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Weekend Services
Saturday: 6:30PM
Sunday: 9:30AM

Sunday School & Bible Class Sunday: 8:30AM
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Welcome To Grace Lutheran Church

Yorba Linda, California

Weekend Service Schedule

Saturday Worship: 6:30 PM

Sunday Worship: 9:30 AM

Sunday School/Bible Study: 8:30 AM

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Latest Weekend Services At Grace

 

Jesus Appeared

The First Sunday After Epiphany

  1. Pouring out the kindness and love of God
  2. Renewing us for eternal life
SERMON TEXT:  Titus 3:4-7

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared, he saved us—not by righteous works that we did ourselves, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs in keeping with the hope of eternal life.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  1 Samuel 16:1-13

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I see a king for myself among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will let you know what you are to do. You are to anoint for me the person that I point out to you.” So Samuel did what the LORD had told him to do and went to Bethlehem. Trembling with fear, the elders of the city came to meet him. They said, “Do you come in peace?” He said, “Yes, in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” He consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they had come, he looked at Eliab and said, “Certainly this is the LORD’s anointed.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at how tall he is, because I have rejected him. For the LORD does not look at things the way man does. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” Then Jesse had Shammah pass by. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Is that all of the young men?” Jesse said, “There still is the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him, for we cannot sit down to eat until he comes.” He sent for him and brought him in. David had red hair and striking eyes, and was good-looking. The LORD said, “Get up! Anoint him, because this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. The Spirit of the LORD rushed on David with power from that day forward. After that Samuel set out and returned to Ramah.

SECOND LESSON:  Titus 3:4-7

See Sermon Text

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Luke 3:22b

You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased

GOSPEL: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John could be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But someone mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor. He will gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. While he was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love. I am well pleased with you.”

Three Important Epiphanies to You

The Epiphany of Our Lord
WELS Walking Together Sunday

  1. God’s Word is True
  2. God’s Christ is Savior
  3. God’s Salvation is Intended for All
SERMON TEXT:  Ephesians 3:2-12

Surely you have heard of the administration of God’s grace given to me for you, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation (as I have already written briefly). When you read this, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. This mystery was not made known to people in past generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and people who also share in the promise through the gospel. I became a servant of this gospel, in keeping with the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. To me—even though I am the very least of all the saints—was given this grace: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ and to enlighten everyone about the administration of this mystery. In past ages this mystery remained hidden in God, who created all things. He did this so that, through the church, the multifaceted wisdom of God in the heavenly places might now be made known to the rulers and authorities. This was done according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  1 Kings 10:1-9

The Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame, which was connected with the fame of the LORD, so she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great entourage—with camels carrying spices and a large quantity of gold and precious stones. She came to Solomon and told him everything that was on her heart.
Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her.
The Queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, the house which he built, and the food on his table. When she saw the council meeting of his officials, the careful attention of his ministers, as well as their attire, his cupbearers, and the whole burnt offerings which he offered at the House of the LORD, it took her breath away.
She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your accomplishments and your wisdom is true. I did not believe the report until I came and saw it with my own eyes. The truth is, not even half of it was told to me! Your wisdom and wealth surpass the report which I heard. Blessed are your men, blessed are your servants, who stand before you continually hearing your wisdom! May the LORD your God be blessed, who was pleased to put you on the throne of Israel. Because the LORD loves Israel forever, he made you king to administer justice and righteousness.”

SECOND LESSON:  Ephesians 3:2-12

See Sermon Text

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Matthew 2:2

We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.

GOSPEL: Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, when Herod was king, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this, he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him. He gathered together all the people’s chief priests and experts in the law. He asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, because this was written through the prophet: You, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are certainly not least among the rulers of Judah: because out of you will come a ruler, who will shepherd my people, Israel.” Then Herod secretly summoned the Wise Men and found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find him, report to me, so that I may also go and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. Then the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them, until it stood still over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with overwhelming joy. After they went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Since they had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.

The Boy Jesus

First Sunday after Christmas

  1. A Good Example?
  2. The Only Savior!
SERMON TEXT:  Luke 2:41-52

Every year his parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When he was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the Festival. When the days had ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it. Since they thought he was in their group, they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us this way? See, your father and I have been anxiously looking for you.”
He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be taking care of my Father’s business?” They did not understand what he was telling them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth. He was always obedient to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  1 Samuel 2:18-20,26

But Samuel ministered before the LORD while he was still a young boy, dressed in a special vest made of linen. His mother would make a little robe for him and bring it to him whenever she came up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD give you offspring from this woman in place of the son she asked for, whom she loaned to the LORD.” Then they would go back to their home. The young man Samuel continued to grow, and he increased in favor with both the LORD and with men.

SECOND LESSON:  Hebrews 2:10-18

Certainly it was fitting for God (the one for whom and through whom everything exists), in leading many sons to glory, to bring the author of their salvation to his goal through sufferings. For he who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified all have one Father. For that reason, he is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says: I will declare your name to my brothers. Within the congregation I will sing your praise. And again: I will trust in him. And again: Here I am and the children God has given me. Therefore, since the children share flesh and blood, he also shared the same flesh and blood, so that through death he could destroy the one who had the power of death (that is, the Devil) and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For surely he was not concerned with helping angels but with helping Abraham’s offspring. For this reason, he had to become like his brothers in every way, in order that he would be a merciful and faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, so that he could pay for the sins of the people. Indeed, because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

GOSPEL: Luke 2:41-52

See Sermon Text

The Grace Messenger

THE MAGI

Every Nativity Scene ever sold has them. The Magi, or wise men, seem very familiar. They followed the Star from the East, went to Herod in Jerusalem, learned that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and found him in a house there. They presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They worshipped the baby and then returned home by a different route, in order to avoid King Herod.

Matthew 2:1-12 is the only place where we read of their visit to Judea. We do not know their names or their number. The fact that there were three gifts led to the tradition that there were three men. We have no reason to think they were three kings as the popular song goes. The word Orient simply means from the east, but we don’t know how far East. Their home may have been Persia, Babylon, Assyria, or Arabia. It is doubtful but not impossible that they could have come from as far as India or China. We never hear of them again after Matthew 2.

The word “Magi” indicates they were men of learning, familiar with astrology and various sacred texts. They read in Genesis 49:10 about the scepter of Judah and in Numbers 24:17 about the scepter and the star. Herod’s advisors informed them of the prophecy in Micah 5:2, concerning Bethlehem. The Greek word for star, “Aster,” can refer to any of the lights in the sky including planets, meteors, comets, etc. We do not know what the Magi saw, but its illumination was specific enough that they followed the star to a house.

The brevity, lack of detail, and mystery concerning these people leads to many creative traditions. But we can learn from them some sure and important truths. First, Jesus is the Son of God who fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures by becoming man. He is the Savior not only for the Jewish people but also for Gentiles like the Magi. He was protected in his infancy and throughout his life to preserve him for the ultimate sacrifice he was to give on Calvary’s cross to pay for the sins of all people.

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH

But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and about which you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:11,12; EHV).

Two of the hymns that usually make a list of favorite hymns at our church are “Fight the Good Fight” and “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” This always surprises me because I tend to picture our faith and our church life as seeking peace through kindness, gentleness, and the gospel. But the Bible itself shows an active, energetic, even athletic side of this pursuit.

A Christian fights on three fronts: he resists the devil, he battles his own sinful nature, and stands against the world and its influence. How is this fight carried out? It is not a fight using weapons and fists. It is spiritual warfare.

First, a Christian soldier must be armed with God’s Word and prayer. Just as a soldier goes through rigorous training, a Christian must be solidly trained in God’s Word to recognize good and evil, to place himself under the Holy Spirit’s influence by the Word of God, and to discipline himself. Physical weapons and armor are ineffective against the devil. Therefore, as we face spiritual oppressions and temptations, we need to be protected by the armor of God. Paul writes about this armor in Ephesians 4:10-17. The full armor of God is the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the footwear of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

The world with its philosophies and temptations must be recognized for what it is. Christians must be equipped to defend the truth. False philosophy and sinful pleasures lead people away from God and threaten their eternal salvation.

Too quickly and easily my sinful flesh falls for the world’s charms and Satan’s tricks. The only way I can win is to be in Christ. Through faith in him, I won’t perish. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, took on himself all the sins of the world. I have the white robe of Jesus’ righteousness. When I know this, I am clean in the sight of God. I am also motivated to spend my time, energy, and resources in pursuit of righteousness and peace.

Is it ever proper to take up arms for the sake of the faith? No, never. The Christian faith is not advanced by swords or guns, nor by civil unrest or disobedience to God’s “other” kingdom, the government. For the sake of civil rights, Americans might rightly protest, but don’t say you are advancing the gospel by it. A Christian might be a soldier or law enforcement officer, an elected official, legislator, or a judge, and in his or her duties might use force. This is not the good fight of faith. This is fulfillment of his or her earthly vocation.

At the time of the crusades and the colonization of America and other places around the world, some Christians thought it proper to convert the heathen by force “for their own good.” No! The Church must stand against that wrong idea. Years ago, there were people bombing abortion clinics and assassinating abortion providers in the name of the Christian faith. They were wrong. There are some who disrespect fallen military and law enforcement personnel and disrupt their funerals in the name of Christ. They, too, are wrong. Wrong-headed and often mentally disturbed people have shot worshipers at synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches. In Christ’s name, let this not happen again! That’s not the good fight of faith! That is evil!

When people “insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of [Jesus], Rejoice and be glad . . .” (Matthew 5: 11,12). “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). Fighting the good fight of faith entails trusting God to protect you and to vindicate you. “Be still and know that I am God,” he said in Psalm 46:10.

Rejoice!

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
The Holy Spirit gave these words to the Apostle Paul to write while he was “in chains for Christ.” Even though the Apostle was imprisoned in Rome due to his preaching of the gospel, he found reasons to rejoice. He was always thankful to God for the Philippian congregation (Philippians 1:3). He was thankful for their gospel partnership, for their gift, for their faith and life.
Paul could pray with joy even though he was in prison and longing to die and go to heaven (Philippians 1:21-23). He said going to heaven is to be with Christ, which is far better; but to go on living means fruitful labor, which is also a good thing.
He knew that suffering, hard work, exhaustion, disappointments, rivalries and false accusations are a small price to pay for the good that God would work through him for others, and for the glory that would be revealed in him (see Romans 8).
This Epistle (letter) to the Philippians is truly a letter filled with joy. Sixteen times the word “joy” is used in these 4 chapters. The NIV translates it as “joy” when it is a noun, “rejoice” in its verb forms, and “glad” when it is an adjective. How could Paul be joyful in these circumstances? How can we follow his lead and experience the joy of Jesus more and more?
1. Focus on Jesus, and what he has done for you. Read and meditate on the good news of Jesus Christ every day (Philippians 2:5-11).
2. Consider the needs of others, not just your own interests (Philippians 2:4).
3. Be thankful. Gratitude is a big part of joy. Rather than considering yourself entitled to good things, see each blessing as a gift from God (Philippians 4:10-20).
4. Keep on thinking about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
5. Present all your needs and requests to the Lord in prayer, confident that he hears you (Philippians 4:6).
6. Remember that “happiness” and “joy” are two different things. Happiness is dependent on what happens in our lives. I may feel sad because of sad events or I may be depressed because of illness, yet still have the deep joy of knowing my Savior loves me and is taking me to heaven.

In God We Trust

IN GOD WE TRUST is printed on all our American money. Officially it is our national motto. It is good to glorify God in such a way. But consider this: it does not really say very much.

How many Americans worship the true God? God can be defined in many different ways. There’s the “higher power” of AA, the Universe (as in, “Can’t the Universe just give me a break?!”), any of the gods of the ancient peoples or world religions. In fact, if there are 330 million Americans, there is the potential of 330 million gods being recognized as many either proclaim or silently believe, “I am God.”
The One True God is the LORD (Jehovah). He is the creator and preserver of the universe. He created it for mankind, whom he created good. God’s desire was for man and woman to live in harmony with him forever, but Adam and Eve followed Satan who rebelled against God. Sin brought about the curse of creation, death, and separation from God.

The One True God gave us his moral law to show us the right and best way to live. But if we don’t follow the law perfectly, it is called sin and it separates us from God’s love—potentially forever. The One True God demands obedience.

The good news is that the One True God is Triune (3 in 1). God the Son took on human existence so that he could live under the law in our place, die on the cross in our place, and rise from the dead to guarantee that we too will live. God the Holy Spirit works in the Word to bring people to faith so that we can receive God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

As Christians, we know who “God” is. We can sing “God bless America” and “God shed his grace on thee” and speak “under God” with thankfulness not only for God’s temporal gifts but especially his eternal ones. Don’t be fooled, however, by the outward appearance of spirituality that we see on display once in a while at Christmas time, national holidays, and state funerals. The outward form of American popular religion is not the same as Bible-based faith in Christ as Savior, the only faith that saves us from sin and guilt. American civic religion is based on good works. Therefore, it is important that we as Christians testify to the good news that faith in Jesus saves, not good works. God bless your witness.

Christian Education

The Bible contains abundant encouragement for parents to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Proverbs gives this general truth: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.”

Paul commands fathers, “Do not exasperate your children but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” There are also warnings abundantly stated throughout the Bible. After the Fall into sin, the descendants of Cain did not teach their families about God and each generation became more and more wicked. The descendants of Seth also became lazy in the raising of their children and their descendants also followed the ways of the wicked world. After the Israelites settled in the Promised Land, they neglected to pass on the Word of God to their children and in a few generations they had become so far estranged from God’s Word that “everyone did whatever was right in his own eyes,” without caring what God said.

These examples and encouragements show us how important it is for parents (especially fathers) to teach the Word of God to children. The church and its called teachers and pastors can assist, but cannot take the place of parents. Parents need to be learning the Word and being nourished by it so they can teach them every day by word and example.

My suggestion would be for the head of the household to read a section of Scripture at an agreed-upon time every day. Maybe it is after dinner or just before bedtime. Maybe start at the beginning and read a paragraph or a chapter and then discuss it. Of course the devotions in Meditations are also a great resource.

Grace Lutheran Church is privileged to be part of the California Lutheran High School Association. While we do not have any high school students attending CLHS at this time, we have many supporters. Eric Erickson, Garrett Challacombe, and Rob Krueger have attended in the past. We also are a member congregation of the WELS, which operates two high schools, a college, and a seminary for the preparation of pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. WELS congregations also support Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Grace member Bethany Wagenknecht is currently a senior there and Austin Wagenknecht is an alumnus. We are in fellowship with the ELS, which operates a college in Mankato, Minnesota. Former member Christi Jenkin Hagen is an alumna of Bethany.

Confirmation class, also called Catechism class, is meeting after church on Sundays. Three excellent teachers share responsibilities for teaching children on Sunday mornings at 8:30, beginning September 9. Please bring the children!

THE MAGI

Every Nativity Scene ever sold has them. The Magi, or wise men, seem very familiar. They followed the Star from the East, went to Herod in Jerusalem, learned that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and found him in a house there. They presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They worshipped the baby and then returned home by a different route, in order to avoid King Herod.

Matthew 2:1-12 is the only place where we read of their visit to Judea. We do not know their names or their number. The fact that there were three gifts led to the tradition that there were three men. We have no reason to think they were three kings as the popular song goes. The word Orient simply means from the east, but we don’t know how far East. Their home may have been Persia, Babylon, Assyria, or Arabia. It is doubtful but not impossible that they could have come from as far as India or China. We never hear of them again after Matthew 2.

The word “Magi” indicates they were men of learning, familiar with astrology and various sacred texts. They read in Genesis 49:10 about the scepter of Judah and in Numbers 24:17 about the scepter and the star. Herod’s advisors informed them of the prophecy in Micah 5:2, concerning Bethlehem. The Greek word for star, “Aster,” can refer to any of the lights in the sky including planets, meteors, comets, etc. We do not know what the Magi saw, but its illumination was specific enough that they followed the star to a house.

The brevity, lack of detail, and mystery concerning these people leads to many creative traditions. But we can learn from them some sure and important truths. First, Jesus is the Son of God who fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures by becoming man. He is the Savior not only for the Jewish people but also for Gentiles like the Magi. He was protected in his infancy and throughout his life to preserve him for the ultimate sacrifice he was to give on Calvary’s cross to pay for the sins of all people.

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH

But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and about which you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:11,12; EHV).

Two of the hymns that usually make a list of favorite hymns at our church are “Fight the Good Fight” and “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” This always surprises me because I tend to picture our faith and our church life as seeking peace through kindness, gentleness, and the gospel. But the Bible itself shows an active, energetic, even athletic side of this pursuit.

A Christian fights on three fronts: he resists the devil, he battles his own sinful nature, and stands against the world and its influence. How is this fight carried out? It is not a fight using weapons and fists. It is spiritual warfare.

First, a Christian soldier must be armed with God’s Word and prayer. Just as a soldier goes through rigorous training, a Christian must be solidly trained in God’s Word to recognize good and evil, to place himself under the Holy Spirit’s influence by the Word of God, and to discipline himself. Physical weapons and armor are ineffective against the devil. Therefore, as we face spiritual oppressions and temptations, we need to be protected by the armor of God. Paul writes about this armor in Ephesians 4:10-17. The full armor of God is the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the footwear of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

The world with its philosophies and temptations must be recognized for what it is. Christians must be equipped to defend the truth. False philosophy and sinful pleasures lead people away from God and threaten their eternal salvation.

Too quickly and easily my sinful flesh falls for the world’s charms and Satan’s tricks. The only way I can win is to be in Christ. Through faith in him, I won’t perish. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, took on himself all the sins of the world. I have the white robe of Jesus’ righteousness. When I know this, I am clean in the sight of God. I am also motivated to spend my time, energy, and resources in pursuit of righteousness and peace.

Is it ever proper to take up arms for the sake of the faith? No, never. The Christian faith is not advanced by swords or guns, nor by civil unrest or disobedience to God’s “other” kingdom, the government. For the sake of civil rights, Americans might rightly protest, but don’t say you are advancing the gospel by it. A Christian might be a soldier or law enforcement officer, an elected official, legislator, or a judge, and in his or her duties might use force. This is not the good fight of faith. This is fulfillment of his or her earthly vocation.

At the time of the crusades and the colonization of America and other places around the world, some Christians thought it proper to convert the heathen by force “for their own good.” No! The Church must stand against that wrong idea. Years ago, there were people bombing abortion clinics and assassinating abortion providers in the name of the Christian faith. They were wrong. There are some who disrespect fallen military and law enforcement personnel and disrupt their funerals in the name of Christ. They, too, are wrong. Wrong-headed and often mentally disturbed people have shot worshipers at synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches. In Christ’s name, let this not happen again! That’s not the good fight of faith! That is evil!

When people “insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of [Jesus], Rejoice and be glad . . .” (Matthew 5: 11,12). “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). Fighting the good fight of faith entails trusting God to protect you and to vindicate you. “Be still and know that I am God,” he said in Psalm 46:10.

Rejoice!

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
The Holy Spirit gave these words to the Apostle Paul to write while he was “in chains for Christ.” Even though the Apostle was imprisoned in Rome due to his preaching of the gospel, he found reasons to rejoice. He was always thankful to God for the Philippian congregation (Philippians 1:3). He was thankful for their gospel partnership, for their gift, for their faith and life.
Paul could pray with joy even though he was in prison and longing to die and go to heaven (Philippians 1:21-23). He said going to heaven is to be with Christ, which is far better; but to go on living means fruitful labor, which is also a good thing.
He knew that suffering, hard work, exhaustion, disappointments, rivalries and false accusations are a small price to pay for the good that God would work through him for others, and for the glory that would be revealed in him (see Romans 8).
This Epistle (letter) to the Philippians is truly a letter filled with joy. Sixteen times the word “joy” is used in these 4 chapters. The NIV translates it as “joy” when it is a noun, “rejoice” in its verb forms, and “glad” when it is an adjective. How could Paul be joyful in these circumstances? How can we follow his lead and experience the joy of Jesus more and more?
1. Focus on Jesus, and what he has done for you. Read and meditate on the good news of Jesus Christ every day (Philippians 2:5-11).
2. Consider the needs of others, not just your own interests (Philippians 2:4).
3. Be thankful. Gratitude is a big part of joy. Rather than considering yourself entitled to good things, see each blessing as a gift from God (Philippians 4:10-20).
4. Keep on thinking about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
5. Present all your needs and requests to the Lord in prayer, confident that he hears you (Philippians 4:6).
6. Remember that “happiness” and “joy” are two different things. Happiness is dependent on what happens in our lives. I may feel sad because of sad events or I may be depressed because of illness, yet still have the deep joy of knowing my Savior loves me and is taking me to heaven.

In God We Trust

IN GOD WE TRUST is printed on all our American money. Officially it is our national motto. It is good to glorify God in such a way. But consider this: it does not really say very much.

How many Americans worship the true God? God can be defined in many different ways. There’s the “higher power” of AA, the Universe (as in, “Can’t the Universe just give me a break?!”), any of the gods of the ancient peoples or world religions. In fact, if there are 330 million Americans, there is the potential of 330 million gods being recognized as many either proclaim or silently believe, “I am God.”
The One True God is the LORD (Jehovah). He is the creator and preserver of the universe. He created it for mankind, whom he created good. God’s desire was for man and woman to live in harmony with him forever, but Adam and Eve followed Satan who rebelled against God. Sin brought about the curse of creation, death, and separation from God.

The One True God gave us his moral law to show us the right and best way to live. But if we don’t follow the law perfectly, it is called sin and it separates us from God’s love—potentially forever. The One True God demands obedience.

The good news is that the One True God is Triune (3 in 1). God the Son took on human existence so that he could live under the law in our place, die on the cross in our place, and rise from the dead to guarantee that we too will live. God the Holy Spirit works in the Word to bring people to faith so that we can receive God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

As Christians, we know who “God” is. We can sing “God bless America” and “God shed his grace on thee” and speak “under God” with thankfulness not only for God’s temporal gifts but especially his eternal ones. Don’t be fooled, however, by the outward appearance of spirituality that we see on display once in a while at Christmas time, national holidays, and state funerals. The outward form of American popular religion is not the same as Bible-based faith in Christ as Savior, the only faith that saves us from sin and guilt. American civic religion is based on good works. Therefore, it is important that we as Christians testify to the good news that faith in Jesus saves, not good works. God bless your witness.

Christian Education

The Bible contains abundant encouragement for parents to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Proverbs gives this general truth: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.”

Paul commands fathers, “Do not exasperate your children but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” There are also warnings abundantly stated throughout the Bible. After the Fall into sin, the descendants of Cain did not teach their families about God and each generation became more and more wicked. The descendants of Seth also became lazy in the raising of their children and their descendants also followed the ways of the wicked world. After the Israelites settled in the Promised Land, they neglected to pass on the Word of God to their children and in a few generations they had become so far estranged from God’s Word that “everyone did whatever was right in his own eyes,” without caring what God said.

These examples and encouragements show us how important it is for parents (especially fathers) to teach the Word of God to children. The church and its called teachers and pastors can assist, but cannot take the place of parents. Parents need to be learning the Word and being nourished by it so they can teach them every day by word and example.

My suggestion would be for the head of the household to read a section of Scripture at an agreed-upon time every day. Maybe it is after dinner or just before bedtime. Maybe start at the beginning and read a paragraph or a chapter and then discuss it. Of course the devotions in Meditations are also a great resource.

Grace Lutheran Church is privileged to be part of the California Lutheran High School Association. While we do not have any high school students attending CLHS at this time, we have many supporters. Eric Erickson, Garrett Challacombe, and Rob Krueger have attended in the past. We also are a member congregation of the WELS, which operates two high schools, a college, and a seminary for the preparation of pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. WELS congregations also support Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Grace member Bethany Wagenknecht is currently a senior there and Austin Wagenknecht is an alumnus. We are in fellowship with the ELS, which operates a college in Mankato, Minnesota. Former member Christi Jenkin Hagen is an alumna of Bethany.

Confirmation class, also called Catechism class, is meeting after church on Sundays. Three excellent teachers share responsibilities for teaching children on Sunday mornings at 8:30, beginning September 9. Please bring the children!

Welcome To Grace Lutheran Church

 

Grace Lutheran Church is a Christian church located in Yorba Linda, CA, We are a member of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). We believe that the Bible is the true word of God and the only guiding principle for the life of a Christian.

Our Mission

The mission of our congregation is to make disciples for Jesus Christ by sharing the gospel in God’s Word and sacraments.  With the help of God, we will fulfill this mission through the following activities:

  • glorifying and praising God through public worship services,
  • teaching classes for all ages (to strengthen those who believe, to train (equip) members to lead exemplary Christian lives, and reach out to others).
  • seeking the lost and the wayward,
  • administering the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion,
  • to help and encourage one another through fellowship activities,
  • supporting one another (carrying each others’ burdens),
  • finally, Grace Lutheran is a contributing member of a synod of churches (WELS). We do this to help to carry out Christ’s command to, “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

Grace Events

Upcoming From The Grace Calendar

(See Full Calendar)

january

thu17jan10:00 amBible Study 10AMWeekly Adult Bible Class10:00 am Grace Lutheran Church

sat19jan6:30 pm7:30 pmWorship* 6:30PMSaturday Evening6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Grace Lutheran Church

sun20jan8:30 amSunday School/Bible Class 8:30AMChildren's Sunday School & Adult Bible Class8:30 am Grace Lutheran Church

sun20jan9:30 am10:30 amWorship* 9:30AMSunday Morning Worship9:30 am - 10:30 am

thu24jan10:00 amBible Study 10AMWeekly Adult Bible Class10:00 am Grace Lutheran Church

sat26jan6:30 pm7:30 pmWorship 6:30PMSaturday Evening Worship6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Grace Lutheran Church

sun27jan8:30 amSunday School/Bible Class 8:30AMChildren's Sunday School & Adult Bible Class8:30 am Grace Lutheran Church

sun27jan9:30 am10:30 amWorship 9:30AMSunday Morning Worship9:30 am - 10:30 am

thu31jan10:00 amBible Study 10AMWeekly Adult Bible Class10:00 am Grace Lutheran Church

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Facebook & Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

 

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Jan 06 – Jan 12

EASTER FOR KIDS PLUS: a.k.a. Spring Festival, will take place on April 13, from 9 am – 3 pm. We hope to have many attractions; games, bouncies, carnival attractions, music, booths, and a huge rummage sale. Watch for more announcements and information soon! If you have contact with organizations and businesses who would be willing to sponsor a booth, let Pastor know about it.

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Upcoming Events

 

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Jan 06 – Jan 12

EASTER FOR KIDS PLUS: a.k.a. Spring Festival, will take place on April 13, from 9 am – 3 pm. We hope to have many attractions; games, bouncies, carnival attractions, music, booths, and a huge rummage sale. Watch for more announcements and information soon! If you have contact with organizations and businesses who would be willing to sponsor a booth, let Pastor know about it.

read more

Messenger Of Grace

 

Messenger Of Grace – January

January 2019 EPIPHANY On January 6, the Church celebrates the Epiphany of our Lord. Epiphany means revealing. The main emphasis of the season in the revealing of Jesus as our Savior; as prophet, priest, and king; as Savior of all peoples, not just the Jews. During...

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Messenger Of Grace – December

  December 2018   ADVENT Advent is from the Latin word for “Coming.” The four weeks leading up to Christmas are the time of Advent. Advent is the beginning of the “Church Year”, which is different from the usual way we mark the time using the Julian...

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Messenger Of Grace – November

November 2018 FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and about which...

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Messenger Of Grace – October

  October 2018   IN GOD WE TRUST is printed on all our American money. Officially it is our national motto. It is good to glorify God in such a way. But consider this: it does not really say very much. How many Americans worship the true God? God can be...

read more
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