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 03/31/2020

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 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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Daily Devotions with Pastor 03/27/2020

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall;

 

God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields[d] with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:1-10

You can feel it can't you? It feels like the walls of our homes, our lives, and world are pressing against us. Our world seems to be getting smaller and smaller. There's less to do socially, many are working from home, schools are closed indefinitely and we hunker down praying we don't get ill. Where do we turn to for answers and guidance, our leaders, the media? Both of the these can perhaps help some; but don't get caught in the trap of feeling that's all there is.

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 03/26/2020

Good morning.  A word from Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew.  Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” (Matthew 22:29-32)

Chicken Little has made a comeback with a vengeance. He and his cohorts are running loose crying out, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.” And truth be told, that chorus of voices may be knocking at the door of our hearts.

Outside of the small percentage of us who are always cooking up doomsday scenarios, the rest of us couldn’t have imagined the days we are experiencing right now. It is hard to foresee a virus doing the kind of damage it is doing, or dictating the wide spread changes we are facing. And yet, here we are with our world turned upside down.

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