Unchanging Words

bible-parableAs the leaves are changing and falling from the trees, as the world around us changes more and more every day, I am reminded of the things that never change. God’s Word is everlasting and unchanging; and it is from it that we are told, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… [and] You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). Jesus tells us that these are the two most important commandments. These are the things that we as Children of God upon this earth are to do. Not only are we to do them, but we are to “teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7). These two precepts are to rule every minute of our lives. Our entire life should be lived out in faithfulness towards God and in love towards one another. We know that we fail to do this, as the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh drive us away from these commands of God. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us, “under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Christ came to this earth and took our sins upon Himself. He died the death that was meant for us. He took upon Himself the punishment that was meant for us. He has had mercy upon us, and has forgiven us of all our sins. How great is that!?! The creator of all life, god Himself, loved each and every one of us so much, that He sent His only Son to die so that we may live. That death has already happened for many of us. Through our Baptism, we have been “buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4) Forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation are already yours, although not fully realized yet on this side of heaven. In this new life in Christ, the words of Psalm 119 speak to us in a new way, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!” Christ did walk in the Law and His walk was blameless. He kept that Law that we could not keep. Yes, we still live in this sinful world. Yes, we still sin. AND YES, We Are Forgiven! Through the Blood of Christ, our relationship with our Heavenly Father is not something that we have to worry about. We cannot save ourselves, Christ has already done that. Our energy, time and talents can then be focused on giving that thanks to God and serving our neighbor for God’s Glory! Our only response can be that of the Psalmist, “I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 89:1). Even though the seasons come and go, the Love of God remains steadfast forever and ever. Thanks be to God!

About Pastor Joel Koepp

Joel Koepp is the Sole Pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Wood Lake, Minnesota. He was married to Markie (Gusler) Koepp on August 19, 2005. God has given them three wonderful children, Joel, Elizabeth, and Kaitlynn. Pastor Koepp graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2005 with a B.S. in Social Work and he received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2010. He is currently working on his Doctoral of Ministry degree from Sioux Falls Seminary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His sermons and church information can be found at yourstlukes.com.

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