“When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 - EHV)
Jesus was a busy man. He healed a paralyzed person, a sick woman and two blind men. He raised another man’s daughter from the dead. He called others to be his disciples. He answered the questions posed by lost sinners and false teachers. And all in Matthew chapter nine! The verse preceding our text describes it this way: “Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness.”
Why this activity, this urgency? Because the people were harassed by false prophets. Because they were harassed by the forces of evil in this sinful world. Because they were harassed by the guilt of their own sin and the fear of eternal death. And by themselves they were helpless to do anything about it.
Sound familiar? Aren’t we tempted by false prophets of this world who promise a way to heaven other than through Christ? Aren’t we attacked by forces of evil in this sinful world that want to drag us away into the deadly sins of laziness, selfishness, greed, pornography, adultery, idolatry, and the like? Don’t we get depressed by our own sinfulness and guilt and sometimes wonder whether heaven can really be our home? And by ourselves we are certainly just as helpless. Often we feel like lost sheep without a shepherd to guide, strengthen and protect us.
But Jesus is more than a busy man. He’s the Good Shepherd who has come to guide, strengthen and protect us, his troubled and helpless sheep. Living the perfect life of love we couldn’t, he moved on to Gethsemane and endured two unjust trials that condemned him. Then he allowed himself to be taken to Calvary where he gave his life for his sheep, taking the curse for all their sins. Yes, even yours and mine. He kept moving through death and the grave, rising on Easter Sunday morning, and eventually moved back to his throne in heaven. He assures us that his victory is ours. We’re fully forgiven and headed for heaven.
He did all this because of his compassion! Compassion has been defined as love in motion. That’s why Jesus was a man on the move. He had compassion for the lost, troubled and helpless like us. His love moved him to live and die for you and me. It’s his love in motion that moves us to action, too. The lost around us need to know of their Savior! It’s time for us to get moving to tell them.
— Pastor Gartner
You may have noticed that the email devotion once again came later this week. That is actually by design. After some discussion we felt that by moving the devotion to later in the week, it gives us some time in the middle of each week to let God talk to us through his Word. We pray that your faith continues to be strengthened and encouraged by these weekly devotions.
We are currently in our Summer Schedule: Sunday worship at 8:00am and 10:00am. Monday worship at 6:30pm
We are planning to do a church pictorial directory this year. The dates for taking pictures are Tuesday through Saturday, August 14-18 and September 18-22. Weekday times are from 2:00-9:00 p.m. and Saturdays are from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The link to register and sign-up for a time is below. You will also be able to schedule a time before and after our worship services beginning July 8.
NEW - We also need people to help check in the people as they come to get their pictures taken. If you can donate a few hours of your time to help in this area, please sign up on the sheet on the back counter.
· Adopt-A-Highway - Saturday August 11 at 8:00 am
· Bowling - Sunday August 12 from 4-7pm. At Village Lanes in Little Chute.
Daniel Dexter, a staff minister from Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (WELS) in El Paso, TX, will be visiting St. John's with 'Scripture Storytelling.' He memorizes books of the Bible and then shares them word-for-word in what he calls a 'storytelling' style. This isn't a dry recitation nor is it an actor's performance. Daniel calls it a 'living proclamation' that speaks to the listeners as participants, giving them a feel of what it may have been like to hear and see the words and works of God through the apostles and prophets. Daniel states: "A common encouragement I hear is that this storytelling makes the Bible come alive. But what I love about Scripture Storytelling, and the reason it's so powerful to me also as I share it, is that God's Word is alive, active and dynamic with God's presence and power; I'm just putting that character of God's Word on display in proclamation."
Between the worship services on Sunday, August 12th, Daniel will share Jonah and a portion of Luke's Gospel. Daniel shares Scripture Storytelling in churches and schools throughout our fellowship and notes that this is an engaging presentation for all ages. Children and adults, you are all invited to come and partake of God's Word in this unique way!