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February 29, 2024

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Years ago, the Beatles released a song called "Eleanor Rigby." It's a pretty depressing song that talks about lonely, abandoned, heartbroken people who simply want to be loved. One of the lines is "All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they belong?"

That last line is particularly telling: "Where do they all belong?" To me, that says all those lonely people do have a place where they belong even though they may not realize it. All those lonely people are important to someone, and that someone is Jesus.

Jesus said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost," and he gave his life to prove it. So, Eleanor Rigby, if you're listening, you're not alone anymore.

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

February 28, 2024

Matthew 11:28  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Often people will say, "It was a come to Jesus moment." Generally the term refers to a time when a person has to admit he or she needs to get his or her life in order. I've also heard it used in sporting circles: "For the team it was a 'come to Jesus' moment'; they were going to have to try a different strategy or lose the game."

But forget the slang. What does it really mean to "come to Jesus"? Doesn't it have something to do with approaching the cross of Jesus in a spirit of humility? Doesn't it mean bowing the heart in confession and giving one's whole life to God? Doesn't it mean asking Jesus to come and lift us up because we know we can't make it without him?

When we feel worn out and beaten down by life, isn't it time to pray, "Come, Lord Jesus. Come"?


Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

February 27, 2024

Romans 5:8 God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

There was a segment on the news recently about a police officer who was passing by an alleyway when he saw a dog entangled in and fighting what seemed to be a losing battle with a fabric pull cord hanging from a dumpster. The officer went to the dog's aid, though wary of the animal's snarling and snapping to break free. When the dog was finally set free, the officer was greeted by a loving lunge as the dog leaped up to literally hug and kiss the man who had saved him.

Now while this story may seem like a wonderfully strange and simple human-interest piece, when I think of what Jesus did for us on the cross, it all becomes real and personal. "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

This Lenten season we are guided by God's love to stand beneath the cross and know we are forgiven and set free from sin and death. Man's best friend is Jesus.


Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

February 26, 2024

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

Did you know that a child hungers for the blessing of his or her parents? When he or she takes the first step and hears the cheers coming from mom and dad, it's a blessing that keeps on giving: "If I can walk, who knows? Maybe I can be the president of Concordia University someday."

I've also been told that if a child does not get the loving blessing of his or her parents, that child will search for that blessing the rest of his or her life. That's what makes these words of John so wonderful: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."

And so we are! Those words thunder from the heart of God, beginning at the very moment of our baptism: "This is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased."

You and I are children of God. Jesus went to the cross to prove it.

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

February 22, 2024

Ephesians 5:20 thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

St. Paul once said we are to give thanks in all circumstances. But does that mean giving thanks even in hard times? St. Paul would say out loud, " Christ Jesus."

Someone once told me, "No matter what comes, we always have a reason to give thanks because Jesus is close at hand forever." That truth has done something to my everyday thinking about hope.

Now I find myself thanking God even in the unexpected: "Thank you, Lord, I made it on time... Thank you, God, that car just missed me... Dear God, thank you for great weather today, for not letting me fall down the stairs, for a good night's sleep.. And, most of all, thank you for Jesus."

No wonder the psalmist can say, "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" (Psalm 107:1).

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

February 21, 2024

Matthew 15:28 O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.

It's Wednesday. Some call this "hump day" as they struggle to get through the work week so they can relax and enjoy the weekend. I'm wondering if Jesus ever felt that way too. I'm wondering if he ever thought to himself: "Man, I'm glad that's over with!" Or if he ever just wanted to crawl in a hole and forget all those people who kept crying out for his attention and healing touch.

I can't help thinking of that woman who just wanted to get close enough to touch Jesus. But a touch wasn't enough for Jesus. He wanted her to look at his face abd see the love that was there. And he wants us to see that love too. That's why during Lent Jesus guides us to the cross to see that the most perfect healing of all came not just in a touch but in a life - his life, his love, his everything.

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

February 20, 2024

Matthew 5:2-3 And Jesus opened his mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor...

Those words from Matthew's Gospel signal the opening to the Sermon on the Mount. The first twelve verses of chapter 5 are often referred to as the Beatitudes; which means "supreme blessedness" or "supreme happiness."

Some have taken the word beatitude and tweaked it a bit: they become be-attitudes. I like that. I like that because it helps describe the hope we have in Jesus. His first sermon on that mountain is an invitation to let every word of his, from that mountain moment on, guide us to the cross.

No matter what we may hunger and thirst for at any given moment, no matter what makes the heart ache or causes a person to fall into bed lost and feeling alone, Jesus speaks to all of it from the cross. That's why God's Spirit draws us there to turn all hearts into lives of hope and joy. That's when the Beatitudes become our be-attitudes.

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,