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Sunday, May 31st Devotion

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“Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “This is the place of repose” – but they would not listen.”  (Isaiah 28:11-12)

The Lord has offered the rest He alone can give all along, but many are they who will not listen.  The want, instead, what they desire and will not come to Him.  Do not be as the foolish in this world, but come to Him and find the purpose for which You have been created.  Be guided into understanding in the Holy Spirit and learn the mysteries of the ages.  The Lord offers to all, but only those who believe will come to Him.

Lord, help my unbelief and guide me ever deeper into the rest You give.  Guide me in Your Word that I may live according to Your purposes.  Help me see that what You offer is for all, but that only those who come into Your promises through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the grace of Christ are included in the offer.  May I not resist, the very reason we are separated, but live into the hope You give.

Lord Jesus, apart from You, it would not be possible to come into the rest, but through You, it is assured.  Help me, I pray, to live today and every day in the hope of the promise You give by grace through faith that I would live according to the purposes of Your eternal kingdom.  Help me live day by day trusting in You in the grace You give that I may live in peace and in the rest You alone can give.  Amen.

Saturday, May 30th Devotion

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“Who is it he is trying to teach?  To whom is he explaining his message?  To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?  For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there.”  (Isaiah 28:9,10)

Those who do not know the Lord have rules.  Many, many rules.  There are always laws and customs that must be learned.  With the Lord, it is to learn to live life the way it has always intended to be lived and walk with Him.  Yes, there are rules – those that are common to all man – but they are rules of order, not micro-management.  The Lord grants freedom to those who are in Him.

Lord, customs and traditions are okay, as afar as they go, but You have not created us to live under law, but have freed us to be the people You have created us to be.  Help me learn how to live freely in this life You have given, that I may live according to Your purpose.  Guide me into wisdom that I may, with understanding, live according to the established principles of Your everlasting kingdom.

Thank You Jesus for setting free the captives, held in bondage to sin, death and the devil.  Help me, I pray, to live according to Your never-failing principles that this life may be sustained and that I may today and everyday walk according to what You have established.  May I, in freedom, serve You this day in thought, word and deed, doing that which is pleasing in Your sight.  Amen.

Friday, May 29th Devotion

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“And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions.  All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth.”  (Isaiah 28:7-8)

How sad that generation after generation numb their minds through intoxication, living in a haze and so never actually thinking clearly.  Lord, You gave us minds to think and hearts to respond.  Guide those who will live in Your way according to the truth of a sober mind and spirit so that we would not become as those who stagger through life, or tolerate the vomit of sin being spread all around.

Lord, You have shown that there is more to life than just going through each day looking for physical sensations.  Guide the thoughts of our minds that we would focus on the truth that there is purpose, hope and a future for those who know there is more to life than momentary pleasures.  May we be guided deeper into the understanding You give and live according to the purposes You have proclaimed.

Lord, help me to be one who thinks this day, beginning with meditating on Your Word.  Help me, I pray, to spend time with You in Your Word and listen as You direct how life can and should be lived.  May I be faithful this day in all You give me to do with a sober mind and willing spirit,  and that all I may do be pleasing to You and bringing You glory.  Amen.

Thursday, May 28th Devotion

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“In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.  He will be a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.”  (Isaiah 28:5,6)

Walking in the ways of the Lord is the way of life.  Those who walk with Him will be with Him when His glorious kingdom comes.  Those who continue to rebel against Him will be forever lost, apart from the Lord.  Walk in His ways now, join in the cause that is forever, being one of the Lord’s created, humbly looking to Him, the Source of life, for all things and know life.

Lord, I get so busy being busy that I do not know what to do, yet right before me, you give me what I need, that I would have life and live it in the abundance of Your presence and purpose.  Help me, I pray, the live into this life You have given me, knowing that only in You will I find the purpose for which I have been created.  Direct my life to You, to live it as You have always intended.

Thank You, Lord, for the salvation You have prepared for all who believe.  Guide me today and every day to live into the Word You have given, knowing that only in You will I find all that I have been looking for.  May my life be devoted this day to walking in Your ways and doing what is right in Your sight.  Thank You for the guidance and encouragement You will bring along the way that I may walk in Your path.  Amen.

Lutheran CORE, Shelter and Voice

  • May 27, 2015 - 7:45 pm
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The apostle Paul, in the fifteenth chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians, describes how central and absolutely essential to the Christian faith are the resurrection of Jesus and our hope for eternal life through faith in Jesus.  He then concludes that chapter by saying, “Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  (1 Corinthians 15: 58)

We give thanks for this hope, which enables us to be steadfast, and we thank you for your ongoing support of Lutheran CORE, which enables us to abound in the work of the Lord.  We also want to give you an update on the work of Lutheran CORE, as we had promised.

The leadership team at their February meeting voted to sharpen their focus.  That focus can be summarized in two words – SHELTER and VOICE.

As a SHELTER for orthodox Lutherans, we will support and connect Lutheran individuals and congregations who seek to live in accord with Biblical and confessional teachings and practices.

As a PROPHETIC VOICE, we will advocate for Biblical authority and confessional fidelity among churches of the Lutheran community.

There are several people we want to thank as Lutheran CORE moves into a new era – Steve Shipman, who has retired after serving as our director since 2012; Paul Ulring, who has served as moderator since 2009; and Lynn Kickingbird, who has served as chairperson since 2010.  We are glad to share that Lynn will be continuing on the leadership team.  We also want to thank four others, who have served faithfully on the leadership team and will now be serving God in other ways – Mike Bennett, Wendy Berthelsen, Steve Dornbusch, and Patricia Muran.

As CORE now moves into a new era of sharper focus and greater effectiveness, we have moved our office to Wausau, Wisconsin.  Our new mailing address is  Box 1741, Wausau, Wisconsin 54402-1741. Our new phone number is – 1-888-810-4180

The following people have been elected to the new Board of Directors – Dennis Nelson, president; Steve Gjerde, vice-president; Cathy Ammlung, who will continue as secretary; and Rob Kittel, treasurer.  Three more people will continue on the leadership team – Keith Forni, Cori Johnson, and Lynn Kickingbird.  We also want to thank Eric Swensson, who will continue as our director of social media, and Jim Speckhard, who has volunteered to be our new bookkeeper.

Without a full-time director, our ministry will change.  We will not be holding an annual national convocation this summer, and we will not be co-sponsors of the theological conference.  But we will be doing such things as the following –

  • Addressing from an orthodox and confessional viewpoint major theological issues that are confronting the Lutheran community today, such as the authority of the Bible as the Word of God, the centrality of Jesus in Christian worship and preaching, and the changes that would be involved in our understanding of baptism and the Lord’s Supper if the practice of radical hospitality that is being advocated by some were to be adopted.
  • Challenging the ELCA to uphold its commitment to honor the bound conscience of those who hold a traditional view of human sexuality and marriage, while advocating for pastors who are not being treated fairly because of their traditional views.
  • Supporting local gatherings of orthodox and Biblically and confessionally faithful pastors and lay people.
  • Supporting Latino and other ethnic ministries at the local level, including serving as co-sponsor of a Lutheran Hispanic-Latino ministries Encuentro (Encounter) event in the Chicago area in October.

This past January a representative of Lutheran CORE – Steve Gjerde, our new vice-president – personally presented a paper to the ELCA’s working group on Ministry to Same-Gendered Families.  In this paper he presented a Biblical basis for the traditional view, while also calling for compassionate ministry to persons with same-sex attractions.  Starting in May, the Lutheran CORE blog will feature continuing commentary on each of the Common Confession’s seven points, with two months of reflection dedicated to each point.  Pastors and lay leaders will be contributing the blog posts, ranging from Biblical and systematic to devotional and personal.

As you can see, much of our work will be more local – supporting local groups – rather than national – with an annual convocation.  Much of it will be in the form of written communication – printed, online, and electronic articles and newsletters.  But we firmly believe that the work of Lutheran CORE is needed – now more than ever – as many in the Christian church are departing from the historic Christian faith.  And we believe that our efforts – being more focused – will be even more effective as we provide SHELTER for orthodox Lutherans and a PROPHETIC VOICE for the historic, confessional, Lutheran Christian faith.

We thank you for your prayer and financial support in the past, and we cherish your continued support in the present and the future.

In Christ,

Dennis Nelson, President                                              Steve Gjerde, Vice-President

Wednesday, May 27th Devotion

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“That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards, will be trampled underfoot.  That fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley, will be like figs ripe before harvest – as soon as people see them and take them in hand, they swallow them.”  (Isaiah 28:3,4)

Those things those the world values will be trampled under foot. The way of the Lord has always been true, though few try it.  The Lord intends to grow wonderful things in those who will turn to Him and walk in His ways.  Do not eat the poison of this world, but feast on the good things of the Lord.

In so many ways, Lord, I have taken in so much garbage from this world.  Everywhere I turn, I see the pollution of death the devil is spewing.  Help me, by grace, to have this cleaned out of me so that I would be filled with Your goodness.  Guide me ever deeper into this faith You have given me, knowing that only in You and by Your way is there the abundant life for which I was created.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming and rescuing one such as me.  Help me, I pray, to live according to Your principles today, following the example You have given me in the life You lived here on earth.  Guide me ever deeper into the mysteries of faith You have revealed and help me see that in You alone is there truly a future.  May I glorify the Father today by following You.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 26th Devotion

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Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards, to the fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley – to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!  See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong.  Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, like a driving rain and a flooding downpour, he will throw it forcefully to the ground.”  (Isaiah 28:1-2)

There are those in the world who in their delusional state think themselves powerful, but they are nothing before the Lord.  They will boast and make proclamations, but the Lord will humble the proud.  He who controls the earth is more than able to humble those who think they are able to control.  The day will come when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that it is the Lord who is ruler of all.

Lord, keep me from making boasts, oaths, or comments that foul the air.  Guide me to see that no matter what happens upon this earth in this age, there is nothing that compares to You who has created all things.  You alone are God and there is no other.  You alone are to be feared above all things.  You alone are the One who is worthy of all honor and praise.  Guide my heart to praise You.

Lord Jesus, the One through whom all things have come into being, make my heart to neither fear those who boast, nor listen to their empty words.  The men of this age are nothing.  You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  It is You under who’s headship the earth trembles.  You cause the rains and dry up the skies.  You alone are worthy of all honor and praise.  Amen.

Monday, May 25th Devotion

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“In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one.  And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.”  (Isaiah 27:12)

The day will come when the Lord will bring out all those who have called upon His name.  From across the globe, they will come.  Between this day and that, there will be war and rumor of war.  Some days will be better and some days will not.  But the Lord is bringing about His purposes in all that has gone before and all that will come.  On that day, a trumpet will sound.  Will you recognize its call?

Lord, bring me ever deeper into the wisdom You have given me through Your Word, that in that wisdom, I may live a life that grows in Your ways.  Keep me from the temptations that will seek to distract me, that I may continue growing in the discipleship You offer me.  Help me in the Holy Spirit to keep on track and fight the good fight until that day in which You call me to my eternal rest.

Lord Jesus, You fought each step of the way to lead the way for those who would follow to eternal salvation.  Help me to understand that each day will have its trouble and that with Your guidance and help, I can remain faithful, even though those around me are unfaithful.  Guide my heart to follow You all the days of my life and to finish the course You have set before me.  Amen.

Sunday, May 24th Devotion

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“The fortified city stands desolate, an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the wilderness; there the calves graze, there they lie down; they strip its branches bare.  When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them.  For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.”  (Isaiah 27:10,11)

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  From the beginning, those who walk with the Lord will find wisdom.  His wisdom begins with what those who have no wisdom call foolishness, the foolishness of the cross.  A people who will not gain understanding, who will not turn to the Lord, why should He have compassion on those who hate Him?  Why should He heal those who do not want to be healed? To the world that is foolishness.

Lord, in every age, You have reached out to those who call upon Your name.  Gently guide Your faithful to see what is at stake, and what can be done to continue with what You are doing. Teach us faithfulness that in Your compassion, we may know how to live in this rebellious world.

Lord Jesus, there is no hope apart from the grace You have purchased and give to all who come to You.  This world is filled with hopelessness and many are they who wander around in the stupor of sin.  Help me to be bold in life this day and every day, that I may proclaim with my actions and words the truth of the salvation You have purchased for all who will believe.  Amen.

Saturday, May 23rd Devotion

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“By warfare and exile you contend with her – with his fierce blast he drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows.  By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like limestone crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing.”  (Isaiah 27:8,9)

When all of the idols are removed and the Lord alone is worshiped, this is what is coming.  The Lord is Lord alone and there is no other, yet the rebellion of the people continues and the recompense of sin abounds.  Warfare and exile comes as a result.  The faithful cry, “When O Lord, when will the warfare cease?”  The end is at the cross, and the cross is the final answer.

O Lord, help me to see more clearly that sin in this world has its grip in every corner.  Drive me to the cross in order to see clearly that what You have accomplished is the salvation for all who will look to You and what You have prepared. You are calling all to turn from their ways to You, the only and true God who saves.  Help me to see what You have done.

Lord, apart from You nothing can or will happen that is going to last.  Yet, the rebellion remains and there are all those who bend the knee to false gods.  Help me to resist the temptations of this world and turn to You, the One true and holy God that has created all things.  Guide me in the grace You have purchased from the cross, that I may walk with integrity and live according to Your principles in spite of the tugs of this world.  Amen.