Evident Faith

I’m glad that we began our worship this morning with “A Mighty Fortress,” one of Martin Luther’s most famous hymns, because today we are going to dig into the Letter of James which Luther deemed “an Epistle of straw” when compared with the letters of Paul and Peter.

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Christian Marriage

Jesus wants us to have thriving marriages and to struggle for the good in each other. Jesus wants to be in the midst of us challenging us, changing us, and showing us how to live more kindly, more gently, and more lovingly. If you choose to walk in the spirit then your closest relationships in life are supposed to be filled with gentleness, love, kindness, and faithfulness. I would encourage you to take some time and reflect on how God might be wanting to help you in your life.

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Shocking Words

Today we hear these words about Jesus’ flesh and blood in sixth chapter of John as words of comfort. Imagine, however, that you didn’t know these words. They would be shocking! Jesus was known as a rabbi or teacher in his day and he spoke these words in the synagogue at Capernaum (v. 59). Imagine if I as your pastor said these same words. How would you react? “Unless you eat my flesh, you have no life in you!”

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Bread of Life for Eternal Life

The eternal life that Jesus offers is not just an elongation of our present life. It involves his transformation both of us and of all creation. Elongation would involve continuing in this present world with all of its sin, suffering, and difficulties. On the other hand, Jesus boldly proclaims in Revelation 21:5 – “Behold I am making all things new.” And the verse before this tells us that “[God] will wipe away every tear from every eye…” So Jesus, the bread of life, is both a gift for this life (no more spiritual hunger) and for eternity.

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Growling Hunger

Have you ever felt concerned about running low on things you need? What do you do? Grumbling is often our natural response. Anxious feelings or scrambling and striving for a solutions are common responses as well. The Lord invites us to open our hands and ask. “Our father who art in heaven…give us this day our daily bread.”

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Jesus in the Storm

We so often like to imagine that Jesus is off somewhere holy and pristine not getting mixed up in our messy lives. We like to imagine Him contained and not going all the places that we go. The reality is that where you go Jesus goes as well. Whether you are doing church things and serving or whether you are off carousing in ungodly ways there Jesus is. We often want Jesus when we want Him and we want Him to remain in a box or separate place to only see us in our cleaned up Sunday best. Jesus shows us to today his great love and willingness to show up in the midst of our lives.

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Sent

How long is a long time? When your parents were born? The Civil War? The Declaration of Independence? Martin Luther? The formation of the Grand Canyon? Even before that, Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians, he chose you before the foundation of the world.

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The Endowment of the Creator

As we celebrate our nation’s independence this weekend, let us also celebrate our dependence on God, the giver of all good things, and let us recommit ourselves to living as righteous people under God, serving those around us and helping others and our nation to flourish.

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Overflowing Generosity

The Psalm today says, “Hallelujah! Happy are they who fear the Lord and have great delight in his commandments!Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in their house, and their righteousness will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the upright; the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.” Our Psalm today encourages us to fear the Lord in a way of respect and realize that God will provide for our needs. The righteous trust that God has a good plan and will provide for them. The righteous look to the ways of the Lord and find it a good and trustworthy place to be. The righteous pass down their faith and generosity so that the generations of people will continue to be a light to those around. The righteous are to be merciful to those around them so that the love of Jesus might be seen in our actions and our lives and that we the Church would be known for our compassion. The righteous are to have compassion for others and not harden off their hearts to the needs of others.

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