Friday, July 27, 2018

For What?

He (Elijah) came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life.” (I Kings 19:4).

The prophet Elijah was no wimp. He championed the message of God to a people who had turned against the Lord. He challenged 400 priests of Baal to a showdown about who truly is God.

Elijah had served his God and his nation with faith and fury. But his conviction and passion were gone. He was disgusted, discouraged, and depressed.
“I have had enough, LORD!”

Why feel defeated after so much success? The answer lies in something we can relate to – a powerful sense of futility. Disheartened, Elijah was asking himself, “For what?”

The same question has been asked by troops returning from places where they worked feverishly to carry out their missions, risked their very lives, and saw comrades fall. Coming home, it seemed America didn’t care. And the people they had protected were still at risk.
Wasn’t it Jesus who said that wars and rumors of wars will take place until the end of time? So, what’s the use of confronting enemies? Why risk one’s life when there will be no end of war?

For that matter, will any of our efforts accomplish something that will last? Won’t we, and most everything else, turn to dust? All of our hard work and planning: “For what?”
The Lord God shocked Elijah out of his misery by asking: “What are you doing here Elijah?”

No self-pity allowed! No attempt to convince him that he had accomplished much good. In the same way that a sergeant may straighten out the complaining private, so God informs Elijah, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself! You have a mission to accomplish. Get going!”

The Savior God is still in control. His will certainly will be done. His kingdom will come. We are not God. We have no way of knowing what all is taking place. Our vision is limited. Our judgment is flawed.

His strength overruns our weakness. His victory wipes out our failures.

Faithful service is never for nothing. If you’re feeling like Elijah, struggling with the question, “For what?”, join us for one of our weekend services. Get a shot of spiritual adrenalin to keep up the good fight that is never without success!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

This devotion was written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
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Friday, July 20, 2018

Faith: Weakness or Strength?

When you see or hear the word “faith” would you say your first impression is one of weakness or strength? For some people faith is definitely a sign of weakness, a demonstration that a person cannot resolve his/her problems and so has to resort to something make believe in order to cope.

The word faith, however, has a rich history of being a strong foundation of life and society. For years couples have gotten married on faith, believing that together they will be happier, more fulfilled individuals. By faith our American people elect government officials every two years believing that they will lead us to be a better people. By faith, brave young men and women go off to war believing that even if they have to give their lives, the cause they are fighting for is bigger, more important than their very existence.

And yet, we must admit that all the above examples of strong faith have, in too many instances, turned out to be disastrous. Couples have married only to divorce. Voters elect government officials but end up suffering for their ineptness. Millions have given their lives for causes which history has labeled as pure evil.

Regardless of the misconceptions people might have about faith, we cannot live without it. The key is, to have faith in what is true. And therein lies the great point of dispute. As Pontius Pilate asked 2000 years ago, “What is truth?”

The individual who wrote the New Testament letter we call “Hebrews” devotes an entire chapter to the subject of faith. It’s a beautiful tapestry of teaching, testimony and application. Reading Hebrews 11 is an exercise that always bears fruit.

If you’re struggling with how faith applies to your life, join us for one of our services this weekend. You might find your faith muscles get a little bit stronger.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, July 13, 2018

A World Without Warnings

If you are over 40 and read the title of this article, “A World Without Warnings,” you might have shuddered in terror. If you are under 20 years of age your reaction might have been, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Age has a lot to do with the way we respond to warnings. In the early years of our lives our reaction to someone who cautions us about something we intend to do is “yada yada”. A remarkable transformation takes place, however, as we get older. We turn from carefree risk takers who ignored the conservative warnings of our elders to the very ones who warn other people!

Now older readers might be chuckling a little because we remember how things often blew up in our faces because we blatantly disregarded wise warnings. It might even be that some of us feel deep regrets. Hard, hard experience is the single most potent force in opening the human spirit to warnings.

God gives us warnings in his letter to us. A simple way of putting his warning might be, “Do get so caught up in what you are doing that you blow me off.” Tragically, people of all ages react to his warning with “yada yada”. Others dismiss his strong advice as primitive scare tactics. But the grim reality is, no matter how fun life can be, it is going to end for each one of us. We may not like to be warned about this inevitability, but even the most laid back person must admit it is probably a good idea to give what happens in death some thought.

This weekend we’re going to be looking at some warnings God gives us in the New Testament book of Hebrews. Sure, they can go against the grain of our egos if we’re into a macho competition with God. But if we have the uneasy feeling that instead of us telling God what to do, we should be listening to him, these warnings serve to keep us focused on what is really important in life. Warnings, they can save lives – for eternity.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, July 6, 2018

How Hard It Is to Ask for Help

Researchers suggest that a great way to begin a relationship is to ask another person for help. For instance, if you just moved into a new home, it’s wise to ask your neighbor for advice about something or to borrow a ladder or tool for a project you are doing. The idea is that people feel superior when they are asked for help and of course everyone loves to feel superior to others. While it may well be an accurate observation, it says a lot about human beings. And, it also explains why so many people refuse to ask for help even when they desperately need it. It’s a pride thing. They don’t want to feel someone else is more capable or intelligent.

Could it be that many people walk away from Jesus Christ for the same reason? A person can come to Jesus with only one attitude, that they need help, big time help. This may be why men find it so difficult to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord because it means admitting they can’t do life on their own terms. What a tragedy it is when self-deceptive pride gets in the way of what we need most. Why is such pride self-deceptive? Because we are weak. We can’t do life alone. We may think we can. But inevitably, everyone gives into to age and death. What a pathetic sight it is to see a man in his nineties curled up in the fetal position whimpering in helpless fear when all his life he was considered a man who made things happen.

No matter how strong and successful you may be right now, there will come a day you will need the help only Jesus Christ can give. Why don’t you join us for one of our worship services this weekend? You may find that when it comes to asking help from Jesus, your whole life will change for the better.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 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.