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Be still, and know that I am God…

10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

(Ps. 46:10-11 NKJ)


In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Such words of our Lord bespeak what we of ourselves are unable to do.

Our Lord says, “Do no be anxious.” We worry.

He says, “Do not worry.” We are anxious.

Over what we cannot see, we trouble and fret.

We want to have control, have a hand in the outcome, consequences we consider to be of benefit to us.

Our Lord calls us to a different way, one of faith, trust in the Lord’s Word, confidence in the Lord’s doing and in His ways.

Only the Lord Himself can bring such a change, that we begin to see things His way, not our own.

This the Lord does, by means of His own Word, through which He gives faith and confidence and trust in the Lord’s gracious and kind acts, on account of Him of Whom the Father sent “when the fullness of time had come,” Who was born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem” us from our sins.

Therefore, we, as God’s people, rest in the Lord, believing that He is God of gods, King of kings, Lord of lords.

So resting, we wait upon the Lord, are confident in His promises, trust His mercies, live by faith, seeking all the more to please God by what we say, do, and believe, according to His Word, through which He reveals Christ. Amen.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead us to rest fully in You, trusting in Your Word alone, believing Your Son, our Savior, for the forgiveness of sins and life eternal.  Keep us from pride and arrogance in our own ways.  Bring us to humbly approach Your throne of grace, calling to You in every need, ready to receive Your undeserved kindnesses, for which we give You praise and thanks. Amen.


“God’s Timing,” Galatians 4:4-7

4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.


In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

The confidence and the hope that God gives is not uncertain.

It is not doubtful.

It is just the opposite.

God always keeps His promises.

Because God does not change, neither does His Word.

His is the greatest comfort and the only true sure thing you have in life.  People fail you.

God’s promises do not.

God’s promises are as sure as Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection.

The confession of our faith is nothing but certainty.

God Himself gives what to believe.

You don’t make up your doctrines, and God does not promise continuing revelations or new doctrines.

God has given you the sure foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10; Lk. 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:6, 7).

What God has given in Holy Scripture is sufficient, even as Christ’s death for your sin is sufficient for your salvation.  There is nothing to add. There is nothing to take.

True certainty comes from the Biblical text itself.

The Words are of God, not of man.

They speak of the One who was sent by the Father, born of woman and born under the law.

It was of that birth that Paul says, “When the fullness of time had come.”

No one could have guessed when that time would be, just as no one can figure out when Christ will return.

We aren’t given that info. It is not our concern.

What is our concern is that He who came did come, and that He will come again, and that we be ready for His return to judge between the living and the dead.

And how are we to be ready?

By believing in Him who was born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law.

This indicates two parts: One, that we are under the law, and two, that Christ redeems us from that law.

As to the first, that we are under the law, by nature we know this.

When we do something wrong, our conscience is awakened.

From what we see in the world, know in our families, and perceive in ourselves, we know that things are not as they should be.

Most everyone will agree that things in the world could be better.  But what many will deny is how bad things, and we, really are.

There is a spark of good in each of us, they say.

If God demands perfection, that must mean that we can be perfect.

If we only try hard enough, God will overlook our faults and shortcomings.

But no matter how hard we try, enough is never enough.

God demands of us what we are not able to do.  The Psalmist writes, “There is none who does good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:3; 53:3).

The Law of God says, ‘do’, and we do not.

God commands, ‘don’t do this’, and that we do.

He calls hating murder and lusting adultery (1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:28).

Jesus says that it’s not what goes into a man but what comes out of him that makes him unclean (Matthew 15:19-20).

The Psalmist says, and we pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

By nature, we know that something is wrong, but only God reveals how wrong things are.

He declares through Paul, “Whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20).

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son.”

God sent His Son to save you from eternal death, to redeem you from the curse of the law, for all who are under the law are under a curse, deserving not only physical death, but eternal death.

This is really how bad things are!

Because of your sin, even yours, you are under God’s law.

But thanks be to God!

God did send His Son, that One who was laid in the lowly manger, that One who moved around at such a young age from those who desired His death, that One who was wrapped in swaddling cloths and visited by the shepherds.

The Lord had a different death in mind for His Son than death by a King Herod or death by the hand of others, until another time had come for Jesus to be put to death, even put to death on the cross.

That’s where Jesus took care of all your wrongs and all your should haves.

On Mt. Calvary, Christ placed Himself under the curse of the law for you, though He Himself knew no sin, nor was any sin found in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He was the One bearing the full load of your sin.

You are no longer under God’s wrath but have His favor.

That One really born of a woman and really born under the law has indeed really redeemed you, Jesus Himself becoming a curse for you (Galatians 3:13).

The law is no longer your burden.  That burden was already carried by another.  The weight has been removed.

Instead of slaves to sin, you are free in Christ, children of the Heavenly Father—heirs of the promise.

As children of our gracious God, yours is the inheritance of eternal life.

You are under God’s grace, having been purchased with Christ’s own precious blood and with His innocent sufferings and death.

You are now His own and will live under Him in His kingdom in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.  This is most certainly true.

God’s Spirit testifies to this, and “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!’” Galatians 4:6 (ESV).

All who desire the Christ of Scripture also love God’s Word and have this Spirit.

These will not be fruitless in their labors.

These continue in Christ and in His Word and have the confidence of a gracious God, “not having” their “own righteousness, which is from the law, but that” righteousness “which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:9).

These recognize that He who was born of a woman, the Christ child, born on that day of Christmas, whom we celebrate and confess, this same One, is also God in the flesh.

God in the flesh for you and for me, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem us from under the law, when the fullness of time had come.

God’s timing is not your own.

Yet, that should not worry you.

What does draw your attention, because you are the Lord’s, is His Word—what He speaks—what He has said.

There, you find reason to rejoice, and reason to joyfully enter the New Year, in confidence.

God’s timing is always where He would have it be. Amen.


Prayer: Gracious God, Your will be done, when and where You please.  Keep me from pride, arrogance, and stubborness toward You and Your Holy Word. Amen.



Waiting on the Lord and the Lord’s Timing

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.

It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3:25-26


In the Name of Jesus! Amen.

HoWaiting1w difficult it is to wait! Our society and culture is partly, but not fully, to blame for this. We’ve been taught and trained to expect everything right away, and when we don’t get service immediately, or if we have to wait a little bit, we become impatient. Even as our computer connection slows down, we might become agitated.

But as much as society and culture contribute to the desire for speediness, we, too, are to blame for not waiting as we ought. We easily become frustrated, and even down right angry, if the Lord doesn’t answer us right away, let alone, our own way. We readily forget that the Lord’s timing is not according to our schedule, that He is God and that we are most certainly not.

The Psalmist says of the Lord that, “A thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4). And St. Peter writes similarly, “Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

Here, of course, both the Psalmist and Peter are not talking about how one day is a thousand years, or that we ought to define a day differently than a 24-hour period of time, unless context reveals otherwise (i.e. Genesis 1-2, Creation). Rather, the Psalmist and Peter are talking about the Lord’s time, and how different God views time than us. We are finite beings. We have a beginning (i.e. conception) and end (physical death). God does not. He always was and always will be (Exodus 3:14).

Time, from God’s perspective, is viewed differently than our own view of time. One day is “nothing” compared to eternity. God is eternal. Therefore, our concept of time is different for us than our Lord. Yet, by His Word He reveals what He does for our benefit and use.

What seems like “forever” for us is only a “moment” in the grand scheme of things. Rather than considering the duration according to our time frame, the Lord calls us to believe 2Cor05.07-4and trust in Him, all the while as we wait on Him

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).

The Lord’s will be done. This we pray in the “Our Father.” His will is done according to His will, not our own. As we don’t wait, so we also act contrary to the Lord’s will, not believing in Him as the giver of all things. However, as we do wait on Him according to His Word, we will receive the blessing of God’s goodness. This may not be as we expect. Yet, the Lord blesses far more abundantly than we can ever imagine.

Having Jesus as Savior from sin and death means that we now have peace with God. In His favor, we also believe that God’s will is nothing but good toward us. If that means waiting on Him, so we will do gladly, acknowledging that we are in His gracious hands, and to Him we commend our spirit (Psalm 32:1). Since we belong to the Lord, we also know that our God is nothing but good (Psalm 77:1; Lamentations 3:22-24). Amen.

Prayer: Forgive us, Lord, for our impatience, especially our impatience of waiting on you. Help us to endure and persevere, trusting Your blessed promises alone, confident of your abundant goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Too long…


Greetings all!

It’s been too long since I’ve posted, too long!  I have much to say, but time often escapes me.  I hope to do better with this, and post at least once a week.  Such is my goal, possibly even more.

Time is always a factor, of course.  I’ve got some ideas, and would welcome your thoughts..  Also, please do ask any questions or submit comments, too.  I really do appreciate those of you who have commented.

“Pass the word” along, too, if you’d like.  Future items will include devotions, reviews, commentary, thoughts, polls, etc.

I look forward to making  your acquaintance.

Thank you, Rick, for your encouragement!

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (ESV)

The Christian faith is one of particularity, distinctiveness, and exclusivity.  Though we welcome all people, we also make clear distinction between truth and error.  This is so because of her Lord, the Head of the Church.  Jesus Christ is this Head, the only one.  Neither the pope nor a bishop, neither a pastor or even a President, is the Head of Christ’s  Bride.  Only the very Son of God has this position, the same one who now sits at the right hand of God the Father (Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22).

This is He of whom Scripture says, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard (Colossians 1:14-23).

This Jesus Christ, the Church’s Head, is the Only Way to eternal life.  None other has right to this claim.  There is salvation in none other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).  This has been the proclamation of the Christian Church throughout the ages, and it will continue to be so.  Her message is Christ crucified and this is the content of her preaching.  In both her speaking and in her doing, Christ receives all glory, honor, and praise.

 This is because all these go to Him. His is the Name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9).  And though all do not now acknowledge Jesus for who He is, there will come a time when every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

 In the meantime, God’s people witness of Christ and delcar Him as the only Savior from sin, death, and the plwer of the devil.  In both love toward God and love toward neighbor, the Christian shows forth the unique claim of Christ, that He Is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

 God’s command to love neighbor means to love both friend and foe, ally and enemy, Christian and nonChristian.  Here, there is no distinction.  As Christ loved us and all people, whether they be Pharisee or tax collector, Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, so are we to love all others.  Whoever it be that needs our help, we help as we are able.

 This our Lord would have us do.  In truth, He has done the same for us.  He loved us before we ever loved Him (1 John 4:10).  He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son.  Even those who reject God and His love in Christ, for them too did God send His Son to suffer and die.

 This demonstrates how God’s love works.  It’s not conditional, but unconditional.  This means that it can be rejected and denied.  But only those who believe receive the blessing.  God’s love is given to all, though only few accept it by faith.  But this doesn’t change God’s love towards the world.  This He has shown and demonstrated with Christ’s death for us.  God wants all to repent of their sinful ways and so be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).  God is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:7).

 This is why God sent Jesus into the world, why God gives His Word, and why the earth is still going on today.  The end is not yet.  God’s grace is abundant.  It is by His grace that we are alive yet and that the world continues, not because of what people do, but because of God’s providence and provision for everything we need, even through what people do.

 The point here is this, that as God is towards the sinner, whether believer or unbeliever, in providing what is needed for the body for either, so are we to do the same.  We don’t not help someone because they are not Christian or because they’re in error.  God here would use us to be His hands and feet, as it were, that they in need be cared for.

 These things have to do with our life towards one another, love to our neighbor, whether inside or outside the home, and whether to a fellow believer or heathen.  With regard to these, the Christian is is willing to give up even their very life for the sake of another.

 On the other hand, when it comes to the holy things of God, when it comes to God’s Word and His teaching, His doctrine, the Christian can give up nothing, but remains steadfast to Him who is forever faithful.  With regard to physical needs, we give everything we’ve got.  With regard to God’s Word, we cannot but press on in the truth of our Lord and declare the mercies of God through Jesus Christ.

 Because God in the Second commandment says, Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, using God’s Name to defend teaching that is not true is not tolerated in Christ’s Church (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11).  The Church follows in the path that her Lord has already given, that of His Holy Word.  This the world does not like or appreciate, but this is the path that leads to life because it directs Christ.

 Though the world see intolerance for just any kind of teaching as a bad thing and would have it so that anything goes, this is not so with the Lord.  This is because the Lord desires salvation, not acceptance by the world.  There is no other way to heaven but through Christ.  Muhammad, Buddha, the Pope, and even Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus, let alone any other, including ourselves, do nothing for anyone with reference to status before God.  Any who follow another besides Christ on the way to God the Father are in fact on the way to perdition.  All roads do not lead to heaven.  It really does matter what one believes, regardless of how sincere on is.

 This is so because only Christ saves.  As man, Jesus died the death of sinners, though He Himself knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).  As God, Jesus’ death covered the sins of all people.  Only through Him does one go to the Father.  Man cannot save Himself from God’s wrath.  Nor can any other do anything for us to turn His anger away.

 All religions that are false will teach another way to heaven than through Christ’s suffering, dying, and rising on the third day.  Others will even include Christ’s work, but add also their own.  This is not Christian.  Neither is it acceptable.  There is only one true religion, and it has Christ as beginning, middle, and end, giving Himself for us, sinners as we are, that we be saved, remain in His Word, and receive the crown of  life when we pass from this life to the next (John 8:31-32).

 This is why we are so insistent on distinguishing between man’s word and God’s Word.  Said another way, man’s doctrine and God’s doctrine.  This is the difference between heaven and hell.  Though many in Christendom believe Christ to be their savior, and for this we are thankful, their doctrine is not completely in agreement with Scripture.  Whether this be church or individual, this is something of which to take heed and for which to be careful, for it is written, A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).  And as said in another place, Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Continue in them (1 Timothy 4:16).

 It is possible for even Christians to be misled and deceived.  Following man’s thoughts and ways concerning Godly things is dangerous business.  To Christ, then, we hold fast, to Him and to His Word.  His Word is truth, truth that leads to life.  Our word does not.  We distinguish between ours and His because He does.  And because He does, we do.

 When it comes to Christ and His Word, the very truth itself, we dare not budge.  Nor do we give an inch.  Christ alone is our Savior, and the only One for the world.  Compromising the Word of truth because of personal struggles or for the acceptance of others is something that we cannot do.  God does not lead this way.  He leads through the narrow gate and the difficult way, to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).

 There are few who remain on this way of our Lord to life because it is not easy.  It is the way of faith, not of sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).  It means fighting the good fight of faith, daily bearing one’s burdens, denying oneself, and following Christ (1 Timothy 6:12; Galatians 6:5; Luke 9:23). It means, contrary to hope, in hope believing, believing the promises of the living God though everything, including our sinful hearts, and the world, speak against them (Romans 4:18).

 Our faith is not founded, however, on sinking sand.  Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, our foundation is unshakeable (Colossians 2:20).  The rain will descend.  The floods will come.  The winds will blow and beat against us.  But our foundation will remain because our foundation is Christ.  (Matthew 7:24-26). It is as the hymn says, ‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.’  God will not leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  He helps us and gives to us the strength to remain in Him by means of His Word and through His blessed body and blood.

 Christ Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  This we know because this He has revealed in His Word.  There is no other way, no other truth, and no other life than He who journeyed to the cross, put to death our sin, and was raised to life on the third day.  The world would like to think that there is another way to God, but such is not the case.

The Christian faith is the only true faith.  Only Christ is the way that leads to life.  There is none other.  Though the world will pass away, The Word of the Lord will endure forever (1 peter 1:25).  And all who believe in God’s promises through Jesus Christ will receive the crown of life.  The Lord grant us this faith and keep us in this faith, through Jesus, God’s Son, Amen.

Jn14.1-14, Easter 5, 2011A, Notes

“God’s Timing”

The confidence and the hope that God gives is not uncertain. It is not doubtful. It is just the opposite, for God always keeps His promises. Because God does not change, neither does His Word. His is the greatest comfort and the only true sure thing we have in life. People fail us. The world shorts us. Words of man become empty and meaningless.

But God’s promises do not fail. God never shorts us. What He says fills and gives meaning. His promises are as sure as Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection. The confession of our faith is nothing but certainty, for God Himself has given us what to believe. We don’t make our doctrines up, nor does God promise continuing revelations or new doctrines. God has given us the sure foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10; Lk. 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:6, 7)…

Gal04.4-7, Christmas 1, 2010A.pdf

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