Friday, January 28, 2022

The Jesus Vending Machine


“I prayed for a miracle, but God didn’t give it to me. Why should I believe in him?”

Maybe people don’t say it as bluntly as the statement above, but many are very disappointed with God because he does not answer their requests as they think he should. While we don’t intentionally develop the attitude, seeing Jesus as a supernatural vending machine is easy to fall into. We read passages which encourage us to pray, assure us of a good response and we think, “All I have to do is insert my prayer and out will come the miraculous blessing.” 

Even the most basic study of Jesus’ teachings on prayer shows that he in no way encourages us to see him as a vending machine of miracles. That’s why it’s good for us on a regular basis to study the miracles Jesus performed during his earthly ministry as they are recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. By studying the context of the miracles, we can avoid the two extremes of “I ask for what I want and Jesus gives it to me,” or “Miracles don’t happen anymore! That was only in the past.” 

There is an old saying, “Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.” The meaning of that proverb is we often ask for things which really aren’t good for us. And that can even happen in our relationship with Jesus. We believe in his power, but then we demand he use that power to give us things we want but which will have a negative effect on our relationship with him. Jesus loves us too much to give us what will push us away from him. Tragically, because we can’t see ourselves or our lives as he does, we interpret his love as cruelty. 

God does miracles today just as he always has. What we need is an understanding and appreciation of how and why God works in miraculous ways. If you feel a little cheated in the miracle category of your spiritual life, join us for one of our weekend services. The real Jesus is infinitely better than the vending machine Jesus. 

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

Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Beautiful and Offensive Jesus


Beautiful is a description we often use for Jesus. We picture him holding children in his arms, forgiving broken people, tenderly healing the suffering and welcoming those who are considered outcasts. Offensive, however, is not a word we often use to describe Christ and yet when we read the Gospels we frequently find him offending people to the point they want to kill him! 

When we offend others it is usually for selfish reasons. We are either getting even with them for offending us or they have done something we don’t appreciate and we’re letting them know our feelings. Jesus’ motives for upsetting people were far different. His intent was always to get them to re-evaluate their relationship with him. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that if a Christian has never felt offended by what Christ said or did, they are missing some essential teachings. Jesus always pushes people to grow not only in their understanding of God, but also their commitment to him. He is never content to leave us as we are, but rather to help us grow into the kind of people he saved us to be. 

But why does he have to be offensive? Because we’re stuck in comfortable attitudes and habits which distance us from him and need to be changed. We resist being moved out of our comfort zone and so he has to confront us strongly to move us ahead in our walk with him. 

If you’ve never seriously considered the “offensive Jesus”, join us for one of our weekend worship services. You might find that an unpleasant confrontation with Christ might open your eyes to blessings and benefits you never imagined. 

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

Friday, January 14, 2022

God Gets His Hands Dirty


One rainy day during the American Revolutionary War, George Washington rode up to a group of soldiers attempting to raise a wooden beam to a high position. The corporal in charge was shouting encouragement, but the soldiers couldn’t get the beam in position. After watching their lack of success, Washington asked the corporal why he didn’t join in and help. The corporal replied, “Don’t you realize that I am the corporal?” Very politely, General Washington replied, “I beg your pardon, Mr. Corporal, I did”.

Washington dismounted his horse and went to work with the soldiers to get the oak beam in position. As they finished, General Washington wiped perspiration from his face, and said: “If you should need help again, call on Washington, your commander-in-chief, and I will come.”

An even more stunning example of leadership is found in the Bible. 

Hebrews 2:14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son (Jesus) also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying… 

      Far from being aloof and apathetic, the God of all Creation got his hands dirty when he chose to become a human being. But it didn’t stop with just getting dirty, he also was bloodied. God became a human being because it was the only way the human race could be rescued. Our God is involved. Our God is committed to us. Join us for one of our weekend worship services to celebrate what that means. 

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

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Seeing God

Seeing God – that is an urgent and strong wish of many people. “If only God would come to me and let me see him, touch him so that I could know for sure he existed. Then I could believe,” they sigh. There is something in all of us which identifies with such sentiments. Yet, this longing is rooted in a very self-centered attitude. Our true motivation is, “God, you need to prove yourself to us on our terms.” However, if God is all that we describe him to be, do we have the right to make demands of him? 

If we are going to find God, it will be as he determines. He is the one who must pull back the curtain on the supernatural. He alone can reveal himself to us. And that is exactly what Jesus Christ says about himself – he is the visible revelation of the invisible God. But there is so much more to seeing God than just satisfying intellectual curiosity. If God exists and we human beings either are unaware or deny that reality, we are very much living in the dark concerning what is most important. 

Jesus described the effect of his coming into our history in many ways. One of the most well known is his statement, “I am the light of the world.” By describing himself this way Jesus is saying that he makes clear to human beings why we are here, what has gone wrong and what God has done about it. Jesus brings light to our humanity which gropes in the darkness, looking for answers to life’s most pressing questions. 

If you are looking for a little more light in your life, join us for our Sunday morning worship service. 

Worship service time: Sunday: 10:00 am.

(No Saturday night service this week only.)

Saturday, January 1, 2022

A Christian New Year Manifesto


Are you ready to make a public declaration of what is going to govern your life in 2022? That’s an intimidating question. But an important one. With all the uncertainty of the past few years we’ve settled into a “take each day as it comes” way of looking at life. There’s certainly something to that way of thinking, but regardless of our circumstances, the priorities and principles which determine our plans and decisions should not change. In fact, it is vital to reaffirm the truths on which we base our lives in times of so much confusion. 

As we head into year three of the Covid era we need to ground ourselves again and again in the unchanging God who gives us unchanging hope and wisdom on which to build our daily lives. Rather than looking within ourselves to find the means to cope successfully in the “new normal”, God invites us to look to him. 

This first Sunday of the New Year is an excellent opportunity to reaffirm and reembrace the massive, historical, and eternal truths of Jesus Christ. Together let’s confirm he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Together let’s promise to build our lives on the rock of his salvation. Together, let’s commit ourselves to one another as Christians walking with Christ to eternity. 

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 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.