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Pastor’s Corner

By Staff | Apr 22, 2013

“Sir, we would see Jesus.” That phrase is imbedded in the pulpit of St. John Lutheran Church, Seward, Nebraska. The quote comes from John 21:21, where some Greeks spoke this request to the disciple Philip. The phrase in the pulpit is positioned so that the pastor can see it. It reminds him why he is a pastor. His ministry ultimately has one task-to show people Jesus.

And it’s a special task. More than a job, the pastor has the Lord’s mission imperative. Paul spoke it to pastors in Acts 20:28, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (ESV).

Paul emphasizes pastoral care because in his next words he warns about others who will twist the word of God to suit their own fancy. Paul likens them to “wolves going after the flock.”

The pastor is, consequently, always a student of the Gospel. He doesn’t just wing his own ideas about God. Although Paul’s statement is to pastors, the emphasis is on God.

First of all, the Holy Spirit initiates the overseer, likening his work to that of a shepherd. This is where we get the word bishop-which is the one who “pastures the sheep.” What the pastor provides his sheep are the gifts of the Spirit. The main gift, out of which all the other gifts flow, is the Gospel of Jesus.

Christ’s sacrificial death and powerful resurrection bring us forgiveness of sins and life with God. People receive these blessings as they receive the word of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes the hearing turn into faith.

Secondly, the church is always and only God’s property. The “word-twisters” Paul refers to manipulate the church as though they have control, rather than the Spirit’s Gospel. Their message focuses on human qualities rather than the function of the Son of God.

Thirdly, the function of the Son of God was to pay for the church with “his own blood.” That baby in the manger grew up to be the Savior on the cross. From conception to ascension, Jesus demonstrated his uniqueness of bringing the divine and the human into one body, a function initiated again by the Holy Spirit.

What a joy for a pastor to feed his flock with the awesome work of Jesus Christ: true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary.

Sir, we would see Jesus.

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Pastor’s Corner

By Staff | Apr 22, 2013

The North Dakota State Fair is one of the greatest joys for a young child. Parents bring them to the fairgrounds and the smells and sounds captivate them. The smells of caramel popcorn, cotton candy, and the many delicious foods that are offered there fill the nostrils.

Children are also drawn to the midway, where there are all kinds of rides, from a merry-go-round to the more daring roller-coaster rides. Carnival workers are pitching their stand to come over and place some money down to win a huge prize with a simple toss of a ring or basketball.

As a Sheriff’s Deputy working in Ward County, we had many children who were reported lost on the fairground. It’s easy for children to be distracted and get away from their parents, because they are taken in by all the excitement. These children don’t even know they are lost until they come back to reality.

Once they realize they are in a bad situation, they panic and want to be reunited with their family. But how are they going to do it? A young child doesn’t have the experience and know how to seek the help he needs to find his way. The parents are frantic, and the Sheriff’s Department is looking for the child. It’s an allout effort until the child is located and reunited with mom and dad.

The same is true with unbelievers. They may not know it yet, because they are still having a wonderful time with the attractions of the world. They are just as lost as the little boy at the fairgrounds. Sooner or later in life, they will feel that emptiness, that void, that something is missing. They don’t understand how they end up they way they have and feel hopeless.

Every man, woman and child born into this world has a sense that there is something more. The Good News is that there is. But first of all, he or she must recognize the condition or situation they are in. Secondly, like the Sheriff’s Deputies who found the little boy, someone needs to show them the way. That’s why it is so important for fellow Christians to take every advantage that is presented by the Holy Spirit to nudge a lost person towards the cross. It must be done gently, with the love of our Lord. Jesus Christ Himself said

John 13:34-35 (NIV2011) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Carrying out the great commission of Christ requires it to be done in a loving, caring fashion. If there is an emptiness or lost feeling in your life, it may just be that you need a Savior.

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV2011) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Filling your emptiness and purpose is right there. Seek and you will find.

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