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Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Judge Will Be Jesus

"For God has not destined us for wrath" (1 Thess. 5:9).

To the dear people of Faith:

Today (Nov. 15) is the second-last Sunday of the Church Year.  These last days of the Church Year remind us that we are living in the last days.  And as Christians, we are looking forward to the Last Day - yes, longing for it to come!  Longing for Him to come: our dear Lord Jesus Christ!

We express this longing when we say in the Creed, "From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead."  And when we exclaim in the Communion liturgy, "Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!"

But because we are sinful and weak and have only a little faith, thoughts of the Last Day, or Judgment Day, can easily frighten us.  When that happens, remember that the Judge on that Day will be Jesus, in whose righteousness you are dressed!

Luther preached it this way: "None other will hold court on the Day of Judgment than He who gave Himself for us.  He will certainly not deny Himself but will declare that He gave Himself for your sins, as you believe.  What, then, will sin do when the Judge declares that He Himself has taken it away?  Who will accuse you?  Who will judge the Judge?  Who will overcome Him?  He avails more than innumerable worlds with all their sins.  Had He not given Himself, but something else, for you, one would still expect much of Him.  But now, since He has given Himself for you, what can terrify you?  He Himself would have to be condemned before sin could condemn you for whom He gave Himself.  Oh, here is great, sure security!"

I would put it this way: On the Last Day He will say to you one last time what He says to you every day and every hour, "Take heart, child, your sins are forgiven!"

God bless you today, tonight, and this week!  I can't wait to be back with you this Wednesday and then Sunday!  I can't wait to say, "As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."

And I can't wait to hear you say, "Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!"

With love and prayers,

Pastor Matt

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

45

Did you know that Martin Luther and the U.S. Marines share the same birthday?  It's today!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Happy Birthdays

Question: What do the U.S. Marines and Martin Luther have in common?  Answer: For one thing, they share the same birthday - November 10.  In the case of the Marines the year was 1775.  In Luther's case, 1483.

For another thing, the Marine Corps has a "warrior ethos" and is the "first to fight" to protect our freedom.  Luther was a spiritual warrior who fought to defend the greatest of all freedoms: the freedom of the Gospel, the Gospel of Christ and the forgiveness of sins.

And for a third thing, each may be summed up in two words of Latin.  For the Marines the two words are semper fidelis.  It means "always faithful."  General Berger wrote in this year's birthday message to his Marines, "While this year's many challenges are significant and unique, they are not unprecedented, and it is important to remember that our Nation and Corps have endured difficult times in our past."  And, "There is no challenge we cannot overcome, together, by holding fast to our core values."  He then signed the letter under the words "Semper Fidelis."

And for Luther the two words are sola fide.  It means "by faith alone."  It has been called Luther's refrain.  It is shorthand for, among other verses, Galatians 2:16: "...a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ."  In other words, you are counted righteous before God not because of the things you have done, or tried to do, but because of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ!  The following hymn lines put it perfectly:

Salvation unto us has come by God's free grace and favor;
Good works cannot avert our doom, they help and save us never.
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone, who did for all the world atone;
He is our one Redeemer.

Happy birthday, dear Marines, and dear Martin!  Where would we be without you?

Sunday, November 8, 2020

This Will Pass, Too

"It came to pass" (Matt. 11:1).

By Richard Wurmbrand

It is said that King David once called a jeweler and said, "Make me a ring whose appearance will gladden my heart when I am sad, and make me sad when I am joyful.  You have two days for this.  If you bring the ring, you will be richly rewarded.  If not...."

The jeweler left in despair.  He knew his life would be forfeited.  Who could make such a ring?

When he crossed the palace yard, little Solomon, who was playing, observed his grief and asked him what it was about.  The jeweler told him of the foolish demand the king had made.

The child laughed and said, "Make him a simple ring of tin and write on it the words "This will pass, too."  Nothing more is needed.  In moments of darkness, the king will read that this will pass and find comfort.  In revelings, the ring will remind him that joys in this world are transitory."

The jeweler made the ring and received a rich reward.

One of the beauties of the King James Version of the Bible is that the expression "It came to pass" occurs so often.  What burdens you have today will pass.  Don't be so occupied with your present griefs.  What were you sad about five years ago, on November 8?  You don't even remember anymore.  So today's sorrows soon will be forgotten.  And when you are joyful, don't forget that you have not attained heaven yet.  All joys in this world are temporary.

Christians seek the eternal abode in which all tears will be wiped away.

Monday, November 2, 2020

44

God bless FLC as we serve as a polling place tomorrow.  And God bless YOU with a special peace and strength right now.

Lord, remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray: Our Father...