Good morning everyone,
When the weather finally warmed up a few months ago, I was excited. I had an ambitious list of projects I was eager to tackle. I imagined that by September I would look with proud satisfaction on all I had accomplished. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. I began a few of the projects. I completed even fewer. Most remained on the list untouched. Sound familiar? Most of us know what it’s like to procrastinate.
What does that mean for our lives as believers? Do we have a to-do list of projects from God? Sometimes Christians think that there is really nothing God expects of us, since Jesus has done it all for us. However, that’s a dangerous misconception. It is true that in regard to salvation Jesus has done everything for us. He led a holy life in obedience to the Father, so that we could be credited with His righteousness. Jesus took the full load of our sin to the cross and paid the penalty of death for all mankind. “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). In Christ God has justified the world, that is, He has pronounced it “not guilty.” Our standing with God now and our eternal future are safe and secure.
However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing for us to do. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to” (Eph. 2:10). Branches attached to Jesus the Vine are going to produce fruit. For us believers the Ten Commandments not only show us our sin, they serve as our to-do list from God in showing love toward Him and toward our neighbor.
Rather than dread those works as dreary chores, we want to remember that putting away pet sins and striving to follow God’s will in whatever we do is the way our faith expresses itself. Our lives of sanctification will never be perfect here on earth. Each day we will have to confess sins of procrastination toward serving God. But then look to the gospel message of forgiveness for peace. Thankful for forgiveness, let the Word lead you to the paths of righteousness and work a renewed desire and strength to say, “Whatever my Savior says, I want to do right now with a happy heart.” That makes daily tasks, no matter how ordinary, worth doing!
Tomorrow’s sermon text (James 1:17-27) is an encouragement for us not just to hear the Word, but to “do it” in love for the Lord.
Our fall schedule begins tomorrow: Services at 8:00 and 10:45 a.m.; Choir at 9:10 a.m.; Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and adult Bible class at 9:45 a.m.
Parents, please “prep” your children for Sunday School by reminding them of the blessings of hearing the Word in a small class setting designed just for them. Also, point out that their teachers are speaking for Jesus, and therefore they owe them attention and respect. Follow up afterwards by looking at their lesson pamphlet and asking a few questions. Your interest will go a long way toward keeping them engaged.
The Bible class will continue the review of Luther’s Small Catechism with a study of the Keys, the power and authority from Jesus given to the church to forgive or retain sins. Among other related topics, we will look at the blessings God intends through church discipline including excommunication.
The Junior Choir will sing in first service. Sunday School teachers will be installed in second service.
In Christ’s service,