Lutherans are not second- class Christians, but citizens of God's heavenly kingdom.
The question "Where are you God?" is asked and then answered as we struggle to understand God in the face of recent terrorist attacks.
A look at the challenges young Lutherans face when they go off to college for the first time.
Read about Lori Lewis' journey into the world of CCM and how she rediscovered the Lutheran Church.
How would you defend the Christian doctrine of Holy Baptism at summer camp? Adriane Dorr shows us how she did it.
See how Rev. Rast dealt with being a parish pastor in Tennessee in the midst of an anti-Lutheran environment.
Rev. Preus critiques the popular Left Behind book series and shows that its message should not be trusted.
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Rev. Petersen describes the vows that are made at confirmation, and how the Catechism serves as a road map to help explain faith to others.
DTBL rocked!one participant gushed. See
how awesome it was in this photo collage,
and get a taste of the worship life at DTBL by
reading the sermon preached by Dr.Nagel at
the DTBL Divine Service at Concordia Seminary.
Cosmetic surgery, reality TVs hottest trend,
blends fairytale beauty with ordinary looks.
Darren Elikers article helps us think about
beauty, reality, and finding contentment
Kathy helps her friend Molly with fashion tips,
dating advice, and learns a lesson about letting
God gives us the law to curb our sin and fight
against our natural tendency to do wrong. But
are there also blessings in obeying the law?
Do you think about heaven and hell? Are you nervous about your eternity? Read the second part of a pair of articles by Pastor Borghardt and Seminarian Fouts to think about eternity beyond the grave.
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Do you think about heaven and hell? Are you nervous about your eternity? Read the first part of a pair of articles by Pastor Borghardt and Seminarian Fouts to think about eternity beyond the grave.
The mega-church down the street has cup holders, recliners, and an ATM in the lobby. Your church has pews and a pulpit. Does the way your church looks affect how you worship? If church architecture and stained glass tickle your fancy, Pastor Vogts' article is for you.
Everyone who's someone in your class shops at H & M, and the popular kids say you have to get your jeans at Abercrombie. Even your little sister can't go to the mall without stopping at the Gap. But if you're made in God's image, shouldn't brand names be irrelevant? Your worth doesn't stem from the logo on your clothes, and Julie Beckwith tells you why.
by Rev. Christopher Esget
Christ died for you. He rose for you. He will come again for you. And if that isn't enough, Pastor Esget's sermon from Asheville outlines a whole slew of other things your Lord has done--all for you.
Your best friend is staying over on Saturday night and plans to go to church with you on Sunday. But she's not Lutheran, and she doesn't understand why she can't go to Communion with you. If you need a refresher course on the Lord's Supper or if you have a hard time discussing it with your friends, check out Pastor Beisel's questions and answers.
Only geeks learn Latin. It's an old-fashioned language. Nobody uses it anymore. Wait just a minute. You've got it all wrong! There are many benefits to learning Latin you may not realize. Pastor Nordling explains why Latin's not quite as bad as you might think.
You hear it everywhere--in the mall, at school, during volleyball practice. Sometimes it just slips out. Other times it's very deliberate. But any way you cut it, taking the Lord's name in vain, blurting out, "Oh my God!" is an abuse of your heavenly Father's name, and Pastor Petersen tells you why it's a dangerous habit to get into.
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When Kathy agreed to meet up with friends for some food and fun after the football game, she figured it would just be another average party. But she never imagined the night would end up like it did. Read with caution. This cliffhanger shows how much one decision can change a person.
It's hard to understand parables. Are they about you, or your neighbor, or Jesus, or Christians, or non-believers? How can you tell? Pastor Wolfmueller helps to sort out the confusion by pointing you back to your Savior.
Swimming is hard work. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes not. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's hard. Daily prayer, personal devotion, and church attendance are hard work too. Sometimes they're not fun or easy either. So, why bother? Swimmer Kyle Verage talks discipline, grace, and faith.
by Rev. Christopher Esget
You heard Pastor Esget preach at the Amen conference and wished you had a copy of his sermon to read again. Well, now you do! For a little light reading on your salvation and God's mercy, read on.
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Have you stopped to wonder why we sing the Alleluia when we do in church? Or what the point of the Offertory is? Pastor Roemke lays out the Divine Service in a few easy steps so that you can understand exactly what's going on on Sunday morning.
Few Gospel passages have been mischaracterized as much as The Beatitudes. Can you inherit the earth if you're just meek enough? See God if youâre just pure enough? Some would say that, but Dr. David Scaer sets the record straight and brings the focus where it should be with these heavy wordsâon Christ!
âGoing to the mission fieldâ might make you think of some brave soul heading into deepest, darkest Africa. Bet you never thought of Colonial America as a mission field but the Lutheran church certainly did. It sent Henry Melchior Muhlenberg to work with pastors in Pennsylvania on the cusp of the American Revolution, where he found himself stuck in the middle of a massive moral dilemma. Find out more about this influential pastor as told by Rev. Kieselowsky and let his life serve as an encouragement to you.
If you watch most reality TV shows, youâll quickly realize that wisdom is a scarce commodity. It doesnât seem to be valued much today and those who do seek after it often look for it in all the wrong places. Mr. Heath reveals where true wisdom begins and ends, and the good news is that itâs available to YOU.
Nobody was more surprised than Rev.Young after the Nashville conference this summer. To his astonishment, the glory of heaven was revealed at Vanderbilt University, a secular haven, when more than 1,000 Lutheran teens and adults joined together for Divine Service.
by Rev. Larry Peters
Pipes donât have perfect pitch? Sing like a sick cow? No worries! Sing unto the Lord a new song! Rev. Peters will encourage the most timid among you to wrestle with the words of the hymns in your hearts, even if you donât utter a sound. You may discover that you want to sing in spite of yourself.
With pinpoint accuracy, Rev. Fisk zeroes in on todayâs false notion of âspirituality.â Are you open-minded or close-minded? Why is âreligionâ a bad word in our postmodern culture? Be prepared to get a bookâs worth of helpful insight in this article via Rev. Fiskâs pull-no-punches way of communicating Gospel truth.
Thereâs a high likelihood you know someone who struggles with homosexuality. Maybe it is your own personal battle. The author of this article seeks to equip you to speak Jesus to your friend, who may not know where to go with this agonizing conflict, and handles this complex and sensitive subject with wisdom and grace.
âYom Kippurâ shows up on calendars every year, but what is it? Itâs the Day of Atonement, and Rev. Messer once again shows us how the rich ceremonial laws of the feast pointed forward to Christ. Discover how even the smallest details of this feast find their fulfillment in the Cross.
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âDonât eat the forbidden fruit!â Tempting, isnât it? Hence the need for this 6th Petition of the Lordâs Prayer. If sin werenât such a delectable choice, we wouldnât so readily gravitate toward it. Rev. Cwirla artfully reminds us that our arsenal to fight such temptation is overflowing: It is Christ and Him crucified, who perfectly resisted temptation on our behalf!
Nowadays adoption is often in the spotlight because one celebrity or another has decided to adopt a child. Well, it's always been big news for God! Rev. Fritsche gives you a window into his own rewarding experiences with adoption and shows how precious your adoption in Christ truly is.
Sheep are not known for being the smartest animals in the world, but they have a special place in God's Word. Our Shepherd, Jesus, who cares for us, uses them many times in His parables and illustrations. Rev. Wilken expounds on one such instance, and in doing so, will make you revel in your sheephood.
Someone just gave you a lovely, beautifully wrapped gift. You tear open the paper with enthusiasm and look at it, stunned...it's God's Law? How can it be that very thing that St. Paul calls a ministry of death, is a gift from God? Learn why this is a reality as you read this article crafted in true Rev. Borghardt fashion.
"Hi, I'd like one baby boy with blue eyes, blond hair, and athletic ability on the side." Going through the drive-through to order your baby? That may seem far-fetched, but as Christians, we need to tread lightly when it comes to the topic of genetic engineering. Dr. Lamb carefully navigates through the final part in his series and grapples with the questions: HOw far is too far when it comes to genetic engineering?
Whether it's Starbucks or a 3-mile jog, a protein shake or Good Morning America, nearly everyone has something in their morning routine that they find it very hard to manage without. Christina presents a Christ-centered, compelling case for making time with God an essential start to your day.
Whether you're in college or not, at some point your faith in Christ will be challenged. Scripture calls us to be able to give a reason for the home that we have, so where do we start? Rev. Pacey gets the ball rolling for you as he provides some basics.
For nearly as long as there has been American football, there have been CHristians attempting to use it as a picture of the Christian life. Rev. Hoover has a unique twist on this analogy and shows us that perhaps it has a place after all, which gives us a real reason to celebrate!
As Christians, where do we find that middle ground between apathy toward the environment and screaming obscenities at folks who wear fur, neither of which are acceptable? Rev. Kornacki lays out an approach to being the wise stewards God calls us to be and to care for this groaning creation that awaits the glorious coming of Jesus Christ!
Overachiever. Task-oriented. Hard on yourself. Do these sound familiar? If you find yourself constantly trying to see if you measure up, then Scott's words will gently remind you where your value lies and how that can bring you peace.
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These words in the Lord's Prayer are not some sort of complacent surrender...they are a battle cry, but also a source of great comfort. Rev. Cwirla sweeps away some of our misconceptions about these four words we often tack onto the end of our prayers.
by Rev. George F. Borghardt
If you've listened to or been around Rev. Borghardt for any length of time, you'll know what "that" is. It actually stems back to one of his most popular conference topics: sex. In his usual impassioned manner, Rev. Borghardt makes the Biblical case for the blessings of putting "that" in its correct context of marriage.
It's one thing to be inundated by all of teh politically oriented arguments regarding homosexuality, same sex marriage, etc. It's an entirely different story when you have someone near and dear to you reveal that they are choosing to live that lifestyle. How on earth does the CHristian deal with this when faced with it? Rev. Ogrodowicz demonstrates how Law and Gospel are the most vital tools to help you minister to your loved one in their time of need
A fine artist herself, Kelly masterfully creates a beautiful picture of the role of art in the Lutheran church. Discover its distinct purpose and history as well as how art in the church is a unique blending of tradition and Christian freedom. It's all about Jesus!
Yes, it's true. The Emperor's new clothes still leave little to the imagination. Dr. Helmkamp directs our attention to the skies as she bolsters the case, using both science and faith, for us to question the most popular theory proposed about the origins of our universe: the Big Bang.
Rev. Schmidt takes us back in time, to his own childhood, when his simple, persistent prayer for a wonderful baseball season set the tone for his future prayer life. Let the four lessons he took away from his own experience encourage you as you pray.
No, that isn't the latest reality TV show you've stumbled across while channel surfing--it's a faith healing service. Tune in to Tysen's article, where he addresses the claims of those who promote such services and explains how God brings true healing into the lives of Christians.
So what's it like to attend a Higher Things Conference for the first time? Read this first timer's enthusiastic review and judge for yourself. A bit of a skeptic at first, Caitlyn discovered that the Twelve conference in Irvine, California was a Christ-centered benchmark in her life as she prepared to start college.
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Okay, so you've done your share of studying the catechism, memorized parts of it and may even think that it isn't of any real practical use post-confirmation. Well, think again. Rev. Cwirla handily deals with the most commonly asked questions by Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike about the Small Catechism's origin, purpose and encouraging role in your life.
Describe your pastor in one or two wordsâŚGo! Geek. Rock
Star. Grumpy. How aboutâŚshepherd? In fact, a shepherd
is the perfect description of your pastor, as Rev. Borghardt
explains. And even though your pastor may have either geeky
or rock star qualities, what makes him someone you should
want to be around is that He is Christâs representative for you,
here to faithfully remind you of the sweetness of the Gospel
through Word and Sacrament.
From the highest peaks to the lowest valleys, life can be a
harrowing journey, but very often, it is simply middle-ofthe-
road ordinary. And itâs at those times when the really
important thingsâBaptism, Absolution, the Lordâs Supper,
ground us and grant us strength for the next mountain or
Thinking about attending a Higher Things conference? Find
out what itâs like for your average, everyday teen. Jared makes
a pitch that just might persuade you to attend Crucified 2014
Upon completing her first adventure as a College Conference
Volunteer, Alayna was compelled to share her experience in
the hopes of encouraging others to do likewise.
This is the inaugural article of our new regular feature
dedicated to helping and encouraging youth leaders. Sandra
makes the case that Lutheran youth crave the richness and
depth that the traditional liturgy offers, as opposed to the
latest, greatest cultural offerings.
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Rev. Cwirla expands on the occasionally used analogy of a
dance to explain the role of husbands and wives in light of
the Table of Duties, making it crystal clear how this union is a
reflects that of Christ and His bride, the Church, and how that
plays out in everyday lives.
Rev. Borghardt reminds us that "Dare to be Lutheran" is more
than a motto-it's a phrase that points us back to the Solas of
the Reformation: faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone and it
declares boldly: It's all about Jesus!
Higher Things' own tech guru, Stan Lemon, reflects back on
his 10 years with Higher Things and expresses his excitement
about the future as HT continues to promote our basic
Just like Paul encourages Timothy "Let no one despise you for your youth" (1 Timothy 4:12), Rev. Goodman urges us to remember that young people aren't the church in seed form, they already ARE the church.
Christian apologetics at its best is what you'll be served up if you watch or listen to any debate featuring William Lane Craig, a highly regarded Christian philosopher. Rev. Pierson explains just what makes Craig such a skilled defender of the Christian faith.
Regardless of your opinion of the movie, Heaven is for Real,
it fared well at the box office, but Daniel, especially when reflecting back on his HT conference experiences, rejoices that Communion is as REAL as it gets: real food for our souls, real flesh and blood, and real forgiveness.
Countless kids dream of being a teacher and if you are one of those, you might want to consider directing that desire toward teaching at a Lutheran school. John, a teacher himself, lays out the perks of this vocation.
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Rev. Cwirla covers the last of our Table of Duties catechism studies. It all comes down to: faith in Christ, love for neighbor and a keen appreciation for what we have in the Small Catechism.
We often think worship is about what we offer to God and
indeed we do have something to offer Him: our sins. In
return, we receive the glorious gift of Jesus in Word, water,
Body and Blood, for which, declares Rev. Borghardt, we get
to respond to God with praise for the sake of our neighbor!
Death is a brutal reality. It is inescapable because we are
slaves to the power of sin. But, as Rev. Riley reassures us, we
are baptized children of God, and so we are raised daily in
the waters of our Baptism. We can tell our Old Adam where
to go because death is not the end.
After her inaugural experience of being a College
Conference Volunteer, Monica enthusiastically takes
us on a tour of how a Higher Things conference
helps to strengthen faith and equip youth.
Rev. Pierson explains how the arguments and writings of
John Warwick Montgomery will help you stand up and
fight the truth decay that is saturating our culture.
Rev. Richard offers great insight into the origin of that
monster who likes to terrorize us with claims that we
can't really know we are saved and he reminds us Who
the mighty Slayer of that monster is.
You know the Apostles' Creed word for word, right?
You might have even memorized some of the dialogue
from your favorite MARVEL movie as well. Yes, there's a
connection. Movie reviewer Rev. Giese gives us a look
into how the Creed can be used as a jumping off point
to evaluate movies, books and art of all kinds.
So how is the Sabbath made holy? It's far more than
observing a day of rest from work, it's about a person: Jesus
Christ, and the rest we find in Him and in His restful Word.
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Be sure to check out this sample of one of our student Bible
studies which links up with Rev. Pierson's article on P. 12.
Holy Baptism does not take away the Great Tribulation. It unites us with Christ so we will never suffer hardships alone.
In the 2nd century, St. Polycarp died a martyr's death. As Christians today, we can learn from Polycarp's death and know that Christ will never abandon us.
Jesus has broken the power that death has over each one of us. When we each stop breathing one day, death won't be a defeat, but a means for God to glorify us as He glorified His eternal Son, Jesus Christ.
The Cross stands between us and God. When He looks at us through it, He sees the new us clothed in Christ, without a body marked by sin.
In the darkness of depression the love of Christ is all you have. And as it turns out, you don't have Christ at all until all you have is Christ.
Is there more to Sunday School than just eating doughnuts?
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Pride may seem right, but it really is selfish, self-centered, and, yes, sin.
Terri shares the story of her abortion at age 16, but her story doesn't end in guilt and condemnation. We, like Terri, rest in the forgiveness and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How can Christians approach the controversial subject of cloning intelligently and with compassion? Dennis DiMauro, a Lutherans for Life regional executive, sheds light on this difficult issue.
Christians are people of the Book -- God's inerrant Word. But when you're not reading the Good Book, where do you turn for a good read?
by Adriane Dorr
Adriane's friend suffered from bulimia. How does Christ unravel the twisted messes we make of our lives?
At a school dance, the music is slow, the couples are close, and Kathy has to decide how close is too close for her and Steve.
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What if God's Word didn't include the fifth commandment? These poems provide a thoughtful look into how the Scriptures would be different if the Bible was "pro-choice".
"Easter is not for the languid, the lethargic, the indifferent, nor for those who don't care who wins. A wounded but undefeated Jesus steps out of the grave to confound the odds. He's alive, and that's what counts." Read this powerful sermon to find out about the greatest comeback ever.
How do you usually celebrate the Fourth of July? With firecrackers, parades, fun, and parties? Read about Nathan's difficult experience, and lessons about depending on God.
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Adrianne Dorr tackles the difficult and heart-wrenching issue of suicide, and explores the Biblical view as well as Luther's thoughts on the topic.
Our God is a consuming fire -- but what does this mean? In this issue Dr. Veith explores the concept of holiness in the book of Leviticus.
Kathy's autistic cousin visits for the weekend and Kathy reflects on broken minds, broken bodies, and our hope in Christ.
Mollie reflects on Contemporary Christian Music and its portrayal of God. Do the lyrics of popular CCM songs convey a Biblical viewpoint?
Celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve are examples of prominent supporters of embryonic stem cell research. But is there another way to use stem cells without murdering the unborn?
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Can you make a decision for Christ? Or choose to accept Christ as your Savior? Read Rev. Pauls' examination of Luther's explanation of the Third Article of the Creed to find out.
Why are most Christians so reluctant to talk
about Jesus? Are good works more appealing
than our Savior? Dr.Veith outlines the importance
of focusing on Christ and the forgiveness
Your friends, television actors, and maybe even
you misuse the Lords name. Check out Rev.
Chrysts article to see why three little words
say more than you might think.
Are you finishing school this year? Do you feel
unsure of what life has in store for you after
graduation? Rev. Borghardt reminds us of the
hope and promise we have in Christ.
Vicar Lehmann weighs in on Satans anger, our
sin, and Gods gift of Jesus for our redemption.
Prayer in public schools is a good thing. Or is it?
Rev. Pauls discusses multiculturalism, secularism,
and the fine line between church and state.
Accompanying his essay is a compelling article
on school prayer by Mollie Ziegler.
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Who ya calling pond scum?? Were you created
with a purpose or did you evolve from gunk?
Can science and Christianity coexist? Read
Rev. Cwirlas defense of Intelligent Design to
find the answers.
We're always hearing about the Gospel, but what about the Law? Is it good for us? Why should we pay attention to it? Wouldn't we be better off without it? If you're interested in the benefits of the Law, read Pastor Petersen's column to learn more.
Do you have Pentecostal friends who speak in tongues? What do they really believe about the Holy Spirit? They're both important things to know more about, and Zelwyn Heide's done all the research for you.
Many adults say video games aren't healthy because they're so violent. But what about Christian video games that aren't healthy because they're so non-Christian? If technology is your thing, this article by Seminarian Doug Taylor is for you.
You've gone to church your whole life. You know your Bible and catechism. But now you're in college, and teachers are telling you that Christianity isn't true, the Bible is a sham, and Jesus is no better than Ghandi. Are you ready for this? How do you react? Read this article, and be better prepared.
Have you ever wondered what it really means to be Lutheran? Are we defined by our beliefs or just our infamous potlucks and Jell-O? To get a more detailed study on the matter, look at Betsy Schroeder's article.
Thinking about the future can be a little overwhelming even scary at times. You may be unsure, and there may not seem to be many answers. But take heart. Your Savior has a plan for you. He'll work it all for your good.
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A well-known celebrity has claimed that Christianity is a dangerous disease. Is it true? What's his proof? And are you in danger of being infected? Check out Pastor Pauls' article for all the answers.
Bookstores are full of books on self-help and Christian living, but what does all this mean in the big scheme of things? Mr. Kudes takes us back to the apostles' lives and Christ's words to remind us that our life begins in one death.
You've been there. It's Sunday morning, and you just don't feel like going to church, much less taking the Lord's Supper. After all, you just received it last Sunday. Do you really need it again so soon? Pastor Wieting will fill you in on why you just might.
Christians sometimes get labeled "close-minded" and "intolerant." But are we really? Or are we just interested in getting at the truth, no matter how hard it might be? Pastor Scarbeary has been told to be more open-minded, and he'll recount his experience first-hand.
Relationships are hard work. It's difficult to find the right person, tough to decide if he or she is the right one, and equally tricky to keep the romance alive. If you think you've found true love (and it's not with a quart of ice cream and Sleepless in Seattle on a Friday night) or if you just have some questions, Pastor Mons will debunk all your relationship myths.
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It's an all too familiar feeling. You've done something wrong, you've repented, but you just can't seem to shake the guilt. Has God rally forgiven you sin? And if He has, why do you still feel remorse? Check out Pastor Petersen's article.
Is there something that makes you uniquely you? Is it your number of IM contacts, your amount of Facebook friends, or how many people sit at you study hall table? Nope. It's none of those. Mrs. Nikki Boyle went through what you're going through, and she's here to help you see that your identity is in Christ, not your clothing brand.
Praying isn't easy. You're not always sure what to pray for or if you should really be praying it or if the Lord is actually even paying attention to what you're saying in the first place. But Pastor Pauls is here to remind you that the Lord hears, answers, and works all things for your good (just in case you forgot).
Man was not created to die. Death should be unnatural. But after our first parents' fall in the garden, death and doubt are our way of life. Mr. Michael Fieberkorn helps you understand the consequence of sin, the origin of death, and the hope that is yours in Christ Jesus.
Pastors are great... except for when you have to talk to them. Curtis has gone through some rough times at school, and now his mom is making him meet face-to-face with Pastor Michaels to talk about it. Will Pastor Michaels' words of comfort be able to help? Or will Curtis keep his fears bottled up inside?
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Every good Lutheran teenager knows about the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In fact, your Sunday School teachers probably explained it to you using apple, baseball baseball player, and egg analogies. It's not that simple though, and Pastor Petersen is here to delve into the mystery with you.
You can do no other! Itâs trueâyou canât stand alone before a holy God. Thatâs why Jesus does it for you. Let Rev. Borghardtâs words remind you of that glorious reality.
Rev. Sollberger clearly lays out the benefits of a liturgical divine service.This isnât about loving whatâs traditional for the sake of traditional. Find out the rhyme and reason behind such a liturgy.
With Star Wars overtones, Rev. Heinz assures us that our pastors, too, are in need of forgiveness, which is why they are so qualified to speak the words of absolution to us.
A thorough read of Dr. Lambâs article will provide you with specific ways to respond to the popular push for the research of embryonic stem cellsâoften hailed as the holy grail for the treatment of numerous diseases and disorders.
Like all gifts from God, reason is to be used wisely. Find out exactly what that entails in Rev. Parksâ concise handling of this weighty subject.
So what are those things that go bump in the night? Rev. Grams brings Scripture to bear upon this rather unsettling question.
Guilt can often take the helm as you steer your way through lifeâs waters. However, there is freedom from that guilt to be found in Word and Sacramentâgifts from the One who bears our burdens.
âIn the beginning was the Word...â In college there are words everywhere you look. Discover the connection Rev. Burhop makes between âthe Wordâ and these âwords.â
Itâs a sad commentary that many of our science textbooks still insist in promoting some of the original falsehoods of evolution. Rev. Schneider arms you with his deconstruction of these âiconsâ of evolution.
Are you In high school or college and havenât yet figured out your future career? Mr. Engle explains that this doesnât mean you donât already have a vocation...or two...or three...
Not only are we STANDING before God on account of Christ, we are also RECEIVING all of the gracious gifts our Father loves to bestow upon us. Rev. Kuhlmanâs invigorating article makes that crystal clear.
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You canât get more basic than bread, but thereâs more to this staple food than meets the eye. Rev. Cwirla, in his usual winsome way, sheds a great deal of light on this straightforward request from the Lordâs Prayer.
Rev. Borghardt takes us back to the movers and shakers at Augsburg, where defense of the Scriptures was a matter of life and death. Find out how we can learn greatly from these men and appeal to the resulting Confession of Faith in our own apologetic efforts.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:19 that we Christians, of all people, are most to be pitied if the resurrection of Christ did not happen. Rev. Fisk Commandingly lays out the historically based argument for the reality of the Resurrection, which is at the very heart of our defense of the faith.
When critics attack the Christian faith, one of the first areas they will zero in on is the New Testament. After all, they say, it's full of errors and we don't have the originals. Rev. Pierson, who has an extensive background in this area of study, presents a compelling argument for the reliability of the New Testament.
"Faith is the great cop-out." "Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded." "Faith is all emotions-based." Rev. Cwirla handily debunks those and other notions that attempt to claim that faith and reason are opposed to one another.
We've all either asked or have been asked this question: "Why would a good God allow bad things to happen?" Rev. Pacey, who often has to field questions of this sort in his campus ministry at the University of Arizona, dissects all of the typical arguments and gives you tools to provide an answer
Mormons aren't naive young men in white shirts riding their bicycles around your neighborhood. They have been intensely trained to defend THEIR faith, so it is vital for you to know what YOU believe, so when that inevitable knock on the door comes, you can answer with confidence. Rev. Kuhlman will get you started.
Although you might hear a lot about the Muslim world by watching the evening news, you may no know what Islam really teaches. And because it is an ever-growing religion, and Christians in other countries are already in a position of having to vigorously defend their faith, it is vital that we take steps to understand that religion. Learn from Dr. Francisco how to approach a conversation with aMuslim, and in doing so, share the sweetness of the Gospel at the same time.
College campuses are growing increasingly more secularized. This hasn't happened overnight. Mr. Parton explains this history but doesn't leave it there. By the time you are done reading, you will have resources to draw from and know some of the basics as you endeavor to defend your Christian faith on the college or high school campus or wherever you might find yourself.
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Continuing in his backward trek through the Lord's Prayer, Rev. Cwirla clearly explains the First Petition and even manages to cleverly tie it into our theme of apologetics.
Let a little Latin ďŹy and your friends will think you are an
intellectual heavyweight. Well, perhaps thatâs a bit of a
stretch, but once youâve ďŹnished reading this article youâll be familiar with two Latin phrases that help you focus on whatâs important in salvation. And the good thing is that the focus is not on you!
One of our Lutheran distinctives is the desire to work out that delicate balance we call Christian liberty. This is just what Rev. Borghardt successfully communicates in his capable handling of the some of the principles from Martin Lutherâs work, On Christian Liberty.
The recent commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision brought about a great deal of controversy but it also invigorated those who stand for the unborn. Meganâs account gives you a small window into her life-changing experience at the LCMS Life Conference.
Thereâs something about the supernatural that seems so
magnetically intriguing. Hollywood is clearly enamored with the subject. There are a host of TV series that supposedly proďŹle peopleâs encounters with ghosts, demons, or other supernatural beings and plenty of movies that glorify these things in some way. Rev. Tiews shines the light of the Scriptures on this often distorted reality.
History doesnât have to be a bunch of dry events laid out in
chronological order with a lot of dates your teacher wants
you to memorize that youâll never use. And the same goes
with our Lutheran heritage. See for yourself as Dr. Phillips
provides a quick but thorough summary of the pivotal events surrounding the formation of our foundational document of the faithâthe Augsburg Confession.
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by Jenny Sollberger
Nothing satisďŹes the appetite during a challenging hike like a handful of trail mix. In the same way, nothing ďŹlls our spiritual hunger on the road of life like the Word of God. And, as Jenny articulates, trail mix is the best when all of its ingredients blend together with each bite, much the same way the Scriptures are.
"Mawage. Mawage is what bwings us togeder today. That bwessed awangement, that dweam within a dweam..." Think the Impressive Clergyman from The Princess Bride got it right? Perhaps if Humperdink hadn't cut him off we'd have found out. Pastor Drosendahl, on the other hand, clearly explains God's purpose in marriage.
The completeness that God gave to Adam through Eve is something that we've taken and twisted since the Fall. This is why we so desperately need to remember what is true about us in Christ. As always, Pastor Borghardt gives us a huge serving of Gospel, seasoned with his impassioned expressiveness.
We're not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. That is who we are in Adam. But as baptized Christians, we are also saints. That is who we are in Christ. Pastor Buetow boldly asserts that it is the very same with homosexuality. Who we are in Christ trumps that and every other struggle we have with sin.
You may be right in the throes of divorce at this very moment. Maybe it's been a few years, but you're still dealing with the fallout. Or perhaps you know someone else who is trying to navigate this storm of life. Pastor Cwirla's Gospel-filled advice will buoy the most struggling of hearts.
Pastor Fritsche focuses on the many ways God blesses us through children, no matter what the circumstances. We especially get insight into His Fatherly love for us and see how God even blesses our neighbor through His gift of children to us.
Sandra is crystal clear as she lays out the answer to that question. And if you think you are going to find the same pat answers you tend to encounter about being single, think again.
Evil doesn't take a vacation, but we do know where to find it: hiding in the dark and buried in secrets. Pastor Ogrodowicz urges us to combat the struggle with pornography by boldly shining the light of the Gospel on it.
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Wisdom can come from some very interesting places, which you'll soon discover after reading Pastor Schuldheisz' character-packed advice on dating.
Hear the Law in all of its ferocity! You have nothing to fear, though, for Christ has borne its requirements and punishment on your behalf, just as Rev. Buetow shows us.
See the Gospel in all of its sweetness! Just when you think you know how good the Gospel really is, Rev. Borghardt reminds us of how truly outrageous the promises of God are!
by Rev. William M. Cwirla
Let Rev. Cwirla's special 3D presentation clarify your perspective on the three uses of the Law...no special glasses required.
Rev. Riley convincingly lays out how the Holy Spirit is the life editor we sinners desperately need.
There isn't a sinner alive, Christian or not, who doesn't need to regularly hear and embrace the Gospel. And, just as Rev. Fisk explains, Jesus' righteousness is enough.
Our gracious God brings us the Gospel in a tangible way: the Lord's Supper. Rev. Kuhlman reminds us of the delight in knowing God gives us something outside of us - something we can see, touch and taste - to deliver His promise of salvation.
You may not think very often about your last moments on this earth, but Rev. Pauls effectively uses that very scenario to illustrate what happens when we don't properly distinguish between Law and Gospel.
As we wrestle with Law in our lives, the pendulum can swing either toward antinomianism or legalism - both of which, warns Rev. Donofrio, the devil delights in capitalizing upon.
Law and Gospel apply to all parts of life, especially within the family! Rev. Drosendahl brings his own sometimes amusing childhood experiences to bear on the subject.
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When it comes down to it, the root of our sin is connected in some way to our disobedience of the First Commandment. Yet this God whom we are to fear, love and trust above all things, says Rev. Cwirla, works in our hearts and makes things right through His Son.
Rev. Borghardt poignantly illustrates how marriage is a picture of Christ and His Bride, the church and how, on the Last Day, we will finally see ourselves as He does now: pure, blameless and forgiven.
Are you prepared for Judgment Day? That's the wrong question to ask, according to Rev. Fenker. Find out why Judgment Day is nothing we need to fear.
Rev. Mize zeroes in on the blessed gifts of the Sacraments and the Liturgy that sustain us until the end of all things...until we, the church, the Bride of Christ, set our eyes on Jesus, our Bridegroom.
What does the Bible really have to say about the end times and what are the keys that help us unlock that knowledge? No, it doesn't require a decoder ring or some other gadget...just some basic principles, as Katie explains.
No need to look at WebMD to see if you suffer from this disease. Just read through Rev. Kuhlman's article and get the facts and the cure.
Rev. Schuldheisz takes us through a magical tour of The Last Battle, bringing courage and comfort for the End Times along the way.
Rev. Riley shines the bright light of Christ onto that rather dark and mysterious word we see in the Scriptures: Sheol.
What happens when we die? How are we supposed to truly live when we know the Grim Reaper stands ready to pounce? Rev. Fritsche reminds us that in Christ, we live in the light of our new life in Him.
Eternal life isn't a floaty existence in a bland whiteness. Instead, Rev. Buetow declares, we'll be face to face with a flesh and blood Savior, including scars, and live in a paradise that we can tangibly experience and enjoy forever.
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As Rev. Cwirla explains, what makes this commandment so compelling is that it is undergirded by a love for life and a need to preserve it in every sense because that is what Jesus has done for us.
What do we mean when we say "Higher Things"? Learn about how Christ comes down and raises us up to Him.
A poem to the youth of the church. Word pictures from the Dying to Live Youth Conference, Laramie, WY, July 2001.
Have you ever had your faith shaken to its very core? Julie Stiegemeyer has. Read how this former Methodist Christian found Lutheranism and the clearly proclaimed message of Christ crucified.
Disneyland is called the happiest place on earth because inside its gates reality is masqueraded to portray fantasy and even a trip to hell. But for Lutheran Christians, reality is found inside the church. The reality of font, pulpit and altar. The reality of the words, "given and shed for you." Inside the doors of the church we find THE ANSWER that is just as real and true inside as it is outside.
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by Rev. David Petersen
You probably memorized the Catechism, but can't quite recite it anymore. Pick it up again. Look at it anew. It is not simply a book of instruction, it also is a book of prayer and faith.
Through Holy Baptism you have been clothed with Christ. Will you dress like a wise virgin or a belly dancer?
Sex. Such a little word, but such a big deal. Funny how something can be so wonderful, and in other ways, terribly destructive.
Have you ever heard the Gospel's voice? It sounds more familiar than you might think.
I DON'T WANT TO DO IT! Why has Pastor reinstituted private confession and absolution? Is it worth it?
Should you tell Dad when your bad choices cause bad problems? An innocent basketball game leads to a mangled curtain rod, some tough consequences, and some thoughts on confession and forgiveness.
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What is God's purpose for your life? Some would suggest that we are here to worship God or to serve Him through our works. Is that how God sees it?
Pastor Peperkorn looks at issues related to the death of Terri Schiavo and God's gift of a life worth living.
In Dr. Veith's latest column, he reflects on the new pope and the implications of the papacy on Lutheranism.
Ever been punched for standing up for the Gospel? Read Pastor McCain's story to find out why doctrine matters.
Does it really matter whether you stand or sit to shake hands? Does it matter if we have ceremonies in the way we worship? Pastor Petersen offers some insight on why ceremonies make a difference in the life of a Christian.
Myths on Prayer
by Rev. George F. Borghardt III
Can a heartfelt prayer come from the words of a hymnal? Read Pastor Borghardt's article as he delves deeper into thoughts on prayer.
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News about professional athletes on steroids is commonplace these days. Do 21st century sports emphasize winning at any cost -- even breaking the law? Read Pastor Pauls' thoughts on winning, losing, and healthy competition.
What? Put down my granola bar and fast before the Lords Supper? Are you crazy? Read Pastor Petersens article on why proper preparation before Holy Communion is so beneficial.
Are you tempted by all the shiny, enticing things other denominations have to offer? Pinch yourself to see if youre still alive, and then read Pastor Pauls article on why Lutheran worship centers around Christ crucified and
why that message is all for you.
Doo-doo has a nasty smell, but what does that have to do with doinggood works? Pastor Donofrio clues us in on why we are completely dependent on Christ for our salvation.
Are you addicted to MySpace? Is your relationship with Facebook a little too serious? Check out Tyler Williams article about online social networks, and discover their advantages and
What do sinners have in common with dry, useless sponges? Read Zack Stuckwischs discussion of our sin, Gods forgiveness, and the blessings of Baptism to find out.
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Has God spoken to you lately? Does He still speak audibly to us like He did to Adam and Eve? Pastor Borghardt explains where God speaks to you today.
Your friend just got the new Nelly Furtado CD,
and its the same one youve been wanting to
get. He offers to let you have it after school so
that you can burn your own copy. Do you take
him up on it? Or do you fork over the eighteen
bucks and buy your own? Read Jess Nortons
article on music piracy if youre unsure about
how youd answer.
Society tells us that sex outside of marriage is
okay, that it wont hurt anybody, and that its a
sure cure for loneliness. But thats not Gods plan
for you. Read Pastor Pauls article to find out why
God wants you to wait and why He loves and
forgives you, even if you do fall prey to
What started out as an innocent drive to listen to
music and hang out with Molly turns disastrous
for Kathy when a drunk driver loses control of his
car. As a result, Kathy is forced to grow up quickly
when she finds herself hurt and in trouble.
The recent shootings at Virginia Tech left many
Americans wondering why and how it
happened. While the thought of such a tragedy
happening in your own school might frighten
you and give you concern about your safety,
Pastor Siems reminds us that Christ has won
eternal security for us in heaven.
God spoke, and things were created. His words
had their intended effect. Sin has tainted that
perfect creation, and now we live in a sinful
world. At the same time, Pastor Day expounds
on why we can wait with eager anticipation for
Christs new creation where we will live with
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Have you ever considered that a good
government is one of the ways in which your
heavenly Father gives you your daily bread? Its
true! For a lesson in history, tyranny, freedom, and
liberty, go straight to Pastor Petersens article.
You just don't get it. Why do bad things always seem to happen to you? You're a good person. It's not like you deserve it. So how come things always seem to go the wrong way? If life just doesn't seem fair, check out Mr. Hein's article on suffering, tragedy, and who can answer all the why questions you have.
A girl's wardrobe can explain a lot about her. (I mean, Kathy Luder wears ladybug necklaces. What does that say?) So how should a Christian young lady dress? Can she war a mini-skirt or does she have to wear a dress the size of a tent? If you're interested in maintaining your modesty, Mrs. Curtis is here to help.
Yours the Amen
by Rev. George Borghardt III
Conference time is here, which means you're either sweating through the heat in St. Louis, on a flight to Irvine, or looking up Scranton on a map. Either way, conference speakers Pastor Mark Buetow and Pastor George Borghardt are here to fill you in on why "Amen" will be the word to know this summer.
Have you ever let a swear word slip out, and then, frustrated with yourself, punched your grandma? Ok, so it's a far-fetched scenario, but is there a difference between intentional sins and ones that just seem to happen? If you're unclear on the differences, take a peek at Pastor Bell's article, which just might help to clarify your bewilderment.
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Kathy's favorite teacher is caught lying about his past. She is astonished by what she hears and devastated that he has misled her. He's apologized, but it's not easy to forgive and forget. How is she supposed to trust him from now on? Read Kathy's article for a lesson in forgiveness and faith.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much hurt in the world? Why does God allow suffering? Pastor Fritsche wrestles with these questions and reminds us that Godâs will is good and best, even when we donât understand it.
Welcome to Tentatio, the reality show thatâs more nerve-wracking than American Idol. Here, we pit your favorite church heroes against each other. Which of our champions will survive the Platform of Salvation? Calvin? Luther? Arminius? Stay tuned to Pastor Paulsâ broadcasting from the sidelines to find out!
Everybody who knows Greek raise your right hand. Hello? Tap tap. Is this thing on? Pastor Borghardt wants to teach you the word didomi. Itâs a little Greek verb that means âto give,â and the person who does the giving is our Lord, Jesus Christ.
For most of you, marriage seems a long way off. You have to get through high school, graduation, college, and finding a job. Whoâs thinking about a wife and kids at age 14? Mr. Lemon gives some insight on how marriage works, why you can already be praying for your future spouse, and the gifts Christ gives in marriage.
High school and college present plenty of opportunities to do the wrong thing. Parties that get out of hand, smooth talking members of the opposite sex, parents who seem unable to understand . . . so whatâs a teen to do when temptation rears its ugly head? Rev. Buetow uses a passage from 1 Corinthians to reassure you in the knowledge that Christâs death on the cross is your way out.
If youâve heard it once when talking to a non- Christian, youâve heard it so much that now itâs just getting annoying:âThatâs just your belief.â Just my belief? What does that even mean? If youâre looking for a way to talk to your friends about Christianity using just the facts, Mr. Cochran is here to help you give an apology (or defense) for the Christian faith.
When was the last time your mother said,âTell your brother youâre sorry, and say it like you mean it!â? Sin, repentance, and forgiveness are hard concepts to grasp. Nevertheless, the vastness of Jesus answering for all your rot, filth, and gunk is really amazing, and Pastor Kuhlman is here to remind you of just that.
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A saint is not someone who is holy, someone declared to be holy. You canât be a saint unless you are a sinner. You canât be forgiven and declared holy unless you have something for which to be forgiven. Pastor Petersen breaks down what it means to be a saint, what it means to be a sinner, and why salvation is yours in Jesus Christ.
by Rev. George Borghardt III
You can't get through Genesis without noticing the significance of the number 12; that thread continues to be woven throughout the Scriptures. Find out from Rev. Borghardt about an entirely new reason to be intrigued by "12!: (Hint: next summer)
The number of super hero-oriented movies being released this summer is nearly unprecedented. Why do those story lines have such a universal appeal? Rev. Fisk marvels us with his skillful connecting of the Real Ultimate Story dots.
You might have seen his name here and there but have never really known who Herman Sasse was. Rev. Harrison fills in that information gap by providing a rich snapshop of this faithful, Lutheran Hero.
Dr. Lamb gives us a comprehensive overview of another controversial topic in the arena of science: cloning. It's no longer science fiction and the potential ramifications are far too real.
In his usual droll fashion, Rev. Fiene artfully makes the point that all pastors, no matter what their specific responsibility or title may be, share a common purpose: the forgiveness of sins.
Think there's a special cloud floating up in Heaven with your name on it? Think again. We are humans...BODY and soul. Unfortunately the false view that anything material takes a back seat to that which is spiritual, is continuing to seep its way into Christian circles. Rev. Buetow lays out a consistent argument as to why that is such a dangerous way of thinking.
Do you walk the walk? What does that really mean anyway? As Mr. Ritchie begins to unpack that commonly heard phrase, you will realize how vital it is that we apply it wisely.
Sure, you've heard that your Savior, Jesus, makes everything new, but maybe you fear there's one exception: you. Rev. Snyder reassures us that even if we fall prey to sexual temptation, God can bring restoration and a new start.
Rev. Zill's helpful and heartfelt advice will come in handy, whether your college decisions fell like they are breathing down your neck or all still a few years down the road.
Perhaps your youth group plans a mission trip each summer. You've considered going but doubted you'd have anything to really offer. Discover where the real blessing lies.
We have pivotal moments in our lives when God's forgiveness and grace overwhelm us and we learn a lesson we didn't expect to encounter. Sometimes such moments occur in the most ordinary of places
Ever heard the claim that a real prayer is only genuine if it's your words "from the heart?" Using a written guide might be seen as less spiritual. Rev. Erickson persuasively argues that this is not the case, and encourages us to discover the delight in praying through the Daily Offices.
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Rev. Cwirla, with robust clarity, unpacks the Fifth Petition of the Lord's Prayer and lays out the depths of God's forgiveness. Our Lord frees us up to forgive it forward!
Will the real "sanctification" please stand up? Rev. Buetow pinpoints exactly what this theological mouthful-of-a-word is in the christian life and directs the conversation where it needs to go: toward Christ!
So what does a cool Latin phrase have in common with 21st century computer technology? If anyone can tie them together, Rev. Cwirla can. And in doing so, he brings clarity to our understanding of the battle between Old Adam and New Man.
by Rev. Jeffery W. Grams
It seems like every movie season features a new twist on the old vampire story. Well, it turns out that our fascination with the undead might actually be linked to the greatest redemptive story ever. Rev. Grams skillfully connects the dots throughout his article.
Whether you spend hours a day on Facebook or have sworn off ever signing up for an account, you will find something to appreciate in Mr. Kohlmeier's explanation about service to our neighbor via Facebook. The principles he elaborates on apply to any social interaction we might have.
Although Neo-Darwinism can lend itself to some highly technical lingo, Dr. Helmkamp carefully walks us through the fatal flaws of that theory in this first of a two-part series and shines the light of the Gospel on the discussion as well.
You caught yourself yawning at church last Sunday. Did you look around and make sure nobody noticed? Were you bored? It might surprise many people in today's culture to know that the purpose of church isn't to entertain us. Rev. Voltattorni focuses on what it is about church that is truly music to our ears.
The David and Bathsheba story: adultery, murder, major sinful deeds. There are, however, two players in this Biblical account that you might not have given much thought to before. Rev Lorenz insightfully shows us how important their roles truly are.
Do you really know Jesus? How do you know? Miss Teske shares a personal account about that very challenge someone once made to her and how it firmed up what she can confidently say about knowing Our Lord.
If college is on the horizon for you, it is a wise step to read something from someone who has walked that path already. Miss Dooms eloquently offers great counsel and wisdom for those who are nearing that big step in their lives.
Starting a college ministry in five easy steps! Not! And there's a reason this is unrealistic. Every campus is different but one thing generally remains the same: Students are not naturally clamoring to be a part of a Christ-focused group. Rev. Young's own experience provides encouragement to those who are fishers of men on campus.
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Our Lord desires that we come to Him as children come to their father.. with expectancy, eagerness and trust. Rev. Cwirla reminds us of all the comfort we have to gain as he unpacks these first simple but profound words of the Lord's Prayer.
Your Greek 101 word for the day is: anothen. From above. Get a taste of this yearâs conferences from one of our plenary speakers, Rev. Borghardt, as he sheds some light on Jesusâ nighttime conversation with Nicodemus in John 3.
No matter how brave you are, the thought
of getting a shot for anything is not likely to be something you relish. Thereâs one inoculation, however, that you can rejoice in and look back on as a purely positive experienceâyour baptism! Another one of our plenary speakers, Rev. Buetow, continues the theme of âfrom aboveâ as he focuses on our death as Christians and the resurrection to come.
What? There is something God is not able to do? Surely not! Thankfully, there actually are a number of things God cannot doâthings which are contrary to who He is.Thank heaven for that! Rev. Wilken definitively brings the truths of Scripture to bear against the common fallacy, âGod can do everything.â
As a child of Christ, you will have those days when your own sinful nature, the devil or the world try to force you under the weight of your burdened conscience. Thankfully, your ability to defend against this does not depend on you. Instead, it is through your Savior, Jesus, that you can freely lay your burdens at His feet, because of what He did out of His love for you.
Read Kellyâs moving account of her own terrifying experiences where reality and her skewed perceptions became so blurred she didnât know who she was anymore. This time of crisis for Kelly was one during which she became vividly reminded about the love Jesus has for herâthe same love He has for you, no matter how dark things might become.
A New Song
by Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr.
The mark of a good hymn is a combination of a tune and words that can carry the weight of the truths of Scripture that we so treasure. Perhaps Rev. Kornacki, a hymn writer himself, will encourage you to investigate this avenue of giving to the church for yourself.
Have you ever felt guilty because you believed that perhaps it was your fault your unbelieving friends havenât
yet bought into Christianity? Perhaps your argument wasnât smooth enough.Your case wasnât intellectual enough. Well the good news is, as Rev. Young explains,
you canât persuade someone to embrace Christianity. It is only through the work of the Holy Spiritâthrough Word and Sacramentâthat your friends will come to Christ. Knowing this frees you up to be Christ to your friends who are still in darkness.
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If youâve ever been frustrated by a particular rule that your parents enforce, or wonder why there is a need for a speed limit, you are sure to gain some insight by reading through Rev. Cwirlaâs persuasively written explanation about civil authority and where we as citizens fit in.
It's a normal ambition to attempt to map out our lives. At the tender young age of 18, Rev. Riley did just that but ended up down a path where God took him face to face with Jesus. He died that day, but it was no "Heaven Is for Real" experience - he was "buried with Christ by Baptism into death." And it was then that his life truly began.
Drown, rinse, and repeat. This is the formula for the Christian life. It isn't about trying to follow God's law more faithfully. It's about realizing that, having been baptized through Christ, you follow God's law perfectly.
Sanctification is frequently a Christian buzz word. For some it means how we become more holy or sin less the longer we are Christians. With clarity, Rev. Buetow illuminates the Biblical understanding of sanctification that takes us out of the driver's seat.
What's in a name? Well, in this case, "John" means a whole lot more than meets the eye. John the Baptist's sole mission in life was to pave the way for Christ, which Rev. Zill explains was an incredible demonstration of God's grace.
It's likely that you have had a taste of C.S. Lewis, due to the popularity of the Narnia movies. But Narnia is just the tip of the iceberg. Rev. Pierson looks under the surface and persuades us that an essential part of building an understanding of Christian apologetics is to investigate all that C.S. Lewis, with his incredible insight, has to offer.
Yes, it's true. We aren't just fans of Jesus. We are committed to Him. But what's the Christian faith really about: how well we follow Christ or how amazingly He saves us? Rev. Mumme sets the record straight regarding a popular graphic making the rounds in social media.
More miscommunication comes from unspoken or unreasonable expectations. We who are baptized in Christ have truly great expectations that Christ Himself faithfully fulfills for us. And, as Bethany shares, knowing this will help us deal with the disappointment that comes when many of our expectations in this life aren't met.
The struggle with body image is not a new phenomenon, and most people grapple with it to some degree, but there comes a point where it becomes an idol. Annalise, through her own experience, reminds us where true beauty lies and that our confidence is in Christ.
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You get a job, you work the grind, you make money and that's it. Right? Well, not exactly. Rev. Cwirla reveals the beauty behind the vocations of worker and boss, and how Christ faithfully loves our neighbor through us.
Not merely a rite, not just a formality, Confirmation is a process through which you learn about all of the gifts Christ won for you on the cross and how He delivers them to you in abundance! Read up on it, Rev. Borghardt style!
Yes, there is life after Confirmation. After all, that's the whole purpose of Confirmation...to equip you for your life as a child of God! Rev. Buetow will show you how invaluable what you learn, memorize and study is for your spiritual wellbeing.
You don't need a license to scuba dive down into the depths of your own or someone else's shipwrecked collection of sins. The reality is we have a natural inclination to do so. The good news, as Chad declares, is that the love of Jesus is deeper than you can even imagine and you don't have to plumb the dark depths of sin any longer.
In Romans 1, St. Paul tells us that man is without excuse if he rejects God, because all of nature reveals His handiwork. In light of this truth, Rev. Pierson methodically explains how William Dembski, through the Intelligent Design argument, provides another very helpful tool for your apologetics arsenal.
Man's best friend may be able to teach YOU a trick or two you never thought about...the Gospel! Anna shares her own observations with her beloved dogs and ties it into the reminder that we can confidently live each day, receiving Christ's gifts with joyful trust...
Just like manna was something the Israelites came to take for granted and forget how vital it was for physical survival, we, too, can easily forget the blessing that the Lord's Supper is to our souls which are desperate for nourishment that God promises to give. Taylor emphatically lays out the case for weekly communion.
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What does it really mean to misuse the name of the Lord our God? Rev. Cwirla lays out not only what it means to break the Second Commandment, but also what makes God's Name such a precious gift revealed to us in and through Jesus Christ.
Service to God in the Military
by Rev. John C. Wohlrabe, Jr. Captain, Chaplain Corps, U. S. Navy, Brunswick, ME
Is the killing and destruction that war brings be justified? Better yet. Can a Christian serve in the military and still be a Christian? Yes. They are acting as God's servant to defend their country and its citizens against violence and injustice in order to preserve peace.
Notes on Islam
by Rev. Dr. Frederic W. Baue
The Rev. Frederic W. Baue provides a glimpse into the world of Islam and its ever-growing affect on Christianity.
Take a glimpse into the diary of the Rev. Dean Kavouras and see how the love of Christ helped heal and support people in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
God's grace is under attack. Learn how to defend it. It's worth fighting for.
Good question. Find out what the Rev.Todd Peperkorn has to say about these popular books and their role in the Christian life.
As Christians,we all deal with the snake called "sin". Luckily for us,we know the snake's power was crushed when Christ died for us on the cross.
Falsely imprisoned in China for espionage, Dr. Gao Xue describes how Christ and the power of prayer sustained her during this horrific experience.
Every war has its heroes. Read how one Lutheran pastor miraculously survived the ongoing war of abortion by being born.
Find out how a Lutheran pastor, equipped with the Word of God, is making a real difference in the lives of the young people of Sudan.
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Evil surrounds each of us daily. Take heart in knowing that Christ has and will Deliver Us From Evil.
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. Sin shattered that image, but Jesus fixed everything. In Him you see God Himself and God sees you as He wishes you to be. You're back in the image of God for you're in the Image Himself.
Tattoos and piercings are becoming more and more popular with young people today. What are some things to consider before deciding whether or not to go under the needle?
Don't drink ocean water. That stuff could kill you. Instead, remember you're in the boat, and the One who drowned to get you there is alive and with you. He'll get you home.
Searching for the Gospel in all the wrong places. Lori Lewis shares her experience in visiting a wide variety of denominations and what she discovers about her Lutheran roots.
What's the world coming to? The acceptance of homosexuality, as an alternative lifestyle, is gaining momentum. Will Christians be willing to hold out a lifeline to those who would otherwise be swept away?
See how something as gross as zits restored a friendship between two long-time friends.
Writing our sins on index cards and burning the cards doesn't take sin away. Instead, forgiveness of sins is found in Christ - in His absolving Word, and in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
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We are reminded that beauty which is skin deep won't last, but beauty in our souls will.
God became flesh in Jesus Christ and was born into this world as a baby to suffer and die on the cross and rise physically from the dead. Are these basic truths of Christianity contrary to popular beliefs today as portrayed in books like The Da Vinci Code? Read Veith's latest column to explore this very important topic.
"Keep Christ in Christmas!" and "Jesus is the reason for the season" are familiar sayings these days that we hear frequently around at Christmastime. But what about keeping the "mass" in Christmas? Pastor Borghardt explains what the other half of the word "Christmas" is all about.
Whoa! Wait a minute, can we refer to Mary as the mother of God? Sandra Ostapowich examines this seemingly small point of theology and finds rich meaning in understanding our Lord Jesus Christ.
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An unusual encounter with a vicar's cat leads to some startling revelations late one Christmas Eve.
We continually struggle with temptation, just as
our Master, Jesus,was also tempted. And yet we
hold fast to the hope we have in Christ when all
earthly sufferings, including temptation, will
finally be removed.
In this Pulse column that reviews several
books on Christian dating,Ms.Dorr reflects
on boyfriends, girlfriends, hand checks, and
Christs everlasting grace.
Was Hurricane Katrina an example of God
unleashing His wrath? Read about Dr.Veiths
blog wars and Gods wrath, grace, and our
hope in Christ.
Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization
over fifty years old, has groups at more than
thirteen hundred college campuses. Is this
parachurch group helpful to Lutheran college
students or not?
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Are praise services the cure for depression? Can
praise music take away your despair? Read this
intriguing article to explore the heartache of
bipolar disorder and the truth of the Gospel.
by Bethany Smith
It's a touchy subject, that dating. And not only is it confusing and difficult, but to make matter worse, no one seems to have any conclusive answers, Is there even a golden rule for dating? Check out Bethany Smith's article for a little clarification.
Growing up in a broken home is hard, but far too many teenagers today are doing just that. How do you deal with separated parents? Is thee any reassurance that things will get better? If you need answers, Pastor Pauls shows just where you can find them in God's Word
by Dr. Adam Francisco
How much do you know about Islam? Is it the world's fastest-growing religion? Is Allah just another name for God? Will mankind abandon the madness of cheap sandwich bags? Oh, wait. Wrong article. Anyway, Dr. Francisco's written up a little refresher course for you on this dangerous religion.
Ugh. Parents can be so annoying. They're old fashioned, they don't understand you, and they're always trying to run your life. Why don't thy just give it up already? Wait, What? Could it possibly be that God has given you parents because they're good for you? Pastor Peperkorn has an insight that you just might find helpful.
The policeman has finished his report. The doctor has sent Kathy home from the hospital. Now is the time for reflection, both from Kathy and the one who was sent to keep her safe.
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Sometimes it's hard to imagine what heaven will be like. Will you know who your grandma is? Will you still have brown hair? Will you be able to crack jokes? Will the magazine staff still be misfits? Pastor Petersen has some reassurance for you. So, don't worry. You will still be you in heaven.
Warning: Watching The Simpsons may play an unexpected role in the development of your theological discernment. Rev. Wentzelâs humorous presentation of some of the choice theology portrayed on The Simpsons may just help you get a better grasp of your own understanding of Lutheran theology. Maybe you can finally set the record straight for Homer, who has been known to claim that Christianity is âYou know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that donât work out in real life.â Dâoh!
Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has asserted that the creation account in Genesis is merely one of many mythical versions since the beginning of civilization. For the Christian, however, this first book in the Scriptures is absolutely foundational to understanding the rest of Godâs Word. A fundamental misunderstanding of its account can lead to the compromise of Biblical truth. Rev. Baue shows you how some of the most ârelevantâ questions of our day can be dealt with from the solid truths presented in the Doctrine of Creation.
âThere were this Mexican and a Slovak in church one Sunday...â Sounds like the start of a bad joke but itâs the reality at Rev. Gaugertâs church. Find out the history of Evangelical Church of Doctor Martin Luther in Chicago and how Godâs faithfulness has brought this unique body of believers together and sustained them, in spite of substantial cultural barriers. Itâs an encouraging reminder that nothing can thwart the work of the Holy Spirit.
Do you run and hide when your friendly, neighborhood Jehovahâs Witnesses pop by? Perhaps you politely open the door and listen to them give their earnest spiel, your eyes glazing over. Well try this on for size: Maybe you can equip yourself to handle their claims but more importantly, give an answer for the hope that is in YOU. Rev. Lange gives you some great foundational information and counsel as you consider your response for the next time you hear that knock on the door.
We live in a culture where life is attacked on many fronts. Abortion and euthanasia are two of the most prominent aggressors, but sometimes the attackers are more covert. Rev. Lamb weaves together a warm blend of family accounts and Scriptural truths in this first of four articles dealing with the preciousness of life and how we can protect it by remembering that our true value is found in Christ!
âGo to H-E-double hockey sticks!â Usually this is merely an expression of anger. For Christ, it was a vital part of His mission to conquer sin and death on your behalf. Rev. Kumm carefully handles that somewhat mysterious phrase in the Apostlesâ Creed: âHe descended into Hell.âThe best part is that Christâs descent has given YOU the freedom to tell the Devil where to go with his lies and accusations.
In an era where pastors who wear Hawaiian shirts are seen as in touch with their congregations, itâs important to understand the tradition of vestments. Every piece has a purpose. Itâs not just about the threads, itâs about the theology.
We carelessly throw around the word âmiracleâ all the time. We take it for granted. How many of us have been eyewitnesses to an actual miracle? Itâs no surprise that this is one of the first areas a non-Christian will attack. Mr. Piersonâs training in apologetics (AKA defense of the faith) will help arm you to defend the rationality of believing in miracles.
Over the past few years you have probably caught bits and pieces of the beliefs of Scientology due to some of its more famous followers like John Travolta or Tom Cruise. Think itâs more like science fiction than a religion? Find out by reading Rev. Soundâs thorough summary of the tenets of Scientology and his clear proclamation of the sweetness of the true Gospel.
Discover through the final article in this series by Rev. Messer how type and shadow find their fulfillment yet again in the New Testament. The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, a celebration of the harvests God provided, led to the beginning of a great harvest that continues to this very day. And we get to rejoice in that each time we are part of the Divine Service.
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Does your mouth go dry and pasty when you are asked to pray aloud? Heart thump out of your chest? Perhaps you are deathly afraid of saying the wrong thing. Thankfully, in the name of Christ, we pray to a God who loves to hear what His children have to say. Rev. Cwirla provides some simple guidelines that will free your heart up to bring your petitions, and those of othersâ before your gracious Father in Heaven.
A creed, by definition, is a statement of belief, but did you know that the Nicene Creed is also a wonderful summary of the heart of the Christmas story? Rev. Borghardt enthusiastically takes you on a grand tour of this ancient creed that we so often recite but perhaps, at times, take for granted.
Just when you thought you'd discovered all the layers of the Chronicles of Narnia, Rev. Schuldheisz delights us with yet another rich facet of C.S. Lewis' timeless fantasy series: joy.
Communion. Liturgy. Infant baptism. Sign of the Cross. The list goes on and on. If you haven't wrestled through topics like these with you non-Lutheran buds, you will eventually. Be more prepared by reading Rev. Buetow's wise and very clear counsel so that you can confidently bring it all back to Jesus!
Tamara provides a special perspective as a Lutheran as one who converted as an adult. Lifelong Lutherans will be encouraged to remember how blessed they are and converts will be able to relate to and appreciate her journey. No matter what, gratitude will abound.
Life is a balancing act in so many ways. One tension we Christians find ourselves caught up in is being "in" but not "of" the world. This pendulum can swing too far in either direction, leading either to an unbiblical separation from the world, or a disregard for who we are in Christ. Scott gives us some instruction in spiritual "physics," and provides some helpful tips as we walk this fine line.
As Lutherans, we recognize that it's okay to give Mary the honor she deserves, yet we understand that she, too, needed a Savior as much as we do. Sandra expounds on Mary's response to what God blessed her with, showing how this young girl, the mother of our Lord, was an exceptional example of faith and trust, by the grace of God, even when faced with very unusual circumstances.
Few acts are more profoundly devastating for those left behind than when a loved one ends his or her life. Rev. Preus plainly, but gently, grapples with this heart-wrenching topic, reminding us of where our hope ultimately lies.
In our social networking culture, even the most quirky, pointless maneuvers can become the latest greatest fads. Planking is no exception. Rev. Hoppe gives this popular phenomenon a bit of a Gospel twist that just might lead you to start a relevant trend of your own.
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Jesus is our King of Kings, so when we pray the petition in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy Kingdom come," what are we really asking for? Rev. Cwirla artfully answers that question by taking you on a whirlwind trip to the four corners of Christ's kingdom.
So are we a "Christian" nation? Are was a "secular" nation? Well, maybe there's another choice. Rev. Buetow explains how we can Scripturally view America by understanding the two kingdoms.
No doubt about it: The results of the November 6th election managed to throw many people for a loop. Fear not! Rev. Borghardt brings his pastoral words of comfort and wisdom to bear and reminds us that the great news is God is still good and God is still in control.
Normally religion and politics are taboo topics in our conversations. There are those who go further and believe those areas should never overlap in our daily living. Rev. Cwirla demonstrates how to manage and balance these two areas through the filter of Luther's two kingdom theology.
Is there a place for activism in the life of the Christian? That's a resounding YES! Mrs. Karner carefully explains how Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms compels us that involvement in social activism is not just recommended, it's vital as we live as Christians in, yet not of this world.
We live in a society that clamors around the concept of equal rights. Yet in the scheme of things and if we are truly honest with ourselves, Jesus got the short end of the stick in that game when He took on flesh and died for us. Be encouraged in your vocations at church, at home or anywhere, as Ms. Ostapowich reminds us of the reality of equal rights for the Christian
Take a tour through the words of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg with Mr. Ritchie as your guide. You'll soon see what a gifted pastor Muhlenberg was as he carefully navigated the dicey waters of the political climate of his time.
What makes Islam's use of sharia law so diametrically opposed to Scripture? There is no Jesus there. Rev. Ramirez skillfully contrasts Islam's twisting together of faith and government to God's plan for church and state.
Don't public officials talk about God all the time? Sure they often do, but that doesn't mean that they are necessarily spokespeople for God. Magdalena shows through her experience in a college course that this is indeed not the case because they usually lack on very critical message: Our greatest blessing is the gift of salvation in Christ
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What's God's plan for your life? It's no mystery, according to Rev. Cwirla, who takes us once again into the heart of another solid catechism study and simplifies what life tries to make so very complicated.
Delve right into the spirit of Christmas as we recapture the
magic of Rev. Borghardtâs impassioned, Christ-laden Gospel
message from the Higher Things 2013 conferences.
From Genesis to Malachi, Jesus is on every page of the Old Testament Scriptures. Rev. Buetow takes us on a tip-of-theiceberg tour through the OT, demonstrating how it points to
the promise of the Messiah to come.
Think thereâs a disconnect between theology and architecture?
Chad Bird artfully presents just how intertwined they actually
are and why this is so important when understanding the
doctrines that undergird worship.
There are so many messages being sent out on blogs, twitter,
radio airwaves, TV channels from preachers of every stripe...how do we know whom we can trust? What distinguishes a false prophet, or a wolf from a faithful preacher? Chris
Rosebrough deals with this subject on a regular basis on his radio program and shares his insight with us.
Itâs one thing to deny there is a God. Itâs another thing altogether to operate as if you cannot know if there is a God. Far from being âatheismlite,â agnosticism offers its own set of challenges. Rev. Pierson sheds some light on this lesser known belief system.
Not only is our divine service liturgy filled with Scripture, it also sets the scene for God to give us His wonderful gifts of Baptism and the Lordâs Supper, which Dr. Eifert explains as he lays out the cool connection between this same liturgy
and our Church Year.
Rev. Hageman encourages us to
take the talents God has given
us and use them to the best of
our ability for His glory. Such
ambition, he says, is not contrary
to the Christian life.
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We live in a day when the roles of parents and children in the
home are being blurred or sometimes even obliterated. As
always, Rev. Cwirla provides an excellent walk through this area
in Lutherâs Small Catechism, which will equip you in the faith,
whether you are a child, a parent or both.
Don't worry about donning your beanies or slipping on your mittens to go a-caroling. All you need to do is embark on a frolicking read through Rev. Borghardt's joyous reminders of Jesus during this Christmas season.
"The new is in the old concealed; the old is in the new revealed," is an ancient maxim about the Old and New Testaments attributed to church father, Augustine. Rev. Buetow highlights this insightful saying by illustrating the amazing connection between David, King of Israel and Jesus.
Universal, triumphant, invisible. These are just a few of the historically grounded adjectives that describe God's church. Now "relevant" seems to be the latest trending descriptive, but what's wrong with a church trying to be relevant? Kelly examines why this is a dangerous path for the church to take.
You don't have to chronically suffer from depression in order for the holidays to drag you down. Regardless, sometimes the blues can catch you by surprise. With a blend of humor and empathy, Rev. Peperkorn lists out some ways to keep your balance during the holiday craziness.
In this third part of his apologetics series, Rev. Pierson profiles Christian author James Sire, who has a knack for understanding worldviews and teaching others to decode them.You'll soon discover why Sire is a vital part of your apologetics repertoire.
Zombies...they're everywhere...but that's only in cable TV series and at the nearest Comic Con, right? Well, think again. The reality is we are all dead people who think we're alive, and
the only solution to the apocalyptic madness, as Rev. Haberstock explains, is Christ alone.
Have you decided yet what direction you might want to go for your career? Luther believed the vocation of soldier is a noble and honorable profession for a Christian. As Kay looks at Luther's perspective, she brings to bear her own experience as the mother of two servicemen.
There's a lot of pressure in academic circles to make the grade, to stand out, to be exceptional. It can become far too easy to let your GPA become your primary focus. Ramona examines the fine line between pursuing excellence and succumbing to idolatry and reminds us that ultimately it's Jesus and Him crucified in which we have our identity.
Professional sports appeals to many of us because in a way it satisfies our need to rally behind a hero. NBA basketball is no different. Joshua shows that as exciting as LeBron James can be to follow, he will always fall short when compared to the person and work of the true King, Jesus Christ.
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Now is the perfect time to pull your Small Catechism from the shelf, blow off the dust, and rediscover its value. Before Rev. Cwirla delves into even more Catechism goodness, he lays out its origin and development and why it is the essential tool for nurturing our faith.
Lent: A great time to recycle your failed New Year's resolutions, right? Not so much. Rev. Borghardt will help you get to the heart of the reason for the season of Lent!
We've all seen the FB posts expressing outrage-veiled or overt-about how so-and-so did such-and-such. Maybe we've made a few posts like that ourselves...c'mon...admit it! Rev. Buetow explains how, in in Christ, we are rescued from wallowing in the shame of others.
In light of the phenomenal success of The Force Awakens, HT's resident Star Wars aficionado, Rev. Heinz, makes the case that it's the perfect time to look at the Gospel connections that run throughout this enduring science fiction saga.
"All things are possible for those who believe!" Nowadays, these words of Jesus are on tee-shirts, posters, and the occasional "inspirational" meme. Without any context, this declaration is a sobering reminder that we fall miserably short in our belief. Rev. Goodman demonstrates that Jesus' words are only truly understood in light of His fulfilling the Law on our behalf.
Once again, Rev. Pierson brings to the table a Christian apologist with impressive credentials: Lee Strobel. Learn how Strobel's personal journey to disprove the Scriptures revealed far more evidence about the reliability of the Gospels than he ever imagined.
The victim of a vicious sexual assault, Amber reminds us how God's mercy and grace can redeem even the darkest of days and that it is through Christ's righteousness that we-His Bride, the church-are presented to the Father, pure and spotless, and continue to live in this life by His grace.
Bethany relates how we worship a God who comes to us via our senses. From water, Word, Body and Blood, Jesus keeps His promise to be with us until the very end of the age...giving us a delightful taste of the heavenly feast to come!
Pietism, a misplaced emphasis on Christian living as the proof of our salvation, is an -ism that we all have to fight against, whether we realize it or not. Hayden shows us that the only way to shake off the doubt it can create is to keep our eyes on the Cross and partake of Christ's gifts, for they are outside of us.
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This first commandment with a promise reflects how our God of order loves us and wants what's best for us in this life. Although we struggle with and may even rebel against those authorities He has placed over us, we can trust in Christ's perfect obedience to His Father in our stead.