The Victory Over Worry and Fear

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

The victory over a worried and troubled heart is a greater knowledge of God’s presence. When you find fear and anxiety welling up in your heart, call upon Jesus in prayer. Jesus said “men (all of us) ought always to pray and not to faint.” Tell Him all your trouble, ask for the way forward to be lighted by His presence, for His promise is “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Seek answers and solace in the word of God. The Holy Spirit that is within will illuminate the heart and mind, bringing peace and calmness. Then thank the Lord for all the blessings He has freely bestowed upon an unworthy sinner. From our good God comes every good gift. He never changes. In Sunday School we learned to worship our great God with prayer, praise and thanksgiving. We should avail ourselves often of these; there is great benefit in so doing. Finally, with the song writer,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face,

and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in light of His glory and grace.”

God’s Peace!
Pastor Mark

Posted on 23 Jan 2017

A Wife to Love and Live With in Peace

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it.”

Advice for young men who desire a wife to consider:

1. Choose a Christian for a wife who loves God and His word. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2nd Corinthians 6:14. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

2. Don’t marry until you can love the lady you desire to marry completely without reservation.

3. Don’t hurry into marriage until you get to know her as she is with all her faults, which could cause you to despise your wife after you are married.

4. Remember God commands you to love one who has forsaken all others for you. One who is contented to be your wife in good times and bad times, through joy and sorrow as long as life will last.

5. Always magnify her strengths and minimize her weaknesses. Remember you also have your weak and strong points.

6. As women are affectionate and passionate, they also expect the same love and affection from you. “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” Song of Solomon 2:16

7. Thank her always and be ready to praise her for her efforts to make the home you will establish a happy joyful place. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:28

8. Don’t stir up anger in your wife. Remember what the Bible says : “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

9. Smother her with love and kindness: you will find it returns many times over.

10. Two sinners saved by God’s infinite grace are getting married. Remember to always have forgiveness toward your wife: as Christ has forgiven you, so also you forgive her. Know for sure that this side of heaven, neither of you will be without the need of forgiving each other.

11. The man and wife who pray together stay together. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Luke 18:1

This advice is good for all who would be married, and for all of us who are married.

God’s Peace!

Pastor Mark Matson

Posted on 05 Jun 2017

The Sacrament of the Alter

As we journey as God’s children to heaven, our good and ever merciful God has provided in this sacrament- which we call both the communion service and the Lord’s Supper- a precious and holy love feast, to strengthen us in faith and assure us our sins are forgiven. What a gift when we receive the body and blood of Jesus in and under the bread and wine! Thanksgiving and praise be forever given to God for the Sacrament of the Altar.

The Hymn writer William Williams wrote in 1745, “I am weak but thou art mighty; Hold me with thy powerful hand. Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more.”

Why do we need the Sacrament of the Altar?

As we look upon our lives in the brightness of a Holy God, who sees into the heart, and knows every thought, we find we are sinners in need of forgiveness, for we sin much every day and deserve nothing but punishment. As great as our need is, much greater is the food from heaven: the body of Jesus broken for us; the living bread from heaven given for us to eat and not die, and the precious blood of Jesus shed for the remission of all our sins. God gave this Sacrament to the Church. What a gift! In the Christian Church, God richly and daily forgives all believers all their sins. By this feast of love and grace we are drawn close to the Lover of our souls, Jesus Christ our Redeemer who has promised to never leave nor forsake us. The words of institution ring loud and clear: ” And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

What does Jesus give us at the Communion Table?

At the Lord’s table our Lord and Savior is providing the Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness of His eternal sacrifice of Himself. Sufficient for all, given to all who come, benefiting only believers. The simplicity of Apostle John’s words, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” John 5:11-12

How is Jesus really present?

We do not try to explain how Jesus is in and under the bread and wine. We by faith believe, teach, confess and rejoice that he is present. As Luther puts it plainly, “We maintain that the bread and the wine in the Lord’s supper are the true body and blood of Christ.” As Jesus said “This is.

God’s Peace!
Pastor Mark

Posted on 02 Jul 2016

An Exhortation Toward a Christian Life

“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” 1st Peter 1:17-21Thus Peter says: You by faith have attained even to this, that ye are the children of God and he is your Father, and you have obtained an incorruptible inheritance in heaven, which has been said in verse 4; so nothing more now remains, except for the veil to be taken away, and that to be uncovered which is now concealed or which ye are to still wait until ye behold it. Though ye have arrived at that state in which you may joyfully call God your Father, yet he is so righteous that he will reward every man according to his works, and respect not persons. Wherefore thou art not to imagine, although thou hast already that great name that thou art called a Christian or a child of God, that he will therefore continue if thou livest without fear, and thinkest it is enough if thou dost glory in that name. The world indeed judges according to the person, since it does not punish all alike, and respects those who are friendly, rich, reputable, learned, wise and powerful; but God regards nothing of this kind; it is all alike to him, the son of King Pharaoh died, as well as the son of the poor miller. Exodus 12:29

Therefore the Apostle would have us expect such judgement from God, and stand in fear, so that we do not glory in our title that we are Christians, and rely upon that, as though he would for this reason be more lenient to us then to others. For in this the Jews were formerly deceived, who boasted that they were Abraham’s seed and God’s people. Scripture makes no difference in respect to the flesh, but in respect to the spirit. It is true that Christ was to be born of Abraham’s seed and that a holy people should spring from him, but it does not therefore follow that all who are born of Abraham are the children of God. He also promised that the Gentiles should be saved, but has not said that he would save all the Gentiles.

But here a question arises: When we say that God saves us alone by faith, without regards to works, Why does Peter say he judges not according to the person, but according to works? Answer: What we have taught as to faith alone justifying before God, is true beyond doubt, since it is so clear from scripture it cannot be denied. That God judges according to the works, as the Apostle here says, it is also true; but we must certainly hold therefore that where no faith is, there can be no good works; and on the other hand, there is no faith where there is not good works. Consequently join together both faith and good works, since it is both that the sum of the whole Christian life consists. As you now live, so will it be with you, for according to your life will God judge you. Therefore although God judges us according to our works, still it remains true that works are only the fruits of faith, by which we perceive when there is belief or unbelief; hence God will judge and convict you according to your works whether you have or have not believed. So it is that one can not well convict and judge a liar, except from his word. yet he is not made a liar by his word, but became a liar before he spoke the lie, for the lie must come from the heart into the mouth. Therefore understand this passage thus, in the plainest way: That works are fruits and signs of faith, and that God judges men according to such fruits which must certainly follow, so that it shall be openly seen whether there is faith or unbelief in the heart. God will not judge according to this, whether you are called a Christian, ot whether you have been baptized, but will ask you: “Art thou a Christian? then tell where are the fruits by which you can evidence your faith.” Martin Luther

For brethren, you have been called unto liberty , only use not your liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

Jesus says: 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:44-45

Oh Father of mercies, God of all grace, we ask this harvest season with Thanksgiving soon upon us, that you would cause our hearts to overflow with your love to each other and to our neighbors, that fruits off love would witness to all people, in the world we live in. That all the world would see we are your disciples because we love one another, and grant us daily lives of faith that bring glory to your great name in Jesus name. Amen

God’s Peace be with you all
Pastor Mark

Posted on 27 Sep 2016

A New Life as a Child of God

“…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 1st Cor 5:17

We have heard above that the two parts are to be together in a Christian and emphasized in Christian teaching. The first part is faith, that we are redeemed from sin through the blood of Christ and have forgiveness. The second part, after we have [faith], is that afterward we should become different people and live a new life. In Baptism, or when we begin to believe, we receive not only the forgiveness of sins (which is the grace that makes us God’s children) but also the gift that must do away with the remaining sins and kill them. Our sins are not forgiven so that we would continue in them (as St. Paul says in Romans 6), as the insolent spirits and despise-rs of grace allege. Rather, even though sins have been blotted out through Christ’s blood, so that we do not need to pay or make amends for them, and we now are children of grace and have forgiveness, yet that does not mean sin has been entirely done away with and killed in us.
The forgiveness of sins and the killing of them are two different things. Both of them must be proclaimed against those who confuse and turn things upside down with false doctrine. Against the first, the pope and many others have taught that the forgiveness of sins is to be obtained through the trickery of their own self-chosen and invented works and their own satisfactions. This error always continues in the world from Cain at the beginning to the end. Then, when this error has been put down, there are again false spirits on the other side, who have heard the preaching about grace and boast about it and yet produce nothing more from it, just as if that were enough, and forgiveness should do nothing more in us than that we remain as we were before. Afterward, there were just as many as before, when we still knew nothing at all about Christ and the Gospel.
Therefore, those who want to be Christians must know and learn that, since they have obtained forgiveness without their own merit, they must from now on not allow or indulge in sin, but rather oppose their former, evil, sinful lusts and avoid and flee their work and fruits. That is the summary and meaning of this Epistle reading.
Luthers Works, Vol. 78: Church Postil III (St. Louis: CPH, 2014), 154-155

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Where in in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,…” Ephesians 2:1

“…Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” ….If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Gal 5:16,25

We are sinners, covered by by by the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! We do sin every day this side of our last breath, as Christian’s, we thank and praise God, for his Church on earth where by the word (Jesus) He richly and daily forgives us all our sins.

Three questions for all of us. How then shall we live? Turning to our sin daily? Or in repentance turning to Jesus daily?

God’s Peace be with you all.

Posted on 21 Apr 2016

Memorial Day Prayer

On this Sunday before Memorial Day, we pause to reflect upon our blessings as a nation and the high cost of those blessings for many.

Let us give Thanks and pray! Almighty God! Lord of all nations!

Thank you for the freedom we enjoy in this country, for opportunities to flourish, and for the security of our land.

Thank you for those who have served in the armed services of our country, risking their lives for our liberty.

Thank you for those who have given their lives in service to our country, sacrificing in such a costly way for the sake of others, including me.

Thank you for a day set apart, not just for celebration, but also for solemn remembrance as we consider the sacrifices of so many in our military.

O Lord, grant us thankful hearts, make us more aware of just how blessed we are as a nation. We desire today to praise and thank You as the giver of all good gifts grant us faithfulness in stewarding them , more eagerness to share them with others.

We pray today for the families and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our nation. Give them comfort in their sorrow! May they be reassured that the sacrifice of their loved ones contributes to a worthy cause. Grant us all grace to commit our loved ones living and dead into your gracious hands.

Even as we remember those who have given their lives in the past, we also think of those whose lives are on the line today. We think especially of the men and women who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other places of conflict and violence. Protect them. Encourage them. Bring them home safely .

Give wisdom to the leaders of our armed services, that they might know how best to deploy the troops in the cause of freedom. Grant that their efforts would be successful, so that true peace with justice might be established in our world.

Guide those who lead our nation in international affairs. Help them to pursue diplomatic paths that prevent needless conflict. Give them your wisdom to decide when and how to use the military might you have entrusted to us.

Oh God of peace, stir in the hearts of the leaders of all nations and in all who would use violence to further their cause. Change their hearts and minds. Give them a passion for peace. Bring an end to the pain, suffering, injustice, and violence in our world.

We acknowledge that final peace: and the end of all wars will be when the last trumpet sounds and Jesus comes. We thank You that Jesus by His death destroyed Him that has the power of death, that is the devil, and He lives forevermore interceding for the Saints. The end will have come.

The dead in Christ shall raise first, then we that are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.. Even so come Lord Jesus Amen.

Pastor Mark

Posted on 29 May 2016

Christmas Gifts

For God so loved the world that He gave us his only begotten Son, That whosoever believed in him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16
Jesus is God’s love to us; Jesus has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Jesus born under the law became one with us. From The manger to the cross, a perfect life he lived no sin, not one! Jesus stood in the place of judgement on our behalf. Jesus tasted death for every man that we shall not die, but live. From the cross the word of life is spoken Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Jesus rose bodily and ascended to heaven as the word of life He intercedes at the right side of the Father and is always with his church interceding on behalf of each member, of his body on earth, through the gospel.
The many gifts, from the greatest gift ever given Jesus:
1.Matchless love 2.Matchless grace. 3.Matchless faith.
4.Matchless hope. 5.Matchless forgiveness.6.Matchless wisdom.
7.Matchless righteousness, 8.Matchless sanctification.
9.Matchless redemption.10.Matchless peace.11Matchless victory.
12.Matchless Justification. 13Matchless mercy.14Matchless Joy.

This is just a few of the gifts we receive from the unspeakable gift Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord Psalm 150:6
God’s Peace and Joy fill each of you as we celebrate the Greatest gift ever given!

Posted on 29 Nov 2015

Easter for You!

First, what ought to follow the simple knowledge of this story, is to understand and regard the resurrection of Christ in a truly Christian fashion, because the great majority of people listen to the resurrection of Christ like a story about the Turks. To them it is a story painted on the wall. It must be something better, as we sing in the hymn, “So let our joy rise full and free; Christ our comfort true will be.” We must consider that it is ours, that it has to do with you and me. We should not only consider how the resurrection happened, but that you recognize that it happens for you, as the Lord says in the words: “Go and tell my brothers!” (Matthew 28:10 ). There we hear what he intends with his resurrection.

This is the true teaching of the resurrection: that each person receives the resurrection as his or her own. For there is a great difference between `Christ is a Savior and king,’ and `Christ is my Savior and my king.’ But just how difficult this is, is indicated by the disciples, who scarcely believe that Christ is raised�not to mention that he is raised for them. Martin Luther

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,.. 1st Peter 1:3

Brothers and Sisters be assured the resurrection is for you!

Happy and blessed Easter to all of you!

Posted on 13 Mar 2016

We have reason to rejoice and praise God this Easter

What do we receive as the gift of God? Eternal life through Jesus Christ Redeemer and Lord.
Thanks and Praise are warrantedBible words about our redemption.

Atonement: The redemptive life and death of Jesus, bringing together lost man with his Holy God, by the offering once for all, sacrifice at Calvary.

Rom 5:6-11 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Reconciliation: To be united as one again, How? By the substitutionary Sacrifice of Jesus

IICor 5:18-21 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Propitiation: The satisfying of the requirements of a Holy God, fulfilling the law and appeasing his wrath, this Jesus did.

1st John 4:10-13 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Resurrection: A rising from the dead. Jesus’s resurrection is for now, our rising from dead works to serve, the living God, and for eternity a new and glorified body as He has.

Rom 6:4-5 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

John 11:25,26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die….

1st Peter 1:3, 8 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, … Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Thank you Lord! for Your grace and mercy full and free! Titus3:5-7 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7

Easter Blessings
Pastor Mark

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God’s right hand He stands,
And brings us life from Heaven.
Wherefore let us joyful be,
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of Alleluia! Alleluia!

No son of man could conquer Death,
Such mischief sin had wrought us,
For innocence dwelt not on earth,
And therefore Death had brought us
Into thralldom from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And kept us in his bondage. Alleluia!

But Jesus Christ, God’s only Son,
To our low state descended,
The cause of Death He has undone,
His power forever ended,
Ruined all his right and claim
And left him nothing but the name,
His sting is lost forever. Alleluia!

It was a strange and dreadful strife
When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life;
The reign of death was ended.
Stripped of power, no more it reigns,
An empty form alone remains
Death’s sting is lost forever! Alleluia!

Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree�
So strong His love!�to save us.
See, His blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, Death passes over,
And Satan cannot harm us. Alleluia!

So let us keep the festival
Where to the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended! Alleluia!

Then let us feast this Easter day
On the true Bread of Heaven;
The Word of grace hath purged away
The old and wicked leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed;
He is our Meat and Drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other! Alleluia!
Martin Luther’s Easter Hymn

Posted on 21 Mar 2015 

The Eternal Intercessor in all our trials of life

The moment the ransomed and released soul enters glory, the first object that arrests its attention and fixes its eye is the interceding Savior, Faith anticipating the glorious spectacle, sees Him now pleading the blood on behalf of each member of His Church upon earth.

“By His own blood He entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us”
Hebrews 9:12

“For Christ has not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figure of the true: but into heaven itself, Now to appear in the presence of God for us”
Hebrews 9:24

There is blood in Heaven! the blood of the incarnate God! And it pleads and prays, argues and intercedes , the voice of every sin is hushed, every accusation of Satan is met, every daily transgression is forgiven, every temptation of the adversary is repelled, every evil is warded, every need is supplied, and thy present sanctification and final glorification of the saints are secured.

” Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died, yes rather , that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us”
Romans 8:33-34

Draw near, you Joshua’s, accused by Satan!

Approach you Peters whose faith is sifted!

Come, you tried and disconsolate!

The mediatorial angle, the pleading Advocate, the interceding High Priest, has passed into the heavens, and appears before the throne for you.

If the principle of the spiritual life in your soul has decayed, if your grace has declined, if you have left your first love, there is vitality in the interceding blood of Jesus, and it prays for your revival. If sin condemns, and danger threatens, and temptation assails, and affliction wounds, there is living power in the pleading blood of Immanuel, and it procures pardon, protection and comfort.

From Octavius Winslows, book The Minstry of Home, 1847

Posted on 24 Aug 2015