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Monday, February 1, 2021

The Spotlight

The other day, our church secretary Linda, asked about the upcoming need for midweek lent bulletins. And as we were discussing the matter, I realized that it has almost been a year since the pandemic began. Yet through it all, I asked myself a question, “What have I learned through it all?” With the pandemic constantly in our midst, it has taught me the importance of where true hope resides.

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
Ephesians 1:16-19a

St Paul prays for the Ephesians, that they may have true wisdom in the knowledge of God and His Word. Through His Word, they are enlightened as the spotlight focuses upon the true hope to which they were called. In the same way, this is our prayer as well. Through all suffering and affliction, the spotlight turns to the glorious inheritance delivered by the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Indeed, our hope and faith is Christ who is The Mighty Fortress. And from His glorious gates flow the certainty and assurance of eternal life, forgiveness and salvation. No longer is our hope muddied with thoughts such as, “I hope I have eternal life”, or “I hope God forgives me”, or “I hope God is with me”. Rather, the hope in Christ spotlights your boldness and confidence that in Christ you already have the assurance and gift of His grace. For in the one true faith, we stand firm in the Cross and our Lord’s body and blood which nothing of this world can snatch away: not even death itself.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken”
Psalm 62:5-6

As the world shakes in utter chaos, and wails in the fears of an oncoming disaster, we wait in hope. Not just any hope, but the unshaken hope in Christ who silences and comforts us in His promises. Even in our heaviest burdens, the spotlight turns to the one who defeated death and defanged [Read Christ and Calamity by Harold Senkbeil] the grave by His very resurrection! The Spotlight is on Jesus, the great physician, the author and perfecter of our Faith!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
No merit of my own I claim
But wholly lean on Jesus name
On Christ, the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Stanza 1 LSB Hymn 575

Blessings in Christ,
✝️ Pastor Jeong 

The full newsletter can be found here:
https://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2021/2021-02-Newsletter.pdf

Thursday, December 31, 2020

The New Year

Grace Mercy and Peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

As we turn over the proverbial leaf, it is always a reminder to plan and prepare for the new year. Yes, planning is very important. Living healthier, spending less time on screens, being engaged in the family, focusing on our relationships, the resolutions are endless. And so it is the same within the church. As we begin the new year, what should we prayerfully plan and prepare?

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” Hebrews 10:24-25

Attend Divine Service and midweek services. A blessed time of the week to receive the Word of God. “Faith comes from hearing, hearing the word of God” [Rom 10:17]. Receiving the Word of Christ is of the utmost importance for your spiritual welfare. Thus I highly encourage you to attend the Divine Service, partake in the receiving of the Lord’s Supper and hear the preaching of the law and the gospel.

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 15:4-6

Engage in our bible study. This month we will begin our study on St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. I highly, highly, highly encourage you to join our study. It is a blessed time to inwardly digest the living word of God. Also it is an important opportunity to fellowship with one another in the unity and harmony of the faith. In these times, we are isolated more than ever, and I cannot tell you how important it is to be a church family “in one voice”. So come join us as we begin our study in the upcoming week!

“Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him” Proverbs 30:5

Participate in our video devotion[s] during the week. Reviewing the sermon is so important as it provides your ongoing meditation and “shield” throughout the week. Also, join us for Christ and Calamity which discusses many relevant theological topics in our times of uncertainty. So join me for Law and Gospel Tuesday, or Christ & Calamity Thursday and future programming additions as we dwell upon the refuge of God’s Word.

“All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Read the bible and review Luther’s Small Catechism. There are many reading plans that will guide you throughout the year. Let me know if you need a reading schedule. I will be happy to assist you. Also, continue to review the small catechism in your daily life. Keep this book on your nightstand and read a section in the morning or at night. The six chief parts will guide you through the endless treasure trove of goodness as it always points you to Christ. If you need a small catechism, let me know! I will happily provide you a copy.

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully, will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Giving with great cheer! As the new year begins, let us prayerfully prepare our offerings for the upcoming year. God provides for the entirety of our lives. From creation, to redemption and sanctification, we live, move, and have our being because of Him. Through the time and talents that He has uniquely provided for each and every one of us, we prayerfully give not “under compulsion” but rather with great cheer for the sake of God’s mission in Word and Sacrament ministry. Also, through His grace, we are His workmanship [Eph2:10]. Thus we ask in every good work, “how can we assist in the life of the church?” It may be assisting the trustees, participating in the altar guild, or engaging the culture through our evangelism group. There are many ways we can contribute for the sake of FLC. We are in this together!

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing”. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Encourage someone in your life with the life-saving message of the Gospel. The world is a dark place and people need The True Light of Christ. Pray for those specifically who need to hear the words of the Gospel. Pray that the Lord may guide you in the joy of His Word as you go out into your field. Also, for our members at Faith. Please continue to encourage one another in these times. If you haven’t seen someone at church in a while, give them a ring, text, email, letter etc. Everyone needs encouragement so pray for one another. After all, we are a family in Christ.

As we are waiting for the Lord’s return, there is much to do! For as His redeemed children, we live set free in the Lord’s body and blood for the forgiveness of sins. Remember, it’s not a “have to”, but as we are the new creation [Gal5:17] we joyfully proceed in the “get to” of Christ. No need to prove, no need to earn, because our life is already victorious in the death and resurrection of our Lord. So let us walk faithfully together in the name of the Lord!

Have a blessed new year!

+Pastor Jeong 

The full newsletter can be found here:
https://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2021/2021-01-Newsletter.pdf


Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email