Strong When I’m Weak

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Imagine, the next time someone criticizes you, listening very calmly to the criticism and then saying: “You know, you just made me sound much better than I really am.”

Yes, it might be a rather cheeky thing to say—it could be used as just another form of self-defense—but that isn’t my point.  My point is really the opposite: the grace of Christ not only allows us to see the truth about our weaknesses, but it even allows us boast in them—and when we do so, it’s good for everyone.

Boasting in a weakness is different from accepting it.  Boasting in a weakness, for Christian believers, is abandoning the self to rejoice all the more in Jesus Christ.  It’s confessing honestly who we are, warts and all, in the confidence that such weaknesses are not the final or most important word.  A greater, kinder, and more forgiving word has been spoken for each one of us in the life of Jesus Christ.

So we can be honest about how weak we all are, even how bad we are.  Speaking with such honesty blesses our neighbors and allows them to be honest, too.  It “levels the field” and sets us all before the kindness of our Christ.

LET US PRAY: Lord, you know my weaknesses.  You know my sins.  I’m sorry you had to see and know all that.  Thank you for not forcing me to look at it every day.  Thank you for your beauty, your mercy, and your strength.  Thank you for being the better person who I cannot be, and thank you for being that person for me.  Give that consolation to all who struggle with weakness and sin.  Amen

Pastor Steven K. Gjerde

Zion, Wausau

Devotional for July 15, 2018

Devotional for July 15, 2018 based upon Mark 6: 14-29

The Gospel writer Matthew, in his account of the death of John the Baptist, adds an interesting detail that the Gospel writer Mark does not include in his account. Mark 6: 29 merely says that “when his (John the Baptist’s) disciples heard about it (John’s death), they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.” Matthew 14: 12 adds, “Then they went and told Jesus.”

There are times in our lives – when great sorrow comes or great tragedy strikes – when more than anything else we need to tell someone, and the one we most need to tell is Jesus.

One of my mother’s favorite songs asks,
“Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye to the dearest on earth to me.
When my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks
Is it anything to Him, does He see?”

And then comes the glad response,
“Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares.
His heart is touched by my grief.
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.”

There are times in our lives when more than anything else that is what we need to know – that our Savior cares. Whatever grief I am feeling, whatever sorrow I am experiencing, whatever tragedy I am going through, I can know for sure that my Savior cares.

That was one of my mother’s favorite songs. A good friend of my parents sang it at the memorial service for each of them.

And that is what we all need to know – that our Savior cares. Like the disciples of John went and told Jesus about the death of His dear cousin and their dear leader and friend, so we all have things that we need to tell Jesus.

What is it that you need to tell Jesus today? Whatever it is, know for sure that He cares, He will listen, and He can help. He can give you the love and comfort that you need and the strength to see it through.

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE

Devotional for July 8, 2018

Devotional for July 8, 2018 based upon Mark 6: 1-13

If you were to ask people about their favorite hymn, how many do you think would say, “Amazing Grace”? I have a feeling more people would say that hymn than any other hymn. We all identify with the words of John Newton – “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.”

Many times during my years in ministry I officiated at a graveside service where the family arranged for someone to play bagpipes. They always played “Amazing Grace.”

Charles Wesley wrote a hymn about God’s amazing love, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain.” The chorus goes like this – “Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”

Yes, God’s grace and love are amazing. May we never stop being amazed by them.

But did you know that the Bible tells of times when Jesus was amazed? Our Gospel lesson for this coming Sunday is among them. In Mark 6: 5 it says that Jesus could do no deed of power in His hometown of Nazareth, except that He did lay His lands on a few sick people and cure them. And then it says in verse 6, “He was amazed at their unbelief.”

How much better is the situation in Luke 7 when Jesus was on His way to the home of a centurion, who had a slave whom he valued highly who was close to death. The centurion sent some friends to Jesus to tell Jesus that He did not need to actually come to and enter into the centurion’s house. (I have a feeling that the centurion was wanting to be sensitive to Jewish purification laws and did not want Jesus to have to defile Himself by coming into the centurion’s house.) Rather he knew that all Jesus would need to do would be to “speak the word, and let my servant be healed.” (verse 7) The centurion related to this personally by saying that just as people obeyed his orders, so he knew that whatever or whoever was causing his servant’s terminal illness would obey Jesus’ orders. Luke tells us, “When Jesus heard this He was amazed at him and said, ‘Not even in Israel have I found such faith.’” (verse 9)

May we always be amazed by God’s grace and love. May we never get so used to them that we stop being amazed by them. And may Jesus be amazed by our faith rather than by our lack of faith.

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE

Silent Before God

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)


I suppose the best answer is simply to raise one’s own hand.  I am the one who darkens counsel by words without knowledge.  I rush to speak where I should be silent, to explain where I do not know, and to offer my opinion where God’s Word is better.  For what are my thoughts compared to God’s?

Every Christian should pause and sit with this reality for a bit, taking it to heart.  Many people extol the virtue of being still and silent for meditation, but we’re not truly silent until we have pondered the futility of our own thoughts compared to God’s—yes, even our pondering of our ponderings is a chasing after wind.  Until we extinguish our love for our own opinions and discernment, we’re still yakking away in the arrogance of our hearts, however still our mouths may be.

Yet once we have confessed our ignorance and said, “Your thoughts, O Lord, are higher than my thoughts,” then we are truly silent, however much we may speak.  Those who make God’s Word their counsel are quiet and still before Him, even though they may make a great noise, because they have silenced their minds in favor of God’s mind and refrained from exalting their judgments over His.  Here is the joy and gift of the Church: always having a better Word than our own, because it carries so much greater consolation and wisdom.

LET US PRAY: Silence the imaginations of my heart, O Lord, so that I may truly speak and speak the truth.  Amen

Pastor Steven K. Gjerde

Zion, Wausau

Devotional for July 1, 2018

Devotional for July 1, 2018 based upon Mark 5: 21-43

Picture the frantic father in our Gospel lesson for this morning. His little girl was at the point of death when he hears that there is someone who just might be able to save her life. So even though he is a man of power, prominence, and prestige – he is Jairus, leader of the synagogue – in desperation he lays aside all pride, falls at Jesus’ feet, and begs Him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she made be made well and live.” His request is specific, focused, and intense.

Will Jesus go? Of course He will go. Mark tells us, “He went with him.” But then look at what happens next. Beginning with verse 25 Mark tells us, “There was a woman who had been suffering from bleeding for twelve years. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped.” There is a break in the story. An interruption happens. Jairus’ obtaining help from Jesus is put on hold.

Now just imagine how you would feel if you were Jairus. Here is a woman whose problem is far less serious than your daughter’s problem. But she is interrupting your being able to get help from the one person in the whole world who might be able to help you. Can you imagine the panic that this frantic father must have been feeling at that particular moment? Here is the Master, ministering to someone else, whose problem is far less serious than mine, and His doing so is putting me on hold.

Why does the Master sometimes seem to delay? Why isn’t He quicker to respond to my needs? Doesn’t He know that the matter is urgent? Why does He sometimes put me on hold? These are questions that go right to the heart of the nature of prayer. Why does it sometimes seem that my prayers go no higher than the ceiling?

Picture this frantic father, waiting for Jesus to minister to the woman with the flow of blood, when, according to Mark, his worst fears happen. Some friends come from the house. As soon as he sees their faces, he knows what has taken place. It is the news no parent ever wants to hear. “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

Up to this point Jairus had had a faint glimmer of hope. But now there seems to be no hope. His friends try to support and comfort him as best they can. But there is a limit to the help that even your best friend can give at a moment like this. Something much more is needed. Something that only Jesus can give.

Fortunately, Jesus is still there. He may have been delayed, but He is still there. Just like Jesus is still there in your times of greatest need. I have a feeling that Jesus touched him gently on the shoulder as He said, “Do not fear; only believe.” Which admittedly is asking a lot of this man.

Whenever we feel put on hold is when we need to hold on even tighter to the promises of God.

And so Jesus makes His way to Jairus’ house, accompanied by His three closest friends – Peter, James, and John. When He comes to the house, He sees family and friends gathered there. He sees hired mourners and hears a great crowd weeping and wailing loudly. “Why do you make a commotion and weep?” He asks. “The child is not dead but sleeping.”

They laugh at Him. They ridicule His diagnosis. He asks them to leave the house and then goes into the room where the little girl is lying. He takes her by the hand and says, “Little girl, get up!” Immediately she gets up and begins to walk around.

Today do you feel like you have been put on hold? Do you feel like your prayers are going no higher than the ceiling? Do you feel like Jesus must be responding to someone else because He certainly is not responding to you?

Know this. Whenever we feel put on hold is when we need to hold on even tighter to the promises of God. Whenever you feel put on hold, do not let go of Him. He will never let go of you. He loves you with a love that will not let you go.

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE

Devotional for June 24, 2018

Devotional for June 24, 2018 based upon Mark 4: 35-41

What are you afraid of? Everybody is afraid of something. A lot of people are afraid of flying in airplanes – especially smaller airplanes.

Imagine yourself in a small airplane – like one of those two-or-three-people-across, propeller type airplanes. You are being buffeted about in a terrible storm that is threatening to tear the small aircraft apart. If you do that, then you can appreciate the terror the disciples must have felt when that ferocious storm came down upon them on the Sea of Galilee.

For that sea can become unsettled by tremendous storms that suddenly come sweeping down upon the lake, which is several hundred feet below sea level. The disciples are caught in one of those storms. The wind and the waves are threatening to capsize their small boat. Only if you remember that several of the disciples were seasoned fishermen can you fully appreciate the ferociousness of this storm. A smaller, more normal storm they would have been able to take in stride. But this time the disciples are terrified. They are afraid they are going to die. So they wake up Jesus, who is fast asleep in the boat, and in total panic ask Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

Every one of us goes through storms at various times in our lives. Some of these storms are like tornadoes. They come up suddenly and unexpectedly, as did this storm on the Sea of Galilee. Other storms are like hurricanes. You can see them coming for a long time before they arrive. They are the result of a long series of circumstances.

With both kinds of storms it sometimes seems that Jesus is asleep in the boat. We want to wake Him up and ask, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” All of us go through storms. The worst part is that sometimes Jesus seems to be asleep. We ask, Where is God in the storms of my life? Why doesn’t He intervene and stop the storm? Does He care? Is He asleep?

Our Bible story for this morning gives a resounding, Yes, Jesus does care. When the storms of life are raging, Jesus does care. When you think that you cannot hold on for one minute more, Jesus does care. When the waves are threatening to capsize you, Jesus does care.

The disciples wake Jesus from His sleep. Immediately He rebukes the wind and the waves as He says, “Peace! Be still!” The winds cease, and there is a great calm. Then Jesus turns to His disciples and asks, “Why were you afraid? Do you have no faith?”

And so, you see, the main question of life is not, How many storms will I have to go through? Or, How can I avoid the storms? Rather the main questions of life are, Do I have faith for the storms? And if I do not, how can I develop a faith for the storms? For we will all encounter storms. And sometimes it will seem that God is asleep. It is especially then that we will need a faith for the storms.

Do you believe in a God who loves you? Do you believe in a God who has promised never to forsake you? Do you believe that no matter how dark the clouds may seem, behind those clouds the sun still shines? Do you believe that beyond the cross is an empty tomb? If you do, then you can weather even the severest of storms. If you do not, then today is the day for you to ask God to give you that kind of faith.

Do you have a faith for even the severest of storms? What would happen to you if you were in a tiny, tiny boat in a terrible, terrible storm? Which is the predicament that the disciples were in. And which may be the predicament that you – and/or someone whom you know and/or love – is in. At times like those we need a storm-enduring faith that we have been nurturing for years. For if our faith is real, and our faith is our own, then we, too, will be able to hear the voice of the One who can calm all storms. “Peace! Be still!”

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE

A Tent Not Made With Hands

“For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)

Here is the Christian’s courage.

A thousand things can attack us in the flesh, from accidents to illnesses, from crime to war.  As we go into a day, we don’t know what will happen; every morning starts a venture of which we cannot see the ending.  The unknown is so great, not only for each of us individually, but also for our families, neighborhoods, and churches.

Yet God has breathed His Holy Spirit into the believer, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  By His own word of promise, God declares that we belong to the world to come, the same world that broke into this earth through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  The destruction of our “earthly tent” (our flesh, our homes, our lives as we now know them) cannot destroy our “heavenly tent,” the body of Christ.

God pitched that heavenly tent among you through the birth of His Son, and He opened the flap of it in His Son’s wounds, handing Him over for sinners.  Now, He has zippered you securely in its shelter through the ministry of His Spirit, making for you a home in His mercy.

Of what shall you be afraid?

LET US PRAY: Fill me with courage, good Lord, and let no fear of loss or suffering prevent me from abiding with You, both here on earth and in the world to come; through Jesus, Your Son.  Amen

Pastor Steven K. Gjerde

Zion, Wausau


Devotional for Fathers’ Day 2018


Devotional for Fathers’ Day 2018 based upon Genesis 21: 8-21

I am writing the devotional for this week for a particular group of people, though everyone else is welcome to read it. I am writing to those whose fathers were not ideal fathers. They were not everything they should have been as fathers. Some of these fathers are still alive, so there still might be a chance for their children to work on that all important relationship. Some fathers are gone, so their children can no longer make that relationship better, but they can still work on making their own lives better if they can find peace in their pain and a healing of their memories.

The hard, cold fact is that many fathers are not ideal, model fathers. For example, Abraham was not an ideal, model father.

Now that may kind of surprise you because we think of Abraham as a great man of faith. As the great father of both the Hebrew nation and the Arab people. But Abraham, in his relationship with his older son Ishmael, was far from being a model father.

What great joy Abraham must have felt when he finally was able to have a son by his wife, Sarah. It was a miracle – a gift from God. Both Abraham and Sarah were in their nineties. They named their son Isaac, which means “laughter,” because, by giving them a son, God had given them their laughter back.

When Isaac was three years old, Abraham threw a big party. But in the midst of all the celebrating, Abraham’s wife, Sarah, saw something that made her very upset. She saw Isaac playing with his half-brother, Ishmael.

Now Ishmael also was Abraham’s son. But Ishmael’s mother was a slave woman by the name of Hagar. When God seemed slow to act – at least slow according to Abraham’s timetable – in fulfilling His promise to make Abraham the father of a great nation, Abraham decided that he needed to help God out, so he took matters into his own hands and had a son by the slave woman, Hagar. After the birth of Ishmael, Sarah and Hagar did not get along at all. There was deep resentment and bitterness on Sarah’s part, so at the family celebration, when she saw Ishmael playing with Isaac, she flew into a rage. She told her husband, Abraham, to get rid of that woman and her son. She did not even call them by name. She was so eaten up with jealousy that she wanted Hagar and Ishmael out of her life forever.

Abraham must have lacked either the guts or the know-how to intervene and solve the problem between the mothers of his two children. I’ve seen it happen many times. Some of the worst of tensions erupt at what should be the happiest of family gatherings. In the midst of what should have been a joyous occasion, Sarah became so upset just because she saw Ishmael playing with her young son, Isaac. There is no indication that Ishmael was in any way being mean or abusive towards his younger half-brother. It just says that they were playing together at a family celebration.

Sarah wanted action, and she wanted it now. How sad. How sad for Sarah – for allowing herself to become so consumed with jealousy and anger. How sad for Hagar – to be cast out and now not have someone to provide for her. How sad for Isaac – to no longer be able to have a relationship with his half-brother. But especially how sad for Ishmael. To have a father who rejected him, cast him out, cut him off, sent him away.

I am sure that Abraham loved Ishmael deeply. I am certain that he was greatly distressed over the thought of having to send him away. It was during this time of great confusion and pain that God spoke once again to Abraham. (Thank you, Lord, for speaking to us in our times of greatest confusion and pain.) God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of the slave woman. I will make a nation of him also, because he is your son.” And so, in what is one of the saddest scenes in the entire Bible, Abraham gives in to Sarah and sends Hagar and Ishmael away. He casts them out into the desert with only a skin filled with water and a little bit of bread. How long did Abraham think that they would be able to survive with so little food and water?

I live in the Phoenix area. Day time temperatures are now consistently over 100 degrees. Every summer we hear and read stories of people who go hiking in the desert with not enough water. They do not survive. How long did Abraham think Hagar and Ishmael were going to be able to survive?

When their scanty provisions were gone, Hagar did the best thing she could. She found some shade and left her son there. Then she sat down quite a ways away, looking in the opposite direction. She cried out to anyone who might hear her, “Do not let me look on the death of my child.” Then she sat down and wept.

God heard the cry of the child, so an angel of God called to Hagar and said, “Do not be afraid. Lift up your son and hold him fast, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God showed her a well where she and her son could draw water. They were not going to die in the desert. God would be with them. Ishmael would grow to become “an expert with the bow.” His mother would find a wife for him. God gave great promises to a homeless woman, and God always keeps His promises. They would not be alone. Even though they had been cast out by a very non-ideal earthly father, they still had a perfect, loving, model Heavenly Father who would look out for them.

And that is good news for all of us. That no matter how well or how badly our own earthly fathers may have fulfilled the role of father, and whether or not we still have a chance to make that all important relationship better, still each one of us – like Ishmael – has a perfect, ideal, loving, model Heavenly Father.

And so, you see, the model, ideal father in our Bible story is not Abraham. In some ways Abraham was a very bad father. No, in this story, the model, ideal Father is God. And God wants to be your model, ideal Father. Earthly fathers may let us down, as Abraham let Ishmael down. But our Heavenly Father will never let us down.

And so, on this upcoming Fathers’ Day, let us give thanks for our earthly fathers, who did for us the very best they could in loving us and nurturing us, but who also had their own very real life issues, hurts, and needs to deal with.

But even more, let us give thanks that we, like Ishmael, have a loving, ideal, model Heavenly Father, who will always love us. Who will always take care of us. Even when we are in the desert times of our lives, He will never forsake us, but will always be there for us.

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE

The Redeemer of Creation

And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.   So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:28)

People often think that Christian morality rests on blind commitment to a list of rules.  They think so because Christians will sometimes make moral arguments by quoting one or two commands from the Bible.  In this passage, our Lord Jesus Christ shows us a better way.

Someone throws a law at Him—“You can’t work on the Sabbath!”—and He responds by going back to creation: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”  The Redeemer of creation, Jesus unpacks the divine will at work in time and nature alike.  God’s purpose in hallowing the Sabbath was for people to rest in His good work, not to live in the fear of doing work.

So it always goes for Christians.  Morality is not about checking off rules to keep ourselves pure; it’s about living as God has given us to live in His Son, who leads us faithfully into creation as God intends it: pure gift, pure rest, and pure joy.  Forgiven in the blood of Christ, we are free to take up the work He gives us without fear.

LET US PRAY:  O Lord of the Sabbath, You are the rest of the weary and the crown of creation.  Fill the earth with the joy of Your salvation, and write Your law upon our hearts; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever.  Amen

Pr. Steven K. Gjerde

Zion, Wausau


Devotional for June 10, 2018

Devotional for June 10, 2018 based upon Mark 3: 20-35

Jesus said, “No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.”

I believe that the strong man Jesus was referring to is Satan, and the strong man’s property are people. People whom God loves and for whom Jesus died, but people who are under the influence and control of Satan. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead in order to defeat the power of Satan. But until Jesus returns, Satan will work to hold and keep people in bondage. One of the ways in which he will do that is through his lies. And so one of the ways in which people can be delivered from the power of Satan – one of the ways in which the strong man can be tied up so that his property can be plundered – is as people hear and believe God’s truth rather than listen to and fall for Satan’s lies.

Satan’s first lie is this: GOD IS HOLDING OUT ON YOU. Eve fell for this lie. Eve gave into Satan’s temptation and ate the forbidden fruit. “You will not die,” Satan had lied. “Rather God knows that if you were to eat of this fruit, your eyes would be opened and you would be His equal. And God does not want you to be His equal.” The lie Satan was telling Eve was, “God is holding out on you. There is something good that God is trying to keep from you.” Unfortunately Adam and Eve fell for Satan’s first lie.

Is there any way in which you are falling for Satan’s first lie? Is there something happening or not happening in your life that makes you wonder if God is holding out on you? Or do you truly believe that God really means it when He said in Jeremiah 29: 11, “I know the plans I have for you – plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”? If Satan is trying to get you to believe that if God truly were good, then He would gratify some desire of yours and do so immediately, then you need to intentionally recall that God’s plans for you will always be only for your good.

Satan’s second lie is this: YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONE BEYOND YOURSELF. Even King David, the man after God’s own heart, fell victim to this second lie. First Chronicles 21 tells us that Satan incited David to take a census of Israel. David responded by commanding General Joab to count all of the fighting men. David had begun to believe that his security lay in the size of his army rather than in his Lord. Because of David’s act of self-reliance, the whole nation suffered a terrible plague. In the same way, if I rely solely or mainly upon myself – upon my own human resources, insight, wisdom, and strength – it will damage my relationship with God and, as in the case of David, it could also really hurt others.

There is a lot to learn from the Twelve-Step Program from a Christian perspective:
1. I admit that I am powerless over whatever it is that is holding me in bondage. My life has become unmanageable.
2. I need a power outside of myself and greater than myself to restore my life to sanity.
3. I will turn my life over to the power of God as the Bible tells me about Him.

Is there any way in which you need to stop believing Satan’s second lie of total self-reliance and instead start depending upon God?

Satan’s third lie is this: YOU WILL NEVER SUFFER AS A CHRISTIAN. And if you are, something is wrong. In Mark 8 Jesus told His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to suffer and die. When Peter heard that, he emphatically rebuked Him. “Never, Lord. This shall never happen to You!” Jesus replied, “Get behind Me, Satan!”

Jesus recognized Satan’s clever seduction in Peter’s well-meaning words. Jesus knew that God’s plan for His life included suffering and pain. And God’s plan for your life will include some suffering and pain. Are you falling for Satan’s third lie, or are you able to trust God’s promise in Romans 8: 28? “Not just in some things but in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Even in difficult circumstances, do you trust God to accomplish His good in your life? Do you trust God to use the trials that will come into your life to help shape your character to become more like His?

Satan’s fourth lie is this: MONEY IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS. Satan knows the powerful lure of money. Satan is well aware of how greed can take over our lives. So the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” The reef of earthly riches is not worth shipwrecking your life on.

Satan’s fifth lie is this: YOU CAN NEVER FORGIVE THEM. You cannot possibly forgive someone who has wounded you so severely.

Where in your life do you need to stop believing Satan’s fifth lie? Whom are you having the greatest difficulty forgiving? The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Forgive each other, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Do you need to meditate more on just how much God has forgiven you, so that you can let go of your own bitterness and forgive someone else? Oh, the healing process may take years. But wouldn’t you rather be free? Wouldn’t you rather be able to think of that person with peace – if not also genuine desire for their welfare? The first step on the road to forgiveness is remembering just how much God has forgiven us. The second step is to let the sweet, healing love of God flow from us and through us to that other person.
Someone once said, “Forgiveness is the oil that keeps our souls from burning up in the friction of human relationships.”

Satan would be more than happy to use His lies in order to keep you in bondage. In Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead God has already won the decisive victory over Satan and all of his demons. Until God wraps up the campaign at the end of the world, may each one of us be able to resist Satan’s lies by holding onto the truths and standing on the promises in God’s Word.

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE