st. paul's church

A Message From the Pastor January 2015

HERE IS YOUR GOD!

 

Isaiah 40:9 - “ You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. 

You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, 

lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, 

Here is your God!

This past hunting season, I had a book out where I hunt and when there is enough light I take it out and read some. It was about the study of Christ. I'm not done with it, but so far I read about the Person of Christ, that He is the One who lives in us and among us; and the Office of Christ, the work of redemption which he would do for us. It was interesting to read as I was preparing for the Christmas Season, when we celebrate God becoming our brother.

The Season of Epiphany, which begins in January, studies the same thoughts. Epiphany says:  “Look at this man, Jesus of Nazareth. Here is Your God! Look at his sermons. He teaches in a totally different way. Not only because his message was different than the do's and don'ts of the Pharisees but also different because He could teach with an authority as the Son of God.”

“Look at his miracles! Here is your God! Look at the wonderful things he does when he heals the leprous, the lame, the blind, the deaf, sometimes with just a word or a touch – ailments which our medicine today may not even be able to help! Look as he walks on water, or with a word stills the storm. Look how he commands the demons and they leave the afflicted alone. Look at how he commands and the dead are raised. Here, this Man, is your God!”

The Bible is rich with promises of God becoming man and the work which he would do. The Bible says: “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him.” When Adam and Eve sinned and rebelled against God, Sin became our Slave Driver with its whip over our head; Death closed its jaws around us; and the Devil became our lord and master. We needed a strong man, one who was God to be the perfect life and the perfect sacrifice which God demands for us. 

Resolve this year to study God Word. Look for those promises and their fulfillment in this God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth. Listen for the references in readings and sermon about who he is and what he would do. Join us in Bible classes to study deeper into God's Word. And your soul will rejoice, when you learn more about God and His Love and what He has done for you.

Message From The Pastor - December 2014

December is the month of Advent for Christians. The word 'Advent' comes from the Latin language and is a verb form with the meaning of “coming towards, approaching,” or “he comes.” The “He” who is coming is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Our Emmanuel- which means: “God is with us.”

How does Jesus come to us today? The first way which Jesus comes to us today is in His Word. He tells us He is “with us” when we gather together around His Holy Word. In His Word, Jesus comes to us and blesses us with the comfort that He is our God; that He has died and risen again as He had promised; that our sins are forgiven and that Heaven has been opened for us.

The second coming which we celebrate this season is His Coming again in the future as His Word proclaims. On the Last Day, Jesus will come and raise all the dead. Those who believe in Him as their Savior and LORD will be brought to live with Him in the mansions prepared for us in Heaven. Those who rejected Him as their Savior and King will be rejected by  and cast out of His Presence into the darkness of hell. There the Bible says: “will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Last coming which we celebrate this Advent Season is His Coming at Christmas, “Galatians 4:4–5 (NIV84) But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” The Bible is full of promises concerning this coming of Jesus the Christ, these promises all totally came true. The unusual circumstances of his birth (of a virgin, in Bethlehem) and even His death and resurrection show this child is indeed the very Son of God!

The length of Advent is a little different every year, since it is officially celebrated as the 4 Sundays before Christmas Day. This year, the first Sunday of Advent is November 30th. In the past, (around the 4th century) Advent was celebrated with fasting, or abstaining from some foods so that we might concentrate on Christ's coming with repentance and prayer.

Some families today will use an Advent Calendar, which begins December 1st and when the box for the day is opened it will suggest a passage or a devotional thought which points us to the coming Christ. Most churches will have an Advent Wreath with 4 colored candles and 1 white or Christ candle. Different churches have different name for the candles like “shepherd, or Bethlehem; hope or joy.” Three are usually purple (the color of repentance) or blue (the color of royalty) and one is usually pink or rose colored (Joy). The readings of the Sundays usually focus on one of the three comings of our LORD.

This advent, see Christ coming to you in His Word. Let Him bless you as He strengthens you with His promises. Use the opportunities to worship and thank Him together with your fellow Christians, in the House of the LORD. Witness again how He came one day into our World as a little baby and our brother. Remember how there is still one promise to be kept. That He will come again!