Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church

Service Times:

Saturday Worship: 6:30 PM

Sunday Worship: 9:30 AM

Sunday School/Bible Study: 8:30 AM

 

Special Holiday Service Times:

Advent Service: Wednesdays 7:00PM

Christmas Eve Service: 5:00pm

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: 7:00pm

Christmas Day Service: 10:00AM

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


Holiday Service Times

Advent Service: Wednesdays: 7:00PM

Christmas Eve Service: 5:00pm

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: 7:00pm

Christmas Day Service: 10:00AM

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Latest Weekend Services At Grace

 

Repent! Jesus is Coming Soon!

Second Sunday of Advent

  1. Turn Away from your Sin
  2. Turn Toward your Savior
SERMON TEXT:  Malachi 3:1-4

Look! I am sending my messenger! He will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple! The Messenger of the Covenant, in whom you delight, will surely come, says the LORD of Armies. But who can endure the day when he comes? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like launderers’ bleach! He will be seated like a refiner and a purifier of silver. He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and like silver. They will belong to the LORD and bring him an offering in righteousness. Judah and Jerusalem’s offerings will be pleasing to the LORD as they were in the days of old, in years long ago.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Malachi 3:1-4

See Sermon Text

SECOND LESSON:  1 Corinthians 4:1-5

This is the way a person should think of us: as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. In this connection, moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But it is a trivial matter to me if I am evaluated by you or by a day in a human court. Why, I do not even evaluate myself. I do not in fact know of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this; rather, the one who evaluates me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing ahead of time, until the Lord comes. He will bring to light whatever is hidden in darkness and also reveal the intentions of hearts. Then there will be praise for each person from God.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Luke 3:4,6

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. All mankind will see God’s salvation.

GOSPEL: Luke 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene— during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went into the whole region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Just as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: A voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth. And everyone will see the salvation of God.”

Be Ready! Jesus Is Coming!

The First Sunday of Advent

  1. For fear if not ready
  2. For joy if ready!
SERMON TEXT:  Luke 21:25-36  (all readings from EHV)

“There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And on the earth nations will be in anguish, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the surging waves, people fainting from fear and expectation of the things coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.”
He told them a parable. “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. As soon as they are sprouting leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is actually near. So also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Amen I tell you: This generation will not pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
“Watch yourselves or else your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the worries of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly. For it will come like a trap on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Stay alert all the time, praying that you may be able to escape all these things that are going to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Genesis 19:15–17, 23–29

When the dawn came, the angels urged Lot, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, so that you will not be swept away by the guilt of the city.” But Lot was taking too much time, so the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, because of the LORD’s compassion for him. They led him out and placed him outside of the city. Then when they had taken them out, one of them said, “Run for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, so that you are not swept away!”
The sun had risen over the land when Lot came to Zoar. Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire out of the sky from the LORD. He overthrew those cities, as well as all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew in the soil.
But Lot’s wife, who was behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Abraham got up early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain. As he looked, he saw that the smoke from the land was going up like the smoke from a kiln.
And so when God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham and brought Lot out through the middle of the devastation, when he overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

SECOND LESSON:  1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Indeed, how can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have before God on account of you? Night and day we are praying earnestly to see you in person and to supply what is lacking in your faith.
May God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord increase your love and make it overflow for each other and for all people, just as ours does for you, so that he may establish your hearts as blameless in holiness before our God and Father, when our Lord Jesus comes with all his saints.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Revelation 22:20

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

GOSPEL: Luke 19:15–17, 23–29 (EHV)

See Sermon Text

PRAISE KING JESUS

Christ the King (The Fourth Sunday of End Times)

  1. For His Perfect Justice
  2. For His Amazing Grace
SERMON TEXT:  Psalms 45:1-7

My heart is stirred by a noble theme
as I recite my verses for the king;
my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
You are the most excellent of men
and your lips have been anointed with grace,
since God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
let the nations fall beneath your feet.
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Daniel 7:13-14

I kept watching the night visions, and there, in the clouds of heaven, I saw one like a son of man coming. He came to the Ancient of Days, and he was brought before him. To him was given dominion, honor, and a kingdom. All peoples, nations, and languages will worship him. His dominion is an eternal dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.

SECOND LESSON:  Revelation 1:4b-8

Grace to you and peace from him who is, who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his own blood and made us a kingdom and priests to God his Father—to him be the glory and the power forever. Amen. Look, he is coming with clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. And all the nations of the earth will mourn because of him. Yes. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, the one who is, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.”

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Revelation 22:13

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and
the End.

 

GOSPEL: John 18:33-37

Pilate went back into the Praetorium and summoned Jesus. He asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But now my kingdom is not from here.” “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. Jesus answered, “I am, as you say, a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

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…”

Special Midweek Services

“The Promised Messiah is at Hand”

Advent Messages From Isaiah 40

 

SERMON TEXT:  Isaiah 40:1-8 (NIV)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”


Bible Readings

 

BIBLE LESSON:  Colossians 3:15-17

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

GOSPEL: Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Grace Events

 

Upcoming From The Grace Calendar

(See Full Calendar)

december

wed12dec7:00 pm8:00 pmAdvent WorshipAdvent Worship Service7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Grace Lutheran Church

thu13dec10:00 amBible Study 10AMWeekly Adult Bible Class10:00 am Grace Lutheran Church

thu13dec7:00 pmGriefshare 7PM7:00 pm Grace Lutheran Church

fri14dec7:30 pmBroadway KnightsBroadway Knights Christmas Concert7:30 pm Grace Lutheran Church

sat15dec6:30 pm7:30 pmWorship* 6:30PMSaturday Evening6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Grace Lutheran Church

sun16dec8:30 amSunday School/Bible Class 8:30AMChildren's Sunday School & Adult Bible Class8:30 am Grace Lutheran Church

sun16dec9:30 am10:30 amWorship* 9:30AMSunday Morning Worship9:30 am - 10:30 am

sun16dec12:00 pmChristmas Caroling 12PMCaroling After Lunch12:00 pm Grace Lutheran Church

wed19dec7:00 pm8:00 pmAdvent WorshipAdvent Worship Service7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Grace Lutheran Church

thu20dec10:00 amBible Study 10AMWeekly Adult Bible Class10:00 am Grace Lutheran Church

thu20dec7:00 pmGriefshare 7PM7:00 pm Grace Lutheran Church

sat22dec6:30 pm7:30 pmWorship 6:30PMSaturday Evening Worship6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Grace Lutheran Church

sun23dec8:30 amSunday School/Bible Class 8:30AMChildren's Sunday School & Adult Bible Class8:30 am Grace Lutheran Church

sun23dec9:30 am10:30 amWorship 9:30AMSunday Morning Worship9:30 am - 10:30 am

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News & Announcements

 

Upcoming Events

 

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Dec 09 – Dec 15

AnnouncementsOUR MANAGEMENT OF GOD’S BLESSINGS THIS WEEK: Worship Attendance: Saturday 19 (10 communed); Sunday 73 (56 communed); Advent Wed: 22; Sunday School: 3 (2 teachers); Adult Bible Studies: 12+6+7; GriefShare: 3; Offerings: General fund: $9,184.60...

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Grace News & Events For The Week Of Dec 02 – Dec 08

LIFE LINE SCREENING is offering a preventive health event on December 11. Five screenings are offered that screen for blocked arteries, abdominal aortic aneurysms, hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat, and bone density. Register for a Wellness package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening for $139 (after $10 member discount). Call toll-free 1-888-653-6441.

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Upcoming Events

 

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Dec 09 – Dec 15

AnnouncementsOUR MANAGEMENT OF GOD’S BLESSINGS THIS WEEK: Worship Attendance: Saturday 19 (10 communed); Sunday 73 (56 communed); Advent Wed: 22; Sunday School: 3 (2 teachers); Adult Bible Studies: 12+6+7; GriefShare: 3; Offerings: General fund: $9,184.60...

read more

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Dec 02 – Dec 08

LIFE LINE SCREENING is offering a preventive health event on December 11. Five screenings are offered that screen for blocked arteries, abdominal aortic aneurysms, hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat, and bone density. Register for a Wellness package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening for $139 (after $10 member discount). Call toll-free 1-888-653-6441.

read more

Messenger Of Grace

 

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 calendar. This...

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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 defined in...

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Messenger Of Grace – September

  September 2018   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...

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