Messages from Pastor Raddatz
Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Houston TX, November 29, 2020 Other texts of the day: Isaiah 64:1-9 and Mark 11:1-10
FACING THE PROBLEMS OF LIFE WITH THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD! 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
First Sunday in Advent
Dear People of God,
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 1:3
“You are not lacking in anything, you are enriched”, v. 5 (my paraphrase). This is a precious message, specially during this season of Advent. Advent is a season of preparation. We prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ.
In our Advent season preparation I have ordered devotionals called “The Jesse Tree”. The Jesse Tree is going to be our theme during Advent. The idea of the Jesse tree is to remember not just the story of Christ’s birth, but the promise of a Messiah in the book of Genesis and the unfolding of that promise throughout all of Scripture.
Advent is about preparing for Christ’s birth at Christmas and preparing for Christ’s return.
FACING the PROBLEMS of LIFE …
Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth because they were experiencing problems.
- There were some in this Church who only considered some people and not all the people in their church “called by God”. Some members were filled with themselves, filled with pride, and excluded other members of the church. In other words there were those who were “in” and there were those who were “out”. It’s like High School or even some retirement homes, where small groups of people are formed, and the larger group of people have a hard time getting into a group. I learned this when my parents moved into an independent living facility in Florida. It’s when you start hearing words like “our” people and “those” people. See Chapter 1:10-12
- Some in this church took Christian Liberty too far, taking a casual view of sex. See Chapter 6:9
- Members of the church took Civil suits against one another. See Chapter 6:1
- There are more problems than I care to list now.
You and I face problems in life. We too fight to be pure in our behavior towards others. We too are tempted to take Christian liberty too far. We too can be so litigious, taking each other to court, that we lose sight of god’s guidance here in 1 Corinthians.
The Church members were ungrateful for the grace and peace and enrichment of spiritual gifts, but this did not affect Paul’s gratefulness! Paul wrote, I give thanks to my God for the grace given you (v.4) …for God will sustain you to the end, guiltless (v. 8) …God is faithful (v. 9).
It’s like the old Pastor who…
(Scottish minister Alexander Whyte) …was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, “Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.” Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, “We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this” (Our Daily Bread, August 26, 1989).
…THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
Paul holds up thanksgiving to God because of the grace that is given to all. Grace is the richness of God’s love, sacrifice and forgiveness. For it is God who not only has sacrificed himself for us on the cross, but who also “sustains you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” -1 Corinthians 1:8 ESV.
One Pastor wrote:
I have Found that There are 3 kinds of Trouble in this World.
- There is the kind that blows you away like a tornado. [Totally Unexpected]
- There is the kind that weighs you down like a sack of potatoes. [Heavy Burdens]
- Then there is the kind of trouble that pulls the rug out from under you. [Plans Fail]
KEY…Most of us can handle problems if we have hope – IF WE CAN SEE A PATH TO A BETTER LIFE or if we can see an end in sight – if we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. If we can see that there is power to get through the problem – we can endure. (from a sermon by Doug Knorr, LifePoint Church)
Through God’s seed of promise planted so long ago the prophet Isaiah wrote, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
God is faithful, you were called by him and you will get through the problems of this life with him. In his eyes you are guiltless before him and sustained by his grace.
May this peace which passes all human understanding keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus to life everlasting. Amen.
Pastor John Raddatz
Advent is the first season in the “Time of Christmas.” The calendar of the Church begins with Advent (from Latin adventus, which means “coming into”), a four-week period of preparation before Christmas. The Savior’s birth is second in importance only to His resurrection on Easter Sunday. “Behold, your king is coming to you.”—Matthew 21:5. In keeping with the tone of repentance, the Hymn of Praise/Gloria in Excelsis (the angel’s proclamation at the birth of Christ) is omitted from the Divine Service, even on the Sundays in Advent.
Current Weeks Message
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Sunday, June 14, 2020
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Sunday, April 26, 2020
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020
Good Friday, April 10, 2020
Sunday, April 5, 2020
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Sunday, March 22, 2020