Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Love sought restoration 9/23/09

KJV Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

This is a portion of a sermon that was preached by Steve Wuori at the 2009 ALC Convention in St. Cloud, MN.

"Care enough to go speak to them. Who did that? Jesus. Jesus says in the gospel of John. He says that "If I had not come and spoken to them they had not had sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin." In other words, Jesus has cared enough to come and speak to us about sin, not his, but ours. This is the perfect picture of Jesus. He has come, and through his Word, has described to us how guilty we are. His Word has described how it was our sins, our faults, that placed him on the cross of Calvary and it was for those sins and faults that he died. And therefore, we see the example that Jesus sets, and that is that there was a brother, there was a friend who trespassed against him. That was me. And he cared enough to come and speak to me about what I had done and by the power of His Spirit, within the heart, He has revealed to me what I have done. King David, when he had sinned so badly against Uriah, Bathsheba and a whole host of people within His kingdom, when it came time to repent, he said, I have sinned against the Lord, because the conviction of his heart was, that though it was Nathan who brought the Word to him that broke his heart, it was the Word of God that came to him and told him that he was guilty. And therefore, he concluded, I have sinned against the Lord. And that is what really breaks the heart, isn't it? It's when we recognize that there has been a relationship of trust that has been broken and we have been the ones to break it. We have made the mistake, it is our fault. And so likewise between us, when there is the trust that has been broken, or there is betrayal, we find that we look and see, that I am the guilty one. But Jesus has come and has spoken to us in love, concerning our trespasses, our faults, and what happened? If it so be that we hear, He has gained us. Not our gain, but His. He has gained this brother, who has trespassed against Him. So here we see that in this first place there is a deep love and a deep care that causes the person to go, to tell, to see if they will hear and to be restored. And what a blessing if we can be honest with one another concerning these things, and how hard it is, sometimes, to go and talk about these things. And also when we talk about hearing and gaining and restoration, I believe that because it is the words of Jesus that have brought us to this place, we cannot forget Him when it comes time to have that restoration."
Posted on 23 Sep 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
From the InterLutheran Theological Seminary
September 2009

Dear Friends,

Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
(Daniel 2:20-22 KJV)

Living means dealing with changes. Some of them are easy to take and some of them more difficult. Daniel the prophet certainly understood this as he was carried off into exile as a young child and grew up in a land foreign to him. Still Daniel never lost heart and God remained faithful to him revealing the meaning of dreams to him and giving him visions of His work in progress. It is doubtful that as a boy Daniel would have chosen to live in exile yet God purposed to do so and brought great joy and comfort to Daniel working a strong faith in him through difficult circumstances.

The decision to serve in full-time ministry isn’t an easy one. It often means severe changes in life-style not only for the minister but also for family members and other loved ones. Yet from personal experience one can freely testify that God always remains faithful throughout and even in the time of difficult changes makes His presence known in ways unimaginable.

One of the clearest ways God brings this comfort is through the support of the body of Christ. The two most obvious ways are prayer and financial support but it also comes through a kind word or remembrance, a verse of encouragement and thankfulness or thought expressed to offer exhortation to pursue the calling.

It is our prayer that as we begin this new school year you would continue to remember all of us here as we go through the changes God puts us through to refine us. Pray for us and remember us in your giving. Bless us with your words and encouraging thoughts. Remember those that God has called to the harvest as they face the challenges of going through the necessary changes of a good training. We also remember you and your many kindnesses to us and will continue to pray for, encourage and speak well of you.

God’s Peace,
Jay Weidner
Posted on 16 Sep 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Love sought restoration 9/23/09
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Carol Fischer and her family as they grieve the loss of Bob