Friday, February 24, 2017

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

A German Pastor named Martin Niemoeller who lived in Germany during the Nazi era said this: “No, the church has not been victorious, she has failed and is failing still because she assumes that the judgment that is passed around her applies to the world and not to herself.” He goes on to say, “…no one should lose the chance for forgiveness which still is being offered to us, perhaps for the last time in the history of our people.” In other words, you never know what tomorrow brings.
Forgiveness is not available to us in the ways that we might like it to be. Forgiveness is not available to us in good works that we might try and use to pacify our conscience. Forgiveness is not available in relief work or civil services. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession informs us that good works cannot possibly assuage our conscience with regard to our sinfulness. Only faith in Christ justifies. Scripture says in Romans 5:2 that “through Him we have access to the Father, through faith.” The premise that underlies these things is just this, sin terrifies consciences. In order for your conscience to become settled, it is absolutely imperative that the sin question be dealt with. The Apology says that “we are reconciled to the Father and we receive the forgiveness of sins when we are comforted by a confidence in the mercy promised on account of Christ.” The confidence referred to here is faith. Faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains. Faith is what gives us confidence and assurance with regard to our sin.

We pray: Father, through our observance of Lent, help us to understand the meaning of Your Son's death and resurrection, and teach us to reflect it in our lives. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

Lord’s blessings on ya,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

(Joh 3:5 KJV)
The Pharisees in their traditions held to a very high standard of belief and practice. Yet, like the rest of us they had a sense that despite the facade that they exhibited on the outside, on the inside was an abscess of corruption that could not be easily reasoned away. They looked within themselves everyday and perceived something that was totally at variance with the image that they tried to project. They had sin in their lives. They were full of pain and misery that couldn't be covered over with a salve. Their heart like all of ours was full of wickedness. 
Nicodemus saw what Jesus was doing and heard the words that He spoke at the feast of those days. There was something about His message that rang true within the old Pharisee. He was undecided about the message he was hearing but he resolved to know more. He came to Him "by night" in order to avoid publicity that potentially could put him a odds with his peers. He just had to go and have a conversation with this man who obviously had so much zeal for the LORD. He had to know just what it was that was there. 
All of us are like Nicodemus in that we have a disease inside and it seems as if we are helpless to do anything about it. Here is the bad news for us today, there isn't anything we can do. No matter how much we dress ourselves up on the outside, on the inside there will always remain that icky feeling that we won't be able to shed. Here is where we need to do what Nicodemus did and have a conversation with Jesus. Christ will put us in touch with our pain in that He has endured the very same evil that we are presently dealing with and He came though it unscathed. Christ can drain the puss out of the wounds that we all carry around with us. "He was wounded for our iniquity." He bore our sins on the cross. And now if we will believe, He will help us bear the burden of our own cross.
Nicodemus became a disciple of Jesus. Although secretly intially "for fear of the Jews," it would seem that his conversation with Jesus had an impact on him. Those who seek out Christ and sincerely listen to what He says will not be disappointed. Nicodemus stood up for Jesus when the rest of his fellows were conspiring against him (Joh. 7:50), and he helped Joseph of Arimathea take Jesus' body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb at great risk to his safety and reputation. Nicodemus also donated myrrh and aloes to anoint Jesus' body when He died.
Nicodemus is a great example to us today. He was a seeker of God and God rewarded his obedience in seeking out his Messiah. Don't shut out what you already know about yourself today. You are right in sensing that there is absolutely nothing you can do for yourself to deal with that void inside. Just go talk to Jesus. He will quiet your conscience and give you rest for your soul. "You must be born again." The road to believing that consists of nothing more than turning from the way you are on and seeking out your King in God's Word today. Just go talk to Him, and rest easily in the knowledge that "whosoever will believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Amen.

Friday, September 5, 2014

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

(Joh 2:3 KJV)
Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding. My study tells me that it is probable that the couple getting married were a God-fearing couple else it is unlikely that Mary would have been there or Jesus would have accepted the invitation.
It is also likely that the problem with the lack of wine developed as a direct result of Jesus and the disciples being there. It is possible that the invitation to Jesus and those with him came as a result of His mother being there to begin with and the invitation was extended naturally upon discovering that He would be enroute to meet up with her. A last second invite; a friend to the soon-to-be newly created family indeed. This is borne out in the number of jars that Jesus would eventually ask be filled with water. Six disciples traveled with Jesus to the wedding and six jars would be filled with water and turned into wine. As it would turn out despite the temporary embarrassment, there would be more than enough wine for everybody there. It would also happen that the governor of the feast would point out to the (I'm sure surprised bridegroom), that the best was kept until the last. The event would end to everyone's satisfaction after all.

When we consider Jesus' participation with us in our lives, oftentimes we might find ourselves in similarly difficult situations. The love and want to be obedient are there but the wherewithal just doesn't seem to be. The Christian life is not an easy one to navigate at times after all. Sometimes we have to take stock of the question that Jesus asks Mary to discover what it is that God is trying to teach us in any particular situation. "Jesus said to her,
'Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?" The answer to that question just may well be the key to overcoming in those hard to deal with situations where it seems that in faith, we might have bit off more than we could chew. Jesus never leaves us to our own devices. As long as we take the time to acknowledge that He is there, He is faithful to make sure that we don't end up in a place of shame. Jesus wants to be involved in every area of our life. Here in our story it was a marriage. Out there with you it could be your work, home, social life, or relationships. His death and resurrection has made it so that we never need to wonder about His being here with us. Make sure you always have that invitation in the mail. Don't ever let yurself be lulled into believing for any reason your mind might devise that He isn't there with you. "I will never leave you or forsake you." You can be sure He never will. soli deo gloria

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (Joh 1:49 KJV)

Nathanael was a skeptical guy. He seemed to be a no nonsense sort of person who was not given to just accepting out of hand what other people told him. There is nothing wrong with being a bit skeptical, but it does become a problem when skepticism becomes a point of pride or honor. God will not reach those who "think more highly of themselves than they ought to."
God desires that "none should be lost." He was calling Nathanael. In His ongoing mission to bring us all to faith in the atonement that has been made for all people in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, He uses ordinary people like you and me to witness to our acquaintances however we might know them (I am assuming you to be a Christian). He only has two requirements of us and those are that that we come to know and apprehend Him through His Word, and that through this understanding we are willing to submit to Him and be led by His Spirit.  It is important that we meet these criteria because believe it or not the world that we are appealing to are only interested in the real deal. They can make out phonies. They are not interested in our attempt at times to make either heaven or (more relevantly at this point in time) this earthly life into the fantasies that we want them to be. People would much rather just have the facts. God Himself through His Spirit is the only One able to convince them. He will save them from their sin.
Fortunately Nathanael knew somebody who took seriously this duty and vocation as a friend. Philip was willing to share with his friend what he had come to see: That Jesus was "the One whom  
Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write..." (Joh 1:45). Funny how he was willing to share with his unbelieving friend at that point in time what most Christians today are barely aware of, i.e. the law. This was as clear of a testimony as could be given at that point in time. In contrast to today when we try and make Jesus more palatable to those whom we are given to witness to, Philip went right to the heart of the situation with his friend. Paraphrasing: "This is the One whom God has sent to deal with our struggle against sin." Because of his friend's directness, Nathanael was willing to hear more, even go and see this Jesus for himself. Once he got there, Jesus knew exactly what needed to be said and done.

Be willing to be like Philip. Tell your friends about Jesus. Speak to them realistically when the opportunity presents itself (it will) about the freedom from sin that God has made available to them in Christ. Don't sugar-coat it for them. The time is short. "Today is the day of Salvation." Remember that Jesus your King has rescued you from the skepticism of this world. He wants to preach through you that Jesus has been raised from the dead and they are no longer in bondage to their sin. Tell all your friends and family, co-workers and other acquaintances that you want to take them to meet Jesus. My prayer for you is that you belong to a church that does not try to prevent Jesus from being seen. My advice to you at that point in time would be to join us Lutherans. Kyrie eleison

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pastor's Bible Study blog introduction and rules

My name is Ken Zitsch. I am certified for a call in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LC-MS). I was originally ordained in a denomination called the Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC). My journey from the CGGC to the LC-MS was a result of the conviction given to me that The Lutheran Church has all the markings of the true church dating from the apostolic age. Although not as yet called, my purpose here is to (as Paul charged Timothy) do "godly edifying which is in faith." The only sure way to do that is to teach "sound doctrine."

I want to minister the Word of God. It is my passion. I will do this utilizing a variety of means. I invite you to interact with me over Scripture. I will post short meditations (not every day) from the daily lessons that are found in the Propers of the church year. These lessons cover the most part of Scripture over a two year period. I will also attempt to give a Lutheran perspective on the issues that we face, both in our life as well as society. I will point out how and where God's law is being violated. I will also seek out where God's grace is being manifest. In all things, I trust that we will see that God is in control and He is "gathering together in one all things in Christ." (Eph. 1:10) I invite your comment to my posts. I will not post everyday. I may not get back to you for a couple of days just for the purpose of setting right expectations. You must set up a profile on Google that should not take any more than 5 minutes. I will also be glad to take any general questions that you might have concerning Scripture. My goal is that you sit at the feet of the King soaking in His wisdom. By the way, I have no wisdom in myself. What I have I have receivied as a gift from God.This is not a theological blog. I have another blog for that purpose at Scripture is all that is in view here with the ramifications that it has for our lives and the world we live in.

This is primarily pastoral. The conversation here should be light and edifying. Please remember that the doctrine that drives the pastoral care here is LUTHERAN. The Lutheran confessions are the truest exposition of Scripture. Therein is the tradition of the church universal. Those are the facts here, and they are not under dispute. The confessions contain the systematic interpretation of Scripture that has been generally agreed on and put forth by the Church over the ages. I do not consider Scriptural interpretation from the fringes. This is the rule that I hold to here, and I will rigidly enforce it. I also reserve the right to add or change rules as the experience of this blog
goes on.Conversation must be courteous, graceful, and respectful of God's Word. Proper and inproper explanations of Scripture will be pointed out without hesitation. Please remember, correction does not equal judgment. Correction done in love is profitable toward eternal life. If you are not correctable, you are not welcome here. I don't care where or how you quote my words (I am not ashamed of the gospel), but it is forbidden to take the words of any commentors here and republish them unless they give you their permission.

This is intended to be a place of rest. A place where it is possible to find correction, council, forgiveness, and peace for your soul. I thank you in advance for what God will show me, through you.