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THE WORD OF GOD: THINGS TO PONDER

Christians are recognized by their possession of the Holy Word of God.

Robert Kolb writes, “ As the body of Christ we are people of the Word. We delight in the Word of God. We search it, study it and even memorize it in order to know more of the will and the ways of God who loved us enough to send His only Son to suffer and die in our place. The Word fosters a worldview in us so that we see people and thing differently than the world sees them.” (Mission in Today’s World: Implications for the Congregations found in Missio Apostolica by Robert Kolb)

  • “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” Romans 1:16
  • THINGS TO PRAY

  • Praise God for the blessing of having His Word so readily available to all.
  • Remember our sinfulness in not knowing and appreciating His Word as we ought.
  • Ask God to bless the preaching and teaching of His Word in our congregation.
  • Yield to His will that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
  • HOLY BAPTISM

  • “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5
  • THINGS TO PONDER

    Christians are recognized by the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, wherever it is taught, believed and administered correctly according to God’s ordinance.

    Robert Kolb writes in Speaking the Gospel Today , “For unbelievers or new believers, torn apart by their own inadequacies, guilt, impotence, and shame, Baptism, as understood biblically, clearly points away from our strengths and powers to God’s strength and power, and it delivers us, like little children, into the hands of God as He fashions His new kingdom for Himself.” ( Page 201)

    THINGS TO PRAY

  • Praise God that He has provided Baptism as a Means of Grace for all.
  • Remember our sins that are washed away by this gift.
  • Ask God for opportunities to use baptism as a witnessing tool.
  • Yield to God’s will that all be baptized and brought into His kingdom.
  • HOLY COMMUNION

  • “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26
  • THINGS TO PONDER

    God’s people are recognized by the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, wherever it is rightly administered, believed and received, according to Christ’s institution.

    Members can and should be reminded often that participation in the Sacrament together with fellow believers is a beautiful way to make public confession of Christ and the unity shared in the truth of the Gospel. We, together with the members of our congregation, rejoice in the fact that God has provided this means to strengthen and increase faith for the task of sharing the Gospel.

    What is the greatest thing about being a Christian? The forgiveness of sins.

    THINGS TO PRAY

  • Praise God for the benefits He gives in the Lord’s Supper.
  • Remember the sins this meal takes away.
  • Ask God’s blessing for those strengthened by this meal.
  • Yield to God’s will that all people may come to know the forgiveness God offers.
  • THE OFFICE OF THE KEYS

  • “After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:20-24
  • THINGS TO PONDER

    God’s people are recognized by the Office of the Keys exercised publicly.

    Robert Kolb wrote in Speaking the Gospel Today, “As the Holy Spirit goes about the re-creating process in the lives of sinful creatures, He begins by convicting them of sin, of the impact of evil in their lives (John 16:8). When the broken sinner recognizes the helplessness of the fallen human condition, the Holy Spirit proceeds by putting Jesus on display.” (Page 213)

    What do you think is the most difficult thing about being a Christian? Living the Christian life consistently!

    THINGS TO PRAY

  • Praise God that He has given us the opportunity to serve as ministers in His Church.
  • Remember that it is God’s presence and strength that sustains us in ministry.
  • Ask that God would bless our efforts on behalf of His people.
  • Yield to God’s will that we have the same attitude toward ministry that Christ demonstrated.
  • PRAYER AND WORSHIP

  • “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
  • THINGS TO PONDER

    Christians are externally recognized by prayer, public praise and thanksgiving to God. Someone said that the best way to determine what is most precious to us is to pay close attention to those things we pray about. Sometimes it may be true that our “circle of concern” becomes rather narrow as our prayer life and perhaps the prayer life of our congregation extends almost exclusively to those nearest and dearest to us.

    THINGS TO PRAY

  • Praise God that He has given us this prayer by which we can approach His throne of Grace.
  • Remember that our prayers do sometimes become self-centered and narrowly focused.
  • Ask that God would use us mightily to extend His kingdom.
  • Yield to God’s will for us as His disciples.
  • THE CROSS

  • “Blessed are you when people insult you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Matthew 5:11
  • THINGS TO PONDER

    Christians are externally recognized by the holy possession of the sacred cross.

    It is also true that the more godless a culture becomes the closer we approach actual persecution for our faith. Some, in a pleasure-at-all-costs kind of culture, would try to live in such a way as to maintain the status quo, to not rock the boat, or to compromise in order to keep peace. We are called, however, to equip the saints and with them to take up the cross and follow Jesus.

    THINGS TO PRAY

  • Praise God that He has called you to boldly proclaim His name.
  • Remember that in this sinful world it has been granted to us to suffer for Christ.
  • Ask God for the strength and courage to endure suffering for Him.
  • Yield to God’s will and be content in whatever circumstances He places us.
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