Join us this Sunday for a special patriotic service thanking and praising God for the freedom we have through our loving Savior.
This Sunday is also special as our former Pastor Golisch will be installed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Slinger, WI. Please keep him and his family in your prayers as he begins ministering this congregation.
We currently have a call to Pastor Jeremiah Gumm in New York. Please continue to keep him in our prayers as he considers the call he holds with his current congregation as well as the call to serve our congregation. You may contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to speak with him personally.
Last week, I attended the 55th annual LWMS convention in Green Bay, WI. What an uplifting experience praising God with 1,800 other Christians for the opening service. With 1,400 in attendance we learned that ACTS stands for more than Active Christian Teens (King of Kings' youth group). It also stands for Apache Christian Training School. We have missions on the Apache reservations in Whiteriver, Peridot, Cibecue, and Bylas, AZ. The Apache mission is the oldest world mission in the WELS having started in 1893. They will have a weekend long celebration of their 125th anniversary October 26th - 28th. If you are wondering where to vacation this year, Peridot and the surrounding mission area would be a great place to visit! Show your support for the Apache nation by celebrating this once in a lifetime event with them.
As far as other congregational matters, King’s Camp is going to the Orlando Science Center today.
Now, here’s today’s devotion:
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Not all freedom is good. To pick out the good from the bad, ask the question: “Freedom from what?”
Freedom from law? Freedom from duty? Freedom from God? Not good!
Freedom from tyranny? Freedom from repression? All good!
How about total freedom from disease, and accident and heartache? Not possible!
Let it be stated clearly: the freedoms that we Americans enjoy are precious. People have sacrificed their lives to protect them. We do not want to lose them.
But they are limited. They do not extend beyond the grave. They do not free our souls.
What good is freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly, and the right to bear arms when we are facing death and the judgment seat of God?
The people of Jesus’ day resented his words that called them slaves. They snapped back: “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (John 8:33)
They could not see the chains that bound their souls. They could not see that Satan ruled their hearts and minds. They needed to look into the mirror of God’s law. When they did, they would see their sin—and their chains. “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin,” said Jesus in John 8:34.
Slavery is the opposite of freedom. The slave who thinks he is free is kidding himself.
How foolish to think that sin is an expression of freedom! At the time of the Judges in the Old Testament it is reported, “And everyone did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
The result was horrible. There was no justice. There was no freedom. Humans are not God.
The reality is clear. Those who reject the rule of the Holy One are rebels. Such rebellion is always futile; always ends badly. Even if they do not realize it, those rebels are chained to a demonic leader who has already been judged and condemned. Their end will be the same.
But there is still hope for those locked in spiritual chains. There is someone who can break the grip and smash the lock that binds the captive. It happened to us.
The Son of God snapped our chains. He died that we might live. We are free.
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the freedoms that you have given to us to enjoy in America. We thank you for calling forth those who have defended those freedoms. We thank you for the perfect freedom that you have given us in Christ. We thank you for being our Savior God. Keep us free. Amen.