Does Jesus Care?
Devotion for April 2021
On February 21st this year, Pastor sang the favorite hymn, “Does Jesus Care” by Pastor Frank E. Graeff (1860 – 1919) which was written in 1900. The story behind the hymn is as follows:
The Graeffs had a beautiful young girl. As the custom of the day, ladies wore floor length dresses. Their home was heated with fireplaces or wood burning stoves. Their daughter got too close to the fireplace and her long skirt caught on fire. The fire consumed her clothing rapidly; nothing could be done and she was burned to death.
Pastor Graeff was overcome with grief, as we can imagine. His thoughts of turmoil and sadness reminded him of the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” written by J. Scriven 75 years earlier. He found himself dropping to his knees. The Lord revived him and Pastor Graeff went on to be called the “Sunshine Minister” of the Philadelphia area.
Yes, Jesus Christ was his only hope and answer for eternity as He is ours also!
Oh YES, He cares! I know He cares. His heart is touched
with my grief; When the days are weary, the long nights dreary; I know my savior cares.”
The information about Pastor Graeff was from the nickelnotesblogspot.com and the Family Bible Time –- you-tube.
cms / St. Petrie
March, 2021, Devotions
Who was Wm. Tyndale?
Wm. Tyndale was the first person to translate the Bible into the English language. He also was the first to use the newly invented Gutenberg’s movable type press to print the scriptures. You might ask the question, “Why is this fact important?” Perhaps, we would not have had the early texts done at the important times in history for the great theologians. Even King Henry the VIII who had opposed Tyndale published the Great Bible three years after his death in 1539.
While reading an article written by Tyndale, I was impressed with his zeal for his beliefs in God. Do I have that kind of zeal for Jesus? Do I worry too much about tomorrow? The Bible says, “not to worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phillippians4:6,7) That is a promise.
Wm. Tyndale believed in the desire for people to have that eternal confidence and so we should. We will not be burned at the stake as he was for his faith. Jesus died for our sins, rose again from the grave and yes, He’s coming again. By faith let Him be your Savior for all eternity from today and always.
God’s Word is Our Great Heritage And shall be ours forever; To spread its light from age to age Shall be our chief endeavor…. Throughout all generations. ~Nikolai Grundtvig
cms / St. Petrie
The Glass Beach February 2021
There is a beach near Fort Bragg, California covered with smooth colored pieces of glass and pottery. Between 1905 and 1967 it was an active dump for garbage. In 1967 it was closed. Pounding waves broke down the glass and pottery into small, smooth pieces that came back on shore often in jewelry quality – hence “Glass Beach.”
Don’t you sometimes feel like that piece of glass on Glass Beach before it is refined? You are broken and rough – not good for much of anything. How can you be like that smooth, beautiful piece of glass and be at peace in your heart and soul?
You can’t do this yourself? Prayerfully, turn your eyes on Jesus and look to God’s Son right now. Put your faith in Him. He loves you so much. Jesus forgives all your sins. Yes, He died for you on the old rugged cross – yes, He died for you and arose three days later to take away your sins. As you yield to Jesus, He takes the sharp edges and shapes us all to be more like Him.
Just ask Him into your heart. He will begin to smooth off the rough edges in your life, keep refining you, loving you and staying with you forever and ever.
Romans 10:9 NIV “If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord. And believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
cms / St. Petrie
There is a simple New Year’s Resolution and one that you may find easy to keep. Every morning ask Jesus to put a hymn or song of His into your heart and mind to begin the day. He will do it. Once in a while I wonder what the song is, but I just ask and one comes to mind! Sometimes, there is more than one!
For example, songs or hymns like Jesus Loves Me, Sweet Hour of Prayer, Lord, You’re Beautiful, He Is Lord, In My Heart There Rings a Melody, or Hallelujah come to mind. If you want, you can share your song and bless others – don’t keep your light under a bushel! Matthew 5:15*
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait until tomorrow morning. Start right now and ask the Lord for a song that honors Him. Then, you will be ready for another hymn tomorrow!
*Matthew5:15 (KJV) Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
St. Petrie/ cms
December 2020 Devotions:
A Child Is Born
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace .”
(Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)
Quote that verse as you go through the Christmas Season. There are many things that take your mind off the reason for the season, but do they really need to distract you?
As you go shopping, decorate, bake, visit friends and enjoy all the activities for the holidays, just ask Christ to keep His birthday at the center of all these things. As you enjoy your family, children or even grandchildren, remind them of how much you love them and how much the baby born in a stable loves them. Jesus protects them every day and He arose from the grave and promises to be in our hearts if we ask him. Do you know folks who are miserable? Well, life may not be fantastic all the time, but with Jesus it is worth it for we can know our eternal destiny.
Have a joyful, peaceful “Christ”mas.
We care so if you need a place to celebrate Jesus’ birth, visit us this December.
cms / St. Petrie
October Devotions 2020: THE CROSS
The cross is the symbol of our Christian Faith. Without what Jesus did by dying on the cross for our sins we would not have eternal life. Being a good person or giving a large sum of money to help others or trying to live a moral life are fine things to do, but nothing you can do will be enough to assure you a place in heaven. We have all sinned. God sent His only son that whosoever believes in Him will have life forever. God did not send His only son, Jesus, into the world to condemn the world but that through Him, we might be saved. (from John 3:16,17) All those good deeds are fine and we will want to do them when we believe. Most importantly, we want others to see their need to know Jesus and believe in Him as their Savior.
Have you thought you could get to heaven without the CROSS? My friend, you are mistaken. Come to Jesus. His love is there for you. Life is not perfect. Ask Him to help you along this way in life and He will. You have to believe in Him. Please sincerely have faith in Him.
Call us at 815 246 9890. If we aren’t there at that very moment, leave a message, and we promise to get back with you!
Your friends at St. Petrie Lutheran
The Hearer & The Doer September, 2020
James 1: 22-24 says: But be doers of the word (Bible), and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”
I forget to be a “doer” when my prayer and Bible reading time with Jesus are neglected and I try to do something in my own strength. I get lazy or too self-sufficient. I have forgotten Ephesians 2:8,9 where I am saved by grace and it’s a free gift of God and not of works lest any man should boast. Jesus reminds me to look in the mirror of His image and be filled with His Holy Spirit to be a truly effective “doer.”
Verse 25 of James 1 completes the focus on Jesus whose death and resurrection for my sins personally gives me that eternal hope of heaven.
“But the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
September is the time for school to begin. May it be your time to begin anew to “do” His will and learn to lean on Him for everything.
Proverbs 3:5,6 July, 2020
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths.”
As we celebrate the birth of our nation this month, may we lean on the everlasting arms of Almighty God in our personal lives as well as offer prayers for our country. As the old hymn by Helen Lemmel says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Look to the Lord for the future and not just for quick fixes.
What really does matter? Bottom Line – It’s Jesus Christ –embracing Him as your Savior and sticking close to Him.
He promises to always be with us!
On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 PM, an iceberg scraped the ship’s starboard side of the famous Titanic ripping open six water-tight compartments. By 2:20AM the next morning the ship sank with 712 saved in life boats and 1,522 dying in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
One well-known pastor was aboard on his way back for a return preaching engagement at the Moody Church in Chicago accompanied by his six year old daughter. John Harper was a man on fire for Christ and had a burden for souls. During those final minutes in the cold water, John was near a man on a board drifting and asked him if he was saved? The man said “no” and Harper shouted from the Bible: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” The man drifted out of sight. Later, the man came back into sight and Harper asked him the question again, “Are you saved?” The man said “no” and so John repeated Acts 16:31. Before he could hear the man’s answer, drowning Harper slipped into his watery grave, but the man put his faith in Christ. Later the survivor said that he was the pastor’s last convert.
John Harper may not have seen his little girl grow up, but his zeal for Christ was part of his life up to the end. Do we have that zeal? Ask Jesus to give us more of that desire to be His Light and guess what, He will!
The Information about Pastor Harper was from pages 16-25 of the book, “The Titanic’s Last Hero” by Moody Adams, the Olive Press.)
Be Prepared Recently, I attended a church service where Jesus Christ was said to be the Son Of God who loves everyone and forgives their sins. However, knowing Christ personally was not mentioned.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”, John 14:6. Calling yourself a Christian is more than just going to church and being a good person. You need to accept Jesus into your heart and life.
For 25 years, I thought that I was a good person and that was my ticket to heaven. Then I read in the Bible that there is only one way to Heaven and that is through the shed blood of Jesus. Good works cannot save you! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Trust Jesus Christ today! Here’s what you must do:
- Admit that you are a sinner. (Romans 3:23)
- Be willing to turn from sin (repent). (Luke 13:5)
- Believe that Jesus died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead. (John 3:16)
4.Through prayer, ”For it is with your mouth that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:10)
What to pray:
Dear God: I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and died on the cross for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I believe by faith that you saved me and that Jesus is now my personal Savior. Amen
~CMS May 2020