Advent: The first and second coming of Jesus

Advent: from Latin word adventus, meaning arrival.

The first coming (advent) of Jesus; how silently the wondrous gift is given!

vintageThe time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2: 6b-12

The second coming (advent) of Jesus; the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised!

trumpet“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  ~ Matthew 24:26-27 (Jesus speaking)

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.  ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

Join us this Advent Season to learn more about Jesus’ first arrival, and his returning.

Posted in Advent and Christmas, All posts, Devotions & Meditations

First Sunday in Advent

candle 1In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” – Luke 1:26-33

Living Hope’s Advent & Christmas schedule:

  • Dec. 4:  Advent Service, 6:30 p.m. (meal at 6:00 p.m.)
  • Dec. 11: Advent Service, 6:30 p.m. (meal at 6:00 p.m.)
  • Dec. 18: Children’s Christmas Program, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 24th: Christmas Eve Service, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 25th: Christmas Day Service, 10:00 a.m.
  • Dec. 31st: (no service on New Year’s Eve)
  • Jan. 1st: New Year’s Day Service, 10:00 a.m.
Posted in Advent and Christmas, All posts, Devotions & Meditations

100 Percent

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” ~ Luke 17:11-19

Can you imagine being very sick and not being allowed to hug or see your friends and family?

Jesus saw a group of men in desperate need of help. They were outcasts from society because they were afflicted with a horrible skin disease. They were barred from interacting with any healthy person or community.

In mercy, Jesus sent the group of ten sick men to go and see the priests (who also functioned as the public health officials.) On their way, their sick skin was restored to health. Their disease disappeared. Jesus had miraculously healed them. 100% of them were 100% healed.

Jesus healed many physically sick people. More importantly, Jesus provides spiritual healing for sinners. Jesus taught this when he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). Our fear, doubts, hate, jealousy, sinful words and actions are all symptoms that we are “the sick.” Without Jesus, 100% of us are 100% sick.

Jesus provides healing. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, wrote: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus provides 100% healing to 100% of sinners. To me. To you.

Can you imagine being one of those ten men whom Jesus healed? You could go home, see the smile on your loved ones faces, and throw your arms around them in joy!

Can you imagine seeing God’s smiling face and feeling his arms wrapped around you in a loving hug? You don’t need to imagine. Jesus has healed your heart and your relationship with God. Your life will not end in death, but in a perfect eternal life!

We pray our hearts and lives echo the response of the man who returned to thank Jesus—praise and thanks with 100% of our hearts and lives. And, why? Jesus provides 100% healing.

Jesus, thank you for providing 100% healing of my heart and my relationship with God. Give me confidence and joy in your forgiveness and my eternal home in heaven. Fill my heart and life with praise and thanks for all that you do for me. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

Posted in All posts, Devotions & Meditations

Thanksgiving Prayer

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. ~ Psalm 69:30

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Merciful God, you have done great things for us! We owe you endless gratitude and love.  We thank you, Lord, for each moment we enjoy in your blessed care, for each act of healing, for each meal to satisfy our hunger, for each friend and companion, for each little thing that keeps us going day by day. We especially thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Pardon our sins, help our weaknesses, and receive us at last into eternal glory, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Thanksgiving Worship Service: Nov. 27th at 6:30

There will be no Worship Service at Living Hope on Thanksgiving Day.

Posted in All posts, Devotions & Meditations, FYI, Living Hope, Prayers

Jesus is the King

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at [Jesus]. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” ~ Luke 23:35-43

Jesus is the King. Even the thief on the cross knew that. However, Jesus wasn’t interested in overthrowing the government of that day, winning a popular vote, or saying things just to get big headlines or people’s approval.

An interesting thing Jesus, the King, said: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This wasn’t a campaign speech to score popularity points. This was Jesus’ holy, sincere and loving mission. Jesus came to live, suffer, die and rise for sinners like you and me.

As the King, Jesus was suffering and dying while people watched, mocked and taunted him. They said: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

They had missed the point. Jesus, the King of the Jews (and of all people), hadn’t come to escape pain, win votes and rule an earthly kingdom. Jesus came to live, suffer, die and rise for sinners like you and me.

Many of the people and the rulers just did not get it. But a criminal crucified right next to Jesus did. Before he died, the criminal turned to Jesus and made a request: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus, his King, responded: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus, your King, came to serve and give up his life for you. He rose and now rules for you. Do you know this? Do you trust your King? Those who do will be with their King forever in paradise.

Jesus, my Savior and King, thank you for your love. You served, lived, died and rose for me. Through you I have forgiveness and the sure hope of eternal life with you. Keep me faithful to you and serving you, my King, until you take me home to paradise with you. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

Posted in All posts, Devotions & Meditations

Annual Fall Dinner Presentation

Friends of China

Nov. 24th at Living Hope

Friends of China will give Part 1 of their presentation during our morning Worship Service beginning at 10:00 a.m. We will then have a meal, followed by Part 2.

About Friends of China:

The mission of Friends of China is to build relationships through educational exchange in mainland China. In 2001, Friends of China sent its first four English teachers to Beijing. The organization grew rapidly, and to date they have sent over 270 teachers to ten different cities in the mainland.  As part of Friends of China, teachers have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships based on trust and cultural awareness. ​

Join us for this very special event!

Posted in All posts, FYI, Living Hope, WELS

Food Drive

During the month of December, Living Hope & Our Precious Lambs will collect food for the Omaha Food Bank.

The most needed items are:

  • peanut butter
  • macaroni & cheese,
  • canned tuna & chicken
  • pancake mix
  • canned fruit & vegetables
  • pork & beans
  • cereal
  • boxed meals
  • pasta & sauces

Thank you for your donations!

Posted in FYI, OPL, All posts, Living Hope