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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He has overcome the world 5.1.2016
Today we are privileged to have a guest speaker, Pastor Nathan Juntunen from Esko, MN who will speak to us from John's Gospel 16:23-33. He has chosen the 67th Psalm and Revelation 12:9-27 as readings to go along with his sermon text. His message will be available in audio form this afternoon and so we invite you to listen to the Word as spoken through one of the Lord's appointed and chosen vessels. Below is a brief overview of the two readings that he has selected for today.

Our brothers and sisters in faith in the pre New Testament era praised their Creator and Redeemer, both in creation and in redemption. Having come to know and experience His saving grace, they, like us saw/see Him working in creation, not only in things seen with the natural eye, but more in those things that are only seen with the eye of faith. As a result of experiencing Him in this revelation, out of their hearts flowed praise to Him, a praise which they yearned that all would have for their Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

ESV Psalm 67:1 TO THE CHOIRMASTER: WITH STRINGED INSTRUMENTS. A PSALM. A SONG. May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

In our second reading, from the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we are given to see that which is yet before us, a new heaven and a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells. The new Jerusalem of which we are an eternal resident is seen coming down, which is described as the wife of the Lamb. We are the bride of Christ, we are seen as united in oneness with the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, and collectively we are the glorious temple which shines forever in the radiance of God. May the Spirit illuminate this eventual reality to us today.

ESV Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb."
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed-
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 01 May 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Being Kind and Tender 4.24.2016
KJV Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

As we look at the words of Ephesians 4:32, most of us would have a good idea of what it means to be kind, but we might have more difficulty understanding what it means to tenderhearted. Synonyms would be compassionate and kind.

The hymnwriter of our offertory hymn, Jean Pigott (1845-1882) wrote the following words in which she spoke of how she had discovered the key to having a loving or tender heart. It was through resting in who Jesus was, Her Saviour, and that by having ongoing fellowship with Him she was finding out the greatness of His loving heart. For it was by His transforming power, that she had been made whole and as she continued to gaze on Him in His Word, His beauty filled her soul. She by grace was living in the newness of the Spirit which had made her a new creation in Christ Jesus. She had put off the old, was continually being renewed in the spirit of her mind and had put on the new. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power, thou hast made me whole.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings: thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with Thy grace.

Jean, who lived only 37 years here on this earth wrote of how she was resting in the joy of who Jesus is. Her Saviour and Redeemer, the One who suffered, died and rose again from the dead, triumphing over sin, death and hell.

As we are hearing from this letter to the Ephesians, we are a new creation who have been created after God in righteousness and true holiness, Jesus now lives in us by His Spirit and therefore our heart is after the things of God. That is not the impulse of our heart as His children. We see this reflected in the hymn that is before us.

In our short text today, we are called to be kind and tender, compassionate. Why? Because that is who we now are? Are we always kind and compassionate? No. Why not? Because as we heard a couple of Sundays ago, we have been freed from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, but not from the presence of sin.

So that means that we are still susceptible to being unkind, and lacking in tenderness compassion.

Tenderheartedness Is Different from Weakness

There is a tenderness that has no justice in it, no morality, no love of the good, no hatred of the bad. It is the overflowing of an easy nature that often works irreparable wrong just because it has not strength enough to take a firm stand for what is right.

But it also knows how lonely people are; how sad the heart may be for all the laughter; how heavily the burden of the cross may weigh, although the face is always brave and bright. Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted.

You can never tell what that other soul is bearing. The men and women you are inclined to envy--if you knew all, you might not envy them.

Causes Which Make Tenderheartedness Difficult

1. Tradition: We grow accustomed to patterns and lose the specialness of our fellowship.

2. The struggles of life--The busyness, the stress, the strain.

3. Sin--It is the greatest enemy of tenderness, for it always hardens the heart, by causing it to grow callouses, it loses its ability to hear, to see, and to feel God.

Casual or surface knowledge of another may be misleading.
There are many who outwardly appear to be not very tender, but those who know them best know that they are tender. If we would have seen Jesus speaking to the Pharisees, we would not have thought him to be kind, but yet children readily approached him for they detected his kind and tender heart.

It is almost always because we know one only after their outward appearance, or what we have heard about them that we will have a wrong understanding of who a person is.

KJV 2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Tender memories move us towards God.

The prodigal son remembered his father's house and as a result said, "I will arise and go unto my father."

One of departed preachers in our ALCA related of how the memory of his mother caused him to come to repentance and turn to the Lord for for forgiveness. As he and his brothers were leaving their home to go spend the night partying, the tender words that his mother spoke to them as she kneeled on the floor washing it, one day bore fruit: She said, "Boys, there is a better way."

But nothing moves us towards tenderness more than knowing the tenderness of Christ towards us in bringing us redemption. And this takes us back to the hymn "I am resting in what thou art."

Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power, thou hast made me whole.

Now if there is one scene that sensitive hearts would shrink from, it is the awful scene of crucifixion. We never could have endured to look on Calvary, and yet it is Calvary that works tenderness in us. Is not that strange? A story I heard will explain it. There was a lady who was very beautiful--all excepting her hands, which were misshapen and marred. And for many a long day her little daughter had wondered what was the meaning of these repulsive hands. At last she said to her: "Mother, I love your face, and I love your eyes and your hair, they are so beautiful. But I cannot love your hands, they are so ugly." And then the mother told her about her hands: how ten years ago the house had taken fire, and how the nursery upstairs was in a blaze, and how she had rushed to the cradle and snatched the baby from it, and how her hands from that hour had been destroyed. And the baby saved was her little listening daughter. And then the daughter kissed the shapeless hands (that she used to shrink from, before she knew their story), and she said: "Mother, I love your face and your eyes and your hair; but I love your hands now best of all."


May today be the day we understand why the suffering and death on the cross by Jesus. May we come to see more clearly that it was out of tender love that He suffered and died, and through that knowledge may we be continually transformed so that we would have the heart that he has for all.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 24 Apr 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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He has overcome the world 5.1.2016
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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The Lawry Kilpela family as they grieve but yet rejoice in Lawry's being called home.