God continues to give us good work today

     Let us first pray.  Heavenly Father, from Your hand comes every good thing needed to sustain us in body and spirit, strengthen us in faith, safeguard us from the schemes and plots of the evil one, and comfort us as Your Holy Spirit conform us more and more into the image of Your Son and keep us in the one, true faith.  Give us ears that hear and recognize Your voice, hearts that humbly and obediently lovingly serve others in the vocations You have given us, voices that confess Christ and sing Your praise, and hands and feet with which our labors advance Your kingdom and provide for our families.  Pour Your Spirit upon us that we would always humbly and obediently answer Your call by which You provide for all the needs of Your children at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, expand Your kingdom, care for our families, and snatch lost and dying souls out of the bondage of the evil one for Your glory and our good.  Amen and Amen.


     God works through flesh and blood – His Son, His children – you and I.  Holy Scripture testifies that He calls those He desires to lead His people:  Abraham, Moses, Samuel and the Old Testament prophets, the Apostles to include Matthias and St Paul.  I submit He works through prayer by which His Spirit moves each of us to submit names of brothers and sisters in Christ we believe are best qualified for the elected positions on the Church Council and our various boards and committees.  He plans to work through the Nomination Committee to call forward His children to be on the ballot and those that are nominated from the floor of the Voters’ Meeting.  He then will work through your, my, and our brothers and sisters’ votes to lead us to identify His chosen servant-leaders.  There is plenty of work for all His children at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.  He will allow some to catch their breath and gather their strength for future challenges while He will train up others during the term for leadership at a future date.  In all this He calls us to work for the eternal treasure and reward that moth cannot destroy and thief cannot steal.


  I know you have worked selflessly over the past two years and are willing to continue to work.  I ask you to continue to pray for His wisdom and strength and that He use you without restriction according to His will, for His glory and the good of His family at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.


  Let us close in prayer.  Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for this day, Your gracious provision, Your mercies that are anew even this morning, and the good work You have given us.  Forgive us where we have erred or fallen short and comfort us that You rule in love and righteousness, abiding with us through sunlight or shadow.  May all our thoughts, words and deeds be acceptable in Your sight.  Let Your holy angel be with us that the evil foe have no power over us.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen and Amen.


True Fellowship

     This month let us meditate on the one true God who desires a deep, abiding and constant fellowship with His creation: you, me and mankind.  God’s love and fellowship was betrayed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden but He promised them He would provide a savior who would defeat the evil one, restoring man into a deep, abiding and eternal fellowship with Himself (Genesis 3:14 – 15).  God’s promise manifested itself in the incarnation of His only begotten Son two thousand years ago: Jesus the Christ. 


     The Lord stands in stark contrast with the gods that are the creations of man’s imagination and promoted by the evil one.  Let us look at the Lord’s abiding with His people during the exodus and their demand for a king.  Then let us look at His abiding with His people during the life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus the Christ.

With a mighty arm and outstretched hand God delivered His people from the slavery and tyranny of Pharaoh and his slave masters (Exodus 5 – 14).  Jehovah displayed wonderous and mighty works in their presence (Exodus 12: 29 – 14: 31) and yet they bristled, complained and rebelled in His presence (Exodus 15: 22 – 17: 7; 32).  God abided with His ungrateful His people throughout the 40 years of wilderness wandering during which time He raised up and brought forth a new Israel led by Joshua.  He led His children into the land He promised to their fathers, fought and gave them victory over their foes, and settled them within their assigned lands. Yet, they soon despised, discounted and discarded God’s kingship, demanding to be ruled like all the other nations (1 Samuel 8).  God never abandoned His chosen people while they repeatedly sought any god but Him.

     In the fullness of time, a thousand years later, the promised Savior arrived, dwelt among His people and embarked on His ministry of preaching, teaching and healing.  God delivered His people from the slavery and tyranny of sin, death and the power of the devil with a mighty arm and an outstretched hand: Jesus the Christ.  The rabbi from Nazareth spoke many wonderous words and did many mighty works in the presence of the religious leaders and the people.  Jewish leaders and people bristled, complained, and rebelled against Him as they denied His fellowship because He ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners while claiming to be God (Matthew 9: 11; Luke 15:2; Matthew 26: 63; John 19:7).  Yet, the Good Shepherd fellowshipped, instructed, and healed both those who believed in Him and those who refused to believe in Him for three years, raising up true sons and daughters of God while exposing children of the devil.  Then, He opened wide the kingdom of God with His innocent suffering and death upon the cross (Matthew 8: 11; Romans 5: 10) and God validated it with His resurrection and glorious ascension to the right hand of God the Father Almighty (Romans 8: 34; Hebrews 1: 3).  


     Immanuel, the Son of God and Son of Man, promises He will abide both with us and all God’s children here on earth unto the Last Day (Matthew 28: 20) and with all the faithfully departed there in heaven for eternity (Revelation 7: 9 – 12).  This is the present reality for us here at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and all God’s holy ones in the church militant as it is for His holy ones in the church triumphant.  He holds us firmly and lovingly in His nail-scarred hand, assuring you and me that no one is able to snatch us out of either His or the Father’s hand (John 10: 28 – 30).  Therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit may we faithfully embrace and hold fast to God’s fellowship as we pass through the tribulation of this world (John 16: 33) and into our heavenly Father’s house where we will feast at His table forever.


Amen and Amen.


God’s Faithfulness…He is risen!

Alleluia, He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

This month let us meditate on God’s faithfulness as we journey to our heavenly Father’s house according to His chosen will, means and path.  God calls us to consider His promises that have all been fulfilled in Christ Jesus during His exodus, Israelite’s promises that were broken on the exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land, and our broken promises on our exodus from this veil of sorrows to His home.  Rejoice, God’s faithfulness is unchanging and His promises remain steadfast and true forever regardless of our faltering faith and ability to keep our promises to Him and others.

     God blessed Egypt with Joseph’s faithful and wise stewardship of food during both the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine.  Yet, a Pharaoh later came to power who neither acknowledged God’s providence nor provision through His chosen people and abused them with tyranny and slavery.  However, God watched over and heard the cries of His people, selecting Moses to lead them out from under the slavery and oppression of Pharaoh, a self-proclaimed god, and into the freedom and worship of the one true God.  This false god would relinquish neither his hold nor claim on God’s people even after His first born was struck down by God.  God remained committed even when His people were unfaithful to Him and slandered His chosen leader, leading them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, through forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and giving them the land He promised Abraham.


     God blesses mankind with Jesus’ faithful and true redemptive work during both His ministry of preaching, teaching and healing and then His passion, death and resurrection.  Yet, the prince of this world, who had illegitimately seized authority and power in the Garden of Eden, consistently and cunningly tempted Jesus to seek glory apart from that of the Father’s and what the Father had promised Him.  God watched over His only begotten Son and heard His cries from the Garden of Gethsemane and the cross as our Lord struggled under the weight of your, my, and all mankind’s sin.  Jesus brought all mankind out from under the slavery and tyranny of sin, death and the devil with His innocent suffering and death so that we would be free and worship the one true God in spirit and truth.  God remained faithful to His chosen One, raising Jesus from death and seating His Son at His right hand in power and glory.  Christ continues to faithfully lead all God’s people to our heavenly Father’s mansion until the Last Day when He will come to judge the living and the dead.

     Our exodus through suffering, affliction and temptation in this veil of sorrow is a present reality.  It will become a historic fact when we breath our last, commend our spirits into God’s hands, and are welcomed into our promised eternal peace and rest.  Until then, God promises to sustain, strengthen, safeguard, and comfort us with His means of grace He provides within His one holy, Christian, and apostolic Church while the spiritual battle rages for our souls.  His promises remain steadfast and trustworthy even as we struggle with doubts and fears.  His promises remain unchanging and immoveable even when we fail to remember and keep our promises to Him in the heat of our struggle against our flesh, the fallen world and the attacks of the evil one


     My brothers and sisters, the Israelite exodus from slavery and bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land is history, proving God fulfilled His promises even when His chosen people broke their promises under the strain of God’s trial and afflictions and Satan’s temptations.  Jesus’ exodus through suffering, affliction, temptation, and death to His resurrection and ascension is history, proving God fulfills all His redemptive promises in Christ. Our exodus is a present reality played out upon His path of righteousness that leads us through this veil of tears, through trials and afflictions, through the evil one’s plots and schemes, proving God’s promises are immutable and personal for His children.  Thus, God’s promises are concurrently a historical fact, a present reality, and a future certainty.  Rejoice, Jesus is the solid rock upon which all God’s promises rest.  Rejoice, your, my, and the salvation of mankind rests upon neither the shifting sands of human reason or strength nor our faulty and failing human promises.

Alleluia, He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


Unintended Consequences

     This month let us meditate on unintended consequences as we journey to Jerusalem and, ultimately, to our heavenly Father’s house.  God calls us to consider the unintended consequences that have brought us here, we are now engaging in, and those that will confront us until the Last Day.

     Adam and Eve lived in freedom in the Garden of Eden.  They were free to:

  • work without pain or injury.
  • live and move without the searing heat of summer or the frigid cold of winter.
  • live and move among the animals, insects, and plants without fear of attack or pestilence.
  • rest and sleep without fear of injury or death.
  • come into the presence of the Lord without terror or shame.
  • commune with God without deceit and slander.


     Unfortunately, when they entertained the tempter, gave thought to his deceptive and deadly challenge, and acted upon the temptation they went from freedom in God to bondage in sin, death and the power of the devil.  They did not intend:

  • that an innocent animal that Adam named and they cared for would forfeit its life to cover their sin.
  • to forsake God’s fellowship and favor for that with a liar and murderer.
  • that all creation would groan under the weight of their rebellion and lawlessness, resulting in painful childbirth and exhausting work.
  • to suffer the consequences of aging and infirmity that would weaken them physically and psychologically.
  • to enter into a situation that would demand their deliverance through the suffering and death of God who would take on flesh and blood and be born of a woman.

Satan did not intent that their rebellion would be graciously and lovingly dealt with by the holy and righteous God.


     Unfortunately, today we live with Adam and Eve’s unintended consequences: suffering and anguish, disease and death, betrayal and heartbreak.  Even more, we go through our days, weeks, months and years not intending to:

  • provoke and grieve our God with our lawless and rebellious thoughts, words and deeds towards Him and our neighbor.
  • neglect God’s mercies or the good work given us this day.
  • allow the old Adam to grow stronger and the new creation in Christ weaker by the delay of our spiritual growth through: reading and meditating on God’s Word; individual, family and corporate worship; Christian Education classes; stewardship – fellowship – evangelism opportunities; and prayer.
  • forsake God and become separated from His bride through ritualism and absenteeism.

Satan does not intent all that distracts, ensnares, and binds mankind to give way to God’s salvation in this Time of Grace.


     Rejoice, God willingly and willfully calls us by name, reminds us that He has put His name upon us in Holy Baptism, and feeds us with His Holy Word and the holy and precious body and blood of His only begotten Son as He leads us upon His path of righteousness to our heavenly home.  He does not intend that any would be lost but that all – you and me, our loved ones and neighbors – would repent and receive salvation in Christ.  Therefore, He calls those still lost in the darkness of unbelief and rebellion through His children, you and me, to Himself through His means of grace that He freely and abundantly gives us.  He intends that all the time, gifts and talents He generously provides us His means of grace for the advance of His kingdom for His glory and our good.  He intends on the Last Day to destroy all the unintended consequences of sin, death and the power of the devil.  He intends to recline us at His table where we and all His saints will celebrate the Wedding Feast of the Lamb forever. 


God’s Call


    This month let us meditate on God’s call. His call to Adam, Moses, you and me.  He knows His own and His own know Him, recognizing His voice and listening to Him (John 10: 27).  In His intimate call His glory shines and through which He extends us every good thing for our body and spirit, now and forever.  It is a call that is dismissed, discounted, and despised at great and eternal risk.

     God’s call to Adam.  God was perfectly content and at peace within the Godhead before creation.  Yet He chose to create the heavens and earth, calling man into a fellowship that was personal, intimate and eternal (Genesis 1: 26 – 28).  His call was not extended to any other creature: angel; bird of the air, creature that moved on the land; or fish that swam in the waters (Genesis 2: 15 – 17).  It was to man that He formed with His hands and breathed His breath into.  God gathered them to Himself for fellowship with Him: enjoy and acknowledge His love and provision with thanks and praise; account for the day spent in His work of caring for the Garden of Eden; and grow in His wisdom and favor.  Tragically, Adam and Eve heard to voice of a stranger – a liar, a murderer, a rebel – who tempted them with the one thing God reserved for Himself.  They heeded the call of this wretch and plunged all of us into suffering and anguish (Genesis 3:6, 16 – 18).  Yet, in the cool of that day, God again called them (Genesis 3: 8 – 9).  The King came to those He loves and revealed they had abandoned the perfect fellowship and entered into an adulterous relationship, a bondage relationship, a dead relationship with a murderous spirit (Genesis 3: 11 – 13).  However, His love provided for their sustainment (Genesis 3: 16 – 19a) and protection (Genesis 3:22 – 25) while promising deliverance from that tyrant and reconciliation with Himself (Genesis 3: 14 – 15). 


     Heavenly Father, by the power of Your Spirit keep our ears open to the voice of our Savior that the Word of Life may enter in and continually abide with us.  Close them to the voice of the stranger – a sin-filled world and the devils – that they would find no place in our thoughts, words and deeds.  We ask for these and all necessary things in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  Amen.


     God’s call to Moses.  God called Moses, a son of Abraham (who had been a prince, then a murderer, then a fugitive, and then a shepherd), to shepherd His chosen people who suffered under the tyranny of Egyptian slavery.  The Angel of the Lord appeared to him veiled in the flame that did not consume the bush.  The pre-incarnate Christ called Him by name, repeating his name, to indicate the affection and importance His call had for Moses and His people.  Moses recognized the voice of the Lord yet requested to know the name by which He was to be called (Exodus 3: 13 – 15).  Moses heeded and obeyed the Lord’s call, picked up his cross, and walked the path of righteousness with God Who led him in opposition and conflict with both Pharaoh and the Israelites.  God sustained, strengthened, protected, and comforted Moses and His chosen people during: the plagues; the Passover; the passage through the Red Sea; their unbelief at Mount Sinai; wandering in the wilderness; and movement to enter the land promised to Abraham.  God then called Moses, informing him his lawless behavior at Meribah (Numbers 20: 10) resulted in his only seeing but not entering the promise land with the Israelites (Deuteronomy 34: 1 – 4).  God buried Moses in the valley in the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 34: 6).  Yet, God lovingly and faithfully brought Moses to His heavenly mansion and, at the appointed time, had him appear and converse with Jesus when He was transfigured before Peter, James and John (Matthew 17: 1 – 3; Mark 9: 1 – 4; Luke 9: 28 – 31). 


     Heavenly Father, thank You for opening our ears to hear Your call to us.  By the power of Your Spirit give us faith, strength, and patience this day to again pick up our cross, bear it in the face of all opposition, and follow our Lord as He leads us on Your path of righteousness through this veil of tears to Your heavenly mansion.  We thank and praise you that You have called us by name, placed Your holy name on us in Holy Baptism, fed us with the most holy body and blood of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and given us work to do in Your kingdom.  Fill us with the Holy Spirit that we would faithfully, humbly, obediently, and joyfully proclaim the Gospel with our thoughts, words and deeds in the vocations You have given us.  We ask You draw all those to Yourself whom You have given us to love and care for that they would not perish in unbelief and rebellion but would believe in and follow Your Son, our Lord, for their salvation.   We ask for these and all necessary things in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  Amen.

God’s peace be upon you, your family and your work.

Pastor Bob


The New Church Year – 2022

As we begin the new Church Year there are so many events that crowd into our lives, at times overwhelming us with demands and deadlines:  so many shopping days left; only hours left at a discounted price; only so many of that item left before it is sold out; and on and on and on.  If we are not attentive, not alert, not conscientious we will miss that one opportunity.
Yet, as we begin anew our preparations for the celebration of the incarnation of the Messiah and the humble birth of the Lamb of God our heavenly Father calls to us to Himself.  He bids us to be still and know He is God (Psalm 46: 10).  He gives anew, generously, unhesitatingly all that He has, withholding nothing, supplying all that is needed for body and soul now in time and then in eternity as the fallen world clamors and howls amidst the blinking Christmas lights, the bustling crowds, and the family gatherings to gain and hold our attention (Matthew 7: 7 – 11).  The Holy Spirit speaks again with the still small voice through the prophets and apostles, reminding us of the good tidings of great joy because the Peace of God is with us now (Isaiah 9: 6 -7, Luke 2: 8 – 14).  Hold fast to Him for Jesus is a peace that is far superior to the peace the world offers (John 14: 25 – 31).  Our King is with us and promises to abide with us through this Time of Christmas and, later, the Time of the Church even unto the end of time (Matthew 28: 20). 
The Prince of Peace remains with us long after the 2021 Christmas parties have ended, the gift-wrapping paper is disposed of, the smell of Christmas dinner have dissipated, and relatives and friends have returned home.  Our risen LORD reminds us that this season directs our attention forward from the cradle in Bethlehem through the bloody cross and the empty tomb to our heavenly Father’s mansion (John 14: 1 -3).  This is the Gift which has no equal – God Himself incarnate – divinity wrapped and veiled in flesh without sin.  Immanuel gathers us to His Father and our Father, His God and our God (John 20: 16) where we join our brothers and sisters in Christ this month at the Divine Services during Advent and Christmas as well as who rest in perfect love and peace (Revelation 21: 3 – 7).
Thus, let us begin the new Church Year with the one event that must constantly dominate our thoughts, words, and deeds.  Let it continually fill us with true love and peace.  Let it repeatedly overwhelm us with the greatest sense of urgency that today the Gospel must be proclaims to those who sit in darkness (Isaiah 42: 7, Luke 1: 77 – 79).  Therefore, we must be attentive, alert, conscientious so that we and our neighbor will not miss this holy and eternal gift of eternal life – Christ Jesus.

May the peace of God that passes all human understanding guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen


For This Purpose…

“For this purpose…” (John 18: 37)[1]

  Our risen Lord spoke these words to Pilate on Good Friday.  His suffering was about to intensify to the extreme and culminate in His innocent suffering and death on the cross.  The King of the Jews, crucified – hung upon a cursed tree.  The Son of God and the Son of Mary’s very life flowed out of His body, the weight of every sin of the world on His shoulders, and then when it was finished the grain that is the Bread of Life fell into the earth.[2]  Why? For what purpose?

  The King of kings and Lord of lords was on the final hours, the final mile of His mission as the suffering servant of God who would save all mankind from the divine curse of eternal suffering and anguish as the full payment: for sin; for rebellion; and for lawlessness.  There was no alternative path, no option for Him if He were to be faithful and true to this salvific work He had received from His Father’s hand.  33 years of living a holy, righteous, merciful life, three years of preaching, teaching, healing, and delivering as the true Rabbi and Prophet and Priest was rushing in space and time for that purpose. 

  Yet, even then, Jesus was prepared for the divine and royal coronation that will commence with His removal from the cross and placement into the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea[3].  He would parade triumphantly into Sheol in power and majesty before His defeated foes and to the joy of the faithful who slept with their fathers.  Then, while mankind slept and His disciples hid, He arose and walked out of the tomb and would come to His disciples as the peace of God in resurrected flesh He had purchased for them, you and me.[4]  The King of kings then ascended to the right hand of God the Father Almighty where He reigns in power and majesty this day.  These things the Holy Spirit of the living God inspired the beloved disciple to write that we would believe and have true and eternal life in His Name.[5]

  Then on the last day He will come again in His unveiled glory with the holy angels and settle the accounts of every man, woman and child that has ever lived, receiving all the holy ones into eternal joy and peace and casting all the unholy ones into eternal wrath and torment.[6]  For this purpose He spoke the truth to Pilate and to you and to me and all mankind.

  We are approaching the last day of this 2021 Church Year.  We wait with joyful anticipation and jubilant expectation for our King who will come and take us to our heavenly Father’s home.  We believe, teach and confess that at the Father’s appointed hour He will come and in the twinkling of an eye all the corruptible will pass away and the incorruptible will appear and remain eternally.[7] 

  This was our purpose in 2021.  However, if it is the heavenly Father’s will for us to continue on His path of righteousness into 2022 we must faithfully and patiently look to the advent of our King who was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, who grew in wisdom and strength, who laid down His life so that His bride would live, and will lead us again into our Father’s vineyard to do His work according to His will with His appointed means, and with joyful anticipation and jubilant expectation look again for the last day  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne… [8] 




  1. This reading is from John 18: 33-37 for the Last Sunday of the Church Year – Christ the King Sunday.
  2. John 12: 24. +
  3. Mark 15: 43.
  4. John 20: 10-29.
  5. John 20: 30-31.
  6. Matthew 25: 31-46.
  7. 1 Corinthians 3: 10.

2 Peter 3:10.

  1. Matthew 25: 31.



His Work…our hands

“His work – our hands”

  My brothers and sisters in Christ, we are God’s children gathered around His Word and Sacraments in the sanctuary of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Mesquite, NV.  Yet, we live among a people, a community, a town, a state, a nation, and a world that is starving for the truth:  true purpose, true meaning, true love, and a multitude of other truths they hope will fill their deepest need.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14: 1-7) for these hopeless and these helpless souls who remain ensnared and enslaved in the power of sin and the devil.  We profess our mission at Prince Of Peace Lutheran Church is “to preach, teach, and witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ, administer the Sacraments, and give glory and honor to the Triune God.”  Thus, by the power of the Holy Spirit we can and will stand up, go into our heavenly Father’s field, and do the good work that He has given us.  Like the Israelites first looking to take possession of the land promised to our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — this is a daunting task (Numbers 13).  Like the disciples looking at the multitude in the wilderness that was tired, hungry and thirsty — this is an overwhelming challenge (Mark 6:30-44). 

  It is the very heart of our God that no sinner should perish but repent and receive eternal life through His only begotten and beloved Son (John 3:16).  Jesus tells us that “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26).  God wills to work through His means of grace (Holy Scripture and the Holy Sacraments).  He wills to work in and through you and me.  He entrusts and puts His work into our hands to accomplish with the time, talent and treasure He gives us as individual children and as His family here at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. 

  He also knows that as we exodus this life on His path of righteousness Jesus will lead us through many trials and afflictions.  The devil will tempt us to abandon His good work, doubt the love of our heavenly Father, and deny the authority and responsibility He has given us to “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.  (Matthew 28: 19-20).  In the Great Commission our risen Lord gives us the authority and responsibility to evangelize (“Go”), be good stewards of God’s means of grace (“baptize…make disciples…teach), and fellowship with Him and one another (“I am with you always”).   He assures us that He has defeated all the adversaries (sin, death and the power of the devil on the cross and guarantees it with His resurrection and ascension) and so we can joyfully do His work, according to His will and with His means this day.

  By the power of the Holy Spirit may we acknowledge that we may not be able to do all we want but we must do all that God gives us to do with the gifts He bestows on us individually and collectively.  He gives us both the good work and provisions (time, talent and treasure) for this day.  It may not be the same good work with the same provisions that we had when we were children, as young adults and it may not be the same as when we are approaching the end of our exodus/journey through this veil of tears.  Accordingly, pray for wisdom, strength and peace to do His good work according to His will.  Finally, let us rejoice, give thanks, and go confidently into the heavenly Father’s field today, tomorrow and to the end of time to do His work with our hands.



My brothers and sisters in Christ, I think all of us can identify with the disciples as they struggled painfully against the wind (Mark 6: 48).  They had accompanied their Lord into the wilderness, received His instruction with the great multitude, witnessed His miraculous feeding of that multitude of 5,000 men plus women and children.  He then compelled them to get into the boat and sail across the Sea of Galilee after that long day and upon which they encountered a severe tempest that overwhelmed their physical and mental skills.  Their emotional state can only be imagined.

  Yet, our risen Lord is calling us today to identify with Him, look to Him, believe in Him as we go from sunshine to shadow, feast to famine, the exhilaration of success to the emptiness of setbacks and failures.  Especially if we are moving into a fall season where the late shadows of day appear starting to lengthen in the west and storm clouds appear to be gathering on the horizon.  It is good and right that by the power of the Holy Spirit we look to the One who is the Founder and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1) for He has passed through far more dangerous and demonic tempests as He walked the narrow path of righteousness that led through the cross and the grave into the glory prepared and promised to Him from before the creation of the earth:  all authority over heaven and earth as the Messiah, the Savior, the Redeemer of mankind.  God became man to save mankind so that you and I would repent, believe in Him and take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9: 23).  The Holy Spirit gives us both the will and the means to repent, believe in Him and take up our cross and follow Him.  Christ knows that the path He is leading us upon will take us through dangerous and devilish tempests that terrify us, overwhelm our senses and skills, and seek to separate us from our Lord and our God.  He calls us, our brothers and sisters in Christ and all God’s children to look to Him alone and remain close to Him both during these times as well as times of sunlight, feast, and the exhilaration of success for no one can snatch us out of either His hand or our heavenly Father’s hand (John 10: 28).  In all of these things He proves over and over and over again that He is the faithful, steadfast, compassionate, attentive, and truthful One.  Therefore, the faith given us by the Holy Spirit is enough to sustain, safeguard, and strengthen us as children of God as He comforts us in any and all times, places and situations.  

  He stands before us, the God/Man who compelled His disciples to get into the boat.  He stands before us, the God/Man who prayed all night to God.  He stands before us, the God/Man who watched over them and observed them regardless of the darkness, the storm, and the distance.  He stands before us and calls us to stand with Him, to walk with Him on the path of righteousness that will take us through darkness, tempest and time. Jesus declares that He is the light that overcomes the darkness (John 1: 4-5), He is the peace that overcomes the tempest, He is the Alpha and Omega that is from everlasting to everlasting that on the last day will come in glory and judge the living and the dead.

  The Lamb of God beckons, calls, and exhorts us to follow Him into His Father’s field where the hard and demanding good work of the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20 and Mark 16: 14-18) is to be done in and through His children gathered at Martin Luther Chapel.  By the power of His Spirit we must identify with Jesus that we would prepare ourselves for both the trails and afflictions AND the successes and victories He is leading us to and through as we complete this year and move into the new church year.  We must look to Christ alone as we stand up to face, meet and overcome the challenges He will lead us to and through while identifying and using the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us as individual children of God and as His family here at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Mesquite, NV.  Finally, He calls us to believe in Him for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  There is no other way, no other truth, and no other life apart from Him.  Therefore, we must resolve ourselves, rouse ourselves, and rally ourselves to seize the opportunities He provides, remain steadfast and courageous in the knowledge that He fights for us and thwarts and brings to naught the plans and schemes of the evil one (Joshua 1:1), and redouble our efforts to take the Gospel to our families, our relatives, our neighbors and our friends with the time, treasure and gifts He has blessed us with.  

In Christ,

Pastor Bob




July is a wonderful month.  We celebrate our national freedom with picnics, parades, gatherings and remembrance of those who have purchased freedom for us on a specific day.  We get time off of work to celebrate freedom, taking vacations as a freedom from our work and go visit relatives, friends, and interesting places. 

As Americans we relish and cherish our freedoms purchased by the sweat and blood of our countrymen.  Yet, are we truly free:  from the cost of government; from threats to our liberty and way of life by enemies foreign and domestic; and from the debts we incur as part of living?

July is a wonderful month!  We celebrate our spiritual and eternal freedom in Christ: with the Lord’s Supper; marches for the protection of Christian liberties and responsibilities; gathering; together as a family to study God’s word and pray; around God’s word and sacraments each Sunday with our brothers and sisters in Christ, Bible Studies; together in organizations such as LWML, Dorcas, Stephen’s Ministry; and the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.  We take time off to support and attend these gatherings.

As children of God we relish and cherish our freedoms purchased by the sweat and blood of our Lord and Savior.  Yet, are we truly free:  from the curse of the Law; threats to our liberty and way of life by our spiritual and physical enemies; and the debts we incur as part of travailing through this world?  Jesus died to fulfill the demands of the Law, freeing us from the burden and curse of its demands (John 8:31-38; Galatians 3).  He assures us that this is true.  Yet, we must daily drown our Old Adam by the power and means provided by the Holy Spirit.  God knows that our sinful nature would lure us back under the curse of the Law by forsaking Christ’s righteousness for our own self-righteous works (Galatians 5:16-26).  Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross and resurrection has defeated our enemies: sin; death; and the power of the devil.  Still, they have not been utterly destroyed but continue to war against the new creation in Christ (Romans 8:3-13; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Galatians 5: 16-18) .  God knows that our flesh would get us to abandon true worship and enslave us with religious ritualism and foolishly rush forth with physical weapons of our own choosing and abandon the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6) and gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) as we move upon the spiritual battlefield of this world.  Christ paid our entire debt of sin once and for all on the cross and clothed us in His righteousness.  Even now, God knows that we are inclined to abuse His grace by neither confessing nor repenting of even the sins we committed in the last sixty seconds if it were not for Holy Spirit who “calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the true faith.  In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.  On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal live to me and all believers in Christ.  This is most certainly true.”  (Luther’s Small Catechism, The Creed, Third Article: Sanctification)

July is a wonderful month where we can celebrate our national independence and freedoms.  However, today and every day are wonderful days where we can and should celebrate our spiritual independence and freedom in Christ Jesus.  For the Son has set us free and we are free indeed (John 8:35-37).  Amen and Amen.