Para Vista Lutheran Church

Weekly messages from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Para Vista Inc

How the Bible Teaches us to Lament - (AUDIO)

September 25th, 2022

The book of Lamentations isn’t necessarily the most popular or well-known book in the Bible, but it has some important messages to teach us. A specific focus of Lamentations is the lament of the Israelite people, and they show us in this poetic book what lamenting can look like and how we should be lamenting as followers of Christ.

What does it mean to lament? Why should we lament? How does God reveal his character through our lamenting? I would love to challenge you to reconsider the way you lament, pray, and come together as followers of Christ. I look forward to sharing the message with you on Sunday and unpacking Lamentations and how it applies to us today.

Nicole Pfeiffer

Bible Reading: Lamentations 3:19-40 (The Message)

How the Bible Teaches us to Lament - (VIDEO)

September 25th, 2022

The book of Lamentations isn’t necessarily the most popular or well-known book in the Bible, but it has some important messages to teach us. A specific focus of Lamentations is the lament of the Israelite people, and they show us in this poetic book what lamenting can look like and how we should be lamenting as followers of Christ.

What does it mean to lament? Why should we lament? How does God reveal his character through our lamenting? I would love to challenge you to reconsider the way you lament, pray, and come together as followers of Christ. I look forward to sharing the message with you on Sunday and unpacking Lamentations and how it applies to us today.

Nicole Pfeiffer

Bible Reading: Lamentations 3:19-40 (The Message)

Our Core Business (Audio)

September 18th, 2022

A message from Pastor Steen Olsen on 18 Sep 2022.

The Church does many good things in our world and so we should. But we mustn’t neglect our core business. Paul tells us that God appointed him a herald and apostle because “our God and Saviour wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Our Core Business (Video)

September 18th, 2022

A message from Pastor Steen Olsen on 18 Sep 2022.

The Church does many good things in our world and so we should. But we mustn’t neglect our core business. Paul tells us that God appointed him a herald and apostle because “our God and Saviour wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

 

What’s Your Story (Audio)

September 11th, 2022

No matter where I go, when I meet people within the Lutheran Church, I’m forever being asked: “So, what’s your story?” Folks want to know all the details: where did I come from, where did I grow up, who am I related to? It seems everybody has a story, and we want to know it. We’re fascinated in knowing all the bits from other people’s lives.

This also applied to the apostle Paul. In 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Paul lets us in on some rather intimate details of his life and what we learn is that he was a lot like you and me. In fact, his story is also our story and it’s a story of God’s amazing grace and love, where like Paul, through God’s grace and love, we too are being continually transformed to be a Reliable Witness and have been given a Reliable Message to share with others.

Paul was a reliable, unyielding figure. He stood strong in the faith – in fact, he was imprisoned and eventually martyred for his faith in Jesus – yet Paul also tells us a different story. He tells the story of himself in the following terms: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” Paul goes on say that “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”—that is an amazing testimony of God’s faithful love. And this same amazing grace that transformed Paul from an ignorant persecutor to a wise gospel messenger, is the same grace that changes us—it transforms us to also be reliable gospel witnesses like Paul was.

Like Paul, Jesus considers us worthy to be his witnesses. What a statement! In light of his grace, Jesus allows His love to be showcased in our lives, where we become His stained-glass windows of love and grace, shining out all that He has given and done for us.

What’s Paul’s story? It’s an example of how God turned what was “worst” into something reliable and wonderful—what happened to Paul, who was lost, like a lost sheep, the worst of sinners—is an example of what has happened to us…and so we too share this story of what God has done and continues to do for us and others.

The Bible says that we are always to give the reason for the hope we have—so when somebody asks, “And just what’s your story?” You can say with the apostle Paul, “I’m a forgiven and redeemed sinner in Jesus Christ. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

Pr. Wayne Kerber

What’s Your Story (Video)

September 11th, 2022

No matter where I go, when I meet people within the Lutheran Church, I’m forever being asked: “So, what’s your story?” Folks want to know all the details: where did I come from, where did I grow up, who am I related to? It seems everybody has a story, and we want to know it. We’re fascinated in knowing all the bits from other people’s lives.

This also applied to the apostle Paul. In 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Paul lets us in on some rather intimate details of his life and what we learn is that he was a lot like you and me. In fact, his story is also our story and it’s a story of God’s amazing grace and love, where like Paul, through God’s grace and love, we too are being continually transformed to be a Reliable Witness and have been given a Reliable Message to share with others.

Paul was a reliable, unyielding figure. He stood strong in the faith – in fact, he was imprisoned and eventually martyred for his faith in Jesus – yet Paul also tells us a different story. He tells the story of himself in the following terms: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” Paul goes on say that “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”—that is an amazing testimony of God’s faithful love. And this same amazing grace that transformed Paul from an ignorant persecutor to a wise gospel messenger, is the same grace that changes us—it transforms us to also be reliable gospel witnesses like Paul was.

Like Paul, Jesus considers us worthy to be his witnesses. What a statement! In light of his grace, Jesus allows His love to be showcased in our lives, where we become His stained-glass windows of love and grace, shining out all that He has given and done for us.

What’s Paul’s story? It’s an example of how God turned what was “worst” into something reliable and wonderful—what happened to Paul, who was lost, like a lost sheep, the worst of sinners—is an example of what has happened to us…and so we too share this story of what God has done and continues to do for us and others.

The Bible says that we are always to give the reason for the hope we have—so when somebody asks, “And just what’s your story?” You can say with the apostle Paul, “I’m a forgiven and redeemed sinner in Jesus Christ. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

Pr. Wayne Kerber

Knowing Our Father’s Love (Audio)

September 4th, 2022

This Fathers’ Day, I’m going to talk to you about God being our heavenly Father, specifically unpacking on what basis it is, that we can call him “Father.”

What is often missed in the discussion of the fatherhood of God is the way it is grounded biblically in Christ the Son.  The point is that we don’t independently call God “Father” and Jesus didn’t come simply to say that God is our Father.  Rather, Jesus came to reconcile us to God the Father, and this only happens through Jesus himself.  Jesus is the embodiment of the Father’s love, and we are reconciled to God our Father in him – in Jesus.

John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No-one comes to the Father except through me.”  It is by faith in Jesus that we become the children of God and can call him “Father” and it is by faith in Jesus that we know God’s great love for us as our heavenly Father.

God’s an amazing, loving, caring heavenly Father and we fathers are called to be loving, kind, caring, compassionate, protective, patient, accepting, forgiving, and understanding fathers to our children, just like our heavenly Father is to us.  That’s a big ask, isn’t it?!

Please note that our union with Christ is crucial here.  On our own, we will fail at being the kind of fathers that we ought to be (and hopefully the kind of fathers that we want to be).  It is only through our faith in Jesus and the renewal that he brings – one that is grounded in Jesus’ love, grace, and forgiveness – that we can begin to become the kind of fathers that God calls us to be.

And it is only through daily relying on Jesus’ love and forgiveness – by the power of the Holy Spirit – that we can persevere with this.  For we constantly fall short and fail in our parenting of our children and grandchildren.  And I don’t think that’s just me!!

But in Jesus there is hope!  Always!  In Jesus there is indeed forgiveness for all our failings – including forgiveness for how poorly we do at being fathers.  In Jesus there is power to change.  And in Jesus, we belong to a community of faith (his Body the Church) that can support us and cheer us on as we take up the vitally important task of parenting our children (and grandchildren).

In all this, as always, we look to Jesus for his help and comfort, knowing that in him we ourselves have the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of our loving heavenly Father.

Pastor Richard Haar

Knowing Our Father’s Love (Video)

September 4th, 2022

This Fathers’ Day, I’m going to talk to you about God being our heavenly Father, specifically unpacking on what basis it is, that we can call him “Father.”

What is often missed in the discussion of the fatherhood of God is the way it is grounded biblically in Christ the Son.  The point is that we don’t independently call God “Father” and Jesus didn’t come simply to say that God is our Father.  Rather, Jesus came to reconcile us to God the Father, and this only happens through Jesus himself.  Jesus is the embodiment of the Father’s love, and we are reconciled to God our Father in him – in Jesus.

John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No-one comes to the Father except through me.”  It is by faith in Jesus that we become the children of God and can call him “Father” and it is by faith in Jesus that we know God’s great love for us as our heavenly Father.

God’s an amazing, loving, caring heavenly Father and we fathers are called to be loving, kind, caring, compassionate, protective, patient, accepting, forgiving, and understanding fathers to our children, just like our heavenly Father is to us.  That’s a big ask, isn’t it?!

Please note that our union with Christ is crucial here.  On our own, we will fail at being the kind of fathers that we ought to be (and hopefully the kind of fathers that we want to be).  It is only through our faith in Jesus and the renewal that he brings – one that is grounded in Jesus’ love, grace, and forgiveness – that we can begin to become the kind of fathers that God calls us to be.

And it is only through daily relying on Jesus’ love and forgiveness – by the power of the Holy Spirit – that we can persevere with this.  For we constantly fall short and fail in our parenting of our children and grandchildren.  And I don’t think that’s just me!!

But in Jesus there is hope!  Always!  In Jesus there is indeed forgiveness for all our failings – including forgiveness for how poorly we do at being fathers.  In Jesus there is power to change.  And in Jesus, we belong to a community of faith (his Body the Church) that can support us and cheer us on as we take up the vitally important task of parenting our children (and grandchildren).

In all this, as always, we look to Jesus for his help and comfort, knowing that in him we ourselves have the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of our loving heavenly Father.

Pastor Richard Haar

Jesus Doesn’t Play That Game! (Audio)

August 28th, 2022

We have the command from Jesus to treat our neighbours with love.  But  the Christian response never begins with a command.  Instead, it begins with first being given something - God’s love, shown in the suffering, death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ.  It is this love that Christ tells us to pass on to others.

Jesus Doesn’t Play That Game! (Video)

August 28th, 2022

We have the command from Jesus to treat our neighbours with love.  But  the Christian response never begins with a command.  Instead, it begins with first being given something - God’s love, shown in the suffering, death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ.  It is this love that Christ tells us to pass on to others.

 

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