Listen to Him – January 31, 2018

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.”
Deuteronomy 18:15-18

Listen to Him


Daily Devotion – January 31, 2018

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 18:15-18

See series: Devotions

God’s people, Israel, were about to enter the land that God had promised them. It was a fertile land, “flowing with milk and honey,” as the Scriptures say. It was also a heathen land, flowing with all sorts of false teachers who were promoting false ideas about who God really is. So, as the Israelites entered their new homeland, how would they discern the true things about God from the false things?

God’s answer: prophets! God promised to raise up prophets from among their own people. He would put his words into their mouths. Those prophets would tell the people everything God commanded them. This is how God would make sure his people knew the truth about him. All the people had to do was listen to the prophets, and they would know everything they needed to know about God.

This promise, which God delivered through his prophet Moses, was fulfilled through the coming of Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and Joel. These men spoke what God told them to speak. And through them, God’s people heard everything they needed to know about God.

But the ultimate fulfillment of this promise came through Jesus Christ. He was the prophet who was raised up from among the Israelites. He was the prophet who told, not just the Israelites, but the entire world, everything we need to know about God. In the person and work of Jesus Christ, the truth of God is revealed to us.

To know who God truly is, listen to what Jesus says about himself in God’s Word. Listen to who he is and what he has done. He is the one true God made flesh. He came into our world to live, die, and rise to win for us the forgiveness of our sins and life with God forever in heaven.

In the person and work of Jesus Christ, God reveals himself to us as the God of love, mercy, and grace. In the person and work of Jesus Christ, we know everything we need to know about who God is and about how he has rescued us from our sins.

What, then, should our response to this be? God’s Word puts it so simply—“Listen to him!”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, everything we need to know about God and about how we are saved is revealed to us through your word. Give us hearts that are always ready to listen to you! Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Consider the Spiritual Welfare of Others – January 30, 2018

If what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
1 Corinthians 8:13

Consider the Spiritual Welfare of Others


Daily Devotion – January 30, 2018

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 8:13

See series: Devotions

People can go to extreme lengths for those things they consider to be important. Sometimes it is quite silly. I remember watching a football playoff game in 1997 on a television that my friends and I had moved outside. We said, “If our team has to play in sub-zero temperatures, the least we can do to show our support is watch in the same weather they are playing in.” Other times it is more serious. An older brother shaves his head in support of his younger sibling who is going through radiation treatments.

Silly or serious, there is a common thread—there are times when we are willing to make sacrifices to show our love for others.

There is something that is far more serious than supporting your favorite football team, or even a loved one who has cancer. The faith of those around you is more important because it determines whether you will see them in heaven or not. How far are you willing to go to make sure that no damage comes to someone else’s faith? Are you willing to make personal sacrifices to make sure that those around you do not separate themselves from God eternally?

Your Savior, Jesus, was willing to give up everything to make sure that your relationship with God would be an eternal one. He willingly sacrificed his life for your sins so that you can live forever in heaven.

As you rejoice in the salvation that is yours through his loving sacrifice, consider the spiritual welfare of others and the impact your words and actions have on them. If there is something that you do that causes another to sin, or damages their faith in any way, please reconsider. Even if what you say or do is not a sin on your part, is it really worth it to exercise your freedom if it hurts someone else spiritually?

Extend the same love to others that Jesus has for you. His love for you caused him to overlook his “rights” as the sinless Son of God. He endured suffering and death that he didn’t deserve—all for your spiritual and eternal benefit.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times when I have focused on my own desires and rights at the expense of others. Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice yourself for me. Help me to be willing to make sacrifices for others. In your name I ask it. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Authority of Jesus – January 29, 2018

When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.”
Mark 1:21-27

Authority of Jesus


Daily Devotion – January 29, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 1:21-27

See series: Devotions

Fictional stories of demon possession tend to be all about the drama, the suspense, the terror. When people watch a horror movie, they expect to be horrified. In today’s reading, we hear about a real case of demon possession, but only so that we may learn what Jesus does about it.

There is no real suspense here. Jesus simply speaks: “Be quiet! Come out of him!” That’s all it takes. The evil spirit must obey. The witnesses are understandably amazed by the exorcism, but what amazes them even more is the authority behind Jesus’ words. Only God himself can speak with such effect.

Jesus still speaks with divine authority. He speaks on the pages of Scripture, where we are told, “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). By his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead, that’s just what Jesus has done.

The devil is always tempting us to turn away from God and his saving Word. We must confess that we’ve succumbed. We haven’t been so amazed by the teachings of Jesus as we should be. We haven’t loved God’s Word with all our heart. But Jesus has taken away our sins. And we don’t have to wonder whether or not Jesus can help us in our struggles. He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when I am struggling with guilt and fighting temptation, draw me closer to your Word. Be my shield and my strength, now and always. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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The Sunday Morning Faces – January 28, 2018

God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.
1 Corinthians 1:27-28

The Sunday Morning Faces


Daily Devotion – January 28, 2018

Devotion based on1 Corinthians 1:27-28

See series: Devotions

It’s another Sunday morning. Into the church they come for the worship service. And what a sorry mess they are.

Don’t misunderstand. On the outside they look calm and pleasant enough. But on the inside it’s different. On the inside, each one is carrying bruises and wounds and scars.

Right side, third pew from the front. Middle-aged couple. For years, she has longed for her husband to open up to her, to let her in. He cannot shake the fear that he has been a disappointment to her.

Left side, second pew from the back. Single man in his twenties. He’s polite, well-mannered. But he feels like a hypocrite. His drinking with friends is getting out of hand. It’s led to things that mock the very God he claims to worship. He wonders if he’ll end up like his father.

Left side, half-way up. A young family of five. He runs his own garage. She keeps the books. Business has been down. The creditors are calling. And the kids are getting sick of Mom and Dad never having any time.

Right side, towards the back. Single mom, two small children. She’s always tired. And she can’t remember the last time she was able to listen to an entire sermon.

Left side, front row. Woman in her seventies. It’s been ten years, but the ache from her husband’s death has never left her. It still hurts to come to church alone.

Right side, middle pew. A divorced man in his late forties. His daughter seldom calls. And when he thinks about all the things he’s left undone, he cannot blame her.

And yet, in this sorry group of broken souls, the Lord Jesus is at work. He is calling them to repentance. He is healing them with his forgiveness. He is sweetening their tears. He is quieting their fears. He is refreshing them with his promises.

And when they leave this place, this rag-tag band, they will touch the lives of others. And the Word will spread. And others will come.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, I am just a broken soul, afraid and alone. But you have rescued me in your blood. You have healed me in your gospel. Thank you for the privilege of doing the greatest work there is to do. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Completely Different – January 27, 2018

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”
Matthew 5:11-12

Completely Different


Daily Devotion – January 27, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 5:11-12

See series: Devotions

Dennis and David are twins. Early in their life, people looked at them and wondered, “Which twin is it?” At times, even their parents became confused. As time went on, though, subtle differences emerged, but not in their looks. Their personalities evolved. Dennis became very outspoken and aggressive. David remained quiet and thoughtful. Then people wondered how they could be so different.

When I consider Jesus’ teaching on the “beatitudes,” his statements of blessing, I am amazed at the striking contrast Jesus presented. On the one hand, there was the way of the world which offered a life of self-indulgence, excess and unbridled pleasure. On the other, was the way of blessing which Jesus offered. His view of life was selflessness, sacrifice, and a potential for persecution. While the world’s definition of blessing is very attractive, I need to understand it is what a moth experiences when it is lured to a flame. If it doesn’t turn away, it will be consumed. Instead of being consumed by life, Jesus offers contentment, peace and lasting joy. He even promises a life which ends with the reward of heaven.

What Jesus offers is completely different from what the world offers, because it makes me look past what the world can do to what Jesus has done for me. His blessing begins with the undeserved love which brought him to this earth and was guaranteed at the open tomb. All along the way he reveals one blessing after another: his faithful life instead of my unfaithfulness, his innocent death instead of my guilt and punishment, his perfect payment instead of my imperfect righteousness, his promise of life instead of my sentence of death. These are the blessings I desperately and daily need. They are also the ones which strengthen me and encourage me as I live for him. They even reassure me so I can look beyond the insults, the hardships, and even the persecution, and see the reward prepared for me in heaven.

Yes, what Jesus offers is completely different from what the world offers. It is this difference for which I long. It is also the difference from which I receive his promise of lasting joy and never-ending blessing.

Prayer:
O dearest Savior, I long for and need the blessings you offer in love. Give me the strength of faith to look past what this world offers and may even take away, and cling to the blessings you have prepared for me–now and forever. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Bulletin- THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY JANUARY 28, 2018

ST. JOHN’S

Evangelical Lutheran Church

Montello, WI

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

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THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

JANUARY 28, 2018


WELCOME TO OUR CHURCH! We extend a warm welcome to everyone today, especially our visitors. In the bulletin you’ll find an outline of today’s service, a calendar of events and other bits of information. In the red hymn book you’ll find the songs we sing and the order of service that we follow. If you would like a large print hymnal or bulletin please ask one of our ushers and they will gladly assist you. Restrooms and nursery area are located the parish hall at Emmanuel and in the lower level and “link-way” at St. John’s. It’s nice to have you visit today. May God bless our worship together!

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY Jesus is Revealed by Setting Captives Free – We call Jesus our Redeemer. The word “redeem” means to buy back from capture and captivity, to pay a ransom. As sinful human beings we were captive to the law of God because of our sin and the consequences of sin, principally death. But Jesus has set us free from the law, its threats and its curses, by keeping God’s law for us perfectly. As Christians we are no longer “under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). But we are not to abuse our Christian freedom. Instead Jesus has set us free so we will become slaves to righteousness, serving others in love, always thanking our Redeemer.

PERSONAL PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP Lord God, you know that we are surrounded by many dangers and that we often stumble and fall. Strengthen us in body and mind, and bring us safely through all temptations. Teach us today how Jesus is our Prophet. Amen.

ORDER OF SERVICE–LITURGY

“Gathering Rite on the Word of God” (see below)

PASTOR’S GREETING

(Please stand)

M: In the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit.

C: (spoken) Amen.

OPENING HYMN 221 “Blessed Jesus, at Your Word” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

  1. Blessed Jesus, at your Word
    We are gathered all to hear you.
    Let our hearts and souls be stirred
    Now to seek and love and fear you,
    By your teachings, sweet and holy,
    Drawn from earth to love you solely.

M: Oh, how I love your law!

C: I meditate on it all day long.

M: Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,

C: for they are ever with me.

M: I have more insight than all my teachers,

C: for I meditate on your statutes.

M: How sweet are your words to my taste,

C: sweeter than honey to my mouth!

2 All our knowledge, sense, and sight
Lie in deepest darkness shrouded
Till your Spirit breaks our night
With the beams of truth unclouded.
You alone to God can win us;
You must work all good within us.

M: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

C: so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

M: Yet so often we have despised God’s Word and failed to gladly hear and learn it. For this and all our sins, we bow before God and humbly ask his forgiveness.

C: Holy and merciful Father, I confess that I am by nature sinful and that I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I have done what is evil and failed to do what is good. For this I deserve your punishment both now and in eternity. But I am truly sorry for my sins, and trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ, I pray: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

3 Gracious Savior, good and kind,
Light from Light, from God proceeding,
Open now our heart and mind;
Help us by your Spirit’s pleading.
Hear the cry your people raises;
Hear and bless our prayers and praises.

M: God gave his Word so “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. The Scriptures testify about Jesus, who lived a perfect life for you, died on the cross to pay for all your sins, and rose again to assure you of your salvation. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit.

C: (spoken) Amen.

4 Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Praise to you and adoration!
Grant that we your Word may trust,
Confident of our salvation,
While we here below must wander,
Till we sing your praises yonder.

PRAYER OF THE DAY (read by pastor)

M: Let us pray.

C: (spoken) Amen.

(Please be seated)

THE DAY’S BIBLE READING THEME

Jesus Is Revealed By Setting Captives Free

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Deuteronomy 18:15-20

A Prophet like Moses will come

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”

The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”

PSALM 1 (hymnal page 64 pulpit side sings the first line, lectern side sings the second line, all sing refrains and Gloria)


EPISTLE LESSON 1 Corinthians 8: 1-13 (today’s sermon text)

Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

VERSE OF THE DAY Alleluia! The Spirit of the Lord is on me; He has anointed me to preach good news. Alleluia! (Luke 4:18a)

LITURGY (hymnal page 30, all sing)

“Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

(Please stand)

GOSPEL Mark 1:21-28

As God’s Prophet, Jesus’ words and works have authority

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

LITURGY (hymnal page 30b, all sing)

“Praise be to you, O Christ”

(Please be seated)

SERMON HYMN 735 “Speak, O Lord” (see page 7-8 of bulletin)

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SERMON 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

“Practice Christian Freedom with Head and Heart!”

  1. Learn of the freedom that is yours in Christ
  2. Use that knowledge in love toward your neighbor

(Please stand after the sermon)

THE NICENE CREED (hymnal page 31, all read)

(Please be seated)

OFFERING, WORSHIPER GREETINGS, & FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS

SOLOIST James Wachholz sings “Star of the East” during the offering

OFFERING PRAYER

PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN LOVE (read by pastor)

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS (read by pastor)

– For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: George Alexander, Chuck Boetcher, Gale “Blackie” Boyd, Alexandria Buehrens (Bob & Carolyn’s great granddaughter), Bob & Carolyn Buehrens, George Chapman, Gene & Sharon Crook, Harley & Liola Crown, Agnes Dassow, Elaine Emond (Mark’s mother), Marjorie Fabian, Mike Farrell, Donna Gatzke, Kellen Grucza (Judy Fandrey’s daughter), Ardis Henning, Laurana Hoffman (Tim’s daughter), Drake Hunter (Bill & Cally’s grandson), Mary Isberner, Geri Kerl (Sue Brown’s mother), Bob Klapper (Sandy’s husband), Anna Madigan, Linda Malsack, Sherry Miller (Candace Sonnenberg’s sister), Marion Neuman (Marjorie Fabian’s sister), Steve Parrish, Wilma Rudolph, Bob Schrank, Becky Schulz (Kristen Cragin’s sister), Tim Schultz, Roger Stellick (Doug’s uncle), Bob Wegner – (added this week: George Chapman)
– For the family of Pastor Jim Weiland from Merrill called home on Monday (1/22)
– For our communicants at St. John’s

LORD’S PRAYER (hymnal page 32)

LITURGY FOR HOLY COMMUNION (hymnal pages 33-35)

(Please be seated for the distribution)

At Emmanuel and St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Churches we practice close Communion, to which only congregational members are invited, in obedience to Scripture’s teaching that the Lord’s Supper is an expression of our complete unity in faith. This has been the historic practice of the Christian church for nearly 2,000 years. If you are our guest today, we respectfully ask that you speak with the pastor before approaching the altar for Communion.

DISTRIBUTION HYMNS 306 “Before You, God, the Judge of All”

(After the distribution, please stand)

THANK THE LORD, CLOSING PRAYER, & BLESSING (hymnal pages 36-37)

(Please be seated)

CLOSING HYMN 498 “Though I May Speak with Bravest Fire” (printed in hymnal, all sing)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Theme for next Sunday (2/4):

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany: Jesus Heals the Hopeless

Note: Please give your completed friendship register page to an usher or pastor as you leave today’s service.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE WEEK JANUARY 28-FEBRUARY 3
Sun. 8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
8:20 A.M. Emmanuel Nursery Sunday School
8:30 A.M. St. John’s Sunday School
9:00 A.M. St. John’s Adult Bible Study
9:00 A.M. Emmanuel Council meeting
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship with communion
2:00 P.M. WLA Let’s Celebrate
Mon. 9:00 A.M. Pastor’s Conference at Campbellsport
6:00 P.M. St. John’s School Board meeting
NO CHOIR
Tues. 7:00P.M. St. John’s Council meeting
Wed. 10:00 A.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
1:40 P.M. St. John’s School/Little Lambs early dismissal
2:15 P.M. Public School Teen Confirmation class at St. John’s
6:30 P.M. St. John’s Worship with communion
7:30 P.M. Bible Information Class at St. John’s
Thurs. 12:00 A.M. St. John’s Ladies Aid lunch and meeting
6:00 P.M. Griefshare at St. John’s lower level begins (3 of 13 weeks)
Fri. GROUNDHOG DAY
Sat.
SCHEDULE FOR NEXT SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2018

Theme for next Sunday (2/4):

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany: Jesus Heals the Hopeless

8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship with communion
8:20 A.M. Emmanuel Nursery Sunday School
8:30 A.M. St. John’s Sunday School
9:00 A.M. St. John’s Adult Bible Study
9:00 A.M. Emmanuel Congregational meeting
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship
11:15 A.M. St. John’s Voters meeting

MEMORIALS In loving memory of Brian Sluga, $100.00 has been given to St. John’s school by Valerie Schable. In loving memory of Walter Bubolz, $500.00 has also been given to St. John’s school by friends and family. In loving memory of Millie Henke, $20.00 has been given to St. John’s Sunday School by James and Linda Wachholz and $25.00 has been given to St. John’s church by the Ladies Aid. Thank you all for your gifts.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.” Job 19:25-26

THANK YOU all for your constant, steadfast support every year to our Lutheran Military Support Group. What a difference you make! God bless! -Semper Fi, John & St. John’s member, Mark Emond

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God.” Isaiah 43:2-3a

ST. JOHN’S OFFERING STATEMENT SIGN-UP The signup sheet is located in the church link way. Please sign up if you wish to have a copy of your 2017 offering statement.

ST. JOHN’S OFFERING ENVELOPES 2018 are located in the link way of church. Please pick yours up if you haven’t yet! If you do not have a box, feel free to contact pastor or the office and we will get one to you!

See the source image2017 OFFERING STATEMENTS If you have signed up to receive your 2017 offering statement, please pick it up in the link way.

FOOD BANK There is a Food Bank Donation Jar out today, January 28, located near the entrance of both churches.

NEW MEMBER WELCOME DINNER Many thanks to the 70+ members who joined us on Sunday 1/21 at 11:15 a.m. for our joint E/SJ new member welcome dinner. Special thanks to Linda Wachholz for advertizing & coordinating the event. “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

See the source imageYOUTH WOODCRAFT PROJECT  On 7/6/17 lightning struck Gene Crook’s woodshop which was destroyed by fire.  In thanksgiving to God that no one was hurt, and now that his woodshop has been rebuilt and tools replaced, Gene invites up to 16 youth (grades 5-8) to come on Tuesday 2/13 at 3:30pm to his new woodshop to assemble bird feeder kits for youth to take and set up at their home.  Gene & Sharon Crook – W4018 County Rd. D – Montello, WI   53949 – Directions: County Road F @ 3 miles south of Montello, West on CR D, 2nd house, 1st farm on right – Please let Gene’s helper, Pastor Z, know if you plan to attend.

MEMBERSHIP CLASS A new “Bible Information Class” began Wed 1/3/18 at 7:30pm in pastor’s office/conference room at St. John’s.  Alternate days/times can also be scheduled. Free study guides are available from pastor…just ask.

NEW WEEKDAY/EVE BIBLE CLASS Beginning January 2018, we started a new weekday/eve Bible Study entitled: “Your Questions–Scriptures Answers: Adiaphora” (things that God doesn’t command or forbid in the Bible and how we are to properly use our Christian freedom).  We meet at St. John’s in the pastor’s office/conference room Monday 7:30pm and Wednesday 10am. “Therefore let us leave the elementery teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…” (Hebrews 6:1)

WEDNESDAY LENTEN DEVOTIONS “Jesus, Our Great High Priest” (based on the New Testament book of Hebrews) is the theme for this year’s midweek Lenten devotions beginning, Ash Wednesday, 2/14 3:30 p.m. at Emmanuel and 6:30 p.m. at St. John’s. Supper will be served in the St. John’s lower level from 4:30–6:00 p.m. “Jesus, I will ponder now, on your holy passion.” (Hymn 98)

LENT BY CANDLELIGHT Ladies, you won’t want to miss the second ever Lent by Candlelight on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 5:00 PM at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Montello. Please plan to join us for an evening of visiting, beautiful music and scrumptious snacks. All women are invited and are encouraged to invite their friends to prepare their hearts for Lent. There is no charge for this event. Seating is limited, so RSVP by emailing christavantreeck@gmail.com or signing up in the link way at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Montello.

LUTHER PREP SCHOOL AUCTION GALA Donations of new items are currently being accepted for the Luther Prep Auction Gala to be held on Saturday, April 21. If you have something to share it can be brought to the Mission Advancement office anytime during the LPS school day. If you cannot attend the Gala in person this would be a great way to show support! Monetary donations can be made online:

http://events.readysetauction.com/lutherpreparatoryschool/carnival

Deadline for donations is March 9. Questions? Contact Sue at 920-262-8104. 

Your support benefits future pastors, teachers, and lay leaders.

SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY Following the Sunday 8:00 a.m. worship service at Emmanuel, usually about 9:00 a.m., all are invited to the parish hall for our study of “Timely Topics–Timeless Truths” led by Lucas Stelter.  At 9:00 a.m. in the St. John’s sanctuary, all are invited to our study of the New Testament book of James: “Concrete Christianity” led by Pastor John Dolan and others. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 3:18)

SECOND IMPRESSIONS THRIFT STORE is making plans to celebrate its one year anniversary, which is February 9th! Be sure to watch church bulletins and/or Facebook for the latest news!

The Thrift Store has been very blessed with approximately 100 volunteers who so graciously and generously give of their time and talents! Many referrals by our customers are helping make our customer list grow! Volunteers continue to be needed to help keep up with the growth!

Customers may shop the store which provides a friendly, Christian atmosphere, with clean, well-organized, quality merchandise at great prices! Store hours are Tuesdays through Fridays 10a.m. to 6p.m. and Saturdays 10a.m. to 3p.m. It is located at 325 Winnebago Drive, Fond du Lac. We are also thankful to everyone who has so generously donated to the store! It certainly is a blessing. The donations have proved to be popular with our customers. Donations may be dropped off Mondays 10a.m. to 4p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays 10a.m. to 5p.m., and Saturdays 10a.m. to 2p.m. Thank you to everyone who has helped make our store a success!

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS pastor) It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.

Usher Schedule
January 28 (E) DuWayne Sommerfeld, Paul Dahlke, Joe Heller
(SJ) Jack Yates; Chief, Del Henke, Joe Zauner, Richard Freitag, Gerhardt Voigt
February 4 (C)
February 11
February 18
February 25
Greeter Schedule
January 28 LuAnn Zieman & Kay Maass
February 4 Phyllis Farrell & Pat Henning
February 11 Ciara Neuhauser & Bonnie Weiss
February 18 Jim & Diane Eisermann
February 25 Harold & Judy Fandrey
Attendance Emmanuel St. John’s
1-21 1-24 66 169 8
St. John’s Altar Committee

January 2018

Elaine Kelm & Carolyn Rosenthal

Welcome To Our Visitors!

Please Sign Our Guest Register

Visit our website & Facebook link at: www.stjohnsmontello.org

https://www.facebook.com/St-Johns-Evangelical-Lutheran-Church-107160252675/

Pastor Peter Zietlow Office (608) 297-2321

Cell & Text (608) 408-7830, E-mail: zietlowpl6@hotmail.com

Principal Tim Hemling (608) 745-2549

Teacher Karin Stellick (920) 342-3689

Teacher Sara Borck (858) 731-7919

Teacher Sandra Hemling (608) 745-2776

Parish/School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser (608) 297-2866

Altar Ladies Elaine Kelm (920) 344-0025 &

Carolyn Rosenthal 589-5036

Mail to: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949

OR scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org

Winnebago Lutheran Academy

Principal Mr. David Schroeder/WLA office (920) 921-4930

WLA website: www.wlavikings.org

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Humble Yourself – January 26, 2018

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

Humble Yourself


Daily Devotion – January 26, 2018

Devotion based on James 4:10

See series: Devotions

There he was. The game was over. Pandemonium had erupted from the crowd of 80,000 plus. There he was. The hero. Standing on a bench, towering over the people nearby with arms folded across his chest and a look on his face that dared anyone to question his greatness. He had certainly made a nice play. Some might suggest he had the fortune of being in the right place at the right time and had merely managed to capitalize on someone else’s mistake. Either way, he was the center of attention and he was soaking it all in.

The picture described above could hardly be used as an illustration of today’s Bible verse: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Are we any different than a proud athlete in this regard? We are also pretty good at pumping ourselves up. We highlight our good qualities and downplay our weaknesses. We post our accomplishments online for others to see. We make ourselves look better in comparison to others. We pat ourselves on the back and fail to congratulate others for a job well done. How many times haven’t we in our own minds decided that we are better than others for one reason or another?

This kind of self-flattery and pride will prevent God from lifting us up in the end. Sins of pride and arrogance and conceit can only lead us away from God, and all such sins are deserving of his eternal punishment.

God tells us to humble ourselves, to make ourselves low before him. This means leveling off our pride. It means stepping down from above others. It means humbly confessing our sins and our unworthy status before God.

When we do that, something surprising happens. He doesn’t crush us or destroy us. Rather, our Father in heaven lifts us up. He lifts our eyes to the cross of Christ where our Savior’s blood was shed and our sins were paid for. He lifts our eyes to the empty tomb where Christ won our victory over the grave. He takes us by the hand and says he will watch over us every day as he leads us on to heaven.

Today and every day, humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up.

Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive my sins of pride and arrogance. Teach me to be humble before you and to rejoice as you lift me up. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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What is True – January 25, 2018

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

What is True


Daily Devotion – January 25, 201

Devotion based on Philippians 4:8

See series: Devotions

We’re often told that we should think happy thoughts. Today’s verse takes a more foundational approach. Don’t just aim for happy thoughts. Think about what is true.

In other words, be honest about your relationship with God, who loves you dearly. Scripture gravely states that all have sinned against him. So don’t pretend you haven’t and that your sin doesn’t matter. Think about the truth. But there is more to the truth than that. Scripture also says that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His willing sacrifice has freed us from sin and death. All who believe in Jesus have God’s promise to be with us, to bless us through every trial and trouble, and to take us to heaven. We need the whole truth. Our verse says, “Whatever is true… think about such things.”

If only we could do it! It’s easy to get so stuck on our sin and guilt to the point that we can’t believe God will forgive us. And it’s just as easy to think that our sin is small and easily managed on our own, without God’s help. Either way, we are setting ourselves up for something worse than just unhappy thoughts. If we lose sight of the truth, we are lost.

Once again, God doesn’t leave us alone. He continues to speak to us on the pages of Scripture. By means of his living Word, God chases away our doubts and fear, and leads us again and again to embrace the truth—because of Jesus, God is on our side.

And when you are thinking about what is true, then you are also thinking about what is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. They’re connected. When you stick to the truth, the rest will follow.

You don’t have to settle for just happy thoughts. In his Word, God fills your head and your heart with what is true. You have a Savior named Jesus and he has taken away all of your sins.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I can’t change my thought patterns, but you can. Stay close to me by means of your Word. Lead me to dwell on what is true. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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The God of Second Chances – January 24, 2018

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. … When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
Jonah 3:1-5,10

The God of Second Chances


Daily Devotion – January 24, 2018

Devotion based on Jonah 3:1-5,10

See series: Devotions

Jonah believed that God is gracious and compassionate. He rejoiced in the second chance God had given him. But not even a three-night stay in the belly of a fish fully convinced Jonah that Nineveh deserved a second chance. Nevertheless, Jonah went. He shared God’s message. The Ninevites repented. And God gave them a second chance.

Christians believe God has given the world a second chance. Jesus died for our sins and rose again. For the sake of Jesus, God forgives us all completely and unconditionally. How can we rate someone else as unworthy of God’s compassion? That’s what Jonah did.

Christians believe they are not worthy of a second chance. All have sinned. And all sin is a crime against our Creator that is deserving of death. How can we say that our sin is less offensive to God than someone else’s? That’s what Jonah did.

Christians believe that God is gracious. Even though we do not deserve it, God sent us One who is greater than Jonah. Jesus not only preached against sin, he paid for our sin with his blood. He sank to the depths of hell and spent three days in the belly of the earth. But death could not stomach Jesus because Jesus had no sin of his own. In Christ, God has relented and promised not to bring on us the destruction we deserve.

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed (Lamentations 3:22).

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I have sinned against you. But I believe that Jesus is my second chance. Help me to forgive as you have forgiven me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Unforeseen Witnessing – January 23, 2018

After [Paul and Silas] had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Acts 16:23-25

Unforeseen Witnessing


Daily Devotion – January 23, 2018

Devotion based on Acts 16:23-25

See series: Devotions

Witnessing can be pretty straightforward. In the court room, witnesses simply are asked to tell what they have seen and heard. Witnessing one’s faith in Jesus, however, can be met by hostility. Anger, sarcasm, or worse can come from a family member, a college professor, or a co-worker.

Missionaries Paul and Silas were in Philippi. For several days their efforts were disrupted by a demon-possessed, fortune-telling, slave girl. Her fortune-telling was a great moneymaker for her owners. Each day she identified Paul and Silas, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved” (Acts 16:17). Although what she said was true, that they did proclaim salvation through faith in Jesus, who would believe her? In Jesus’ name, Paul cast out the demon.

Immediately the owners saw their source of income vanish. False charges led to a severe flogging for Paul and Silas, and a night in the stocks in the inner cell of the jail.

Into the night, Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God, “and the other prisoners were listening to them.” In their misery, Paul and Silas did not turn against God, but turned to God in prayer and song. It was an unplanned witness of humble trust in the wisdom and love of God. An earthquake that jarred open all the cell doors; every prisoner remaining in place; a jailer stopped from falling on his own sword… all led to that jailer’s question, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Unexpected! Unforeseen! Amazing!

Don’t expect earthquakes, but your trust in Jesus as your Savior guides you in the way to deal with earthly life that can lead to precious, unforeseen witnessing opportunities. Our children praying aloud with us at the restaurant, or our family members comforting one another in the Intensive Care waiting room can result in witnessing.

Witnessing is never “force-feeding,” but unforeseen witnessing opportunities will arise as we “let our light shine.”

Prayer:
Lord, help me be ready to witness when those unforeseen opportunities arise. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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