Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, `Peace be with you’ (Luke 24:36).

Jesus Blessing 2
“Peace be with you”

 Peace can be a scarce commodity in our demanding twenty-first-century world. After all, our culture is overflowing with an astounding array of distractions, interruptions, and temptations. How, then, can we find the peace we desire? By turning our days-and our lives-over to God.

Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand, but would be safer in mine!”

Are you willing to entrust your life to God? Will you build your life on the firm foundation of God’s promises? If so you’ll experience the only peace that lasts: God’s peace.

(Taken from “Hugs” Devotional)

These wonderful words of wisdom really “hit home” with me when I read them. In this hectic life we live now days its so easy to forget who we are and where we are going or if we are going anywhere. We claim to have faith in God, and we do, but the troubles and responsibilities of life sometimes override our faith. Suddenly we begin worrying about this and that – wondering how we are going to do it all and what is going to happen when/if we fail. We start thinking about the “what ifs” and our faith, the rope which attaches us to Jesus, gets set aside. We let go of it and try to go it alone without even realizing we are doing it.

It’s kind of like being out in the middle of a lake with no life vest. The boat I am in capsizes. I begin frantically dog paddling trying to keep my nose above the water so I don’t drown. I finally become completely exhausted and can’t swim any further. When I stop swimming I realize that my feet are touching the sand which was beneath me all along.

In the same way, when this life gets difficult and I am too tired and weary to move forward – when my heart is breaking or I am worrying about the future, I need to remember that God is with me. He won’t let me drown. He is my life vest. He says, “Just trust me. I won’t let go of you. You will be fine.” Only in Him will I find lasting peace – “the peace which passes all understanding”. I never need to despair. I can let go of the worry and pain and know that He will keep me afloat.

"The Lord bless you and keep you"

“The Lord bless you and keep you”

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Gloria Dei!

By Christine

The Fun of Life

Jesus is the light of life
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, ‘surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him. Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation’ (Isaiah 25: 6-9).
True or False? God takes all the fun out of life.
Do you believe that? Some people do. They think that God (or religion or Christianity) exists to deprive people of pleasure by restricting human behavior with “you shalls” and “you shall nots”.
God does not take the fun out of life. God puts the fun in life. Jesus said; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).
Satan takes the fun out of life. Satan takes true fun from us. He tempts us with sinful pleasure instead of godly pleasure. Have you fallen for his lies? He baits the trap with tasty morsels of greed, lust, indulgence or unfaithfulness. These sins leave a bitter taste in our mouths – a taste of regret and remorse. His poisoned plate makes us sick.
God does not take the fun out of life. He makes life a celebration of his grace. He invites us to his healthy, joyful dinner. Join him on the mountain for his feast of rich food and aged wine. By this imagery the prophet Isaiah depicts a blessed meeting place for God and his people. God welcomes his people to a mountain retreat where he surrounds them with his love and provides a feast of his blessings. His people respond with trust and praise.
The host of this feast is Jesus, the risen Savior of the world. With his sacrifice for the sins of all he destroyed the shroud that enfolded all people. By rising from the dead he swallowed up death forever. Best of all, this feast never ends. It lasts through eternity.
You want to have fun? Join the LORD Almighty at his feast. He serves you richly with the gospel of salvation through Jesus. Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.
Pastor Dennis Himm
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Grand Blanc, MI.

"Try it, You’ll like it!"

 Come and Taste the Lord’s Goodness
Come to the Cross
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8)
I am a sinner. Because I am a sinner, I will die someday, but because of Jesus, I have hope.
Have you ever tried to go one day or even one hour without thinking a bad thought or feeling anger toward someone or some circumstance in your life? Have you ever had dreams you were ashamed to repeat to anyone? Have you ever made choices in life that hurt you or someone you love? Have you ever had a selfish or inconsiderate attitude toward others? Do you use God’s name on a daily basis, or any time for that matter, in ways that aren’t loving and don’t give Him honor? Have you ever disrespected your parents or mistreated your siblings and friends?
If you have answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you are a sinner too. The truth is we are all sinners. The Bible tells us we are sinful from birth – from the moment we were conceived in our mother’s womb. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me (Psalm 51:5). 
“Sin” is a disease which cannot be avoided. It is a disease which we inherit from our parents, they from their parents, and so on all the way back to Adam and Eve. It is a disease which dooms us to an eternity in hell. When we are covered in sin we are unable to stand before a holy God.
Wow, by the sounds of that we don’t have a chance. We were lost before we even got started. God tells us in His Word; the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  God is holy and He expects us to be holy also. Our sins separate us from Him. He didn’t create us sinful. He created humans perfect and holy like Him.  
Most people, Christians and non Christians alike know the story of man’s fall into sin (Genesis 2,3). Because Adam and Eve sinned against God, we live in a fallen world. All people born since the fall are sinners and doomed to die someday. Death is not a natural part of God’s creation. It is the devastating result of sin. Because of sin death will touch all beings born onto this earth.
But God loved the first people and He loves you. Because of His deep love for all people He devised a plan to rescue us from death and eternal punishment.
After Adam and Eve sinned God promised them a Savior. This Savior would crush the head of Satan so that death could not hold them (or us) prisoners (Gen. 3:15). This promised Savior was His perfect and holy Son, Jesus. He was born into the world as flesh and blood just like you and I, but unlike you and I

Jesus, the promised Savior

Jesus was holy and without sin. He lived the perfect and holy life we are unable to live due to our inherited sinful nature. He died on the cross and suffered the punishment of Hell (separation from God) in our place. His suffering and death paid the debt we owe to God for our sin and His resurrection crushed the head of Satan and defeated his power. We no longer need to fear death because Jesus gives us hope for eternity.

Jesus’ love for all people sent Him to the cross. He took the punishment that we deserve for our sin upon Himself. Without Him God’s anger rests on us. We are told in John 3:18; whoever believes in him [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Only through faith in Jesus can we escape an eternity in Hell.
Any human who rejects Jesus is covered in God’s wrath and will go to Hell. It doesn’t matter if you are a good person who is kind to others. It doesn’t matter if you have never committed a crime. It doesn’t matter if you work hard and are honest, or if you give generously to charities. God will not see the good things

“Love” nailed Him to the Cross

you do if you don’t have faith in Jesus. He will look right past you. He will not even know you and if you die in that state of mind and heart, you will go to Hell. God expects us to be holy. He says; be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy (Leviticus 19:2).

Do you know Jesus? Have you met Him in His Word? If you do not know Him personally, be advised that he does know you. He knows each and every person on this earth (past, present and future) personally and you can rest assured that He loves you as if you were His only child. He loves each of us in that way.
I invite you to come to know Jesus. Faith in Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit through baptism, through reading and studying Scripture, and through hearing it taught.  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the

Faith through the Word

message is heard through the word of Christ

(Romans 10:17).

Faith is a true blessing. It is life changing. It will fill the emptiness in your soul. Through faith you will become a part of God’s family. You will be free from the chains of sin which Satan uses to try to drag you down and make you feel unworthy. Through faith in Jesus the good things that you do will be the result of your love for God rather that your way to heaven.
Through faith you can live to serve God and your fellow man without the fear of eternal death hanging over you. Yes, you will die someday. We all will. But all who die in faith will pass from this life directly into the next to live eternally in heaven. We will live in the presence of God forever. We will all be members of one family – God’s family. In heaven; He [Jesus] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21: 4).
A gift from the Holy Spirit
Does it sound good to you? It may even sound too good to be true, but it’s not. Heaven is a free gift offered to all people by God’s grace through faith in His Son. You don’t have to try to be good or sinless to go to heaven. By faith, Jesus’ suffering and death covers the dirt and filth of your sin. God no longer sees it.
So then, are we still sinners? You better believe it! We need to come to Jesus everyday with a repentant heart. We need to kneel at the foot of the cross in sorrow and ask His forgiveness. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1: 8, 9). Yes, we are sinners, but through faith in Jesus we are also saints.
We are holy in God’s eyes because when he looks at us through the blood of His Son shed on the cross He no longer sees our sin. He sees His holy and Perfect

His blood covers our sin

Son. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool (Isaiah 1:18).

Step into the light of God’s love and taste of His goodness. Taste and see that He is good. You will be truly blessed. His love will shine through you and light up the world around you. Try it – you’ll like it!
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6: 23).
Gloria Dei!
By Christine