are able to work.

Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings, past and  present. Thank you for the joy of relaxation. May all that I do give glory to you and your precious name. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whom I love and serve. Amen.

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Encouraging Words for Today

Our souls wait for the Lord. He is our help and our shield. Yes, in him our heart rejoices, because we trust in his holy name. May your mercy, O Lord, be on us, even as we wait confidently for you.
~ Psalm 33:20-22 (EHV)

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Getting back on course

He (Jesus) answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
~ Matthew 12:39 (NIV)

In the fall of 1985 a 45-ton humpbacked whale, supposedly heading for the warmer ocean water to the south, made its way into the San Francisco Bay, swam up the Sacramento River, and “landed” in a slough. A great deal of effort was required to get it back to its original habitat.

Human beings also go off course at times. One who did so deliberately was the prophet, Jonah. God had called him to preach the Word in Nineveh, the pagan capital of the Assyrian Empire. But like the whale, he got into the wrong channel. Instead of going east to Nineveh, he boarded a freighter at Joppa and sailed west on a ship that was bound for Tarshish on the other end of the Mediterranean Sea. But God put Jonah back on course. During a severe storm, Jonah was cast overboard and was swallowed by a large fish. Preserved alive, the prophet heeded the second call from God and preached repentance in Nineveh.

Jesus referred to Jonah’s experience and applied it to himself: “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). By being crucified, buried, and raised from the dead, Jesus Christ put a lost and floundering humanity back on course—the course of salvation by faith in him.

Dear Heavenly Father, we ask that you keep your people on course, prevent our floundering, and give us boldness to do your will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

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Encouraging Words for Today

Make known to me your ways, O Lord. Teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth and teach me, because you are the God who saves me. In you I hope all day long.
~ Psalm 25:4-5 (EHV)

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Encouraging Words for Today

…Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
~ Revelation 1:4:5b-6 (NIV)

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Encouraging Words for Today

[Jesus said] Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of these. If this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will he clothe you, you of little faith? Do not constantly chase after what you will eat or what you will drink. Do not be worried about it. To be sure, the nations of the world chase after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need them. Instead, continue to seek the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.
~ Luke 12: 27-31 (EHV)

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Encouraging Words for Today

…know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
~ Galatians 2:16 (NIV)

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Encouraging Words for Today

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
~ Colossians 1:15 (NIV)

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Sunday Worship Service ~ August 30, 2020

Sermon topic: Earthy Leaders Snarl Yet God Holds His Church ~ 1 Kings 18:1-18

Bulletin

Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal

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Encouraging Words for Today

For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us (together with you) into his presence. In fact, all this is for your benefit, so that as grace increases, it will overflow to the glory of God, as more and more people give thanks.
~ 2 Corninthians 4:14-15 (EHV)

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Normalcy Bias

The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (NIV)

Want to learn a new term? Here it is. The term is Normalcy Bias. Normalcy Bias is the assumption that just as things have been in the recent past, so they will always be in the future.

Normalcy Bias is extremely common. We are all vulnerable to it and observers of human nature have said it can be one of the most dangerous biases we have. Normalcy Bias was a factor in causing the builders of the Titanic not to include enough lifeboats. And even after the Titanic struck the iceberg, Normalcy Bias prevented people from getting into the lifeboats. So powerful was the assumption that ocean liners could no longer sink.

When it comes to our relationship with God, Normalcy Bias can be a factor as well.

If I live my life without paying much attention to God and his Word; if I rack up day after week after year of going to work and coming home without any kind of shocking crisis, it can be easy for me to assume that this is how it will continue. This is life as it should be and that God is not important. Such an assumption on my part will work—until the day it doesn’t.

Through the apostle Paul, God’s Word says, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” God tells us this as a warning. But even this warning comes from a heart of supreme love. Throughout Scripture, the Lord’s call to us is urgent. “Listen, listen to me,” he says (Isaiah 55:2). “Seek the LORD while he may be found,” he says (Isaiah 55:6). “Now is the day of salvation,” he says (2 Corinthians 6:2).

The heart of love that puts out such an urgent call to you and me is the same heart that compelled God to become one of us in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s the same love that compelled him to carry our every sin to the cross and make full payment for all of them.

This is how passionate our Savior’s love is. He wants to shatter the deception of our Normalcy Bias. And he wants to replace it with the reality of sins forgiven through faith in him.

Lord Jesus, where I have a sinful Normalcy Bias in my relationship with you, open my eyes to the sinfulness and foolishness of my heart. Forgive me and embrace me in your grace. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

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