October Devotions 2018: THE CROSS
The cross is the symbol of our Christian Faith. Without what Jesus did by dying on the cross for our sins we would not have eternal life. Being a good person or giving a large sum of money to help others or trying to live a moral life are fine things to do, but nothing you can do will be enough to assure you a place in heaven. We have all sinned. God sent His only son that whosoever believes in Him will have life forever. God did not send His only son, Jesus, into the world to condemn the world but that through Him, we might be saved. (from John 3:16,17) All those good deeds are fine and we will want to do them when we believe. Most importantly, we want others to see their need to know Jesus and believe in Him as their Savior.
Have you thought you could get to heaven without the CROSS? My friend, you are mistaken. Come to Jesus. His love is there for you. Life is not perfect. Ask Him to help you along this way in life and He will. You have to believe in Him. Please sincerely have faith in Him.
Call us at 815 246 9890. If we aren’t there at that very moment, leave a message, and we promise to get back with you!
Your friends at St. Petrie Lutheran
The Hearer & The Doer September, 2018
James 1: 22-24 says: But be doers of the word (Bible), and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”
I forget to be a “doer” when my prayer and Bible reading time with Jesus are neglected and I try to do something in my own strength. I get lazy or too self-sufficient. I have forgotten Ephesians 2:8,9 where I am saved by grace and it’s a free gift of God and not of works lest any man should boast. Jesus reminds me to look in the mirror of His image and be filled with His Holy Spirit to be a truly effective “doer.”
Verse 25 of James 1 completes the focus on Jesus whose death and resurrection for my sins personally gives me that eternal hope of heaven.
“But the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
September is the time for school to begin. May it be your time to begin anew to “do” His will and learn to lean on Him for everything.
Daughters &Sons of the King August, 2018
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
At a Bible study recently, we talked about how important it was for the pastor to visit the sick. They were saying how easy it was for us as lay people to just make conversation and not talk about the importance of sharing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We should expect the minister to read the Bible and pray. What about us who are daughters and sons of the King? Does that get us off the hook, because we are just church members? Are we afraid to offend someone by sharing our hearts during a visit? Of course, we must ask the Holy Spirit to guide the visit. Are we worried that folks might not like us or be convicted about not knowing Jesus?
“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Colossians 3:15 NIV
Just relax; let the Lord touch hearts and “be” in Him!
Proverbs 3:5,6 July, 2018
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths.”
As we celebrate the birth of our nation this month, may we lean on the everlasting arms of Almighty God in our personal lives as well as offer prayers for our country. As the old hymn by Helen Lemmel says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Look to the Lord for the future and not just for quick fixes.
What really does matter? Bottom Line – It’s Jesus Christ –embracing Him as your Savior and sticking close to Him.
He promises to always be with us!
The Eleventh Hour June, 2018
On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 PM, an iceberg scraped the ship’s starboard side of the famous Titanic ripping open six water-tight compartments. By 2:20AM the next morning the ship sank with 712 saved in life boats and 1,522 dying in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
One well-known pastor was aboard on his way back for a return preaching engagement at the Moody Church in Chicago accompanied by his six year old daughter. John Harper was a man on fire for Christ and had a burden for souls. During those final minutes in the cold water, John was near a man on a board drifting and asked him if he was saved? The man said “no” and Harper shouted from the Bible: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” The man drifted out of sight. Later, the man came back into sight and Harper asked him the question again, “Are you saved?” The man said “no” and so John repeated Acts 16:31. Before he could hear the man’s answer, drowning Harper slipped into his watery grave, but the man put his faith in Christ. Later the survivor said that he was the pastor’s last convert.
John Harper may not have seen his little girl grow up, but his zeal for Christ was part of his life up to the end. Do we have that zeal? Ask Jesus to give us more of that desire to be His Light and guess what, He will!
The Information about Pastor Harper was from pages 16-25 of the book, “The Titanic’s Last Hero” by Moody Adams, the Olive Press.)
Be Prepared May 2018
Recently, I attended a church service where Jesus Christ was said to be the Son Of God who loves everyone and forgives their sins. However, knowing Christ personally was not mentioned.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”, John 14:6. Calling yourself a Christian is more than just going to church and being a good person. You need to accept Jesus into your heart and life.
For 25 years, I thought that I was a good person and that was my ticket to heaven. Then I read in the Bible that there is only one way to Heaven and that is through the shed blood of Jesus. Good works cannot save you! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Trust Jesus Christ today! Here’s what you must do:
1. Admit that you are a sinner. (Romans 3:23)
2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent). (Luke 13:5)
3. Believe that Jesus died for you, was buried, and rose
from the dead. (John 3:16)
4.Through prayer, ”For it is with your mouth that you
believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that
you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:10)
What to pray:
Dear God: I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I believe by faith that you saved me and that Jesus is now my personal Savior. Amen
Today is such a wonderful day for the rest of our lives!!!!!!!
A most Blessed Easter to each and every one of you!
Have you ever wondered how lilies were associated with Easter? Lilies are often used in the Bible as symbols of beauty:
Jesus said, “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these” (Luke 12: 27).
Since lilies grow from a bulb that is buried and then blooms into life, it is a beautiful representation of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The trumpet shaped blooms of the lilies have been likened to the trumpets of angels that herald events in the Bible. Lilies announce Spring, but the greatest event is the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Though most of the lilies native to America do not bloom until early summer, the Bermuda lily, or white trumpet lily, which blooms naturally in the spring, was imported to the U.S. in the late 1800’s. It’s popularity grew and it soon became the symbolic flower of Easter across the land.*
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5: 22-23
Throughout the Bible, there are verses on kindness – just a little bit of kindness – isn’t that what we all would like each day?
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
Proverbs 12:25 NIV
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17 NIV
“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke6:35 NIV
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV
When one is kind, the person is caring and loving. They think how the other person feels or how that will be affected by your behavior. Whether it is a small child, an adult, or an elderly person, we need to ask for Jesus’ pure kindness to fill our lives each day. Christ is our best example of kindness. He cared, loved and put us before himself. Even before the beginning of time and His birth, He unselfishly gave His life to everyone – healing, teaching, proclaiming His kingdom – always kind – giving His life on the cross for our sins.
Each day is a new one and we can’t live it over. May the Lord Jesus help us walk it in His way by the Holy Spirit. Amen
February Devotional, 2018
A young girl asked her Mom what kind of Valentine to get for her best friend. The Mom asked her if she was looking for a funny card or a card expressing love in their friendship. The little girl thought for a moment and then she said, “Oh, I want the thoughts from1Corinthians 13 that we had in Sunday School yesterday.”
A tall order for a card! The Mom thought that she would be better off going home and copying the chapter to send to her friend. That would be a nice sentiment.
We read this chapter once in a while for a study or in our daily reading. Now, take a moment and read it again. Pray that it will take on a special meaning for whatever is going on in your day.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it well pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthinians 13, ESV
No matter what the age of the person, the Holy Spirit will speak to their heart and understanding. LOVE is Jesus Christ. This we know because Jesus is our perfect example of LOVE. He sacrificed His all because He Loves you and me.
Short & Long PrayersDec., 2017
Prayer must always be from the heart. A short prayer is said before you eat or as you meet a friend unexpectantly at the store or at work. The line of communication stays open between Jesus and you.
Longer prayers are necessary each day with Jesus to talk things through along with reading the Bible and devotions. Most folks like to do that early in the day, but some do it at the close of the day.
Luke 6:12 states: “Now it came to pass in those days that (Jesus) went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”There may be a time when extra prayer is necessary to pray through a situation in your life or another person’s life.
Why should we pray?Jesus cares.He is God’s Son and He died for you, forgives your sins, rose from the dead and is alive! He promises to be with you always. He is as close as the mention of His name. Jesus is only a prayer away.
This Christmas is a perfect time to add a prayer of thanks to the Father for sending His only son to us as a baby.
In Jesus’ Name!