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John’s Lutheran Church

1128 Poplar
Buhl, Idaho 83316
(208) 543-4282

July 2009
Are You Studying Your Bible?
My Fellow Redeemed in Christ,
Well, are you? Ouch! That might be the response of those of you who are not reading your
Bible, at least not very often, but you’d really like to start…it’s just you have not yet made that
commitment yet. But I am pretty sure that some of you might be able to say a resounding “Yes!”
without an air of superiority and self-righteousness. I suppose as your pastor the worst response I
could think of would be “Well, no I don’t, and I don’t really care.” Ouch! I hope that no one who is
a member of St. John’s would say that.
I suppose there are many reasons why Christians don’t read their Bibles. Everyone is so busy
it’s hard to find time for everything. But then, of course, we usually find time for those things that
we really want to do including reading other things, perhaps watching a lot of TV and…well, just
fill in the blank.
Another reason Christians might not read their Bibles is that they think it’s too hard to
understand. Of course, there is some truth to this, but, then, anything that we don’t do very often
won’t be easy. The more we do it the better it gets….and so it is with the Bible. I did not get all my
Bible knowledge in one session! No, I’ve been reading/studying the Bible for about 40 years (Yikes!
Can I be that old?). I suppose that there are many reasons for not reading the Bible….including just
plain laziness and indifference.
But wait a minute. The Bible is God’s Word. Of course human beings wrote it…but God
moved them, led them by His Spirit to write what they wrote. This means that the Being who
created the vast, complex universe is talking to us in the Bible! But even more important the Bible
is a love letter from God.
When you understand the Bible properly it tells us what God has done in history to save
undeserving mankind from sin, Satan, death and damnation as John 3:16 reminds us: “For God so
loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but
have eternal life.”
When you understand the Bible properly you learn that it is ALL about Jesus Christ. (Yes,
even the Old Testament). Jesus once told the Pharisees: “You search the Scriptures because you
think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (5: 39, ESV).
Jesus was telling the Pharisees that the Old Testament was about Him. And at the end of Luke’s
Gospel Jesus told His disciples: “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be
fulfilled” (24: 44, ESV).
Of course, this is not surprising when we learn that God planned to send Jesus into the world
even before He created the world as Peter says in his first letter: “He [Jesus] was foreknown before
the foundation of the world but manifest in the last times for your
sake” (1:20, ESV).
And it gets even better: God not only knew you before you
were born, but even before He created the world He planned to
bring you to saving faith in Jesus Christ just as Paul says in his
letter to the Ephesians: “…even as he chose us in him before the
foundation of the world…he predestined us for adoption through
Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will…” 1:4, 5,ESV).
Interesting, very interesting. And there is so much more.
There are several opportunities here at St. John’s to study the
Bible. But our main study is on Sunday mornings at 9:30. For all
those not attending this class, if you are physically able, I appeal to
you as your pastor, your shepherd, in Christ, to join us. We are
currently studying the Sunday morning Scripture lessons used in
the Divine Service. Just come. Don’t wait until we start a new study.
Just come. Try it. I think if you made the commitment to come you will stay. Why?
Because you will see and experience what you have been missing for your faith, your walk
with God. For Bible study is not just about facts and information. It is for our faith, hope, and love,
and for our living. For God Himself works through His Word to strengthen our faith and to
empower us to live for Him as Paul says in his first letter to the Thessalonians: “And we also thank
God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you
accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God which is at work in you
believers” (2: 13, ESV).
So, what do you think? Would you give my invitation prayerful consideration? What a joy it
would be for me (and your God and Savior) to see even more of you in our Sunday morning Bible
study. And I don’t think you will be disappointed. But, of course, there is only one way to find out.
In Christ,

Sunday Plans Keeping You From Worship?

Take advantage of our weekly
Saturday evening service at 6:00 p.m.
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
Psalm 122:1
“Freed to Live”
On July Fourth we pause as a nation to reflect on the
meaning of “Independence Day.” The Declaration of
Independence was written to begin the process of gaining
freedom from being a colony of England and chart our own
course as a nation. But freedom is not something that you
simply declare and it happens. Our freedom is something
that was purchased at a high price. From the time of the
Revolutionary War after July 4, 1776 to our war today in the
Middle East many brave men and women have laid their lives
on the line to fight for and defend our freedom as citizens of
the United States of America. Thousands upon thousands of
those brave soldiers shed their blood and gave up their
tomorrows so that we can be freed to live our todays and
tomorrows in the greatest country in the world and enjoy
freedoms that millions of people in the world can only dream
As that old saying goes, ‘freedom is not free.” It is fitting
and proper for us to remember and honor those who have
given their all not just on July Fourth but throughout the year.
They made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be free! We
also do well to remember and honor our brave men and
women who continue to put their lives on the line so that we may be free to live.
It is also fitting and proper for us to remember and appreciate our spiritual freedom from sin,
death and eternal condemnation. That freedom is not something that the strongest army in the
world could obtain. That freedom is not something that we can earn or even deserve. It is the free
gift of God who loved the world so much that He gave up His one and only Son who shed His
holy precious blood so that we might have a peace that passes all human understanding and
freedom that will last for eternity.
Our fitting and proper response for all that God has done for us in Christ is to live our lives in
ways that honor Him and bless others. We call that proper response to God’s love Christian
stewardship. As redeemed stewards we, in cooperation with and encouragement from fellow
redeemed stewards, freely and joyfully manage all of life and life’s resources for God’s purposes.
God delights in loving and giving and sends us His Holy Spirit to empower us to also grow in our
loving of God and others and our giving of time, talent, treasure and any of the other blessings
God has entrusted to us.
“Lord of glory, You have bought us with Your life blood as the price,
Never grudging for the lost ones that tremendous sacrifice.
Give us faith to trust You boldly, hope to stay our souls on You;
But, oh best of all Your graces, with Your love our love renew.” (LSB 851)
July Birthdays
2nd Cheryl Jarrell 14th Seth 25th Micah
4th Pamela Huddleston Alexander
Pehrson 17th Larry 26th Virgil Adams
11th Ed Anderson Matthiesen 27th Lois Spreier
12th John 20th Earl Meier 30th Marvin Armes
Campbell Del Marlyce Owen
13th Raymond rd
31st Christy Sailor
Owen 23 Neva Tucker Wes Veeder
24th Ryder

July Anniversaries
7th Melvin & Faye Scherbinske 12th Larry & Barbara
25th Virgil & Helga Adams 29th Doug & Tonya Owen

You can stay up-to-date online…

Check out our Church Blog at Weekly news updates,
items of interest, download or listen to a past sermon…
(these are now posted each week by Monday afternoon)

It is much more important that we pray [the Lord's

Prayer] regularly than that we wait until we have
enough time to pray it at length and in great detail
with deep ardor and heartfelt devotion. Satan,
quite commonly, uses our spiritual enthusiasm
against us. He gets us to go on a prayer binge
because he knows we will not be able to sustain it.
Then, when we fail, he uses our failure to argue
that praying is not for us. -- John Kleinig, *Grace Upon Grace* p. 180