for Pastor Kath to post today 0r 4/20
EASTER 3-1st Lesson
TEXT: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
TITLE: “Cut to the Heart”
“When the people heard this they were cut to the heart” Acts 2:37
It’s no secret; Martin Luther said some rather harsh things toward the Jews. He once said, “Such a desperate, thoroughly evil, poisonous and devilish lot are these Jews, who for these 1400 years have been and still are our plague, our pestilence, and our misfortune.” At one point in Luther’s life he felt the Jews deserving of God’s wrath and punishment in regard to their saying, “His blood be upon us and our children.” On the one hand, the Jews as well as you and I are responsible for Jesus death; the Jews for actually killing Jesus, and all of because of our sins. On the other hand, God through Jesus has forgiven us all and we are cleansed of our sins. Interesting side bar, later Luther also said, “We are to feel heartily sorry for them and continually pray for them.”
Peter is flat out accusing these Jews in our text. As we understand that we are all part of the ‘new Israel’ through faith in Jesus, we also recognize our responsibility in His crucifixion. Our sins also had a part in Jesus having to go to the cross and be our substitute for them. With that in mind, we too are cut to the heart. Like the Jews to whom Peter addressed we ask, “What shall we do?” It’s no different for us who live in the 21st century-“Repent and be baptized.” In so doing we receive His eternal forgiveness and His Holy Spirit for life now and in the age to come. If ever a cut to the heart was a positive thing, so is our cut by God’s Spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your gift of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit and Your promises. Help us in sharing them all with those who don’t believe in You including the Jews, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: 1 Peter 1:17-25
TITLE: “Good Fear”
“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.” 1Peter 1:17
Abraham Lincoln when first introduced to Harriet Beecher Stowe the famous author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” or subtitle-“Life Among The Lowly,” said, “So this is the little lady who started this great war!” Harriet later said in her journal, “I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrows and injustice I saw. Because as a Christian, I felt dishonor to Christianity. And because as a lover of my country, I trembled at the coming day of wrath.” On the one hand, we all have some form of racial prejudice and sin that is worthy of death! On the other hand, Jesus forgave all our sins including our racial prejudice!
It’s with reverent fear we look to Jesus for help as we contemplate the sins of our nation today as well as our own sin. Much blood was spilled during the Civil War to redeem slaves from slavery. The blood of countless millions continues to be shed in our land as a result of Abortion. As Christians, we do feel like strangers as we live both in our own country and this fallen world. We do look with reverent, believing, good fear to God for His forgiveness. Trusting in His mercy and love for us, we seek a change in our government’s laws and stance regarding the modern slavery of Abortion.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your Word which reminds us the fear of You is the beginning of wisdom. Increase our reverent fear in You and forgive and help our nation, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: Luke 24:13-35
TITLE: Hearts on Fire
Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ Luke 24:32
Do you recall a time the Lord ‘set your heart on fire? I do! Confirmation class 1963! I was in 7th Grade! Pastor Fry gave a verse that prophesied the coming of Jesus roughly 600 years before it happened! “POOF!” My heart was ‘on fire!’ God and His Word will do that to us! We are continually learning from it as well! We can read a verse a 100 times and the 101st something totally new can appear to us! That’s the ‘magic’ and mystery of God’s Word!
It’s also why it’s the greatest selling book of all time and why it will never go out of stock! Cleopas and his friend were just walking down the road to Emmaus when this ‘stranger’ decides to walk with them! They loved listening to Him so much they invited Him to dinner! After He broke the bread, ‘poof’ He was gone! That is when one of them said the words above! Every time we crack open the Bible the same thing occurs! ‘POOF!” Hearts on fire!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your Word which works as a fire in our hearts! Reminds us to ever remain in Your Word, in Jesus Name, Amen.