Jul 23, 2017

Devotion - 23 July - Sons of God

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We continue a multi-sermon series on Galatians that will run through the summer.
Epistle Reading- Galatians 3:26-4:7
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
4 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Devotion: Sons of God
Paul pictured Israel before Christ’s coming as a child. In Paul’s day, it was common for children to be under the care of a tutor [see 4:2].  The dominant image of a tutor in that day was that of a harsh disciplinarian who used force and physical punishment as a way of making children toe the line. That is what the law did for Israel, it was a harsh disciplinarian until Christ’s coming. Now all who trust God are adult sons and no longer children. It is faith that makes one a son of God and an heir to His kingdom.

We pray: “Lord thank You for your Kingdom promise--help me grow my faith in You. Amen”

Jul 19, 2017

Lifetree Cafe - 25th July - Body Language

LTC Body Language Trailer Master1- HD from Lifetree on Vimeo.
When you meet someone for the first time, what’s the very first thing you notice? Join us to discuss this at Lifetree, Tuesday the 25th of July, 630PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Rancho del Lago, Vail AZ 85641. 

Jul 16, 2017

Devotion - 16 July - The Law and the Promise

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We continue a multi-sermon series on Galatians that will run through the summer.
Epistle Reading- Galatians 3:15-25
15 To give a human example, brothers:[a] even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
Devotion: The Law and the Promise
Paul continues his argument that God justifies Christians by faith alone showing the logical fallacy of relying on the Law alone. He bases his argument on the biblical revelation to Abraham. We can briefly summarize today’s text by making three points: 1- the offspring of Abraham is singular, referring to the Christ [meaning Jesus continues to fulfill the covenant], 2-God promised salvation no matter what we do [as part of the covenant] and 3- we need both the Law [a “guardian” and measuring stick] and the Gospel. That is, we can never be perfect enough to obey the Law so we need redemption [for falling short of the Law] through faith in Him. Paul has packed the entire life saving message of Our Lord and Savior into a few sentences of a letter -- we are told that Dr Martin Luther enjoyed reading Galatians often. I hope you enjoy Paul’s beautiful piece of writing and that you can take comfort in God’s promise.

We pray: “Lord thank You for this promise--help me grow my faith in You. Amen”

Jul 12, 2017

Lifetree Cafe - 18th July - What People Really Think of Christians

What Do People Think of Christians and Why from Lifetree on Vimeo.
How do people perceive the average Christian? Share your thoughts during “What People Really Think of Christians…and Why.” Coming to Lifetree Café Tuesday the 18th of July, 630PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Rancho del Lago, Vail AZ 85641. 

Jul 9, 2017

Devotion - July 9th - Righteousness from Faith

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We continue a multi-sermon series on Galatians that will run through the summer.
Epistle Reading- Galatians 3:1-5
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—
Devotion: Righteousness from Faith
As we recall, the Galatian church had slipped into trying to obey Mosaic law as part of their salvation. When Paul was amongst them years ago he taught them the Gospel news about God’s grace and how freely it is provided if one has faith. Now in his absence, they have listened to false teachers and seem to be under a spell [Who has bewitched you?] Paul is trying to paint word pictures, trying to get them to get out of the law mode and into the Gospel teaching of faith and Grace. How do we receive the spirit? Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that he has sacrificed His life for our salvation. Once that we accept Paul’s argument that humans are not perfect and are not able to perfectly obey the law it opens the door to salvation by receiving the Holy Spirit through faith. Paul says in verse 2: “by hearing with faith”.  I pray that you are a person of faith.

We pray: “Lord help me recognize and strengthen my faith in You. Amen”

Jul 5, 2017

Lifetree Cafe - 11th of July - When Love Hurts

When Love Hurts - Lifetree Cafe from Lifetree on Vimeo.
Help for those needing to break the cycle of domestic violence. Join us for “When Love Hurts” at Lifetree Café Tuesday the 11th of June, 630PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Rancho del Lago, Vail AZ 85641.

Jun 28, 2017

Lifetree Cafe - July 4th - The Majesty and Mystery of Nature

The Majesty and Mystery of Nature from Lifetree on Vimeo.
Are humans here to serve and protect nature? Or is nature here to serve us? Share your thoughts during “The Majesty and Mystery of Nature” at Lifetree Café Tuesday the 4th of July, 630PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Rancho del Lago, Vail AZ 85641. 

Jun 25, 2017

Devotion - June 25th - True Gospel

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We continue a multi-sermon series on Galatians that will run through the summer.

Epistle Reading- Galatians 1:6-10
 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ

Devotion: True Gospel
Recall that last week’s text had Paul introducing himself as a man of God and greeting the church at Galatians. Today we have him launch right into admonishment and not praise as he so often does in his letters to various churches. He is really taken aback that the church he started has quickly gotten away from the true Gospel and has [as we shall see] introduced man-created “to do’s” for salvation. He quickly covers two key concepts of Gospel and Grace and implores that we should try to please God not man. This is a good message for us today. Are you doing something right now to please man which is out prioritizing what you should be going to please God? I pray that you would think and pray about it.


We pray: “Lord help me recognize where my Kingdom priorities are wrong. Amen”

Jun 21, 2017

Lifetree Cafe - 27 June - What's Your Pet Trying to Tell You

What's Your Pet Trying to Tell You? - Lifetree Cafe from Lifetree on Vimeo.
If your pet could talk, what’s the first thing it would tell you?
Join us at Lifetree, Tuesday the 27th of June, 630PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Rancho del Lago, Vail AZ 85641. 

Jun 18, 2017

Presentation Materials for 6/18/17 Leadership Conference

On 6/18/17, leaders from Christ Lutheran Vail four sessions at the leadership conference.

Nick Bielat presented information about the updates to the Strategic Plan and Vision.



Pastor Hook Presented the updated structure.




Here's a copy of the slide show.

 

Jennifer Hook presented the on the God-me-others triangle and the leadership square.