Friday, September 25, 2015

“If You Knew for Certain God Was Listening, What Would You Say to Him?”

So what would you say to God? Many people would probably bring up some unpleasant time in their life and ask the one word question, “Why?”

The world is so messed up and God doesn’t seem to notice. “Why?”

There are so many bad people doing bad things and they get away with it. “Why?”

People don’t agree on much these days but one thing everybody will admit is that things aren’t the way they should be and the situation doesn’t seem to be getting better.

This Sunday we’re going to be studying the words of Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, “Deliver us from evil.” We all have a lot of questions about Satan, evil and how our lives are affected by them. But while the questions abound, there aren’t many solid answers being offered by our society. This weekend we’ll take on a deep, and often, very emotional topic. You may not be totally satisfied with all the Bible has to say on this subject, but one thing is for sure, you’ll get answers to these tough questions that offer a hope you won’t find anywhere else.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning services: 10:00 am

Friday, September 18, 2015

Playing With Fire

When I was young the 4th of July meant one thing for sure, a huge bonfire. My dad would collect dry brush from the forest for months until there was what seemed like a mountain in our front yard. It would have only taken a match to light this huge torch, but my dad was given both to the dramatic and the dangerous. At about 10:00 pm we would gather around his pile of brush with friends and neighbors to sing the national anthem. A few minutes before getting everybody together, my dad would pour five gallons of gasoline on the pile. Yes, it was a crazy dangerous thing to do. But that’s what he did, every year, because he wanted to see the expression of shock on everyone’s face when he lit the fire as they sang, “Oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light…” Fortunately, maybe miraculously, my dad never hurt himself all those years of playing with fire.

In the book of Proverbs there is a question: “Can you scoop burning coals into your lap without getting burned?” That’s a no brainer. But the writer isn’t talking about somebody actually holding a burning log in his lap, he is talking about playing with the temptation to sin. My dad got away with playing with gasoline and fire, but no one, no one ever gets away with playing with temptation. We human beings always get burned. The only question is, “How badly do we get burned?”

This weekend we are going to be studying the 6th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer – “Lead us not into temptation.” If you are breathing right now, you are going to be tempted in some way in the next hour or so. That is the world we live in. What matters is, what you do with that temptation.

Have you been playing with the fire of temptation? Do you rationalize it with, “I can stop any time I want?” Join us for one of our services this weekend in order to look long and hard into the face of temptation. See it for what it really is – fire that will burn your soul.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning services: 10:00 am

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Forgiveness is Meant to Work Both Ways

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

Before you read on, look at that sentence one more time. Think about what it says. There are two parts to it. The first half of the sentence is a request which is based on us doing something in the second half of the statement. If you are scratching your head at these words of Jesus, that’s good because they can be confusing. “Does Jesus mean that God’s forgiveness of our sins is based on our forgiving other people? So if we refuse to forgive a friend or relative, then God will refuse to forgive us? If that is what he means, who in the world can be forgiven? Has anyone ever forgiven fully and freely during his/her entire life?”

This Sunday we’re going to be looking into what is called the 5th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. It is all about forgiveness. And it is very clear that Jesus means for forgiveness to work both ways. There’s no room in Jesus’ teaching for a cheap grace that sucks up God’s undeserved love but refuses to give any of it to other people.

The forgiveness of Jesus Christ is meant to change us radically – and the place it begins is the hardest – being able to forgive other people.

Don’t avoid the hard sayings of Jesus. The ones we like the least are also the ones which we need to most learn.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning services: 10:00 am

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How Much Stuff Is Enough

“Nobody knows but it sure is fun trying to find out!”

While most people will admit that money and material things don’t necessarily lead to happiness, deep down the response above reflects the way people live out their view of what we affectionately call “stuff”.

Stuff can even be a dangerous trap for Christians. Unlike so many other temptations, the fine line between a Christian understanding of stuff and a selfish view of the things we have is often very difficult to identify. It is very easy to subconsciously let our stuff become more and more important and without even realizing, it becomes the god of our lives.

In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus mentions stuff only once and in almost a passing way. He tells us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s a pretty simple prayer isn’t it? “Lord, please give me what I need each day to get by. That’s all.” An easy prayer to understand, a hugely difficult prayer to pray sincerely, especially for a culture in love with shopping.

How much stuff is enough? An excellent question. A soul searching question. A painful question. And above all, a question between each of us and God. No one can answer this question for us. It’s got to come from within.

Join us this Sunday. Start asking the questions about stuff so that God can lead you to personally answer the question, “How much stuff is enough in my life?”

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning services: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.