|King of Kings Connections - 17 July 2020
Dear Family in Christ,
I'm tired of the fear.
I'm tired of the fear that ensnares our world in its grasp. While we live in a time where there is real reason for concern due to COVID-19, in so many ways right and proper concern for ourselves and others has given way to irrational, ungodly fear. Decisions are made from a place of fear. Words are spoken or written from a place of fear. Actions are carried out or not carried out because fear has control. Fear silently wraps itself around hearts and minds...and Satan laughs. He thrives on fear. He revels in an environment of fear. Why? Because that demon named fear keeps people from fixing their eyes where they truly need to be fixed.
I'm tired of the fear that ensnares the hearts and minds of God's people. Whether we realize it or not, how many of our decisions as individuals, as families, even as a congregation, are made from a place of fear? The reality of the pandemic, the social turmoil, the violent unrest, the constant uncertainty all feed into that fear. It's overwhelming at times. Such fear turns our eyes from a heavenly, eternal focus on Christ to the uncertain mud and muck of the here and now. One would think that we were no different than those who deny God exists, that we think God is not in his heaven, Christ has not been raised, and heaven is not ours. How often don't our decisions, our thoughts, our actions, our words reflect such a mindset, even if we have been lifelong Christians? When they do, Satan laughs because that demon named fear has turned our eyes and hearts and minds away from Christ.
I'm tired of the fear that ensnares my own heart and mind. I'm tired of how Satan has yanked around my sinful nature like a dumb animal, how my sinful nature has allowed fear to quietly wrap its way around me, slowly choking me to spiritual death like weeds around a healthy plant. I look back and see how fear has motivated my decisions and actions, my words and thoughts and reactions. I find myself living in fear as if God were not in his heaven, Christ has not been raised, and heaven is not mine. I hate it when Satan laughs.
I'm tired of the fear. It never seems to go away...until Christ comes along and frees me from that fear yet again. Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord reminded his fear-filled people that he had already defeated that demon. Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be overwhelmed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (41:10 EHV)
How does Jesus set you and me and so many others free? When he became a human being, he confronted that demon head-on. He confronted fear with his powerful presence as his disciples feared for their lives in the middle of at least two different storms on the sea. He confronted the fear of people with ailing loved ones or those possessed by a demon or those grieving over the loss of a loved one with his gracious mercy. He confronted fear with the certainty of his resurrection as his followers hid from the mobs after his death.
In our fear, the Lord does the same for us. He confronts our fear with his powerful presence. Has he abandoned us in our time of need? Of course not! He has promised to be with us, and he keeps that promise. He confronts our fear by being who he says he is--the God who strengthens, helps, and saves us. He confronts our fear by holding us up, enabling us by faith to stand firm, and fixing our eyes once again on him. Like a gardener, he tears away the weeds of our fear that are wrapped around our hearts and minds. He kills and crushes that fear with promises fulfilled in a manger, on a cross, and in an empty tomb. He defeats that demon like every other demon he cast out...and Satan stops laughing. In fact, the devil flees back to hell because he knows that when Jesus steps in on our behalf, that old demon has already lost.
Loved one in Christ, your God tells you, Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be overwhelmed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. His word is sure. Lift your eyes and fix them on Christ once again, because in him, you have no need to fear.
Preparing for Worship This Weekend
If you plan to attend in-person worship this weekend (July 18-19), please be sure to RSVP at the following link: In-Person Worship RSVP for July 18-19 You can also RSVP by calling the church office @ 407-628-5696. Your RSVP enables us to have a clear idea of how much seating we have available before each service. Wearing Masks: Please remember that the Orange County mask requirement remains in place. Here again is how that applies to our situation for this weekend: 1. Masks need to be worn when coming to or departing from worship. Once you are seated, as long as you are 6 ft. from anyone else not from your household, you may remove your mask during worship.
2. Ushers will wear masks when working with people before and after worship. The Communion Assistant will also wear a mask and gloves during distribution. Those masks can be removed when 6 ft. of social distancing is in place.
3. Pastor will not wear a mask while conducting worship, but will wear a mask before and after worship. He will also wear a mask and gloves during the distribution of the Lord's Supper.
4. We will not turn anyone away from attending in-person worship if they do not have a mask or are not wearing one.
Disposable masks are available at church. If you have questions or concerns, please reply to this email or contact Pastor. If you will not be attending in person, we strongly encourage you to join us Facebook Live @ Facebook.com/VisitKoK for Sunday worship @ 10 am ET! As you prepare for worship this weekend, check out Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 to get yourself ready for worship this weekend! Helpful Links for Your Weekend - Saturday-Sunday, July 18-19 Digital Worship Folder for Pentecost 7 (Click the link for a PDF of this weekend's worship folder) Online Worship Connection Card - Be sure to fill this out for all "attending" online worship with you! Donate Online to support the Lord's ongoing work @ King of Kings. You can also mail an offering to King of Kings Lutheran Church, 1101 N. Wymore Rd. Maitland, FL 32751.
Moving the Krauses: Plans are being made to move the Krause family from Melbourne into the teacherage this Saturday, July 25. If you would like to help us either load or unload the truck, please contact Kevin Zastrow or Harmon Krause! Justified by Faith Alone, Part II: A Digital Study of Romans 9-16: Pastor Gumm will begin the sequel Google Meet Bible study on Romans 9-16, starting Wednesday, July 29 @ 7 pm. If you would like to participate, please reply to this email!
Change for Life 2020: We continue our annual Change for Life promotion in support of New Beginnings: A Home for Mothers. Pick up a Change for Life box in the church foyer. Fill it with change and bring it back on Back to School Sunday, August 9! If you have any questions, please contact Nance Luetzow! Private Communion Available for Kings of Kings Members: Members of Kings of Kings, WELS, or the ELS are encouraged to take advantage of receiving private communion. This is conducted in a safe and sanitary manner in the sanctuary with a brief devotion and the Sacrament. Please contact Pastor Gumm by email or call 407-628-5696 to set up an appointment to receive the Lord's Supper. Messages from the King: Looking for a way to grow in faith and even listen again to what you may or may not have heard on Sunday? Have you subscribed to our Messages from the King podcast? Each week we post the latest sermons preached at King of Kings. They are available at all major audio platforms: iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, and TuneIn (which includes Alexa - Just say "Alexa, Play Messages from the King"). Go to your favorite audio platform and subscribe to "Messages from the King" to receive a weekly dose of good news from the King of Kings! Please Keep in Your Prayers
May the Lord drive all fear away from your heart and mind! With Eyes Fixed on Jesus,
- Our Nation - That the Lord would provide healing for our brokenness, peace for our troubled hearts, justice for the victims of racism, and Christ’s love for every person as a blood-bought soul beloved by our Savior
- Ethan V. - Friend of Amy D. - Recently diagnosed with a brain tumor
- Stephanie H. - Wife of Pr. Jeff H. - Undergoing treatment for soft cell clarcoma
- Delroy K. - Father of Michael K. - Recovering from an eye accident
- Evangeline M. - 3-yr.-old Friend of Tracey K. - Battling cancer
- Ralph S. - Father of Suzi K. - In home hospice due to terminal non-COVID lung issues
- All Affected by the Pandemic - That the Lord provide wisdom to those who are governing, recovery for the sick, peace for the fearful, and comfort for those who have suffered loss