The Lutheran Hour 7-16-17

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Sunday, July 16th

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The Lutheran Hour bringing Christ. To the nation's. Orphans often face an uncertain future. Today pastor Gregory cells invites spiritual orphans to find their forever home today is that day. Three you. God the father once she'd received by faith and the reality of his adoption in Jesus by the power of his spirit for use. With that comes in new purpose the certainty of a relationship with your loving heavenly father a renewed identity. And an ever renewing the lease on life. Stay with us for tester sells his message titled the power of a spirit given. Adoption. Later Peter Kirby shares how Lutheran Hour ministries is reaching out with loves to orphans in Russia. And the listener wants to know. If god forgives what difference does it make how we live now. Owen mark usher. Your gift some prayers helped the Lutheran Hour bring Christ to the nations and the nations to the church thank you for your faithful support. Now here's our speaker doctor Gregory Selz. Or text Romans eight for those who are led by the spirit of god they are children of god. Spears who received it does not make use slaves so that you live in fear again. Rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to son's ship. And by him we cry. Father. The spared himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of god now if we are children then we are heirs heirs of god and coal heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in his sufferings in order to that we may also share in his glory. Christ has risen he has risen indeed Ali Lumia. Now this might seem like an odd question but I wanna ask it anyway. Have you ever ban an orphan. I want to think about that for a moment. If you had parents who cared free you provided you with a good education the great work ethic he might say did you don't know what it's like to be an abortion. Well Sylvester apply you'd does today he's a pastor and evangelist but as a boy he was an orphan. He lived in the slum villages of Nairobi Kenya however some friends from the local Lutheran Church gave him a hand up. Pastor Sylvester was so thankful for the ability to receive his elementary college and finally his seminary education. That he chose to stay and work among the orphans of Kenya. He could have come to the United States and provided a much richer life style for his family he's been to the states on visits he said chances to stay. It would have been nothing wrong with that. But he felt compelled to stay in his own home country and bless those who like him grew up with nothing. He does so to this day not out of guilt or obligation but out of the joy he has for the lord's redeeming work in his life. Ellison may be you don't consider yourself an orphan but let me tell you we've all band or fins in one way or another. Saint Paul reminds us of this and Romans chapter raid beginning adverse twelfth in fact there's a real possibility that we can orphaned ourselves. Whenever we give ourselves over to our base feelings toward gratification and our flash we risk serving just ourselves. The worst thing about that we find ourselves far from gods intended purpose for us. Orphan. All rights therefore Brothers and sisters we have an obligation but not to the flesh to live according to that. For a few live according to the flesh you will die but if by the spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body. You will live. I don't wanna make any assumptions but I know a lot of you listeners are Christians. If you're not or you're not sure and have been led to listen to this program today we are souls thankful god as a special place for you in his heart. In fact he extends his love to you know matter how orphaned you are or you may feel today because he has already made provision for your adoption into his family. So all of you listen closely today to those early Christians who lived in a world that challenged the Christian faith on all sides Saint Paul. As a first line of defense and support. Encourage people to know all the blessings that came with their spirit given adoption in Jesus. The first. Blessing then is the gift of a new lease on life when you say that again the first lessing is the gift of a new lease on. Life. These days cars and trucks are engineered to be highly efficient with Smart technology. Originally took my car into the shop because it was shifting automatically. But erratically. The diagnosis the computerized transmission has somehow re calibrated itself. This happened the day after the transmission had been flushed by the service technician. That process have probably knock loose some residue that got caught in the gearing mechanism. The computer picked up on the change and it learned a new habit. In this case a bad habit who knew that transmissions can pick up bad habits. So that tech performed a computer reset and both the erratic shifting went away and it's been smooth shifting ever since. In a way that analogy might help explain what Saint Paul is revealing to us in this section of Romans eight. Our brains might be compared to a fabulous supercomputer. Wonderfully created and engineered by god. Our braves are super in tune with our bodies brain quickly learns what our body's desire for good or for ill. And unfortunately it's not always in tune with power maker engineered us to perform. Saint Paul doesn't expert analysis when he admits in Romans seven for I do not do the good I want but the evil I do not want to do. That's what I keep doing. Just like my transmission that decided to shift erratically and couldn't readjust itself. So our own beings left to themselves can't live erratically driving us to the point of self destruction. We need and external reset and it's dollars by the spirit of god. With that reset we get to start living Christ like lives for others. The spirit leads us to be more Christ like living and serving to the good of others. Back the power of a spirit given adoption is like a new lease on life it gives us the reset in life that comes in Christ by his spirit. And then it shows itself in how we live. And serve. But that's not at all the second key blessing of our spirit given adoption is a new identity. On October 1 1979. The Coca-Cola company aired its famous commercial. Featuring NFL superstar mean Joseph green of the Pittsburgh Steelers trading his soiled football Jersey. For a kids bottle of Coke. Are you old enough to remember that commercial. The famous line from the commercial is paid Kidd catch. And mean Joseph tosses his Jersey in the kids' heads as it was a great big smile the commercial fades away as mean Joseph greens guzzle down that bottle of Coke. There's something about superstars and kids sharing a special bond oftentimes as a whole lot more than trading at Jersey for a soda. You know superstars make hospital calls on kids were being beat up by let's say cancer there's something wonderfully inspiring about that interaction the superstar makes that kid feel special hold and even miraculously. Alive. In his really fabulous when the superstar recognizes. That the kids battle is so much tougher. Then what goes on and a football or basketball game. The Bible helps a stand to appreciate what it means to be spirit adopted here agrees for those who are led by the spirit of god. They are children. Of god. You see when god puts his name on you as he doesn't holy baptism. You are a child of god. Receiving his gift you and god share a special bond in more than that you've got a new identity. You are a child of god. In some cultures if a son or daughter goes against their parents' desires mom and dad completely cut them off from the family. Has that happened in your family or is that happened in the life of someone close to you. If so you've seen the pain it and you witnessed the harm of the loss of that identity from that kind of Sean he. Some sons and daughters who worry about going against the family actually fear living. They live with a huge hold on their being and the experience no real fulfillment it insulin needs them. Well Saint Paul assures us today that we don't need to fear such separation even when our misdeeds and simple this waged war within us. Romans eight says the spirit that you've received does not make use slaves so that you live in fear again your identity crisis kept poll by the power of the spirits adoption of view. In the third key blessing of a spirit given adoption means that you have an amazing. Father. Saint Paul wrote in by him week cry ABBA father. Jobless award in the Aramaic language which means father daddy is a term of endearment. A few weeks ago we celebrated Father's Day. There are a lot of great and godly fathers in our world's thanked the lord. But even if you didn't have such a father today god invites you to receive his love as the perfect father in your life for your life. Even if you feel orphaned from god himself today for whatever reason he wants you. To come home. I remember a classmate who was adopted into her family whereas other siblings were naturally conceived by their parents. You know kids can be sometimes. By classmate would be teased sometimes mercilessly that she wasn't a real member of the family because she had been. Adopted she wasn't real flesh and blood. You could tell that that auditor and then someone brilliant and caring shared with her something she would never forget. This wise adults said to her you know Serra. Your parents long view your mom and dad were blessed to have your Brothers and sisters however they didn't really know what they were getting before they were born. But you they got to pick you they chose you and that makes you. Extra special. Wow. Just try to imagine that for yourself god wants you to receive his love in much the same way. Just like an orphan who suddenly gets to live as the son or daughter of the most important man or woman in town. Because when Jesus died on the cross and rose again he made your adoption into his eternal family a reality. There's really nothing in the world that compares to that. And that's what the spirit gives to you and me we've got a new father who chose us in Christ he's adopted as as his own. God our father knows you and me well seasons and all. But in Christ he still chooses us he calls us to himself. He calls us to trust him to obeyed him to follow his lead. Why because he really really loves us. But too often we treat his love his kindness his direction as something that gets in Norway's something of a hassle. Like those days in junior high we treat god like we used to treat our parents. Even when they were doing right by a sweet talked back we've got a little sassy even upset because we wanted things our way not their way even if they Ayers was the right way. I'm beyond that sometimes even as adults we act that way toward our heavenly father we get hurt and upset and mad because something in our life. Didn't gold right or when someone in our lives was severely hurt or tore for months many eternal wait atheism because they're mad at god. And here's the thing. God our father still calms for us with his grace and love. Demonstrated in Christ on our behalf. He brings his tenderness to us in the person. Of the holy spirit to give us faith to know that even when we don't understand what's going on at the moment. We can't count on our heavenly father period. By the power of the holy spirit week cry out I bought father it would be like a little boy or girl crying out to their fathers and daddy daddy crying out to someone who always is ready to wrap his strong loving arms around them. And finally the fourth key blessing of a spirited give and adoption means you have a new purpose. In the final verses of this passage Saint Paul is really gonna bring him home for you and me living in this world can be really trying can be difficult sometimes miserable. The finding literally define happiness. Did you know it's only that way when you don't see a god given mission to at all. When you don't see a purpose in some think it can be terribly difficult to lead in to that life. But that is the final gift to borrow adoption that I want to impress upon you today. The power of a spirit given adoption means you have right now eat your life real mission real. Purpose. Rome as it goes on to say the spirit himself testifies without our spirit that we are God's children. Now for his children and were heirs heirs of god goal heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we might also share. In his glory. Charles Murphy was our multi millionaire banker. The epitome of success the all American type who owned a nineteen room palatial town house. In New York City. He made millions for investment bankers. However at the age of 56 all the could think about was losing his wealth. And worrying about not providing for his family. Friends and coworkers tried to console him otherwise. He couldn't get it out of his mind. He checked into a hotel one day took the elevator to his room on the 26 floor and stepped out he is window. He took his life. Because he couldn't see past himself. And the worry of losing at all now some like Charles Murphy. Person who seem to have at all. Can lose it so easily one could make the difference or keep a person from such a destructive end. Well that's probably the wrong question is not what can make the difference is who can make the difference. The holy spirit who has adopted us says his own it also provides for us and eternal. Inheritance. Saint Paul teaches a straight now if we are God's children then we are heirs heirs of god coal heirs with Christ. Most of us listening today probably don't have a bankrolled the size. Of Charles Murphy is but you do your friends if you believe in Jesus Christ the one who died and rose for you you have an inheritance mr. Murphy could never give his wife and kids. Everything that Jesus Christ conquered in his mission. Is already yours there is no need to worry about what you might win or lose in this life. In fact by the power of the holy spirit you've got the ability to participate in a mission that at times may not look very successful. At least in comparison to the world's bankers and Wall Street brokers. But incredibly you are Christ person by the power of his spirit with them mission to bring his open love to those in your life. In his name. So today's the day for you god the father wants you to receive by faith. The reality of his adoption in Jesus by the power of his spirit for you. With that comes a new purpose the certainty of a relationship with your loving heavenly father. A renewed identity. And an ever renewing the lease on life. So right here. Right now with that identity that lease on life that renewed purpose look around there are hundreds of people don't know the love of an amazing father right in your home community. These are people who don't know the love of our heavenly father who don't know that they're living more or less as orphans. They may not even know that there's another way of living life for all it's worth. When you know your status in Christ by faith and by the power of the holy spirit you don't wait for the world around you to change. You become gods transforming agent in the lives of others because he lives for you he lives in new and he lives through you to. Adoption. In Christ by the power of his spirit. That's a life to be live. Now and forever. Trust him. All men. You're listening to the Lutheran Hour this is action in may New York called action in response to all that god has done for you in Jesus Christ. Pastor selves in today's message you reminded us that we were all spiritual. Orphans at one time until god. Adopted us into his family through faith in Christ there what a powerful message that is for us and you know many of us have also been blessed to be a part of a loving family. A hearing now. We really don't know what it's like to be an orphan and many others know that only so well joining us today is our colleague Peter Kirby. The area counselor of our international ministries senators in Asia and Europe he's here to tell us about some work that's being done with orphans in Russia and Peter thanks for joining us I'm glad to be here. Now Peter first of all give us a little background what's going on in Russia as far as the orphans are concerned. While Russia has been in the news a lot lately. For what you don't hear much about our the economic conditions for the average person who's living in Russia. Russia depends a lot on oil and gas sales as a country for income in the falling oil prices in recent years have really. Created a lot of economic hardship. For the overture Russian. Many adults abuse alcohol or drugs because of the pressures of daily life unemployment and low wages. And although there are some true orphans in Russia group lost both parents. Many more are abandoned by parents who have drug or alcohol problems. Or career have been removed from their homes spread the government because a parent to not caring for them. They may be struggling in school because of the lack of parental support. Sadly many of these children have also suffered abusive home. So there are many challenges. And needs that the orphanages tried to meet tell us a little bit then about how Lutheran ministers hoping for many years we've had a musician you gore who is visiting children in these homes that are scattered throughout the western part of Russia. He shows cure for them through his music in the program so reprints on for the element also just his presence there. Quite often use bringing in gifts to them and if it's Christmas or other holiday seasons. Were also helping to support troubled children's ministry through food. Programs and Christian care in Saint Petersburg in surrounding cities. In all of those activities over taking time to share the love of Jesus Christ with these children. Because that is his love the motivates our domain and helps sauce to see their needs and secure for others surround us togetherness alone. I'm originally when we started in Russia we had a ministry center in Moscow and he worked with us at that time while going back many years and then what happens then when these children receive the help they need. Both physically and spiritually. Well our musician Igor sure stories often about how appreciative of these children are that he came and performed a concert for them and brought them just. They want to be law so bear Utley in the air so appreciative when someone shows that love to ground. I've been Boston visit two of our supported ministries in the area around Saint Petersburg. And I saw the joy on the faces of the children to know that they have a safe place to get away from the challenges at home for awhile. And to be cared for with the unconditional love was somebody actually takes an active role. Is saying I really do care free you. And it reflects God's love anyway can make a huge difference in the child's life and that's really what they're missing bit. They're being cared for physically and these group homes but there really missing that personal attention and and somebody who's really caring for them and showing them that love and what are some ways listeners can help and be involved with this ministry. Will we would always ask her listeners to pray for the children and especially the orphans in Russia that god will continue to provide for their needs. And help them to find peace and joy in his love. And also we cannot cure for these troubled children and orphans in Russia without your sacrificial gifts and support the ministry there. That helps us to reach out was gone Slava and these very tangible. Ways will Peter thank you gift for bringing this good news to us but this ministry and thanks for joining us today it's been a joy to be written for this broadcast. And that's our action in ministry segment today to blessed to empower industry can your life in Christ for others. And for more information on our ministry efforts in Russia 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 LA Chatham dot org. Yeah. And. It. The Lutheran Hour has brought to you each week through the generous support of blue through and our ministries donors and partners. To make a gift please call 18555646316. Or go online and LA HM dot org. And thank you for partnering with us in this Christ centered outreach and together we are bringing Christ to the nations and the nations. To the church. Up faster cells leads us in praying the lord's prayer. Our father who art in heaven. How would be kind name 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 for the behind is the kingdom and the power. And the glory. Or ever and ever. On 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 his peace. On Manhattan. It's. If god forgives me what difference does it make how I live now. That's our question today for our speaker pastor Gregory Selz I'm mark pressure. While what a question mark I mean we read in the Bible but the thief on the cross it was say bread before he died we might think. Allies who live on our faith we can just repent at the end and still go to heaven we might think of people who lived wicked wanton lives and then repented and converted late in life. I suppose we should be glad that they finally receive God's grace but. At the same time it doesn't seem quite fair value right God's grace isn't fair and that's kind of the point of grace of god gives us what we don't deserve and that's all of us so he gives us his forgiveness is life even though we don't deserve it OK but if I can do whatever I want right up until the very end and then still receive God's forgiveness. Why live any differently now the answer is both simple and complicated first of all god didn't create has just to die and go to heaven christianity's goals not just to get to heaven when we die. Salvation is the aim of it yes but salvation is much more than just going to heaven. When we die what do you mean god created us to live a certain way to live joyfully abundantly as his children. So to live against his will for us the Bible calls that sin I mean it's literally contrary to the way we were made. So we believe in god and what he tells in the Bible living in sin is actually not good for us or for anyone in our life. Living according to God's will which is really the best possible way we live that way now. And forever OK I think that makes sense but. There's also this idea that sin is a lot more fond and living like a goody goody is really boring well that's exactly the lie that the world and that Satan himself was taught us. We have decided that cause Willis somehow impressive and then if we want to really live Foley we need to be free to do whatever we want but that's really not true. In fact because god our creator he's the one loves us more than we love ourselves. His will is always the best thing for us. Again the scripture says he truly wants what is best for us okay he doesn't want us to see again and you're saying that living in sin is actually bad for us but. To live according to God's will. Is good for us abundantly. Good for us. Because humanity was created to live according to God's will is a living according to God's will every moment of every day that would be paradise for us. But also for those in our lives now Jesus came to forgive our sins and give us eternal life in heaven right he did but he came to do so much more he came to free us from the grip of sin. So that we can live in the goodness of God's love. So his death and resurrection isn't just the solution for the end of our earthly lives. It's the means through which we can begin to live every day as god desires and living as god desires that's much better than living as I desire to get beyond this we all know the answer that question you know god desires us to live and his love and a love those in our lives his way. A were not created to be selfish self centered greedy and I'm loving that stuff kills. You know were created to enjoy God's creation and to live life in his love parred back to our original question why should I live according to God's will now if he will just forgive me in the hand. No matter what I've done. Other best dancers always found the scripture second corinthians 514 and fifteen says for the love of Christ controls us he died for all that goes. Who live in mind no longer lives for themselves. But for him. Who for their sake died and was raced I think about it. Paul here doesn't even mention haven't he's talking about living. Really lifting yet but what about heaven for heaven's important eternal life is indeed a promise but we should look at those things as separate from our present lives. Christianity isn't so much about trying just to get to have an. Is about living as god created us now and forever OK but if we should live however we want will God's still forgive us in the end. Are facing crisis say bad misses the point in living your way living since fully that's what destroys. Leaving Christ means we've to live. He is way for others the way he loves us there's joy in that way of life. Now and forever as a knowing that the question really is why would you wanna live. Any other way thank you pastor selves this has been a presentation of Lutheran Hour ministries.