Good morning everyone,

“Heavy snow is falling over the whole viewing area. Visibility is poor and roads are slippery and snow covered. No travel is advised. Stay home.” Thankfully, we haven’t heard many announcements like that this winter. But when they do come, what do you do? My first thought can be summed up like this: “That doesn’t mean me.” I assume that the warning is intended for senior citizens, those who don’t have the winter driving experience I do, people who don’t have a vehicle as sure-footed as my SUV or who are traveling on back roads out in the country. However, more than once as I have dug my car out of a snowbank, I’ve learned that yes, the warning did apply to me and I should have listened.

Do you ever treat God’s Word like that and think it doesn’t apply to “me”? Certain lifestyles may have been wrong for people in Bible times, but this is a different era. It might have been OK to be strict about the Sixth Commandment when my parents were growing up, but this is 2015. God can’t expect me to live by the Commandments today. Our sinful nature would like to believe that we can opt out of God’s requirements to obey Him and be holy in all our thoughts and actions, but we can’t. No one can. “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezek. 18:20). “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:22-23).

But just as surely as the warnings of God’s law apply to all people, so also do the promises of God’s grace. No one need ever fear that they have messed things up so badly that God can’t possibly love them or save them. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). There is no more inclusive word than “world.” It means that you can substitute your own name for “world” in the passage. Whoever you are, whatever you have done or not done, you can say, “For God so loved me that He gave me His Son.” God says to everyone: “This means you!”

In tomorrow’s sermon text (1 Sam. 3:1-10) we will learn from Samuel how the child of God hears, believes, and applies God’s Word to himself.

Choir will rehearse at 9:10 a.m. Women only this week.
The adult Bible class will pick up the discussion of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives and Christian fellowship.
The public school confirmation class meets at 12:15 p.m.

Yours in Christ,

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