The Books of Wisdom and Poetry are commonly used as guides for the lives of the Israelites in biblical times and us today. Wise sayings and proverbs help us in times of confusion, while psalms and other prayers can guide our worship and prayer life and how we speak to God. The following has been adapted from the Lutheran Bible Companion.
The day of the Lord is a permeating theme in Zephaniah. Zephaniah recorded God’s warning to Judah and Judah’s enemies about His coming judgment. However, God also assured Judah that on the day of the Lord He will be in their midst and restore their fortunes. The following has been adapted from the Lutheran Bible Companion.
When I was eleven years old and in sixth grade, my mom took me to an informational meeting at church regarding Boy Scouts of America. Attendees discussed the idea of organizing, or I should say reorganizing, a troop. The organization came to fruition, and I was blessed to take part until my eighteenth birthday, when I completed my Eagle Scout rank. My scout leaders taught me a great deal regarding citizenship, the outdoors, manhood, self-reliance, responsibility, and more.
The following explanation of the Communion of Saints is adapted from Commentary on Luther’s Catechisms: Creed.
Is it safe to build the temple again? Are we going to be destroyed by another nation? The people of Judah were asking these questions during Haggai's time, and God used Haggai to reveal His will to the people. The following has been adapted from the Lutheran Bible Companion.
With the onset of autumn comes the end of summer work at our house. One of our summer projects each year is growing tomatoes. We make every effort to create the ideal growing environment for them. We purchase large animal watering troughs that we fill with high-quality soil, water daily, fertilize, and trim off any dead fruit or branches. Nevertheless, we struggle with all the things that can go wrong with tomato crops: early blight, late blight, cat’s face, splitting, and the like. Despite all our efforts, the plants usually produce less than we desire.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to those who love Him? Habakkuk cries out to God and asks Him why He continuously allows the righteous to be persecuted by the wicked. In this book, Habakkuk records God’s response to the faithful. The following has been adapted from Lutheran Bible Companion.
During nearly thirty years of professional church work, I have often wondered which sin is most damaging to the local congregation. In my experience, it is not disregard for worship and Bible study, arguments over money, lack of unity regarding mission and ministry, lack of forgiveness, theft, or even adultery. In my experience, the single sin which most damages congregations is mismanagement of conflict between brothers and sisters in the faith. There are numerous reasons. Foremost, this mismanagement destroys trust, which damages relationships. But it also breeds gossip and character assassination, which can lead to loss of good reputation and even loss of employment. Mismanagement of conflict blurs the facts and leaves the conflict unresolved. Such unresolved conflicts are infected wounds in the Body of Christ. Let’s look at what Jesus has to say.
The following has been adapted from the Lutheran Bible Companion.
To understand the Books of History, it is imperative to understand what came before them. The Books of the Law and the Books of Moses (the Torah) gave instruction to God’s people. The Law established the terms of the covenant God would be in with His people. Simply put, God would provide and protect for His people, and they would obey His statutes and be His chosen people. The future of Israel was understood through this relationship between God and His people.
Telling nice people things they don’t want to hear is an unavoidable part of being a faithful pastor. On one occasion, a pleasant couple from the neighborhood came to my office. The husband and wife wanted to know my opinion of ghosts and spirits.