DEVOTIONS

We all gotta eat, but man does not live on bread alone

Posts tagged St. Paul

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Suffering…

If you ever find yourself in a place of pain and suffering,
and cannot imagine how that could ever end; how your
grief
could ever cease; Then simply hear the word
of God that is shared with us
by St. Paul. Hear it, and
take heart, and believe it,
and know that even if you
cannot see it nor understand

how, that because of Jesus Christ, it is true:

"the sufferings of this present time are not worth

comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

In the darkest moments, before the age of endless light,

let that be our hope and source of joy, by the power
of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

-LCMS Pastor Aj Neugebauer

Filed under Suffering sadness death grief joy hope Jesus God faith Christianity St. Paul

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Tuesday Devotion: If God Was Around Now…

In a great many ways, it seems as though many have the sort of unspoken mentality that says something like “Well, if God was around now, instead of being around at the time of Noah and Moses and stuff, then he’d know what we know, and he’d think like we’d think, and he’d see things the way we see them.”

Same thing, of course, goes for those through whom the Lord spoke. Same thing for Isaiah and Jeremiah and all the other prophets. And same thing for St. Paul.

There are even those who seek to play such games with Jesus Christ. As if “if only Jesus had read the blogs I had read, or had the teacher I had had, or seen that documentary on the history channel I had seen, or listened to these guys on you-tube I had listened to, then he would have known what I know. Then he wouldn’t say these things. Then he would know better. Then he would think… like us. Like me.”

Of course, even to separate the words of the Christ from the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah and St. Paul and all the other authors of the scriptures is a false move. For they spoke the words of God. And Jesus, as the word incarnate, therefore give his authority to everything that they say. Therefore, you can read the whole words of the Isaiah and Jeremiah and St. Paul, and all the other prophets, as though they are from God himself. Why? Because they are. Jesus gives their words authority.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Christianity prophet prophets Jeremiah St. Paul Jesus God Authority Jesus Christ lcms Lutheran faith

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Lunch Time Devotion: The Message From Heaven

MY SINS ARE FORGIVEN. And so I will live forever. And you know what? YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN. So go. You, too, live forever.

THAT is the wisdom from God. THAT is the message from heaven.

So let us heed the words of St. Paul from today’s Epistle; the words we began with:

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God, without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Christianity Jesus God faith heaven trust truth lcms Lutheran St. Paul forgiveness

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Evening Devotion: The Holy Spirit Is Our Helper!

In the Gospel of John, Jesus calls the Spirit a “Helper”, and even further, Jesus calls him OUR helper. He also calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of TRUTH; and says that he is also our TEACHER. In fact, not ONLY is he our teacher, but Jesus says that he will help us to REMEMBER the truths that he gives to us. Finally, Jesus also calls him the COMFORTER. This, TOO, is something we’ll come back to in just a moment.

First, let’s keep moving through the Scriptures. In the book of Romans, St. Paul says that if anyone doesn’t HAVE the Holy Spirit, then they don’t belong to Christ. In fact, all of Romans chapter 8 essentially speaks of the Holy Spirit. And the message is clear: those who have received it belong to God. Those who have not, do not.

Now, of course, the BENEFITS of receiving the Holy Spirit are what Paul then maps out, and it is what we’ve heard from the Augsburg Confessions and from Jesus too. But it begs the bigger question, which is: Well, how can WE receive the Holy Spirit?

To be continued to the Morning Devotion…

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Holy Spirit Trinity Jesus God faith Christianity lcms Lutheran comfort St. Paul Romans scripture

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Morning Devotion: You Have The Promises Of God!

LOOK.  Look.  You have the promises of God.  
And when the skies look darkest, hold onto the
words of our Lord through the mouth of St. Paul,
and even in difficult times, rejoice! For it is true: “The sufferings of this present time are NOT EVEN
WORTH COMPARING to the glory that is to come.”
So hear the voice of Jesus; who knows your suffering;
and sees your struggle; as he says to you: “My child. I am WITH YOU. My child. I am coming.
My child. It will be all right. For the day of my return
will be a day in which sparks will fly upwards no more.” Thanks be to God. Amen.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under promises God Jesus hope Christianity Lutheran lcms st. paul rejoice sufferings

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Sunday Devotion: GOD CHOSE US in CHRIST before the foundation of the world!

Now the world will try and reconcile this in either one of two ways. The first you’ve already heard about: by turning us into puppets where God does the saving AND the damning. The second way the world deals with this is to go to the other extreme: God isn’t the one who chooses us in EITHER our salvation OR our damnation! It’s us who makes the decision in both!

In this, believing in God is like standing in front of a department store window, or picking something out on ebay or Craig’s List. “Hmm… this one says he forgives sins… God in the flesh…. resurrection from the dead… a Kingdom that lasts forever… oh! And it’s the one true God! Yeah. That sounds pretty good. Think I’ll go with that. Now where’s the “accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior button on this thing?””

And if we make the right decision, we are saved. And if we make the wrong one, well, then we’re in trouble. At least it all makes sense. I choose a hero, and he pushes me out of the way when the car comes screeching in my direction.

But if you want to believe in THIS line of thinking, than you have to be prepared to completely ignore what God tells us through St. Paul. Look at it again! Look at it again! “God CHOSE US in CHRIST before the foundation of the world!” It doesn’t get more clear than that.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under predestination religion church Christianity Jesus God devotional lcms Lutheran bible st. paul

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Morning Devotion!

Rejoice in the Lord always! AGAIN, I say, Rejoice! For St. Paul points you to the fact that you do, indeed, stand on the threshold of JOY, and there is nothing which this world can ever do to take it away from you.

THIS TRUTH, surely, IS our greatest comfort. But again, it is only because it is TRUE that it is any comfort at all.

You see, Paul knows that we, as people in a sinful world, and especially as aliens in a strange land, will face pain. But he is saying to us that we have, in admits all the pain: Though the stock market might crash, though our friends and families be taken away by circumstance or even death; even if our health fails us and we stare into the abyss; St. Paul says what? Give in to despair? Be despondent? Wonder where your God is? NO! REJOICE!

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Christ christianity Jesus God church religion St. Paul devotional devotions lcms LCMS