Perhaps My Favorite Bible Verse!

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“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  – 1 John 5:11-13

Here’s why …

Not only does this verse make clear that eternal life is a real thing … and that it comes only through Jesus, the Son of God … but it makes it abundantly clear that it is a gracious gift of God given to us freely through faith. The words “that you may KNOW that you have eternal life” remove all doubt that our salvation might be contingent on how well we did in life. “That you may KNOW” means that the person who believes in Jesus as Savior need not respond “I *hope* so” when asked, “will you be in heaven when you die?” … but must respond “I *KNOW* so” – since that is what Scripture clearly teaches – in this verse and many others! My prayer today is that anyone reading this post relinquishes any trust that they have misplaced in themselves or in false gods, and places that trust in the Name of the only One who saves – Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.


Same-Sex Marriages and a Christian’s Response

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I just recently returned from our Pacific Southwest district convention.  This year’s convention theme was “Chosen for this Moment” based on Jesus’ words in John 15:16 …

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last”

We have been chosen by God to be bearers of His grace to our world!  This is such a critical task at a time when our news is filled with stories of wickedness, such as the racially motivated murders of our brothers and sisters in Christ at the AME Church in Charleston.  We mourn and grieve that loss, and we ask our Lord for forgiveness, mercy and healing for those families and our nation in the wake of that tragedy.  May He break and hinder every plan of the devil who desires to steal and kill and destroy.

It is also critical for us to be bearers of grace in the aftermath of the recent decision of our US Supreme Court that legalizes same-sex marriages.  This is an issue that has polarized our nation long before this court case. How we respond, however, says much about what we believe; not so much what we believe about the issue of human sexuality, but what we believe about love, truth, hope and security.

Quite simply, we are not surprised that our culture does not align itself with the teachings and beliefs of Christianity.  Nor do we take our cues from the culture.  We neither look to it for support, nor for Truth.  Also, we are not at “war” with our culture.  Rather, God has placed us IN the culture – to bless it! … “Chosen for this Moment.”    Our marching orders from God do not change – at all – because of this ruling.  We are still called to be salt and light to the world – to bring the message of peace, truth and love that God provides.  His is the only True and lasting peace and love that there is to be found… that which we find in Jesus Christ.

So you and I can take heart and be of good cheer!  In a sense, nothing has changed.  Our Lord is constant and unchanging.  Though this world seems built on a foundation of shifting sand, the Lord remains on His throne far above any earthly courts or kingdoms.  And the world NEEDS HIM as much today as ever!  So thankfully, He has chosen us for this moment – to be bearers of grace, Truth, and light to a lost and hurting world.  May it be so among us.

Joyfully Sharing Jesus,

Pastor Augie

– If you would like to read more on this subject here are some links for your reference:

LCMS President, Rev. Matthew Harrison

LCMS President, Rev. Matthew Harrison

Letter to the Church from Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

Pastor Mark Jeske, Time of Grace Ministries

Pastor Mark Jeske, Time of Grace Ministries

So Gay Marriage Is Here. What Now? – Blog post by Pastor Mark Jeske, Time of Grace Ministries.