Like A Charging Bear – August 25, 2019

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:5

Like A Charging Bear


Daily Devotion – August 25, 2019

Devotion based on Colossians 3:5

See series: Devotions

Greg Brush is a veteran fishing guide who lives in Alaska. Last summer he heard a twig snap behind him. He turned around just in time to see a massive brown bear charging straight at him.

“When I spotted him, he was within 15 yards,” Brush later said. “He was coming like a freight train.”

Brush had but one option. He raised his gun and started firing. The bear kept coming. Brush stumbled and fell on his back. Then his gun jammed. The last shot, however, had finally stopped the bear. It was just five feet away.

In your life, there is at least one temptation that regularly comes at you like a charging bear. Give yourself a few moments of candor and no doubt you’ll identify what it is. God’s Word tells us when that temptation comes, you and I have but one option. We need to raise the gun and pull the trigger. We need to put that temptation to death.

Too often, of course, you and I do the opposite. We think that we can befriend the temptation. We think we can domesticate it. We tell ourselves we can keep it under control. But the bear keeps charging. And in our heart of hearts, we know what that bear wants to do.

Confront the bear. Pull the trigger by coming to repentance and being washed in the blood of your Savior. Be renewed by his forgiveness. And be ready to confront another charging bear tomorrow.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when temptation charges at me, empower me by your Spirit to put that temptation to death. For this, I look to you alone. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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BULLETIN- August 25, 2019- The 11 th Sunday after Pentecost

The 11th Sunday after Pentecost

August 25, 2019

10:00 a.m. St. John’s

St. John’s  Ev. Lutheran Church 313 East Montello St. Montello, WI 53949 Emmanuel  Ev. Lutheran Church W1568 Evergreen Lane Montello, WI 53949    
W E L C O M E    T O    O U R    C H U R C H 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 in 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. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Welcome to God’s house!  May God bless our worship together.  
  Pastor Peter Zietlow  
  Pastor Peter Zietlow  
XG O D ’ S     W O R D    F O R     T O D A Y X Faith-Life’s Riches are Hidden with God – Did you know that you are the richest person in the world? Are you saying to yourself: “I didn’t get that memo?” No, you didn’t win the lottery last night. Bill Gates didn’t die and leave you all his money. But the fact still remains that you are the richest person in the world, along with all others who have put their faith in Jesus as Savior. So where are our riches? They’re being stored in heaven for us, “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:4). They may be hidden with God at this very moment, but that doesn’t mean they’re not ours at this very moment. God has promised them to us, and he will deliver!
608.297.2866 www.stjohnsmontello.org Like us on Facebook

 

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X A   S E R V I C E   O F   M O R N I N G    P R A I S E  X

Morning Praise, composed by Marty Haugen, is based on the historic service called “Matins.” Joined to Christ, our risen Lord, we glorify God as we rise to the activities of this new day.

PASTOR’S GREETING

OPENING HYMN 296:1,2                                                                    Our Children Jesus Calls

HOLY BAPTISM                                                                                               hymnal page 12-14

HYMN 296:3                                                                                                    Our Children Jesus Calls  

Remain standing

L: Pastor                                    C: Congregation

COME, OH, COME, LET US SING TO THE LORD

An arrangement of Psalm 95, this song of praise reminds us of the many blessings that come to us from the hands of our Creator God. Pastor and congregation join in singing the refrain and the verses. 

Please be seated

PSALM 34                                                                                                       hymnal page 80                 

Sung in unison.

XT H E   W O R D X

The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.

FIRST  READING                                                                                     Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:18-26

Summary: All earthly things pass away

 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

SECOND READING                                                           Colossians 3:1-11 (today’s sermon text)

Summary: Set your mind on things above

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is yourlife, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

VERSE OF THE DAY                                                                                               John 14:23

Alleluia. Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Alleluia.

Please stand

GOSPEL READING                                                                                            Luke 12: 13-21

Summary: The parable of the rich fool

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Please be seated

HYMN OF THE DAY 478                                                           With the Lord Begin Your Task

SERMON                                                                                                                      Colossians 3:1-11

“Look Up to Heaven, Look Away from Here”

Please stand

YOU ARE GOD, WE PRAISE YOU                                                                                                   Te Deum

Pastor and congregation join in singing the refrain and the verses

Refrain

Please be seated

X O F F E R I N G S   O F   G I F T S   &   P R A Y E R S X

THE OFFERING

During the offering, please greet one another and sign the friendship register.

Please stand

PRAYERS

The Offering Prayer, Prayer for the Proper Use of Wealth and Intercessory Prayers (bulletin pg. 13) are spoken by pastor.

P:  Almighty God and Father, dwelling in majesty and mystery, filling and renewing all creation by your eternal Spirit, and manifesting your saving grace through our Lord Jesus Christ: in mercy cleanse our hearts and lips that, free from doubt and fear, we may ever worship you, one true immortal God, with your Son and the Holy Spirit, living and reigning, now and forever,  C:  Amen.

LORD, HAVE MERCY                                                                                                                                                      Kyrie

L: Pastor                                    C: Congregation

THE LORD’S PRAYER

                  Our Father, who art in Heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom

and the power and the glory

forever and ever.  Amen.

SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

At St. John’s and Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Church we practice closed Communion. If you are a guest at worship today and interested in receiving the Lord’s Supper, please speak with the pastor prior to the service.

Please be seated

DISTRIBUTION HYMNS 393                                                                  If Your Beloved Son, O God

                                                           477:1-3                                                          What Is the World to Me

Please stand

PRAYER FOR GRACE                                                                                  

L: Pastor                                    C: Congregation

L:   ♫       O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have

                   brought us safely to this new day. Defend us with your mighty power, and

                   grant that this day we neither fall into sin nor run into any kind of danger;

                   and in all we do, direct us to what is right in your sight, through Jesus Christ,

                   your Son, our Lord.

BLESSING

Please be seated

CLOSING  HYMN 477:4                                                                     What Is the World to Me                     

As you leave today’s service, please give your completed Friendship Register sheet to an usher or pastor.

XAnnouncements X

Activities for the week of August 25- August 31
Sun. 8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
  10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship with communion
  11:00 A.M. St. John’s School /Little Lambs Registration & Pictures  (gym)
  11:15 A.M. Bible Information Class at St. John’s
  11:15 A.M. Lower level rental for Wachholz baptism
Mon. 6:30 P.M. St. John’s Sunday School Staff meeting
Tues.    
Wed. 6:30 P.M. St. John’s Worship with communion
Thurs.    
Fri.    
Sat. 10:00 A.M. Private baptism at Buehren’s home
Theme for Next Sunday September 1 , 2019 Pentecost 13: “God’s Children Live By Faith–Looking Forward to Better Things” 
8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship with communion
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship
11:00 A.M. Bible Information Class at St. John’s
11:00 A.M. St. John’s Evangelism Committee meeting

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

– For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: Evie & Ron Blada, Liola Crown & son Terry, Florence Dahlke, Agnes Dassow, Lilah Farrell, Chris Krause (Gordy & Linda’s son), earl “Pete” Laun, Robert Lederer (Jackie & Jeanne Buchholz’ father), Delvin Mittelsteadt, Mark & Peggy Russell (Elsa’s son & daughter in-law), Karl Whitrock, Shirley Wilkins – (added this week: Shirley Wilkins )

– For Augusta Wendy Brown, the daughter of Nathanael & Erin Brown, & granddaughter of Mike & Sue Brown, born on 8/8 and baptized last Sunday (8/18)

– For Earl & Lucy Laun who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday (8/23)

– For Mark & Patty Emond who are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary today (8/25)

– For Anna Elizabeth Wachholz, the daughter of Aaron & Victoria Wachholz, who will be baptized in today’s (8/25) service at St. John’s

TODAY’S ALTAR FLOWERS AT ST. JOHN’S and a special gift of $50 were given by Earl “Pete” & Lucy Laun in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday (8/23)

THANK YOU to the Jaster family for donating various items to St. John’s church and school from the former “Kingston House”. Your gifts are appreciated.

THANK YOU to Rick Van Treeck for installing our new water fountains at St. John’s.

OLD ST. JOHN’S CHURCH DOORS Please let Ciara know if you are interested in the old St. John’s church doors, currently stored in the old teacherage.

ST. JOHN’S CHURCH DOORS To keep updated on the St. John’s Church Door Project, check out the bulletin board located in the Information Room at St. John’s. The given donation did not cover the full cost of our new doors so donations are still accepted to help offset the remaining cost.

FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS Please complete the friendship register page each week. This helps your pastor and other church leaders stay in touch and keep contact information up to date. Thanks!

ST. JOHN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL will begin Sunday, September 15 at 8:30a.m. at St. John’s. Ages 3 through 6th grade, member or not, are all invited to come! Please help spread the word!

ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL & LITTLE LAMBS REGISTRATION School Registration is TODAY in St. John’s gym. Join us!  

USHER AND GREETER SCHEDULE If you are signed up to be a St. John’s usher and/or greeter, please pick up your hard copy of Aug/Sept in St. John’s Information Room. Schedules will be available for pick up every 2 months.

GRIEFSHARE The next 13-week session of Griefshare will start September 5 at 6:00p.m. in the lower level at St. John’s. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Mark Emond (608) 697-1600.

CONCERT ON THE BALL DIAMOND is September 7 at 6:30p.m. at St. John’s. Bring your lawn chair and come enjoy music, food and fellowship!

This year, the cost for this event for St. John’s is between $3,400 – $4,000.      

If you wish to donate to help offset the remaining cost, please call 608-297-2866, email scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org or stop by the office. Thank you!

CHILDREN’S CHURCH BAGS Check out our new Children’s Church Bags that are located in the Information Room at St. John’s and entry way at Emmanuel. Children: use during the service as you please and return them to the tree at the end of each service! A big thank you to St. John’s Hand In Prayer group for donating towards the bags and to you guys, Gene Crook & Jack Steuck, for building the wooden trees. Thank you to you gals, Ciara Neuhauser & Blake Seeley, for making the children’s church bags for Emmanuel and St. John’s.

CHECK OUT OUR UPDATED INFORMATION ROOM This room is located at the top of St. John’s link way stairs and the church entry way. Here you will find bulletin boards labeled “Home Missions” and “LWMS”. Home Missions will provide information on what’s going on at St. John’s church and school, events, educational and youth group updates. You will also find informational brochures and magazines, usher and greeter schedules, the church newsletter, children’s coloring sheets and crayons and other miscellaneous information related to our church and school. Please help yourself!

ACH What is ACH? Automated Clearing House is an electronic payments network use by individuals, businesses, financial institutions and government organizations. The network functions as an efficient, electronic alternative to paper checks. It allows funds to be electronically debited or credited to a checking account, savings account, financial institution general ledger account or credited to a loan account. Please pick your form up in the Information Room or the office and get started today!

FORWARD IN CHRIST Please do not turn in any past Forward in Christ magazines as we no longer accept them due to the personal information that is provided inside. Thanks!

MEDITATIONS New “Meditations” WELS daily devotional booklets are available in the church entry (many thanks to our generous members for donating!) The new ones begin September 1st.

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS pastor): “Stop, Drop, and Roll won’t work in Hell.”

SCHOLASTIC BOOKFAIR St. John’s is looking for an individual(s) who would want to run the Scholastic Book Fair. This has been a big success for our school and students in the past and we would love to continue this. Call the office if you or someone you know is interested!

GUIDELINES FOR GIVING FROM GOD’S WORD

Truth #1: Everything belongs to God. (Psalm 24:1)

Truth #2: We give our offerings willingly. (Exodus 25:2) 

Truth #3: We give our offerings joyfully. (2 Corinthians 8:2)

Truth #4: We give of our best (firstfruits). (Proverbs 3:9)

Truth #5: We give in proportion to what God has given us. (1 Corinthians 16:2).

Truth #6: We plan our giving. (2 Corinthians 9:2)

Truth #7: Trustingly put first things first. (Matthew 6:31,33)

JOYFUL WITNESS will begin rehearsals on Sunday, Sept. 8th at St. Paul’s, North Fond du Lac under the direction of Jeff Krumbein. The first rehearsal will be from 5:30 – 7:30p.m. Our area WELS choir welcomes new singers to enjoy the fellowship and music that proclaims Christ the Savior and His redeeming grace!  Singing traditional and contemporary arrangements, the choir is open to high school students and all adults. This year’s concerts will also include a children’s choir and will be held the weekend of December 13th.   Find us at: joyfulwitness.net or @JoyfulWitness on Facebook!

Attendance Emmanuel St. John’s
8-18                                      8-21 67                                        97                                       6
St. John’s Altar Committee August 2019 Jennie Utke & Susan Brown
●●● Welcome To Our Visitors! Please Sign Our Guest Register Find & Like us on Facebook Visit our website link:  www.stjohnsmontello.org Pastor Peter Zietlow: (608) 408-7830 E-mail: zietlowPL6@hotmail.com Little Lambs Director & Teacher Mrs. Lynn Sellnow: 616-826-0816 K, 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher Ms. Shelley Myers: 920-285-7554 3rd-5th Grade Teacher Ms. Rachel Naumann: (847) 913-2135 Principal & 6th – 8th Grade Teacher Mr. Larry Sellnow:  616-822-6689 Church & School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser: (608) 297-2866 Altar Ladies: Elaine Kelm: (920) 344-0025 & Carolyn Rosenthal: 589-5036 Church & School Address/Mail: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949  Church & School E-mail: scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org ●●●
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A Prayer for Healing – August 24, 2019

O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. . . . Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
Psalm 6:1-4,8,9

A Prayer for Healing


Daily Devotion – August 24, 2019

Devotion based on Psalm 6:1-4,8,9

See series: Devotions

King David wrote this psalm probably at the time in his life when things were going badly. He was hurting physically and was greatly disturbed over the turmoil that was besetting him. He prayed fervently for the Lord to deliver him from the agony of pain and the anguish of his soul.

Can you relate to David’s condition today? Are you struggling with a physical ailment that drains your strength? When you woke up this morning, was your outlook for the day clouded by yesterday’s adversity? Are you slogging through the day silently sighing, “How long, O LORD, how long?”

In his great needs for his body and soul, David petitioned the Lord for help. He counted on the Lord’s unfailing love to look on him in mercy and lift him up from the pit of his problems. And his prayer was answered. David exclaimed, “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”

Trusting in the love and power of the Lord, you too can take your cares to him. He promises to hear your prayer. And his answer will always be according to his unfailing love for you—a love he demonstrated by sending Jesus to rescue you from the pain of sin’s punishment and the agony of eternal death.

So, you can be sure that he hears your prayer. And, sooner or later, he will deliver you!

Prayer:
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long? O Lord, turn and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Ask Big – August 23, 2019

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

Ask Big


Daily Devotion – August 23, 2019

Devotion based on James 5:16

See series: Devotions

Among the many stories about Alexander the Great, there is one about a philosopher who served in Alexander’s court. The philosopher possessed outstanding ability but he had very little money. He turned to Alexander for help. He soon received word to draw whatever he needed from the imperial treasury. And so off to the imperial treasurer he went.

However, when the philosopher submitted his request, the treasurer hesitated. He hesitated because the size of the philosopher’s request was about $100,000. Such a large request, the treasurer felt, had to go directly to Alexander for his approval. When it did, Alexander the Great delivered a memorable reply. “Pay the money at once,” he said. And then he gave the reason why. “The philosopher has done me a singular honor. By the largeness of his request, he shows that he has understood both my wealth and generosity.”

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” the Bible says. In other words, that person whom God has declared forgiven through faith in Christ—that person’s prayer to the Lord is powerful and effective. The power and effectiveness, however, do not come from the person doing the praying. Rather, the power and effectiveness come from the One who hears the prayer.

In Jesus, you and I stand forgiven of our every sin—including all the times we have dishonored our God with prayers that are milquetoast, perfunctory, timid. In Jesus, God covers us in the righteous life our Savior has lived on our behalf. And now, in this new and vibrant relationship we have with God, the Lord urges us to call on him in our day-to-day lives. He urges us to ask. He urges us to ask boldly. He urges us to ask big.

For when we do, we do him a singular honor. We demonstrate that we understand both his wealth and his generosity.

Prayer:
Lord God, you possess all things. Your generosity overflows. Move me to ask much from 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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More – August 22, 2019

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
Colossians 2:9

More


Daily Devotion – August 22, 2019

Devotion based on Colossians 2:9

See series: Devotions

In 1955, a boy by the name of Richie Sestili was helping his father. His father was a landscaper, and he and little Richie were in the yard of a Pittsburgh neighborhood. As they worked, Richie heard the screeching of tires. He looked up to see a car tear into the driveway next door. A man in a white lab coat jumped out and raced into the house. Immediately there was loud cheering and laughter. Then the man in the white lab coat raced back out of the house, jumped back into his car, and screeched his way out of his driveway and down the street. Richie concluded that the man must have gotten a big promotion at work.

That night, Richie was watching television. And there he was again—the man in the white lab coat. This time, however, Richie got to see who this man was. The man was Dr. Jonas Salk. The reason Dr. Salk had run into his house that day was that he had just received approval to announce to the world his discovery of a vaccine for polio. Dr. Salk’s polio vaccine was one of the greatest discoveries in medical history, sparing countless lives from paralysis and death. To Richie, Dr. Salk had simply been a happy man in a white lab coat. Now, however, Dr. Jonas Salk was much more.

Any casual look at Jesus will tell you that he is an impressive man. His compassion for the hurting, his words of wisdom, his courage to stand up against the self-righteous of his day—these things alone mark him as an extraordinary individual.

A closer look, however, reveals more. Jesus is no mere man. He is God himself. He proved this with his many miracles and the massive number of ancient prophecies he fulfilled.

He came here to live a perfect life on our behalf. He came to suffer and die for our every sin. He came to rise from death. All this he did so that now, through faith in him, you and I may have life—life to the full.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you that, although you are the almighty and eternal God, you were willing to become a man in order to save 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Giant Thing – August 21, 2019

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy.
Colossians 2:8

Giant Thing


Daily Devotion – August 21, 2019

Devotion based on Colossians 2:8

See series: Devotions

For many years, Cynthia Heimel was a columnist for The Village Voice. Her columns were tough-minded and snarky. She was also a playwright, an author, and a writer for TV. As such, Cynthia Heimel was in a superb position to observe individuals who dreamed of becoming famous. She was in a position to observe them both before and after they had achieved the status of “celebrity.”

One day she decided to write about what she had seen. “I pity celebrities,” she wrote. “No, I do. Celebrities were once perfectly pleasant human beings. But now their wrath is awful. You see, they wanted fame. They worked. They pushed. And the morning after they became famous, they all wanted to take an overdose. Because that giant thing they were striving for, that thing that was going to make everything ok…it actually happened. And the day after, they woke up, and they were still them. The disillusionment turned them howling and insufferable.”

It may be easy for us to smirk and roll our eyes at people who believe that being famous is the “giant thing” that will make everything ok. But what about us? What’s the “giant thing” in your life that you have presumed will do the same for you? Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s pleasure. Maybe it’s status and success. Maybe it’s finding the perfect soulmate. Maybe it’s living for your children. Maybe it’s your Dream House. Maybe it’s retirement.

The Apostle Paul, in the Bible verse above, had a description for these “giant things.” He called them “hollow and deceptive.” In other words, if we expect the “giant thing” in our life to fulfill us, then we are setting ourselves up for disillusionment. Or even worse, the “giant thing” will actually deceive us into thinking that this is what life is.

But the “giant thing” is not the answer. Jesus is. Only Jesus can heal us by cleansing us of our every wrong. Only Jesus can fill that empty place in our lives with his Spirit. Only Jesus can give us “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I have wasted much time on the hollow and deceptive things of this world. Wash me clean. Draw me closer 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Source – August 20, 2019

Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him.
Colossians 2:6

The Source


Daily Devotion – August 20, 2019

Devotion based on Colossians 2:6

See series: Devotions

During the dark days of Nazi-occupied France in WWII, Hitler’s forces made it a matter of routine to round up families of Jewish descent and ship them off to concentration camps. One area where this did not happen, however, was in the small village of Le Chambon. At great risk to themselves, the residents there took it upon themselves to hide Jewish families, protecting them from deportation by the Nazis. Their courage saved hundreds of lives, perhaps many more.

After the war, a writer by the name of Philip Hallie traveled to Le Chambon. He had to see for himself what sort of brave souls were willing to endanger themselves for the sake of others. One-by-one he interviewed them. To his great surprise, there seemed to be nothing extraordinary about them.

There was, however, one factor that Hallie pursued. They all happened to attend the same village church. Every Sunday, in that tiny church, they heard what Christ had done for them. And every Sunday, in that tiny church, they learned about living their lives in him. As one elderly woman explained, “Pastor always taught us that there comes a time in every life when a person is asked to do something for Jesus.”

You see, their courage had not come out of the blue. Their deliberate bravery had not been some random impulse. Instead, through the good news of Jesus, the Holy Spirit had empowered them to possess the habit of gathering together as a congregational family. In those gatherings, they heard the message of what Christ had done at the cross to wash them clean. They learned that they were here on this earth to proclaim their Savior. They learned there are moments in every Christian’s life when you are asked to do something to the glory of Jesus.

The moments that come to you and me may not be as dramatic. But the moments will come. In fact, they come every day. As they do, remember what the source of our courage is. The source of our courage is in our regular gatherings with Jesus. The source of our courage is God’s forgiving love for us in Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, move me to gather with your people. Give me the courage to live for 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Cave – August 19, 2019

“. . . I am nothing but dust and ashes.”
Genesis 18:27

The Cave


Daily Devotion – August 19, 2019

Devotion based on Genesis 18:27

See series: Devotions

A man by the name of Noam Arnon says that, in the early 1980s, he and a small team seized an opportunity to explore a cave in the Palestinian city of Hebron. When they did, they saw a stairway. They descended. At the bottom of the stairway was a corridor. At the end of the corridor, they found an opening where they descended even further. And it was here, Arnon says, that he found himself crawling through a two-chambered cave. In that cave, there was broken pottery. There were bone fragments and there was dust. As far as anyone knows, no one has entered the site since.

The cave that Noam Arnon describes is the traditional site for what the Bible calls, “The Cave of Machpelah.” The Cave of Machpelah was the burial place of Abraham and his family.

Picture yourself crawling through the cave. You move your flashlight back and forth. There’s nothing much to see; a few shards of broken pottery, a few fragments of bone, and dust.

Long before he died, Abraham himself understood what he was. “I am nothing but dust and ashes,” he said. Even though he was wealthy, Abraham knew that, in and of himself, he was nothing more than the tiny remnants that the Cave of Machpelah would one day contain.

That’s why the center of Abraham’s life was not Abraham. Rather, the center of Abraham’s life was the Lord. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Abraham trusted that the Lord would one day send someone who would wash him clean of his every sin; who would cover him in a blanket of holiness; who would take his soul home to heaven; and who would even, at the appointed time, raise up his bones from the Cave of Machpelah to live in glory forever.

God has made the same promise to us. Although our bodies will one day be nothing but dust and ashes, when Jesus returns, he will raise our bodies back to life to live in glory forever.

May this promise comfort you when life seems meaningless and when death seems final. May this promise inspire you to make the Lord the center of your life just as Abraham did.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, in those times when I crawl through the cave of my own frailties, fix my eyes on 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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BULLETIN- August 18, 2019- The 10th Sunday after Pentecost

The 10th Sunday after Pentecost

August 18, 2019

Emmanuel & St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church

Mecan & Montello, WI

St. John’s  Ev. Lutheran Church 313 East Montello St. Montello, WI 53949 Emmanuel  Ev. Lutheran Church W1568 Evergreen Lane Montello, WI 53949    

  Pastor Peter Zietlow  
W E L C O M E    T O    O U R    C H U R C H
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 in 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. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Welcome to God’s house!  May God bless our worship together.  

 

608.297.2866 www.stjohnsmontello.org Like us on Facebook
G O D ’ S     W O R D    F O R     T O D A Y
Faith-Life Expresses Itself in Fervent Faith-Filled Prayer – God has given most people the wonderful gift of speech. Through words, we communicate our thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Without words it would be much harder to express ourselves, a frustrating prospect! Our thoughts, ideas, and feelings need an outlet, and so does our faith-life! Faith looks for ways to express itself, and one way Christian faith does that is in fervent faith-filled prayer.  

 

XP R E P A R A T I O N   F O R   W O R S H I P X

We prepare ourselves to worship the one Savior God by expressing our humble repentance, offering our fervent prayers and singing our thankful hymns of praise.

THE GATHERING RITE ON THE WORD OF GOD & SERVICE OF THE WORD

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

  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

M:  Let us pray.

O Lord, your ears are always open to the prayers of your humble servants, who come to you in Jesus’ name. Teach us always to ask according to your will that we may never fail to obtain the blessings you have promised; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  (spoken) Amen.

Please be seated

XT H E   W O R D X

The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.

FIRST LESSON                                                                                              Genesis 18:20 (today’s sermon text)Summary: Abraham’s prayer

Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.  Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  What if there are fifty righteous people in the city?  Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?   Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike.  Far be it from you!  Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

The LORD said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak.  What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more.  What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

PSALM 6                                                                                                                                         hymnal page 66

Men sing first line, women sing second line, all sing refrains and Gloria.

SECOND LESSON                                                                                                                          Colossians 2:6-15

Summary: Prayer is our privilege earned by Christ’s atonement

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.  In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

VERSE OF THE DAY                                                                                                                       John 6:68

Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia.

C: 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 LESSON                                                                                                                                              Luke 11:1-13

Summary: Lord, teach us to pray

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.  When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “`Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one'”

Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’

“Then the one inside answers, `Don’t bother me.  The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed.  I can’t get up and give you anything.’  I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

C: Praise be to you, O Christ!   

Please be seated

HYMN OF THE DAY 411                                                         What a Friend We Have in Jesus

SERMON                                                                                                         Genesis 18:20-33

                                                                                                                           “Let Us Pray”

  1. Taking the opportunities God gives to exercise our faith
  2. Showing the attitudes God deserves in our life of faith

Please stand

THE APOSTLES’ CREED                                                                                hymnal page 41

Please be seated

X O F F E R I N G S   O F   G I F T S   &   P R A Y E R S X

THE OFFERING

The ushers now gather the “Thank-Offering.”  Members of this congregation show their thanks to God for all he has done for them by returning a portion of their income to the Lord.  Through these free will offerings, this congregation and its ministries are maintained.  Guests need not feel obligated to contribute. Please also sign our Friendship Registers and greet one another.

Please stand

PRAYERS

The Offering Prayer, Prayer for God-Pleasing Prayer and Intercessory Prayers are spoken by pastor. Please see announcements for those on our Intercessory Prayers list.

LORD’S PRAYER                                                                                                                                        hymnal page43

Please be seated

HYMN 409                                                                                            Come, My Soul, with Every Care

Please stand

CLOSING PRAYER                                                                                          hymnal page 43

Please be seated

BLESSING SOLO                                                                                              hymn 745, May the Peace of God

                        sung by Anna Glunn

1               May the peace of God our heav’nly Father,

And the grace of Christ the risen Son,

And the fellowship of God the Spirit

Keep our hearts and minds within his love.

             Refrain       And to him be praise for his glorious reign

From the depths of earth to the heights of heav’n.

We declare the name of the Lamb once slain—

Christ eternal, the King of kings.

2               May this peace which passes understanding,

And this grace which makes us what we are,

And this fellowship of his Communion

Make us one in spirit and in heart.

             Refrain

As you leave today’s service, please give your completed Friendship Register sheet to an usher or pastor.

XAnnouncements X

Activities for the week of August 18 – August 24
Sun. 8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
  10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship
  11:15 A.M. Bible Information Class at St. John’s
Mon.    
Tues. 6:00 P.M. Joint Worship Committee meeting at St. John’s
Wed. 6:30 P.M. St. John’s Worship
Thurs. 10:00 A.M. Montello Care Center Devotion with communion
Fri.    
Sat. 10:30 A.M. St . John’s lower level rental  
Theme for Next Sunday August 25 , 2019 Pentecost 11: “Set Your Minds on Things Above (not Earthly Things)”
8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship with communion
11:15 A.M. Bible Information Class at St. John’s
11:00 A.M. St. John’s School /Little Lambs Registration (gym)  & Pictures  (lower level)

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

– For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: Evie & Ron Blada, David Broderick, Liola Crown & son Terry, Florence Dahlke, Agnes Dassow, Marjorie Fabian, Lilah Farrell, Chris Krause (Gordy & Linda’s son), Pete Laun, Robert Lederer (Jackie & Jeanne Buchholz’ father), Delvin Mittelsteadt, Mark & Peggy Russell (Elsa’s son & daughter in-law), Karl Whitrock – (added this week: )

– For the family of Gordon Hoffman, Tracy’s father-in-law, called home on 8/10

– For Missions

ST. JOHN’S CHURCH DOORS To keep updated on the St. John’s Church Door Project, check out the bulletin board located in the Information Room at St. John’s. The given donation did not cover the full cost of our new doors so donations are still accepted to help offset the remaining cost.

FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS Please complete the friendship register page each week. This helps your pastor and other church leaders stay in touch and keep contact information up to date. Thanks!

ST. JOHN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL will begin Sunday, September 15 at 8:30a.m. at St. John’s. Ages 3 through 6th grade, member or not, are all invited to come! Please help spread the word!

ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL & LITTLE LAMBS REGISTRATION School Registration is NEXT Sunday, August 25 at 11:00a.m. in St. John’s gym. If you were enrolled last school year and/or have enrolled for this coming school year, you received your summer registration packets via mail. If you didn’t, please contact the office. In them, you will find everything you need to know about registration and this upcoming school year. Are you new and/or need to enroll? Call the office (608-297-2866), email (scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org) or stop by the office today!

USHER AND GREETER SCHEDULE If you are signed up to be a St. John’s usher and/or greeter, please pick up your hard copy of Aug/Sept in St. John’s Information Room. Schedules will be available for pick up every 2 months.

GRIEFSHARE The next 13-week session of Griefshare will start September 5 at 6:00p.m. in the lower level at St. John’s. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Mark Emond (608) 697-1600.

ENDEAVOR BLOOD DRIVE is Wednesday, August 21 from 1:00p.m. – 6:00p.m. at the Endeavor Fire Department. Please call 1-800-REDCROSS or Ruth Jones 608-587-2646 to set up your appointment today!

CONCERT ON THE BALL DIAMOND is September 7 at 6:30p.m. at St. John’s. Bring your lawn chair and come enjoy music, food and fellowship!

This year, the cost for this event for St. John’s is between $3,400 – $4,000.      

If you wish to donate to help offset the remaining cost, please call 608-297-2866, email scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org or stop by the office. Thank you!

CHILDREN’S CHURCH BAGS Check out our new Children’s Church Bags that are located in the Information Room at St. John’s and entry way at Emmanuel. Children: use during the service as you please and return them to the tree at the end of each service! A big thank you to St. John’s Hand In Prayer group for donating towards the bags and to you guys, Gene Crook & Jack Steuck, for building the wooden trees. Thank you to you gals, Ciara Neuhauser & Blake Seeley, for making the children’s church bags for Emmanuel and St. John’s.

CHECK OUT OUR UPDATED INFORMATION ROOM This room is located at the top of St. John’s link way stairs and the church entry way. Here you will find bulletin boards labeled “Home Missions” and “LWMS”. Home Missions will provide information on what’s going on at St. John’s church and school, events, educational and youth group updates. You will also find informational brochures and magazines, usher and greeter schedules, the church newsletter, children’s coloring sheets and crayons and other miscellaneous information related to our church and school. Please help yourself!

ACH What is ACH? Automated Clearing House is an electronic payments network use by individuals, businesses, financial institutions and government organizations. The network functions as an efficient, electronic alternative to paper checks. It allows funds to be electronically debited or credited to a checking account, savings account, financial institution general ledger account or credited to a loan account. Please pick your form up in the Information Room or the office and get started today!

FORWARD IN CHRIST Please do not turn in any past Forward in Christ magazines as we no longer accept them due to the personal information that is provided inside. Thanks!

MEDITATIONS New “Meditations” WELS daily devotional booklets are available in the church entry (many thanks to our generous members for donating!) The new ones begin September 1st.

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS pastor): “Be ye fishers of men. You catch ’em–He’ll clean ’em.”

SCHOLASTIC BOOKFAIR St. John’s is looking for an individual(s) who would want to run the Scholastic Book Fair. This has been a big success for our school and students in the past and we would love to continue this. Call the office if you or someone you know is interested!

Attendance Emmanuel St. John’s
8-11                                      8-14 78                                          103                                       5
St. John’s Altar Committee August 2019 Jennie Utke & Susan Brown
●●● Welcome To Our Visitors! Please Sign Our Guest Register Find & Like us on Facebook Visit our website link:  www.stjohnsmontello.org Pastor Peter Zietlow: (608) 408-7830 E-mail: zietlowPL6@hotmail.com Little Lambs Director & Teacher Mrs. Lynn Sellnow: 616-826-0816 K, 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher Ms. Shelley Myers: 920-285-7554 3rd-5th Grade Teacher Ms. Rachel Naumann: (847) 913-2135 Principal & 6th – 8th Grade Teacher Mr. Larry Sellnow:  616-822-6689 Church & School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser: (608) 297-2866 Altar Ladies: Elaine Kelm: (920) 344-0025 & Carolyn Rosenthal: 589-5036 Church & School Address/Mail: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949  Church & School E-mail: scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org ●●●
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Planted In Christ – August 18, 2019

Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6

Planted In Christ


Daily Devotion – August 18, 2019

Devotion based on Colossians 2:6

See series: Devotions

If you’re a gardener in the Northern Tier of states in the United States, it is getting close to harvest time. The tomatoes are starting to turn as the proper number of days has passed since planting. The zucchini and squash are probably surpassing your ability to use them. As the days get a little cooler your flowers are in full bloom. A non-gardening neighbor stops by and says, “My, you have a beautiful garden!” But most non-gardening neighbors don’t have a clue what it takes to create such a garden.

A garden is a year-round process. Composting, mulching, hoeing, watering, fall cleanup, plowing or tilling, fertilizing lightly, compost spreading, fertilizing again, spring tilling, waiting until the soil warms for planting, summer care, and harvest make for much more work than meets the eye of a casual observer. The results can be seen, but the process is hidden.

Do we take for granted the spiritual gardening God has done in our souls? If we have had true confidence in Christ for some time, we may take that relationship for granted. The Apostle Paul reminds us to continue to live in Christ, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as we were taught.

Like garden plants that are rooted in the soil, we must ground ourselves in the Word of God. As plants draw from the soil vital nutrients and moisture, God’s Word gives all that we need for life with God now and forever. When we continue to learn more about God’s love in Jesus, especially from those whom God sends to teach us, we grow in our faith and knowledge of our salvation. God works in us the ability to live in thankfulness for all the blessings that we have in Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord, help me never forget your love for me, Christ. Help me to grow in him. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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