St Luke's Messenger
St Luke's Messenger
is a publication of
St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church
705 E. Greenfield Dr.
Little Chute, WI  54140
Phone: 920-788-4408

Worship Services are held on
Wednesday at 6:30 PM &
Sunday at 9:00 AM

WebSite: www.stlukeslittlechute.com

St. Luke's is in partnership with Bethel Lutheran Church and Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in supporting Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran School (4K through 8th grade)
and is a member of
the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS),
WELS United in the Fox Valley, 
Fox Valley Lutheran High School  (FVLHS) Federation

 
    Proclaim the Unchanging Gospel
  • Proclaim the Unchanging Gospel

     
    Not Everything Changes
         How often we are told, "Times change," when we try to make sense of the direction our society seems to be going. Changes in society affect all of us. We find that the way the people around us approach
    life has a way of influencing our way of thinking as well as the thinking of the people we know.  
         The more we hear that we are to be "tolerant" the more difficult it is for us to continue to call sin what it is, sin. There are so many things that are presented as normal in today's world that our children, and we, start to think that perhaps God's Word is wrong when God speaks about things as sinful that society has come to accept.  
         When one looks at the world and examines their own heart, it becomes difficult to deny St.
    Paul's statement, "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit toGod's law, nor can it do so" (Rm. 8:7). People don't like to be told that there is absolute right and wrong. Yet God's Word makes clear statements about what is sinful and what is not sinful.  
         Think of how people often react to what God's Word says. When people speak about living arrangements that are contrary to God's Word they try to claim that a loving God will understand "love" no matter how it is expressed.  When someone supports ending the life of the unborn they argue that "science" proves the unborn are nothing more than a mass of cells that cannot survive outside the mother's body, so she has the right to determine what to do with that
    child. Many times people who point to "science" as proof that the universe came into existence
    over eons shake their heads at the "foolish" person who believes that the universe is the work of the almighty God and that human beings are the crown of God's creation, not highly developed animals.
         God's Word does not change. But human beings have not changed, either. Ever since the fall into sin human beings have rebelled against God. And yet, our faithful God uses his people to reach out with his unchanging Word sharing the news that all have sinned but that eternal life is his gift to everyone who trusts in Jesus as Savior.
         The reality is that things have not changed.  The same old sins put on a new set of clothes and try to impress. But underneath the new costume they are the same. The wages of sin continues to be death. The wonderful message that Jesus paid for every sin does not need to be dressed in a new wardrobe. That message cannot be made any more wonderful than it already is.  
         Sin and grace. The law and gospel. These are messages that remain the same. Use God's Word so that you grow in faith and can rightly distinguish between those two great doctrines of the Bible. They are messages that do not change.

    Opportunities to Study God's Word
         Bible classes are conducted at three different times during the week at St. Luke. There is a Bible class on Mondays at 7 p.m. That class meets in pastor's office. A Wednesday morning Bible class meets at Old Glory Cafe on Kimberly Avenue in Kimberly at 6 a.m. Bible class members order breakfast off the menu. A third Bible class meets a little after 10 a.m. on Sundays.  
         The Monday and Wednesday Bible classes are studying the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. Bible class members often comment that words written centuries ago to people living on the other side of the world so often apply to our day.
         The Sunday morning class is studying the Lutheran Confessions. Do you know what hose Confessions are? Did you know that they are a statement of what we believe as Lutherans? Why not come to learn more about what you are saying you believe with your membership in a Lutheran congregation.

    St. Luke's Golden Anniversary Draws Near
         St. Luke congregation will be 50 years old in 2016. The church council is seeking members who are willing to be involved with the celebration. People can serve as members of the anniversary committee, help with the events that will take place or be on the committee and be a helper.
         The committee will plan ways for our congregation to celebrate five decades of God's blessings on our
    congregation. Committee members will be charged with recommending to the anniversary church council and then the congregation how the celebration will be carried out.  
         Please tell one of the church council members, Pastor Szep, or Deb Arndt if you are willing to be involved and your name will be added to the list. This is an important milestone in the history of St. Luke. There will be many things that a lot of different people can do as we prepare to celebrate and as we celebrate.

    Events to Keep in Mind
         A nunber of events will be taking place in the coming months. You might want to make a note of them on your calendar:
                                  • A Reformation Festival will be held at Fox Valley                                         Lutheran High School on Sunday, November 2, at 4                                     p.m. District President Joel Zank will be the                                                 preacher for the festival.
                                  • Family Night. The Outreach Committee is planning an                                 evening for family fellowship and fun on Saturday,                                       November 1. Amy Lindell will be bring the latest                                           games from the Learning Shop.  This event will be                                       publicized in the community as an outreach event.                                       More information will be published soon.
                                  • Christmas For Kids. Another outreach event for the                                     community will be held on Saturday, December 13. St.                                 Luke members are encouraged to support this
                                    event as the message of Christ is shared with the                                         children in the community.   
    Watch for more information and ways that you can become involved.

    Theatre at Shepherd of the Valley
    Prairie Fire Children's Theatre will work with grades 3 - 8 at Shepherd of the Valley to prepare them for a production of Pinocchio. There will be two shows at Shepherd of the Valley on Friday, October 10.  One will be at 1:30 p.m. and the other will be at 6:30 p.m.
     


    How Time Flies     

    Very few people are convinced that they get as much finished as they plan to do in a given amount of time. To many of us, time seems to fly by. A week is gone, then a month has passed. Now summer is drawing to a close and fall is starting to drop hints that it is on its way.  There have been any number of times when we have been reminded that everyone has 24 hours in a day but some people make better use of those hours than others. No matter if you make good use of your time or poor use of your time, each of us is in the Lord’s hands. In fact, King David reminds us that the length of time we have on this earth is the Lord’s business when he writes, “I trust in you, O Lord, I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:14,15).

    Because our Lord watches over us we recognize that the time we have is important.  God has given it to us for a purpose. He has given us life as a time of grace. We don’t deserve to live because, “the soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4) and “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Even though we deserve death, God wants us to have life – eternal life. For that reason Jesus came into the world and made the payment for every sin. By God’s grace we have been called into the Christian faith. The result of that blessing of faith is our desire to use our time to serve our Lord. 

    St. Paul puts it this way, “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8 - 10). Our Lord looks for our service to him. 

    The hours, days, weeks and months that fly by are all given us by our Lord. He has made us his children through faith in Jesus. For that reason, it is important that we use those hours in our Lord’s service. How? St. Paul tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

    Carry out the events of your life to God’s glory.  As those minutes fly by and become hours, then days, weeks and years, use them to serve your Lord no matter what you are doing. 

    Amazing Facts

    Some people are masters of trivia. Their minds work in a way that seems to soak up obscure facts that they are then able to share with others at a moment’s notice. They are always interesting to talk with because they know facts that might not be necessary to know for life, but they are entertaining to know.

    God reveals amazing facts to us in his Word. He tells us about sin and the forgiveness of sins. The facts that he shares are more that just interesting. These facts have to do with eternity.

    Some of the facts that are revealed in God’s Word are often the topic of discussion. Others are less often discussed. Even though none of the facts in Scripture are trivial, some topics are not as widely discussed as others.

    Two important facts that are perhaps not on the tips of the tongues of many Christians are facts about the Holy Spirit and about the Trinity. Yet both are important.

    The Christian church focuses on the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, observed fifty days after Easter, and the Trinity, on the Sunday that follows, appropriately called Trinity Sunday. Even though both teachings are certainly not ignored in the Christian church, the things God tells us about the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity itself do not seem to be frequent topics of discussion.

    We know the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the third person of the Trinity. Jesus speaks about him when he tells his disciples, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). The work the Holy Spirit carries out is to bring people into the Christian faith by using God’s Word. The result is a change in the Christian’s relationship with God.

    Through faith in Jesus, the guilt of sin is washed away. St. Paul reminded his readers, “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). We can take no credit for the Christian faith we confess. That is God’s gift, “By grace you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

    The Bible passages that tell us even more about both the Trinity and the Holy Spirit are far more numerous than can be included in this short article. If you want a source that brings all of those references together, turn to Luther’s Catechism. There you will have laid out for you in an easy to understand format the amazing facts and the supporting Bible passages about the Holy Spirit and the Triune God.

     

    We Remember
  •  

    We Remember
     

    Momentous events have a way of embedding themselves into a person’s consciousness. Whether the event is a tragedy or a wonderful experience, it will not be forgotten. Sometimes that is a good thing because the event teaches us a lesson. At other times it is not a good thing because what took place comes back to haunt a person time and again throughout their life.

    When Christians turn to God’s Word they are led to remember God’s love for them in Jesus. It is something good that Christians do not want to forget. It is the message of Easter.

    You need not turn to the exact pages of the Bible that report the events of Easter to hear the message of God’s love. God’s plan of salvation is the theme that connects the Bible from beginning to end. The message has to do with sinful human beings and God’s love for them. The message is addressed to us.

    We need to remember the events of Easter. We need to remember everything that led up to it and everything that followed it. We need to have embedded in our very mind the fact that we are the reason for Jesus’ suffering and death. We need to have branded on our heart that fact that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead means our sins have been paid for and we have the promise of eternal life.

    There is only one way the amazing message of Easter becomes our possession, only one way it is embedded in our heart – the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to call us into the Christian faith. God’s Word convicts of our sin with the power of the law. God’s Word comforts our soul with the good news of the gospel.

    In order to remember Easter and everything it means, God’s people need to continue to use the Word of God. The most obvious way is by coming to church where we gather together with fellow believers to hear the Word, sing God’s praises and join our voices in prayer. We also do well to use God’s Word in our homes. Use God’s Word. Read your Bible. Make time for private and family devotions.

    It is good to remember what Jesus did for you. The message of his love for you can be your source of both comfort and strength. That message can bring you peace in a way that nothing in the world can bring to you. When we remember what Jesus has done for us we are given a spiritual boost because we know all of this was done only because of his undeserved love for us. Remember the message of Easter.
     

    Who is In Charge?
  •       Somebody has to be in charge. Experience has taught us that if there is no one who is put in charge, often no one will be in charge. When there is no head, the body cannot function. Perhaps you have seen that at times in your life. People get together to carry out a project but if no one has a plan and no one from the group is willing to take charge very little is accomplished. 
         God gives the members of his church differing gifts. Some are gifted to lead. Others are gifted to follow. All are gifted to be able to serve their Lord in one way or another. Each has different gifts and some have more gifts than others. Yet, each of the members of the Lord's Church is valuable in God's sight and important for the church's work. 
         Christian value lies in this, a price has been paid to buy our freedom from sin's hold. St. Paul made clear to his fellow believers in the city of Corinth that each of them had the privilege of living to serve their Lord when he wrote, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (1 Cor. 6:19,20 NIV 1984). 
         Every Christian belongs to God because Jesus paid the price that bought their freedom from sin. Christians belong to God in another way. Everyone who trusts in Jesus as their Savior has been adopted as God's child. Every Christian can call God their Father. Every Christian will inherit etemal life. 
         Those blessings lead Christians to look to God's Word for guidance in their lives. Even though our loving heavenly Father does not tell us what to do in every situation in life he does guide us with his Word. Search his Word and you will learn that you are to love your Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:37,39). 
         When God's people love him above all things they will also strive to show Christian love toward the people whose lives they touch. They will show Christian love toward fellow believers.  They will show Christian love toward those who are outside the Christian church. They will make every effort to work together to carry out the work that their Lord has given them to do of
    taking the gospel into the entire world.
         Look to God's Word for guidance in your life. When God's Word is your guide you will want to use the gifts he has given you to serve him. Each of us is the Lord's servant. Some are servant leaders. Others are servant followers. We serve each other and we serve our Lord. Whose in charge? Our Lord is in charge. Let us serve him with everything we think, say and do.
     
    The Victory is Ours - Reposted
  • The Victory Is Ours

    People want to be associated with winners. Many feel that anything other than being first is unacceptable. While we certainly want to use our God-given blessings to their fullest potential, we know that not everyone can be first.

    St. Paul reminded the Christians who lived in the city of Ephesus that living to serve our Lord involves living to serve one another. He wrote, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). The apostle know that his words would not fall on deaf ears but that living such a life doesn’t come easily. That is why he continues, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Christian humility and patience is not normal. It is an attitude that comes from a change of heart.

    What changes the “me first” attitude of the human heart? The heart that demands attention from the first cry at birth, through the terrible two’s and the tumultuous teens, and on into adulthood with the indignant question, “If I don’t take care of myself, who will?” The only way the sinful human heart is changed is through the power of God’s Word.

    God’s Law shatters the sinful heart that insists it must be first by convicting us of our arrogance and foolish pride so that we cry out, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” The Gospel, the good news of Jesus and his work, comforts the broken heart with the promise, “Your sins are forgiven.”

    God’s Word makes all the difference. It shows us our need for a Savior and comforts us with the message of the Savior who defeated the devil, paid for our sin and sets us free from the eternal death of hell.

    Christians live as victors. Life on earth may not always seem as though the victory is ours. But that is why we need to continue to turn to God’s Word. We need to be reminded again and again that all the things of this world, the good and the bad, are temporary but that Jesus gives us the promise of eternal life.

    Jesus is the winner. He went to battle for us. He won the victory that we could never have won. Rejoice in his victory. Live to serve him and one another.

     

    Will I Ever Be Happy? Reposted
  • H
    ave you ever been sad? Foolish question, isn’t it? Life in this world has times of both joy and sorrow. Sometimes it seems as though the sorrow outweighs the joy. There are times when God’s people can do no more that utter, “Why?”
    God no longer speaks directly to us in the same way he did from time to time as recorded in the Bible. But God does guide us with his Word. He tells us that he loves us. He tells us that he will not turn away from us.
    Sometimes we wonder whether God loves us. Then we need to think of St. Paul’s assurance to the Christians in Rome who needed to be told that they could be confident that one day they would be in eternal glory. “[God] did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32).
    Christian confidence rests upon God’s plan of salvation. That plan, which assures Christians of eternal life, was carried out at great cost to God. Yes, to God. The promise of eternal life does not rest upon the ability of any human being to become worthy to be with God. Why not? Are we not “good enough” for God? No, we are not.
    God’s instruction to his Old Testament people was clear, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). When God established the Sabbath for his Old Testament people he told them, “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy” (Exodus 31:13).
    God’s Old Testament people were to do no work on the seventh day of the week. They were to turn to God’s promises and turn away from their daily concerns. They were to find happiness in the holiness promised to them through the Savior who would one day come from their nation. Notice God told them they could only be holy if God made them holy.
    According to his human nature Christ came from the line of David, of the tribe of Judah. Jesus, the Son of God, came to make the payment for every sin. He came to make the payment for every sin so that, “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The promise of eternal life came at a price. It was not purchased, “with perishable things such as silver or gold...but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18,19).
    The never-ending Old Testament sacrifices for sin pointed to Christ, the Lamb of God, who made the final payment for sin. That is how much God loves you. That is how much he cares for you. That is the reason you can ask God why you suffer as you do and even fall into the temptation to question his love for you, and still be confident that he does love you. Look at the empty cross and remember that his tomb is also empty. The price was paid so that you are holy in his sight. God did what was necessary to make you holy.
    Make use of God’s Word. There you will find the Lord’s promise to never leave you. There you will find his promise to use everything for your good. There you will find his promise never to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. There you can find the reason you can be at peace in this world that has been so messed up because of sin. You can find joy in the forgiveness of sins. You can know that you can find happiness in your faithful and loving Lord.
    Built on the Rock - Reposted
  • Even those of us who don’t know a whole lot about construction know that a building has to have a good foundation if it is going to last. Without a foundation that goes below the frost line in Wisconsin a builder is only asking for trouble with any size structure at all.

    What is the foundation for your faith? Does it “go below the frost line” in your life? Just like freezing and thawing can cause a building to move and eventually come apart at the joints after time, the troubles of life can bring so many pressures to bear in our lives that we cannot endure them.

    People often try to find solutions to their problems without the help of God’s Word. Some of the solutions help but there is a way to make them even more effective. When a person’s life is built upon God’s promises it has a foundation that makes even the best worldly solution even better.

    The foundation God offers us does not mean his people will never have to seek the help of something in addition to God’s Word to address their trials. However, the foundation of God’s Word gives God’s people a different way of dealing with the trials they face.

    Whether the things that put strain on our life are medical, emotional, spiritual or financial we receive great comfort from God’s promise that he sees every one of our needs and will help us in our need. It is so important to remember that God is truthful when he tells each of his children, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Is. 43:1).

    Jesus paid the price to buy us back from sin’s curse and the devil’s power. The love Jesus showed by making the payment for every sin is the proof that he truly never will leave us nor forsake us. God made that promise to his people in Deuteronomy. It is set down again in Joshua and it is referred to in Hebrews. When God’s people got into trouble it was because they had turned from God, he had not turned from them.

    As Lutherans who belong to a Lutheran church body that still, by the grace of God, remains faithful to God’s Word, we have that foundation available to us in our worship services, our Bible classes, our Sunday school classes, our Lutheran Elementary School and area Lutheran High School. The training offered to us helps us grow in faith so that we can turn to God’s Word and draw upon the things we have learned so that we continue to grow in faith.

    We need to continue to make use of God’s Word. We need to continue to join together in worship. We need to come together to study God’s Word. We need to make time for personal time with God’s Word. God’s Word has been used to create the Christian faith in our hearts and it strengthens that faith. Build upon that foundation. Then as the pressures of this world come upon you Christ, the solid foundation, will be there for you. You may not escape troubles and trials but you will be assured that your Lord Jesus will not turn away from you. His promise will be kept, “he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:13).

    That is the point of our Lord’s plan of salvation. He wants us to be with him for eternity. The things of this world can cause us pain, sorrow, heartache and fill us with dread. That is why you and I need to build upon Christ, our Rock and our Redeemer (Ps. 19:14).

    Synod Evangelism Newsletter - Prominent People of the Bible - PETER - Reposted
  • Prominent People of the Bible
     
    Peter
     
    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
     
    One of the more interesting figures we meet in the Bible is Peter.  He was a unique individual.  At times, he could be impulsive, bold and brash—brushing up against arrogance.  At other times, he was a lonely, insecure man.  Perhaps, that is what makes Peter so appealing to us because we see a bit of our own selves in him.
     
    Peter was a fisherman, a seasoned veteran who had navigated and fished the waters of the Sea of Galilee.  Fishing was his life—or so he thought.
     
    It was after an unsuccessful night of fishing that Peter’s life changed—forever.  As he and his brother, Andrew, rowed towards shore, a crowd began to gather at the shoreline.  The center of attention was Jesus.  This wasn’t Peter’s first meeting with the renowned prophet.  A previous encounter had brought the two together.  On that occasion, Jesus told Peter that he would be known as Cephas, Aramaic for “rock.”
     
    On that day Jesus reached out again to Peter.  “Follow me, and I will make you fishers-of-men” were his simple but powerful words to Peter.
     
    Peter, indeed, did follow.  He could only marvel at what he observed.  He witnessed firsthand the miracles performed by Jesus: changing of water into wine; feeding of the 5,000; healing of the blind, lame and mute; raising of the dead.  Peter knew that Jesus was no mere prophet as some had thought.  Given the opening to express his faith to Jesus, Peter boldly proclaimed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
     
    Peter’s proclamation identified Jesus as the Messiah that the prophets had written about in the Old Testament.  He was the Savior, the Son of God, whom God promised to send because he loved the world that he created.  Jesus was the “Lamb of God,” who came to be sacrificed on a cross to take away Peter’s sins and those of the entire world.
     
    Peter needed that Savior.  He wasn’t always the rock he appeared to be.  At times, he was more like shifting sand blown by every wind of thought or brushed aside by selfish pride and arrogance.
     
    In faith, Peter turned to his new friend and Savior who gave him hope and peace—even when his life hit rock bottom.  Isn’t that the peace you want too?  Like Peter, we would like to share it with you!
    _______________________________________
    Graphic for Peter: Fish
    Peter was a fisherman before Jesus called him. The fish is a symbol for Peter's work of sharing the gospel as a “Fisher of Men”.
    More information is located online at WhatAboutJesus.com. Look for the What About … Prominent People link.
    Go and Make Disciples - Reposted
  •        You have heard commands before. Someone tells you to do something and you understand that you need to do what you are told. Most of those commands carry with them the “incentive” of having to pay the consequences if they are disobeyed. Granted, there are many times when there is no need for a threat to make us do something.
    Children obey their parents’ commands most often because that is simply what they do. Students obey the command to get an assignment done because that is what they are supposed to do as students. Employees do what their boss tells them to do because that is what is expected of them. But there are also consequences if a command is disobeyed.
    Our Lord has given the Christian church a command. He tells us to make disciples of all nations. He tells us how to do the work - by baptizing and by teaching. He does not tell us we will be punished if we don’t do what he commands. So what motivates Christians to want to tell others about Jesus?
         Christians are motivated by the love their Lord has shown them. The Lord Jesus paid the price for every sin when he died on the cross. His payment for sin satisfied God’s justice. God demands that payment be made for sin. Jesus’ perfect life and innocent suffering and death paid the price demanded so that everyone who trusts in Jesus as Savior has the forgiveness of sins. God’s justice is satisfied.
         Our motivation to tell others about Jesus does not come from a threat if we disobey him. Our desire to do what our Lord tells us to do has its roots in the payment Jesus made for our sin. We want to share the gospel because we love Jesus who first loved us. He tells us to baptize and to teach the Word, so we want to do that.
     
    There is another reason to carry out Jesus’ command. This reason is also based on love. It is not the love for Jesus, which is our greatest love. It is the love for others. We know that Jesus’ payment for sin is the only thing that removes the eternal curse of hell.

Faith is the firm trust that Christ stands in our place and is the eternal satisfaction for our sin and reconciles us with God the Father. ~ Martin Luther