Saturday, February 27, 2021

Jesus’ Stories about Priorities


Jesus told stories, lots of them. Not only were they very good stories, they were short and to the point. Nothing long and dragged out. But they were powerful stories, in an uncomfortable way because they forced people to confront things in their lives that most of us would rather ignore. He told stories about how to treat other people. He told stories about how NOT to treat others. He told stories about money (ouch!) and he told other stories about God. But when you take all the stories Jesus told and put them together, you could say, he told stories about priorities.

The reason these stories challenge us so is that Jesus showed us what God’s priorities are and how different they are from our own. And usually his stories ended with the warning, “Look, there are serious consequences if you ignore what I say.” That kind of talk doesn’t attract people. We’d rather be told, “It doesn’t matter what your priorities are, as long as they work for you!” But that statement could only be true if each one of us was God, and we know that isn’t the case!

So we are left with the stories Jesus told and the question, “Are we going to take his stories to heart?” Join us for one of our weekend services if you feel that it’s time for a priority change in your life.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Where Is My Miracle?

It isn’t hard to be confused by the subject of miracles. For some people, it seems there are miracles a minute. Whether it is an unexpected check in the mail or a parking space opening up near the entrance of Costco, some Christians see God’s supernatural working in everything! For others, while they believe God is indeed ruling all things according to his perfect will, they wonder if perhaps everything we might call a miracle isn’t. After all, some sick Christians pray for healing and aren’t healed. Others pray for family peace and stability only to live in a constant war zone. Maybe the question is, “If miracles happen, how do I get mine?”

It could be our questions about miracles stem from a misunderstanding of the miracles Jesus performed during his ministry. When we read the Gospels it seems like every time he turns around Jesus is doing a miracle. But the truth is, there are only about three dozen miracles which are recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Sometimes Jesus refused to do miracles. In one case, it says, he couldn’t do a miracle because of the attitude of the people!

We see Jesus’ miracles as immediate fixes to severe problems which made the lives of those receiving the miracles much easier and pleasant. And to be honest, the miracles we want would do the same for us. But what if that really isn’t the purpose of Jesus’ miracles? What if he intends something much deeper and profound than making people happy for the moment?

If you’re struggling with miracles, join us for one of our weekend services. You might change your mind about what they’re supposed to mean in our lives. And that may actually lead to a miracle!

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Get Serious

 

Each week I do an internet search for photos to use with this sermon summary. Today I typed in “get serious”. Knowing that this weekly message comes from a Christian church you have a pretty good idea that the article is going to have something to do with getting serious about God. From the results of the search, however, most people are more interested in getting serious about body building than they are God because the first photos were of an incredibly muscular medical doctor by the name of Brett Osborn who wrote a book entitled “Get Serious” about health and fitness. If one can judge by the results Dr. Osborn had following his own advice, one would come to the conclusion he knows what he is talking about!

Jesus probably did not work out all that much or even worry about his diet. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about his health. No, his problem wasn’t getting enough physical exercise, it was getting enough rest. And as for food, the issue wasn’t which types of foods to eat, it was getting enough food period on some days. Life was much different in Israel of 30 AD than it is in the United States of America in 2021. But if Jesus came to live in America today, his preaching would be the same.

You see, while he was concerned about physical health, Jesus spoke much more about the necessity of spiritual health and one’s relationship with God. That is kind of ironic to us as the subject of God for the majority of people is much less compelling than workout programs. However, Jesus said some shockingly spectacular things about himself and what those statements mean in regard to our long-term future.

Dr. Osborn is an incredibly impressive example of physical fitness. But 50 years from today, he won’t be. And that was exactly the point Jesus made over and over. No matter how good a physical condition we may have, we will become victims of death. We need something more than a strong body, we need a Savior. And that is exactly who he claimed to be.

Join us for one of our worship services this weekend. Together, let’s get serious about what matters most!

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Short-Term or Long-Term?

 


When it comes to investing, the first question any financial advisor has is, “How long are you going to leave your money in?” The differences in strategies are significant depending on the length of the investment. Unfortunately, most of us have a great difficulty in making those important long-term investments because it would mean we would have to put off buying certain things we feel are essential to our happiness right now.

An even more serious question is, “In what are you going to invest your life – the short-term or the long-term?” In this case too, the short-term has a powerful appeal. If we don’t enjoy life now, when will we? Who knows if we’ll even be alive a year from now so why not live life to the max? Jesus, however, shared a much different view of life investment in what has been called throughout history, the Sermon on the Mount. It’s really short, as sermons go, but it is packed with a power which has transcended the millennia. In a few words he says, “God created and saved you for the long-term, so your best bet is to live right now for the long-term.”

The incredible thing about the life Jesus describes is that while it goes completely against the ideas for happiness which saturate our society, the person who puts them into practice discovers a solid, stable sense of peace, contentment and fulfillment. As one Christian put it, “If you live for the next world, you get this one in the deal; but if you live only for this world, you lose them both.” C.S. Lewis

Jesus’ long-term lifestyle is a win-win proposition. Since he rose from the dead, doesn’t that give him a credibility unmatched when it comes to life investments?

 Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, January 29, 2021

What Does God Want to Do in Your Life?

 


Figuring out what God wants to do in our lives is one of those questions we struggle with because we tend to think that what we want just naturally is what God wants. More often than not, what we want is a problem-free, pleasant life, while God is looking for a life of godly growth and productivity. We measure success by visible results which tangibly influence our day to day lives in a positive way. God sees success in wise choices, patient trust and persevering obedience.

A man by the name of Nicodemus came to Jesus one evening with the question, “What does God want to do in my life?” The answer Jesus gave him was at first confusing because being like the rest of us Nicodemus didn’t initially appreciate what Jesus was offering. We know that later in his life he did because he became one of Jesus’ disciples. But at that first meeting, Jesus turned Nicodemus’ view of God’s working in his life upside down.

How about you? Are you ready to let God do what he needs to do in your life? Have you come to the point where you are prepared to accept that it is not only okay, but probably good, that God has a very different view of what needs to be done in your life?

Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus produced some of the most life transforming statements human language has ever recorded. Join us for one of our weekend services. Open yourself up to what God wants to do in your life.

 To watch an excellent video presentation of Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus, click here.

 Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, January 22, 2021

 



There aren’t many individuals in history like John the Baptist. How many people can you find who would let themselves be thrown under the bus and still keep everyone focused on someone else? But that is exactly what John the Baptist did throughout his life – he pointed people to Jesus Christ.

He knew it wasn’t about himself. He accepted that reality and was very open about it with everyone who asked. And lots of people asked. Yet, patiently, but firmly he always said the same thing, “I’m pointing you to Jesus. He’s the one you’re looking for.” Even when he was in prison, with doubts and fears swirling through his mind, he stayed the course and finished his race just as he started – pointing to Jesus.

Some people might look at John’s life and mutter, “What a waste. He never thought about himself and look where it got him, headless!” But John would have replied, “That kind of comment demonstrates a vision of the short term. I live in the long term because that is where Jesus is.”

You and I are confronted with the same decision: do we look out for ourselves and live in the short term or point the way to Jesus and live in the long term? It is either one or the other. No one can have it both ways. That’s why John spoke as forcefully, even harshly as he did. Eternity hangs on the question we must answer.

If you believe that Jesus is who he claims to be and embrace his long term vision, then your life has the same purpose as John’s – to point the way to Jesus. Have you taken that thought seriously? Join us for one of our weekend worship services. Let John’s story be yours!

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Jesus Pulls Back the Curtain

 

For those old enough to remember, when it comes to curtains or doors, the image which comes to mind is the face of the venerable Monty Hall of Let’s Make a Deal presenting an outrageously costumed person with the option of Curtain #1, Curtain #2 or Curtain #3. Of course, what followed was the predictable participant reaction of nail biting, jumping up and down and glances to family members in the audience for guidance. Something very good was behind one of those curtains. But that was the problem, which curtain?

People have similar feelings about God. They have a sense he exists and that he even is on their side. It’s as though he is behind a curtain, but they’re not sure which one. With so many religions and philosophies about God, who can know which one to choose?

Two thousand years ago a man by the name of John wrote an account of the life of a very close friend of his. His friend’s name was Jesus Christ. Not only did this Jesus do incredible things like perform miracles, he made even more incredible claims – he said he is God in human form. The title of John’s book is, “The Gospel of John”. In the very first chapter John doesn’t leave any doubt that what he is going to write is unique, for he says, “Jesus Christ pulled back the curtain covering God.” As one translator of John’s work put it, “God became a human being and moved into the neighborhood.”

If you feel that God has been hiding behind a curtain and you’d like to get to know him better, join us for one of our worship services this weekend. Jesus is too good to remain hidden to you.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Four Gospels – One Jesus

 Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are the names of the men who wrote the biographies of the life of the most famous and influential person in the history of the world – Jesus Christ. Each author, in his own unique way, presents Jesus as the one and only Savior which the human race so desperately needs to rescue it from the unbreakable grip of death. The writings are ancient, almost two thousand years old. Still, they remain at the top of the best seller list every year. Ironically, though the Gospels are purchased, they are not read. The short reads of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John lay unopened on coffee tables or tucked away in closets. Perhaps it is our disdain for the ancient, or our skepticism of the supernatural or our obsession with the entertaining.

Regardless of our self-made obstacles to reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, their appeal remains the same as it always has: “Read us and your life will be changed.” Does such a claim seem tired and worn out in our culture of exaggerated promises? Don’t let the artificial inhibitions of our culture keep you from the Gospels. This weekend we begin a three month adventure studying the one Jesus through the four Gospels. Join us! Give change a chance!

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Fireworks Life

 

The fireworks were shockingly spectacular this year. For the first fifteen minutes of the New Year we were surrounded by a furious array of sights and sounds which seemed to take our breath away. And then, as quickly as it started, everything began to quiet down. Slowly at first, but within an hour only the stars in the night sky twinkled and there was silence. Those fifteen minutes of fireworks seemed like a long time while they were exploding. But now, the whole scene feels like a passing mirage. It all came and went so fast.

Human life can develop into a fireworks display. We live for the moment, for the feeling, for the explosions of pleasurable emotions and circumstances. We live for ourselves. We live to be noticed, to be appreciated, to be recognized. And when those things happen, we seem to be living a fireworks life. But how often does that happen? How long does it last? Maybe an even more serious question to consider is, “How long does human life really last?” The obvious answer is, “Not long in the big picture of things.”

There was an old man who briefly encountered the Christ of Christmas when he was just a baby. Simeon was anonymous to most people. He was only “that old man who hangs around”. But even from the few verses the Bible speaks about him, this man Simeon led a quiet, humble and ultimately effective life. There were no fireworks about him, but there was a substance to him that was made of eternity.

What kind of life do you want in 2021: fireworks or eternal effectiveness?

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My photo
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.