Jun 19, 2017

Word of the Week: MISSION

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew discusses the word "mission" as it relates to the work of Jesus, and the mission He has given to His church.  The word "mission" means to "send or be sent for some duty or purpose".  The word itself is not used often in many Bible translations, but the concept is.  Jesus was given a mission.  He was sent for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil and by His life and death delivering sinners from death and the curse of sin.  Jesus accomplished that mission when He died on the cross.  He also sends His followers out with the mission of serving as witnesses of that accomplished fact.  He sends those who know and believe in Him out to "teach all things that He has commanded."  We don't have to cross the globe to carry out this mission.  It begins in our own homes with our families, with our neighbors and friends.  Father's play a vital role in that mission, as they are to teach their children the truths of God's Word, and bring them up in the "instruction of the Lord" (Eph 6:4).  Thanks be to Jesus for accomplishing His mission of saving us sinners of which we are missionaries!

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Jun 12, 2017

Word of the Week: FATHERHOOD

On this week as we celebrate Fathers, Pastor Mark Tiefel discusses the importance of Fatherhood in our Word of the Week.  The Bible clearly describes the importance of the role of Father as a leader in the home.  The Book of Proverbs is full of examples of this truth.  Earthly Fathers should imitate our heavenly Father, just as children should give Fathers respect as we give respect to our Father in heaven.  Children should show their Fathers honor, devotion, and willingly learn from them as we should our heavenly Father.  The Bible is also full of negative examples of Fathers who did not set a godly life for their children to follow.  So here are some things Fathers can keep in mind as they strive to lead their families in the training of the Lord.  1) Take time with your family (both your wife and your children). 2) Lead your family in home devotions and prayer.  3) Bring them to church and set a good example of regular church attendance. 4) Be available to your children, talk with them and let them know that you are available for them. 5) Treat your wife with love and respect, so they see that and imitate that in their own marriage.  Thanks be to God that He is our perfect Father in heaven, and may He give earthly Fathers strength to lead their families with the same self sacrificing love.  

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Jun 5, 2017

Word of the Week: DEVOTION

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel takes a look at the word "devotion."  Devotion can mean dedication or faithfulness, as we see with those men who have served in the armed forces.  But we see the word devotion in the context of God's devotion for us.  God's greatest devotion toward us can be seen in the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross.  We can also see the devotion of believers like Elijah and Elisha, or the disciples of Jesus, or Mary who took time to listen to Jesus and hear His Word.  God's devotion to us is seen in His faithfulness toward  which is found in Jesus Christ.  John encourages us:  "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).

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May 29, 2017

Word of the Week: SACRIFICE

On this Memorial Day we consider the word "sacrifice."  The word sacrifice as it is used today means to give up something of value for the sake of someone or something else.  But its real meaning is deeper than that.  Sacrifice has to do with death.  Death is what made something a sacrifce.  On Memorial Day we remember those who have given their lives to secure and maintain the freedoms and liberty that we enjoy today.  As important as those sacrifices are, there is another, greater sacrifice that has secured and even greater freedom for all people of all time.  That is the sacrifice that Jesus made when He gave up His life for sinners on the cross.  Paul writes: “Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2).  We deserved death because of our sin against God, but Jesus took our place and died so that we might live.  This sacrifice of Jesus is the most important thing in this life! As you celebrate Memorial Day today, consider also the sacrifice that Christ made to set you free from slavery to sin and death, and thank God for the salvation He has won for us through the sacrifice of Jesus! 

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May 22, 2017

Word of the Week: ASCENSION

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel defines the word Ascension.  On Thursday of this week the church celebrates Ascension Day, when after 40 day of appearing to His disciples after His resurrection, Jesus ascended back into heaven.  The events of His ascension are recorded in Acts as well as Luke and Mark.  It is also confessed in our Creeds when we say that Jesus has "ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father."  Because Jesus has ascended into heaven, we have the confidence before the Father, because He serves as our Intercessor and Mediatior.  Just as He ascended into heaven, so He will come again to judge the world and so we proclaim His word so that others may hear, believe and be prepared for that Day! 

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May 15, 2017

Word of the Week: MOTHERHOOD

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel takes a Biblical look at the topic of Motherhood.  Through the Old and New Testaments, God gives us a beautiful picture of what He has designed motherhood to be.  While our world continues to rebel against and even reject God's plan for motherhood, God's promise of blessing remains in the calling of mothers.  He has designed the family in a very specific way, with fathers and mothers working together to bring up a new generation who will know and Him and the salvation He has accomplished in Jesus.

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May 8, 2017

Word of the Week: HALLOW

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Rob Sauers defines the word “hallow.”  The word hallow is a synonym of the word saint.  We see it in the word “Halloween” which is a shortened form of “All Hallows’ Eve” or “All Saint’s Eve.”  We are probably most familiar with the word “hallow” when we’re praying the Lord’s Prayer.  In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word means to “set apart,” “devote,” “consecrate,” “make holy.” So the word is often used of people or things in connection with the worship of God (See Exodus 29:21 and Exodus 40:9).  Everything that was used in the worship of God in the Old Testament was to be hallowed, sanctified, set apart – and this was meant, in part, to drive home the fact that God alone is holy.

When Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, he begins by saying, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9). So how do we hallow God’s name? First of all, we hallow God’s name when we preach and teach what God’s Word says in all of it’s truth and purity. Secondly, we hallow God’s name by living a godly life. And so we pray that God would grant that we would hallow His name in all we say and do. 

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Apr 24, 2017

Word of the Week: FORGIVENESS

Pastor Rob Sauers discusses the word "forgiveness" in our word of the week today.  We often think of the emotional response of forgiveness, but the Biblical definition of forgiveness is about a restoration of a relationship through removal of sin.  This is what God has done by sending away or blotting out our sins our transgressions.  God is merciful, but also just.  He cannot simply overlook our sin, His character must remove that sin through the punishing sin by death.  It is in the person of Jesus that we receive that forgiveness as He paid our debt, and we have been restored in our relationship with God.  God's forgiveness sets Christianity apart from the religions of the world.  God has done all that was necessary to restore us to Himself through the death of Christ.  Rejoice in the forgiveness of your sins through Jesus Christ.   

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Apr 17, 2017

Word of the Week: RESURRECTION

In the afterglow of the celebration of Jesus' victory over death we take a look at the word "resurrection" on this Easter Monday.  The resurrection of Jesus, while denied and rejected by many, has a great deal of evidence to support it.  1) The resurrection is prophecied in the Old Testament and many places.  Job (19:23-27) refers not only to the resurrection of Jesus, but also our resurrection on the last day.  2) Jesus Himself foretold His own resurrection (Luke 18:31-33) as well as our resurrection from death (John 14:19).  3) The tomb of Jesus was empty.  If Jesus had not risen from the dead, the authorities simply would have had to produce the body of Jesus to remove all doubt.  4) The followers of Jesus boldly proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus, and many gave their lives for that truth.  Who would give their life for a lie?  5) There are examples of other resurrections in the Old Testament (2 Kings 4:18-37), the Ministry of Jesus (Luke 7:11-16; Mark 5:35-42; and John 11), and in the ministry of the apostles (Acts 9:37-42; 20:9-12).  God has given us plenty of evidence to see that the resurrection is true for Jesus, and for us. What hope and comfort is ours in the resurrection of Jesus who died for our sins and was raised for our justification!

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Apr 10, 2017

Word of the Week: MAUNDY

As we enter another Holy Week and reflect on all that our Savior endured for our salvation, Pastor Rob Sauers defines the word "Maundy" from "Maundy Thursday".  You may be familiar with this word because it is the name given to the Thursday before Easter, the day when Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples and instituted the Lord's Supper.  The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin word Mandatum which means commandment. This is taken from the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples on that night, recorded in John 13:34:  "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another." On this night Jesus was giving His followers an example of love, a love that serves rather and desired to be served, an unconditional love, a love which Jesus had for sinners that led Him to the cross.  On this night Jesus also gave His disciples another gift of His love when He instituted the Lord's Supper.  Through this sacrament we have the assurance of the forgiveness of our sins as Jesus says:  "For this is the blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Finally it was on the night of Maundy Thursday that Jesus went with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where He was betrayed, arrested and put on trial.  He willingly went though all this and was crucifed where He suffered the agony of our hell and was forsaken by God for the sins of the world.  Oh, the depth of Jesus' love for sinners! 

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