Fear God Above All Things
Dear Saints in Christ,
A few weeks ago the Old Testament reading was from Proverbs chapter 9. In verse 10 a phrase often used in Proverbs appears, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” So it is fitting that we consider this as the first part of what it means to believe in God alone, that we fear Him.
Why do we fear Him? We usually jump immediately to fear meaning “respect”. But hold that thought! In the Scripture fear really means fear! It really means to be afraid. How can that sort of fear of the Lord be the beginning of wisdom? Perhaps it is helpful to think of it like this; having genuine fear of a lion, a bear, or a bison, is wise. Only a fool would fearlessly approach these creatures in order to learn of them. How much more is it with God!? He is the creator of the heavens and the earth, so all things are His. He holds it all. He gives and takes away. He is Holy and perfect in all His doings. In our sin we would die in the presence of the Lord. Who can see God and live before the majesty of His glory? So, in a very real way then, God is the only one to be feared and this is truly the beginning of wisdom. In the fear of the Lord our own ways and thoughts are placed in check. Our sin lamented and seen as the damnable reality that it is. For us to presumptuously come before God is to act in ignorance of who God is and who we are.
So now perhaps, we can be granted to see where some of our false gods may be found. What fears do you have that shape your daily decisions? Do you fear you will run out of money? Do you fear that you will fail your family? Do you fear the loss of something? Do you fear to start something? Do you fear you will forget a loved one? Do you fear the past or the future? What do you fear that seems to be shaping your life? It is good to be honest about this, in fact it will lead us to the beginning of wisdom, because not fearing the Lord is folly and faithlessness.
Strangely we end up serving our fears. We fear broken relationships and so we do not speak honestly and lovingly. We fear losing our money and so angst and toil over it. We fear our congregation closing and rather than sharing the message of Christ turn inwardly to protect it. Serving our fears, our false gods, leads to the destruction of the very thing we love. Relationships are destroyed so often by fear, lives are destroyed by fear, congregations are destroyed by fear wrongly placed.
The fear of the Lord allows us to see clearly. We despair of our control, our work, and ability to save things. Instead, we are left looking to the only and all-powerful God.
In looking to Him alone then what do we find? Certainly, a frightful reality of an all-powerful God. But we will also find a God who uses His power to save sinners, to heal the broken, to gather the lost, to give hope to the hopeless. We find a God who uses His power to suffer and die in our place that we might be restored to Him. That through Jesus’ death and resurrection we might now come before Him, pray to Him, be called not only sinners, but His beloved children. In the fear of the Lord we take seriously His promises to us in Jesus and the fear of all else melts away. For God has already accomplished all things in Christ. He has already prepared in advance the work for us to do, He graciously sustains through plenty and want, joy and sorrow, trial and pleasure. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the wisdom of God is Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:24) May God grant us always to fear Him and so regard and respect His Word, namely and chiefly His salvation in Jesus Christ. With this wisdom we have no fear in this life, but peace.
Peace in Christ,
LCMS Stewardship Ministry
Newsletter article – July 2021
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
We celebrate this month because of the freedoms and liberties our country has afforded us. We are right to do this. We should be thankful for these liberties – the freedom to gather together to worship and to live out what believe in our daily lives.
But freedom and liberty in our age have devolved. It has become a freedom from duty instead of a freedom for it. Indeed, freedom and liberty in our age has turned into licentiousness – a license to do what we want, when we want. This license is a submission again to a yoke of slavery. For freedom as license to do what we desire when we desire it means we are slaves to our desires and slaves to our passions.
Christ died to set us free from our desires. In Holy Baptism, our Old Adam is drowned and put to death along with all sin and evil desires so that a new man may arise and live before God in righteousness and purity. In Christ, we are a new creation. We are set free from the passions of the flesh so that we are free to do our duty and bear fruits of the Spirit.
Our duty is what God calls us to do as members of a family, society, and the Church. God calls us to believe in His Word and gladly hear and learn it. He calls us to pray for all people. He calls us to live in faith toward Him and in fervent love for our neighbor. He calls us to put the gifts He gives to us in His service. God calls parents provide for their children and raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
And God calls children to honor their parents and provide and care for them when they are no longer able to do so themselves. God calls the government to punish those who do evil and to reward those who do good. He calls citizens to pay their taxes and honor the governing officials as God’s servants. He calls pastors to preach and teach the Gospel, repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And He calls hearers to support those who teach them with every good thing.
Christ died to set us free from the works of our selfish flesh, giving us the freedom and liberty to do our duty. Stand firm, then, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
1 Darlene Hinz 18 Riley Lee
2 Paul Bohling 18 Betty Zundel
4 Susan Heinz 21 Walter Schott
4 Cody Lee 24 Harper Dockter
7 Frances Rutschke 25 Abigail Andreasen
11 Matthew Hales 25 Shawn Healy
11 Emelia Nelson 26 Jonathan Imberi
12 Whitney Rauscher 26 Lloyd Jerde
14 Daryl Bierman 27 Don Hoops
15 Sheldon Finley 27 Ashley Thone
16 Linda Krage 28 Loretta Podoll
4 Chris & Brenda Aman
5 Walter & Phyllis Schott
29 Dan & Susan Heinz
Meetings at Our Savior:
Dual Parish Leadership – Wed July 7th at 6:00 pm
Elders – Thursday July 8th at 5:30 pm
Church Council – Thursday July 8th at 6:30 pm
Voters’ Meeting – Sunday July 11th at 9:30 am
Board of Education – Sunday July 25th after the service
Our Savior Voters’ Meeting – The next quarterly voters meeting will be Sunday, July 11th at 9:30 am. All communicant members age 18 and over can attend to help conduct the business of the church.
Church Council will meet Thursday, July 8th at 6:30 pm to prepare for the voters’ meeting.
LWML does not meet in July.
Elders for July – David Johnson & Eric Johnson
July 4th – Rhylan Tschappat & Jayda Siebert
July 11th – Abigail Andreasen & Briella Klipfel
July 18th – Caiden Siebert & Riley Aman
July 25th – Amara Klipfel & Ally Johnson
Portals of Prayer for July – September are available in the narthex.
The Annual Dual Parish Joint Service & Picnic - Sunday, July 18th
The Annual Summer Dual Parish Service and Picnic returns this year with a special event. Our guest preacher on July 18th will be Rev. Mick Wolfram, of Lutheran Family Service of Iowa. He will give a presentation about his work at LFS at 9:00 am at Our Savior, followed by the Dual Parish Joint Service of the Word at 10:00 am. We will have our picnic at Our Savior this year, at 11:30 am. We will have tables set up outside, or you can eat inside if you wish. The Men’s Club will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, chips, and lemonade. Feel free to bring a salad, side-dish, or dessert if you wish. There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex so the Men’s Club will know how much food is needed.
Morning Bible Study – There is a weekly Bible Study on Tuesday mornings at 6:30 am at Our Savior. We are reading the book of Ezra. All are welcome!
Saturday Bible Study – There will be a Bible study at Our Savior on July 10th from 9:00-11:00 am. The topic is “The Psalms and Jesus”. The Psalms can be the most beloved and misunderstood sections of Scripture. They are full of prayer and praise? Are they only “directed” to Jesus or do they also reveal Christ to us? We will look at a selection of Psalms and see how Christ is at the heart and center of the Psalms as He is all Scripture.
The Ordination and Installation of Jacob Smith as Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s in Aberdeen will be Sunday, July 11th at 4:00 pm.
Our Website – Now that we have a new sound system, audio recordings of sermons are on the website again, with improved sound quality. The following are also available on the website: online giving for Our Savior, a church calendar, current bulletins and newsletter, and more at www.oursaviorlutheranchurchaberdeen.com.
The Lighthouse Preschool is accepting registrations for the 2021-2022 school year. Please call 725-1855 for more information or grab a registration packet in the narthex for yourself, a friend, or a family member!
CPH Bible Sale – Concordia Publishing House is having their annual Bible and Confessions sale, with styles for both children and adults. Now more than ever, having quality Bibles for the self-study of God’s Word is of the utmost importance. There is a large poster in the fellowship hall where you can write in your order. The church will place the order and pay the shipping cost. Some of the available Bibles are displayed in the fellowship hall. If you’d like to see pictures and information about others, browse on www.cph.org/biblesale or ask the secretary to show you the website in the church office. We need your order by Sunday, July 25. Make checks payable to Our Savior Lutheran Church.
Traveling? Enjoy the Unity of the Faith!
Our actions speak, teach, and confess our faith in Christ and His work among us! When you are out of town or away for the weekend don't let that stop you from gathering to receive Christ's gifts in Word and Sacrament! Download the LCMS app to help you locate a sister church when you travel. You can also go to www.lcms.org to find a sister congregation via the "locator" in the upper right. We share a unity of faith which means that when we travel we are always home in our sister congregations where the Gospel is preached and the Sacraments are administered.
St. John’s - Columbia
14 Dalton Podoll 31 Lucas Daggett
16 Levi Christianson 31 Tara Meints
24 Jodi Hart 31 Trevor Meints
25 Mic Daggett 31 Jordan Miller
28 Lyle Podoll 31 Mike Ringgenberg
7 Ray & Cyndy Larson
31 Lloyd & Doris Dennert
St. John’s Usher List
July 4th – Mike & Molly Ringgenberg
July 11th – Josh Larson & Collin Eichler
July 18th – Mic & Jen Daggett
July 25th – Cole Bisbee & Logan Ringgenberg
Aug 1st – Roger & Sharon Zastrow
Aug 8th – Ray & Cyndy Larson
Aug 15th – Tony & Amanda Bisbee
Aug 22nd – Karl & Val Eichler
Aug 29th – Brent & Barb Miller
Dual Parish Leadership will meet Wednesday, July 7th at 6:00 pm at Our Savior.
St. John’s Voters’ Meeting – The 2nd quarter voters meeting, along with a special organ meeting, will be on July 11th after the service.