Welcome To
Grace Lutheran Church
Weekend Services
Saturday: 6:30PM
Sunday: 9:30AM

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

Yorba Linda, California

Weekend Service Schedule

Saturday Worship: 6:30 PM

Sunday Worship: 9:30 AM

Sunday School/Bible Study: 8:30 AM

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Latest Weekend Services At Grace

 

The Boy Jesus

First Sunday after Christmas

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

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


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  1 Samuel 2:18-20,26

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

SECOND LESSON:  Hebrews 2:10-18

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

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

GOSPEL: Luke 2:41-52

See Sermon Text

Keep Your Eyes on the Road!

Saints Triumphant (The Third Sunday of End Times)

  1. Read the Signs Carefully
  2. But Do not lose sight of your Destination
SERMON TEXT:  Mark 13:24-27

“But after that distress in those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light. The stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then you will see the Son of Man coming on clouds with great power and glory. At that time he will send out his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of the sky.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Daniel 12:1-3

Then at that time, Michael, the great prince who stands over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress that has not happened from the first time that there was a nation until that time. At that time your people will be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. Many who are sleeping in the dusty ground will awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, to everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who bring many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.

SECOND LESSON:  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you do not grieve in the same way as the others, who have no hope. Indeed, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then in the same way we also believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. In fact, we tell you this by the word of the Lord: We who are alive and left until the coming of the Lord will certainly not go on ahead of those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Revelation 7:15a

They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple.

 

GOSPEL: Mark 13:24-27

See Sermon Text

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.”

The Grace Messenger

FASTING

Going without food for a given period of time is called fasting. It is not something that I have spent much time encouraging or studying, but recently I have begun to consider it.

A gentleman I know has begun the practice of fasting two days a week. He has lost significant weight, lowered his blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and feels better all around. As a healthy practice, fasting seems to be gaining momentum as studies and anecdotes show significant benefits, especially to those with diabetes or prediabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Fasting has long been a spiritual exercise. Jesus fasted forty days at the beginning of his ministry. The Jews had a regular practice of fasting weekly; the Pharisees sometimes boasted about their twice weekly fasting. My grandparents fasted for a period of time before receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion. The Apostle Paul sometimes took a vow of abstinence from food for a period of time. He recommended the practice of pairing prayer and fasting. The Ninevites fasted in repentance after Jonah proclaimed God’s Word to them.

A friend of mine who attends a Non-Lutheran church often encourages me and many other friends of his to devote themselves to prayer and fasting. Recently he asked that we fast and pray for our country in view of the new law in New York that allows for abortion up to the moment of birth. As a nation, we certainly have reasons to repent, pray, and fast.

If we remember that fasting is not a good work that gains us favor with God, we can certainly understand that it can help us think about spiritual things rather than earthly things. The time you normally spend preparing a meal and eating can be used in prayer, meditation, reading, or doing works of service. It is not necessary to fast in order to be prepared for the sacrament or to pray properly. But many have found spiritual, health, and even stewardship benefits with fasting.

Imagine the money you would save in one day of fasting. That money could be set aside for savings, given to the needy, or used to supplement your offering to church.

Perhaps it is not for everyone. But maybe there are some of you who have read this who will give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

THE MAGI

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

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

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

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

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rejoice!

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

In God We Trust

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

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

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

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

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

FASTING

Going without food for a given period of time is called fasting. It is not something that I have spent much time encouraging or studying, but recently I have begun to consider it.

A gentleman I know has begun the practice of fasting two days a week. He has lost significant weight, lowered his blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and feels better all around. As a healthy practice, fasting seems to be gaining momentum as studies and anecdotes show significant benefits, especially to those with diabetes or prediabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Fasting has long been a spiritual exercise. Jesus fasted forty days at the beginning of his ministry. The Jews had a regular practice of fasting weekly; the Pharisees sometimes boasted about their twice weekly fasting. My grandparents fasted for a period of time before receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion. The Apostle Paul sometimes took a vow of abstinence from food for a period of time. He recommended the practice of pairing prayer and fasting. The Ninevites fasted in repentance after Jonah proclaimed God’s Word to them.

A friend of mine who attends a Non-Lutheran church often encourages me and many other friends of his to devote themselves to prayer and fasting. Recently he asked that we fast and pray for our country in view of the new law in New York that allows for abortion up to the moment of birth. As a nation, we certainly have reasons to repent, pray, and fast.

If we remember that fasting is not a good work that gains us favor with God, we can certainly understand that it can help us think about spiritual things rather than earthly things. The time you normally spend preparing a meal and eating can be used in prayer, meditation, reading, or doing works of service. It is not necessary to fast in order to be prepared for the sacrament or to pray properly. But many have found spiritual, health, and even stewardship benefits with fasting.

Imagine the money you would save in one day of fasting. That money could be set aside for savings, given to the needy, or used to supplement your offering to church.

Perhaps it is not for everyone. But maybe there are some of you who have read this who will give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

THE MAGI

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

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

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

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

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rejoice!

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

In God We Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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)

february

thu21feb10:00 amBible Study 10AMWeekly Adult Bible Class10:00 am Grace Lutheran Church

sat23feb6:30 pm7:30 pmWorship 6:30PMSaturday Evening Worship6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Grace Lutheran Church

sun24feb9:30 am10:30 amWorship 9:30AMSunday Morning Worship9:30 am - 10:30 am

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Facebook & Upcoming Events

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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Grace News & Events For The Week Of Sep 16 – Sep 22

Announcements PRAYER LIST • Judy Blaylock, melanoma • Rev. Seth and Ellie Bode, expecting a baby in January • Maeta Breese, injury, hospitalized and released • Anna and Tom Cooley, expecting in 2019 • Blake and Jackie Corry, expecting in September • Steve...

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

THE LUTHERAN WOMEN’S MISSIONARY SOCIETY FALL RALLY is October 6, in North Hollywood. The guest presenter is Pastor Xing Yang, who serves our Hmong congregation, Faith Lutheran Hmong Mission Church, in Fresno. Come and learn about this fascinating culture, the Yang family, and the challenging work he and his family do.

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

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

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

Grace News & Events For The Week Of Sep 16 – Sep 22

Announcements PRAYER LIST • Judy Blaylock, melanoma • Rev. Seth and Ellie Bode, expecting a baby in January • Maeta Breese, injury, hospitalized and released • Anna and Tom Cooley, expecting in 2019 • Blake and Jackie Corry, expecting in September • Steve...

read more

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

THE LUTHERAN WOMEN’S MISSIONARY SOCIETY FALL RALLY is October 6, in North Hollywood. The guest presenter is Pastor Xing Yang, who serves our Hmong congregation, Faith Lutheran Hmong Mission Church, in Fresno. Come and learn about this fascinating culture, the Yang family, and the challenging work he and his family do.

read more

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

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

 

March Messenger

                        From the perspective of the world, Christianity looks bankrupt; dying and going away. Studies show that as a percentage of the world’s population, Christianity is declining. Christians...

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February Messenger

                      LENT Lent is also known as the Season of the Passion. From Ash Wednesday (Feb 10 this year) until the day before Easter (March 27), we focus on Christ’s work on our behalf—his suffering and...

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January Messenger

Because You Asked: “What Will Happen On Judgment Day?” All of us who believe God’s Word and love our Savior are deeply interested in this question. In our zeal for understanding the future, we will be very careful not to speculate about things God does not tell us,...

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