The year is A.D. 55. You are standing in front of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is the Temple of Artemis, Goddess of Fertility. Everything about it is extravagant and massive. It dwarfs the Parthenon of Athens in terms of size. And it’s much more beautiful. Double rows of columns surround it―127 columns in all. Each column is sixty feet high and six feet thick, with intricate carvings and precious metals covering every single one. Pilgrims and tourists pour in from around the civilized world to see it. The famous and the powerful come to pay homage. Perhaps more than any other structure, the Temple of Artemis symbolizes the dominant culture and wisdom of the age.
Several blocks away a man is composing a letter. His name is Paul. He’s in the middle of a three-year stay in the area as he shares with others the good news of Jesus. As Paul writes, the sights and sounds and platitudes and presumptions that flow from the Temple are all around him. None of it seems to bother Paul, however. He understands that, while cultures and worldly wisdom will come and go, the message about Jesus Christ will remain. Sure, it might seem like foolishness to the rest of the world. But the good news about Jesus is the very wisdom of God. As such, it slices through the temporary and fleeting. It speaks to the heart of humanity’s problem. The message of God becoming a human being to carry the world’s sin to the cross is the only thing that will heal a world of broken souls. Paul knows this.
It is the present day. You are standing where the great Temple of Artemis once stood. It is now a swamp. Frogs croak in the background. A bird’s nest sits on top of the temple’s one remaining column. The wisdom of Artemis is gone. But the wisdom of God remains.
Lord Jesus, in the shifting shadows of this world, you are the answer. You are my answer. Amen.
In 2010, a report from the British Psychological Society came forward with a curious finding of human behavior. The finding revealed two things. On the one hand, researchers had discovered that people are better off when they avoid idleness. On the other hand, researchers had also discovered that a majority of people will gravitate towards idleness when given the means and opportunity to do so.
This should not surprise us. Our fallen, sinful natures have been pursuing self-destructive habits for a long, long time.
Which brings us to the worst episode in the life of Israel’s most famous king―King David. You can read the entire sorry mess in 2 Samuel chapter 11. David has an affair with a married woman. She becomes pregnant with his baby. To cover it up, David arranges for her husband to be killed in battle, after which David quickly marries his widow. Adultery. Murder. Cover-up. David’s dark behaviors tumble out one after another.
But God’s Word also records how it all started. It started when David chose to remain idle. Instead of devoting his time to leading his army, David decided to let someone else do the work so he could stay home. And it was in this moment, when David had too much time and too little to do―David’s eyes began to wander.
There’s a fierce warning here. Thanks to the overwhelming conveniences of twenty-first-century life, the temptation is greater than ever to be idle as David was when he chose to stay home. And when that happens, the door is wide open for our minds to wander into some very bad places.
But that’s why Jesus came. He came for David and for us. On our behalf, Jesus devoted every moment of his time to his heavenly Father. In our place, he suffered and died for all we’ve wasted. As a result, not only do we stand forgiven through faith in him but his Spirit now empowers us to engage our time to his glory. Idleness rules no more. Jesus has taken its place.
Forgive my idleness, Lord Jesus. Wash me clean. Restore my zeal to live every moment for you. Amen.
You are a young, adult male―nineteen years old. Through good coaching and hard work, your basketball skills have just given you a contract in the National Basketball Association. You are about to enter a world radically different from the world you have known. It will be different because this new world does not involve just basketball. This new world involves media, being a celebrity, agents, and sponsors. It involves threats to your privacy, constant travel, and suddenly possessing more money than you’ve ever seen before. And it involves all the temptations that go along with it.
It is for these reasons that the NBA insists that, before you enter this world, you get together with all the other rookies for four intensive days of listening and learning. In these four days, Hall-of-Fame players and other mentors sit down with you to impress upon you not only the things that matter but also warn about those things that can ruin your career and life.
When Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord was about to bring the people of Israel into their new home―the Promised Land of Canaan. Before he did, however, he gathered them together for some intensive days of listening and learning. This new land was prosperous and rich, a land “flowing with milk and honey.” But there was something else. It was also a land where they would face temptations and distractions―from the distractions of a prosperous life to the temptations of a pleasure-obsessed culture, to their own sinful tendency to lose focus. God knew how easy it would be for his people to forget what mattered. And so he reminded them, “The LORD is your life.”
God tells you and me the same thing. Your life rests in the One who created you. Your life rests in the One who went to the cross on your behalf, to wash you clean of your every wrong―including all the times we have turned our priorities into ugly chaos. Your life rests in the One who promises to guide even your dark and bitter moments for your good.
So, remember, the Lord is your life.
Lord Jesus, you are my life. Forgive my forgetfulness. Remind me of what matters. Amen.
St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church
313 East Montello St.
Montello, WI 53949
Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Church
Montello, WI 53949
Pastor John Dolan
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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.
XW E L C O M E G U E S T P A S T O R Pastor John Dolan
G O D ’ S W O R D F O R T O D A Y Jesus Reveals His Perfect Word and Will – People love to judge themselves—especially when it comes to moral issues—because they naturally come out looking rather good. They might be willing to admit that they’re not perfect, but they quickly add: “Nobody’s perfect!” Of course, that’s not true. Our God is perfect, holy, and just. He never sins, and in his holy Word, God makes it clear that he holds us to the same perfect standard, even as his perfect will also saves us from our sin through the gospel of his “secret wisdom.” In the gospel and lessons, we see how Jesus reveals his perfect Word and will.
R E P A R A T I O N F O R W O R S H I P X
prepare ourselves to worship the one Savior God by expressing our humble
repentance, offering our fervent prayers and singing our thankful hymns of
HYMN283Speak, O Savior; I Am Listening
We confess to God that we have failed
to live up to the perfect standards in his law, and we plead for his mercy.
The pastor announces the forgiveness of
sins won for us by the perfect life and innocent sufferings and death of Jesus,
OH TASTE AND SEEhymnal
This paraphrase of Psalm
34:8 reminds us of how sweet the good news of salvation is for Christians.
Those who take refuge in Jesus, our Good Shepherd, are blessed.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
M: Lord God, in mercy receive the prayers of your
people. Grant them the wisdom to know the things that please you and the grace
and power always to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: ♫ Amen.
Please be seated for the day’s Scripture readings
H E W O R D X
Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.
TESTAMENT LESSONDeuteronomy 30:15-20
Summary: Keeping God’s commands
See, I set before you today
life and prosperity, death and
destruction. For I command you today to love the
LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws;
then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will
bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away
and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods
and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be
destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing
the Jordan to enter and possess.
This day I call heaven and
earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life
and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you
and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your
God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
PSALM 78 hymnal page
EPISTLE LESSON 1 Corinthians 2:6-13
The Spirit reveals true wisdom
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among
the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of
the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak
of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the
rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not
have crucified the Lord of glory.However, as it is
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind
has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”–but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things,
even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way
no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received
the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is
from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we
speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words
taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
OF THE DAYJohn 6: 68
Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have
the words of eternal life. Alleluia.
Alleluia! Alleluia! These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Jesus teaches God’s will
“You have heard that it
was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,
and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone
who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is
answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger
of the fire of hell. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the
altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave
your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your
brother; then come and offer your gift.
“Settle matters quickly
with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with
him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand
you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the
truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
“You have heard that it
was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone
who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his
heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It
is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be
thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and
throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your
whole body to go into hell.
“It has been said, ‘Anyone
who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’
But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital
unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the
divorced woman commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to
the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made
to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is
God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it
is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot
make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your
‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
be to you, O Christ!
Please be seated
HYMN OF THE DAY 506 Oh, Blest the House, Whate’er
DolanDeuteronomy 6: 1-9
“Christian Education Begins At Home”
Moses spoke as follows:
Now this is the body of commands, and these are
the statutes and the ordinances that the Lord your God commanded me to teach
you, so you may carry them out in the land to which you are crossing over to
receive as a possession, so that you may fear the Lord your God by keeping all
his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding to you, as well as to
your children and grandchildren, all the days of your life, and so that your
days may be long.
Listen, O Israel, and be
conscientious about doing those things, so it may go well for you and so you
may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord,
the God of your fathers, promised you. Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God. The
Lord is one! Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your might. These words that I am commanding you today are to be
on your heart. Teach them diligently to your children, and speak about them
when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and
when you get up. Tie them as a sign on your wrists, and they will serve as
symbols on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your
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 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.
The Offering Prayer, Christian Education Prayer and
Intercessory Prayers are spoken by pastor. Please see announcements for those
on our Intercessory Prayers list.
Please be seated
HYMN 515 Shepherd of Tender Youth
PRAYER & BLESSING hymnal page 43, 44
Please be seated
CLOSING HYMN510 I Pray You, Dear Lord Jesus
As you leave today’s
service, please give your completed Friendship Register sheet to an usher or
Activities for the week
of February 16 – February 22
WALL B Team Basketball Tournament
at WLA, Fond du lac
St. John’s Sunday School
Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
St. John’s Worship
Choir at St. John’s
Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
Men’s Bible Study at St. John’s
St. John’s School/Little Lambs
for Dinner donations due to the office
Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
St. John’s Faculty meeting
St. John’s Worship
Women’s Bible Study at St. John’s
Bible Information Class at St.
St. John’s Teen Confirmation Class
Griefshare at St. John’s lower
level (week 5)
Council meeting at St. John’s
St. John’s School grades 1-8
Spelling Bee in St. John’s sactuary
10:00A.M. – 12:00P.M.
Little Lambs Open House
Art for Dinner at Montello Public
School Community Room
Theme for Next Sunday February 23 ,
2020Epiphany 6: “Christian Living Means Keeping
God’s Word and Doing God’s Will”
St. John’s Sunday School
St. John’s Adult Bible Study
St. John’s Worship with communion
Church NewsINTERCESSORY PRAYERS –
For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: Wyatt Beahm
(William and Alyssa Beahm’s infant son), Gene Crook, Liola Crown & son
Terry, Agnes Dassow, Don Ebert, Reinold Eckelberg, Diane Eisermann, Lilah
Farrell, Roger Hillmer, Xzander Jahr, Chris Krause (Gordy and Linda’s son),
Robert Lederer (Jackie and Jeanne Buchholz’ father), Delvin Mittelsteadt,
Steve Parrish, LuAnn Reber, Harvey Rudolph, Frank Russell, Kathryn Sigrist
(Pastor Gary & Orlene Johnson’s daughter), Doris Smith, Jennifer
Strauss, Leevi Walker, Richard Winkler – (added this week: )
– For our 3-5 grade
teacher Rachel Naumann who received the Lord’s Call to serve as grade 4-5
teacher and principal at Bethlehem Lutheran School–Hortonville
– For Heather Schmidt,
currently teaching at St. Paul’s–Franklin, who received the Lord’s Call at
our 2/9 St. John’s Voter’s meeting to serve as our 3-5th grade teacher
– For Brittany Rose
Pick, Lacey Renee Stalker & Zoey Gayle Stalker, Amanda Stalker’s
daughters, who were baptized at their home by Pastor Zietlow on Tuesday
– For the family of
Pastor Raymond Cox, Marjorie Fabian’s brother, called to his eternal home
in heaven on Tuesday (2/11)
– For Frank Russell who celebrated his 52nd
birthday on Wednesday (2/12)
THANK YOU “I want
to thank family and friends for all you have done to help Harold and me in
our time of need, especially for your prayers, visits, telephone calls,
cards and just being with us. God has truly blessed us with all of
you. Thank you.” — Harold & Judy
ALTAR FLOWERS Thank
you to the Fandrey family for today’s altar flowers at St. John’s.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEND A
CARD… At last Sunday’s Voters meeting, St. John’s called
grades 3-5 teacher, Heather Schmidt. If you would like to reach out and
offer words of encouragement, thoughts, etc. see contact info below.
520 W Riverwood Dr. – Apt. 106
Creek, WI 53154-7582
OFFERING STATEMENT SIGN UP The
sign up for your 2019 offering statement is located in St. John’s
link way. Statements are ready for pick up so be sure to check.
Church News continued…2020 OFFERING ENVELOPES If you haven’t done so by
now, please pick up your 2020 offering envelopes in St. John’s link way
today! Don’t have any? Call the office 297-2866 and Ciara will gladly help
LENT BY CANDLELIGHT Ladies, you won’t want to miss
annual Lent by
Candlelight on Sunday, February 23 at 5:00 PM at
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Montello, WI. Please plan
to join us for an
of visiting, beautiful music, scrumptious snacks, and reflection on our
Savior’s journey to the cross. All women throughout the community are
invited and are encouraged to invite their friends to prepare their hearts
There is no charge for this event. Seating is limited, so RSVP by selecting
“going” on this event, emailing email@example.com,
calling St. Johns at 608-297-2866 or signing up in the link way at St.
John’s Lutheran Church, Montello.
THRIVENT Look for the Thrivent
Choice Dollars postcard in St. John’s link way. Questions? Feel free to
contact Pastor Zietlow.
MEMBERS OF ST. JOHNS AND SCHOOL
FAMILIES St. Johns council authorized the borrowing of $10,000
from the church’s line of credit to replace and refurbish the school
boilers. As some may be aware, there have been a number of issues from the
last couple years keeping the boilers running and the school heated and it
could no longer be repaired. This project was completed late last fall.
This also means that the church officially is borrowing money from its line
of credit. If you wish to donate to help paying off the loan, please go
ahead and do so. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. Look to the
information room for where this project is at with regards to being paid
off and where the other projects on the board are at with funding. (Many thanks to
our generous members for donating!)
& FORWARD IN CHRIST New “Meditations” and “Forward in
Christ” WELS daily devotional booklets and WELS monthly devotional magazine
are available in the church Informational Room.Help yourself!MEMBERSHIP CLASS Recently I began our 20-lesson Bible Information
Class entitled “New Life In Christ” with Amanda Bowman on
Wednesdays at 7:30pm. If you or someone you know is interested in
membership, please phone or text me at 608-408-7830.
Church News continued…GRIEFSHARE The next 13-week session has
begun. Please join us for week #5 in St. John’s lower level on Thursday at
6:30pm. Questions or concerns? Please call Mark Emond (608) 697-1600.
LADIES AND MEN’S BIBLE STUDY Women’s
evenings at 6:30PM, men’s on Tuesdays at 6:30PM. Come study a series of
topics: Past Lessons = Present
Peace = Future Hope, Basic Bible Stories for Faith and Life led
by Pastor John Dolan and Ms. Rachel Naumann.
COLLECTING GENTLY USED ITEMS FOR WLA’s
SECOND IMPRESSIONS THRIFT STORE As a
service project, Sunday School is currently collecting donations to support
Winnebago Lutheran Academy. Parish members are invited to donate
items that are clean, in working order, & in good condition–and please
only items that will fit in a car for transport. Please pick up a
list of ACCEPTED and NOT ACCEPTED items from the collection box located
near the office. Collecting through Sunday, March 1.
If questions, call Linda Wachholz 608-369-2635.
SUMMARIZED MINUTES FROM THE 2/9/2020 EMMANUEL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
1) The meeting was opened with a prayer
2) Pastor’s provided his report
3) Lucas Stelter read the minutes from previous meeting which the
4) Wayne Stelter read the financial report which the congregation approved.
5) Update on Kitchen floor project: 2 bids have been received however the
members present asked that another bid be solicited and that a bid process
also be initiated for carpet replacement in the church.
6) Update on West side AC unit: Steve Radaj Heating & Cooling LLC will
be replacing the Westside AC unit this Spring.
7) Update on the Parish Hall LED lighting conversion project: The
Congregation voted to convert and replace all 7 fixtures with LED bulbs
which will be completed within the next few months.
8) Update on survey of Church West property line: The Congregation members
voted to commission Rod Steege to survey and update the West property
Church News continued…
9) Update on
furnace evaluation: Steve Radaj Heating & Cooling LLC performed an
inspection and replaced some components on both furnaces. Steve also
indicated that there was no evidence of any pending major failures.
1) Election of 2020 officers
The congregation re-elected the following incumbent officers:
a) President – Darrell Buchholz.
b) Treasurer – Wayne Stelter.
c) Secretary – Lucas Stelter.
d) Trustee – Duwayne Sommerfeldt and Brian Ninneman.
e) Cemetery committee member – Keith Heller.
2) The congregation voted to set the 2020 CMO (Congregation Mission
Offering) goal at $6500.
3) The congregation voted to set a 2020 WLA (Wisconsin Lutheran Academy)
contribution amount of $2000.
4) The congregation voted to submit an additional CMO amount of $374 to
reconcile the 2019 CMO shortfall to meet the 2019 commitment.
5) The congregation voted to make the following donations:
a) $5000 to St Johns School to help pay down a line of credit balance
caused by the need for the installation of a new boiler in the school.
b) $1000 to the Camp Phillip Building Fund.
6) The congregation approved the following member transfers:
a) The transfer of Tom and Donna Kuenn from Peace – Wautoma to Emmanuel.
b) The transfer of Tabitha Stelter from Emmanuel to St Johns – Montello.
7) Volunteers for a maintenance committee were solicited which will have
responsibility for monitoring the church structure, grounds, and support
systems. The committee would report any requirements to the council for
consideration and follow up. Bruce Stelter, Gary Wagner, and Darrell
8) The meeting was adjourned with a closing prayer
School News LITTLE LAMBS REGISTRATION IS NOW
OPEN Calling all 3 and 4 year olds!Please see the St. John’s Information
Room for Little Lambs fliers, brochures and registration information. First
come, first serve! Questions? Please call our Little Lambs Director Lynn
Sellnow 616-826-0816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPELLING BEE! : ThisThursday, February 20 at
6:30p.m.! St. John’s School is
our Spelling Bee for grades 1-8.
LITTLE LAMBS OPEN HOUSE: This
Saturday, Feb. 22 is our Little Lambs Open House from 10:00am-12:00pm. Help
spread the word!
ART FOR DINNER:Saturday,
February 22nd at 5:00pm.
are on sale! This year, we are fundraising for a school security system. Invite
your friends and family to a night of fellowship, dinner and a silent
auction of the children’s art projects.
things to think about:
Check out the
silent auctions items in St. John’s link way! They are now open to
We will be
collecting items for the Marquette County Care and Share Food Bank the day of the event.
Please bring in any nonperishable food items (canned goods, dry goods,
etc.) the day of and
receive a ticket per item for our basket drawings and/or game
THE DEADLINE TO PURCHASE TICKETS
IS NEXT WEEK MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17! Please turn your packets and
money in to the office by then. Tickets are $25 each, a free hot dog meal
is available for kids 13 years and under. Need more tickets or don’t have
someone to buy them from? Stop by the office today!
If you would like to donate art projects, items/baskets, set
up, all the above… please feel free to contact: Megan Jaster-
608-369-3456 email@example.com or Ciara
Neuhauser 608-369-0901 firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to turn
items/donations in to the office is Wednesday, Feb. 19.SAVE YOUR PLASTIC BOTTLE CAPS Please
save your plastic bottle caps and turn them in to the office. Art for
Dinner is saving for a project. Any and all sizes and colors! Thank you!
School News Continued…THE
2020 WELS INTERNATIONAL YOUTH RALLY is being held June 23-26 in Knoxville, TN. We have had the privilege to escort teens
from St. John’s to the 2016 & 2018 rallies. Even though we have resigned as youth
group leaders, we felt it was important for our current teens to have the
opportunity to go. So after
prayerful consideration, we have decided to come forward to escort our
teens to the 2020 rally. The rally
is open for any students currently in 8th grade through 12th grade. We will be asking around to see who would
like to go. If you know of any teens who are interested, please refer them
to us. We will soon be announcing an informational meeting for anyone
interested. We will go over the
details, the costs, what a rally experience would be like, fundraisers, and
any questions teens or parents might have.
You may also go to the website:
wels. net/youthrally. We are
looking forward to this opportunity to bring our teens for fun &
fellowship with 2000+ teens who share our same faith. Mark & Patty Emond
St. John’s Altar Committee
Welcome To Our Visitors!Please Sign Our Guest RegisterFind & Like us on FacebookVisit our website link:www.stjohnsmontello.orgPastor Peter Zietlow: (608) 408-7830
E-mail:zietlowPL6@hotmail.comLittle Lambs Director & Teacher
Mrs. Lynn Sellnow: 616-826-0816
K, 1st & 2nd
Grade Teacher Ms. Shelley Myers:
Teacher Ms. Rachel Naumann: (847)
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:email@example.com
It is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. . . . What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10,12
“I don’t get it! I don’t understand!” As students in school or learners in life, we have all been there. A difficult math problem. A perplexing philosophical question. An irreconcilable relationship issue. Aren’t you grateful for the patient teacher, the caring classmate, or the wise parent who helps you? The light bulb goes on. The answer is revealed. “Ahh…now I get it! Now I understand!”
On our own, we are in the dark when it comes to understanding God and knowing how he operates. But God doesn’t want us to be in the dark. So, he reveals himself in the Bible. There, he shows us that we can’t do what he demands of us to win his love. We can’t do what it takes to be perfect like him so that we might live with him.
Then, the Spirit shows us what God has done for us in Jesus. Jesus lived and died for us to solve the problem that has no other solution. He won forgiveness for our failings. He rose from the dead to show his power over death and every other problem of life. He promises that he is with us in this world that he controls. And one day he will take those who trust in him to live with him in heaven.
The Spirit shows us the truths about God. The light bulb goes on. The answers are revealed. “Ahh…now I get it! Now I understand!”
Lord God, thank you for sending your Spirit through your Word to show me your love in Jesus. Amen.
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Benjamin Franklin was one of the most persuasive men of his time. Through a combination of carefully chosen words, good humor, and common sense, Franklin enjoyed great success when it came to winning people over to his point of view.
There was an episode, however, when Benjamin Franklin set his eloquence aside. His home city of Philadelphia did not have streetlamps. Franklin thought it should. But its residents were satisfied with dark streets. Franklin could have unleashed the power of his pen and worked to convince his fellow residents of the many benefits of streetlamps. Instead, he took a different approach. He simply set up a streetlamp outside of his own house. After sunset, the lamp’s light attracted the curiosity of his neighbors. Gradually, the word spread about how wonderful it was to walk near Mr. Franklin’s house at night without fear of stumbling in the dark. Soon the people of Philadelphia were persuaded. Streetlamps for the entire city quickly followed.
There are times when we have a habit of worrying ourselves into silence when it comes to telling someone about Jesus. We convince ourselves that we can convert someone to Christ through our own wisdom and winsome words.
But we can’t. Instead, we have something far better. We have the light of God’s Word. We have God’s promise that his Holy Spirit will work through the words we share about Jesus. By his power, not ours, souls will be persuaded of their need for a Savior from sin and that Jesus is that Savior. So, let the light of God’s Word shine in your life and watch as he uses it to save souls.
Holy Spirit, as I tell others about their Savior, help me to trust in you and the power of your Word rather than in myself and my words. Amen.
[Jesus said] “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:13-20 (selected verses)
Be Salt and Light
Daily Devotion – February 14, 2020
Devotion based on Matthew 5:13-20 (selected verses)
Salt is essential for the proper function of nerves and muscles. It also plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure and digestion of food. Without salt, the human body is at risk of heart failure.
The light of the sun is essential to life on earth. The sun controls the changing seasons and weather. The sun generates energy in plants that supply the earth with oxygen. Without the light of the sun, the world would be a lifeless ball of ice-covered rock.
Jesus says that his followers are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. They are not essential for the physical preservation of the world. They are essential for the spiritual preservation of the world.
Jesus’ followers know that Jesus paid for their sins when he died on the cross and that he gave them eternal life when he rose from the grave on Easter morning. They are so thrilled to know these things that they demonstrate God’s love as they interact with the people of this world. This is what Jesus meant when he said that his followers are the salt and light of the world. The people of this world need to know the true God and all he has done for them. God uses Jesus’ followers to tell them.
What an awesome opportunity! What an awesome privilege!
Prayer:(Christian Worship: supplement – 771)
Heavenly Father, I want to walk as a child of the light; I want to follow Jesus. You set the stars to give light to the world, the star of my life is Jesus. Grant me a heart like his, that all may be drawn by me to you. Amen.
Businesses spent over five million dollars for a 30-second commercial at this year’s Super Bowl. They reached 100 million viewers. Despite that far-reaching audience, analysts say that the best advertising is still personal endorsement.
Like Super Bowl ads, the Bible has a global reach. It is the most circulated book in the world. Yet, those who need it most won’t read it. They will, however, read you. In fact, it was to this that God called you.
Once you were lost, but God sent Jesus to seek you out. You were an outsider, but God made you family through faith in his Son. You were just another face in the crowd, but by his Spirit God set you apart. You were second-rate, but clothed in Christ, you are God’s gem.
As his special treasure, God puts you on display. God wants those outside his kingdom to see the night-and-day difference he made in your life. His hope is that the world takes notice of your joy in Jesus.
Let the world see the wonders that God has done for you. Show them that God has given you a place in his family by living as a stranger in this world. Show them that you have a permanent home in heaven by not getting too cozy here. Show them you are looking forward to eternal pleasures by not giving in to fleeting moments of sinful pleasure. Let them see God’s goodness to you by living honorably among the natives of this world.
By God’s power, when they see and hear your personal endorsement of God’s mercy, you may win over their hearts for the Lord.
Prayer:(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 471)
Renew me, O eternal Light, and let my heart and soul be bright, illumined with the light of grace that issues from your holy face. Amen.
When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified . . . so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:1,2,5
No one likes to be let down. No one likes to be disappointed, especially when the one disappointing us is someone we respect and trust. The problem is, eventually everyone we admire will disappoint us in one way or another. The parent who seemed perfect while you were a child suddenly reveals flaws as you grow older and wiser. The professor who seemed to know it all when you were in school turns out to have made mistakes. No matter whom we admire or how much we admire them, eventually, they will let us down.
The apostle Paul knew this. He knew it about himself. He was a sinful man just like every other man. And he knew there was a danger that the people who heard him preach and teach might make too much of him. They might equate the validity of his message with the reliability of his person. And if they did, they might abandon his message when he let them down.
So, he told them not to make that mistake. He reminded them that the validity of his message was not dependent on his personality or power of persuasion. His message was valid because it was true. And his message was powerful because God made it so.
Christians today are in danger of making the same mistake as the first-century Christians to whom Paul gave this warning. We can put our trust in the people who tell us about Jesus rather than in the message about Jesus.
Thankfully, the forgiveness of our sins and hope of heaven does not rely on the people who preach to us about it. It relies on the cross of Christ–where he shed his blood to pay for the sins that separated us from our God. It is an accomplished fact.
No matter how often other people disappoint us, Jesus never has and never will.
Prayer:(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 387)
Drawn to the cross, which you have blessed with healing gifts for souls distressed, to find in you my life, my rest, Christ crucified, I come. Amen.
Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15,16
If you read a good book, there is some excitement when you reach the end of a chapter. What will happen next? When you finish a chapter in your life, there can be some uncertainty. What will you do next?
Joshua was near the end of his earthly life. Joshua was the man God chose to lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land of Canaan. Before his death, Joshua gave a farewell address to the people. He said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”
“Whom will I serve?” That’s an important question for you to ask yourself. Not just at the end of some season in your life. Every morning is a new chapter. You may plan ahead of time that today you will go here and do that. But before you do anything, dedicate yourself to serving the Lord in everything.
Why would you do such a thing? Just remember what the Lord, in his grace, has done for you. Jesus has delivered you from slavery to sin and has given you a place in his family. Amid life’s changes, he is always your rock. And at the end of your life, he will lead you safely through death to the eternal Promised Land of heaven.
There is blessing in serving the Lord in everything. Throw away the idols that you served yesterday because they cannot save you. Turn your heart to the Lord who alone satisfies your desires. Pray for courage. And let the world see, by humble acts of kindness, the choice of your heart.
Say along with Joshua, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Prayer:(adapted from the hymn, Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above)
Lord Jesus Christ, I confess your holy name. Help me to cast every idol from its throne. Give me courage to show the world that you, with Father and Holy Spirit, are God alone. To you all praise and glory. Amen.