St. Paul Lutheran Church, Runge: You are Never Alone
Feb 21, 2013 | 554 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pastor Randal Bruno of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Runge began his sermon based on the Gospel lesson from Luke 4:1-13 with a recollection of a family occurrence when his dad was preparing barbecue for the family. Everything (the pit, the charcoal, the meat, the seasonings, etc.) were available, but when it came time to light the flame, there was no lighter fluid and not wanting to go to the store, his dad poured kerosene on the charcoal and lit the match. Thankfully, his dad only ended up with no eyebrows, a burned face and singed hair, and no lasting scars. His dad knew better, but somehow he could justify the action and it just exploded in his face. Pastor Randy reminded the congregation that temptation is like that--you can justify succumbing to temptation and taking the short cut, but it can explode in your face.

From the Gospel lesson Luke 4:1-13, Jesus had been led by God's own Spirit into the wilderness. For 40 days He was in a place of physical suffering and temptation, but it is precisely when Jesus faces this ordeal that he is described as being "full of the Holy Spirit" and never truly alone. The devil continued to tempt Jesus and offered three shortcuts out of his suffering--to turn stones into bread, to gain mastery over all the physical kingdoms of the world, and to demand a miraculous rescue from God. Jesus's answer to the devil is "Do not put the Lord your God to the test". Jesus refuses an easy out. He trusts that the one who filled him with the divine Spirit will work everything for the good, even this trying situation.

The devil continues to try to lead God's people astray and chooses the opportune time --Remember that Satan chooses the times for his attacks. We need to be on our guard in times of victory just as much as in times of discouragement. Knowing and obeying God's Word is an effective weapon against temptation, the only offensive weapon provided in the Christian's "armor". Jesus used Scripture to counter Satan's attacks, and you can too. But to use it effectively, you must have faith in God's promises, because Satan also knows Scripture and is adept at twisting it to suit his purpose. Obeying the Scriptures is more important than simply having a verse to quote, so read the Scriptures and apply them to your life. Then your "sword" will always be sharp. "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." Ephesians 6:10,11

At the end of the service, the sending hymn was "A Mighty Fortress is Our God". The fourth verse is "God's Word forever shall abide, no thanks to foes , who fear it; for God himself fights by our side with weapons of the Spirit. Were they to take our house, goods, honor, child, or spouse, though life be wrenched away, they cannot win the day. The kingdom's ours forever!"

Worship services at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Runge begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday mornings with Children's Sunday School and Adult Bible Study of Revelation at 9:45. At 5 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 20 will be the Lenten service followed by supper and on Thursday, Feb. 21, Third Thursday Fellowship will meet at 12:30 for lunch with the program, Live Smart. Love your Heart. Mark your calendars for World Day of Prayer on Friday, March 1st at the church at 4:15 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
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