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

 

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.

 

 

Share Paul’s Ambition

Twenty Second Sunday afetr Pentecost

  1. His goal was not to exert his own rights
  2. His goal was to benefit as many as possible
SERMON TEXT:  1 Corinthians 9:7-12, 19-23

What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat some of its fruit? Or who takes care of a flock and does not drink milk from the flock? Am I saying this just from a human point of view? Doesn’t the law also say this? Yes, it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out grain.” Is God really concerned about oxen, or does he say this entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in hope of getting a share. If we sowed spiritual seed for your good, is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? If others have some right to make this claim on you, don’t we even more? But we did not use this right. Instead, we endure everything so as not to cause any hindrance for the gospel of Christ. In fact, although I am free from all, I enslaved myself to all so that I might gain many more. To the Jews, I became like a Jew so that I might gain Jews. To those who are under the law, I became like a person under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might gain those who are under the law. To those who are without the law, I became like a person without the law (though I am not without God’s law but am within the law of Christ) so that I might gain those who are without the law. To the weak, I became weak so that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all people so that I may save at least some. And I do everything for the sake of the gospel so that I may share in it along with others.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  2 Chronicles 26:16-23

But when he had grown powerful, the pride in his heart led to his destruction. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God. He entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest went in after him. He was followed by eighty priests of the LORD, brave men. They confronted King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, because you have been unfaithful. This action will not result in any praise for you from the LORD God.” Uzziah became angry. He had a censer for burning incense in his hand. When he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests, beside the altar of incense in the House of the LORD. When Azariah, the head priest, and all the other priests looked at him, they immediately realized he had leprosy on his forehead. They rushed him out of there. He himself also was in a hurry to leave because the LORD had struck him. King Uzziah remained a leper until the day of his death. He lived in a quarantined house because he was a leper. He was excluded from the House of the LORD. Jotham his son was in charge of the palace of the king and administered justice for the people of the land. The rest of the acts of Uzziah, from first to last, were recorded by Isaiah son of Amoz, the prophet. Uzziah rested with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the burial field that belonged to the kings, because they said, “He is a leper.” His son Jotham ruled as king in his place.

SECOND LESSON:  1 Corinthians 9:7-12, 19-23

See Sermon Text

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Ephesians 2:10a

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

GOSPEL: Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we wish that you would do for us whatever we ask.” He said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Promise that we may sit, one at your right and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink or be baptized with the baptism that I am going to be baptized with?” “We can,” they replied. Jesus told them, “You will drink the cup that I am going to drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am going to be baptized with. But to sit at my right or at my left is not for me to give; rather, these places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they were angry with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But that is not the way it is to be among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Our Salvation Comes From God

Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost

  1. Overestimating Yourself.
  2. Underestimating God.
SERMON TEXT:  Mark 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, one man ran up to him and knelt in front of him. He asked, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. You know the commandments. ‘You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony. You shall not defraud. Honor your father and mother.’” The man replied, “Teacher, I have kept all these since I was a child.” Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he looked sad and went away grieving, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus told them again, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in their riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished and said to one another, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For people, it is impossible, but not for God, because all things are possible for God.”


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  2 Kings 5:14-27

So he went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said. Then his flesh was restored like the flesh of a small child, and he was clean. Then he and his whole escort went back to the man of God. He stood in front of Elisha and said, “To be sure, now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. Now accept a gift from your servant.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives, in whose presence I stand, I will not take anything.” Even though Na’aman urged him to accept something, he refused. Then Na’aman said, “If you do not want anything, please give me, your servant, as much dirt as two donkeys can carry, for your servant will never again burn incense or sacrifice to other gods, but only to the LORD. But may the LORD forgive your servant this one thing: When my master goes into the house of Rimmon to bow down there and he supports himself on my arm, then I too have to bow down in the house of Rimmon. When I bow down in the house of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant this one thing.” Then Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.” When Na’aman had gone some distance from him, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “My master was too easy on this Aramean, Na’aman, when he did not accept anything that he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” So Gehazi chased after Na’aman. When Na’aman saw him running after him, he got down from his chariot to meet him. He said, “Is everything all right?” Then Gehazi said, “Yes, everything is all right. My master sent me to say, ‘Look, just now two young men from the hill country of Ephraim, from the sons of the prophets, have come to me. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.” Na’aman said, “Certainly! Take two talents!” He urged Gehazi and tied up the two talents of silver in two bags with the two sets of clothing. Then Na’aman gave them to his two servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. When he came to the hill, he took the gifts from them. Then he hid them in the house and sent the men back, so they left. Then he went in and attended his master. Elisha said to him, “Where were you, Gehazi?” Gehazi said, “Your servant didn’t go anywhere.” Then Elisha said to him, “Didn’t my heart go along when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take silver, or to accept clothes or olive groves or vineyards or sheep or cattle or male and female servants? Na’aman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went out from his presence, leprous like snow.

SECOND LESSON:  Hebrews 13:1-6

Continue to show brotherly love. Do not fail to show love to strangers, for by doing this some have welcomed angels without realizing it. Remember those in prison, as if you were fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated, as if you yourselves were also suffering bodily. Marriage is to be held in honor by all, and the marriage bed is to be kept undefiled, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers. Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have. For God has said: I will never leave you, and I will never forsake you. So then we say with confidence: The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Isaiah 25:9b

This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.

GOSPEL: Mark 10:17-27

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 Sep 23 – Sep 29

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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Upcoming Events

 

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Sep 23 – Sep 29

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

Messenger Of Grace

 

Messenger Of Grace — July

July 2018 BAPTISM Lutherans baptize babies because Jesus and the Apostles command it and hold out divine promises to all who are baptized. This statement might shock some of our Baptist, Methodist, Friends, and most Nondenom. friends. They do not agree. Jesus commands...

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Messenger Of Grace – May

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.

read more

Messenger Of Grace — March

EASTER FOR KIDS
March 31, at 10:00

Children will decorate Easter eggs, have a candy egg hunt, hear the Easter story presented in a different way, and play outdoors.

Bring your children for a memorable time!

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Messenger Of Grace – February

February 2018 LOVE IS IN THE AIR February 14 is Valentine’s Day.  As February reaches its mid-point, spring is near. In spring, “young hearts turn to love.” The name Valentine means “full of valor,” a name shared by several famous priests and bishops of central Italy....

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