The Lutheran Hour 3-26-17

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Sunday, March 26th

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The Lutheran Hour. Bringing Christ to the nation's. Personal setbacks and tragic events may lead us to conclude. Wrongly that god is working against us. Today pastor Ken Klaus cancers that troubling question. Why he. It is hard for someone who was suffering to understand my god would allow tragedies of late to upset their apple cards in the reason I can't understand how Christians believe god is loving when he seems so. And this and vindictive. Judging god they mistakenly decided. Effectively you're as simply intentionally. Or unintentionally. Hit them stay with us for pastor close this message. Later Paul lo wore thin Flavio not to join us to talk about the challenge of ministry in their home country of Brazil. And the listener wants to know if fasting. Makes god more receptive to our prayers. Hello I'm mark pressure. Your gifts and prayers enable the Lutheran Hour to share Christ's love with people around the world thank you for your faithful support. And now with today's message titled dogs got it in for me. Here's our speaker emeritus pastor Ken Klaus. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. These words of resurrection victory or the lord's ultimate proof of his love. And the blessed assurance which is dollars because of the reason redeemer. God grand such grace be given to assault amen. Over the years I've noticed the number of people who say they don't believe in god has been growing. For example this year for the first time in many centuries the percentage of people in England and Wales who claimed to have no religion. Significant Leo numbers those who say they're Christians. That being said and I've also noticed this lack of belief does not touch on every aspect of life. For example that they carpenter hit the news down with a hammer and he is not likely to say. Goodness gracious that's sting news. Nor is a homeowner who is stub his toe on the coffee table likely to hop around X claiming how foolish of me how foolish of me. No it's such times even the I'm believe there is likely to call on the name of the deity in whom he doesn't believe. And ask him to consign the pain causing object to the fires of battle he doesn't accept. Now people can say what they want to bone and believe me inning guy and but I am just saying. I'm just to ten and skeptical. That's so long ago I was at the Dallas airport waiting for a flight. Entertainment was provided by a television carrying non stop news. The show was interrupted by a commercial for child fund international and see in the hands. They feature a fellow with the boaters smooth voice describes a child and desperate mean. The child in this commercial was scooping water out of a stagnant pool. The men and told us for a few pennies a day we could transform this young ones life. The fellow two seats down from mine commented. You've got to was doing his duty we wouldn't have to watch commercials like them. The man's companion surprised at the intensity of what he just herds and I didn't think you believed in god. That question open the critics of venomous floodgates. How can anyone believe inning guy and he rented. Guy and if he really is there could fix every problem was just a word. But he doesn't. So I don't believe in him. Normally am maintenance seamless to such a fellow band that they had some prep time is listed online I introduced myself among other things said. It occurs to me this net so much you don't believe in god. It's that you don't like the god you believe in. You think of him as being empathetic cruel and unpredictable. You also think God's gonna be in for some people. Before we end today suggested he may want to take a second look at Jesus. That's stories shared because many folks like this man are sure god is outed to get the world and more importantly god is out to get them. No I can comprehend why folks feel this way. It is hard for someone who is suffering to understand my god would allow tragedies of life to upset their apple cards and they reason. I can't understand how Christians believe god is loving when he seems so analysts and vindictive. Judging god they mistakenly decide actively or passively. Intentionally. Or unintentionally. Gun itself to get them. You should know this generation is not the the first to feel this way. Scripture records others who would agree. Others including the lord's own disciples who wondered if the lord wasn't. Out to get certain people. That was the capping of discussion the day you they end the savior can find a man who would been blind since birth. Bluntly they asked Jesus tell us who rescinded this manners parents. You see the disciples believed god was punishing this fellow for some super seeing he Europe parent and commended. Now I can tell you in the Bible does speak of god sending his. Pacific punishment to plan the specifics and when enemy need ruined the perfection god had given them I mean they're banishment was a direct punishment for their transgression. When during the conquest of the promised land the children of Israel lost the battled to a little no account city it was because of one man's sin. The death of David Simon this is specific punishment for adultery and murder. And the new testaments and and highest since a fire at where struck down because they lied to the lord. To be sure. The lord does send certain punishments upon certain sins. But you can be sure the people who were being punished knew why. But such direct punishment is the exception. And not the rule. The vast majority of bad things which come our way are not sent to point out a specific sin. Now troubles come because sinners who are living in a sinful world are going to hear bad things happen to them. Why do bad things happen to good people. Because those good people are sinners who live in a sinful world period. To which doubters no doubt will say. That is all fine and well but does god and Haywood in for certain people certain people like me. Teases answered that question in his two full replied to the disciples. First Jesus categorically. Stated neither this man nor his parents send. Now Jesus was not saying that these folks for us sinners. Every day this man along with his parents committed a multitude of sins. He's was simply winning his disabled snow. That they could searches as long as they wanted but they would never and cover us in which demanded this man be born blind. The second part of Jesus answer was this. The man was born blind so the works of god might be displayed in game. Having heard the second part of the CB user replies. I can almost hear your reaction. Say what. Can you give me that again. Did Jesus really say this man is suffered all these years so the lord could deliver a message. Continued and what point could possibly be so important. I wouldn't do that you wouldn't do that but you're saying god allowed Amanda's they blame for years so he could be an example. I guess it was ranked god does have it in for some people. My friend in the answered your challenge is only can say is this. From our human perspective what they've shared it may sound cruel. But from the lawyer's point of view this man's blindness served your purpose say it better purpose think godly purpose. If you read the ninth chapter of John you will conclude this I have the before the end of the day the X blind man would agree. He would tell you god knew what he was doing. The gift division is a blessing which is changed my life but knowing the redeem her changes might eternity. If you remain unconvinced if you still demand to know would cause could be so important to justify such a pairing cruelty. I could tried to give you an answer. But I think a better replace might come from Francis of by and I'll steam. You know Francis. So a bit of introduction is in order. Princess was born in the 1820 Putnam county in New York. Mean she was six weeks old Francis came down with a cold the cold which created an infection in her eyes. Tragically. The family doctor was away. And another fellow men claiming to be a certified director of creditor. He described hot mustard pulled doses be applied to were eyes. And please this year than Francis infection passed. What didn't pass was the blindness which is caused by the quakes prescription. Francis spent the next 94 years in darkness. But they sent in for story. Before she was a year old the blind girl's father died and her mother found work as a main dinner grandmother did most of the work of raising her. Together and grandmother and mother held the little girl learned of the savior and his scripture. In the age of five princess was examined by the best I director in the country. He'd shoulder the blame this was inoperable. And it was permanent. Fifth and to have been a devastating. Blow. Still. Francis did not conclude god was out to get here. I can see that and because of the age of eight Francis wrote. All would hippie soul I am all the way Kenneth seeing I am resolve that in this world contended I will be. How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't. To weed inside because I'm blind. I cannot and I won't. Prince's saw how the lord and shaped her life in a way which would never of happened if she had been cited. Today more than a hundred years after she died Francis story tells us when you trust the lord. He can turn a terrible tragedy into an opportunity. Now he made things that little Paul my rib too isn't immature opinion of a little girl. And then they she grew older that opinion changed in Francis felt differently. Then my friend is that the case. When she was an adult command said Dora. I think it's agreed pity that the master did not give you say when he showered so many other gifts upon him. To their Francis disagreed. Saying when I get to heaven. The first face official ever glad mine saint will be that of my savior. The man is scripture and France's general Steven Green. When you have faith of the lord can turn your cross in this something which can touch others and glorifying him. The days of blame in made Jesus. Can and only receive the ability to see the colors of the rainbow. He also saw the face of his redeemer. Not only was his blindness lifted and with eyes of faith he could see that Trace that these scenes from his soul. Did god have a name for this man. And and are being but he certainly did love him. Even as I am sure in spite of the crosses you Kerry he loves you too. If you allow your eyes to be opened. He will believe gad can use your cross for a higher purpose a better purpose it. Purpose that we with our limited view into the future Maine and understand until we reach heaven. Using your youngest daughter was learning to record two Wheeler. She did indeed her older brother and sister's eight tool low around the neighborhood and their big bikes and she wanted to do with they were doing. They've called for giving up for tricycle and learning how derived from the big bite. The problem was she went into ready to Wheeler. But she had seen the inevitable crashes which had taken place when her brother and sister had learned deride and that is why. As she mounted her new bike for the first time she and her mother in these strict instructions. Don't let go. He won't let go William. I reply was we built the best we can't. Within less than reassuring reassurance she started off. Back and forth between wind huffing and puffing and doing their best to keep up. Then the time came when we step running and let her pedal on her own. Piddling in her own was the plan and she did it well and for about twenty feet. It's seventeen feeds you look back over her shoulder and so we weren't there. She stepped peddling and ran into will be bush. She emerged from the bush uninjured but sputtering he said he would help me you said you'd be there you said they wouldn't crash. She thought what we were doing was cruel. But in reality we did what we did because we blocker. The same is true we've gone and he doesn't heinous he isn't being cruel toward us. Most certainly aegis and it would even for us. On the contrary he wants what is best for you and then may mean trials and tribulations are headed our way. Annoying now I know because he is since so I know because he's shown me and everyone else who takes a good honest look in them. Please. Take a look. Look at the Bethlehem Manger in seek God's son. Jesus had been in heaven where he rightly received creations praise. But so you and I could be saved the father's sin indoors to become one of us. Look at Jesus as he did his ministry he healed the sick touched a leper in return the out kiss to their lonely families. Listen to him is he taught does he spoke is no other man has ever done. When Jesus was done you can never CEO wondering sun no laws she Bora mustard seed again without remembering how much. The lord loves and which is to save us. Observe Jesus and disseminate. And watches all of her scenes are laid upon them. He'd been strong enough to resist every temptation to sin and was powerful enough to keep the commandments put. The weight of those scenes are scenes crushed into the ground. Look at him stand at the foot of the cross in here and forgive those who would put them there. Watch his friends' places lifeless body into a borrowed grave. Look at him. Go with the women to the tune and be greeted by God's Angel who informs an unbelievably world jesus' defeated death. Yes. Look at what Jesus has done the sacrifices c.'s main. And you will know it is impossible for such a loving lord did turn is based on us and haven't seen for us. His god given in premium. Those who already believe can be renewed in their trust and believe that all things were together for good to those were low but the lord. What good can come from you're cross in trouble I don't know. But im sure that god does and it would mean for you any more than he did for Francis have been ousting. Remember Francisco should. I didn't care should be human of America's greatest camera news. Using her maiden name Francis Crosby. She wrote thousands of hymns. One of those things reads. Blessed assurance. Jesus is mine. Or what do foretaste of glory divine here of salvation. Purchase of god born of his spirit washed in his blood. Perfect submission. Perfect delight. Visions of rapture now burst on my saint. Angels descending. Bring from above echoes of mercy whispers of love. This is my story. This is my song. Praising my savior. All of the daylong. If six of faces viewers I give things. But if you need to know more about this loving lord in the publicity assurance of forgiveness and salvation he wishes you to have. I invite you. Please. Call us at the Lutheran Hour. Amen. Listening to a Lutheran Hour in this is the segment of our program we call to action in ministry. And today we want to once again spotlight the international workflow that Lutheran Hour ministries has been doing for many years we have ministry centers in more than thirty different countries. Where dedicated volunteers and staff are sharing the gospel in many different ways. Yeah and joining us today are Flavio Apollo from Brazil. And their former ministry said there and result in fact that was it really privileged come down and be with few wall isn't how long ago was that now. Two years ago two years ago already what an incredible journey to go to all over Brazil speak the gospel and these are two wonderful men here it's great to have you guys here with us and them bring your perspective of the work. In Brazil. Our our pleasure to be here and pledges all ours. Thumb OK will you serve within our ministries in Brazil give us a little background on the country the culture of the attitudes. In the region just kind of jumped and and share of the silicon broadened the horizon of a lot of our listeners. The population of Brazil is 200 million. Million million inhabitants so that's a very be currents and one tinkered I believe it's really a blessing for us. Is that in all this big country we speak only one language that is a blessing that you fueled talk about the different languages together today and all the issues that kind of thing but if you have one language that encompasses your country if that is a unifying thing right Bryant and the person makes the gospel easier to proclaim to the whole country Berkshire what about some of the different religions and the attitudes toward religion what do you find. Brazilians. They are Catholics they are Kris sensed. But they don't know which is this well and we have to tell them about tooth as that's our biggest Santa. It's amazing we have a little bit of that in America yeah not as much yet but someone as growing more people. He had kind of idea as a Christian plays bud I don't know anybody in Omaha can you be Christian that did just talk a multi faith. Well think is important also the materialism is growing convince them very much. As economies is calling bear there and then to materialism it's growing unfortunately when the people they had gone. They don't need anything else they think they are self support they don't want to know about going to church chose to to be believers. In something. You know Jesus said it's hard for Richmond to enter the kingdom of heaven because of probably has in fact we have the same challenge here that's right as well. And could you tell us what the ministry center is doing in Brazil. Until now always fuels or log afraid you will be as Arnold afraid but the rage is not and more at the most important media forums. It's not anymore. We stoop reduce. A program neighmond diluted garden. Which is only five minutes golf land. And we have a the five minutes we Jesus. I'm daily program all right we have every day's a new radio program on here every day and you need to program. So you come alongside of churches to three sources and things like that don't undergirding and helping there are reach out prior. We we we in Brazil and they look at them are in Brazil is considerate. And them main event in the execute. Arm of the church for a time. With so we do it we can say that we are helping the church in Brazil to grow for short. Most often. The most opted congregations. From this all of the salt of Brazil. They would they had the beginning we had. Lieutenant dollar listeners will you do in five minutes we do that half our program we have all kinds of the programs to. But it's because there's nobody likes his Jesus and when he confronts people he actually brings them back to life. Actually two faith to lighten. And then you've got a chance to beat the vessel that delivered the good news debts would. Economies who go one day price on the that you ball please pray for Bosnia continued support you know as we need to be needs our support and our prayers. And they really thankful to have that. Is given as to do is important in Brazil. But again with all these things thank you for your efforts thank you for your work. There are many people come and faced just because you share crisis and Tbilisi thanks for being here thank you thank you. And that's our action in ministry segment today to blessed to empowering to strengthen your life. In Christ for others for more information on our ministry center in Sao Paolo go to Lutheran Hour dot org and click on action can ministry. Or call 1855. John 316. That's 18555646316. I. I. The Lutheran Hour is brought to you each week through the generous support of Lutheran Hour ministries donors and partners. To make a gift please call 1855. 5646316. Or go online. LH I am dot org. And thank you for partnering with us in this Christ centered I'll reach together we are bringing Christ to the nations and the nations. To the church. Now pastor close leads us in praying the lord's prayer. Our father who art in. Heaven. Hallowed be thy name is thanking them come they will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our interest this is as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead is not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Where thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever and ever amen. And now the grace of our lord Jesus Christ. And the love of god. And the fellowship of the holy spirit being and remain with us all amen. And now questions from our listeners with our speaker emeritus pastor Ken close I'm mark pressure. Moment so it's human being would say are subject today fasting. Excuse me could you fasting to to abstain from food. You entering the existing for the purpose of losing weight and you know I'm talking about fasting as a religious or spiritual exercise and how it relates to prayer he got it. Question comes to us from a listener whose mother is quite ill and just having a difficult time of it he's praying for his mom's recovery and a friend told him if you really want your prayers to quote work. Can be effective you also should fast this friend says he fast all the time and god always responds positively to his prayers. There are a lot of ramifications to this question of queen cover mall in the time we AM even her best. Chris that are recognized that are savior did speak about fasting we read about and Matthew chapter six. He spoke about the danger of fasting the way the fear seized in what did the first is duped and think he'd fasting and what big production. The market takes a while before and individuals fasting will become noticeable to others. And normally fist is telling you starving yourself down to nothing most cases single day's fast is never going to be noticed are recognized by others. For the Ferris sees that just simply wouldn't do. So they put his so ordered oh lord look at and their faces and dragged themselves around as of death were right around the corner. Jesus said those fellows just wanna be applauded by men they're getting what they want. And Jesus said we were not to follow that example yes rate if you're fasting don't let others know keep it between you in the lord and and lord who sees in secret will reward you. Do the things Jesus talked about fasting. He referred to fasting to protecting certain evil spirits. After his ascension this thing is as far as I know mentioned twice in the new testament. Once when the church was picking missionaries. And then after seeing Paul had been struck down on the road to Damascus so there's nothing wrong with fasting in and of itself. Absolutely nothing wrong with fasting indeed. Many Christians see fasting helps them. Concentrate and their prayer and worship. For those who are physically able fasting can be an intensely gratifying experience what do you mean by physically able and well there's certain conditions like diabetes that that they could make fasting problematic and possibly even dangerous. Post was such problems would do well to avoid the practice so all in all there's no problem here within our listener with a sick mother is free to follow his friend's advice. Their conclusion might be a bit premature why. Was a sin lord is no problem with fasting as well as is done for the rape purpose attitude spirit of devotion. My concern here is now in regard to the fastest was something else. The prince's if you really want your prayer to work you should fast. Or in heaven's name is that found in scriptures snapped there. Testing me improve your level of spiritual intensity your concentration. When god doesn't need to be motivated in that way god is always more eager to receive our prayers and we are to give them exactly. Any certainly doesn't need to be bribed in order to respond to someone's career as a conference. No it never meant that it cut at a defending plays the lord can be forced to respond favorably to a prayer offered by testing individual. Mark it doesn't work that way. God remains in control. He respondents. Or he doesn't respond is he sees it. And god graciously here's our prayers on account of Christ and not because we faster have done anything to merit. A response in this city in this as in everything the lord remains in control. He Nixon is Greece and low Frist and Christ Jesus. Believers can be sure that the same heavenly father who send descend into the world to say this is not going to withhold his blessings. We can be confident. That the lord is going to hear prayers. That he will do what is right and he will do what is best for his praying people thank you pastor colossus has been a presentation of Lutheran Hour ministries. Yeah.