The Lutheran Hour 4-9-17

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Sunday, April 9th

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The Lutheran Hour bringing Christ. To the nation's. Winning hero rides into town things change. Today pastor Gregory cells tells what happened and humble yet powerful singer entered Jerusalem. To begin the week that changed the world forever. If you want to know god and to know the things of god don't look to the power brokers of this world they don't last. There's a name that is greater than any hero more powerful than any general more brilliant than any president king or queen. Name is Jesus yeah Sunday he rode into Jerusalem as a humble. Powerful say stay with us for faster Selz is message. Later we'll discuss creation evolution and what it means to be human. Hello I'm mark pressure your gift some prayers and able balloon for an hour to share Christ's love with people around the world thank you for our faithful support. And now with today's message here's our speaker pastor Gregory supports. Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus who though he was in the form of god did not count equality with god. The thing to be grasped but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant. Being born in the likeness of men. And he found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even death on a cross. Christ has risen he has risen indeed hollow Lumia. Do you know what day it is today yes it is home Sunday throughout the world. This is a day when Christians remember that Jesus rode triumphantly. Into Jerusalem. Not to ascend to an earthly throne but to begin that journey of journeys to across to a tomb. And two way resurrection from the dead that poured Audi turn a life into what world that is full of deaths. And destruction. Today's the day. Throw your palm branches down if you got him throw them down as a sign of your faith and trust in Jesus Christ because he rode into this town. Into that predicament. Just for review. Let me give you a glimpse of just what it is that's coming Jesus way. Today's the beginning of holy week where we hear about what happened not just on this Sunday but on Monday. On Tuesday Wednesday. Thursday. Good Friday. And Easter Sunday. It's a week of confrontations. With false teachers with political hacks with corrupt trials and brutal beatings and mob rule. But Jesus enters this willingly. Through blood sweat and tears. And what happened to Jesus Christ in this week literally changed the world the benefits of what Jesus endured and accomplished during this week of his passion. Continues to change people's lives. Today. You know someone long ago coined the phrase it's a dog eat dog world. Many people spared no expense. A destroying one another just to get ahead in life it's a sort of survival of the fittest mentality. Bibles text for today's message comes. From the new testament book of olympians this book was a letter to a group of Christians and solidified in encouraging letter that Saint Paul wrote to of people. Most of whom were Roman citizens. However he writes this letter of encouragement because the full Libyans Christian faith would be opposed. By the forces of the world and by someone else's bottom line. Part chip would come to them in fact Paul was writing this letter went he himself was under house arrest due to some on just allegations. Nevertheless Paul in adored in this letter he says have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus. Who is a hole he was in the form of god did not count equality with god something to be grasped suddenly be held on to war hoarded. But he emptied himself by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness. Of Manhattan. Have you seen that movie Sully. It's a story of the US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger. Who successfully made a water landing after a flock of birds flew into both of the engines of his airliner just shortly after takeoff. There are a 155. Souls on board. And miraculously every one of them survived infect the world soon called the miracle on the Hudson. In this box office movie hit that mirrored his true life story of heroism so all these praised for being the ex factory in the equation. But in all humility he disagreed. He pointed to his co pilot and to the flight attendants on board he mentioned the united states Coast Guard the police and all first responders. We all did our job he said we survived. Captain Sullenberger is the consummate picture of humility. The world those still remembers just one name. Sully. He's a hero and a humble hero Arafat. But today on Palm Sunday. There's a name that stands above every. Other name there's a name that is greater than any hero more powerful than any general more. Brilliant than any president king or queen. His name is Jesus. And on Palm Sunday he rode into Jerusalem. As a humble yet powerful. Savior. That day many cheered Oman. There were many before that day in many after who believed in God's messiah who was to come and they knew that he'd this Jesus was the one. Some had faulty notions of that to some believe that he was going to come into town and set up shop in the palace. You know the messiah president the messiah or governor or even the messiah Cesar. But Jesus himself put that nonsense to rest. He was the messiah but he was a savior of a kingdom that would be forever. And ever. And that's what Paul is talking about an hour lesson today he starts to talk about a whole different reality a whole different mindset is one that comes in Jesus Christ. Alone. Remember what Paul says ready have this mind in you which is in Jesus Christ. The power of god that comes to alternate humility. As Paul says he was in the form of god yet did not count equality with god a thing to be grasped. But emptied himself by taking the form of a servant. Being born in the likeness of men. If you want to know god and to know the things of god don't look to the power brokers of this world they don't last. Don't look to the wisdom of this world it can't solve the big questions it never does. Don't look even to your own best efforts and strength for in the end we're all week and heavy Lleyton. Look to the humble strength of a savior who doesn't ride into town on a stallion or attained or even in an F sixteen. Why because Satan the world and our sinful flesh would make mincemeat of all of that. Only his savior on the donkey riding to a cross can overcome sand. Death and that dabble with a resurrection life for all. It inspired. Today have this same mind among yourselves. Which is yours in. Christ Jesus. So let's dig into that inspiration. Today ready let's talk about just who this Jesus is and just what this mindset. Is all about. In fact Paul gets very practical. He says if you're living with a mind to Jesus Christ then you'll do nothing he says out of selfish ambition in fact and humility you'll count others more significant than yourselves. In you'll look not only to your own interest but also to the interest of others. That's Jesus to a tee that's good Jesus was and that's who Jesus is free you. On Palm Sunday he came to Jerusalem. Not to destroy the Romans and set up an earthly rule like you've never seen before he came to destroy something more significant. The scene and then it forever threatened to destroy the relationship between god and humankind. Jesus did not ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the biggest speed a conquering hero of glitz and glamour no. He rode into town and humble fashion on a donkey a cold to the fold of a donkey. The crowds were loud and their praises intense but he came in more or less quietly. Everything he dust. He does completely differently than the way things work in this sinful world and he had to because we had gotten ourselves into such a mess. You know I recently read that in medieval times many sons of great kings they tried to outdo. The ways of their fathers. If their father had been an oppressive king the son became even more ruthless if father beat with a whip the sun would scourge with scorpions. The desire for power and control it just overcame them. Old testament the Bible even talks about leaders like this. King Ahab king A has even David's sons feuded and killed and caused harm. These and countless others whose biographies littered the annals of history they destroyed people to gain and to retain power. Power in the hands of sin full people is core crops. It destroys. An absolute power in center's hands destroys completely. But there's good news is good news for our power corrupted. Pain inflicting world today there is one who came with absolute power. Humbly. To safe. Paul says this Jesus he was in the form of god and this means everything that god is. Jesus'. He did not count equality with god a thing to be grasp courted held on to but he emptied himself taking the form. Of a servant. So when it may seem like you have to commit treason against your conscience in order to make your mark in this world. Jesus delivers a better way it more perfect way freedom from tyranny freedom from oppression. You know my friends across the vast lands of this planet still human beings wage war against others for the sake of power and prestige. But this should not be so among you who are Christ people. Jesus the king of the world king for all time. He emptied himself he set aside his power for a time in order to become a lowly servant to become the very lamb of god. Who alone would take away the sin but guilt and the shame of this world. And even. He overcame. That power. The power of death. So Paul says in being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even death on across. Know anything about your favorite leaders I'm guessing that these were or are people of great influence and ability. But they're people who took time out regularly to be a blessing to you. It was one set of president Abraham Lincoln and whenever he spoke with the people he made them feel like they were president. Such people are strong in humility. There power isn't in their money toward their power or prestige. And mindset as one of encouragement and lifting others up. And things changed when great leaders riding to town until made things right don't day. I read a book about Coke Stevenson and Lyndon Johnson do you remember Lyndon Johnson was he was the president of the United States. But this is not a pretty story. In fact truth be told Lyndon Johnson should probably have lost his senate bid in 1948. By well over 20000 votes. It's almost certain that he had people's stuff the ballot boxes on the border towns to steal the victory from the jaws of defeat. I remember reading about that moment of truth. Coke Stevenson who was a former Texas governor but even more was a Texas ranger he heard about all these illegalities so he wrote in to those towns with other Texas Rangers he wrote in to get those ballot boxes in the make sure that the recount was legal and fair there were rifles pointed at him from dwindles along the main street routes of every town but fearless C he wrote in. Each town and captured those boxes and confiscated them so things could be properly counted. What courage what fortitude. Unfortunately. It wasn't enough. Those boxes work captured but they were never opened Johnson got a national court order to seal them shot. Case clos post. Well Jesus rode into town. With that courage and so much more and Satan himself thought he would seal the deal on Good Friday case close shot. But Jesus what have the last word on Easter morning. But just think about the power of Christ work for you think about his humility his grace his mindset to do it all. For you even though you don't deserve it even though you didn't earn it and you desperately need what only he can provide. Over and over again in the Bible books of Matthew Mark Luke and John. We hear how would Jesus powerful as he was stoop down it was a great friend of sinners and the downtrodden. He connected with Sam he loves them he ate and drank with Sam he lifted them up he'd lifts us up. He made them his own Jesus came to earth to serve people back to the father. The Bible proclaims Jesus to be God's son. The very highest priest the greatest son a McCain like King David could never imagine an air of Davis promised for centuries after David himself a died and one for whom the world waited in great expectation. Man we're talking about supreme royalty here. And then he laid it all down he said it all aside for a time so that he could become the lamb of god who takes away the CN of the world. You know there wasn't anything that any impostor ruler could try to take away from him. God the father calls you his one and only son you are golden. So take heart about what Paul says about this Jesus. He's as their form god has highly exalted. Him and be stowed on him the name that is above every name. So that the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess. That Jesus Christ is lord to the glory of god the father. Jesus being the son of god the father's one and only perfect son. Was able to lay down his life. Not just because you'd be raised again but because his sacrifice on the cross could destroy the power of sin and death in this world. Yeah there's still sinful this in this world yes there are still people that lacked humility. Ruthless people still command destructive wars. That cause great harm and lay hold of others violently. And mercilessly. But their ability to cause hurt is only for this day in this age it's already defeated and it is passing away. Through the humble strength of our savior there's a hold eternity. That's still awaits us and that picture sees us through the struggles that still remain. This side of heaven. As the Apostle Peter says. But you are a chosen people in royal priesthood a holy nation a people belonging. To god. In Christ. That's us right here right now by faith. Already in his name in his kingdom no ruthless leader no unjust manager know eventual neighbor no CE a hole on a power trip. Can ever take. Any of that away from you. You live for something bigger and greater than anyone else can ever try to promise you on this earth Urich kingdom people. Who's king is none other than Christ Jesus the lord. So your greatest work. Will always be heroic went through your life few graciously and humbly point others to Jesus Christ. Whose name all tongs will one day confess. To the glory of the father. Forever. Oman. This is the Lutheran Hour and it's time now for action in ministry it's a call to action in response. To all that god has done for us in Christ. And mark today we continue to celebrate his Palm Sunday so throw your branches down they're tough and rejoice in what the lord is doing. The reverend Matthew Clark is pastor of ascension Lutheran Church in Saint Louis he's also co host of wrestling with the basics on worldwide KF -- and he was co director of worship for the 2016. LC MS national youth gathering. Pastor Clark thanks for Jovan and. So thanks for an invitation glad to be here with you. Listen you're your radio program takes God's word seriously. But that seems to be the only thing I tell. That's pretty well dot. Yeah we try to take the word got seriously but not take ourselves too seriously it and so are our tag line is we try to put the fun. In the fundamentals Mets are all right. Two guys on the air together and pester jolly John look come ski he's at a veteran of ministry of pastor about forty years now and the newer guy okay pastor Matt young blood Clark is big bombings are and in the ministry little less than ten years so let's get a nice have this two perspectives can India seasoned veteran in your guys to absolutely. Many of our listeners know that each day Lutheran Hour ministry sends out a daily devotion written by our speaker America's pastor Ken Klaus or. Pastor seltzer or one of her other writers and these are available free for anyone nonaligned. And we'd like to know how you used that resource in your congregation. Sure any way that we can they are just an excellent resource. Consistently Christ centered Bible basin. And they provide that opportunity for myself as pastor but an interrogation Larsson being God's word on a daily basis I mean it's so important be fed by God's word and and that lamp Turkey daylight for past the one senator in the word made flesh Jesus Christ and the daily devotion to give us the tools to help make that happen and then it's it's so neat to see the people that do you take advance of that we're sort of on the same page then. In our life together yet I traded intentionally make reference to one of the daily devotion it's. Every couple months my sermons a need for a couple reasons. One just because good stuff and if you're relates to the text of that day at a topic for that day. Boy it's a ready made resource a great illustration a story that I can news. It into and use that there's been times after worship the people ask mr. told a story you mentioned the daily devotion where can I get and night and then missed my opportunity to pass it ought to just say a great resource and an accessible 12. See and that's what I wish people understood what were producing here at Lutheran Hour we're trying to help you guys being the best use that you can be so that people get to know Jesus because they got an interview. As all these resource is over producing people kind of think we're just did. Produce super particular folks know it's for the pastors for the churches from the people and and then you can put these to work so you don't have to do all the work yet and and that's kind of a so great to hear that you using this. We want more to do that well who else is new advent lens stuff. How do you put these things to work two in service to them. Where the church should the primary way we did an X an essential I certainly says we actually physically print goes off to make them accessible so we we downloaded from Alex have web site. We personalize them with our church is information can contact info worship times for lent in particular for a holy week. And then we program it's a great way for Emerson David says. To express invitation extended an invitation to someone so yeah we talk about a crisis in the nation's been our goal is to get the nations to your churches because that's where this god wants people to be in fellowship. Face to face but I love that she's using these devote oceans in using these resources to actually get people. To use him as invitations to come in fellowship at church definitely and it and just thank you for their resource our moms are on the front line of the Paris better and a year to your candidacy in behind the scenes sometimes in LA HM you know but providing resources to get into that and hands of people. God's people on the church bit but also got people outside the church. And listeners we invite you to visit our website and listen to these daily devotion to especially now during this holy week leading up to Good Friday and Easter we also have another resource we'd like to put into your hands our speaker America's pastor Ken Klaus has written a book titled change Lewis Christ changing world and in that book you'll find a collection of stories. That came from Lutheran Hour sermons it's a great blessing we hope you'll go online or call for your free copy pastor Matt Clark thanks for joining us today both think so much ram me in big fro you do here with an hour and that's our action industry segment today to blessed to empower and strengthen your life. In Christ for others. To listen or subscribe to our daily devotion to go to Lutheran Hour dot org and click on action in ministry. Or call 1855. John 316. That's 18555646316. Our email address is info at LH mamma dot award. Next week we celebrate Christ's resurrection with a message about the difference between wishful thinking and hole. Based on the assurance of God's promises. Pastor Gregory cells next week. And. It. Duluth for an hour is brought to you we tweaks to the generous support of Lutheran Hour ministries donors and partners. To make a gift please call 18555646316. Or go online. LH I am dot work. And thank you for partnering with us in this Christ centered Donald reached together we are bringing Christ to the nations and the nation's. To the church. Now pastor Selz invites us to join him in praying the lord's prayer. Please about your heads and pray with me. Our father who art in heaven. Palo would be dining. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespass is as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. But the idea is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Our men. The lord bless you and keep you the lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you always he is peace. Our men. Okay. Okay. I. I. And I. Okay. G. And. And now pastor Gregory cell's response to questions from listeners I'm mark Asher. Today a listener says I'm not all that scientific but it just seems wrong somehow to say that human beings are. Just animals and that survival of the fittest. Is that true law of nature what does the Bible have to say that might support my gut feelings on this Marca I think those instincts are good but unfortunately. Most people think about these issues very critically and I think they do miss the big picture. That is beyond test tubes and philosophy goes back to origins and purpose what do you mean by that well again Christian teachings and hard science you know stuff in the lab they're not against each other but Christian teachings and are always talk about origins are beyond. Part science so let's ask some questions like well what does the Bible say about being human and what is evolution say. Christianity says all. People are. Created in the image of god were as Darwin would say we're just another form of animal albeit a very clever one. Exactly and then there's this survival of the fittest stuff as if that's the moral reality of the universe. We could say says school. Is it survival of the fittest or blessed are the meek is that take whatever you can by force or by power. Or do unto others as you would have them do onto you. So there is a huge difference to what it means to be human from both points of view. And both world views are really different interpretations. Of the same data and that goes to the heart of not only what it means to be a Christian nor an atheist but what it means to be human how might we become more positive more critical thinkers about such things well like I said before all people have world views about how things in the world holds together. And I don't talk about christianity your faith in Jesus right off the bat with people. Until I tried to understand their world view from their point of view and you've called that working the world view to see how it holds because my world view your world view anybody's world view outside of god in Christ it doesn't hold our it will take for example be evolutionary. World view or even those talk about things like survival of the fittest like we were talking about. He can think about it so many different ways if that's the central. Truth of the universe and why the human beings you know four at the top of the food chain what do we bear young that are sold Ballmer Bolton nature how did we survive. Other animals give birth to young they either get up and wrong that day or got fangs to survive other predators here we are human beings no fangs vulnerable young much weaker physically than other animals. Seems kind of foolish and I don't see how such. Vulnerability. Rises to the top of the food chain why don't we just talk about that. But there's even up. Bigger issue involved here in the big issue in our culture that seems at the heart of every argument you know the ideas of race and racism when what sums as I believe in evolution my first question is. Oh I didn't think it was such a good idea be to be a racists have a fact NIC the foundation of all this master race stuff the abortion movement it was to wipe all the so called lesser races defined by again science and food chain. And move that evolutionary process along and if that's your world view Dwight on to understand at that teaching is the foundation offered the master race is so again when he started critically analyze these things. There are things that flow from a survival of the fit this way of looking at life blood of biblical view of life looks and other human beings no matter how small are different as still part of God's image with. Dignity in spite of their weakness exactly so the Bible teaches that all human beings are created in God's image. And even though humans are fall and even though there sand. There's this still this idea of common dignity of human beings and the potential for them to be what they were created to be. Why do these discussions often become so heated well as all kinds of reasons for that but Christians can think through all of these issues striving to get the heart of things. That's the hardest things is what does it mean to be human. So what are the teachers the Bible Bob being human being simple being redeemed being made in the image of god. What differences that make in the way we think about ourselves in about others as we read in the psalms what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man. That you care for him and much good happens in the world and we get that question rights. And much bad happens when we dealt thank you pastor Selz this has been a presentation of Lutheran Hour ministries. Okay. Yeah. I. I.