A DEVOTION FROM THE PASTOR’S DEVOTIONS
Devotion life can be slow going at times and take forever to go through a book of the Bible or a devotional book. I am still reading through “The Theology of the Cross” by Daniel Deutschlander. This last month I read through a section about love. It is so good that I will just have you read the same words that I read.
“Crucial to any correct understanding of 1 Corinthians 13 is a correct understanding of the word love
in that chapter. That is essential as well to any correct understanding of our lives with one another under the cross. The love of which the apostle speaks in Greek is agape
. That is a love which in its essence, by definition, seeks the good and the best interest of the object, of the one loved.
It is the most commonly used word in the New Testament for the love that God has for us, as well as the love that we should have for one another. A love that seeks the best interest of the one loved is not merely an emotion or a sentiment. In fact, such a love does not reside chiefly in the emotions; it resides in the will
. It is a love of choice
, not necessarily a love of attraction.
It is a love expressed in action
, not merely in sentimental niceties. Agapao
, the verb form on the noun agape
, is the verb used for God’s love in John 3:16. This is how God loved the world: he chose
to love the world and then put his love into action by giving his Son for its rescue. That goes way beyond sentiment! Likewise, it is the word for love that is used in Hebrews 12:6: “The Lord disciplines those he loves.” Thus, while a sentimental love does not willingly inflict pain on the one loved, this kind of love may sometimes do just that. Again, it is a love that seeks the best interest of the one loved. As a father disciplines his child out of love that goes way beyond sentiment, so God disciplines us in ways that may be painful at the time. But he is seeking our best interest, and that is from a love which he chooses to have and to display in action.
Contrast this meaning for love
with the way in which the word is so often used in English. In English we speak of loving a certain kind of food or weather. That kind of love is shallow and sensual, as fleeting as a meal or a sunny day. A television personality or a television preacher may often say something like this: “Now don’t forget: We love you.” But that love knows no action, gives nothing, accomplishes nothing, offers nothing, promises nothing. In a word, it is a love that is meaningless. Contrast it as well with the love of the romantic. He or she gushes and bubbles over with a love that may indeed be very real. But it is a love that wants something from the loved one to complete itself. It is not really free. It is not really unconditional. In fact, that’s why it’s gushing and bubbling, so that it can, at the very least, get as good as it gives. There may not be anything wrong with that in honorable relationships. But the point is, that it is not the meaning of agape
To be sure, the love of John 3:16, the love of God, wants something too. But what it wants to give, to rescue and redeem by the sacrifice of the cross. That is a love in which the cross of Christ is wrapped, a love that looks always to please the Father and to redeem the lost and fallen world. From the standpoint of the world, there is nothing that the fallen world can be or give or do to earn such loving action. In fact, the world does everything possible to spurn that love on the cross. Consider the passion of our Lord. His disciples abandoned him. His church plotted his destruction. His institution of government perverted justice to be rid of him. His best friend, his mother, and a few others could only stand at a distance and weep. Even Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross for Jesus, did so unwillingly; by his action, he only hastened the process of execution. No one helped. All contributed to his sorrow and his pain. And this was his love: That is exactly the way he wanted it! The work of love that wins the world must be and was his alone. So perfect, so complete is this love of God in Christ for us! Again, consider the contrast with the way the word love
is used in common expression; common usage of the word does not even begin to grasp what this kind of love is.”
A WORD FROM PASTOR
June!?! It can’t be June already, but it is. The second semester of school is over. Graduation has come and gone. In Church, we already had Confirmation Sunday, Easter, Ascension Service, VBS and now the Easter Season is over. Summer is here and that means Summer vacations!
I’m not talking about Summer vacation only for those in school, but many people take vacations during the summer that leads them out of town. There is nothing wrong with being out of town on a Sunday. My family is planning on being gone two Sundays during the Summer ourselves.
What shouldn’t happen is that you also take a break from church. Church is the break we weekly receive for our lives. Even if you are not in Pierre, you can still hear and be fed by God’s Word. What a wonderful age we live in that we access to God’s Word readily available to us! Here are some ways.
Find a local WELS church in your area. The best way to find one is to download the WELS app. This is how you download it.
- Open your intent browser.
- Type in the address bar m.wels.net
- Click “download to home screen”
- Go to your home screen and click
There you will see “Find a Church/School.” Click on it and search for church in your area. Or on your computer you can visit yearbook.wles.net/unitsearch and search from you computer. But if you like the sound of my voice too much, you can join us live, or watch it later, on YouTube. Find us at youtube.com/user/redeemerpierre. Or you can find the sermons on our website redeemerpierre.net.
The Lord is with you wherever you go. I want you to be with the Lord wherever you go. Safe travels!
A WORD FROM THE LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I would like to discuss the Long Range Planning Committee and its work. The main idea of the committee is multi-faceted. It covers membership, church, grounds, and internal and external influences. As issues come up, we have discussions. WELS has a decision rubric that was used as an in-house decision tool.
- Specific - clearly defines something
- Measurable - a way to quantify if the goal is achieved (action, time, dollars)
- Achievable - can the goal be realistically accomplished
- Relevant - how does the goal relate to the plan
- Time related - some type of due date
Example of SMART goals that have been discussed:
- Ways to reach out to other about their Savior.
- Ways to reach in for all members to be more active
- Adding more seating to the sanctuary
Already at this time the SMART Goals have been presented and are being actively worked on!
Thanks to Dionne, John, Rich, Tom F., Pastor, and Erin for serving on this committee. If you have ideas or concerns, you may contact them or me.
Long Range Planning Chairman—Tom Murphy
A WORD FROM YOUR CHURCH PRESIDENT
Everyone has heard or used the term "doubting Thomas". Maybe in a sentence such as "Here doubting Thomas.... hold my beer and watch this".
The expression, doubting Thomas, entered our vocabulary a long time ago and is the result of the
Apostle Thomas doubting that Jesus was resurrected, and saying he would not believe until he could see and touch Jesus' wounds. We know that Jesus again came to his disciples and Thomas did see and touch the wounds. Jesus response was "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed." (see John 20:29)
Somehow for 2000 years we have believed and not seen. We did not have a chance to touch His wounds, and our secular selves may ask how can I know and not doubt. We can begin by reading the bible. The Apostles themselves state they have recorded the truth. The writings by the Apostles were completed after Jesus ascended to heaven around the year. 33AD. There were many people alive who would have been eye witnesses to Jesus, in addition to His multitude of followers.
The New Testament books date to when the Apostles were alive, and what they taught and wrote could have been easily disputed by other witnesses had they not been true. Many Apostles and disciples lived several years after the Assentation, Peter died about 64AD, Paul 65AD, Matthew 74AD, Luke 84AD, Mark 68AD, James (Jesus' brother) 66AD, Andrew 60 AD, Philip 80AD, Thomas 72AD, John 100AD. Doing the math, from Jesus death and resurrection, around 33AD to the death of the Apostle John about 100 AD, spans a 67 year period. These men continued to teach and spread the Gospel throughout these years. Not all lived as long as John, but they spent many years doing the Lords work. Except for John, whom it is thought died from old age, the Apostles died at the hands of others. Just as important as their written message, they taught others and passed their message on so that future generations would know the truth and li
ght of Scripture, and could come to faith in our Lord. After Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, the apostles and followers were all in hiding and fearful of what might happen to them. Even Peter, the rock, denied knowing Jesus at least 3 times when confronted. Ask yourself this: what could have made this group of followers become so bold and steadfast in their teaching and preaching? What led them to be willing to suffer physical pain and death for their faith? Would they be willing to die for something they knew to be a fraud. or a lie?
As Christians, and in hindsight, we know the answer. It was the risen Lord, appearing to them and the Holy Spirit descending on them.
An interesting thing about looking at history, there is really a lot of documentation from sources outside the Bible, confirming biblical accounts, of people and events. Roman and Jewish historians of the era, Ä§ostile to the early church, would have gladly recorded any possible falsehood to silence them. One such historian Josephus (37AD to 100AD) who was Jewish, born in Jerusalem, and eventually became a Roman citizen, writes of some people we know from the bible (such as James, John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate) and events in the first century. Included is a significant historical event of his time, the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD.
Another name ne documented in his writings that you will recognize is Jesus the Nazarene, whom he describes as a wise man, worker of great deeds, and a teacher of people who gladly accept truth. It is good to study history
, and understand how past events shaped the world, as we look at the present and future.
It is even better that we are beneficiaries of the Scripture, faithfully, carefully and truthfully recorded by the Apostles which have allowed us to know our Savior and have no doubt.
Church President—Richard Nickerson
Setting Up Chairs:
All able bodies are welcome to help assemble and set the church’s new chairs on Tuesday, June 3rd
@ 5pm. If you can bring a power drill, all the better.
Family Bible Class:
Sundays at 9am, we are having a summer long Family Bible Class focusing on the Kings of Israel/Judah. The tentative schedule is below.
Tuesday Bible Study:
||King of the United Kingdom:
||King(s) of Judah
||King(s) of Israel
||Jeroboam I, Nadab
||Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Tibni, Omri
||Ahaziah, Queen Athaliah, Joash
||Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz
||Zeroboam II, Zechariah, Shallum, Manahem, Pekah, Pekahiah, Hoshea
||Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz
||Were wiped out by the Assyrians.
||Hezekiah, Mannasseh, Amon
||Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah
All are welcome to join us on Tuesday evenings at 6:30-7:30 to finish our study on the life of Abraham.
Pastor on Vacation:
Pastor will be gone on vacation from June 12th
. Richard Nickerson has agreed to be on call if you need something.
On June 16th
Pastor Schlomer will be presiding and preaching for us. There is no Bible Class that morning.
July 4th Parade:
We are planning on being in the 4th
of July Parade. There is a need for last minute decoration that morning as well as walkers in the Parade. Please keep your eyes open for more information.
Christian Family Seminar:
The Seminar will be on Saturday, June 8th
from 8am-3pm. More information can be found on the “Take a Look” bulletin board.
St. Andrew of Sioux Falls is hosting a marriage retreat on October 11th
. The cost is $375 and the deadline to register is September 11th
. To Register go to wels.net/marriage-enrichment. For questions email email@example.com