Is God really all that interested in our efforts to make Him our own?

I don’t think so.   In Safe Hands by Dave Hayward

I think He is busy trying to kill off our efforts.

I think our efforts at making God our own are misguided at best and very damaging at worst.

We are His own. He makes believers out of us. The person who believes he is still in charge needs to be killed off. That’s what God does in Baptism. That’s what God does in His Supper and in His preached Word.

But since we are inveterate non-believers, we find it hard to give up the religious projects that makes little gods of ourselves. And we continue to sin. So we don’t abandon, or forget our Baptisms, but rather we return to Baptism, “daily” as Luther said. Baptism moves through life with us. It carries us.

You may not like it, but our God really is…God. He is in charge. He creates, and gives life where there was none.   

Baptism is a gift of God. He kills off the old sinner in us and clothes us in Christ. St. Paul said that “all of us who were baptized have put on Christ.” That doesn’t sound like a mere ‘symbol’ of something to me.

One would think that would be  Good News for people.(It is)

But many just can’t give up their “free will”.

“Free will” is not the solution…it is the problem.

God’s will, in His Word (and that includes the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion which are visable Word) IS the solution. 

Ironically, rejecting the real presence of God in Baptism, or Holy Communion, doesn’t make one less religious in that self-centered way… but more so!   Now the whole project revolves around you, and what you say, feel, think, or do!

I guess that’s it for now.

Thank you.  Have a nice day.

 

PS- In trusting in our Baptisms, we can concentrate on what God has done, is doing, and will yet do for us…and we can take the onus off of ourselves. And we are free to concentrate on our neighbors. That’s where our “free will” can do some good, if we aren’t so obsessed with staring at our navels and cultivating our own holiness.

 

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Now Thank We All Our God

 

Pastor’s class

Here is a class/bible study that I’ve edited (just to shorten it a bit) , but still left the gist of the class in tact.

It’s about 40 minutes, but is long enough to ruffle a few feathers and may 
be open some eyes.

No doubt there will be detractors…and that is quite alright.

Listen in to Pastor Mark Anderson as he starts us off with some general descriptions of the sacramental view, the symbolic view, and the Lutheran view of baptism, along with a critique of ‘free will’ theology.

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  click on > baptism, ‘free will’, and other good stuff

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If you enjoy it…pass it along. Thanks!

     (this is a re-post from last year)

 

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When it comes to believing in God, who’s will is determinant ?

 

Does God exercise His will in Baptism, or did He order us to perform an empty religious ritual?

 

 

There’s something wrong with you

That is a fact.

There IS something wrong with you.

Whether it is homosexuality, greed, arrogance, secret sexual fantasies, outright adulterous thought, indifference to the plight of the homeless and poor, idolatry of family or anything else, being lazy, being a poor steward of what God has given you, hating your brother, not loving your enemy, telling lies and half truths, hoarding money and material goods for yourself, etc., etc., etc..

There’s something wrong with me, too.

We are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. I repeat… we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.

Can we overcome a particular sin here and there?  Sure, it happens all the time. God does change people’s lives. But the truth of the matter is that we like sinning.

If you really didn’t want to sin, then you would refrain from it.

 

So then, what is God after?

How about a little honesty? How about owning up to what you know you really are? How about a little humility? How about a little more of the publican and a little less of the Pharisee?

After all, God knows all about you anyway. He knows who and what you really are. And He loves you anyway. He loves you so much that He was willing to be staked to two pieces of rough timber for you and prayed for forgiveness for you for your part in putting Him up there.

God, in Christ Jesus, loves sinners. He loves full blown sinners. He doesn’t love the fact that you are a sinner, but He does love you. He does forgive you.

If we won’t own up to who and what we really are, then the cross just goes away and the upward and onward project that characterizes the Pharisee begins. And then it’s all about us. The gospel moves over to the sidelines while we perform at midfield, making ourselves into little gods who are at the center of it all.

The Law and the Gospel place God and His forgiveness of sins, His life, and His salvation for us, at the center.

So be thankful, and proclaim this great gift of love for sinners to all who will listen.

Every now and then someone does hear it..and the angels in Heaven rejoice!

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Are you making good progress in your battle against sins?

 

 

“In this world you will have trouble”

 

“But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

                                                                                                      – Jesus

 

Hang in there my friends.

 

 

Luther on ‘Prayer’ by David P. Scaer

 

 Luther’s view of prayer.Knock, Knock...... by Miguel & Vicky

 

 Luther-on-Prayer by David P. Scaer          

 Concordia-Theological-Seminary

I am finding this very helpful as it explains Luther’s view of prayer, in light of Holy Scripture, and the theology of the cross.

I hope you too will find something in it that is helpful to you in your prayer life.

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Anfechtungen, or ‘the dark night of the soul’, is constantly referred to in the piece.

Anyone have some other ways to describe ‘Anfechtungen’?

 

“For You”

This is key.                     

 

The gospel is not ‘because of you’, or ‘if you’, or ‘why don’t you?’, or ‘will you?’

The gospel is… FOR YOU!

It is a free gift of God’s grace and mercy. It is His desire to give to you that which you need… authentic life, the forgiveness of your sins, and salvation.

Not because of anything that you ‘do’ or ‘don’t do’.

It is absolutely free to all real sinners who are in need of the Lord Jesus.

It’s a promise from God, and it is FOR YOU!

You are loved! You are forgiven! There is a place for you in God’s house!

 

That’s the gospel.

 

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Do you have a ‘yeah but’? 

If so… you should get rid of it.