Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church

Service Times:

Saturday Worship: 6:30 PM

Sunday Worship: 9:30 AM

Sunday School/Bible Study: 8:30 AM

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

 

Look! The Day Is Coming!

The Second Sunday of End Time (Last Judgment)
Veterans’ Day
100th Anniversary of Armistice Ending the First World War

SERMON TEXT:  Malachi 4:1-3

Look! The day is coming, burning like a blast furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The day that is coming will set them on fire, says the LORD of Armies, a day that will not leave behind a root or branch for them. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, and there will be healing in its wings. You will go out and jump around like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked. They will surely be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action, says the LORD of Armies.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Malachi 4:1-3

See Sermon Text

SECOND LESSON:  Hebrews 9:24-28

For Christ did not enter a handmade sanctuary, a representation of the true sanctuary. Instead, he entered into heaven itself, now to appear before God on our behalf. And he did not enter to offer himself many times, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise he would have needed to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once and for all, at the climax of the ages, in order to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And, just as it is appointed for people to die only once and after this comes the judgment, so also Christ was offered only once to take away the sins of many, and he will appear a second time—without sin—to bring salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for him.

GOSPEL: John 5:19-30

Jesus answered them directly, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: The Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing. Indeed, the Son does exactly what the Father does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. And he will show him even greater works than these so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to those he wishes. “In fact, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, Amen, I tell you: Anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He is not going to come into judgment but has crossed over from death to life. “Amen, Amen, I tell you: A time is coming and is here now when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out. Those who have done good will rise to live, but those who have practiced evil will rise to be condemned. I can do nothing at all on my own. I judge only as I hear. And my judgment is just, for I do not seek my own will, but the will of him who sent me.”

We Have A Strong Refuge

Reformation Sunday – The First Sunday of End Times

  1. In times of trouble
  2. In times of peace
  3. Bring God the glory
SERMON TEXT:  Psalms 46

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Daniel 3:16-28

Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “We have no need to answer you about this matter. Since our God, whom we serve, does exist, he is able to save us from the blazing fiery furnace. So, he may save us from your hand, Your Majesty. But if he does not, you should know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods, and we will not worship the golden statue that you set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and the expression on his face changed against Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego. He said to heat the furnace seven times hotter than it was usually heated. He ordered some men, November , who were soldiers from his army, to bind Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego in order to throw them into the blazing fiery furnace. So these men were bound in their coats, their pants, their turbans, and their other clothing, and they were thrown into the middle of the blazing fiery furnace. Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace was extremely hot, those men who carried Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego were killed by the intense heat of the fire. But these three men, Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego, who had been tied up, fell into the blazing fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was startled and immediately stood up. He said to his advisors, “Didn’t we throw three men, who had been tied up, into the middle of the fire?” They answered the king, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men, who are untied and walking around in the middle of the fire, unharmed. What is more, the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the blazing fiery furnace. He said, “Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out!” Then Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego came out from the middle of the furnace. The satraps, the prefects, the governors, November , and the royal advisors gathered together and looked at these men. The fire had no power over their bodies. Not a hair on their head was singed, their robes were not damaged, and the smell of fire had not stuck to them. Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego, who sent his angel and saved his servants, who trusted in God and ignored the king’s command. They gave up their bodies and did not pay homage or worship any god except their God.

SECOND LESSON:  Revelation 14:6-7

Then I saw another angel flying in the middle of the sky. He had the everlasting gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth, to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He said with a loud voice: Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  John 8:31,32

If you continue in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

GOSPEL: Mark 13:5-11

Jesus began by telling them, “Be careful that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. “Whenever you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but the end is not yet. In fact, nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. But be on your guard! People will hand you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand in the presence of rulers and kings for my sake as a witness to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. Whenever they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand what you should say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour because you will not be the one speaking; instead it will be the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Jesus Heals The Blind

Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost

  1. By Giving Physical Sight
  2. By Giving Spiritual Sight
SERMON TEXT:  Mark 10:46-52

They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, a blind man, Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road begging. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many told him to be quiet, but he kept shouting all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” They called the blind man, saying, “Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!” He tossed aside his outer garment, jumped up, and went to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man replied, “Rabboni, I want to see again.” Jesus told him, “Go. Your faith has made you well.” Immediately he received his sight and began following Jesus on the road.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Exodus 4:1-17

But Moses responded, “What if they do not believe me and do not listen to my voice, but instead they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you’?” So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” He said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground, and it became a snake, so he ran away from it. The LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and take it by the tail.” He stretched out his hand and took hold of it, and it became a staff in his hand. The LORD said, “This sign is being given to you so that the Israelites will believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” The LORD also said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. Then the LORD said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand inside his cloak again, and when he took it out of his cloak, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. The LORD said, “If they do not believe you or do not respond to the first sign, they might believe because of the second sign. If they do not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you are to take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the Nile will become blood on the dry land.” But Moses said to the LORD, “Please, LORD, I have never been eloquent, either in the past or more recently or even since you started speaking to your servant, for my mouth and tongue are slow and clumsy.” So the LORD said to him, “Who made a mouth for people? Or who makes someone mute or deaf, able to see or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go, and I will be with your mouth, and I will teach you what you will speak.” But he said, “Please, LORD, send someone else.” Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses, and the LORD said, “What about Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Look, he is already coming out to meet you. He will be very glad to see you. You will speak to him and put the words into his mouth. I will be with your mouth and with his, and I will teach you what you are to do. He will speak to the people for you so that it will be as if he were your mouth, and you were God to him.You will also take this staff in your hand, the one with which you will perform the signs.”

SECOND LESSON:  Acts 2:22-32

“Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus the Nazarene was a man recommended to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know. This man, who was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, you killed by having lawless men nail him to a cross. He is the one God raised up by freeing him from the agony of death, because death was not able to hold him in its grip. “Indeed, David says concerning him: I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced. My flesh also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon my life to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence. “Gentlemen, brothers, I can speak confidently to you about the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one of his descendants on his throne, he saw what was coming and spoke about the resurrection of Christ, saying that he was neither abandoned to the grave nor did his flesh see decay. “This Jesus is the one God has raised up. We are all witnesses of that.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  2 Timothy 4:18

The Lord will rescue me from every evil and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.

GOSPEL: Mark 10:46-52

See Sermon Text

The Grace Messenger

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!

Praying Is Good!

It is hard to imagine a less controversial statement, at least among Christians and other people who believe in God or a god. Prayer is one of the most basic things humans, who have a sense of the infinite, will do.

God tells us in his Word that only certain people are heard, however. First, God only listens to those who direct their prayers to him in faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). He did not heed the prayers of the 450 prophets of Baal, who cried to their false god, even though they prayed more loudly and, it seemed, more fervently. Jesus tells us we are to pray “in his name” (Jn 16:23), that is, trusting in him.

Sin gets in the way of our prayers being heard, like a wall separating us from God. Only if our sins are forgiven through faith can we be sure of God’s answers to our prayers.

Children of God can pray about everything that is on our minds and hearts. First Timothy 2:1: I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for everyone. Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything…present your requests to God.

God invites us to pray. He even gives us prayers that he loves to hear us use. One hundred and fifty Psalms are prayers God wrote for us to use. Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, saying, “When you pray, say, Our Father, who art in heaven…” He warns us not to babble repetitively or to use nonsense sounds like the pagans, and he says we ought not pray for show, to impress people. But he welcomes our prayers, whether we pray from the heart in our own words, or a psalm or a prayer inspired by God himself or composed by others. When Pastors pray publicly and lead the congregation, it is my opinion that it is generally better to read a prayer, or at least to have an idea of what you are going to say in advance. That way, you don’t say “Father-God, we just…” too many times.

But I encourage all of us to get comfortable praying in our own words, from the heart. Make use of that skill often! Constantly, even!

It is one of the most wonderful privileges you have as a child of God, whose sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ.

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!

Praying Is Good!

It is hard to imagine a less controversial statement, at least among Christians and other people who believe in God or a god. Prayer is one of the most basic things humans, who have a sense of the infinite, will do.

God tells us in his Word that only certain people are heard, however. First, God only listens to those who direct their prayers to him in faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). He did not heed the prayers of the 450 prophets of Baal, who cried to their false god, even though they prayed more loudly and, it seemed, more fervently. Jesus tells us we are to pray “in his name” (Jn 16:23), that is, trusting in him.

Sin gets in the way of our prayers being heard, like a wall separating us from God. Only if our sins are forgiven through faith can we be sure of God’s answers to our prayers.

Children of God can pray about everything that is on our minds and hearts. First Timothy 2:1: I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for everyone. Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything…present your requests to God.

God invites us to pray. He even gives us prayers that he loves to hear us use. One hundred and fifty Psalms are prayers God wrote for us to use. Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, saying, “When you pray, say, Our Father, who art in heaven…” He warns us not to babble repetitively or to use nonsense sounds like the pagans, and he says we ought not pray for show, to impress people. But he welcomes our prayers, whether we pray from the heart in our own words, or a psalm or a prayer inspired by God himself or composed by others. When Pastors pray publicly and lead the congregation, it is my opinion that it is generally better to read a prayer, or at least to have an idea of what you are going to say in advance. That way, you don’t say “Father-God, we just…” too many times.

But I encourage all of us to get comfortable praying in our own words, from the heart. Make use of that skill often! Constantly, even!

It is one of the most wonderful privileges you have as a child of God, whose sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ.

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)

november

17nov6:30 pm7:30 pmWorship* 6:30PMSaturday Evening

17nov7:00 pmCLHS Drama 7PM

18nov8:30 amSunday School/Bible Class 8:30AMChildren's Sunday School & Adult Bible Class

18nov9:30 am10:30 amWorship*Sunday Morning

18nov3:30 pmCLHS Drama 3:30PM

21nov7:00 pm8:00 pmThanksgiving Eve Worship 7PMPIE FEST

22novalldayThanksgivingThanksgiving Holiday

24nov6:30 pm7:30 pmWorship 6:30PMSaturday Evening

25nov8:30 amSunday School/Bible Class 8:30AMChildren's Sunday School & Adult Bible Class

25nov9:30 am10:30 amWorshipSunday Morning

25nov10:45 am12:30 pmCHRISTMAS TREE

29nov10:00 amBible Study 10AMWeekly Adult Bible Class

29nov7:00 pmGriefshare 7PM

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News & Announcements

 

Upcoming Events

 

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Nov 04 – Nov 10

VETERANS DAY WEEKEND AIR SHOW: Join us on Saturday, November 10 to tour the YANKS AIR MUSEUM in Chino. Yanks boasts one of the most extensive and rarest collections of American aircraft worldwide. The collection began in 1973 with the acquisition of the Beech Staggerwing and from there grew to more than 200 aircraft. Many of the aircraft at Yanks are the only remaining specimens of their kind. Every aircraft at Yanks Air Museum has a story to tell. Join us to discover America’s aviation history and the lore of flight. From the Wright Brothers’ 1903 Wright Flyer to the record-breaking F-106 Delta Dart and the fearsome F-14 Tomcat, at Yanks you can see the entire sweep of American aviation! Meet up at church at 10AM on Saturday November 10 and we can carpool to the museum.

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Grace News & Events For The Week Of Oct 28 – Nov 03

GRIEFSHARE is a grief recovery support group that will help individuals understand the journey of grief and move from mourning to joy. Thirteen sessions include living with grief, the journey of grief, the effects of grief, God’s prescription for grief, heaven, and other topics. Pastor Wagenknecht will host the GriefShare group on Thursday nights, 7 pm. Tell Pastor W if you will be able to participate!

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Grace News & Events For The Week Of Oct 21 – Oct 27

THANKSGIVING BASKETS: It is that time of year again. We are putting together Thanksgiving baskets for the needy. We need canned goods. There is a sign-up sheet in Grace Hall with a list of suggested items. A monetary donation would also be appreciated. If you know of an individual or family in need of a little bit of assistance for the holiday season, let Pastor know so he can add them to the list.

read more

Upcoming Events

 

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Nov 04 – Nov 10

VETERANS DAY WEEKEND AIR SHOW: Join us on Saturday, November 10 to tour the YANKS AIR MUSEUM in Chino. Yanks boasts one of the most extensive and rarest collections of American aircraft worldwide. The collection began in 1973 with the acquisition of the Beech Staggerwing and from there grew to more than 200 aircraft. Many of the aircraft at Yanks are the only remaining specimens of their kind. Every aircraft at Yanks Air Museum has a story to tell. Join us to discover America’s aviation history and the lore of flight. From the Wright Brothers’ 1903 Wright Flyer to the record-breaking F-106 Delta Dart and the fearsome F-14 Tomcat, at Yanks you can see the entire sweep of American aviation! Meet up at church at 10AM on Saturday November 10 and we can carpool to the museum.

read more

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Oct 28 – Nov 03

GRIEFSHARE is a grief recovery support group that will help individuals understand the journey of grief and move from mourning to joy. Thirteen sessions include living with grief, the journey of grief, the effects of grief, God’s prescription for grief, heaven, and other topics. Pastor Wagenknecht will host the GriefShare group on Thursday nights, 7 pm. Tell Pastor W if you will be able to participate!

read more

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Oct 21 – Oct 27

THANKSGIVING BASKETS: It is that time of year again. We are putting together Thanksgiving baskets for the needy. We need canned goods. There is a sign-up sheet in Grace Hall with a list of suggested items. A monetary donation would also be appreciated. If you know of an individual or family in need of a little bit of assistance for the holiday season, let Pastor know so he can add them to the list.

read more

Messenger Of Grace

 

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...

read more

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...

read more

Messenger Of Grace – August

  August 2018   See "The Little Mermaid" FELLOWSHIP ACTIVITY: Join your friends on Friday, August 10, at Peppertree Park in Tustin for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” The cast has been practicing in our fellowship hall since the beginning of July, and part of the...

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