Nebraska/Winnebago

Spiritual Guidelines, Day 7 - 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.


Throughout this series, I have been 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 or two of the commands that Creator God inscribed in stone and first gave to Moses.

Today we will focus on these words: "You shall not covet your neighbors house, nor his wife or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

First, a definition of coveting is in order: Coveting is the sinful desire in our hearts to acquire for ourselves anything that belongs to our neighbor. It is also the desire to draw away from our neighbor for our own benefit anyone who is important to our neighbor.

A songwriter once put this command to music, here are the words:

"You shall not crave your neighbor's house nor covet money, goods, or spouse.
Pray God He would your neighbor bless  As you yourself wish success."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

The opposite of coveting is being content. Are you content with the gifts that God has given you? or do you want more? When you have one desire fulfilled do you immediately set your heart on something else? The millionaire or billionaire is seldom content, he or she either craves more and more, bigger and better, or he or she lives in fear that others are out to get what they have.

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 scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it. Nor should we entice or force away our neighbor’s wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty.

 Being content with the blessings of what one has is a gift from God. When Job lost most of his vast earthly possessions he declared: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!" In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught that we should pray for our daily bread, not our daily lottery or power ball winnings! The believer in Christ is more than content through faith in Jesus as Savior and the hope of life everlasting!

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 6 - 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 bear false witness against your neighbor." In the age of the internet, the disobedience of this command impacts the lives of others more quickly, more extensively and with longer lasting effects. Once upon a time, it took a bit of time for a lie to travel from person-to-person. Now lies, slander, half-truths, inferences travel on the world wide web in seconds.

A songwriter once put this command to music. I will spare you of my attempt at singing it, here are the words:

"Bear no false witness nor defame  Your neighbor nor destroy his name.
But view him in the kindest way;  Speak
truth in all that you say."    
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

This command probably gets the least attention of the ten. Everyone does it, which does not make it right, but who is self-righteous enough to say that it is wrong? You have heard the expression that those in glass houses should not throw stones, and while we all live in so-called glass house, we can't seem to stop picking up and hurling stones at one another.

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 tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.

How important is it to have others defend, speak well of and explain everything in the kindest way when it comes to one's reputation? Jesus understood and endured slander, lies, betrayal, and insults. He was willing to take it all upon himself to pay for our failure to live up to this command. He offers you His Spirit in order that when you open your mouth or go on the internet or tweet, you can honor the reputation of others as He is willing to welcome you into His kingdom and say that you are one of his brothers or sisters.

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 5 - 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 commit adultery."

First, a definition of the word 'adultery.' Adultery is the unfaithfulness of a spouse who engages in or desires sexual intimacy with someone to whom he or she is not married. This command of sexual purity applies to all human beings, whether married or not and to all kinds of sexual desire and activity.

A song writer once put this command to music. I will spare you of my attempt at singing it, here are the words:

"Be faithful to your marriage vow;  No lust or impure thought allow.
Keep all your conduct free from sin  By self-controlled discipline."  
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

One of the blessings from above is the gift of marriage. This blessing is not extended to all and there will be no marriage in the new heavens on the new earth. With the blessing of marriage comes a vow to be faithful to one's spouse. This lifeline pledge is to love and honor one another.

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 lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.

All too often we focus our attention on what we will receive from the other and when our desires and expectations are not met we can become angry, distant, disrespectful and even allow ourself to wander away. Instead of dreaming of what your spouse will do for you, you should ask yourself are you willing to serve him or her sacrificially? To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your spouse can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your spouse.

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 4 - 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 honor your father and your mother."

Last month you were encouraged to remember your mother who, by the grace of God, gave birth to you. This coming Sunday you are encouraged to remember your father, who was given an integral role in begetting you. God gave your father and your mother the role of being responsible for your physical, mental, emotional as well as spiritual well-being.

A song writer once put this command to music, "You shall honor your father and your mother," here are the words:

"You are to honor and obey  Your father, mother, ev'ry day.
Serve them each way that comes to hand; You'll then live long in the land."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

Paul wrote these words to the Christian believers at Ephesus: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

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 despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.

 Please note two things: first it does not say that the honoring, serving, and obeying one's parents is conditional or in response to their earning or deserving it. No, one is to love and cherish them as well as honoring, serving and obeying them as if they were God Himself. And the second thing of note is: this honoring includes other authorities as well, including teachers, employers, law enforcement and government officials. The good news is that where we have obviously failed, Jesus did not. He not only honored his step-father Joseph and his mother Mary, but also His heavenly Father. He offers you His payment for your sin and a place in God's family, now and forever.

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 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]

Live Like Job - Week 7 (Monday Morning Devotion)

monday morning devotion with lutheran indian ministries live like job pastor ricky jacob winnebago nebraska

This series, written by Pastor Ricky Jacob, who is serving the Winnebago people of Nebraska, looks at the story of Job and helps us discover how to live a life of faith like him.

Need to start at the beginning? Here's week 1


One of the biggest challenges for an outsider who enters the reservation is to not come across as a know-it-all. An outsider naturally comes from and with a completely different worldly perspective.

Even though I entered at the gracious invitation of the Winnebago Tribal Council, who asked the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to provide a worker who would share his or her faith with their children, this did not make the task at hand any easier. What can a white man teach the Ho-Chunk [Winnebago] tribal members about faith in God? Surely, he would come across as a know-it-all.

At times, the more I share the stories of Mauna and His Sacred Word the more I come across as a know-it-all. I get excited when someone attends a church service or a Bible study and I get to tell them about Creator God and His beloved Son. Often times I play right into their understanding that the ‘white man’ Christian talks about God, as opposed to their talking to God. It is my humble calling to not merely talk about Creator God, nor to merely talk to Creator God, but for Creator God to talk to the hearer so that he or she would be blessed with knowing Creator God as their Redeemer.

Let me draw your attention to a man who did know a thing or two. His name was Job. Job knew something about human nature and he would sacrifice burnt offerings for his children, thinking “perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” More importantly, he knew God; that He is merciful.

God allowed Satan to afflict Job, but Satan must spare Job’s life. Job was afflicted with painful sores from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. It the midst of Job’s suffering he comes to utter the words: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth.”

Job was blessed by God to know His redeemer, Jesus, who years later would rise victorious from the grave! God’s Spirit instills faith in the hearts and minds as a blessed gift, to people of all ages, tribes, and languages. By the grace of God, Job knew all there is to know about one’s salvation by knowing Jesus as one’s 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 Good News of Job: I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth" [Job 19:25 NIV]