So Faithful we forget to use it

I heard a message the other night based on Luke 8, 9, and 10. The thing I took away was how even the faithful; sometimes fail.

Verse 24:  24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

These were the twelve that were with our Lord day and night. The twelve that had been given the joy to follow beside yet seemed to lose trust the moment they needed faith the most. Instead of using the faith they were given to find the peace in the storm they threw up their hands and frantically said “Save Us!” This happens to all of us at times, we get overwhelmed and beg for help. Jesus comes to our rescue just like the disciples.

“He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

Next we went to chapter 9; “Jesus sends out the twelve”;

Verses 1, 2

When Jesus had called the Twelve together he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

Yet a few verses later we see them struggling with their faith again.

Verse 12-14;

12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”

13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)

We know the rest of the story; Jesus feeds the five thousand with the five loaves and two fish with extras at the end. Did you see the test? Jesus’ most instructed followers missed their chance to trust their faith again. Even after all they had been told and had seen they still doubted their faith.

Next we go to chapter 10, Jesus sends out seventy-two more. These weren’t the inner circle; these were seventy-two people just like us, believers in Jesus Christ and His message, everyday people who had a true trust in God. Look at the outcome;

Verse 17: 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

And what did Jesus do?

Verse 21

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

The lesson here; the amount of faith you have has nothing to do with your training, it has nothing to do with your title, it has only to do with your heart. It comes from acceptance of the Holy Spirit in your own life and living it.

Jesus praised the Father for the work of the simple people. Not the “wise and learned”. God’s work on earth is not the work of the highly trained or the specially educated; it is the work of all of us. His plans are revealed to the little children to understand. Trust your faith in times of trial and watch the Spirit shine.  God is Good and His Words are simple and true.

Pastor Scott

 

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom is a word that we proudly shout in our country. It is a part of our lives that we hold sacred. The line that “Freedom Isn’t Free” is so huge. It has cost many lives to win our freedom from tyrant, self serving rulers. It has cost many lives to maintain that freedom from the threat of tyrant dictators. Now it takes many lives to protect us from terrorist groups who hurt us in the name of tyrant led religious groups.  I used the word tyrant in each case because the definition of the word tyrant is worthy of each cause we fight against.

Definition of Tyrant: an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution, a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally.

The brutality of men causing fear and pain has been part of our sinful world for centuries. We read about the ancient Israelites being taken into slavery by tyrant pharaohs; forced to build cities for the glory of Egypt’s power. Our ancestors were forced by kings to do as they were told; to live and worship according to their decree. In our own country we have had men and organizations claim too much power and direct our land in directions that have caused separation and civil war. We didn’t recognize them as tyrants because they were “one of us”; they were our leaders. The lust of power causes many to fall; the claim of personal rights with no regard for our fellow man causes the loss of compassion and the common good.

The exciting part is when the oppressed people, the hurt, the abused, the ones in need of a new hope turned to God He delivered them. The Israelites were led from slavery when God answered their prayers. The early colonists found this United States when they fled religious persecution and followed their true sense of God’s call. “911” brought us back to church for healing following a tragedy we couldn’t comprehend on our own. God has always been here for us.

Our country is in a crisis right now with our freedom being misused; we have strayed away from God and His guidance to our own sinful natures. Our young people are being taught a false freedom with no sacrifice, a freedom that is easy and self centered. It will be a tragic consequence if we let history repeat itself and lose what God has given us.

God’s law says love Him first and then one another; this means sacrificing for the good of each other, no matter what it takes. Freedom has never meant having it your own way, freedom is living together under God’s watch, following His perfect plan; with liberty and justice for all.

Just My Thoughts

Pastor Scott

Dreams

Sleep is such a precious part of life. It is when we get to shut down and just forget about everything. There are things called dreams that accompany our sleep at times. Some are good others are “night-mares”. Dreaming is not uncommon for me; I seem to dream a lot. There are times when the dreams are hard to be a part of and I wake myself up. Most of the time I don’t remember a thing after my eyes open but there are times the thoughts are still vivid in my conscious. It is confusing why my mind goes into the places it does. I look to God and ask: “Why do I have to go there? It’s uncomfortable, it scares me, and I don’t like it.” I have learned to say a prayer for peace and understanding of what I have just experienced. It may be new or it may be something I have relived from a time in my past; either way I feel the need for comfort and I know God is my only source for true peace in this time of trial.

I had one of those thought provoking dreams the other night. I dreamt I was still doing my old life. You know the situation; I was working my “800hrs” per week, I was trying to be part of the local crowd, I was trying to understand the political scene, (of course I still haven’t figured out which side of that to be on), and I was in constant turmoil.  No I didn’t dream all that at once, but that’s the base line. The bulk of this dream was me arguing with my father. He is gone now as is my mother, so they never had the joy of seeing what God has done with their son’ life, whether the news is announced in Heaven I am not sure. The point is I look back now and I would like to “Kick Myself in the Rear” for being so disrespectful. At that time of my life it was my thoughts, my opinions, and my wants that drove my personality. I had no regard for the experiences that my father had and no regard for his opinion. I could have done it so much better if he would have just gotten out of the way.

Have you ever been there? If not, you are one in a million and I salute you. In most of our lives we have done things that were so selfish we can’t start to imagine how hurtful we’ve been. We put those things in the back of our minds and try to forget them. We put a lid on them and make believe they have never happened. Then history repeats itself. Not in your own actions but in the actions of those close to you.

You may have a child that is going thru growing pains as the world directs. You remember the script; it doesn’t matter if the person you are hurting is your parent; it’s all about you. Follow the words and directions of the world now; for it is about you. Be important in the eyes of the people around you and don’t worry about God after all; this is all about you. Get what you want.

You may have a spouse that seems to be getting distant; remember the world script tells us marriage is all about being independent and not losing yourself. Two people just cohabitating and if it doesn’t work out you get a divorce and try again. That is not what Jesus, the author of the word marriage said. When two people come together and accept the vow of the other; it is forever and two become one. They are to support each other through everything and respect each other through anything. Love accepts no less.

We seem to forget our lives are short and it is easy to make mistakes. Our Father in Heaven doesn’t want us to live in turmoil. He gives us a memory so we will not stumble over the same stuff again. When we hide it away in the unused part of our brain it does us no good. We need to deal with our sins and give them to God. The next time you have one of those dreams that “hurts” realize that is the Holy Spirit helping you clear out your attic. Give the hard thoughts to Him and watch your dreams eventually become peaceful. Repenting of your sins means you give it all to God, even the ugly stuff. I have a long way to go for I have been a hoarder of “My thoughts” for too many years. Don’t live life wishing you would have done different. Live your life so your dreams are truly joyful. Say that prayer of understanding and peace. God will Bless You.

Just My Thoughts

 

 

The Church Challenge

We celebrate Ash Wednesday March 6th 2019. Lent begins the following Sunday March 10th. We’ve all seen the ice bucket challenge, and we’ve heard of the unthinkable challenges on the internet that cause our young people great harm. I want to do a challenge that will change your lives forever. It will literally mean an eternity of blessings.

It’s called The Church Challenge,

The  challenge is simple; you and your family go to church on Ash Wednesday, then you get up and go again on the following Sunday. Then you go again on Wednesday and then on Sunday. See how many times you can go to church before Easter.

Listen to the message, feel the love of those around you, let God into your hearts. Give the Holy Spirit the chance to help you find peace for a couple hours each week.  Watch how Easter and the meaning of Jesus Christ become so much more exciting. Believe me in no time at all it will not be a challenge.

The best part is, everyone who tries this is an absolute champion for the rest of their lives. Keep track of your victories, for each time you go to worship will be a win. Talk to God about how great it felt, give your families the coaching they need to continue. Congratulations early on taking the challenge, may you find God’s peace and love.

 

Pastor Scott Krohn

Living Word Lutheran Church

Seward NE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Faith

Are you a follower?

But of course I am, I go to church on Sunday, I wear a cross around my neck. I tell others all about Christ, when the subject comes up. I mean just look at me I have” Christ follower” all over my house, on my car, and on my phone case.  How could you ask that question? “Don’t I look like a Christ Follower?”

Fact is; it isn’t what you LOOK LIKE that counts, it is what is in your heart that matters. God sees thru all the fake costumes and all the human distractions. If you are truly a follower and want to wear things that display your faith that’s great, but don’t think that will help get you to heaven.  Too many times we try to impress the pastor or our neighbors on how religious we are but it isn’t the pastor you have to answer to. He just asks the questions here on earth so you will be ready when you are met by the one who really has power over your soul.

If I ask; “Will you go to heaven?” what are the most common answers; “I don’t know for sure”, “I really hope so” and simply “No”. The worst part is the last one is the most honest; that person is sure they aren’t worthy and they don’t trust God for any salvation, it is a sad place but probably a true answer. So what about the other answers and where is “yes I will”.

That’s our dilemma; we as God’s children are taught so many rules and reasons and different religious patterns we forget to trust what Jesus tells us. We get ourselves so mixed up listening to human rules we lose the joy of being a child of God. Jesus tells us His thoughts; you know those red letters in the Bible, the true words of Jesus Christ. He never tries to fool anyone into a false hope, He never gave two ways about anything, and He never left the question unanswered. Jesus said if we believe and obey His words we will go to heaven.

John 14 (NIV) 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

 

So what about our original question? “Will you go to heaven?” Well if you believe God’s words and obey His commands you can trust Him when He says He will make a home for you. Don’t get too caught up in all the religious hype and the so-called rules. Let your faith show you the way to Heaven and follow that guidance.

 

Then when someone asks “Will you go to Heaven?” you can say “I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I am sure I will for He told me so.”

 

 

Safety Check or Faith Check

Have you ever been through a “Safety Check Point” on the highway? My wife and I had the pleasure a few nights ago; it was a pleasure for me as I was sitting in the passenger seat. My wife was much more concerned with the drill as she was in the driver’s seat of the car. She was the one in control of the vehicle which meant any infractions or broken laws would fall onto her shoulders. She was the one who would take the punishment for the crime. Thankfully the officer found nothing wrong.  I must say it wasn’t by luck or by coincidence that everything was ok; it was the fact that being a licensed driver my wife keeps all the correct paperwork in order, she keeps her vehicle in good working condition, and she obeys the laws set before her to operate that vehicle on public streets. She takes her responsibility seriously.

It made me wonder what Jesus would find if He stopped me for a “Faith Check”? Would it be a nerve racking experience? Am I taking my responsibility seriously? What would He ask; would I know the right answers? Would I have all my issues in order? I’m not saying we have to be perfect, for God tells us He will give us another chance in places we are going wrong. He tells us we are forgiven as long as we; are faithful and believe in His Son, repent of our sin, and change our sinful ways. But would I pass the test?

How about you, would you have trouble if Jesus stopped you on the street and checked your faith life? Are you confident you are saved and know the reason why?

If there is any doubt in your mind maybe you need to look closely at what is causing the confusion. Then if you are still questioning why, you may want to get some free instructions. They are available on Sunday morning at a variety of places called “Church”. Be careful though, there are some instructors that don’t follow the true manual and will steer you wrong. They will not prepare you for that the check point in accordance to the true laws of God.

Bottom line is when you are stopped; you are responsible for your own life, Jesus paid the price for the sins you can’t cover; but it’s up to you to take care of the ones you can. It is like that check point my wife went through, she had to be prepared. It was better to hear “Go ahead, everything looks good. Have a nice day and enjoy the ride” than to hear “Sorry we can’t let you continue the way you are going”.

A “Safety Check” or a “Faith Check” we all need to be ready;   Are You?

What is Important to Me?

From the Pastor’s Desk   

What is Important to Me?

 What is important to me is such a huge question. It has really changed in the last year. I think of all the things I have going on and the list seems endless. Then I see friends with children having health troubles and friends losing loved ones and friends passing at young ages and it makes me realize that endless list really needs to be stopped.

When did we get so busy with stuff? When did we trade our lives for work and meetings and all the other stuff we tend to run for? As I watch my kids grow up and live their lives I can’t help but think of the classic tune from Harry Chapin in 1974 “The Cat’s in the Cradle”. Now you may have to “You Tube” this to get the true meaning of my blog but it really hits home for me.

The things we tend to make the most important in our lives are things that normally don’t last. It is why we never seem to get ahead. Each new thing has a different set of issues, so we never find the end. Or we are so busy taking care of things that mean nothing to our lives that we get exhausted doing it over and over again. The balance is a tough thing to accomplish.

Jesus saw the haste and waste in the lives of Mary and Martha. Martha was just like many of us, doing the everyday things that take all of our time but really account for nothing in the end. She was so busy doing life that she didn’t take time to just be part of life.

Luke 10 (NIV)

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42  but few things are needed—or indeed only one.    Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Worried and upset about many things. Sound familiar? Let’s get our priorities in order, Jesus Christ first and family next, the rest of the stuff will wait. Let’s all start a new course, may we show our youth a new way of living where we all have time for family again. It’s not too late.

The song says; “But we’ll get together then Dad, you know we’ll have a good time then.”

“Then” is not a promise in this world, we best do it now.

Just My thoughts,

Pastor Scott

 

Prayer and Discernment

Pastor Scott

Pastor Scott

I spoke on a chapter last week; 1 Corinthians: 6, it’s a letter that brings up controversy in our society. I understand why but I needed a way to help define it. Through prayer and discernment the Holy Spirit put an explanation on my heart.

We are a broken society but we struggle admitting it. Our sinful nature and the world give us false ideas about what is true and holy and we lose our way. The serpent started his work in the 3rd book of Genesis and hasn’t stopped. He lied to Eve causing her to fall to curiosities and want.  Adam followed the same path without question. We don’t have to wonder where it started but we have to accept that it has blurred our vision ever since.  I know that many will quit reading at this point but that is part of the Devil’s plan. When we feel uncomfortable we stop moving forward.

The bottom line is that God has created us. He is the boss, the supervisor, the CEO, the administrator, the King of the world. His decisions are final. The part we don’t seem to understand is everything He does is “for our own good”. Now doesn’t that sound familiar, our Father in heaven wants the best for us.

Let’s bring this into perspective, when a parent says “yes” a child says “no”, when a parent says “stop” a child says “go”. When a parent says “I love you” the child says “so.” We are God’s children; and just like our own children our nature is to do the opposite. Just like Adam and Eve we tend to rebel.

The part we need to grasp is; it is God’s heaven and God’s earth, His Salvation and His hell. We do not make the rules; we do not change the rules. People get irritated with an almighty ruler but without a single direction we end up with no direction. John Adams the second president of the United States made this statement on the creation of the democracy;

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

A two party system was a concern to the authors of our constitution, think of GOD’S concerns in His creation. As we have experienced in our lives, man has issues running his own existence, we need a guide. May we stop resisting our Father’s directions and give Him the respect He and only He deserves.

A New Year “Ride of Your Life”

As I look back over the year it always amazes me on the direction God has taken our lives. This is not only for my wife and I, but the whole church. See when God puts His plan in place it affects people from so many different places. I can’t help but to remember a story that was told to me years ago. Maybe you have heard a different version, but this is how it was told to me.

See life is like a two seated bike. When we are young we want to be in charge. We get on the bike and take the front seat. Taking hold of the handle bars deciding on which direction we must go. We spend hours and hours steering and pedaling, getting ourselves into places that we struggle to get out of. We work so hard trying to get to the place “We” have set our sights on. The whole time Jesus is behind us watching and wondering why we went the way we did. When we finally can’t pedal any more we stop and give Him the front seat. The first thing He says is “Hold on and get ready for the ride of your life.”  As you watch Him take you to places you’ve never imagined, as beauty comes alive in areas you have never seen anything but sorrow, you feel a peace. And then you realize your feet aren’t touching the pedals. You aren’t trying to be in charge anymore. You have been reborn. You are following the Lord and Savior of your life. Jesus has taken your burdens and made them Joys. He has done just what He promised;

Matthew 11 New International Version

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

May you give Jesus the front seat in the New Year; just be ready “For the RIDE OF YOUR LIFE.”

Pastor Scott

Weather or Not

FROM THE PASTOR’s DESK:

I was at the car wash the other day, talking to the attendant.  “Nice weather we’re having,” I said. To which the attendant replied, “Yea we’re going to pay for it.”  I drove away with a thought in my head.  “WHO and WHY are we going to pay for it?” It is just nice weather.

We live in a world of constant doubt and distrust.  Have you ever noticed when you try to do something nice for someone they seem to get worried? It is a frightening state to be in when we cannot accept gifts of kindness and love.  When someone gives you a present, remember their joy is multiplied by the joy of you receiving it.  Jesus Christ gave us a present.  Our sins are forgiven and eternal life is ours with His death and resurrection on the cross.  Do we say thank-you and receive His gift?  Do we smile ear to ear and say “Wow, You did that for me!” or do we walk around saying “I can’t accept Your gift?”

Let’s go past the thought of “We’re going to pay for it” and give Jesus the glory for His gift.  All we have to do is believe in Him and accept His gift with joy.  As the Christmas season approaches fast, practice the art of receiving good gifts and the joy of giving will be even better.