Prayer Warrior

August Prayer Warrior Newsletter 2014

August 2014

Dear Prayer Warriors,

We can all probably remember a time when we heard a fellow classmate respond to a teacher's assignment with "Will this be on the test?"  Meaning, if it's not on the test, I'm not going to waste my time learning it.  When the school year resumes this month, and you experience the time constraints of a busy schedule, you'll want to be prepared since you or students you know , will likely be bombarded with false information in the classroom or in the pulpit. 

According to the Lord Jesus, there are "many" false prophets and false teachers in our present day that will "deceive MANY people" (Matt. 24:11). Though these false prophets might claim to know and communicate God's truth, they are spreading lies (Jer. 14:14). According to the loving Lord Jesus, false prophets are really hungry, dangerous, ferocious wolves dressed in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15). Hence, they can be as spiritually deadly and dangerous to Christians (sheep -- John. 10:27) as a concealed, savage wolf is among a flock of sheep! 

As we obey the command not to be gullible, but "test the spirits" (1 John. 4:1) so that we won't be deceived, we will have to carefully evaluate teachers and ministries by the Scriptures, which are always final authority (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). It is important to test everything and hold on to the good. (1 Thess. 5:21)

Warriors, Jesus wasn't joking when he said beware of false prophets and teachers that come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ferocious wolves (Matt. 7:15). They are here NOW! Be on guard. It's a matter of life and death. Learn the Scriptures, so that you won't be deceived. Eternity hangs in the balance.

Because of the teaching of once saved always saved, grace has been taught as a license for immorality for so long, and without challenge, that when Scripture is quoted, such as 1 Cor. 6:9,10 or Rev. 21:8, it is disregarded, and the giver of God's Word is falsely accused of teaching legalism, bondage, works, etc. The many false teachers and false prophets reflect how truly dark are the days in which we live!

Yours in Christ,

Stephen Ministry

 

Prayer Requests

Those Serving in the Military: Greg Kassel; Mike Leonas
Health Concerns: Barb and Garry Lefevers, Debbie Breitenstein, Tiffany Danley (back pain), Dorothy Brown, Bill Milborn, Ron Hodgen, Deb Williamson, Delores Merrifield, Jan Canaday, Terry Lawrence Jr.
Recovering from Surgery: Dawn Larson, Don Pattison, Mark Kettner, Steve Brown, Don Kassel, Bill Treece
Having Surgery: Sylvia Hunnewell
Cancer: Rev. Scott Lemmermann, Joyce Buckner, Cathy Bondy, Dale Newland, Paul Gregg, Vickie Wisner, Peggy Clay, Kiers Rowley
Hospice: Marie Dieckman, Donna Wagner, Dorothy Senzee, Joan Simpson, Justine Rein, Liz Miller, Barbara Brown, and those near death: Bob Andersen, David Creasy Sr.
Those in Care Centers: Norma Sadler, Elnora Dammerman, Willa Davis

For those suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and mental illness.

For all expecting mothers and their children; Rachel Micheel, Betsy Cochran.

For all who grieve, including Brenda LaCour and family at the death of her grandmother

For the unemployed and underemployed; the hungry; the poor; the homeless

For our nation, and for all the nations on the earth.

For all who are travelling.

For all those celebrating anniversaries

For those having marital problems and/or are facing divorce

Thanksgiving at the births of Adah and Abigail Pijanowski, born to Brian and Heather.  Thanksgiving also for their improving health.

For the Board of Elders and the Call Committee, that God would give them wisdom and guidance, and bless their work.

For BSLC during the vacancy and on into the future, that God would grant us to remain the truth, be faithful stewards, effective witnesses, and united in the work of the Gospel.

That God would bless all our efforts to reach out and encourage visitors and inactive members

For the children and youth in this congregation, that they would learn and grow in the faith, and have the protection of God.

For Abounding Love Preschool, for God’s blessings upon the fourth week of “camp” now underway and the preparations for the coming school year.

That God would bless Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with success as they rebuild, and their pastors (Zerkel and Sanchez) with strength and wisdom for the ministry.

That God would richly bless our local and international partnerships in mission:

Rev. Bob Malone at Peace Lutheran in Kansas City, MO – especially during their vacancy
Rev. Bob Roegner at Peace Lutheran in O’Fallon, MO
Rev. Ted Krey and the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission

The Top 4 Things People Want From Your Church

by Shawn Vandergrift

People are coming and not coming to your church for a reason! Every day I talk to pastors who have their church services full of visitors. I also hear countless stories of how some visitors stay and later become members. On the same note I also hear how some visitors only come once and never come again. This leads me to understand people are searching for something that draws them beyond a one-time visit. It also leads me to understand people want to see something in a church that creates in them the passion to seek Christ daily, but what is it?

I believe the main motivation should be and is to have a deepenin relationship with Jesus Christ. After all, that is why the Church exists, but what are people looking for that makes them want to attach their selves to a certain body of believers?  What draws them back time and time again?

Recently I had a conversation with someone who outlined four things he desperately wanted and needed in a church he called home. I want to share those with you today. I believe they hold great value and are the four things people want from the Church in which they decide to become a member.

  • Acceptance
    Without a doubt  this one makes perfect sense. People want to feel not only welcomed and loved but also wanted. Even after they have made their first visit. So many times, as churches, we tend to be excited when a visitor comes the first few times, only to write them off once they come regularly. If we want to retain the people who visit us, we must truly be gracious and humbled by the fact God has given us another friend to whom we can minister. Is your Church a place that welcomes people beyond the first visit?
  • Accountability
    This one may not seem like a likely choice, but after people have accepted Christ as savior, they genuinely want to follow through on that commitment. They desire to have those who will help them achieve this daily walk with Christ—just like a person who is trying to lose weight likes to have those who will go to the gym with him and help keep  him on track to the goal. Is your Church a place that motivates and provides  partnership to the goal of serving Christ?        
  • Discipleship                          
    As stated above, you find that once people commit their life to Christ they genuinely want to follow through on it. They desire to know more about their faith whether it’s newfound or not. People want to understand what they are doing, why they are doing it and how to improve what they are doing. Is your Church a place of learning that equips the believer with the tools necessary to survive in the Christian walk?
  • Opportunity
    This last one is just as important as  the others. It’s the natural effect of a growing Christian, to want an opportunity to get involved more in the ministry of the church they attend. People want to be a part of something. People want to serve, and we must not forget God wants them to serve as well. As a Church we must be excelling at preparing our members for service. Giving them an opportunity to serve Jesus. So many times we can fail because we wait too long to get new members involved in serving. They want to serve, and we must let them. Is your church full of opportunities to serve?

Is your Church a place of acceptance, accountability, discipleship and opportunity? Will you rise up to the challenge, and make these a part of your efforts? What other things do you think people want in a church home?

“A Prayer Professing Jesus Christ As The Only Way”

Father,  we thank You for our salvation that is found in no one else but Jesus, for there is no other name under heaven given to us whereby we can be saved. It is in the powerful name of Jesus that demons are cast down, sinners are set free from the shackles of sin, and the sick are made whole. It is in the name of Jesus that every knee will bow, those in heaven, and those on earth, and those under the earth to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. We gratefully proclaim that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior who has redeemed us through His shed blood that we might be forgiven our sins and be saved for all eternity. Amen.

Who is Jesus?

Taken from Lutheran Missiouri Synod Website

Which is harder: To say that God is everywhere, or that God has become a human being? Is it easier to say that God is far away or very near? What is harder to believe: That God is everywhere, or that God is one of us?  Philosophers go for the low-hanging fruit and pick the former rather than the latter. But if God is everywhere, then there is nowhere He can be found. God becomes abstract, like a force or a feeling. In times of trouble, it is very hard to find that sort of a god. Like moments of joy, such a god slips quickly through our fingers. It is harder to say that God became one of us. This means that God is close. To say it in the way of Dr. Martin Luther (not King Jr.): He is so near that He cannot be any nearer. 

This is who Jesus is. God near us. Not far away, ignorant of our existence. Not just watching from afar. Not distant, aloof from our suffering. But near, in the flesh, available and present and distributed to His people every day, every week, all our lives. Christ Jesus is the God who is near. Jesus, the God-man, makes us think differently about God. God has come into our world. He is not up there somewhere — we are unsure where. He has come through a uterus, been washed and diapered.  He has cried and felt cold, pain and joy. He drank wine. He worked, sweated, grew tired, slept. He has eaten, been annoyed, felt the sting of rejection and ridicule. God has become one of us. God has done all these things, and all these things have happened to God. Jesus is God near us. 

This offends. Philosophers prefer the god who is far away — and everyone can be such a philosopher. No college degree is required. But the God who is near, Jesus, will not be pushed far away. He becomes one of us to be most near us in every part of our lives. He is like us and, therefore, knows us. Although God is no sinner, He takes our sins on Himself and dies for them on a cross. In that moment, God is the most sinful of us all. God dies in our flesh, His flesh. He is come in our flesh to save those who have flesh, those who suffer from their flesh and those who sin in their flesh. He does this because of His compassion for those who are like Him. God is a great lover of sinners. That’s Jesus. The Scriptures testify to this. Join us in listening to God’s Word as it tells us that in Jesus, God talks among us. 

God tents among us 

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Read Luke 1:39–45, paying special attention to verse 43. The word “Lord” is a euphemism for YHWH, the divine name of God. What is Elizabeth saying by calling Mary the mother of her Lord? 

Meditation: 
Press this child, born of the Virgin Mary, who is also God’s son, close to your heart. When you have gotten this, then you are secure and well-protected against all the treacherous ambushes and dangerous attacks of the Devil. If you let this child, born of the Virgin Mary, out of your sight and in the meantime give in to speculation to understand the Divine, you will never recognize God. Believe me in this because I have also been to this school where I thought I was among the angels but found myself much more among devils. Learn to be wise from my misfortune and come down here with the Son who descended for this reason to you so that you would recognize God in him. “Wherever I am,” he says, “there my servant shall also be.” (John 12:26
Martin Luther, Walch Edition, Vol. 6, p. 186 

God comes to us with His body 

This is my body, which is given for you. … This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” (Luke 22; Mark 14; Matthew 26) 

Take a moment to read John 6:43–59, paying special attention to verses 53–59. What does it mean when Jesus says whoever eats and drinks His body and blood shall receive eternal life?

Meditation: 

Note: Oecolampadius and Zwingli were two 15th-century reformers who disputed Luther’s understanding of the Holy Supper.

When Oecolampadius exhorted Luther at Marburg to elevate his thoughts up to the high and heavenly God, Luther would have no “other God than him who became man . . .  for there is no other who can save. Hence he could not bear that the humanity be treated as so little worth and cast aside.” Oecolampadius and Zwingli were following the tradition of assigning things either up to the heavenly spiritual world or to the earthly material world. Obviously, then, the right hand of God belongs in the heavenly realm, and if that is where Christ has ascended to, you can hardly expect Him to be grateful for being dragged down to the earthly level again. This is what horrified Zwingli about Luther. As Luther puts it, Zwingli said to him: “Here you fool, open your eyes! Don’t you see that heaven is high up there where Christ sits in his honour, while the earth where his supper goes on, is at the same time be down here allowing itself to be dishonoured and handled by hands, mouth and stomach, as if it were a fried sausage?” 
Norman Nagel, Reformation Day sermon, 1967 – from Selected Sermons of Norman Nagel, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis (2004), p. 309

This phrase stands and explains clearly and openly, that we truly and physically eat Christ’s Body and receive it. We don’t know how this happens or how he is in the bread — and we shouldn’t know it. We ought to believe God’s Word and not set any means or limits on him. We see bread with our eyes. But with our ears we hear that his Body is present.
Martin Luther, Walch Edition, Volume 20, p. 777 (from the German)

God is born!  Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Read Luke 2:1-21, paying special close attention to the angels’ song in verse 14. Why would the angels give glory to God over a newborn baby?In verse 11, the angels announce to the shepherds that the child is born “for you.” Why would they bother to emphasize for whom the child was born? Is this birth only for shepherds, or is it also for you? 

Meditation: Now get this whoever can. I will say it once again: God lets this child be born for those who are damned and lost. Therefore reach out your hand and receive and say, “I am certainly godless and wicked, there is nothing good in me, only pure vice, sin, blasphemy, death, devil and hellfire. But against all of these I set this baby, whom the Virgin Mary holds in her lap and at her breast. Because it is born for me so that it should be my treasure, I therefore take this child and set it against everything I lack. I am neither reputable nor faithful, so I find in this baby pure goodness and faithfulness. If there is nothing but death and misfortune in me, then I find in this child life and everything that is good. And this is so certain it is as if I can see it now already before me with my own eyes.” This is what it means to receive: When we make use of this treasure by our faith (in Him).

Martin Luther, Walch Edition, Volume 13b, p. 2594 (from the German) 

God dies, God rises

When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matt. 27:54)

Read Exodus 3, especially verses 13–15. Then read John 18:1–11, taking careful note of verses 5 and 6. Why did the guards fall down before Christ as they went to arrest Him? What does it mean that Jesus uses the phrase so many times in John’s Gospel? For some examples, see John 4:26; 6:20; 6:35; 8:12; 10:7; 10:11; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1. This list is not exhaustive. Finally, what does it mean when Jesus says He is the great I AM who is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)? 

Meditation: 

Note: Nestorius was an ancient heretic; the Manicheans were an ancient cult.

So if I were to say: “Jesus the carpenter was crucified by the Jews. And this same Jesus is really God.” Nestorius would say to me that this is true. But if I were to say: “God was crucified by the Jews,’ he would say: “No! For to suffer the cross and to die are not divine, but human, (attributes)”. . . Christ is God and a human being in one person because whatever is said about him as a human being must also be said of him as God, namely, “Christ has died,” and, as Christ is God, it follow that “God has died” — not God isolation . . . but God united with humanity . . . If this were not the case, what type of human being would God have been united to, if it did not have truly human (attributes)? It would be a phantom . . . as the Manicheans taught earlier.

Martin Luther, taken from The Christian Theology Reader, edited by Alister E. McGrath, Blackwell Publishers (Oxford and Cambridge), 1995. p. 152.

Jesus Loves the Little Children

The Song

The song Jesus Loves the Little Children has been listed as a hymn, a prayer, and a nursery rhyme. It is one of the first songs small children learn in church, perhaps second only to Jesus Loves Me. Most children and adults know the words to the chorus:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

The tune was written by George Frederick Root as an 1864 Civil War tune titled “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching.” Later the words of “Jesus Love the Little Children” were written for the tune by one of Root’s favorite lyricists, Clare Herbert Woolston.

Jesus Loves the Little Children - The Writers
Root (1820-1895), the composer of the tune for “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts. He studied in Boston, New York, and Paris. He became an established music educator and composer, noted for sacred and patriotic music. Among his credits are “The Battle Cry of Freedom,” “Just Before the Battle, Mother,” “The Shining Shore,” and “The First Gun Is Fired” which was written in April 1861 after the firing on Fort Sumter.

In 1853, with William Bradbury, Root established the New York Institute for “affordable instruction and especially quality teachers of music.” The Institute was in business until 1871 when it was destroyed by fire. Named after George Frideric Handel, Root died at his summer home in Bailey Island, Maine at the age of 75. In 1970, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

There is little information about Chicago-born C. Herbert Woolston (1856-1927). However, the songwriter is said to have been inspired by Matthew 19:14 where Jesus says, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” In this verse, the disciples were afraid the children would bother Jesus, but Jesus wants children to come to him

Jesus Loves the Little Children - The Faith
The sentiments expressed in Woolston’s lyrics for “Jesus Loves the Little Children” are drawn from Scripture and reflect reality. “Faith is natural to a child, for complete physical dependence is accompanied by absolute emotional confidence,” wrote Christian educator Lois LeBar in her classic book, Children in the Bible.

While children come to Jesus readily, there is more hesitancy for adults to respond. Grown-ups seem to lose the innocent faith and trusting nature that children possess. Yet in Matthew 18:4-6, Jesus invites us to come to Him “like little children” and says “whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”


Jesus calls the children dear,
“Come to me and never fear,
For I love the little children of the world;
I will take you by the hand,
Lead you to the better land,
For I love the little children of the world.”

Refrain:     Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

[Alternate refrain:    Jesus died for all the children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus died for all the children of the world.]

Jesus is the Shepherd true,
And He’ll always stand by you,
For He loves the little children of the world;
He’s a Savior great and strong,
And He’ll shield you from the wrong,
For He loves the little children of the world.  Refrai
n

I am coming, Lord, to Thee,
And Your soldier I will be,
For You love the little children of the world;
And Your cross I’ll always bear,
And for You I’ll do and dare,
For You love the little children of the world.  Refrain

 

 

   
 

Beautiful Savior
Lutheran Church
615 SE Todd George Road
Lee's Summit, MO  64063
Phone:   (816)  524-7288 
Fax:  (816) 524-6506
 
 

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