Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/03/2020

Good morning everyone.  I pray you had a peaceful night’s rest.  Today, I thought we would do something a little bit different.  I thought I would remind you of Dr. Martin Luther’s morning and evening prayer.  Martin Luther wrote these two short prayers for individuals and families to use in the morning after waking and in the evening before going to sleep. These lovely prayers, taken from Dr. Luther's Small Catechism, can help you begin and end each day with the Lord.  I love and cherish them both and I think the more you say these prayers you will too.

LUTHER'S MORNING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/02/2020

Good morning, everyone.  The text for our devotion today is from Matthew 22:8-10.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the    people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve added a new word to our vocabulary – “social distancing.” In a time of virus prevention, we are told to remove ourselves from close proximity to others and enter a period of “self-isolation.” There are obvious reasons for this definition, but Jesus spoke of social distancing that involved far more than physical disease and sickness.

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 03/31/2020

Good morning to each of you.  I pray you slept well. This morning I want to talk about tests.  Psalm 26:2 says, “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind."  What’s the hardest test you have ever taken?  Did your anxiety build thinking about the numbers and equations in your big calculus final in college? Or what about that literature test back in high school where you were asked to give a well-supported analysis of Homer’s Odyssey.  Whatever it was, one thing is for certain, we have all faced various tests in life. 

Imagine asking God for a test to see how your faith is doing.  God, who could crack open the ground right where you are standing, is the one you are asking to test.  If God were to test you in the midst of this Coronavirus Pandemic, how would you be doing?  Do you find yourself dealing with a lot of worry and anxiety or do you trust in him? 

We all know the story of David.  In fact I’ve been preaching a lot about his life these past couple of Wednesday’s.  He was an adulterer and murderer and yet he was a man “after God’s own heart.”  David wanted God to test his faith so he could know how genuine it was.  David wanted to be a godly man of high integrity and love, and in order to know what kind of man he was, he needed to have his faith tested. 

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/01/2020

Today, I would like to encourage you to access our website www.pacifichillslutheran.org for a message on the Fourth Commandment.   It will be posted by 10:00 p.m., our “normal” worship time this evening.  Did I get cha?  April fools!  The sermon will not be posted by 10:00 p.m. but by 7:00 p.m. J

As we have been reiterating during this series, one of the historic practices of the church is to focus on catechesis during Lent. So, during this season of reflection and repentance, we are taking a close look at the Ten Commandments our Lord has given to us.

So, a little bit about the Fourth Commandment…both in terms of God’s will, and our sin and our need for God’s grace. God gives the commandment: “Honor your father and your mother.” In his explanation, Luther says this means that we are to fear and love God so that we do not anger or despise our parents or other authorities -- like teachers -- but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 03/30/2020

Good morning.  I will continue to share devotional thoughts that involve God’s Word and thoughts around COVID-19.  But I also think it would be good for us to focus and divert our attention away from such things from time to time as well and just focus on the overwhelming love God has for all of us. 

So, today, a word from Lamentations 3:22.  “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.”  God tells us over and over again how much He loves us.  In fact, the Hebrew word “hesed,” translates as “steadfast love,” and it is used 248 times in the Old Testament, 127 of those times in the Psalms alone.

God’s steadfast love—his hesed—is difficult to translate, in part because it is difficult for us to comprehend a love so great.  His love so eclipses our frail human hearts that it seems best to describe it by comparing it to ours.

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