November 8, 2020
Pastor John Hering
1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who can always be found in times of trouble. 2 That is why we will not fear when the earth dissolves and when the mountains tumble into the heart of the sea. 3 Its waters roar and foam. The mountains quake when it rises. Interlude
4 There is a river—its streams bring joy to the city of God, to the holy dwelling of the Most High. 5 God is in her. She will not fall.
God will help her at daybreak. 6 Nations are in turmoil. Kingdoms fall. God raises his voice. The earth melts. 7 The Lord of Armies is with us. The God of Jacob is a fortress for us. Interlude
8 Come, look at the works of the Lord. What a wasteland he has made of the earth! 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth.
He shatters the bow. He cuts up the spear. He burns the carts with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted on the earth.”
11 The Lord of Armies is with us. The God of Jacob is a fortress for us.
There was trouble brewing. The majority of the people were being misled to believe things that just weren’t true. Then it happened. 503 years ago Martin Luther nailed ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, marking the birth of the Lutheran Reformation. Martin Lutheran nailed those words to the church door and Germany—yes the world—was all upset. And the results? Some loved his work. Some stood by and observed to see what would happen. And some people got really angry.
But, the greatest blessing was that so many people discovered the gracious gift of God’s Grace, God’s Word, and God given faith! They also learned to be good managers of that Word in their lives. This month also marks our study of God’s Word under the theme: Growing Gifts—a plan with 3 branches:
- To use God’s gracious gifts to us to serve with personal ministry,
- To proclaim God’s Word personally and through our called staff, and
- To be better trained to share our faith with others.
Did you hear? This is the battle cry of Christians! By Grace, based on God’s Word, and salvation is ours through faith!
Luther’s courage to be a good manager of God’s gracious gifts came from years of study in the Scriptures. It was God’s promises alone that gave him strength, comfort and determination. Before us today is one of those chapters in Scripture which became one of Luther’s favorite. Let us make it our very own so we can receive comfort in God’s presence and confidence in God’s victory. We turn to Psalm 46 and discover Confidence in God Our Refuge!