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The Lutheran Hour 3-20-16

Mar 20, 2016|

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The Lutheran Hour. Bringing Christ to the nation's. Christians can never work hard enough to become what god has already said they are true faith in Christ. Pastor Gregory cells says strives for what you already have. Christianity isn't about trying to be like Jesus so that you can accomplish all that you were meant to be in this world on your own with a little help from your savior. Christianity is really about striving for what you already have according to use them things and Jesus threw your line. Living the life that he earned on your behalf. For the sake of those who love. Stay with us for best results is message. Hello I'm mark glacier. Later pastor cells and author Stephen how or explain why sensational accounts of near death experiences may not tell us all we need to know about death and dying. And listener wants to know the difference between being conformed and being transformed. Now with a message titled strive for what you already have here's our speaker doctor Gregory cells. Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus. Who though he was in the form of god did not count equality with god a thing to be grasped. But he made himself nothing taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of man. And being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death. Even death on a cross. Christ is risen he is risen indeed. Alitalia. Have you ever wanted to be a contestant on American Idol the X-Factor of the voice. He ever dreamed of acting on Broadway are playing at Carnegie Hall or having a top ten hit song. Nom not a talent agent and this is an a message how to make it a musical radio or in the movies. But I did enjoy some wisdom from an expert in that regard some some wisdom that we could use for our daily lives. No matter what our talents are or what our dreams might be. The 2012 Daniel coral published a book called the little book of talent 52 tips for improving your skills. Here are some big ideas that he found throughout his research. And the first one while I bet you already knew this if you just think about it coils first and most essential point in the development of talent is. It takes. Work. It takes work it isn't something that people are just born with. Those were considered uniquely talented still had to work really really hard. And developing their talents. But coils next observations one I really find interest. He stays at the best way to develop a talent is still watch someone who was an expert watch. Observe. And and here it comes. Imitate Dan. If you want a great golf swing watch someone with an excellent golf swing if you wanna play an instrument well watch someone who plays excellently and van. Imitate them. It's not just going through the motions you seek to imitate their approach their mindset their effort and of course. They're actions to the process of watching and imitating coil suggest that our brains actually learned to perform the tasks to the best. Of our abilities. You see talent takes work. After all to be good at something to be a blessing for someone. Yes it takes talent it takes ability. But it also takes hard work. To live the Christian life has challenges like that too. And that's with the policy Paul is talking about in our text today he wants you to have the same mind in you as Christ Jesus. He wants you to follow him living your life in the power of the presence and the very purpose of Christ in your life in all things. And speaking straight Paul reminds us that even though our life in Christ is totally a gift even though our abilities and strengths are and gets 20. The living of their life in this world can be difficult. Living the Christian life in this world can be hard in fact there are times when it seems downright impossible. If we really think about it. There was a popular movement a while ago that popularized the wearing of bracelets and other things that had WW JD on them remember. What would Jesus. Do. And while I admire the effort I often wondered if people didn't become disillusioned because there are times we know exactly what Jesus would have done and we don't do it. There are times we know. What he wouldn't do and he did it nonetheless. What about those times what happens when we realize like the apostle Paul in Romans seven. Where he says we know that the laws spiritual but I Mon spiritual sold as a slave dissent. I don't understand what I do for what I want to do I don't do but I do what I hate. Who will rescue me he says who will rescue me from this body of death. So how can we have the mind of Christ we can't even think straight cup can we imitate the life of Jesus. When we can't even get our own act together. And if war honest this all seems very much. Impossible. Is hard enough to get a job keep the job pay the bills it's it's hard enough to get married and stay married is hard enough to have kids and try to raise them appropriately. It's hard enough to try to maintain a house sold its part of to keep our houses fixed and livable. It's hard enough to understand the political realities of our world. It's hard enough to have in maintain friendships. It's hard enough just to be happy but add to that think and act like Jesus. That's too much. It's hard enough to deal princes with this world on a daily basis right. Mean it's hard enough to live in a world of crime and cruelty. Toward living a world which at the lock your car your house for fear of its after violence. It's hard enough to live in a world which people actually think it's good to kill and destroy and terrorize others. It's hard enough to live knowing that earthquakes tornadoes floods famines and plagues could break out at any moment. I'm more powerless to stop them. But head to that the requirement. That we should be like Jesus. This is too much. Idiots. Because and it took a hole that. Is hard enough for me. To deal with me. Is harder to deal with our own personal fears and hopes ride and it is hard to deal with a broken relationships. In life that I know are my fault it's. Is hard enough to deal with the depression that creeds and all of our lives because of failed opportunities. Or broken dreams. And then add to that a requirement. We should be like Jesus. As too much right. Well if that's who do you think christianity is just another thing you need to do it's not just too much it's impossible. So many today think that christianity is just another religion or philosophy of do's and don'ts. And you add to that be like Jesus. And you're bound to fail. So please give me a few more minutes today because I believe it will really change your life requirements. Works with eight beetle like Jesus kicker. That's not the message of christianity. At all that's not the message to what it means to follow Jesus at all. Christianity isn't about trying to be like Jesus so that you get accomplished all that you were meant to be in this world on your own with a little help from your savior. Christianity is really about striving for what you already have reporting to use what you've already been given. And not for your sake your status your blessing you see that's God's business for your life. No christianity's of not about a TV but receiving. And sharing and according to use the things of Jesus through your life. Living the life that he earned on your behalf. For the sake of those you love. Use what you already have. Is at the beginning of this message that talked about talents and how to development a talk about imitating those sort experts in order to emulate them. Many think that this is really the point of christianity. And the message of the Bible. It is true that Jesus. Is the best example of how to be human if he's the perfect example of love he's the model for your life and my life and everyone who lives. But our desire to imitate him is not so that we might merely be calm better. It is more so to learn to share his love and he is truth to serve others in his name is not to obtain. Is to reflect. We have all that we need for our lives in Jesus right now and forever and living that life is about reflecting to others what we have in him is about delivering to others. What he has given. Two loss. All is calling us to live a Christ like life for others. He does tell us to do nothing from rivalry Europe conceit but consider others as better than ourselves he does tell us to live. As children of god and a crooked and twisted generation. But for their sake. Not just for our own. Why. How. In the middle of all of that he basically says because this is who. God is. The one who has loved you. Acted for you and his son Jesus Christ the power of the purpose the perseverance. For this life is all him for you in you. And through you. Think about it. In our reading for today Paul says that Jesus is true god. And because he's truly god he did not consider equality with god a thing to be graphs purported held on to. He went to work he laid it on the line so that you can be part of his family again. Out of love he put his righteousness. Love his mercy to work. On your behalf not here it's ultimately taking upon himself you're seeing in mind so that we might have his status. His stature. His mind he is a love. All as pure. Gift. See christianity. Is all about. Jesus putting our faith and hope in Jesus alone. He's unique and special and no one else like him savior and our lives are redeemed only because of his work. On all RB hats. You don't believe me just read the Bible read the gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John test me on this there's no one liked him. Jesus lived a life of love and he taught a love that no one had ever taught before. Jesus taught about god in terms that we're totally unique. He challenged the religious leaders of the day he condemned those who everyone thought were favored by god. He elevated those who never once thought were aided by god. And yet he was not subversive. But even he respected and honored those in authority. And what did Jesus do because he is god. Incredibly he put that honor. At risk. Choosing the humble himself be born among rebellious simply human beings as one humble and obedient in their place. Not powerful. And not condescending. Jesus humility was such that he was willing to be a condemned human being for the sake of all condemned human beings. I kind of humility was going to be crushed for our inequities and punished for our sins in a way that we could have never. Ever conquered. Don't forget this this punishment was not just god the father being mad. Offering any turtle slap on the wrist no this was the full weight of L experienced in. Our place. This one god in the flesh Jesus humbled himself to the point of death even death on a cross humbled humiliated. Dead like a criminal the innocent holding one of god. For you. Only he can go to work like that. And he did. Why. Why did Jesus do this why did god do this there's only one reason. Law of god sent his son Jesus out of love. Jesus humbled himself because he loves you and me and he Bruce twelve says this their for the joy said before him Jesus. He endured the cross. Love and joy. Concrete you. And after he suffered death even death on a cross in order to pay for your sins and mine. God raised Jesus from the dead heat conquered death itself. For you. Jesus went. To work he accomplished what you and I never could he live the perfect life you never see and he died to pay for all of your sins he loves you and gives you all that his perfect life and death and resurrection earned. He gives to you forgiveness of Syrians peace with god and eternal life he gives it freely to you because he loves you. Only he can go to work like that. And he did it. So when Paul commands us to have the mind of Christ to imitate Christ the following him. He's not saying that we have the power to do it on our own. He's inviting us to put to work. Well we already have in him to get busy reflecting Jesus sharing what we too have been given. By grace. Court to work. Which you already. Path. You know on the Great Depression. People really didn't have much. They had to learn to do without. I got a kick about the reporting of a potential. Blizzard a few weeks ago even. Before there was a snowflake they talk about how people were terrified and afraid they smoke up people's fears fears that cause until literally assault the grocery stores. And stripped the shelves bare. While merely a few weeks later those same shelves are stocked again today. The Great Depression wasn't about phantom fears. No in the Great Depression those shelves stayed empty for months at a time. So during a time like that it was commonplace and you didn't waste anything and I remember my grandfather telling the story about drinking coffee. With the adults. He's Dow's a big thing. I was a grown up thing in those days but but coffee doesn't taste good to most children then or now no matter how brave New York. To drink it down he said he'd have to put at least two who'd tablespoons of sugar and milk in his coffee and stir it up real good. Both of those were precious additives though in those days of depression. So he'd sit bit as long as it tasted sweet. Overtime the sugar would settled at the bottom of the coffee would begin to taste bitter again he said he was parents mom a dad. I need more sugar. And they say in return. You've got plenty of sugar stir up what you already have. Well that's Jesus. Message to you today he did all things well for youth he did the impossible so that your life in him is forever possible again. Salvation is yours it's sweet. Jesus has done it all you don't have to work for God's love. Jesus pours that into your life through his word and sacraments. And living life and his name is according to work what he has already given you. As a gift stir it up his life his salvation is forgiveness he is peace. So roll up your sleeves. Get to work the blood sweat and tears of a grace life in Jesus for others it may be hard. But it's worth it when he had Jesus as your lord and savior. Now and forever. Oh man. You're listening to the Lutheran Hour up next action in ministry. Once again here's pastor Selz. Whether we like to think about it or not death is inevitable unless Jesus returns first. Pastor Stephen Carr is here when this is written a resource titled what happens when I die and he joins us to discuss. You know what happens after we take that final breath what do we need to know and believe before them pastor caller it's great to have you with us. Thanks for having me here we hear about people claimed to have had near death experiences you know having a bright light shining and they rise above the body. Is that what we should be talking about is that would we should expect. There and their reason. Authored this booklet. Is because people read that stuff fan and as a pastor. I visit people who are near death and and by their bedside. Are all kinds of books about personal experiences life after death experiences. And you know and there's just been so many of them they've made movies out of them and and they may be even things that I agree with. That have Ben tied in this books but it's not based in truth regarding our physical body at the time of death. What does a scriptures say what can we know the Bible says that this is a temple where god into wells and so we treated with respect. And and god will raise this body up again. And you know we go to the cemetery or now more and more half of my funerals are much cream nations and that's a struggle for people is that acceptable to do that. And then and I see you are gonna become dust one way or the other if you if you bodies this long enough before the lord returns. But then that body will be raised up and we will receive a body like into his glorious body. And that body in that body we will live forever in heaven OK you on the body and a description also talks about a separation of body and soul add death. Whatever is to the soul there are sold immediately goes to be with the lord you know he said that the people across to day you'll be with me in paradise and and so he would be Paul even in first the slain stripper for speaks about this he says. I don't eat when she to be uninformed about those who have died so that she would not grieve like the rest who have no hope. Notice he didn't say she would not agree he says just don't grieve like other people have no hope we grieve you know we've lost something precious to us but we know that we will be joined with them again and this is the lord will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. It also says that their bodies will be raised in joined. The lord in the air and so at that. Second coming our bodies will be reunited with their souls and we'll live with the lord forever talking and about what's happening in the transition I've had people who have. Not been verbal for days who have been in a coma for days and and we're all gathered that mirrors code UN and they called the pastor and so were all there and we're having a prayer and and I seeing people discount to an animated life and say the voices the angels the songs and I've seen that we can reach up and then they die. In I think while there is bear experiencing something that we cannot see. As god cares for them you know as they passed in the valley of the shadow I do believe that people have had life after death experience that I just don't think he should trust anybody's experienced I think we finally have to go back to what we know is true. And that as the Bible but. Too often people haven't. And the bibles a difficult book in the end and and they struggled to nowhere do I go to find all of these things and they're scattered throughout the teachings and so. This booklet that those two hours produced. Really helps bring some of that teaching. Into one place and then I know people have been blessed by and it's it's been a book that a lot of people of consult with them and it's been one that's been demand. Here yes and interesting as stories are talking about a tooth. The book in the books ultimately about his cheeses fall Jesus actually bend Helen back so if you really wanna know what it's like trust the one who who died and rose again right guys. And he also says that no one has been to have and that's an end to everything except the one who came down and so he he's going to have it yeah Dell and now back to heaven and his column is home so again this brings us to that topic heaven vs hell. You know what what do we need to know and and what should people be. Hoping for or knowing if you will at that particular moment of death what we know that god is a lot of. Things the attributes of god they got his mercy got his grace got this love goddess also just an end there is a justice to this world. And and there are. Will ultimately be a judgment day you know if you reject god and the grace of god that he extends towards you. Gotta ultimately say habit your way in which if you don't want me in your life for Richard you can have each trendy without me. But that would be an awful way to spend eternity and beg god isn't a force anybody to believe he's he says you can have it your way that's not what I wish trio wish all people to be saved. And come to the knowledge of the truth so that's that's an awful choice for somebody to make to be separate from god. In this life and and especially in the internal. And he's inviting he's inviting all of us were listening today to the confidence of knowing they can live forever with him in Jesus Christ for what he's done for a us. There's so much more we can discuss on this topic it's so important you address many other questions in the booklet give hoping comfort and a subject that is. Quite fearful for a lot of folks so thanks for talking with us today good to be hearing publisher worked thank you so much and that's our action administer segment today to blessed to empower. And strengthen your life in Christ for others. The name of this resource is. What happens when I die for your free copy called the Lutheran Hour tool free 1855. John 316. That's 18555646316. Or go online. Lutheran Hour dot work. Our email address is inflow at LA channel dot org. Next week our speaker emeritus pastor Ken Klaus and lists several non Christian friends to help him with his Easter message. Rather than telling you only what I believe I thought it would go to my own believing friends and yes I do have one believing friends and asked them. What is your stumbling block to faith in Jesus gets an un errors sermon next week. And each week them for an hour shares the message of God's forgiven love for Ross in Jesus Christ. You're prayers and just hope the Lutheran Hour share that good news directly through education and media. And it directly by supporting congregations. And church bodies and their outreach efforts. To learn more about the worldwide outrage of Lutheran Hour ministries and call 18555646316. And. Together we are bringing Christ to the nations and the nations and to the church. Now pastor cells leads us in praying the lord's prayer. Our father who art in heaven. Palo would be dying name nineteen don't come thy will be done on earth as it is and have them. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespass us as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil for nine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Oman. The lord bless you and keep you. The lord make his face shine upon you would be gracious unto you the lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you his peace. On man. Our. I. I. Yeah. And now pastor Gregory Selz response to questions I'm mark pressure. Pastor Romans twelve verse two says do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Why do you suppose that verse is so popular mark Romans 122 his powerful and important because against in the heart of what it means to live the Christian life. So Paul reminds all followers of Jesus that we aren't simply didn't go along with what the world tells us to do right instead we're supposed to live according to God's will right there's so much more to the story Kate and what is the more just before the verse in Romans 121 is says clearly I have appealed to you Brothers and sisters by the mercies of god. To present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to god that's your spiritual worship Jesus also a great verse why do you suppose it's important that we understand the first one in order to understand verse two or first of all in general he is good to get the context right to get the meaning of a particular verse correct so. The surrounding passages help us understand what's going on and how. The first was intended to be heard right because it can be dangerous and even misleading. If you start quoting Bible passages out of context when we do that we make the Bible say things hit doesn't really intend to say. Would you say this is one of those cases we're not really but we can't miss the fullness of this verse when we don't know what comes before current and what inverse one should we understand in order to better grasp. What verse two is telling solid start with the word ready and therefore right now I've heard that whenever the Bible uses the word of therefore it's important for us to. Pause and take a look at what all was said before you write because Paula saying all twelve chapters before aren't afford an understanding is next verse so the main point of the book of Romans is actually found in Romans 32324. Or says for all sinned and fallen short of the glory of god. And are justified that is declared innocent by his grace as a gift because of the redemption that is in Jesus Christ so when he says. Therefore in view of God's mercy. As the foundation of everything now that's a follow something very important fact that's the central truth of christianity while you're exactly right these these chapters delineate the main teaching of the whole Bible. This is important stuff so when Paul is saying in. Verse one therefore he's referring to all of that teaching I saw another way we can say this thing this ways. Because god has saved us by his grace through faith for Christ's sake. Now off freer bodies. As living sacrifices. And how would that affect our reading of that second verse Romans 121 to order reminds us to read Romans 122 in light of God's grace and mercy that's our power that's our foundation. It's an all the focus of how to live out in the pattern in this world of sin and death. We now live in the will of god expressed in his love his grace his forgiveness and elegant does that help us understand adverse what is the motivation motivation of why Christians try to do the right thing is not out of guilt it's out of the joy. Of guilt removed. So we don't wanna conform to the pattern this world not only because the pattern this world a sin and guilt and death. But no we don't want to conform because we already have with God's grace salvation life even transformation. So weak following him because he already loves us even. Jesus Christ Saint Paul is telling us then be careful don't get entangled in the things of this world but which is said the world is really that simple. Well on Paul talks about not conform to the pattern of the world he's referring to the sinful influences of this world and our lives. The way the world encourages us to be self centered to do things that are destructive to ourselves and others in actually to disconnect ourselves from Jesus. Is sinful is destructive and debilitating so if the pattern of the world's leads to sin and death and the alternative. Has the wolf got exactly God's will for us is life and salvation. Since we've been forgiven given life because of Jesus. Seek to live in that will of god. For you and for others and explain that way this becomes a very very important verse living in the pattern of sin and death no we have a better way in Christ for others absolutely. I depressed to sells this has been a presentation of Lutheran Hour ministries.