Friday, July 29, 2022
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Anna Biedenbender, local artist and SCLA's domestic admissions counselor and middle school art instructor, was involved in a serious auto accident on July 16 and has significant injuries. We praise God for the healing she has already received, being discharged from the hospital a week after the accident. We know that Anna is in the loving, almighty care of her Savior, Jesus. Please join us in praying for her comfort and full recovery.
Monday, July 25, 2022
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Sunday, July 17, 2022
Friday, July 15, 2022
"Good morning to all and greetings in the name of our Savior,
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Please join us at St. John for worship, Sunday, July 17th, at 9:30 am.
Pastor Otto's message will be from Genesis 18.
"Don't Laugh At the Lord, Laugh IN the Lord".
Stay for a short Bible Study and refreshments that follow.
Monday, July 11, 2022
Years before the woman named Ruth made the promise we read in our Bible passage today, her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her husband had left Israel and moved to a foreign country called Moab. While they were there, their two sons married two Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. First, Naomi’s husband died, then both her sons.
Now a childless widow, Naomi wanted to return to her home in Israel. She convinced Orpah to go back to her parents, but Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. Why would Ruth leave her home to travel with her mother-in-law to where she had no acquaintances, no family, and no prospects?
Listen to her promise: “Your God will be my God.” When she joined Naomi’s family by marriage, Ruth came to believe in the one true God. Their common faith in the coming Savior motivated Ruth to make this promise, even though it must have hurt to leave her home. Ruth knew that nothing in this world–even the familiar surroundings of her home and family–was worth losing her faith in the one, true God.
The same God Ruth worshiped is our God. He is the one true God. He is the God who came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to rescue us from our sins and the eternal death they deserve. When you are tempted to turn from him to other things that are less important, remember what he was willing to do for you. Then you, like Ruth, will be thankful that he is your God.
Dear Lord, I thank you that you are my God. Amen
Following God is not always easy. He never said it would be. Jesus himself insisted that in order to follow him we must daily pick up our cross—whatever that cross might be. It has always been this way. Following God is not easy.
A woman named Ruth discovered this reality. She was not one of God’s people by birth. She was a foreigner from the land of Moab. But she had married an Israelite man and had learned about the Lord from her husband and his family. Then, tragedy struck. Her husband died along with her husband’s brother and father. When Ruth’s mother-in-law decided to go back to Israel, Ruth went with her. It was not easy. She left everyone and everything she knew. But she was determined. You see, Ruth had come to trust in the God of Israel. She could not stay in Moab and worship the false gods found there. It was not easy to leave, but if that was what it took to follow the true God, then that was what Ruth would do.
Thank God that he has forgiven us for the many times we have failed to follow him, times we have gone our own way. Thank him today by following him no matter how difficult the road might be.
Thank you, Jesus, for perfectly following your Father’s will in my place. Help me bear whatever crosses come my way that I may follow you this day. Amen.
Saturday, July 9, 2022
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out.”
When I was in grade school and high school, I worked for a couple different dairy farmers as a farmhand. I enjoyed being around the milking cows and their calves. I also enjoyed working out in the fields. In October, we would harvest the corn crop. The farmer would drive the harvester combine in the cornfield. My job was to drive a tractor from the field back to the farm pulling a wagon filled with corn to be unloaded into a corn crib. Eventually, the cows would eat the harvested corn. I enjoyed doing my part in the corn harvest.
In today’s Bible reading, Jesus told his disciples that it was time for the harvest. Jesus wasn’t talking about harvesting corn. He meant harvesting the souls of the many people in his day that weren’t trusting in him as this world’s only Savior from sin, death, and hell. Jesus instructed his disciples to take this important matter to the Lord in prayer, asking God to provide the needed spiritual harvesters. Then Jesus said, “Go! I am sending you.” The disciples themselves were the answer to their prayers. They were to go and proclaim the good news of a living Savior to a dying world.
Look around in your family, neighborhood, place of work, or school. Do you see how plentiful the harvest is? All around are the souls of real people who are living and dying in unbelief and sin, tragically becoming part of Satan’s hell harvest even though their sins were paid for by the blood of Jesus. Pray to the Lord to provide the needed spiritual harvesters. And then recognize that Jesus is saying to you, “Go! I am sending you.” You are the answer to your prayer. Jesus harvested you so that you could now be his spiritual combine and harvest others for heaven.
Lord Jesus, thank you for harvesting my soul by bringing me to faith in you as my personal Savior from my sins. Send out workers, myself included, into your ripe harvest fields. Bless our harvesting efforts to your glory. Amen.
But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”
I Think I Can
Thursday, July 7, 2022
How can I know the Bible is true?
Have a headache? Take two leeches and call me in the morning. If you consult a medical text from a couple of centuries ago, that may be the remedy you find. Today a textbook would probably tell you to pop a couple of aspirin. Tomorrow… Lasers? Magnetics? Who knows what advancements or discoveries will change how a simple headache is treated? It is amazing how much the science of medicine has changed even over the course of the last hundred years. How will we ever know when we have really found the answers?
66 – 40 – 1500 – 1: What do those numbers mean? The Bible is made up of 66 books that were written by 40 writers over the course of 1500 years. But in all of those books, only one message is found. The message? We have a problem (and it isn’t a simple headache). Our problem is our sin and the guilt that it brings. That one message is also about the remedy for our problem—God sent Jesus, a perfect Savior, to die for our sin and guilt. Now believers in Jesus have the promise of eternal life in heaven. That simple message of salvation is repeated throughout the Bible, from Moses’ writing in Genesis to the writings of the apostle John in Revelation. How amazing that so many different writers from different times record a single message that reveals the world’s only true Savior from sin!
Maybe it isn’t all that amazing. “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, through human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The very same God who loved us enough to send his own Son to die for us made sure that we would know about Jesus by having his message written down. Because God had men record his Word, the Bible is unlike any other book. We are told that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). God himself spoke through, breathed into these writers, so their words are really God’s Word. Since the Bible is God’s Word, we can trust that it is true.
God is speaking to us through the words that he caused to be written in the Bible. Join us for worship, where we gather to hear what important things, he has to say to all of us.
him to St John. Also, note the change in service time to 9:30AM
Upcoming Events at St John
Worship Service: Sunday at 9:30 AM
Adult Bible Study: Sunday at 10:45 AM
Visit our website at stjohnev.net
Call us at 651-771-6406
He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel.”
It’s been said that the worst thing in golf would be to hit a hole-in-one but not having witnesses. Or getting engaged and no one answers the phone to listen to your good news. When we have good news, we want to share it. Sometimes, we cannot help but share it. What if you didn’t have anybody with whom to share the good news about Jesus?
Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t isolate his messengers on an island. God sent the prophet Ezekiel, for example, to the people of Israel. What about you? Have you identified your audience? They are there. It may be intimidating to reach out to your audience but thank God you have audience.
Not only do you have an audience, but God has also uniquely equipped you to reach out to them. Sometimes we think mission work is only done among people that are different than us—a different culture, a different race, or those who speak a different language. But look around. Not every mission field has to be to people with an obscure or strange language. Your mission field may be the people you eat lunch with at work. They may be in your neighborhood or home. What an opportunity!
But what should I say to the audience that God has planted in my midst? The Lord says, “Speak my words to them.” You don’t need to make things up. You don’t need to apologize or argue. Simply speak the Word of God. God’s richest blessings as you reach out to your personal audience with the sweet message of God’s Word.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes to see the audience that you have planted around me. Give me the courage to speak your Word to them and bless the message. Amen.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.
Your friend just lost her child in a tragic car accident. You’re meeting for coffee and on the way, you think, ‘I don’t know what to say.’
Many situations may leave us speechless. It’s one thing to be speechless when trying to comfort a friend. It’s a whole other thing to feel speechless when talking to someone about spiritual matters. It can be intimidating. We may feel pressure knowing that we have the opportunity to speak words that can have an eternal effect. We may feel ill-equipped. ‘What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don’t know an answer to one of their questions?’
Before you buckle under the pressure, take comfort in a truth that God shared with one of his spokespeople, Ezekiel. When Ezekiel was commissioned to talk about spiritual matters, he could have easily said, “I don’t know what to say.” What made it worse, was that Ezekiel was being sent to people that were rebellious, obstinate, and stubborn. Yet, he could take comfort knowing that the words he would share were not his words, but God’s. “I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me.”
Knowing that the Word was coming from God’s hand to his mouth, Ezekiel could go forward in confidence. And so can you. As you encounter opportunities to speak God’s Word, know that it’s precisely that—God’s Word, not yours. His Word cuts to the heart and binds up the broken-hearted. His Word is effective. His Word is filled with power.
Heavenly Father, take my lips and let them be, filled with messages from Thee. Amen.
Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me.
A Hand Stretched Out
“Help Wanted.” “Now Hiring.” “Apply Inside.” It seems like wherever you go, those signs greet you at the entrance. Businesses are trying desperately to field their teams so that production and performance can continue to meet demand.
Perhaps you’re experiencing the same thing at your local church. For a variety of reasons, it seems like the pastoral vacancy rates are high, resulting in empty pulpits. While that may be personally concerning for you, rest assured that the Lord has not forgotten about you. And he’s not forgotten about his Church. Even when his people have turned their backs on him, the Lord continues to stretch out his hand and call people to serve in his kingdom.
And those people aren’t always full-time prophets or pastors. Have you ever been amazed at the many people that God has used to proclaim his Word to you? Perhaps it was a parent, a friend, a neighbor, or a coach. Go ahead. Write the names down. Be amazed at the people God has used to be his instrument in reaching out to you. That’s not by accident, and it’s not a coincidence. The Lord continues to stretch out his hand to employ many people to further stretch his kingdom. And perhaps the Lord is stretching out his hand to you. Lift up your eyes. What do you see? The Lord’s hand is stretched out to you. May God bless you as you stretch out your hand, to pass along the good news of Jesus to someone else.
Dear Jesus, increase my confidence in your control of the Church. And thank you for using so many people to reach out to me. Amen.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” [Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Joy of Eternal Life
On one occasion, Jesus sent his disciples into towns and villages to declare that the kingdom of God was near. Those who listened would find God’s kingdom in Jesus, the Son of God. The disciples felt the joy of spreading the good news. They were also quite impressed with the power God had given them to carry out this work.
The disciples returned overflowing with joy. Jesus rejoiced with the disciples over their success. He pointed out that when his followers faithfully proclaim forgiveness of sins in his name, Satan falls from heaven. That means Satan can no longer stand before God and accuse believers of deserving eternal death. Jesus promised continued success. The devil and his friends would not be able to stop them. God would see to that.
But Jesus did not want his disciples to get all wrapped up in the miracles they could perform. Rather, they were to rejoice that they had an eternal inheritance waiting for them in heaven.
And that is our joy too. Jesus, our loving Savior, gives us eternal life. He earned it for us by his holy life and his innocent death. Of all the things which we thank God, this is one of the greatest: the joy of eternal life with Jesus!
Lord Jesus, thank you that, because of what you have done for me, my name is written in heaven. Amen.