Spiritual Guidelines, Day 3 - Monday Morning Devotions

This devotion series is brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, serving the Winnebago people at Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool. (Need to go back to week 1, click here.)


All this week I am addressing those who are the head of the family and their God-given calling and responsibility to instruct their household in spiritual matters. The basis for our reflection today is on one of the commands that Creator God inscribed in stone and first gave to Moses.

Today we will focus on these words: "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy." The word 'Sabbath' is a Hebrew word for 'rest.' For the Jewish people, this day begins with the setting of the sun on Friday and lasts until the setting of the sun on Saturday.

  A songwriter once put this command to music, "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy." here are the words:

"You shall observe the worship day  That peace may fill your home, and pray,
And put aside the work you do, So that God may work in you."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

As the head of the household, one is responsible for leading his or her family in spiritual matters and this command directly addresses this matter. Each and every day there should be times taken to offer words of thanks and praise to God. In some homes the day begins with a prayer of thanks for a new day, prayers are often said at meal times, as well as at the close of day.

Christian families are encouraged to read a portion of Scripture, to meditate on a devotion or Bible story. And then there is the opportunity to gather as the family of God on Sunday morning. Christians gather at the gracious invitation of God at His house and to receive His blessings, through both His Sacred Word and Mysterious gifts of grace received in God's Sacraments.

Dr. Martin Luther taught his flock this simple explanation of this command of God:

We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Sadly many fail to receive God's blessings or take the opportunity to encourage others and to pray for the needs of those hurting as the family of God. In other words, they despise God's Sacred Word and His commands to gladly hear and learn from it. Those who fail to lead their family to God's house are not only neglecting their God-given responsibility, they are teaching their family that God is not really all that important. However, those who do take this responsibility seriously will reap the benefits in years to come.

This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of God: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." [1st John 4:16b-18 NIV]

Spiritual Guidelines, Day 2 - Monday Morning Devotions

This devotion series is brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, serving the Winnebago people at Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool. (Need to go back to week 1, click here.)

You can read the devotion below, or listen to it here.


Through this series, I am addressing those who are the head of the family and their God-given calling and responsibility to instruct their household in spiritual matters. The basis for our reflection today is on one of the commands that Creator God inscribed in stone and first gave to Moses.

Today we will focus on these words: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."

The name of God is spoken all the time, however, mostly it is used and abused in ways that in fact dishonor God. One such way is to use it flippantly, without any thought. I am sure that you have heard, maybe even used O.M.G. ~ oh, my God

!This is not a usage of God's name that honors Him. If you think otherwise, then simply insert your name in the place of God. Would you like everyone to utter your precious name in this manner?

 

A songwriter once put this command, "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God." to music.

"Do not My holy name disgrace, Do not My Word of truth debase.
Praise only that as good and true  Which I Myself say and do."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

We ask our preschool students what are some good ways to use God's name? They come up with various answers including: Praise the Lord! or Jesus loves you. We don't usually ask them for ways to misuse His name as we don't want to give them any ideas or encourage them in saying such things.

Dr. Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago taught his flock this simple explanation of this command of God: 

We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

Once again we realize that we have fallen short regarding this command and need to seek God's grace and mercy. That is what our Creator offers to those who call upon the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of God: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." [1st John 4:16b-18 NIV]

Spiritual Guidelines, Day 1 - Monday Morning Devotions

This devotion series is brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, serving the Winnebago people at Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool.

You can read the devotion below, or listen to it here.


Today I would like to talk with all of you who are the head of the household or someday plan to be the head of a household. I would like you to reflect on what you will teach your family when it comes to spiritual guidelines. God has placed parents in a position of authority and has entrusted you with responsibilities as parents of your children. One such responsibility is in spiritual matters, and yes spiritual matters really do matter! 

A long time ago on the other side of the world, God handed down ten commands to Moses on Mount Sinai, [present day Saudi Arabia]. God actually engraved them on two stone tablets. These ten commands were meant to be followed by all people throughout history.

Today we will focus on these words: "You shall have no other gods before me." A songwriter once put this command to music. I will spare you of my attempt at singing it, here are the words:

"I am alone your God, the Lord; No other gods shall be adored.
But you shall fully trust in Me  And love Me wholeheartedly."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

There is one, only one true God. God has blessed you and me with life. God created the first man and the first woman in His image. He created Adam and Eve holy, without sin or shame. They were able to walk and talk with God. They lived surrounded by God's love and protection.

That all changed when they began to doubt His Word, His command and they stopped loving God. Their failure to trust in God above everything led them to suffer the consequences.

What does our heavenly Father expect from us today regarding this command? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. This is the greatest command and tragically we all have broken this one and are need of a Savior.

Those of us who are led by God's Spirit strive to trust in God above everything else,  and yet we still fail. This does not mean that we should STOP trying. The Good News is that our heavenly Father sent Jesus who obeyed His heavenly Father all the way to the cross and the empty tomb. The goal of these ten commands is to lead us to plead for God's mercy and to trust in Jesus as our Savior.

This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of God: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." [1st John 4:16b-18 NIV]

Everybody, Always (Week 5) - Monday Morning Devotion

Everybody, Always (Week 5) - Monday Morning Devotion

If you want to become love, stop just agreeing with Jesus. Go call someone right now. Lift them up in ways they can’t lift themselves. Send them a text message and say you’re sorry. I know they don’t deserve it. You didn’t either. Don’t put a toe in the water with your love; grab your knees and do a cannonball. Move from the bleachers to the field, and you won’t ever be the same.

Don’t just love the people who are easy to love; go love the difficult ones. 

In the Right Place at the Right Time

"July 15, 2018, will live in memory as one of the most memorable days of my life."

A strong proclamation from LIM's Kevin Maulson (Lac du Flambeau), currently serving the Native peoples of Phoenix, Arizona.

On this particular Sunday, Kevin brought together 18 people who have recently entered his life through the work of the Gichi Manidoo Akewe Ministry of Lutheran Indian Ministries. The phrase, Gichi Manidoo Akewe, is Ojibwe for "Putting God First" which is precisely how Kevin runs this new branch of outreach. Together, this group spent the morning praising God and digging deeply into His Word in a borrowed room at the NAFFA (Native American Fatherhood and Families Association).