How blessed to be People of Hope because of Jesus resurrection from the dead and know the difference our sin-conquering, grave-emptying, heaven-opening Savior can and does make in our lives and in all who believe in Him.
What a joy to embrace an ever-present Savior God who promises never to leave or forsake us. Because of Jesus, we are not afraid or even worried having come to realize that even during this age of continuing and constant change and turmoil there are wondrous and NEW opportunities to LIVE AS GOD’S SAVED AND SENT SERVANTS!
Why? Because God says … you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9) We are all priests! … and daily can declare and share our praise and worship to the only God that is worthy!
And, if you are a pastor, you have been called into the Office of the Holy Ministry of our Lord. The Apostle Paul’s words spoken at Miletus to the Elders/pastors from Ephesus direct us: Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. Acts 20:28
Let us also heed the great Apostle’s Holy Spirit inspired instructions in Ephesians 4 and continue … 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. New Testament Gospel Ministry is about releasing and equipping God’s people. It’s about releasing God’s people …
from sin’s guilt
from sin’s shame
from sin’s destruction
from sin’s control
from Satan’s lies
It’s about equipping God’s people …
FOR worship of the Triune God
FOR service in God’s Kingdom
FOR transforming God’s broken creation
FOR joining with God on His mission
FOR creative expression as God’s Image-bearers
FOR “Living As God’s Saved and Sent Servants.”
I don’t know about you, but one thing I will NEVER be used to are senseless school shootings. Did you know that an analysis of gun-related deaths among children shows that more kids in the U.S. have been killed by gunfire since the December, 2014, Sandy Hook massacre than U.S. soldiers killed overseas since 9/11? Though the exact figure is unclear, it rivals the tally of U.S. military deaths overseas—in 11 fewer years. The Department of Defense report accounts for total deaths in the five military operations since the war on terror began following the September 11, 2001 attack. (http://www.newsweek.com/gun-violence-children-killed-sandy-hook-military-soldiers-war-terror-911-848602)
Now, if any of our children – God forbid – were the ones who had been killed … how angry, hurt, empty, would all of us be? I’m sorry. I know that is a terrible thought. Yet, by God’s grace given in Baptism or the Word of God – we would have the sure and certain hope that our murdered children would immediately be in the arms of our loving Savior. Thank God for a resurrected Savior and an eternity in His presence.
BUT, Here’s the question: How horrified … overwhelmed … outraged … completely disturbed and distraught are we that our neighbors, relatives, fellow workers, family, friends, and acquaintances … do NOT know Jesus as Savior … and are going to hell?
Let’s wake up! Friends, we are involved in a war! It’s a war between light and darkness; good and evil being waged over the souls of men … AND we are smack dab in the middle of it!
I honestly think this war between heaven and hell is the picture Jesus was describing when responding to Peter after his great confession: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
The Church – God’s believing people – is stationed on the front lines right next to the gates of hell. It’s not afraid to pound on its doors with the Gospel, because if you don’t believe in Jesus … hell is where you reside. You may be alive, but you are dead a part from Jesus. But the “sword of the Spirit,” the “Word of God”, is powerful, indeed “the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes! … and is one of the weapons that has divine power to demolish strongholds – like unbelief.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
How, then, we should daily consider … WHAT our loving and almighty God
the God of Christmas – Who is God with us;
the God of Good Friday – Who is God for us;
the God of Easter – Who is God in us because of our Baptisms; and
the God of Pentecost – Who is God through us to the world …
… STILL WANTS TO DO IN, THROUGH, AND BY OUR REDEEMED, SANCTIFIED, AND EMPOWERED LIVES and WITNESS!
What God desires ... Martin Luther pointedly enunciates and challenges in a sermon on 1 Peter 2:9. He makes it abundantly clear that the Christian lives for the sake of proclamation – the sharing – of the Good News, the Gospel. 1 Peter 2:9 states, you should proclaim the deeds of the One who called you from the darkness into his wonderful light! And here’s Luther’s commentary:
We live on earth only so that we should be a help to other people. Otherwise, it would be best if God would strangle us and let us die as soon as we were baptized and had begun to believe. For this reason, however, he lets us live that we may bring other people also to faith as He has done for us …
This is part of being a priest, being God’s messenger and having his command to proclaim his Word. [Predigten über den 1. Petrusbrief. 1. Bearbeitung (Sermons on 1 Peter, first edition) 1523 WA 12:267.3–7, 318.25–319.6 Stolle, Volker. The Church Comes from All Nations (Kindle Locations 234-250). Concordia Publishing House. Kindle Edition.]
Luther understood and embraced God’s heart for the lost and His intent for His Church and it’s individual members.
Remember that Jesus, in His first sermon – the Sermon on the Mount – not only references the dramatic influence a Christian has in the world, but recognizes a Christian’s witness as part of the “DNA” of every child of God. He says in Matthew 5:13-16: 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
I find it almost impossible to separate the themes of salt and light. These two designations work beautifully together:
salt – refers to the silent, often invisible influence of God in the world through His children; and
light – refers to the revealing work of God in the world through our presence and witness.
These verses in Matthew 5 following immediately after the Beatitudes, describe and emphasize the Christian’s influence in society as “salt”. A Christian that is merciful, or meek, or a peacemaker, or pure in heart, will have a tremendous influence in the lives of those who live around them and who come into contact with them.
Salt, a highly prized mineral, gathered in Palestine along the Mediterranean seashore, had numerous qualities, many of which we can easily understand:
Salt makes you THIRSTY. Thirst is God’s way of letting you know you need something: water. Through your Gospel life and witness people will come to recognize they need something: Jesus, the Living Water, the Water of Life.
Salt is also good for SEASONING food, enhancing its flavor. Who likes to eat food without salt? Even though salt is small and hardly noticeable, it makes a big difference when used.
Salt is a PRESERVATIVE. It allowed food to last longer without having refrigeration systems like we do today. And interestingly,
Salt demonstrated FRIENDSHIP. Salt was seen as a covenant relationship. In Numbers 18:19, Moses wrote, “It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD for both you and your offspring.” So salt also represented a relationship. In fact, there is an Arab saying, “There is salt - friendship - between us.”
“You are the Salt of the Earth.” Jesus is referring to is the silent witness and influence of the believing child of God in society. It is the influence that you have on other people’s lives making them better, preserving them for the opportunity of eternal life.
we ignore God’s design and deny our salt function when we fail to mingle with all people, but especially the lost, least, last, lonely, limited, and “lame;”
we ignore God’s design and deny our salt function when we don’t’ make time to create space for conversation;
we ignore God’s design and deny our salt function when we fail to be kind, merciful, and the peacemaker.
We are not to draw away from society. Although, we are not of the world, by God’s design and will we are profoundly and purposefully IN the world. If we, as salt, aren’t present in and influencing the world around us – especially, those who are perishing – who will?
When we “live” the salt function, we are partnering with God helping to create the possibility of which the Apostle Peter speaks in 2 Peter 3: 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance.
You being salt is about deliberately considering, creating and developing ways to be in relationship with people.
You being salt is about demonstrating true friendship, showing the love and friendship of Jesus.
You being salt is about praying for and discovering “spiritual wedges” that can be leveraged to create space for “the” conversation about Jesus. Listen, and contemplate, meditate, upon these Scriptures:
1 John 3:17: But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
1 John 3:18: Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Romans 10:14: How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
Love is the main ingredient in true friendship. And … when did God show His love for us? God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
When should we show this love? Here’s a truth worth remembering:
The best use of life is love.
The best expression of love is time.
The best time to love is NOW.
To what extent do we show love? The words of our Lord in John 15 are both encouraging and directive: 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
That’s salt! That’s what it means to love the lost, least, last, lonely, limited, and “lame;” even our enemies!
What about LIGHT?
Light has been a symbol of divine presence and work from creation on. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:1-5
Jesus also said, I Am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. (John 8:12) We rejoice with the Psalmist when he sings: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in our best moments we are reflectors of the Light. Moreover, the light emanating from us is also “Christ in us” through our baptismal union with Him. (Romans 6) There is a reflected light and there is an inherent, “residential” light because Christ lives in us.
Listen to Paul in Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. In Colossians 1:27, Paul makes it clear that God chose to make known among the Gentiles, “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
LIGHT has some unique functions.
Light Exposes darkness: Darkness is expelled as soon as you hit the lights. People are not aware of the darkness they live in if they don’t see the light. “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light.” (Matthew 4:16) The question is, “Does my life help anyone see more clearly?”
Light serves as a guide. Airport runways help planes see the runway by the lights on the side of the runway. When we try to drive in the dark – or land in the dark – without lights, it is disasterous! We are guides to people who are in darkness.
Light shines. If you will, there is no such thing as a secret Christian. We need to shine at all times. Our light shines inevitably so that people will see the works of God in our life and be attracted to Jesus Christ.
Light is NOT meant to be hidden. Jesus said, “A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Here’s the deal! Jesus says: YOU are the Light of the world! SHINE!
We are to dispel darkness, and show the way. Listen to this Old Testament prophecy regarding God’s Old Testament people, Israel: “Arise; shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3
NOW, “in Christ”, “You are the light of the world.” Our family, friends, relatives, neighbors, congregations, and communities …
wherever WE are …
wherever we need to be …
wherever God will send us …
are to see, and come to hear about, Jesus in our lives. Every Christian is a light to help others find salvation which is – and how the world HATES these words … ONLY, EXCLUSIVELY “in Christ.” “… God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
As we continue to grow and mature in the faith … we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) We can grow brighter and brighter.
Friends, in order to reflect the light, or shine the light of Jesus in us … we need to spend more time in the Light, AND with the Light. We do this by reading and studying God’s Holy Word, meditating on it, memorizing it, praying it … and being disciplined about doing that. Consider how similar “discipline” and “disciple” are. A disciple of the Lord is disciplined about maintaining time with the Lord – being in His Word and praying.
Is there a difference between Christians and disciples? I was often asked that in my confirmation classes. Although, I always had my pat answer, it wasn’t until this past March that I heard the best answer to that question: “Christians go to heaven; disciples change the world … before they do.”
God forgive us our biblical illiteracy. I am asking this assembly to give special attention to Resolution 1-07, To Encourage Reading of the Bible! As DISCIPLES … may we do so knowing that His light will shine in us and through us; … and people will see the beauty of God.
Here’s something of a summary: God has put the light in three places:
1. In Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." John 8:12
2. In His Word, the Scriptures. Psalm 119:105 says, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path; and verse 130, “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”
As the Scriptures are learned and shared, the Word of God convicts people of their sinful condition, their need of Jesus, and their salvation and strength in Jesus. They are illumined. As the Psalmist says, For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9)
3. The third place God has deposited His light is in YOU: "You are the light of the world." As Christian people live out their lives for the Lord in close proximity to lost people, God can turn the light on so they see their need for Jesus.
Let me share a quick story out of St. John, Ludington, that illustrates this. The church was reluctant to change and locate their VBS to it’s pastors cul-de-sac. One day of each week of last summer, they set up a water slide. The children in the community played, had pizza, and did crafts. Of course, part of their time included a dinner prayer, and a lesson from the Bible. Even firemen and other community groups pitched in to make it a success.
Two boys attended regularly and learned of Jesus and faith. Their father was skeptical about this VBS being free, thinking for sure the church wanted something in return. Several months later, the church received a letter – much of which I am sharing with you now – detailing how the boys loved their time at this VBS that summer. The letter also explained that a tragic automobile accident had happened, and that while trapped inside the car one of the boys said to his Mom, “We should pray.” He continued with the only prayer he knew, the one learned that summer, which they affectionately called the “pizza prayer.”
It turns out he was severely injured, and that his last words to his still skeptical father were, “Daddy, Jesus isn’t imaginary.” The young boy died …, but his father recounts that instead of the church wanting something from them, they received the best gift ever – knowing their son had faith in Jesus as Savior.
Mother Theresa once said, “Don’t try to do great things for God; do little things with great love.”
Friends, there are people on this planet – the lost, least, last, lonely, limited, and “lame” – whom only you know … that only you can love and will be able to reach, because of where you live and who God has made you to be. That’s true of every member in your congregation, that’s true of every Christian. If just one person will be in heaven because of God’s light in you, your life will have made an eternal difference.
I want to especially say to those members of the “holy priesthood” here this morning who are laity – who are not otherwise professional church workers: your personal story, your “testimony” – your “God story,” as the psalmist writes (Psalm 26:7) – is often times more effective than a sermon. Unbelievers sometimes see pastors as professional salesmen; but, they see you as a “satisfied customer.” Often times, they not only give you the benefit of a “hearing,” but will look at you as a more credible resource. Indeed, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect …” 1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to sow the seed of His Word in God-prepared, good soil.
God has never made a person He didn’t love. We too, then, must care about – and love – all people, all unbelievers. The Apostle Peter reminds us He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) This is why as a Church we want to share the Word and, by the Holy Spirit’s power, see God’s Kingdom grow. God has promised,
“… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
God’s Word is powerful, effective, and breaks through the hardened, sin-encrusted heart to create faith. Have you ever considered that it is Satan – his direct attack – that keeps you from being in the Word? Christians who do not want to grow and mature in their faith, that do not want to see their congregations grow by reaching the people around them of every nation and tribe with Christ and His Word – are literally saying to the world, “You can go to hell.”
For those who don’t think we should discover ways to share the Good News but rather wait for society to “come around” and be friendlier to the Church and her message, YOU’RE WRONG!
For those who say that only ordained pastors should tell others about the Gospel because that’s the only time the Gospel is efficacious, YOU’RE WRONG!
For those who give in to demographic studies that say every church body is shrinking … and then, maybe, allow that as an excuse NOT to find ways to be “salt” and “light” wherever God has planted us … AND NOT just among those who look like us … GOD FORGIVE US!
The question for ALL of us is, and will be …, “Is there anyone that knows Jesus has given them life because of you?” Will anyone in heaven be able to say, “I want to thank you. I’m here because you cared enough to talk with me, to be my friend, to share the Good News with me?” Imagine greeting people in heaven whom – through God’s working – you helped get there.
There are some old sayings: “You can’t take it with you,” or “You’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” Although there is a great deal of truth in those statements, they are not entirely true. You will be joined in heaven by those who received salvation by the power of the Holy Spirit through you sharing the Gospel. In this way … you will take some with you to eternity.
Let me be clear: we are not responsible for changing people’s minds about God. That’s His work!! But we are ridiculously responsible for trying to change their minds about the Church!
“BOLDNESS” in Acts
In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles … something that I think could be named “The Acts of God,” we find the word “boldness”, “confidence” (παρρησίαν - Greek parresia -- par-rhay-see'-ah) used five different times to describe the witness – the testimony, the sharing, the pointing to Jesus – by the apostles and by the members of the Early Church. I am grateful for these insights on “boldness” shared by Dr. Dean Nadasdy with the Council of Presidents.
The Book of Acts is framed by the word, boldness.
At the beginning, in Peter’s Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:29-30, he speaks with “confidence” or boldness as he shows how Psalm 116 is all about Jesus. 29 “Brethren, I may confidently (παρρησίαν) say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 “And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS UPON HIS THRONE, …
At the other end of Acts, in 28:30-31, Luke gives his summary of Paul’s last years in Rome: “30 He … welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness (μετὰ πάσης παρρησίας) and without hindrance.”
The other three appearances of “boldness” in Acts all show up in chapter 4. Peter and John had been teaching in the temple. They had healed a disabled man in the name of Jesus. Now they stand before the very same Sanhedrin which had tried Jesus. Peter tells them that the man was healed by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, “whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead (v.10).” Then he references Psalm 118 identifying Jesus as the rejected stone that has now become the cornerstone. Just as this man was healed by the name of Jesus, he says, so it is also ONLY by that name by which anyone is saved for eternity.
Then at vs. 13 we have Luke’s commentary. He writes: “Now when they saw the boldness / confidence (παρρησίαν) of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
Luke has us look at the apostles’ boldness from the Sanhedrin’s rational, somewhat secular, perspective. But, that perspective was one of being amazed at the boldness, biblical knowledge, and wisdom – theological application – of these common, untrained men who knew JESUS and the Scriptures. They had a new way of understanding the Scriptures because Jesus had taught them to see Him – Christ, the Messiah – in the Scriptures. What’s more, the Sandhedrin, recognized these Galilean hicks as those who had followed and been with Jesus … and now stood before them as HIS witnesses.
Then, near the end of chapter 4, Peter and John have returned from a night in jail and their time with Sanhedrin. In these verses we see the church at Jerusalem using the God-given, God-encouraged – often neglected – gift of PRAYER. Although, you’ve heard me use this quote, please listen again: "Probably the number one reason prayer malfunctions in the hands of believers is that we try to turn a wartime walkie-talkie into a domestic intercom. Until you know that life is war, you cannot know what prayer is for." (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions)
Here’s what they’re praying according to Acts 4:29-30: “29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness (παρρησίας), 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
And then, almost immediately, we see the answer to that prayer as Luke writes, 31 “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness (παρρησίας).”
So … “boldness”, “confidence”, is surely an amazing “kind” of speech!
But, it is surely something more than JUST dynamic speaking skills – you know, the guys who can read out of the phone book and make it seem inspirational … and then takes an offering. Or, this is the preacher who writes in the margin of his manuscript, “Unsure of this point. Pound pulpit really hard.”
From what I read, the apostle Paul’s rhetorical skills were not all that great. The church at Corinth was not impressed.
And it must be more than just human courage in the face of opposition. Most speakers – indeed, most pastors I know – struggle with fear. I still do. When I began this message this morning, I was afraid.
I believe the boldness the Sanhedrin saw in Peter and John, and the boldness Luke saw in the preaching of Paul, and the boldness the church in Jerusalem prayed with, and for, AND received – this New Testament ability to share Jesus … was more than a mustering of mere human courage.
The boldness of the New Testament witness to Jesus Christ, I believe, was a combination of three things:
First, it was the message itself, God’s, inspired Word. Wherever you see the word “boldness” in the Book of Acts, if you look closely, it is never far from the mention of God’s Word. So when Peter preaches and testifies, he’s engaging the Word; in fact, He’s quoting Psalm 116 or Psalm 118. They had complete confidence in the Word because of what they had seen and come to know. The Word of the Lord not only grew the church in numbers but in “boldness,” “boldness” in the Word which cannot be silenced, changed, or compromised.
Second, this boldness was the messenger himself or herself – knowing, living in the absolute confidence of the message and the Person proclaimed.
We don’t just share truth, or just talk about what we are against.
We don’t just proclaim from the inspired, written Word.
We preach the Word made flesh! We know and share and rely on a Person: Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ruling over all things. Christ returning; and, the virtues of Christ, the merits of Christ, the teachings of Christ, the victory of Christ.
Because Jesus is at the heart of our message, we are bold.
Those first witnesses had seen the risen Jesus with their own eyes! They had been with Jesus, and people knew it. We may not see Jesus with our own eyes, but we have been with Him – and He with us – in prayer, in study, in baptism, in the Supper. We know Him. We talk with Him. We love Him, and that relationship with Christ is personal, deep, strong, growing, rich, and hope-filled. That makes us bold; … like we have just come from being with Jesus.
The third aspect of boldness in sharing our witness is the PROMISED presence, power, and work of the Holy Spirit. You see it in these passages from Acts. You may not always recognize Him but He is there. The Holy Spirit’s work is often unseen, but you see the results. How often have we pastors preached a C+ sermon and someone comes up a few months later and says, “That sermon changed my life.”
This New Testament boldness was a boldness that had to be dealt with, attacked, shut down, or believed as true … BUT, it could not be ignored! It came from ordinary people who not only brought the message, but actually believed it. For ANY who worry that their witness is NOT PERFECT, use the Word, point to Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit do His work.
The Holy Spirit within each of us is growing us as witnesses.
The Holy Spirit outside of us is making things happen through the Word beyond our asking or imagining.
This is the “boldness” in these five passages from Acts,
the boldness of a message rooted in the Word,
the boldness of the messenger centered in the person of Christ, and
BOLDNESS because the Holy Spirit of God is present.
It is, as it has always been – the message is inseparable from the messenger, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are always present. Children of the King of kings, and Lord of Lords …
because of the Word of God;
because of Jesus with you, for you, in you, and through you;
because of the power of the Holy Spirit;
LIVE BOLDLY AS GOD’S SAVED AND SENT SERVANTS!
Through God’s power in the Word and the Sacraments become what you are. Shine! Be salt! Don’t hinder or quench the Spirit! To take a phrase from Home Depot: Let’s Do This!
Final Words Before Hoisting the Sails and Letting the Holy Spirit – the WIND of God – Fill Them:
The Coast Guard Motto is Semper Paratus – “Always Prepared.” From our perspective: Always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within you.
However, the motto of the Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers – the guys that jump into the raging ocean to help others in sinking boats – is, “SO OTHERS MAY LIVE.” One Coast Guard swim trainer says that means, “We have to go out; We don’t have to come back!”
We have to go out! … BUT, In Christ, we will come back … and live with Him forever!
The Book of the Acts of God … CONTINUES!
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Pastor David Maier
Isaiah12:4: In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.”