TLO Disciple
July 2016--Freedom

Pastor's Message 

Dear Friends in Christ,
This month's TLO Disciple focus is Freedom.
This month our nation celebrates the 240th anniversary of the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  Every person is subject to two kingdoms, one spiritual and the other earthly.  As believers in Christ we have been set free from the dominion of Satan by grace.  We belong to the kingdom of Christ.  Our citizenship is in heaven.  By faith we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ who has freed us from sin, death and the devil through the Gospel.  We live under him in his kingdom and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness, now and for eternity.  As we celebrate the blessing and freedoms we enjoy won for us by Jesus, we are simultaneously citizens of this nation subject to the authority of the leaders of this country.  The Word of God and our heavenly citizenship does not exempt us from living as subjects to earthly government.  The freedoms that we have through the blood of Christ move us to live righteous lives as citizens of this country. 
Let us thank our Lord for freedom.
Pastor James Kroonblawd

Called to Responsible Citizenship

"Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people."  1 Peter 2:13-15
Every day there seem to be new challenges facing our nation.  These challenges press us all the more to show love toward our neighbor with whom we journey in this life.  Christians should do everything in our power as law-abiding citizens to promote the welfare of our country serving our neighbor in responsible citizenship for the common good.
To be a responsible citizen we are called to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God to the things that are God's.  It is our civic duty to pay our taxes, to not sit at home but to vote for people, state and local ballot initiatives and city referendums.  We are to teach our children the history of the nation, including where our nation has turned from God's will.  It is our responsibility to speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves and engage in the public square.  And as best we can to show forth the light of God's love and not break God's law.
To be a responsible citizen is to join in prayer for our nation's leaders, the President, the Congress, the Governor, our state legislature, judges, mayors and all levels of civil servants, elected, appointed and career diplomats.  We pray for their faithfulness and wisdom as they make and administer laws.  That they might act mercy and justice as they fulfill their public office.
To be a responsible citizen we pray for our military and those who defend our freedoms and that the Lord would thwart the plans of those who plot evil; That the Lord will defend the defenseless, protect the widows, orphans and those who are vulnerable; Give success to those who have taken up the cause of the unborn; And that the Lord would our nation would protect the rights of all without calling what is evil good and good evil.


From Martin Luther

This is the most genuine freedom; it is immeasurable. When the other kinds of freedom-political freedom and the freedom of the flesh-are compared with the greatness and the glory of this kind of freedom, they hardly amount to one little drop. For who can express what a great gift it is for someone to be able to declare for certain that God neither is nor ever will be wrathful but will forever be a gracious and merciful Father for the sake of Christ? It is surely a great and incomprehensible freedom to have this Supreme Majesty kindly disposed toward us, protecting and helping us, and finally even setting us free physically in such a way that our body, which is sown in perishability, in dishonor, and in weakness, is raised in imperishability, in honor, and in power (1 Cor.  15:42-43). Therefore the freedom by which we are free of the wrath of God forever is greater than heaven and earth and all creation.
Martin Luther

A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to no one. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.
These two theses seem to contradict each other. If, however, they should be found to fit together they would serve our purpose beautifully. Both are Paul's own statements, who says in I Cor. 9[:19], "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all," and in Rom. 13[:8], "Owe no one anything, except to love one another." Love by its very nature is ready to serve and be subject to him who is loved. So Christ, although he was Lord of all, was "born of woman, born under the law" [Gal. 4:4], and therefore was at the same time a free man and a servant, "in the form of God" and "of a servant" [Phil. 2:6-7].
Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian, 1520

In this five-session, video-based study from RightNow Media, Lorie shares her story of struggle. Teenagers running from God, addiction, hopelessness and fear - what was happening to her family? Feeling attacked by the enemy, without fully knowing how to respond, she describes this time as a wakeup call in her life. "Spiritual warfare was real and I wasn't prepared."
Lorie's dynamic teaching will take you on a journey to freedom, through powerful storytelling and teaching from God's Word. She will equip you to face 4 tactics of the enemy and provide you with powerful weapons of warfare to engage in battle, so that you too can FIND FREEDOM....right in the middle of the battle you are facing! 
Click here to view!
From God's Word 

"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God."    1 Peter  2:16

More from Martin Luther

"Who can understand the riches of the glory of this grace? Here this rich and divine bridegroom Christ marries this poor, wicked harlot, redeems her from all her evil, and adorns her with all his goodness. Her sins cannot now destroy her, since they are laid upon Christ and swallowed up by him. And she has that righteousness in Christ, her husband, of which she may boast as of her own and which she can confidently display alongside her sins in the face of death and hell and say, 'If I have sinned, yet my Christ, in whom I believe, has not sinned, and all his is mine and all mine is his.'"
Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian

Free To Be Faithful

In response to increasing intrusions by government in the realm of the church, the LCMS launched its "Free to be Faithful" campaign in September 2012 to educate and move people to take informed action to protect religious freedom and stay informed on the cultural issues that pertain to it: confessing the faith in the public square, marriage, defending the sanctity of human life and related issues.

Helpful resources




Editor's note
TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month.  Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at 651-454-7235 or the Church Office via email.

Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month.   Click here for the June 29 issue.  This publication is also mailed upon request.
Soli Deo gloria

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