Sola Publishing News and Feedback [Sola Devotions series] http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/feed.html?series=1 News, devotions and feedback blog for Sola Publishing en-us Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1499.html Fri, 03 Apr 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 20 The one among the servants of Pharaoh who revered the word of the Lord made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses. 21 And the one who had no regard for the word of the Lord left his servants and his livestock in the field. (Exodus 9:20–21)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

How can bodily eating and drinking produce such great benefits?

It is not the eating and drinking alone, but also the words that accompany it, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” These words, together with the eating and drinking, are the chief thing in the Sacrament, and those who believe them have what they say and declare, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

Pulling It Together: Be sure you do not get caught out in the field with your cattle. God’s forgiveness is abundantly available—even to pharaohs, even to sinners. Just come in from the storm. This is a helpful way to think of the Sacrament. We have no problem thinking of Baptism in this way, for we are often heard to remind each other, “Remember your baptism.” In doing so, we call each other back in to the house of God. The Sacrament of the Altar is also a home-calling. Those who revere his word and fear his wrath will come in from the field of death to eat and drink at the table of grace and life. Those who have no regard for the word of the Lord, stay in the open field of their sin. Meanwhile, unseen in the spiritual backdrop, hail and rain thunder down upon them.

Remember the mercy and grace of God. Come in from the field of your sins.

Prayer: O Lord, give me a greater regard for your word. Amen.

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Living Faith, a Believer's Guide to Growing in Christ is a discipleship resource based on Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. This 12-part Bible study by Pastor Brack East is designed to help individuals grow more deeply into a living faith in Jesus, while interacting with other believers in a life-to-life setting of three or four people. Such settings around the Word of God have proven to be part of the workshop of the Holy Spirit, and Luther’s Small Catechism has stood the test of time as a reliable guide to growing in faith. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1498.html Thu, 02 Apr 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same likeness from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

It is pointed out in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Through these words the forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the Sacrament, for where there is forgiveness of sin, there is also life and salvation.

Pulling It Together: Holy Communion is a turning to the Lord (2 Cor 3:16), and in it, we behold his glory. Furthermore, the table is a sort of mirror in which we may begin to behold ourselves as God sees us. He is remaking us, bit by bit, “with ever-increasing glory” (NIV), transforming us into the Lord’s likeness. Now, this has been God’s intention since creation (Gen 1:26–28), but sin spoiled humankind. Nevertheless, God is determined to fulfill his creative work, despite sin and the devil. Spread before us all, unveiled and in plain view, God is working through faith in Word and Sacrament. Behold! The glory of the Lord is for you.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for not giving up on me. Amen.

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Through 48 daily reflections, Christ in Me celebrates God's deep desire and his amazing plan for all who believe in His Son-transformation from the inside out. Jesus lives in us, and it is he who proclaims who we are. When we entrust ourselves to his care, we experience fullness of life in him, even as we grow in his character. And, in faith, we rejoice in the presence of God, for we are as welcome there as the sinless Savior who made us his own.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1497.html Wed, 01 Apr 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God in them who are saved, and in them who perish— 16 to one an odor of death to death, to the other an aroma of life to life. And who is adequate for these things? (2 Corinthians 2:15–16)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

It is pointed out in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Through these words the forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the Sacrament, for where there is forgiveness of sin, there is also life and salvation.

Pulling It Together: What a pleasing fragrance arises to God when his church believes the gospel by eating and drinking in remembrance of Christ Jesus. The aroma of our witness extends horizontally as well (1 Co 11:26). It touches the lives of others because the smell of Christ is in our eating and drinking. Of course, this is true because we are communing on Christ himself. But it is also true because the faith to do so is initiated by the Spirit of Christ within us. Jesus is the competency or adequacy of our table testimony. Holy Communion is Jesus Christ through and through, and because of that, a profound witness to himself until he comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

Prayer: I will depend upon you, Lord, to be the sufficiency of my witness for you. Amen.

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At a time when the Word of God is casually avoided or actively silenced, it is more important than ever to stress the power of at work when God speaks. This book not only reminds preachers of the importance of proclamation, it help lay readers to know what to listen for. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1496.html Tue, 31 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh; for by a strong hand he will let them go, and by a forceful power he will drive them out of his land.” (Exodus 6:1)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

It is pointed out in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Through these words the forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the Sacrament, for where there is forgiveness of sin, there is also life and salvation.

Pulling It Together: The Lord is still driving us out of the land of slavery, not a three-day journey (Ex 5:3), but a full six days into the wilderness, to feast with the Lord. At his holy table, we see the power of God’s hand at work, always moving us out of the wily pharaoh’s land of sin, and into the graceland of Christ Jesus. In the Sacrament, the Lord gives us forgiveness of sins, and in doing so, eternal life and salvation.

Prayer: Remove us from this land of isolation, Lord, that we may go into your wilderness and feast. Amen.

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In the Luther Household is a six-session Bible study on the Lutheran understanding of marriage and family. Based on foundational texts from Scripture, the study also draws from the real-life experience of Martin and Katie Luther, who were not only husband and wife, but the parents of several children. It includes excerpts from Luther's personal writings to family and friends as they faced the good and bad that come in everyday living. Some pastors use this study in marriage counseling.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1494.html Mon, 30 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 30 And Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped. (Exodus 4:30–31)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Where is this written?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul say:

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: “Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

Pulling It Together: I remember so many Sundays about 40 years ago, when I remained in the pew, trying to decide if I was ready to receive Holy Communion. Was I penitent enough, devoted, pious, holy? Was there someone else I needed to speak with, to clear up some hurt? I was never sure of any of these things, so there I sat, not daring to eat or drink because I did not feel ready, and that I might eat and drink condemnation upon myself (1 Cor 11:29).

When I consider the spiritual conditions of those first disciples, they too, were they to rely upon their feelings, would never have dared to obey the Lord’s command: eat, drink. The Hebrew children in the wilderness are another example. Before their considerations were God’s word and signs. “And the people believed” (Exodus 4:31). If they relied on their fluctuating feelings, they too could not have believed.

Before us are both word and signs. Take and eat. Drink. Here are the signs: bread and wine, body and blood. These are all we need to believe and obey.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

 

My New Bible is a five-session study for use in Sunday School at the presentation of the Holy Scriptures to elementary students. It introduces them to the layout and contents of their new Bible, shows them how to identify books and find verses, and gives them an overview of the major parts of Scripture.

 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1495.html Mon, 30 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 30 And Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped. (Exodus 4:30–31)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Where is this written?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul say:

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: “Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

Pulling It Together: I remember so many Sundays about 40 years ago, when I remained in the pew, trying to decide if I was ready to receive Holy Communion. Was I penitent enough, devoted, pious, holy? Was there someone else I needed to speak with, to clear up some hurt? I was never sure of any of these things, so there I sat, not daring to eat or drink because I did not feel ready, and that I might eat and drink condemnation upon myself (1 Cor 11:29).

When I consider the spiritual conditions of those first disciples, they too, were they to rely upon their feelings, would never have dared to obey the Lord’s command: eat, drink. The Hebrew children in the wilderness are another example. Before their considerations were God’s word and signs. “And the people believed” (Exodus 4:31). If they relied on their fluctuating feelings, they too could not have believed.

Before us are both word and signs. Take and eat. Drink. Here are the signs: bread and wine, body and blood. These are all we need to believe and obey.

Prayer: Lord, help me ignore my feelings, and focus on your word. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

My New Bible is a five-session study for use in Sunday School at the presentation of the Holy Scriptures to elementary students. It introduces them to the layout and contents of their new Bible, shows them how to identify books and find verses, and gives them an overview of the major parts of Scripture.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1493.html Fri, 27 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger imiage

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From the Word: And a cloud happened to overshadow them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” (Mark 9:7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Where is this written?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul say:

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: “Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

Pulling It Together: Oh, that we would listen to Jesus.

I once knew a brother in a congregation who would walk straight out of church as soon as he had communed. Singing a final hymn of edification to his sisters and brothers was of no importance to him. Nor was any more of God’s Word in benediction and blessing, let alone even the briefest period of fellowship following the service.

Nonetheless, I would have him a thousand times over those who ignore the benefits of Holy Communion altogether. I have known hundreds of people who claim Christ as Lord but ignore his command to eat and drink.

Do not listen to any voice that would keep you away from Communion. It is the command of your Lord. “Take and eat.” Listen to Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, open my heart so that I would heed your voice. Amen.

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The Lord's Prayer workbook is a ten-week unit, which includes one session on the Introduction, one for each of the Petitions, and a one-session Conclusion. The Scripture focus in the Lord's Prayer unit in the Sola Confirmation Series is on the Parables of Jesus, with Bible Study lessons taken from the Gospels.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1492.html Thu, 26 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Pulling It Together: I do not intend for us to understand this verse as being about Holy Communion. Obviously, it is about Baptism. Yet, there is relationship between the Sacraments, at least in Spirit and Word. Because all of us who have been baptized have been caused to drink of the one Spirit, we are all remade or rebirthed into the family of God. The drinking at our baptisms was done once. Now, we are to drink at God’s table often. And we are accepted at the King’s table because of this familial bond, our blood relationship. So, the Spirit within us, whom we received in Baptism (Acts 2:38), uses the Word to call us all to the feast of grace.

Prayer: Open my ears, Lord, so that I would open my mouth at your table. Amen.

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Examining Our Core Beliefs explains in straight-forward terms, the core of what we believe—from a biblical, theological, historical, and confessional point of view. A 30-page study guide is included in the back of the book. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1491.html Wed, 25 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and had but one loaf with them in the boat. (Mark 8:14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Pulling It Together: One wonders if John Mark wrote this verse with tongue in cheek, or if Peter had told him the story with a wry tone at the memory. The disciples were worried about bread for their bellies, while they had the One Loaf to share as they sailed.

I write this in week three of social distancing because of the coronavirus. At times like this, we see how much we are like those disciples of old. We may be more concerned for our bellies than they were. Reports of empty grocery store shelves permeate the social media feeds. Whether they are actually empty or not, it shows our ever-present worry over food. The last time I was at the biggest grocery in town, they had scads of bread. It was all of one brand and kind—evidently the one that no one likes—but there were many loaves nonetheless.

So, here I sit “in my boat” with the One Loaf to share with my wife—and with you. It is not the loaf I purchased from the grocer but “food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27).

Prayer: Break the Bread of Life with me, Lord, as you did with your disciples. Amen.

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The Sacraments is a ten-week study, including sessions on Baptism, Communion, and the Office of the Keys. The Bible Study lessons in the Sacraments unit of the Sola Confirmation Series emphasize the connection between Old and New Testaments, by drawing on sacramental themes foreshadowed in familiar Old Testament stories, and how the promises of God "for you" are expressed and fulfilled in Christ.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1490.html Tue, 24 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also passed on to you, that on the night when he was handed over, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In like manner, he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23–26)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Pulling It Together: This is how Jesus established his holy meal, and this is how we pass it down, like Paul, from generation to generation. We receive from the Lord himself, his body and blood—his own precious life—in the elements of bread and wine. In eating and drinking with faith, we remember what he did and does for us, but also what he promised. Every time we commune, we remember to one another and to the generations that follow, that Jesus will return on that Day. And when he does, we will eat and drink with him in his kingdom (Matt 26:29; Luke 22:18). Blessed are they who have been invited to that banquet, a feast that we have already begun to eat and drink (Rev 19:6).

Prayer: I will remember you, Lord, so that others may remember you. Amen.

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The Apostles' Creed book is a ten-week unit, with one session on the Trinity and three sessions on each article of the Creed. The Bible Study lessons in the Creed unit of the Sola Confirmation Series provide an overview of creation-redemption themes in Scripture, driving toward the promise of God at work in our present lives. Click here to see the introductory pages and a sample of session one.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1489.html Mon, 23 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not fellowship in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Pulling It Together: When we share in Holy Communion, we are receiving the true body and blood of Jesus Christ. We are not simply receiving bread and wine that we eat in memory of what Christ did for us. Now, that is certainly true, but there is more to it than our grateful remembrance. Making it a point to remember Jesus in the Lord’s Supper is something that we do. But what truly happens in the holy meal is something that God does, as of course, it must be. It is a sharing in his blood—not a distribution of wine. Communion is fellowship in his body—not a serving of bread. Paul shows us what this bread and wine truly is, when it is received with faith in Christ’s words of promise. “This is my body” (Matt 26:26). “This is my blood…” (Matt 26:28). 

As Holy Communion is fellowship in Christ’s true body and blood, it is life and grace for those who believe, eat, and drink. It is a communion because we are many who share in it. It is holy, because it is something God does in all of us when the bread and wine are mingled with faith. He gives us himself and therefore, the full measure of his grace: the forgiveness of our sins (Matt 26:28).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, by your grace, cause me to grow in your life and will. Amen.

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The Ten Commandments book is a ten-week unit, which includes one session on each of the Commandments. The Scripture focus is on Moses and the Exodus Cycle, with Bible study lessons taken primarily from the Pentateuch.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1488.html Fri, 20 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 48 And seeing that they were struggling to row, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night, he came to them, walking on the sea. And he wanted to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea, they supposed it was an apparition, and cried out. 50 For they all saw him, and were afraid. But immediately, he spoke with them, and said, “Be courageous; it is I. Do not be afraid.” (Mark 6:48–50)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Pulling It Together: Jesus reveals his divine power at times when those in need may apprehend. He speaks to peace of heart, saying, be not afraid, grab some courage. This word is always predicated on the fact that he is present. When the disciples were in danger of being swamped on the sea, he said it: “Take heart” (ESV). He spoke to a paralyzed man: “Take courage” (NASB). He told a hemorrhaging woman, “Be of good cheer” (ASV). He speaks to us too. ”I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We may take heart because our courage and peace is found in Christ. When our sins would swamp us, when our transgressions might paralyze us with a fear of divine wrath, when our lives have brought us to moments of desperation, we come to the blessed table, and know that Christ is with us. His body is given to us; his blood is shed for us. He is within us, giving hope of glory instead of fear of damnation (Col 1:27). Take courage: eat. Be of good cheer: drink. Have peace—the transcending peace of Christ (Phil 4:7).  

Prayer: Give me your peace, Lord, through faith in your presence. Amen.

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A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is a new, advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series, of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.

• Part 1  • Leader's Guide  • Part 2  • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1487.html Thu, 19 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And everyone ate and they were satisfied. (Mark 6:34)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Pulling It Together: Jesus fed people throughout his ministry. I have a feeling that he fed people far more often than Scripture chronicles. The recorded cases were miraculous in nature, a little going a long way. In today’s larger pericope (Mark 6:30–46), he fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Not only were 5,000 men fed, they were stuffed.

Jesus is still feeding people today, and in a miraculous way. He takes something much smaller than a loaf, and far less ample than a bottle, and fills us to the point of satisfaction. A bit of bread so small that we refer to it as a wafer, and a mere sip of wine amount to a meal, a supper. The whole church on earth communes around this holy meal, and is filled. We are satisfied because what fills us is not just bread and wine, but the true body and blood of Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Give me such faith, Lord, that I may be content with you. Amen.

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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1486.html Wed, 18 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: But be careful that this right of yours does not somehow become a cause of sin to the weak. (1 Corinthians 8:9)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should acknowledge ourselves guilty of all kinds of sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. To the confessor (pastor), however, we should confess only those sins which we know and which trouble us.

Pulling It Together: Sometimes, it is when we imagine ourselves most right, that we may be very wrong. In today’s larger reading (1 Cor 8:1–13), Paul discusses Christian freedoms or rights, the liberties and privileges we have in Christ. He uses eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols as an example. A Christian may eat these foods without damaging her own conscience. However, doing so may damage a weaker believer’s conscience. So, we must be careful that our freedoms do not cause a weaker sister or brother in the faith to stumble, or even fall away from faith. We may be looking to the grace of Christ while they are still looking at laws.

This is tricky business, a fine line of exercising our rights while protecting the fragile faith of another. When we do not consider the latter, we sin, as we have become the cause of their sin. In self-examination, we ought to discover such truths about ourselves—and confess these sins too. We may be right, that these are Christian freedoms, while at the same time, be wrong in exercising them sometimes because they are a cause of sin for others.

Prayer: Open my eyes and heart, Lord, that I may be as concerned for others as I am for myself. 

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Connections Magazine features articles that connect Lutherans to the Word. Martin Luther's Small Catechism provides inspiration for confessional, biblical content, delivered in a stylish, readable design. Subscribe today.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1485.html Tue, 17 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And they departed and preached that people should repent. (Mark 6:12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should acknowledge ourselves guilty of all kinds of sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. To the confessor (pastor), however, we should confess only those sins which we know and which trouble us.

Pulling It Together: The old proclamation of the twelve disciples still has legs. Even now, they go from house to house, urging us to repent. Have we failed God in the light of any of his commandments? Of course, we have. Confess it and be done with it. I say, “be done with it,” in the sense of no longer dodging the fact of your sin, or groaning under its weight of guilt. Be done with it so that you may walk out into the light of day to be obedient, faithful, industrious, joyous, loyal, encouraging, and kind.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, so that I may live for you. Amen.

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We live in a culture in which "knowing" is frequently associated with an accumulation of details and facts. But what is the meaning of "knowing" in the terms of a close relationship with our heavenly Father? The objective of this The Ultimate Intinmacy is learning that knowing the Father is not so much about details and facts as it is realizing the various ways the Lord has to make himself known to us in a personal way. The result is that each day and moment become a marvelous, mysterious adventure of experiencing his great love for us.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1484.html Mon, 16 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came fearing and trembling, and bowed down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction." (Mark 5:33–34)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should acknowledge ourselves guilty of all kinds of sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. To the confessor (pastor), however, we should confess only those sins which we know and which trouble us.

Pulling It Together: Who was this woman, so afflicted that she hemorrhaged for a dozen years? She would have felt unclean and, no doubt, been considered unclean by others. After twelve years, she was used to people keeping their distance. Yet, she dared to approach Jesus.

What afflicts you? What have you wrestled with all these years? Come near the Lord. Approach with the faith of that woman. Dare to reach out to the one who saves.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, a sinner. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Personalities of Faith is a ten-session Bible study for youth. The goal of the series is to encourage young people to commit themselves to follow Jesus in discipleship by becoming "personalities of faith." By showing biblical examples of people who have followed—or failed to follow—God's call, participants will be prepared to better follow the Lord in their own lives.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1483.html Fri, 13 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 39 And he awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace; be still.” And the wind abated, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said to them, “Why are you frightened? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:39–40)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should acknowledge ourselves guilty of all kinds of sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. To the confessor (pastor), however, we should confess only those sins which we know and which trouble us.

Pulling It Together: The storms of life howl upon us, and we are frightened. The obvious example, at the moment, is the coronavirus. We shrink before the tempest, yet muster enough courage to rush out and purchase more toilet paper, soap, and sanitizer than we could use in a month of Sundays. Meanwhile, God is in our boat; Jesus is right here with us.

Now, that does not mean we should not take precautions, that we should not be sensible. It does mean, however, that we should not panic. God cares about our situation (Mark 4:38). But there is another situation that Jesus cares about as much as the storm. He cares about our faith. Have we still no faith? Can we trust God through these times? Perhaps the sin we should be confessing is lack of faith—not a trust that God will wipe out the virus, but that he would calm the storm, the one that rages within us.

Prayer: Use the storm, Jesus, to increase my faith in you. Amen.

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Why Did Jesus Have to Die? is a six-week Bible Study that examines the most profound event of salvation history — the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the Atonement.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1482.html Thu, 12 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? And you are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should acknowledge ourselves guilty of all kinds of sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. To the confessor (pastor), however, we should confess only those sins which we know and which trouble us.

Pulling It Together: We are united with the Lord, and by his grace made one spirit with him (1 Cor 6:17). Therefore, we should take special care not to sin, as our sins are really sins against the Lord, since we are one with him. Yet, sin we will because we exist in two realities: the natural and the spiritual. We must not fall prey to the idea that we are now completely spiritual and that we therefore, cannot sin. We can; we do. And this, the Christian, because she is spiritual, acknowledges. Knowing she is not her own anymore, that she is bought with the price of a Savior’s sacrifice, she repents and confesses, expecting the forgiveness of a loving Father.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for forgiving me all of my sins—even that one. Amen.

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By What Authority is a book that confronts churches who no longer believe their own message. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1481.html Wed, 11 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And some of you were such. But you were washed; you were sanctified; you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should acknowledge ourselves guilty of all kinds of sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. To the confessor (pastor), however, we should confess only those sins which we know and which trouble us.

Pulling It Together: Like Joseph’s brothers, we must confess, “In truth we are guilty” (Gen 42:21). Ours may seem to us lesser or greater crimes. No matter. We are guilty. We are guilty of “all kinds of sins”—even sins “of which we are not aware.” Like Luther once did, we could spend hours each day, confessing the assorted sins we commit. So, which of these many sins should we confess?

We may confess our sins to God, repent, and be done with the matter. However, some sins plague us, as their sin against Joseph dogged his brothers. Confess such sins and hear the Lord’s forgiveness announced through your pastor or confessor. Each of us needs to do this, for each of us has been unrighteous, and the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9). But Christians are now in his kingdom where we acknowledge our sins, confess them, and firmly believe God forgives, and furthermore, makes repentant sinners righteous.

Prayer: Forgive me my trespasses, Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

    

Today, the reliability of the Gospel is questioned or denied by many voices, inside and outside the Church. But if we, as Christians, have only "hoped" in Christ, and do not see Him as reliable, then we are "most to be pitied." The Reliability of the Gospel by As We Go Ministries examines the reliability of central claims of the Christian faith, including the truth of Scripture, the promise of the Gospel, and the certainty of Christ's death and resurrection for our sake. 

The series requires the accompanying video DVD featuring the pastors of Faith Lutheran Church, in Hutchinson, Minnesota: the Rev. Scott Grorud and the Rev. David Wollan. 

Click the thumbnails for product descriptions and ordering details. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1480.html Tue, 10 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 28 Truly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they swear. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin. (Mark 3:28–29)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What is Confession?

Confession consists of two parts. One is that we confess our sins and the other is that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor as from God himself, in no way doubting, but firmly believing that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Imagine a person who goes to church and thinks, I do not need to confess my sins because I am a good person. It is easy enough to imagine a person like this outside the church, but they exist inside the church too. They go to church every Sunday, thinking that is what good, moral people do. These people have been duped—fooled by themselves and the devil too. They believe there is no room for God’s grace, or at best, just a little bit of it, perhaps a small religious dose of grace here and there. A Christian will not have this, cannot stand for it.

It is either all God’s grace, for the Christian, or nothing. They come to church, knowing they are sinners, and confessing it (Luke 18:13). There is complete forgiveness for these sinners, no matter the sins they commit. But for that person who says, I’m good enough. I am a moral person and my good deeds have made up for any bad things, there is no grace at all. This is the blasphemy against God that cannot be forgiven. For it is nothing else than unbelief, a shunning of Christ and his benefits. The one thing God cannot forgive is a person who believes in himself so much that he will not believe in God.

Make no mistake; belief is more than assent to a knowledge of God. Real faith also acknowledges one’s need for God.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, a sinner who needs you. Amen.

 

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Not My Will, But Yours is a six-week study that explores the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1479.html Mon, 09 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: For the kingdom of God is not in talk, but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What is Confession?

Confession consists of two parts. One is that we confess our sins and the other is that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor as from God himself, in no way doubting, but firmly believing that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Is the power of God at work in you? God forbid that it is only talk, just religion. The power of God’s kingdom has accompanying signs. These are not the sort of signs one finds in the world; they are God signs, signals of an unfamiliar power. The power at work in his kingdom turns the world upside-down, and all of its reason with it. You will look weak and foolish to an outsider, a worldly person. But the kingdom person knows this supposed weakness is really strength (2 Cor 12:9).

Just so, the power of God produces things that seem strange and foolish and weak in the world’s estimation. The power of God, if it is working within you, produces faith and hope and love. It produces a powerful faith that hopes when it feels like there is no hope (Rom 4:18), that trusts God to the point one may even love their enemies (Luke 6:35). This is weakness to the world but it is real power because it is trusting God, instead of self.

Therefore, if the power of God is at work in you, it will produce confession of sin. Confession is a supernatural work that trusts in God instead of self. Confession and firm belief in God’s forgiveness is the very power of the gospel at work in you, a sure signal that Christ’s kingdom is here.

Prayer: Thy will be done, Lord. Amen.

 

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Come, Lord Jesus answers the many questions that arise when modern readers look into the book of Revelation. In this book readers will come to understand the first-century context in which Revelation was written—and readers will join the holy choir in looking forward to the fulfillment of God's plan, offering our own invitation: "Come, Lord Jesus."

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1478.html Fri, 06 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you supposes he is wise in this evil age, let him become foolish, that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What is Confession?

Confession consists of two parts. One is that we confess our sins and the other is that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor as from God himself, in no way doubting, but firmly believing that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Sometimes we think that if we try harder and work smarter, we will become good people. Then, a new day dawns and we discover we are still sinners. So, we read the Bible more, go to church every Lord’s Day, maybe even start attending a Bible study, give to missions, and donate to the food pantry, hoping our religious devotion will make us better. Somewhere in these efforts, we discern that our sinful nature is exceptionally persistent (Rom 7:15).

God forbid we should stop reading the Bible or giving to the poor, but the things we do are not means of grace. And grace is precisely what sinners need. So it remains to us to do good but depend upon God. This means confessing our sins and confidently believing God forgives us for Christ’s sake—not because of the good deeds we perform.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for forgiving me of all my sins. Amen.

 

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The Minor Prophets in Sola's "Old Places, New Faces" series is a twelve lesson study that peeks at each of the dozen books we call the minor prophets, books that are often forgotten or neglected. Yet, their messages are deeply relevant for today's believer. The prophetical books contain God's call upon His followers of every century. These exhortations are either calls to positive actions that honor God or warnings to stop attitudes and behaviors that dishonor Him. As we rediscover these profound words, we will be reminded of what it means to follow and obey God, as well as be challenged to live a life that glorifies God in greater and more significant ways.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1477.html Thu, 05 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Confession of Sin

What is Confession?

Confession consists of two parts. One is that we confess our sins and the other is that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor as from God himself, in no way doubting, but firmly believing that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Some people have a problem with one person forgiving the sins of another. This is largely because they do not understand whom it is who is actually doing the forgiving. For example, when a pastor stands before a congregation and announces that their sins are forgiven, he does so under the authority of another. When one absolves or acquits an individual or a group of people, it is actually Christ Jesus who is forgiving them. We announce the forgiveness of God under Christ’s authority.

It would be entirely foolish and arrogant for me to say, “Son, I forgive you for what you said to that man yesterday,” if I were doing so in my own authority. I have no authority in myself to forgive people for what they did not do to me. For example, I might say, “Child, I forgive you for hitting me,” but I would never say, “Child, I forgive you for hitting your sister.” Yet, I can and must say it, if called to do so for Christ, for he has the authority to do so on earth (Mark 2:10).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me of my sins. Amen.

 

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Where does the Bible come from? Who decided what should be included in it? How do we know it is reliable? Why should we even care what it says? And even if we do care, how can we make sense of of such a big and confusing book? Author and pastor Tom Hilpert takes readers on a journey of discovery through the world's best-selling and most-printed book. Written in clear, understandable language, Who Cares About the Bible? tackles the most important questions concerning this unique book. It is an excellent primer for anyone interested in what the Bible is, how to properly understand it, and how to deal with the vast amount of misleading information that has been spread about it.

We are currently out-of-stock but I just got off the phone with the author and he is sending us more.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1476.html Wed, 04 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: When Reuben returned to the pit he saw that Joseph was not in the pit. And he ripped his clothing. (Genesis 37:29)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

"The Daily Purpose of Baptism"

What is the significance of baptizing with water?

It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily repentance and sorrow for sin, and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

Saint Paul says in Romans: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Pulling It Together: Perhaps we can see in Joseph’s escape from the pit, a foreshadowing of Christian baptism. In baptism, God snatches us from death and the evil intentions of the devil—though, indeed, we die in that pit. Our birth nature, with its original sin, is left floating to the bottom of the font. Our friends and family look in the font and exclaim like Reuben, He is not there! Unlike Reuben and his brothers, however, we have no reason to fear. For God has promised rebirth in that Water through his life-giving Word. Though our old nature dies with Christ in baptism, he raises us from that pit to walk in his newness of life (Rom 6:8).

Prayer: On that last day, O Lord, raise me up with you, according to your will. Amen.

 

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In Prayer as Joy, Prayer as StruggleMark Braaten explores many types of prayer, including thanksgiving, confession, praise, wrestling, petition, intercession, listening, and hope. He also explores what it means when the answer to prayer is "no" and how we experience prayer in times of doubt. In each chapter, he uses and extended biblical example of prayer and also provides the text of prayers we can use in our own practice. For all who seek joy in prayer, even as we struggle, Braaten offers an engaging personal and pastoral reflection on the ways we pray.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1475.html Tue, 03 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 30 But because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31 And so, as it is written, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:30–31)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

"The Daily Purpose of Baptism"

What is the significance of baptizing with water?

It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily repentance and sorrow for sin, and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

Saint Paul says in Romans: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Pulling It Together: Sanctification or holiness is not something we do. Instead, Christ has become our sanctification. His righteousness is ours through faith. So is his sanctification and redemption. We do nothing to acquire these great things, except to believe. They are gifts of God because we are in Christ.

Knowing that sanctification is given by God, we should know that this new, holy nature comes forth every day from our baptisms. For baptism is not something done once, then forgotten about. Rather, baptism is done once, then remembered every day. We do well to remember daily what God has done, and is doing, in us: forgiving, perfecting, and sanctifying through Word and Sacrament all those who believe.

Prayer: Sanctify me, Lord, according to your Word. Amen.

 

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Exodus in Sola's "Old Places, New Faces" series is an adult Bible study that seeks to make the stories and places of the Bible a reality in our lives today. It makes the messages of Exodus relevant for today. This study relates to the Bible as a book that speaks clearly about present realities through stories of the past. Old places from within the Bible can come alive with present significance to new faces—us. 

Other books in the "Old Place, New Faces" series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1474.html Mon, 02 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: I baptize you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. (Mark 1:8)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

"The Daily Purpose of Baptism"

What is the significance of baptizing with water?

It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily repentance and sorrow for sin, and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

Saint Paul says in Romans: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Pulling It Together: Paul remarked how thankful he was that he personally baptized only a few, so that personality cults could not rise up around him (1 Cor 1:14–15). I used to think it was Pastor Chu who baptized me at St. Luke’s back in 1955, but then I read his obituary and discovered he was pastor there from 1960 until 1966. So, who was it who baptized me?

It was God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—who baptized me, no matter who the vicar was. God used a pastor, who vicariously poured water over me while proclaiming the words of promise. But it was God, through Word and Sacrament, who engulfed me into the life of Christ so that a new person would come forth in that infant life, and indeed, in all the days that lay ahead of him.

Prayer: Keep my old nature under the water, Lord, so that I may live in your righteousness. Amen.

 

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Luther's Small Cat: Learning the Ten Commandments teaches the Ten Commandments according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Third Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story which illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism Children's Version. Lessons emphasize a Lutheran understanding of God's Word as both Law and Gospel, calling for faithful obedience and showing the need for Christ's forgiveness and grace.

Teacher's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1469.html Thu, 27 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 25 Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 to present to himself a glorious church, without stain or blemish or any such thing, so that she would be holy and unblemished. (Ephesians 5:25–27)

From the Confessions: The Chief Articles of Faith in the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Church

Lutherans also teach that the one holy Church will continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the gospel is rightly taught and the sacraments are rightly administered.

For there to be true unity in the Church, it is enough to agree on the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. It is not necessary that human traditions like rites or ceremonies, that are institutions of men, should be the same everywhere. For Paul teaches, “One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all,” etc. (Eph 4:5-6)

Pulling It Together: The Lutherans may have seemed suspect to the Church in Rome because of their belief in justification by faith alone. Perhaps they were perceived as a group intent on destroying the Church. It was quite the opposite. Still, it begs the question: How would one go about destroying what Christ said he would build (Matt 16:18)? The Church has never been in our hands. We should rather think that because of Christ's word, the Church will “continue forever”—in spite of us. So, it becomes important for us to understand what the Church truly is.

Building on the confession of “the communion of saints” in the creed, and that God imputes righteousness through faith (Article IV), Melancthon is emboldened to state that the Church is a “congregation of saints.” Church is that assembly of all those whom Christ has made righteousness through his grace alone. Again, the Church is not in our hands. He makes his people saints without their assistance. But Church is not merely an assembly. Though we may do other things under the banner of “The Church,” we are not really the Church unless two things occur. The gospel must be correctly taught to the congregation of saints and the sacraments must be rightly administered. We confess that where these two “outward marks” are faithfully observed is the holy, catholic Church.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for making me one with you in your Body, the Church. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Pastor Kent Groethe's study of the Book of Acts, Acts - Old Places, New Facesfocuses on the life of the early church as a model for church life today. The message and power of the church today needs to be revitalized and renewed by the power of God's Spirit, just as it was in the early church.

Other books in the "Old Place, New Faces" series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1468.html Wed, 26 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious, being sexual immorality, impurity, wantonness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, fits of fury, selfishness, discord, factions, 21 envyings, drunkenness, intemperance, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you previously, that they who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 And those who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its inclinations and cravings.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us likewise walk with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become proud, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:18–25)

From the Confessions: The Chief Articles of Faith in the Augsburg Confession

Concerning New Obedience

Also they teach that this faith is bound to bring forth good fruits, and that it is necessary to do good works commanded by God, because of God's will, but that we should not rely on those works to merit justification before God. For remission of sins and justification is apprehended by faith, as also the voice of Christ attests: "When ye shall have done all these things, say: We are unprofitable servants" (Luke 17:10). The same is also taught by the Fathers. For Ambrose says: It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving remission of sins, without works, by faith alone.

Pulling It Together: The Augsburg Confession clearly states that works are excluded from justification. Nothing is needed for our justification before God except the work of his Son Jesus Christ on the cross (Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8–9; Rom 3:28; 4:5). Nevertheless, the Lutherans also wished it to be known that justification by faith did not negate the command of God for his people to do good works. However, these acts of charity and obedience are a result of faith—not a requirement for justification. Those who have faith must be obedient to God and therefore they will do good works. They can do no other, for real faith is a living faith, full of the fruit of the Spirit. Those who are enlivened by faith, live by the Spirit and so, they will also keep in step with the Spirit who is the author of all good.

Prayer: O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, open my heart and my hands, that I may willingly do good and bring you glory. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Cross and the Crown is an eight-session study in Lutheran Basics, using the word "sola" to get the big picture right: that salvation is all God's doing.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1467.html Tue, 25 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 5 For Moses writes that the man who does the righteousness of the law shall live by doing so. 6 But the righteousness of faith says this: “Do not say not in your heart, ‘Who shall ascend into heaven?’—that is, to bring Christ down—7 “or, ‘Who shall descend into the abyss?’”—that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart—that is, the word of faith that we preach. 9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, blessing all who call upon him. 13 For, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 And how will they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

16 But not all have obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:5–17)

From the Confessions: The Chief Articles of Faith in the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Ministry

That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith; where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ's sake.

They condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word, through their own preparations and works.

Pulling It Together: The faith that justifies always springs from the word of God. Real faith does not happen because one decides to believe, because one disciplines herself to be a holy person, or as the result of any other personal or religious preparation. I speak here of an actual faith, the kind that puts no hope at all in one's efforts. Faith is effected by the Spirit, who always does so in concert with the word. He never brings faith apart from the word—though we often hear of people claiming that he has done so. Without God revealing what faith is and in whom to have faith, our beliefs are spread across the spectrum, from silly to sublime and all to no eternal good. Yet when the Spirit works in his word through baptism, communion, and preaching, people are brought to faith apart from any efforts or virtues of their own. We confess that this is the way God has determined to bring people to saving faith: by the Holy Spirit working through the Word for Christ's sake.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, fill me with wisdom and grace from your word so that Christ is always glorified in me. Amen. 

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Baptism – Dove and Shell    A card, bookmark, gift tag, and envelope set that proclaims the truth of Baptism: Word and Water are a sacrament to wash away our sins. This set is a keepsake that will remind the recipient of their baptism, and provide the comfort of assurance of salvation for all who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Sola carries an assortment of greeting cards.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1466.html Mon, 24 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our sins, 14 erasing the record of debt against us with its obligations, and has removed it, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13–14)

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

The faithful should be seized with the most bitter grief if they consider the fact that the Mass has been largely transferred to the dead and to satisfactions for punishments. This banishes the daily sacrifice from the Church. It is the kingdom of Antiochus, who transferred the most blessed promises concerning faith and the remission of guilt to the most vain opinions concerning satisfactions. This defiles the gospel and corrupts the use of the Sacraments. These are the ones whom Paul has said are “guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27). They have suppressed the doctrine about faith and the forgiveness of sins, and, under the pretext of satisfactions, have devoted the body and blood of the Lord to sacrilegious gain. Some day they will pay the penalty for this sacrilege. Therefore we and all godly consciences should be conscientious against approving of the abuses of our opponents.

Pulling It Together: Using the Sacrament in a way that Christ did not intend, abuses and profanes his Holy Supper. Offering his blessed promises to the dead and to those who do not believe makes it an occasion for sin and judgment. Teaching people that they must make satisfaction for punishments that await them beyond this life, makes mockery of Christ’s cross, as well as his promises. Of what use is the cross if I must now do other things to appease an angry God? This scoffs at Christ, teaching that he was not up to the task—but we are; it will just take some extra time.

No! God has accomplished all things through Christ. Our sin—every last bit of it—has been nailed to the cross. God made us alive in Christ while we were still sinners. Now that we are alive in Christ, are we to do things that make us live? Again, no! We are already alive through faith in God’s grace toward us. We can add nothing to the cross of Christ. Indeed, nothing needs to be added.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving us all we need in Christ alone. Amen.

Receive Sola's Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Connections Magazine features articles that connect Lutherans to the Word. Luther's Small Catechism provides inspiration for confessional, biblical content, delivered in a stylish, readable design.

Subscribe today. For information on congregational/group orders, click HERE.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1465.html Fri, 21 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be is not yet clear. We know that when he appears we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:2–3)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

"The Daily Purpose of Baptism"

What is the significance of baptizing with water?

It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily repentance and sorrow for sin, and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

Saint Paul says in Romans: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Pulling It Together: Our hope is in Christ alone. His resurrection from the dead is the basis of that hope. Because we were baptized into his death, we will be resurrected like him too (Rom 6:3–5). The details of what comes next are a mystery but our hope is unwavering. Our sins do not get in the way of hope, and this is the case for two reasons. One, though we will always sin as long as we live in these earthly bodies, Christians do not make sinning routine. Two, when we confess our sins and repent, Christ Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9–10). In this daily forgiveness, he purifies us, cleansing us in his own righteousness.

We live before God in this sinful flesh by always looking to Christ for righteousness. When we look to self—to religious devotion and good works—for a sense of our own virtue, we are undone. As soon as we look to Christ alone, buttressed with the hope of his commitment to us, the new person comes forth again to live in Christ’s righteousness and purity.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for making me your child, whom you will never abandon. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

I Am Who I Am is a six-week study that explores what it means to “not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (Exod 20:7), while at the same time trusting the promise in Christ that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1464.html Thu, 20 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 13 And who is he who can harm you if you are zealous for that which is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, blessed are you. Do not fear them, nor be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to give a defense to each person who asks you for a reason about the hope that is in you. Yet do so with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if that should be the will of God, that you suffer for doing good rather than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:13-17)

From the Confessions: sections ten and eleven of the Preface to the Augsburg Confession

...we, with the Princes and friends aforesaid, here before Your Imperial Majesty, our most clement Lord are prepared to confer amicably concerning all possible ways and means, in order that we may come together, as far as this may be honorably done, and, the matter between us on both sides being peacefully discussed without offensive strife, the dissension, by God’s help, may be done away and brought back to one true accordant religion; for as we all are under one Christ and do battle under Him, we ought to confess the one Christ, after the tenor of Your Imperial Majesty’s edict, and everything ought to be conducted according to the truth of God; and this it is what, with most fervent prayers, we entreat of God.

Pulling It Together

Luther had been declared an outlaw by the emperor in 1521 at the Diet (or assembly) of Worms. Though his teachings were now forbidden in the empire, the teachings of Luther and other Wittenberg reformers were sent throughout the parishes of Saxony for a systematic reformation of the church. These teachings, of course, were challenged by Roman Catholic theologians who placed the Wittenberg reformers in the same grouping as unorthodox critics of the church. This gave the effect of making the Wittenberg contingent appear outside the church catholic. Philip Melancthon, Luther’s colleague at Wittenberg, drafted a defense of the Wittenbergers’ orthodoxy, drawing from a number of other documents by the reformers. This confession, or testimony, was adopted by nine German dukes, princes, and mayors, and presented to the emperor at Augsburg in 1530.

The Emperor Charles had called the Diet of Augsburg in an effort to have a unified Christian empire meet the threat of the expanding Ottoman Empire. That these documents were to be presented by all of the electors, princes, municipalities, and estates attests to the political aspiration of the diet. That there would be unity in understanding the one true faith was the hope of The Augsburg Confession.

Christians ought to hope for unity, beginning to do so by considering how they agree on matters of the faith. After all, they are called to fellowship together in Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor 1:9-10). Christians are also to be ready to defend the faith (1 Pet 3:15), even if it is in confessing it to one another. Yet, they are to do so with gentleness and with respect. To that end, it may be very helpful in our time to imagine that we are giving our defense to an emperor.

Prayer: Help me to honor you, Jesus, as Lord in my heart, my words, my life. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Of One Mind and Purpose is a six-session study examines the unique way in which the Bible describes being united in Christ. It explains how God’s Word can either divide people or bring them together in faith, showing how the relationship we have with one another in the Church comes through Christ alone.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1463.html Wed, 19 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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Matthew 21:21–22

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

Let us eliminate these trifles. It is ridiculous that our opponents produce such trifling conjectures about a matter of such great importance. For though the Mass is called an offering, how does that term support the imaginary opus operatum, and the imagined application that merits forgiveness of sins for others? It may be called an offering because prayers, thanksgivings, and the entire worship are offered, and so, it is also called Eucharist. But neither ceremonies nor prayers are profitable ex opere operato, without faith. Still, we are not disputing about prayers, but particularly about the Lord’s Supper.

Pulling It Together

There are many fine collections of prayers available. If a person reads those prayers but does not believe in God, are they effective prayers? According to Jesus, you must have faith in order for your prayers to be answered. Just doing the work of saying a prayer is powerless. If a person does the work of eating bread and drinking wine, but does not believe it is the body and blood of Christ, is his eating and drinking effectual? No, for faith is required, not the act alone. So, it is absurd to imagine the merits of the Eucharist are available to someone who does not believe, let alone is not present to eat and drink.

Prayer: Strengthen my faith in you, Lord, by the working of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Martin Luther's Small Catechism (Spanish/Español)

Este pequeño manual, conocido como El Catecismo Menor de Martín Lutero, ha sido utilizado por los Luteranos durante siglos como una herramienta de enseñanza, especialmente en la instrucción de la confirmación. El pequeño manual pretende dar a los lectores un breve resumen de las enseñanzas de la Biblia, viendo algunos ejemplos de versos bien conocidos por los cristianos, oraciones y elementos de adoración.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1462.html Tue, 18 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From thje Word: 1 First of all, therefore, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who would have all people be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and people, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:1–6)

From the Confessions: The Athanasian Creed

He suffered death for our salvation. He descended into hell and rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Pulling It Together

Because the Athanasian Creed expressly states the unity of Christ's two natures, it is appropriate to think again on who it is who died for us, and rose, and ascended. When the Word became flesh (John 1:14), he did not do so for a time—namely for about 33 years. Jesus remains both God and man; he retains this dual nature and it is important that he does.

When Jesus rose from the dead, he still had a body. “Touch me,” he said to his disciples (Luke 24:39). Christ is still both God and man even after the ascension, as it teaches us in Scripture. It is not a spirit who mediates between God and man. It is the one who is both God and man who mediates for us, “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5).

The Small Catechism also—even though teaching from the Apostles' Creed that does not deal explicitly with the dual nature—teaches us that the ascended Christ is “true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary.”

Why is this all so important? It is important because you are human. Jesus conquered sin, death, and even hell—as a man, so that these things have no power over people of faith. Because the man Christ Jesus rose from the dead, you too will rise (Rom 6:5). Likewise, because the man Christ Jesus ascended, you too also will ascend. It is no stunning achievement that God went up into heaven. That humans may now do so, is predicated on a human being there to begin with, and that man we confess is God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Give me the strength and courage and peace to live a life pleasing in the sight of God my Savior. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship eResource (SOWeR) provides so many resources that it is hard to list them all. One of those resources is a section of bulletin templates that subscribers may use along with SOWeR's color and monochrome artwork to easily create beautiful and useful bulletins. Templates are provided for basic Communion and non-communion services, Ash Wednesday service, midweek Lenten services, LBW Communion and non-communion services for each setting, Reclaim Communion and non-communion services for each setting, and Sola Holy Cross Communion and non-communion service settings.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1461.html Mon, 17 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And [Jesus] said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which translates, ‘Sent’).” So he went away and washed, and returned seeing. (John 9:7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

"The Daily Purpose of Baptism"

What is the significance of baptizing with water?

It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily repentance and sorrow for sin, and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

Saint Paul says in Romans: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Pulling It Together: The blind man in John 9 went to a pool called “Sent,” and was blessed with sight. We have been dispatched to a fount called Christ, and have been given new life, lived forever before God in the righteousness and purity of Christ Jesus. We begin eternal life now, putting aside our sins in daily confession, and remembering that the old Adam, our birth nature, was drowned in the baptismal waters. A new person with a rebirthed nature has come forth, and must now walk with Christ, for Jesus still beckons, “Follow me.”

Prayer: Give me the strength of your Spirit, O Lord, to walk with you in newness of life. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

      

    

The Sola Confirmation Series is a basic work-book style Confirmation curriculum composed of five books. It is designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. Click HERE to download a pdf sheet describing the program, including an outline of session topics.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1460.html Wed, 12 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 I implore you then, fellow believers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this evil age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mental state, so that you may distinguish what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1–2)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

"The Daily Purpose of Baptism"

What is the significance of baptizing with water?

It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily repentance and sorrow for sin, and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

Saint Paul says in Romans: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Pulling It Together: Every day we must slay the old nature in us. By offering our doubts, temptations, and sins to God, we crucify the flesh (Gal 5:24). This is not a physical act like sacrificing an animal. Rather, this is a new variety of sacrifice, a correction of one’s state of mind. In this crucifixion, this mental and even emotional readjustment, the believer is tuned to the will of God. Be clear: this is something God does to us; we are not the doers. Paul says, “Be transformed,” not “Transform yourselves.” We simply offer our attitudes to God; he does the rest, the transforming. The Holy Spirit shows us his will, where we saw our inclinations before. He presents the things that are acceptable to God, where we had been interested in what pleased us.

What is more, when we insist on operating in the old mindset, and sin by failing to regard God’s will, God is not defeated. God is not beaten because we are not the transformers; our spiritual makeover does not depend upon our actions but upon the faithfulness of God. So, even when we sin, the appeal remains the same: offer yourself to God. We were buried with Christ in Baptism, and that old person must remain dead through daily repentance. In this attitude check, the new person, God’s person, emerges to live righteously before God. Daily repentance shows us that God’s perfect will is not something we accomplish. God does his own will by loving us as a Father, forgiving us, and transforming us through his righteousness, not our own.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, and transform me through your Spirit. Amen.

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Check out Sola’s Confirmation workbook, The Apostle’s Creed, designed to be a small group Bible study, student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1458.html Tue, 11 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And Isaac dug again the wells of water that they had dug in the days of Abraham his father. The Philistines had filled them after the death of Abraham. And he called them by the names that his father had named them. (Genesis 26:18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

“The Means of Baptism”

How can water do such great things?

It is not the water that does these things, but the Word of God connected with the water and our faith which relies on that Word. For without the Word of God it is simply water and not Baptism. But when connected with the Word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit.

As Saint Paul says to Titus: “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy.” (Titus 3:5-8a)

Pulling It Together: Jesus confirms that we are all sinners (John 8:7). Who of us does not sin daily? Day after day, our sins can pile up in our memories. If we are not careful to seek the Father’s forgiveness and remember the promises of Baptism daily, the devil may slowly stop up the well. The water remains. The promise remains. But we need to dig down to the source again by asking forgiveness and remembering that God is good on his word. It is not the hard labor of Isaac, but instead, an easy word of contrition. It is a request born of trust, for God is faithful to forgive repentant sinners.

Prayer: I ask again today, Lord, that you would forgive me, a sinner who fears you, but loves and trusts you too. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Reading and Discussion of Luther's Catechisms is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1455.html Mon, 10 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 38 The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being. 39 Now, he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive; for the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:38–39)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

“The Means of Baptism”

How can water do such great things?

It is not the water that does these things, but the Word of God connected with the water and our faith which relies on that Word. For without the Word of God it is simply water and not Baptism. But when connected with the Word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit.

As Saint Paul says to Titus: “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy.” (Titus 3:5-8a)

Pulling It Together: In Christian Baptism, water does more than touch the outside of us, as though washing the skin. Because God’s Word is bound with the water, it cleanses and renews the whole person. This is the work of God’s Spirit, who does his work in us so thoroughly and abundantly (Titus 3:6) that the Holy Spirit himself wells up from the believer as a kind of flowing, living water. That which touched the outside must, by virtue of the Spirit of God, reach deep within the believer. God’s Spirit revives believers’ spirits, now pouring forth from within us as the baptismal water had once been poured upon us. We are able, therefore, by faith to hear him speak within us through that same binding Word. Through the Word and the Water, God renews us daily, and even more often, since he is always flowing from our “innermost being” (John 7:38 NASB). The Spirit revives us in many ways, not least by testifying to our own spirits that we are God’s own children (Rom 8:16).

Prayer: Revive me, Lord God, according to your Word. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? examines the most profound event of salvation history—the crucifixion of Jesus Christ—exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the Atonement. This six-week Bible Study would be particularly appropriate during the season of Lent.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1454.html Fri, 07 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: At the time, all discipline seems miserable rather than joyous, but afterward it yields to those who have been trained by it a peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

“The Promise of Baptism”

What gifts or benefits does Baptism bring?

It brings about forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare.

What is this Word and promise of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

Pulling It Together: God’s discipline is a difficult thing, but the Father does not discipline us so severely that we die (Psa 118:18). His Son, however, was disciplined to the point of death for the sins the world. Therefore, when we were baptized into Christ, we were also buried with him into his death (Rom 6:3), thereby escaping the second death (Rev 20:6). Eternal death has no power over those who keep faith in Christ. Nonetheless, we do not escape the Father’s discipline.

Through the Father’s corrections, the Holy Spirit trains us for eternal glory (Rom 8:18). Divine discipline is also good for the present because it produces peace: “the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” This is not some personal righteousness, the yield of toughing it out. It is the righteousness of Christ Jesus produced in us through God’s discipline. His loving discipline calls us to look beyond ourselves to a righteousness not our own (Phil 3:9). Because Christ has given us his righteousness in baptism, the chastened spirit may look to God for help and find an abundant store at the foot of the cross. God’s discipline drives us to keep faith in Christ who is our forgiveness, deliverance, and certain peace in difficult times.

Prayer: Give me faith, Father, to know the peace of Christ. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Learning the Apostles' Creed teaches the Apostles' Creed according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Fourth Grade Level.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1453.html Thu, 06 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 For this reason—being surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses—let us also remove each hurdle, and the sin that constrains, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the leader and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

“The Promise of Baptism”

What gifts or benefits does Baptism bring?

It brings about forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare.

What is this Word and promise of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

Pulling It Together: Remember Jesus. Keep him in mind as the one who ran before you and is now waiting for you to cross the finish line. Now, if you believe and are baptized, you are in the race, but finishing the race (2 Tim 4:7) requires the endurance of faith. Therefore, the Christian must lay aside everything that would keep her from faith in Jesus. The Christian life is a daily pressing on to the finish of a very long run, so it demands faith in the one who supplies the courage and strength to continue running. Baptism was the beginning of a marathon that promises the prize of salvation and eternal life at the end. You must run, however slowly, with endurance to the finish: to Jesus. That means you must keep faith in him all the way to the end of your life. You must continue believing, despite the obstacles of sin, the devil, or simply the hurdle of yourself.

Prayer: Give me, Lord Jesus, the strength and courage of faith. Amen.

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Written in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, The Life of Martin Luthera nine-session adult study, takes participants through the circumstances and events of the life of Martin Luther as it reflects on the biblical themes underlying the Lutheran Reformation. 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1452.html Wed, 05 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And he said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you have not held back your son, your only son, from me.” (Genesis 22:12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

“The Promise of Baptism”

What gifts or benefits does Baptism bring?

It brings about forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare.

What is this Word and promise of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

Pulling It Together: Obedient to God’s command, Abraham took his son up the mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord. But God spared the child’s life, and his parents untold grief. There was another son led up a hill to be sacrificed. Yet this time, God did not stop the slaying. He spared Abraham’s son but did not spare his own Son. This sacrifice was not a witness to the love of a man for God, but the love of God for a world. And all those who have the faith of Abraham, a loving trust in God, and are baptized into the death of God’s Son receive forgiveness of sins, and are delivered from death and the devil. Faith in his death has provided undying salvation for all who believe. This is the word of God: a promise for you and all people.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your great love of sinners. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Who is Jesus? is a five-session study, meant to serve as an introduction to what the Bible says about Jesus Christ—who he is and what it means to trust in him as Savior and Lord.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1451.html Tue, 04 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 17 And God heard the boy’s crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What distresses you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Get up! Lift up the boy and hold him tightly, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. (Genesis 21:17–19)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

What is Baptism?

Baptism is not merely water; it is water used according to God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

What is this Word of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

Pulling It Together: Our lives are in the Lord’s hands. He has prepared a better place for us, a heavenly city, an excelling country (Heb 11:16). It was so for Abraham who with Sarah was made to wait in faith on God’s promise. Waiting was also the lot of Jacob, Isaac, and Joseph. And so it is for us; we must wait with faith in God (Heb 11:17–22). Hagar, Sarah’s maid, was also required to wait, though it seemed to her that her son Ishmael would die in the wilderness. In her season of misery, God opened her eyes so that her hope in him might be maintained. His word of promise was supplemented with the view of a nearby well that would sustain her child and herself.

God does the same for us. His word of promise attends a nearby well, and that word is for you. When life is most difficult, may your eyes be opened to view the “fount of every blessing” (Robert Robinson, hymn writer). May you recall the font of your baptism, always nearby in memory, but even more, may you remember Christ the living fount, whose word of promise reminds you that your life is in his hands. He has gone to prepare a place for you (John 14:2), of which your baptism always stands ready as reminder. God will sustain you until you reach his far city.

Prayer: Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see. Amen.

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The Creator has revealed to us the Trinitarian nature of the name of God in “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” This six-week study explores what it means to “not take the name of the LORD your God in vain,” while at the same time trusting the promise in Christ that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1450.html Mon, 03 Feb 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 5 By faith Enoch was transported from this realm so that he would not see death. He was not found because God had taken him. Before being taken up, he was confirmed as having pleased God. 6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:5–6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

What is Baptism?

Baptism is not merely water; it is water used according to God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

What is this Word of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

Pulling It Together: There is one thing that pleases God: faith in him—faith in his existence and faith in his grace. Abel brought an offering to the Lord, having faith in God instead of a confidence in his offering, and so, his offering was acceptable or pleasing. Cain brought his offering without faith in anything but his gift, and thus, his religious deed did not please God and was rejected. We too, must be careful, lest we relegate our baptisms to the fate of Cain. Baptism is not a religious work that satisfies God. It is faith in God’s grace working in the prescribed water that propitiates God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, no matter the deed.

Prayer: Give me enough faith, Lord, to follow you always. Amen.

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This is Most Certainly True! is a six-chapter mid-week Lenten Series features monologues from Martin Luther himself, based on his writings in the Large Catechism. Luther explains eloquently and simply what each part of the catechism means for us as believers and ends it with an affirmation of certainty: "This is most certainly true!"

Luther's thoughts have been transformed here into dramatic monologues so that we might hear and meditate on the foundations of our Christian faith. In addition to a sample worship service outline, there are hymns suggestions for each monologue and opening dialogues for worship based on the parts of the Small Catechism.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1449.html Fri, 31 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 17 “And I will remember their sins and their crimes no more." 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:17–18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

What is Baptism?

Baptism is not merely water; it is water used according to God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

What is this Word of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

Pulling It Together: Baptism is something God does to and for us. It is not our offering to God, as though God is a theatergoer soothed by our performance. It is not something we do in order to appease God, because Jesus is the once-and-for-all propitiation for our sins. We do not offer ourselves in a washing because we are sinners. Because we are sinners, God washes us. And where God does the cleansing, it stays clean. Confessing sinners remain clean before him, because those old clothes, our sinful, human nature, are left behind in the laundry. We arise in new wraps, the very skin of Christ. The Father no longer sees the old nature. He sees the new: old sinners robed in Christ Jesus. Jesus is the only and final offering for sin. Remember that you are baptized, that Christ has done the deed: the sacrifice and the baptism. You cannot do it, nor redo it; it is finished. Christ accomplished it on the first take.

Prayer: I remember, Lord, all you have accomplished, and I believe. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Upper Room is a six-part drama and sermon series for use during the weeks of Lent, in midweek or Sunday morning services. The stories in this series seek to focus our hearts and minds on the last days of Jesus, drawing us into a greater spiritual maturity that recognizes the blessings and responsibilities of this life of faith, as we walk with our Lord on the path to the cross.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1447.html Thu, 30 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a sign of covenant between me and you. (Genesis 17:11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

What is Baptism?

Baptism is not merely water; it is water used according to God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

What is this Word of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

Pulling It Together: The promise of God is for all people. Circumcision was a signal that there is something greater than the shedding of human blood. We are meant to look to something far greater. In Christian baptism, we are “circumcised” by the hand of God. The whole body of this flesh—not mere foreskin, and not only males—is put to death in the “circumcision of Christ.” We are buried with him, into his death, in baptism. The old nature is now nailed to the cross and dead. We have been raised with Christ through faith (Col 2:11–14). The old person is dead but a new nature has arisen; our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3).

Prayer: In the water and the Word, you speak to me, Lord, and I believe. Amen.

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Pilate's Investigation is a five-part series designed for use during Lent. Each of the dramas feature Pontius Pilate, seeking to learn the identity of the mysterious figure who has been brought to him for judgment. Scripture texts are assigned for each of the dramas, along with notes for the actors.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1446.html Wed, 29 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for large image

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From the Word: And for this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, because a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, so that they who have been called may receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance. (Hebrews 9:15)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

What is Baptism?

Baptism is not merely water; it is water used according to God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

What is this Word of God?

It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

Pulling It Together: All our sins are drowned in Christian baptism, for the “old man” was buried with Christ in his death (Rom 6:3). At first blush, this hardly seems fair. How may the sins of the entire human lineage be satisfied by the death one person? Yet, God is just to do this because it is his own death that secures an eternal redemption (Heb 9:12) for all who are called: all who believe Christ’s call for them.

The Lord’s voice is upon the waters (Psa 29:3). Do you hear him calling? Do you believe his word spoken for you over the waters of baptism? If so, then you are alive in Christ, even though you were dead in your sins (Eph 2:5). That dead man lies at the bottom of the font. You are raised with Christ to the New Covenant life (Rom 6:4).

Prayer: I remember you this day, Lord, and your death for my life. Amen.

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Connections Magazine features articles that connect Lutherans to the Word. Luther's Small Catechism provides inspiration for confessional, biblical content, delivered in a stylish, readable design.

The next issue of Connections (March/April 2020) will be built around the Eighth Commandment.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1442.html Mon, 27 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and departed. (John 4:50)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Conclusion

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

What does this mean?

It means that I should be certain that such petitions are acceptable to our heavenly Father and are heard by him, for he himself has commanded us to pray in this manner and has promised to hear us. So we pray with confidence: “Amen,” meaning, “Yes, it shall be so.”

Pulling It Together: “Thy will be done.” We may pray this, meaning, “Please, Lord, do my will. Make my will your own.” Instead, our weekly, if not daily, prayer must also be a confession to ourselves that it is God’s will that must be done, that it is our will that God’s will be accomplished, even if it is not the outcome we may have wanted. We must believe the word of Christ Jesus and depart, be on our way to live the day ahead of us. This was the experience of David and Luther. Unlike the father in today’s verse, each would send his child to heaven, David a newborn, and Luther his 13-year-old Magdalena. David prayed for a different outcome but resigned himself to the Lord’s will. “Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?” (2 Sam 12:15–23). Luther, also, prayed fervently that his daughter might live but added to his prayers, “If it is thy will, O God, to take her from us, I will be glad to know that she is with thee.” David knew much the same, saying, “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Sam 12:23).

It is God’s kingdom, not ours. To him belongs the power to add to his glory in the fashion he knows to be best. The Lord hears our prayers, and answers them as may be expected of a loving Father, with the authority of a wisdom far beyond our own. Knowing this, we may confidently add the “Amen” to our prayers. May it be so; may your will be done no matter my own wishes.

Prayer: May your will be done in my life today. Amen and amen.

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The Power of Lent is a series of Lenten dramas pairing two characters each week from the story of Jesus' Passion; bearing witness to what they saw, heard, and felt. Each pair of biblical characters reflects upon a similar theme for the week, showing how the same events brought about very different reactions to Jesus and his identity.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1440.html Fri, 24 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, met Abraham returning from the felling of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham allotted one tenth of everything to him. First, by translation, he is king of righteousness, and then king of Salem also, that is, king of peace. 3 He is fatherless, motherless, without a genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but being like the Son of God, he remains a priest evermore. (Hebrews 7:1–3)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Conclusion

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

What does this mean?

It means that I should be certain that such petitions are acceptable to our heavenly Father and are heard by him, for he himself has commanded us to pray in this manner and has promised to hear us. So we pray with confidence: “Amen,” meaning, “Yes, it shall be so.”

Pulling It Together: God has made believers a kingdom of priests (Isa 61:6; Exod 19:6; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6). Priests are the ones who receive the tithe from subordinates, as Melchizedek did from Abraham. Though priests, our blessings nonetheless come from a higher power than ourselves, so we give back a portion. The kingdom and the power and the glory are entirely his; we are dependent upon him, offering in tribute a portion of his blessings.

See how God turns common practice on its head: the sovereign priest giving to his inferiors. Giving back the tithe is our “amen,” our confident assent that a higher sovereignty, might, and wonder will always bless his people. In God our King, “righteousness and peace kiss each other,” (Psa 85:10), and the result is everlasting blessing.

Prayer: O righteous King, you are our everlasting peace. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Fulfilled In Him is a five-part Lenten drama series, focusing on five pairs of characters — one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament — who demonstrate in their witness the fulfillment of God's promise. Presented with a kind of before-and-after perspective, the pairing of characters examines how Christ is the key to Scripture — "the founder and perfecter of our faith."

Other Lenten Dramas

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1439.html Thu, 23 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger imaage

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From the Word: For when God made a promise to Abraham, he swore by himself since he could swear by no one greater. (Hebrews 6:13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Conclusion

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

What does this mean?

It means that I should be certain that such petitions are acceptable to our heavenly Father and are heard by him, for he himself has commanded us to pray in this manner and has promised to hear us. So we pray with confidence: “Amen,” meaning, “Yes, it shall be so.”

Pulling It Together: Who has commanded us to pray in the manner of the Lord’s Prayer than God himself? And whose name, whose reputation, is higher than God’s. No one’s name is greater, so we may pray with confidence. Just as God promised Abraham, God swears by his own name to hear our prayers, and answer them. He will do all these in our lives: hallow his name, bring his kingdom, do his will, give us food and the necessities of life, forgive our sins, supply us with faith and keep us from unbelief, and guard us from all evil. God stakes his reputation on answering these prayers. Of this, we may be as confident as Abraham.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Learning About Confession teaches the meaning of Confession and Forgiveness according Luther's guidance in the Small Catechism. It is recommended for the Sixth Grade Level. 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1438.html Wed, 22 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click here for all 23 lessons in the Apostles' Creed. 

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1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

From the Confessions: The Apostles’ Creed

“The Resurrection of the Body”

Pulling It Together

Put a Christian in the ground and she will rise again just as her Lord rose from the dead. She will rise because her Lord rose (Rom 6:5). It is not just the body, in terms of skin and bone and muscle and organ, but as Luther said, “the whole man through and through” that will rise (Luther’s Works, vol 30, p 118). A few centuries ago, we used to say that we “believe in the resurrection of the flesh.” That older language puts a finer point on our confession. Christ has redeemed everything we might consider corrupt, so the flesh, though it undergo decay or be consumed by fire, will be raised by the power of God. Reason says that this cannot be. No matter; reason will be raised right along with the rest of our flesh. The whole person—body, soul, and spirit (1Thes 5:23)—will be raised.

Resurrection is a mystery. It is difficult to comprehend how it will be or can be, but we confess our belief that in the flash of an instant, we will be changed. We will be made otherwise, altered, glorified. The perishable flesh will be clothed in the imperishable glory of God so that we may always be with the Lord. When this new and immortal being is put upon us, we will enjoy God's eternal fellowship since sickness and death will no longer affect us, nor will grief or pain or anything else that our flesh once endured. All of this is the victory that only Christ could obtain for us. It is ours by faith in God, whom we confess will raise us from the dead.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for giving us the victory through Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Small Cat series is a comprehensive way to teach the Catechism to all of your children. There is a workbook and leader's guide for each of grades one through six, along with other complimentary resources. 

Teacher's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1437.html Tue, 21 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600

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Romans 13:1-7

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Church 

Christ has warned us in his parables about the Church that when offended by the private vices of priests or people, we should not instigate schisms as the Donatists wickedly did. We consider those who have incited schisms to be altogether seditious because they denied that priests are permitted to hold possessions and property. The holding of property is a civil ordinance. It is as lawful for Christians to use civil ordinances as they use the air, light, food, and drink. Just as the order of the world and fixed movements of the heavenly bodies are truly ordinances of God and are preserved by him, so lawful governments are truly God’s ordinances, and are preserved and defended by him against the devil.

Pulling It Together

It is important for us to distinguish between the two kingdoms—the kingdom of God and worldly kingdoms. Both Church and State are under God’s authority but they serve different ends. The State is used by God to provide order in civic matters. God uses his Church to bring about a different kind of order. The Church’s job is to bring the peace of Christ into the world by proclaiming the gospel of grace and forgiveness. Both of these kingdoms work together for the common good under divine authority. So the Church does not exercise legal authority and the State does not legislate in affairs of the kingdom. May the Church be about the work of the gospel while they pray for peace, pay their taxes, vote, and trust in God. 

Prayer: Bless and guide, O Lord, those you have placed in authority over me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) also includes liturgies and services for your use. There are ready-to-copy settings for Holy Communion, services, services of the Word, Vespers, occasional services, funerals, and seasonal services. SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1436.html Mon, 20 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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Matthew 28:18-20

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Church 

The entire Eighth Article has been approved, in which we confess that hypocrites and wicked persons have been mingled with the Church, and that the Sacraments are efficacious even though administered by wicked ministers, because ministers act in the place of Christ, and do not represent themselves. Jesus said, “He who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16). Impious teachers are to be deserted because they are antichrists who no longer act in the place of Christ. Again Christ says, “Beware of false prophets” (Matt 7:15). And Paul, “If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:9).

Pulling It Together: Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions urge us to be not only wary of false teachers and ministers, but to have nothing to do with them. Remove them from the churches or if need be, get out of their congregations. Their words are not to be trusted. But the sacramental ministry that they have done in the name of Christ is still effective. If you were baptized by a minister who does not believe or no longer believes in Christ, your baptism is still effective because that minister did not baptize you. God baptized you. You were baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit—not in the name of Reverend Whatshisname. Remember that you are baptized by God, so the work of God in Christ remains, whether done at the hand of a pious minister or not. Your sins are forgiven because the sinless Christ baptized you, not because you were baptized by a sinless minister of Christ. 

Prayer: Help me to remember my baptism, Lord. Amen.

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Connections Magazine features articles that connect Lutherans to the Word. Luther's Small Catechism provides inspiration for confessional, biblical content, delivered in a stylish, readable design.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1435.html Fri, 17 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Be vigilant, brothers, that there be in none of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to forsake the living God. (Hebrews 3:12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our heavenly Father would deliver us from every type of evil — whether it affects our bodies or souls, property or reputation — and at last, when our hour of death comes, would grant us a blessed end to our earthly lives, and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Is there anything more evil than the human heart? “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). The human heart is the source of floods. If we imagine postdiluvian people are different, better, than the mighty men of renown and the giants of old, we deceive ourselves. We too, are fallen just like the Nephilim. We remain dry only by the grace of God.

So we must stand at the watch over our hearts, asking the Father often each day to deliver us from the great evil that beats within us. Otherwise, through sloth or pride, we may fall away from the living God and be consigned to an eternal death. The only thing that keeps us from falling is a soft, believing heart. But faith requires vigilance. Do not abandon your watch, lest you forsake God in your negligence.

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to continue with believing faith in you so that I may be with you forever. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Basics of the Christian Faith is an edition of the catechism that is aimed at seekers, visitors, and those that may not come from a Lutheran background. It is recommended for use in outreach, as a visitor welcome gift, or in new member packets.

Customized Pocket Catechisms

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1434.html Thu, 16 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And I vowed in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest. (Hebrews 3:11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our heavenly Father would deliver us from every type of evil — whether it affects our bodies or souls, property or reputation — and at last, when our hour of death comes, would grant us a blessed end to our earthly lives, and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.

Pulling It Together: The ancient Hebrews were being led out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into a land of rest—a place where they would no longer be in bondage. Although Moses was his human representative, they were being led by God, seen clearly enough in supernatural and always present pillars of fire and smoke (Num 14:14). But they were tempted to return to Egypt (Num 14:4), where all they would know was slavery.

Let us not be too quick to judge their decision. We too, have been known to follow our own deliberations instead of God’s lead. May he deliver us from the evil of deserting him altogether. The desertion of faith results in the greatest loss. Forsaking faith is to abandon God, the source of rest. The eternal Sabbath, a blessed rest prepared by God for those who believe, awaits those who follow him there.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for preparing a place for me in your Father’s house. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

When we speak of the "Great Commission," we usually think of Jesus' words at the end of Matthew's Gospel. But there are actually several places in the New Testament that describe the commission we have been given to speak and act, bearing witness to the truth of the gospel message. All these biblical articulations convey the same charge and calling, but each adds something important to our appreciation and understanding of the mission to which we have been called.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1433.html Wed, 15 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door, and its desire is for you. But you must master it. (Genesis 4:7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our heavenly Father would deliver us from every type of evil — whether it affects our bodies or souls, property or reputation — and at last, when our hour of death comes, would grant us a blessed end to our earthly lives, and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Sin is lurking in our doorways every day. Therefore, we must be certain it does not to rule over us. The idea here is not that Cain, and we too, somehow work hard enough to stop sinning. So long as we live in this flesh, we will struggle with sin. So, we must daily see it plunged beneath the waters of our baptisms. What does that mean but that we trust in God? We cannot trust in our power to conquer sin any more than Cain could, yet we must overcome nonetheless.

All Cain had to do was look to God. The testimony clearly states that what he did was look to himself instead. May we not fall into that trap. Look to God! That is the secret of the overcomer; she keeps looking to God. Even when a Christian sins, she must look to God. When we simply confess our sin—that we have not done well—then we have done well. Cain’s big sin was not the bringing of a meager offering; it was being angry with God and with his brother. He may have even been a little angry with himself, as we are upset with ourselves when we sin. But these responses look to self when we should be looking to God. Confess your sin to the Forgiver, and he will accept you. He will lift you up (James 4:10). In this way only, will you ever master your sin.

Prayer: Have mercy on me, O Lamb of God. Amen.

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A Discussion of Living Religions is a brief introduction to major world religions that takes a conversational approach as a group of friends talk together about what it is they believe. Each has a chance to speak for themselves about how they understand the fundamentals of reality and faith.

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Today's Devotion from the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/todays-devotion-from-the-lutheran-confessions/a1432.html Tue, 14 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 9 Having been perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 being appointed by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:9–10)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our heavenly Father would deliver us from every type of evil — whether it affects our bodies or souls, property or reputation — and at last, when our hour of death comes, would grant us a blessed end to our earthly lives, and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Jesus, sinless and therefore perfect in our minds, was nevertheless perfected through his suffering on the cross. Because of this perfecting, God designated his Son as our great High Priest (Heb 4:14-16). As such, he is the Mediator of our salvation, our sole deliverance from evil. Whatever suffering we endure, due to the evil that surrounds us, or imposed upon ourselves, or simply the because of the difficulties of life itself, our suffering will not merit salvation and eternal life. God requires a perfect priest or Mediator between himself and our fallen nature. This is why Jesus was perfected through death on the cross. Ultimately, we confess in this petition the hope we have in Christ alone, that when we die, we will not be taking our last breath. Because of Jesus’ death, those who believe on him will not perish but will enjoy everlasting life with God (John 3:16).

Prayer: I believe in you, Jesus, and trust in you as the source of salvation. Amen.

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Walking Together,  A Bible Study on the Importance of Fellowship in our Lives as Disciples of Christ, explores one of the most important words we find in the New Testament: fellowship. The life we share with others in Christ as brothers and sisters in the family of God is a gift he gives as he he grafts us into the larger Body of Christ, giving us a place alongside one another as we journey together in faith. Walking Together will help you discover that faith is not merely between an individual and God. He God has made us a part of something much bigger, blessing our lives as disciples of Christ when we walk together with others, bound in love by "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism."

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1431.html Mon, 13 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: For from his fullness we all received, and grace after grace. (John 1:16)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our heavenly Father would deliver us from every type of evil — whether it affects our bodies or souls, property or reputation — and at last, when our hour of death comes, would grant us a blessed end to our earthly lives, and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Life, and with it rescue from all evil, comes through the Living Word (John 1:4). Everlasting life comes only through him who is the life and light of humanity, when each person receives him by believing in him (John 1:12). This is how God delivers us from all evil: sin, death, and the power of the devil too. These evils hold no dominance over the child of God. Why? Because God gives his grace to sinners. He is no begrudging divinity, only yielding a little of his favor. He gives abundantly from the storehouses of his grace. You cannot out-sin God’s grace (nor should you try—Rom 6:1–2). He delivers those who trust in his Word, and he does so with one grace stacked against another, his grace matching and overcoming each of your sins, and all your sin—for the sake of Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for delivering me from evil through your blessed Son. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is a new, advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series, of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1430.html Fri, 10 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: In his days, Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: The Lord is our righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?

God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but pray that when we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory.

Pulling It Together: Do not be tempted to believe the claims others make about what you need to do in order to be saved. Instead, hang on with faith in what Christ did for you. Hold fast to the Head (Col 2:19), not to things a small part of the body performs. You have “fullness of life” (Col 2:10 RSV) in Christ, not in yourself. Your faith is in him. You were buried with him in baptism, so how can that dead flesh of yours do anything that merits life? The legalistic demands of small-hearted brethren have been “nailed to the cross” (Col 2:14 RSV) along with all your sins.

So, do not be anxious about what others say you must do. Usually, that happens when one is overly concerned with someone’s opinion of you. Do not seek to be acknowledged for what you do. Rather, be known by what the Lord has done. Gladly share his reputation, his name. You are a Christian. The Lord is your righteousness—not you.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for giving me your righteousness. Amen.

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God is constantly speaking to us to communicate his love, comfort us in our affliction, guide us in our personal affairs, and lead us into more effective service. Even though God is always communicating with us, we are often deaf to his voice. Hearing God, by Pastor Kent Groethe, helps the reader become more aware of the divine voice and more curious about hearing it on a regular basis.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1429.html Thu, 09 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: …God desired to make known what is the means of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?

God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but pray that when we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory.

Pulling It Together: Temptations come in different forms. Typically, we think of them as being interior, compulsions of the mind or heart. But temptations are exterior as well, sometimes coming from the persuasive speeches of false preachers, or even friends and family. So, we must listen to the Spirit, thinking about those things that commend us to truth (Phil 4:8). Yet, the truth is often difficult to know; after all, it lay hidden for long ages. It remains a mystery unless revealed by God (Col 1:26). That is why we must listen to the Spirit in the Word. In this way, God leads us out of temptation. The way out is always through Christ. He who is within you through his own Spirit is the agency of truth, and hope, and glory.

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to hear your Spirit. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sacraments is one of six books in the Sola Confirmation Series and serves as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series may be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1427.html Wed, 08 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 21 And you—once alienated and enemies in disposition, in evil deeds— 22 he has now reconciled in the body of his flesh through his death, to present you holy and unblemished and beyond recrimination before him, 23 if you continue in the faith, founded and steady, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which was heralded in all creation under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Colossians 1:21–23)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?

God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but pray that when we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory.

Pulling It Together: How are we to be protected from the devil, or from the world, or even from our own corrupt nature? Can we provide our own protection? Are we able to purchase it with our deeds or those of someone else with the same debased disposition? Can religion defend us from ourselves? It can be tempting to imagine such things. Yet, Christ has already settled the matter, making us holy children, unaccusable through his own work, through his death to our sin. Do not ever be tempted to believe in yourself, in your deeds. Keep believing in Christ. Do not be moved from the solid ground of faith in him. He alone is our hope. Cling to this glad news: the victory over sin and death, over the devil himself, has already been accomplished. It is secured for those who prevail in faith, who remain steady, founded upon the hope of the gospel.

Prayer: Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Invitation Project is a congregational guide that describes how a parish can host an “invite-able” event, as part of a larger evangelism initiative, energizing God’s people for the mission of Christ. Using a practical step-by-step “how to” approach, provides guidance, organization, and ideas — not simply to promote a single program, but to develop and inspire the over-all outreach of the congregation. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1426.html Tue, 07 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 12 …giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you in that portion of the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us out of the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, 14 in whom we have full redemption: the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:12–14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?

God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but pray that when we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory.

Pulling It Together: It is tempting to merely ask God to deliver us from urges to rebel against authorities, to hurt someone, commit adultery, steal, lie, or desire what belongs to others. Those are petitions for help against temptations to break the second table of the law; but what of the first? We are in danger of breaking the first table when we put another god before the Lord. That false god is self, when we do not fear, love, and trust God above all things.

It is a temptation to imagine we can do something to alleviate God’s wrath for our sin. Who has not feared his retribution, and then tried harder to be good. There is nothing wrong with that, in a general sense. We should try to be good. However, in a specific sense, if we think human efforts appease God, then we have been tempted in the worst possible way. For we are altogether unfit for the task of storming heaven; we are unqualified to a person. God alone qualifies us to receive a share in the eternal inheritance of his kingdom. We do not redeem ourselves; we are redeemed. We are passive in the work of redemption. It is God’s action upon us. To believe that we have a hand in the matter means we fear there is something we must do, that we place at least some level of trust in ourselves. That is tantamount to a violation of the First Commandment. The Father qualifies each of us for Christ’s sake—his only, with no help from you and me. Do not be tempted otherwise.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for fully redeeming me by means of your Beloved Son. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Portraits of Jesus is a nine-session Bible study that explores the "I AM" statements given to us by Jesus himself. In comparing Jesus' words with related Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments, the study provides a well-rounded look at the center of our faith in Christ.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1425.html Mon, 06 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And the city has no need of the sun, nor the moon, to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:23)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?

God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but pray that when we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory.

Pulling It Together: In eternity, the righteous will shine like the sun (Matt 13:43); but, I wonder, why should we wait for eternity? Let us burn brightly now. I know; I know. You ask, How can I, a poor sinner, blaze with such glory? And you will not, so long as you imagine it is you who are the fuel of the eternal city. You shine brightest when your face, your very life, is full of the Lamb’s light. Your glowing is not a matter of not sinning or being perfect, but of the perfect Lamb of God having died for your sins, yet is alive again. It is when miserable sinners confess their sins, turning to the one who forgives and redeems and showers them in his light, that they emerge from the darkness.

So, when we pray, “lead us not into temptation,” what are we asking but that we are continually led out of darkness and into the light of the Lamb? When we invoke the Sixth Petition, we are asking for more than a removal of temptations or for the ability to not sin. We are asking in faith that our human darkness be illuminated by the Lamp of the eternal city which even now has begun to shine.

Prayer: Give me such sight, O Lamb of God, that you fill my field of vision. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Who is Jesus? is a five-session study, meant to serve as an introduction to what the Bible says about Jesus Christ—who he is and what it means to trust in him as Savior and Lord.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1424.html Fri, 03 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and slander be put away from you, with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31–32)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not hold our sins against us and deny our prayers because of them. We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. And so we, too, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Pulling It Together: It is our Christian duty to absolve one another (Matt 6:14–15; John 20:23; James 5:16), as Christ has forgiven us. Before we come to his table, we must graciously extend his peace to all. We dare not come to the blessed Communion to receive his grace for ourselves alone—nor can we. So, we must be as sure as we are able to make the way to grace free for others, those whom we might stand in the way of at the holy meal. They must not be thinking of us when they kneel. Therefore, all bitterness and anger must be removed from the chancel rail, so that Christ is everyone’s focus instead of some person on the other side of the table. This end is best served by humbly forgiving one another, just as God in Christ tenderly and graciously forgives us all.

Prayer: Give me, O Lord, your kind heart, so that I may be led by you to forgive—and to be forgiven. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Adventures of Martin Luther is a simple musical drama was written for youth to tell the story of Martin Luther's adventures, including his testimony before the Emperor at the Diet of Worms and what was happening in Wittenberg during Luther's exile at Wartburg Castle. Released by Sola Publishing as part of the celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, the drama serves as a fun and interesting way for young people to enter into the story of Martin Luther, acting out some key moments in his life. The script allows for many participants, using accessible language and easy-to-learn songs based on familiar hymn tunes. Costume and prop notes are included, to help those in charge of the production.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1423.html Thu, 02 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called in one hope of your calling— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. (Ephesians 4:4–6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not hold our sins against us and deny our prayers because of them. We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. And so we, too, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Pulling It Together: The unity of the church begins and ends with God. Her unity is the Spirit’s work—not yours or mine. Christ’s Spirit unites the church. There is but one body of Christ, not many bodies, and we are brought into the one body through baptism. Now, you may say that there are many kinds of churches and even different modes of baptism. Granted, but there is one Head of the body into whom we are all baptized. He is our unity—not our church names or rituals. God holds us all together, just as surely as he holds together the whole creation (Col 1:17). Though we cannot destroy his unity, we should be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit” (Eph 6:3). That begins with the word of forgiveness that we daily and weekly pray we will give.

Prayer: Lord God, give me your courageous humility so that I may forgive. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The kind of church we see in the New Testament is different from what most modern people imagine when they think of “going to church.” Experiencing Life Together is a 15-week house-church curriculum designed for pastors, lay leaders, and churches interested in getting a taste for what church in the home is really like. Whether referred to as a house-church, organic church, alternative church, or cell church, this material applies well to any group that wants to experience Christian worship in the context of a small group meeting within the homes of the participants.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1422.html Wed, 01 Jan 20 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and the one sitting upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head are many crowns. And he has a name written that no one but himself knows. 13 He is arrayed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name that he is named is The Word of God. (Revelation 19:11–13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not hold our sins against us and deny our prayers because of them. We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. And so we, too, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Pulling It Together: We are not forsaken (Isa 62:12; 2 Cor 4:9), for we have a righteous deliverer, riding in on the horse of a champion and conqueror. The war he wages is cosmic, a battle with death itself. He does not engage the forces of flesh and blood but all the armies of evil and the devil. He fights with the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17), the word of his mouth, the invincible “it is written” (Matt 4:7) over which even hell’s general is unable to prevail. It is by this Word of God that we are absolved. His word is enough. Those who believe in Christ Jesus, The Word of God, triumph with him (2 Cor 2:14) since by that Name we are forgiven of the sin that would have defeated us. When we pray, “forgive us our trespasses,” we are asking the Father to deliver us from sin, death, evil, and the devil. He hears our prayer before we can ask it, opening heaven, and answering with the only solution in all of heaven: The Word of God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for your righteous victory over my sin. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

This is Most Certainly True! is a six-chapter mid-week Lenten Series features monologues from Martin Luther himself, based on his writings in the Large Catechism. Luther explains eloquently and simply what each part of the catechism means for us as believers and ends it with an affirmation of certainty: "This is most certainly true!"

Luther's thoughts have been transformed here into dramatic monologues so that we might hear and meditate on the foundations of our Christian faith. In addition to a sample worship service outline, there are hymns suggestions for each monologue and opening dialogues for worship based on the parts of the Small Catechism.

Other Lenten Dramas

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1421.html Tue, 31 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and moved us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13–14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not hold our sins against us and deny our prayers because of them. We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. And so we, too, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Pulling It Together: Where I come from, it is illegal for drivers to make a turn without signaling. You may receive a ticket for failing to turn on that blinker. That is not the case where I now live. In this state, there are different laws. If you do not signal a turn here, except in some specific situations, you are not breaking the law.

Where we all came from, that dominion of the devil, everything we did was wrong. By God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, we have been emigrated from that dark place to a kingdom of light where the laws are quite different. Here, the Magistrate says, “Oh, yes, I saw that you failed to do that; don’t you agree?” We respond, “I confess it is true, and am very sorry.” Then the Justice says, “All is well!”

How can it be? We live in a different land now—a land where there is redemption and forgiveness of sins.

Prayer: Thank you, Father God, for the forgiveness of sins you have granted through your beloved Son. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Introduce young students to the Church through this five-week series titled Welcome to Church. There are no student books necessary; all print resources needed to prepare and run a class session are included and are copy-ready. Each lesson includes background information for the teacher on the session theme and Bible lesson, as well as a step-by-step class session plan, ideas for welcome, prayers, Bible rhymes, activities and projects, as well as reproducible coloring pages and worksheets. The price of the book includes permission to reproduce pages for local use.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1420.html Mon, 30 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 8 Take care that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Everyone who oversteps and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. The one abiding in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 8–9)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not hold our sins against us and deny our prayers because of them. We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. And so we, too, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Pulling It Together: One may believe in Christ, a sort of historical or even biblical knowledge of him, but still, not believe on him. Believing in him may require nothing more than one would by believing in anyone or anything else. But believing on him means you trust what he says. Now, when Jesus says, do not do this, or do that, you trust him to mean what he says. When Jesus says to repent, you take him at his word. When he promises to forgive you, you count on his word to be true.

We know what he has said to us through the Scripture. There is nothing else. There are many who will tell you the Bible is an ever-changing document, some of it to be believed in ancient times, but that it does not apply to modern folks like us. This is overstepping (2 John 9). The Apostle Paul warns us about going beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6), which is tantamount to what John says about abiding in Christ’s teaching or doctrine. In fact, it comes down to believing on your words instead of the words of God.

Therefore, believe what God tells you in the Bible. And if he says, “repent,” turn from your sins and believe in his forgiveness of your sins through Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Give me courage, Lord, to take a good look at myself and see if there is some way I am not keeping in step with your word. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sacraments is one of four books in the Sola Confirmation Series and serves as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series may be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1419.html Fri, 27 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fourth Petition

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?

God indeed gives daily bread to all, even unbelievers, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that he would help us to recognize this so that we would receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?

Daily bread includes everything required to meet our earthly needs, such as food, drink, clothing, home, property, employment, necessities; devout parents, children, and communities; honest and faithful authorities, good government, seasonable weather, peace, health, an orderly society, a good reputation, true friends and neighbors, and the like.

Pulling It Together: When we pray for our daily bread, we are only asking for what God has already promised. We confess this in the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed. By acknowledging that God is our creator, we are affirming that he provides for all the needs of our lives. When we ask for our daily bread, we are asking for all our needs. More than that, this petition is a daily reminder to thank the Father for everything, for life itself, and for the eternal life we have through his Son.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for being a loving and caring Father. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Your support of Sola Publishing enables Sola to benefit future generations of Lutherans by continuing to produce resources that reflect the integrity of the Scriptures as the Word of God, from the perspective of the historical Lutheran Confessions.

Click the "Donate" button above to make a secure, one-time or recurring donation. Or mail checks made out to "Sola Publishing" to:

Sola Publishing
PO Box 521
Maple Lake, MN 55358

Questions? Please call toll free: 888-887-9840.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1418.html Thu, 26 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 Now in those days, when the disciples were growing, a grumbling of the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily assistance. 2 So the twelve mustered the majority of the disciples and said, “It is not suitable that we neglect the word of God to serve tables. 3 Now, brothers, choose seven of your men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, who we will appoint over this work. 4 But we will devoutly persevere in prayer, and in the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:1–4)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fourth Petition

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?

God indeed gives daily bread to all, even unbelievers, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that he would help us to recognize this so that we would receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?

Daily bread includes everything required to meet our earthly needs, such as food, drink, clothing, home, property, employment, necessities; devout parents, children, and communities; honest and faithful authorities, good government, seasonable weather, peace, health, an orderly society, a good reputation, true friends and neighbors, and the like.

Pulling It Together: From the early days of the church, there was concern for both spiritual and physical needs. When believers are hungry, the church must feed them. When they are thirsty, the church must provide them drink. The church, following the Lord’s directive (Matt 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44), has always endeavored to meet the nutritional needs of the people. But there is more than physical food and drink, and the church must be doubly devoted to feeding the spirit. We need the Word of God every bit as much and more than we need physical sustenance (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4). The spirit must be nourished; otherwise, we perish twice.

Prayer: Feed me, O Bread of heaven. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Your support of Sola Publishing enables Sola to benefit future generations of Lutherans by continuing to produce resources that reflect the integrity of the Scriptures as the Word of God, from the perspective of the historical Lutheran Confessions.

Click the "Donate" button above to make a secure, one-time or recurring donation. Or mail checks made out to "Sola Publishing" to:

Sola Publishing
PO Box 521
Maple Lake, MN 55358

Questions? Please call toll free: 888-887-9840.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1415.html Mon, 23 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time. (Luke 1:20)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: Our unbelief will not change the will of God. Everything he has resolved will come to pass in its season—whether we believe it will or not.

Sometimes we will not believe because God’s will seems too fantastic to us, as was the case with Zechariah. Other times, his will seems too harsh, and we refuse to believe. His will, now and then, seems too favorable toward us, and thinking we do not deserve God’s good will, we again, refuse to believe.

Nonetheless, God’s will is done, in spite of us. He does not rush to prove us wrong, but bides his time so that all things are accomplished in their season, including the span necessary to strengthen us in belief and to become steadfast in his Word and faith. In this way, we begin to desire his will be done in our earthly lives, even as it is done in heaven.

Prayer: Help, O Lord, my unbelief. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Your support of Sola Publishing enables Sola to benefit future generations of Lutherans by continuing to produce resources that reflect the integrity of the Scriptures as the Word of God, from the perspective of the historical Lutheran Confessions.

Click the "Donate" button above to make a secure, one-time or recurring donation. Or mail checks made out to "Sola Publishing" to:

Sola Publishing
PO Box 521
Maple Lake, MN 55358

Questions? Please call toll free: 888-887-9840.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1414.html Fri, 20 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: It was the will of the Father that his Son, the perfect Lamb of God, be born, suffer and die, and be buried, raised, and ascended to glory. All this was the Father’s perfect will so that the imperfect world he loves may be resurrected to new life. The Lamb died so that those who believe in him may share in his perfect righteousness. Without the will of the Father and the obedience of his Lamb we would be unjust and unable to believe in “the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Yet, because the Lamb is worthy, the Father is just in calling us worthy, righteous, and perfectly justified to him. For his sacrifice has destroyed the intent of the devil, redeeming our sinful nature so that we may regard his name as holy. What are we to do then, but fall down before the Lamb and worship (Rev 5:14)? This too, is the will of the Father.

Prayer: Thank you, O Lamb of God, for making a way to your Father—even for me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sacraments is one of four books in the Sola Confirmation Series and serves as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series may be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1413.html Thu, 19 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and they were created and exist through your will. (Revelation 4:11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: We were created as temporal beings; we exist within time. Therefore, we must learn patience. Patience is a virtue because it is so necessary and because it is God’s will. By his creation of all time-based things, he also dictates that we must be patiently faithful. In our waiting, especially in this season of Advent, we are aware of God’s seeming absence, yet we also become keenly aware of his promise. He is returning (John 14:3; Rev 3:11; 22:7, 12). In the interval of patient expectation, we find that our creator is worthy of all glory and honor and power. His seeming delay brings forth the fruit of patience in those who faithfully watch, for in waiting they learn the blessed will of the Father, and are at peace.

Prayer: Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Your support of Sola Publishing enables Sola to benefit future generations of Lutherans by continuing to produce resources that reflect the integrity of the Scriptures as the Word of God, from the perspective of the historical Lutheran Confessions.

Click the "Donate" button above to make a secure, one-time or recurring donation. Or mail checks made out to "Sola Publishing" to:

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1412.html Wed, 18 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: After this, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice, which I had heard speaking with me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you that which must happen after these things.” (Revelation 4:1)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: We have seen the open door of the gospel (Rev 3:8) but here is a door opened to heaven, so that John may see into the realm of the divine and be assured that God’s will is being done on earth. The best events in our world have their cause in heaven, and are guided by the wisdom of the heavenly King. While this may be difficult to believe, it is what we confess and pray. Just so, in our Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us how our wills may come to match those of his Father. The Third Petition is not meant to muster our pitiful powers or steal our mettle, but to bolster our trust in the Almighty. In the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we do not pray that his will might be done, but for faith to believe God’s will is truly being done. This is what John is about to witness through an opened door to heaven: God’s will is indeed being done on earth as it is in heaven.

Prayer: Thy will be done, Father. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

How to be a Disciple is a six-part series of dramas featuring the first twelve disciples, each exploring a piece of the discipleship puzzle. The disciples are placed in a light-hearted contemporary setting, helping listeners to get a sense for the down-to-earth interplay between personalities. The progression of the series is meant to provide the larger picture of what discipleship means. (Two to five characters per drama.)

Other Lenten Dramas

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1411.html Tue, 17 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 15 I know your works: that you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you from my mouth. 17 Because you say, “I am rich and have become prosperous and need nothing,” but do not realize you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness not be revealed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. (Revelation 3:15–18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: It is God’s will that we find our satisfaction in him. When we are content with our deeds and religious devotion, we may feel satisfied but our attitude is bile in the throat of the Almighty. Tepid religiosity is a faith killer. Though we imagine ourselves rich in religion, and put on pious attire, and protest that it is we who see how the church ought to be, God’s will remains. He would have us obtain salve for our eyes so that we may see clearly, baptismal robes so that we are properly attired to walk with him, and his means so that we are rich in him. Beware, lest you become satisfied with your religion. May you find contentment in Christ alone.

Prayer: Awaken me, Lord, so that I am ready for your return. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Developed and used by Pastor Fred Baltz in his church in Galena, Illinois, this congregational resource book describes how a parish can host an “invite-able” event, as part of a larger evangelism initiative, energizing God’s people for the mission of Christ. Using a practical, step-by-step “how to” approach, The Invitation Project provides guidance, organization, and ideas, not simply to promote a single program of outreach, but to develop and inspire the overall outreach efforts of the congregation. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1410.html Mon, 16 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: I know your works. See, I have caused there to be an opened door before you, which no one can shut. I know that you have little power, yet have kept my word and not denied my name. (Revelation 3:8)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: Who can shut the open door of the gospel’s invitation to faith in Christ? It is God’s will that we are strengthened to keep the faith, to remain steadfast in his Word. So, though we have little or no power in our human nature, God supplies us with enough to keep us in the faith and remain faithful to his Name. It is he who “encourage[s ]our hearts and strengthen[s us] in every good deed and word” (2 Thes 2:17). His will be done.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the open door of the gospel. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is an advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series, of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.

Part 1 Leader's Guide  •  Part 2 Participant Book  •  Part 2 Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1409.html Fri, 13 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 25 But hold fast to what you have until I come. 26 To the one who overcomes and keeps my works until the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when clay pots are shattered—just as I have received it from my Father. 28 And I will give him the Morning Star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:25–29)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: What does love desire? A large, fine house? A car with a big red bow atop it on Christmas morning? Diamonds? Dinner and a movie every week? Each is more absurd than the next. Anyone who has ever been in love knows the supreme gift is one’s heart. Giving oneself to their true love is the highest measure of love.

So, what would it be that the church’s true love, Christ Jesus, would require of us but our hearts? And how do we give him our hearts but by remaining faithful to him, like any loving spouse does. We do not give our hearts to other gods, nor to any activities that would take us away from him. We are to be fully devoted to the Lord, not half-hearted. We are commanded to love the Lord our God with the whole heart (Matt 22:37). This is God’s good and gracious will, that when we have little else to give him, we give him what he desires most. We give him our hearts by being faithful to him alone until the end. 

Then, at that ending of all things temporal, Christ Jesus, the bright and Morning Star (Rev 22:16), will give us himself in glory.  

Prayer: I love you, O Lord of my heart. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Cross and the Crown is an eight session study in Lutheran Basics, using the word "sola" to get the big picture right: that salvation is all God's doing.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1407.html Thu, 12 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 10 Do not fear things that you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, so that you may be tested, and you will experience tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death. (Revelation 2:10–11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: We are to fear God rather than the things of this life. Suffering, even great suffering, may be our lot, yet it is only for the space of time. A Day is coming when time is undone, and with it all the tribulation of this life. Then there will be everlasting joy and peace. In the meanwhile, it remains God’s will for us to be faithful—even in the face of death.

Polycarp, that faithful disciple of St. John, and the bishop of Smyrna, faced death by wild beasts or fire, unless he recanted his faith in Christ. The blessed bishop would rather be burned than betray his Lord. And so, he was led to the pyre. He went joyfully, knowing that the fire would burn for an hour while a fire fit for the faithless would burn forever.

It is God’s will that we remain faithful regardless of this life’s troubles. Troubles come and go but the faithful will remain in the presence of their Lord forever.

Prayer: Give me such faith, O Father, that I may confess with the blessed bishop of Smyrna, “I am a Christian!” Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Your support of Sola Publishing enables Sola to benefit future generations of Lutherans by continuing to produce resources that reflect the integrity of the Scriptures as the Word of God, from the perspective of the historical Lutheran Confessions.

Click the "Donate" button above to make a secure, one-time or recurring donation. Or mail checks made out to "Sola Publishing" to:

Sola Publishing
PO Box 521
Maple Lake, MN 55358

Questions? Please call toll free: 888-887-9840.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1406.html Wed, 11 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 4 But I have this against you, that you have forsaken your primary love. 5 Remember therefore, from where you are fallen, and reconsider, and do the former works. Unless you repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:4–5)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: The fear, love, and trust of God both bids us do his will and gives us the power to do so. And what is God’s greatest command than that we love him above all others, and our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27)? Do we still love him as we did when his own love for us was first made known? Does our love of the crucified motivate us to love those whom he loves? It must! Therefore, we should consider our current attitudes, whether there is some affection lacking in us. If so, repentance is our only course of action, as we “await[] our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). The people of God must be eager to do the deeds of love that glorify their King. This is his purpose for us (Titus 2:14); but if we will not do his will, how will we bear his light to the world? Our defiance would effectively remove the stand that bears the Light. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28 NIV).

Prayer: Strengthen me, O Lord, so that I may do your will. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

By What Authority is a book that confronts churches who no longer believe their own message. It is about the end of traditional Christianity as practiced in modern times—not a futuristic end, but an end already accomplished, or partially accomplished, in a majority of countries, cities, and churches. Strange as it seems, many Christians haven't noticed. But others were so concerned they've gathered in these pages the wisdom of alert pastors, theologians, laity, young seminarians, and evangelicals. They all have a story to tell you in their own voices. and it's a story so urgent and timely it opens your eyes in ways few might imagine. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1405.html Tue, 10 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 9 I John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation, and kingdom, and resolute endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”” (Revelation 1:9–11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Petition

Thy kingdom come.

What does this mean?

The kingdom of God comes indeed by itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.

How is this done?

God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life now and in eternity.

Pulling It Together: Being a citizen of the Father’s kingdom does not exempt us from trials and distress while we still have a foot in this world (John 16:33). John was imprisoned on Patmos; each of us may have our own exiles—from family, neighbor, workmates, or society as a whole—but we know our citizenship is in heaven. The old Larry Norman song (“Reader’s Digest”) ends, “I’m only visiting this planet,” prior to his homage to John Benson’s hymn: “This world is not my home; I’m just passing through.” Knowing we are ambassadors here (2 Cor 5:20), only visiting this world, allows us, through the power of the Spirit of Christ within us, to persevere so long as we are stationed here. We are residents in this world, citizens of another, fairer realm. Despite the tribulations of this place, we must listen for the great voice of Christ and be at peace in his presence. For he is with us, even here (Matt 28:20).

Prayer: Open my ears to hear your great voice, Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The English Standard Version Pew Bible containing the Old and New Testament is an affordable durable Bible, designed for regular church use. Hardcover black with black print.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1404.html Mon, 09 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 5b To him who loves us—freeing us from our sins by his blood— 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be the glory and the dominion from everlasting to forever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5b–6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Petition

Thy kingdom come.

What does this mean?

The kingdom of God comes indeed by itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.

How is this done?

God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life now and in eternity.

Pulling It Together: We have no beasts to sacrifice, yet we are priests to our God. We have no temple where the people come to our services, for we are all priests to our God. We have no special, ornate garments, as in baptism we have been clothed in Christ (Gal 3:27), our robes whitened in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14). The duty of the old priestly system has been fulfilled in Christ. He is our great High Priest (Heb 4:14), his body and blood the fully sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (Heb 10:12). So, how is it that we are priests? What does this priestly role have us do?

Luther said that what we do have is God's Word, the Word that assures us of two things: that Christ Jesus is our High Priest, our Lord who sits in glory and dominion, and that we are, by this same Word, priests before God. But what are we to offer? Sacrifices? Deeds? Religious devotion? No, our offering is always the fear, love, and trust of God that manifests itself in faith. Our faith is what we give to the Father; it is all he desires. There are many things that flow from such God-fearing faith—the sacrifices of praise and prayer, good works, and worship—but faith is the priestly duty of Christians. When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we are asking that his kingdom come to us, and it does, by God’s grace through faith.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may your kingdom come in the hearts of those we love. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.

Leader's Guide 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1403.html Fri, 06 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 3 Beloved, though I was especially intent to write to you about our common salvation, I found need to write, exhorting you to fight for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have slipped in who were long ago charged with this condemnation: ungodly people, who distort the grace of our God into licentiousness, and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 3–4)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The First Petition

Hallowed be thy name.

What does this mean?

God’s name is indeed holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy also among us.

How is this done?

God’s name is hallowed when his Word is taught in its truth and purity and we, as God’s children, lead holy lives in accordance with it. Grant this to us, dear Father in heaven. But whoever teaches and lives in ways other than what God’s Word teaches dishonors the name of God among us. Prevent us from doing this, heavenly Father.

Pulling It Together: Our faith, which leads to salvation, is held or observed in common (Jude 3; Titus 1:4). What is our common faith if not summarized in this word: that Jesus delivered us from bondage (Jude 5)? Yet there are those among us who would remain in Egypt while partaking of the kingdom’s joys. We must give no quarter to those who compromise the faith. These blasphemers are a great danger to the church, and are to be shunned.

The best way to avoid them may be to give them cause to avoid you. Call a pastor who preaches both Law and Gospel, so that conviction of sins, as well as the consolation of Christ, is always in attendance at your assemblies. Build yourselves up in our common, holy faith, and pray that you are kept in the faith and not led astray by false teachers. In doing so, we live out the petition that God’s name may be kept holy among us.

Prayer: Multiply in the church, Lord, your peace, mercy, and love. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? is a six-week Bible Study that examines the most profound event of salvation history — the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the Atonement.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1402.html Thu, 05 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 11 As all these things are to be obliterated, what kind of people are you obligated to be in holy and godly lives, 12 expecting and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and destroyed, and the elements will melt as they burn? 13 But, according to his promise, we are awaiting new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness resides. (2 Peter 3:11–13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven.

What does this mean?

God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father, and that we are truly his children, so that we may boldly and confidently pray to him, just as beloved children speak to their dear father.

How is this done?

God’s name is hallowed when his Word is taught in its truth and purity and we, as God’s children, lead holy lives in accordance with it. Grant this to us, dear Father in heaven. But whoever teaches and lives in ways other than what God’s Word teaches dishonors the name of God among us. Prevent us from doing this, heavenly Father.

Pulling It Together: How may we hallow God’s name but to believe his Word and act accordingly? This old world will not be around forever, and we even less time. All of creation awaits its destruction, when new and holy places will be given to those who have been reborn to live godly lives. As all is to be destroyed, it puts a fine point on the purpose of life. All of that stuff in your attic or basement or storage unit, everything packed away in drawers and closets and bank accounts, even those packages under the Christmas tree, will end in a cataclysmic apocalypse. Facebook disputes and arguments over the color of carpet or the expansion of the church building or whether to go to a second service, will be wiped out. Climbing the ladder of success will be reduced to nothing.

So, what kind of people should we be in the meantime? Holy. Godly. And how may we live such lives but by believing God’s Word and doing it? This is the petition given legs, the hallowing of the name of our heavenly Father.

Prayer: May your name be holy among us, Father. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Smalcald Articles are often considered Luther's theological Last Will and Testament. Written in easy-to-understand language, this study is presented in a discussion formation with assigned readings from the Scriptures and the Book of Concord. Included in the study is a shorter work by Philip Melanchton called "The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope." 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1401.html Wed, 04 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven.

What does this mean?

God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father, and that we are truly his children, so that we may boldly and confidently pray to him, just as beloved children speak to their dear father.

Pulling It Together: The future is unknown, so I better put more money in my retirement fund. I would have less anxiety if I could just get a better paying job. Can the government do more for me? These are the daily worries of so many. But we must look to a surer source of help in life (Psa 121:1). Should our appeal be to a financial planner or employer, Congress or President? Is there actual hope in these resources—something that may sustain our confidence throughout life? We confess that our help comes from the Lord, that “our help is in the name of the Lord” (Psa 124:8). Therefore, Jesus teaches us to address our prayer to that great name, to pray to the one who is able to grant us our requests, and who, in fact, wishes to do so. Thus, we pray, “Our Father.”

Prayer: Father, thank you for listening. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Fulfilled In Him is a five-part Lenten drama series, focusing on five pairs of characters — one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament — who demonstrate in their witness the fulfillment of God's promise. Presented with a kind of before-and-after perspective, the pairing of characters examines how Christ is the key to Scripture — "the founder and perfecter of our faith."

Other Lenten Dramas

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1400.html Tue, 03 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken away and discarded into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever you request in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:21–22)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven.

What does this mean?

God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father, and that we are truly his children, so that we may boldly and confidently pray to him, just as beloved children speak to their dear father.

Pulling It Together: Everything belongs to the Father, and in him all creation holds together (Col 1:17). Is he then, unable to grant your prayers? Indeed, there is a so-called power that holds back the hand of God. Lack of faith checks the Almighty. However, Christ Jesus himself gives a promise to those who pray to the heavenly Father with faith—that is, with fear, love, and trust. Those who pray with faith in the Almighty, will receive what they ask of God, for he is a loving Father who gives his children all good things (Matt 7:11).

Prayer: Thank you, heavenly Father, for hearing my prayers. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Here is a free, one-year Bible reading plan you may print out for yourself or for your entire congregation. If you would like professional, personalized copies for your church, email or call 336-684-5634 for a quotation. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1399.html Mon, 02 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1b To those who have received a faith of equal excellence as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 May grace and peace be increased in you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:1–2)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven.

What does this mean?

God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father, and that we are truly his children, so that we may boldly and confidently pray to him, just as beloved children speak to their dear father.

Pulling It Together: Consider your worth. Your own merit, that which is yours through your deeds and religious devotion, is of course, relatively worthless. This does not give you any standing with God. Yet, the distinction you have with the Father because of Christ is of the greatest excellence. There is no higher merit. Because of Christ alone, you may come to the Father in heaven. He hears your prayers, even gladly expecting them, because of your faith in his Son. The knowledge of this truth, that you are justified or made right with the Father through Christ alone, adds grace to grace, enlarging your faith, and increasing your peace with God. This is why you may boldly and confidently approach the throne of grace (Heb 4:16). You are of great worth to God because of “the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Prayer: Thank you, Heavenly Father, for hearing my prayers. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Please consider adding Sola Publishing to your personal and congregational benevolences. You may also securely donate as an individual by clicking the blue donate button above. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1398.html Fri, 29 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 5b Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 And on that day there will not be no light, cold, or frost; 7 but it will be a singular day that is known to the Lord—not day nor night. When the hour of evening comes, there will be light. (Zechariah 14:5b–7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: On the last day, the Lord will return. These lengthening days of darkness will be no more, for the Lamb will be our light (Rev 21:23). We will have no concern for the heat of day, or cold, nor any interest in weather at all. For the Lord will captivate us. We cannot conceive of his eternal light, as yet known only to God. But at last, the Lord will return to raise us from the dead (1 Thes 4:16), and grant us everlasting life in the brightness of eternal day. Then we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thes 4:17). This is what we confess. This is what we await. This is the certain truth in which, even now, we have begun to live.

Prayer: Turn my eyes, O Lamb of God, toward that brightness of eternal day which is you. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Here is a free, one-year Bible reading plan you may print out for yourself or for your entire congregation. If you would like professional, personalized copies for your church, email or call 336-684-5634 for a quotation. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1397.html Thu, 28 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 15 Having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love for all the saints, 16 for this reason, I do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your heart enlightened that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints… (Ephesians 1:15–18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Oh, the wonder of faith in Jesus Christ! It is faith in God that makes a saint, and saints make the church, which has the Lord Jesus Christ as her Head. This is reason for great thanksgiving to God—not merely the apostle’s gratitude but ours too. Let us give thanks to God for the church, that blessed communion of saints where he gives us faith to receive all of God’s blessings: forgiveness of sins, resurrection of body, everlasting life—and all else besides.

Prayer: Thank you, O Father of Glory, for the church of Christ. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Electronic Resource (SOWeR) also includes bulletin templates. There are word processing templates for both communion and non-communion services. There are also templates for Sola, LBW, and Reclaim service settings. SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1396.html Wed, 27 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: In [Christ] we have great redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the wealth of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Within the communion of the Christian church there is the true faith that receives the free gift of Christ Jesus. There, in that Body, the Head forgives; and he forgives abundantly, as there is full redemption in his blood. The sacrifice of Jesus means that the Father’s gracious love is justly given to those who believe, to his church, his Body. His salvation is so complete that he forgives the sins of all believers not once, but daily. His blood is a full atonement, given once for all people, for all time, for all sin (Heb 10:1–18). The Father is not stingy or cheap with his grace; he lavishly forgives us our iniquities for Jesus’ sake. His Holy Spirit is his seal of our redemption, a guarantee we may rely upon until that Day when we fully inherit his blessings through resurrection to eternal life (Eph 1:14). 

Prayer: Give me, O God, receiving faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Electronic Resource (SOWeR) includes a database of hundreds of hymns and songs for use in worship. Search for titles, themes, or categories; then open individual pages that feature author data, plain-text lyrics, full-score hymn inserts, and simplified lead sheets for accompanists. Hymn numbers are provided for LBW/WOV and ReClaim hymnals. The database also includes original lyrics written by Sola authors, that may be sung to familiar hymn tunes.

SOWER is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1395.html Tue, 26 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 35 Now as he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. 36 And hearing a crowd of people going by, he asked what this was. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those in front rebuked him, so that he would be quiet. Yet he screamed even more. “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Then Jesus stopped and commanded him be led to him. And when he drew near, he asked him, 41 “What do you desire me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, that I recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” 43 And immediately, he recovered his sight, and followed him, glorifying God. And when they saw it, the entire crowd gave praise to God. (Luke 18:35–43)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: We may think of this calling of the Spirit as a solitary affair, as though the Spirit says, “You there, come and follow Christ.” And so he does call each one of us, but we follow Christ together. This is the church; we are each part of the Body. We see how to follow Jesus in the company of other followers, and in their companionship we are encouraged to continue following.

See how a multitude clamored after Jesus as he neared Jericho? Yet, the whole company learned how to truly follow Jesus when a blind man cried out, “Lord, let me receive my sight.” Jesus granted faith true sight and the blind man, now seeing, followed Jesus. Then, all the people praised God.

This is how the Spirit works in the church. He calls people to see Christ through faith. Then the whole company of believers is encouraged and praise God. In the church, the blind receive sight, and the dead are raised to walk in newness of life. This is the Spirit’s work among us.

Prayer: Open my eyes, Lord, that I may follow you. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, worship planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1394.html Mon, 25 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, “Good Teacher, what must I do to obtain eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20 You know the commandments: do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.” 21 And he said, “I have observed all these things since my youth.” 22 And when Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me. (Luke 18:18–22)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Jesus still calls. He beckons us to come to him from out of the darkness. Jesus calls us from the darkness of dependence upon anything but himself. Such is the case with the ruler in today’s reading. He would gain eternal life on his own. “What must I do?” he inquired, as if thinking that the keeping of the commandments or some other moralistic housekeeping was the trick. So Jesus gave him a very hard thing to do, hoping to show him that he could not perform it, and that he must depend upon a greater goodness than himself.

The ruler does not seem to comprehend Jesus’ real teaching, nor do the others who heard, imagining heaven an impossibility if one must sell everything and give it to the poor. Let us be clear: Jesus did not assign a good work to be performed in order to snatch eternity from the grasp of God. The point Jesus made to the ruler—and is making to you and me—is that no one can depend on their goodness or deeds in order to obtain eternal life. But we may depend upon Jesus.

Therefore, we should follow him, not a trail of our own actions. For we are preserved in unity with Jesus Christ by following him, which is tantamount to being in the one true faith. When instead, our steps correspond to our deeds, we are out of step with Jesus.

Prayer: Give me the courage to follow you, Jesus, even if it means I give up all else. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The goal of Personalities of Faith, a ten-session Bible study for youth, is to encourage young people to commit themselves to follow Jesus in discipleship by becoming "personalities of faith". Using biblical examples of people who have followed—or failed to follow—God's call, participants will be prepared to better follow the Lord in their own lives.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1392.html Fri, 22 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 28 Then they cry to the Lord in their suffering, and he brings them out of their distresses. 29 He stills the storm to a calm, so that the billows are silent. 30 Then they rejoice because the swells are tranquil, and he brings them to their desired harbor. (Psalm 107:28–30)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: If you have ever been on a boat in a bad storm, you know the helplessness of the situation. The closest many of us have come to this nautical nightmare is driving down an Interstate highway when a blinding rainstorm seems to come out of nowhere. The best one may do in such a situation is pull over and wait out the storm. Of course, when you are in a boat at sea, there is no place to pull over.

“The whole Christian church on earth” is that boat. Sometimes the storm—the angst over sin, and concerns about death—is overwhelming and it seems there is no refuge. The boat is our only sanctuary, so we wait it out together in that safest of places, awaiting the stillness that God has promised. And what is that promise but that he forgives our sins and gives us victory over death, and that he will, at last, bring this boat filled with all his people into her anticipated haven? Rejoice!

Prayer: Give me the courage to wait upon you, Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Cross and the Crown is an eight session study in Lutheran Basics, using the word "sola" to get the big picture right: that salvation is all God's doing.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1388.html Thu, 21 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name. Make his deeds known among the peoples. 2 Sing to him; sing praises to him. Meditate on all his marvelous works. 3 Glory in his holy name. Let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 4 Seek the Lord and his strength. Constantly seek his face. 5 Remember the wondrous things that he has done: his miracles and the judgments that he pronounced. (Psalm 105:1–5)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Do not give up hope about the church. God’s Spirit is still calling, gathering, enlightening, and sanctifying his people. In doing so, he unites the whole Christian church on earth with Christ, thereby preserving it in the one true faith. Give thanks. Sing to him. Glory in the Name. Continually seek his face. Remember his marvelous works, for these works of calling, gathering, enlightening, and sanctifying are his works in us. Without the Spirit’s work in this catholic church, despite our best efforts, it would not be the church at all, for it would not be a holy church. The church requires the work of God to make it holy. In order to make it holy, this uniting with Christ must take place and be preserved. This is not something we can do; it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit that unites us with Christ and therefore, makes the catholic church wholly holy. Therefore, our hope for the church must always be in the Lord of the church.

Prayer: I remember, O Lord, the wonderful things you have done for me—and for your whole church on earth. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

https://solapublishing.com/2020-liturgical-calendar-year-a-_K-2020

Have you gotten your Year A (2020) liturgical calendars yet? One for the sacristy...one for each person on the altar guild...one for the secretary...one for the pastor...

Printed two sides on glossy card stock. Order online or by calling 1-888-887-9840.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1386.html Wed, 20 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 And another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer; and much incense was given to him to add to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 And the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and cast it upon the earth. And there followed thunder and booms and lightning and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:1–5)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Frightful things are looming. Judgment is coming. “But rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Though God’s judgment on each person is approaching, there is hope for those who believe in Christ. The prayers of all his saints—those of the whole Christian church—are still heard by our Almighty Father. Though judgment is certain, God preserves us in the true faith. We are still able to worship him and pray, working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). We will also be upheld by him in the judgment.

Yet why, we may ask, would a just and holy God do such a thing? He does so only because we are united with Christ. This is the blessed communion of saints: those who are united with Christ. Being wholly united and communing with the Spirit through Word and Sacrament, and prayer and worship, no terror is able to overcome anyone whom the Father has chosen to reveal the Son (Luke 10:22).

Prayer: Restore to me, Lord, the joy of your salvation. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Basics of the Christian Faith is an edition of the catechism that is aimed at seekers, visitors, and those that may not come from a Lutheran background. It is recommended for use in outreach, as a visitor welcome gift, or in new member packets.

Use the Small Catechism as an outreach tool with a Customized 100-pack.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1385.html Tue, 19 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 13 And one of the elders answered me saying, “Who are these who are covered in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are those coming out of the great oppression, and who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:13–14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: The Holy Spirit sanctifies me; I do not sanctify myself. He consecrates me by giving me what I need for what he expects of me, and by forgiving me every moment of the day for my various sins, and finally, overarching all else, sealing me with himself (Rev 7:3–4). The Holy Spirit sanctifies me, therefore, not just by giving me spiritual gifts, but in giving me the most precious gift of all: faith in Christ. This bequeathed faith is the Spirit’s seal on me. By means of it, he equips me to believe daily that God really does completely forgive all my sins.

This life therefore, is that great oppression or tribulation or distress (Rev 7:14) in which I must daily depend upon Jesus through faith. Such faith is a washing of this fleshly robe, a renewed and glistening covering in Christ himself (Gal 3:27). By his grace, faith in Christ brings me through life—whatever it may bring—arrayed in a fashion fit and acceptable to the Father. 

Prayer: Wash me, O Lord, and I will be pure as snow. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, presented in a question and discussion format. The Leader's Guide that accompanies this study is a resource for those facilitating group discussion, or may serve as a reader's commentary for those who are studying the Book of Concord on their own.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1384.html Mon, 18 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16–17)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: I do not believe in God by way of my reason, decision, determination, or strength. I come to God through God. It would be quite impossible to come to God by way of my own understanding, for if God had not revealed himself to me, how could I ever know who God is? Nor can I make a decision for him; but his Spirit works in me through the gospel. For it is not flesh and blood, human determination or strength, that brings forth the good confession. It is instead, his gracious will that we should know him, and confess him through faith (Phil 2:13). This is what Scripture tells us. It may defy our reason; and that is the point.

Prayer: Thank you for revealing yourself and calling me through your Son. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1383.html Fri, 15 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And I give them eternal life, and they shall never die, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Jesus made a promise (1 John 2:25) to all people that he would give eternal life to whomever would believe in him (John 11:25–26). We who confess the Apostles’ Creed believe in Christ Jesus, and all he has done for the world. And so, we believe in the resurrection too, but more: that he is the resurrection and the life. There is no life, no everlasting life, without Jesus, without believing in him (John 3:18). No one goes to the Father except through Christ—what he has accomplished, trust in that, faith in him (John 14:6). Jesus has achieved this victory over sin and death, and he has done this for you. Believe his promise.

Prayer: I believe, Lord Jesus, in you. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Retirement: The Good, the Bad, the Blessings is a nine-session study takes a look at the good, the bad, and the blessings of retirement, reflecting on biblical themes that speak to this season of life. For those who are in retirement, as well as those who are moving toward it, God continues to open up new possibilities and challenges, as we continue to follow Christ into the future. As in all things, God walks with us, promising that he will never forsake us.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1382.html Thu, 14 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who by the force that enables him to subdue all things to himself, will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20–21)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: We believe that God will raise our earthly bodies, just as Jesus was resurrected. Our humble bodies will be transformed to be like Christ’s in glory. We do not know what that will look like, nor should we care to speculate. All we know—and this is of paramount importance—is that these glorified bodies will usher us into the presence of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enabling us by the power at work in Christ Jesus to enjoy their blessed communion forever.

Prayer: I am excited for your return, O Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Cross and the Crown is an eight session study in Lutheran Basics, using the word "sola" to get the big picture right: that salvation is all God's doing.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1381.html Wed, 13 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 John 1:5–10

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Everywhere we turn, there are two things before us: sin (and lots of it) and forgiveness of sins. That we sin is perhaps the clearest indicator of our humanness. That God forgives our sins is the one of greatest expressions of his divinity. When we confess that there is forgiveness of sins, we are admitting that we are sinners and claiming that the Lord is merciful and gracious toward us.

Let us be clear, however: the forgiveness of sins is available to those who admit their condition, their need of a Savior, and the truth that the Father sent his Son into the world to accomplish this very thing once and for all (Heb 10:10). If we deny our sins, we deny the truth and are the worst sort of liars. We are fooling no one else but ourselves, stumbling through life in dark denial, if we say we have not sinned.

But if we acknowledge our sins, then God is not only faithful to forgive, he is just in doing so. He is righteous in his forgiveness (as opposed to that kind of bad parent who always lets their kid off the hook) since this is the very reason he sent his Son among us. When we walk in the light, Jesus' blood cleanses us from our sins. Now this walking in light is not walking without sin, as some will say it is. It is quite the opposite. Walking in the light is a living honestly before God, not hiding our sins from him as Eve and Adam tried to do, but coming out from the bushes and into the open before him. This is where God forgives; he does not forgive us in the bushes.

We believe in the forgiveness of sins so much that we are bold to announce with the authority of Jesus Christ the forgiveness of sins to repentant sinners. So, as you go through this life, you will sin by what you say and neglect to say, and by what you do and refuse to do. You will sin in thought, word, and deed. Yet, by the power of the Holy Spirit within you, you will remember, sometimes even as you are sinning, that the Father sent a Savior. Do not run for the bushes. Do not deny. Confess! For we believe in the forgiveness of sins.

Prayer: Help me walk in the light as you are in the light, Lord. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Learning About Confession teaches the meaning of Confession and Forgiveness according Luther's guidance in the Small Catechism. It is recommended for the Sixth Grade Level. 

Teacher's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1380.html Tue, 12 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven through his name. (1 John 2:12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: We believe in the forgiveness of sins. Pardon does not come by once being forgiven and then no longer sinning. The forgiveness of sins comes to us for his name’s sake, in other words, through the name of Christ. We depend upon Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sins—original sin, sins once committed, as well as the sins of today and tomorrow.

This does not mean that we do not try to live godly lives or that we sin with abandon. “God forbid!” (Rom 6:15 KJV). But as long as we live in this flesh, Luther taught, we will continue to battle with sin (On Christian Freedom). Therefore, the victory over sin comes through Christ alone. When we sin, we turn again with sorrowful repentance to the Forgiver, to Christ. And again and again, Christ Jesus forgives. This is what we confess when we say that we believe in the forgiveness of sins.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, for your name’s sake. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Discussion of Living Religions is a brief introduction to major world religions that takes a conversational approach as a group of friends talk together about what it is they believe. Each has a chance to speak for themselves about how they understand the fundamentals of reality and faith.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1379.html Mon, 11 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 24 And let us ponder how to rouse love and good works in one another, 25 not forsaking our assembling together—as is the habit of some—but exhorting each another, and even more so, as you see the Event approaching. (Hebrews 10:24–25)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian,” he told me. Then he added, “The Bible doesn’t say I have to go to church.” I was so informed by a police officer in the process of a raid on a house. I suppose he need not have shown up for the raid, that he was police all the same. Well, in fact, Scripture does tell us that God expects us to go to church.

He tells us to assemble together because that is where the Holy Spirit, through his various gifts, builds up and sanctifies believers. He may or may not build up an individual or even a department at a police raid. Yet God is interested in more than civics, of having a fine department, or city council, or even whole town. He is intent on sanctifying his church, of making a holy communion. Fine individualism is not good enough; he demands holiness, indeed, the consecration of the whole church.

Sanctification is the Spirit’s doing, not our own, nor something that may be accomplished on our own. If you think you can make yourself holy through the things you do, then you may as well settle for the next raid in your city. If, however, you believe in the Holy Spirit and the communion of saints, you need to get yourself to worship and Bible study this week. That is where it happens.

Prayer: I believe in your sanctifying work, Holy Spirit. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

This booklet provides a suggested list of Bible verses, prayers, and familiar worship texts assigned to various age levels, recommended for use along with Sola Publishing’s Sunday Schoolhouse curriculum series. The order of texts matches the suggested grade levels in Luther’s Small Cat Series: elementary-aged curriculum on Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, also available from Sola Publishing. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1378.html Fri, 08 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 14 But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For circumcision is nothing, nor is uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as many as will walk by this rule, peace and mercy upon them, and upon the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:14–16)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: What is this holy catholic church? Let us look to the defining words; and let us do so in reverse order, allowing the descriptive words to address the direct object. What is the church? It is an assembly (ekklesia)—in the case of the New Testament authors, an assembly of believers. In the instance of the Creed, it refers to a singular assembly of believers throughout time (Rev 4:4; 5:11; 7:9–17; 14:3; etc.). All believers in Christ will be assembled together around the throne of the Lamb of God. We see in Revelation the church or assembly of believers as it will be. And so it begins, even now.

Catholic. This is the archaic word for “universal.” We believe in the assembly of all Christians everywhere and throughout time—or as we may think of it, in the Old Testament and the New. You may ask how there may be Christians in the Old Testament. Paul refers to this wonder of the church, calling the muster of God’s people throughout time as “the Israel of God” (Gal 6:16). To better understand how Lutherans and Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Baptists, Jews and Gentiles, and other combinations you may imagine, may be part of the catholic church, let us consider the second descriptive word.

Holy. “There’s the rub.” The whole church throughout time is comprised of those who are holy. Their holiness does not come from living a certain life, though indeed, they make the attempt at a pious life. Instead, the catholic church is they who have put their whole trust in God’s industry, not their own. They believe in his Christ, not their religion. They put their trust in God’s grace, not human works. This is how those of the Old Testament are accounted in the catholic church. Like Abraham, they looked with hopeful faith for the promise of the Messiah. Faith then, is how they too receive their reward (Heb 11:1–2).

Is it not the same with us? We live in the so called church-age, and like our Old Testament counterparts, have never seen Christ. But we believe; we have faith. All who do, in any time, are the holy catholic church.  

Prayer: Thank you for gathering me, Lord God, unto your elect. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Views of Baptism is written for a range of readers including the parent or sponsor about to baptize a child, the adult who wants to understand baptism more fully, and the professional teacher or preacher who needs the truth about baptism stated simply but backed by careful research. This books explores three views of baptism: the individual-centered view, the means-of-grace view, and the Roman Catholic view. It includes a description of how Christian baptism came to us in stages from its Jewish roots. A question and answer section addresses specific matters often raised when people contemplate baptism.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1377.html Thu, 07 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Ephesians 1:1–14

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Christians believe that the Lord our God is one God yet three persons, or Trinity. We have named the first two persons of the Trinity who is God. The first is the Father. The second is Jesus Christ his only Son. The third is the Spirit of God whom we call the Holy Spirit, or sometimes speaking archaically, the Holy Ghost.

The Spirit hovered over the chaotic deep, bringing creation in the beginning. He overshadowed Mary, causing the virgin to be with the child Jesus (re: January 8, 2015). The Spirit reminds us of the things Jesus taught, as well as other parts of Scripture. He teaches us. He intercedes for us in prayer when words fail to come. He moves in hearts of Christians so that unity in a congregation that might otherwise dissolve is fulfilled for God's glory. He brings hope, encouragement, peace, and joy. He also helps us in times of trial and weakness. When we imagine that God cannot possibly love poor sinners like us, the Holy Spirit reminds us of God's love and sacrifice—that eternal life and peace do not depend upon our worth or our works. In short, this Holy Spirit of God whom we confess in the Apostle's Creed brings our attention back to Jesus at every turn. He is the guarantee of everything Jesus promised.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for sending your Father's Spirit to help us keep faith in you. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Luther's Small Cat Discovers: The Seasons of the Church Year is written for 4th grade level students. This book takes students through the church year, accompanied by Luther’s Small Cat — a character who is just as inquisitive and precocious as the students. May your journey through the church year bring you closer to Christ, who walks through each moment of life alongside you.

Teacher's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1376.html Wed, 06 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Therefore, I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one is able to say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: If we agree with Luther’s teaching on the third article of the Creed, we are acknowledging that we cannot climb our way to God. We are conceding that we cannot even believe in God without the Holy Spirit’s assistance. We need God’s Helper, the Holy Spirit, for without his help, we are unable to believe. For, we “cannot by [our] own reason or strength believe…” This is part of what it means to “believe in the Holy Spirit.” In other words, we believe in why Christ sent his Spirit, not merely that there is a Holy Spirit.

So, how does the Spirit bring us to faith? We may as well ask a second question. How does the Holy Spirit maintain our belief, or keep us “in the one true faith”? He does both through the gospel. The Holy Spirit does not act upon us through private, inner revelations, nor through manifestations to a group. He always acts through the agency of the outward gospel: Word and Sacrament. Through these means, the Spirit preaches Christ crucified, dead, resurrected, and ascended. He preaches Christ through the Word so that we may believe. He preaches Christ through the Sacraments so that we may remember that we believe and in whom we believe. Even here in the Sacraments, we hear the clear Word proclaimed to us by the Holy Spirit.

Through this Word of the Spirit Preacher, we are comforted, knowing that it is God himself who has brought us to and preserves us in the true faith.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, sanctify and preserve me, along with the whole church on earth, in the one true faith. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Life of Martin Luther Children's Coloring & Storybook presents children with an an easy-to-read introduction to the life of one of the most influential Christians in history, Martin Luther. From his childhood, to his days as a monk, to his becoming a teacher and pastor in Wittenberg — the stories in this book trace Luther's life of faith through many struggles and challenges, showing us what it means to be faithful to God's Word and bear witness to our faith in Jesus Christ.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1375.html Tue, 05 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: But when the Comforter arrives, whom I will send to you from the Father—even the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me. (John 15:26)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: Jesus did not leave his disciples alone when he ascended. Nor are we alone today; he has given us the same Spirit, his own Spirit, “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom 8:9). Therefore, we confess in the Nicene Creed that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is not born or begotten, but is the eternal God proceeding from God the Father and God the Son. This One God in Christ gives believers himself—his Spirit—as a helper (John 14:16–17). He lives within Christians in order to guide them in the truth, and keep them in the faith, by reminding them of all that Jesus taught (John 14:26). He means to drive home to us one central theme: Christ.

Christ Jesus has ascended but he is still with us, living within us through his Spirit. So, when in the living of this messy, sinful life, where we try to be good Christians and do good things, but so often fail, we hear the Spirit of Christ speaking over our fear and guilt. What does he say? Christ. The Spirit ever moves us to faith, keeping us in the faith by testifying to Christ who forgives these sins, and more than that: improves our own spirits. In forgiving us, he relieves us of guilt, and restores the hope of resurrection to eternal life. This is why the early English translations call the Holy Spirit the “Comforter” (John 15:26 KJV; John 15:26 ASV), instead of “Helper” (John 15:26 NASB; John 15:26 ESV) or “Advocate” (John 15:26 NIV) or “Counselor (John 15:26 RSV).”

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for not leaving me alone. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Life of Martin Luther is written in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. This nine-session adult study takes participants through the circumstances and events of the life of Martin Luther as it reflects on the biblical themes underlying the Lutheran Reformation.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1374.html Mon, 04 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 30b “What must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your family.” (Acts 16:30b–31)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: We come now to Luther’s teaching on what good it is to know this second article of the Apostles’ Creed. These benefits include the confident hope of redemption, freedom, inclusion, eternal life. But I cannot believe any of these good things, these precious promises. without believing in the one who made the promises. When, through faith in God’s grace, we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are saved. 

This word “saved” is so commonly used that we do not think about what it means. We normally associate it with going to heaven—which we should. But how are we saved to eternal life? That we are saved means that we have been redeemed or delivered from something to something. We are rescued “from sin, death, and the power of the devil,” and therefore, delivered to eternal life and heaven. This saving work is that of Christ alone, not deriving from anything that we do or could do. This is what we confess because of whom we believe: Jesus Christ, who came to save sinners like us (1 Tim 1:15).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all your benefits. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Learning the Lord's Prayer teaches the Lord's Prayer according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Second Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story which illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism - Children's Version

Teacher's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1373.html Fri, 01 Nov 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 I charge you in the company of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:1–2)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: The Father has appointed Christ alone to judge the world—both the living and all who ever lived. Christ must be the judge of the living and the dead because he is the only one appropriate to the task. He alone has lived the life by which all are to be judged. His holiness is the bar by which all will be evaluated. More should be preached along these lines; it should not be left to a sentence in the middle of the Creed.

It is worth noting that Scripture emphasizes preaching when it states that Christ is “judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1–2). This is notable because it is through preaching that the deeply wounding blow of the previous paragraph is relieved. For if we are to be judged on the basis of Christ’s righteousness, who will be spared in the judgment to come?

Through the process of patient preaching and teaching—using accusation, reproach, and encouragement—we are led from the fear of hell to the fear of God. We come to love and trust him with our life, and death, and eternity. For we believe that, by God’s grace, we will not only be judged by the measure of Christ’s righteousness but also be given his righteousness as our own (Rom 3:22).

Prayer: Amen. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola's Sunday Schoolhouse materials for Year A include reproducible sheets of Bible lessons, pictures, dramas, worksheets, and a Christmas program. It has four units of seven sessions each: two on stories from the Old Testament and two on stories from the New Testament. 

PDF Overview

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1372.html Thu, 31 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 20 …that he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and installed him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every title conferred—not only in this world, but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20–21)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Being at the right hand of the Father means that Christ Jesus is seated on the throne of all thrones. He has power and authority which excels all others. This has always been the goal and the will of God (Psa 110:1; Matt 22:44), so that Christ may send his own Spirit into the world to convict it of sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). His right-handed authority is therefore, even now working powerfully through the Holy Spirit to bring people to repentance. For God longs for everyone to regret their sins, and turn to him (2 Pet 3:9). He will not rest until the full and perfect number (Rev 7:4) of an innumerable multitude of believers (Rev 7:9) have been brought into that great communion of saints, the kingdom of him who is seated at the Father’s right hand.

Prayer: Convict me, Holy Spirit, and turn me more to him who is seated at his Father’s right hand. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Life of Martin Luther is written in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. This nine-session adult study takes participants through the circumstances and events of the life of Martin Luther as it reflects on the biblical themes underlying the Lutheran Reformation.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1371.html Wed, 30 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And when he had said these things, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him up from their sight. (Acts 1:9)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Jesus ascended; he was raised to the Father’s side in heaven so that he may share in the fullness of divinity (Phil 2:9). He is not simply God, nor only a man; Jesus is now God in the flesh, seated at the Father’s right hand. He is ascended to the position of power and glory that is due God alone. And because he is also man, those who believe in him may also hope for both resurrection and ascension. We do not look forward to merely being raised from the dead, but to being lifted up to heaven where we will live forever in the glorious presence of Christ Jesus (1 Thes 4:15–17).

Prayer: Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Learning About Baptism teaches the meaning of Holy Baptism according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the First Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story which illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism - Children's Version. Lessons focus on Baptism as a promise from God, emphasizing the power of God's Word in the Sacrament to create faith and repentance in our daily life.

Teacher's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1370.html Tue, 29 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 3 For I passed on to you—as being of chief importance—that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: We cannot live with Jesus in eternity if he is not there. If God’s Christ is still dead and buried in the ground, we cannot live with him in heaven—nor can we live there without him. Our lives are bound to his, come good or bad. Because Christ was resurrected, as the Scriptures proclaimed he would be raised, we too will be raised from the dead (Rom 6:4). Jesus himself foretold his resurrection (eg: Matt 17:22–23), and in doing so, foretells the resurrection from the dead of all who believe in him.

Resurrection from the dead is not something that happens only in the future, in eternity. Even now, having left the dead man in the font, we have been raised from an old, corrupt nature to live the new life in Christ.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your overwhelming grace that enables me to begin to know the joys of eternity even in this life. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Smalcald Articles are often considered Luther's theological Last Will and Testament. Written in easy-to-understand language, this study is presented in a discussion formation with assigned readings from the Scriptures and the Book of Concord. Included in the study is a shorter work by Philip Melanchton called "The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope." 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1369.html Fri, 25 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 9 Therefore God has also highly exalted him, and conferred on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9–11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: In reference to yesterday’s lesson on Christ Jesus preaching to those spirits in prison, many people want to know who these spirits are and what this prison is exactly. It is enough to know the universality of Christ’s sovereignty. There is no place he cannot or will not go to preach the gospel. There is no one in any place who should not bow the knee and profess his lordship. His preaching and journey to both Hades and Hell should not cause us to wonder about these places and their inhabitants overly much. Instead, we should take note that these reflections must profoundly redirect our thoughts to the fundamental nature of his mission. Christ Jesus came to earth as God and man to destroy death by dying and rising, and to destroy sin by taking upon himself the sins of the world.

“It is enough if we know that Christ descended into hell, destroyed hell for all believers, and delivered them from the power of death and of the devil, from eternal condemnation and the jaws of hell. We will save our questions (and not curiously investigate) about how this happened until the other world. Then not only this mystery, but others also will be revealed that we simply believe here and cannot grasp with our blind reason” (Formula of Concord, Ep IX 4).

Prayer: O King of kings, I bow to you and confess that you are Lord of all, and so, Lord of me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Luther's Small Cat Discovers: The Seasons of the Church Year is written for 4th grade level students. This book takes students through the church year, accompanied by Luther’s Small Cat — a character who is just as inquisitive and precocious as the students. May your journey through the church year bring you closer to Christ, who walks through each moment of life alongside you.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1368.html Thu, 24 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the body, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison. (1 Peter 3:18–19)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: It is a mystery to me why people want to get rid of the word “hell” in the Apostles’ Creed. Are they afraid Christ Jesus cannot handle the place of the damned? Do they think the holy God could never be in a place of such acute evil? They must, for they try to change the meaning of the word “hell” in the Creed, insisting it is a misunderstanding of the Greek and Latin. The word Gehenna is a place of eternal torment, associated with “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43). The word Hades however, is a place of rest, where the dead sleep, as it were. There has been much overlap and confusion in the use of the terms.

There is no confusion in the word choice of the Creed. Nor is their confusion in our understanding. Jesus descended into hell, the place of eternal torment and damnation. He did not merely descend to the grave, as stated in the words, “and was buried.” He went a large step further; “he descended into hell.” He went where the Creed says: hell. And it could not keep him.

This is good news indeed. Death has no power over those who are baptized into Christ’s death (Rom 6:3). Nor does hell have any hold on them. This is the position of the Lutheran Reformers. Jesus died, was buried, and descended into the devil’s domain, defeating him and death, overwhelming there the full effects of both sin and death. “In this Creed the burial and Christ’s descent into hell are distinguished as two different articles, and we believe simply that the entire person, God and human being, descended to hell after his burial, conquered the devil, destroyed the power of hell, and took from the devil all his power” (The Formula of Concord, The Solid Declaration, Art. IX).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for making it so that hell has no hold on those who have faith in you. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Live from the First Century is based on the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke. This children's program takes the form of a first century newscast, reporting on events in Bethlehem. The script includes a number of character parts, with each scene featuring a Christmas carol sung by the children. Permission is granted to reproduce the script for local congregational use.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1367.html Wed, 23 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: John 19:38–42

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: The way you know a person is really dead, is if he ends up getting buried. Jesus died. That is why they buried him. We confess with the Scriptures that Jesus was so truly dead that they buried him. This means that they spent the little time yet available to them to prepare the body before burial. His lifeless body was taken down from the cross and made ready for the grave by rubbing the body with spices and wrapping it in cloths. Using these spices would have covered the stench of expected decay. Having taken the time to prepare the corpse is another sign that Jesus was dead—so very dead that they embalmed him and laid him to rest. 

We confess that Jesus died and was buried, because he would soon rise from the dead. When he walks from the tomb and greets Mary three days hence, we can say that this Christ who now lives, had been dead and laid in a tomb. First, however painful it is to say, we must admit that Jesus suffered, was crucified, truly died, and was buried. 

Prayer: Lord of life, having been baptized into your death, we give you thanks that we now face our own graves with expectation of the life to come. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Saints and Sinners, Witnesses to the Faith, is the first in a three-volume series on saints and sinners in the New Testament who were powerful witnesses to faith in Christ. May this study of saints and sinners enrich your understanding of life with Christ and encourage you in discipleship.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1366.html Tue, 22 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: From that time, Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scholars, and be killed, and the third day be resurrected. (Matthew 16:21)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: In order to emphasize the fact of Jesus’ death, the creed states that he was buried. Burial is necessary for those who are truly human and have died. In other words, Jesus was not an apparition; he was a man who had actually died. And so, he was buried, as the Scripture states and the Creed confesses.

The importance of this accentuated history is that Jesus did indeed suffer and die for our sins. That he was buried stresses the reality of his death. It also underscores the reason for his dying. His death is a fulfillment of the scriptures (1 Cor 15:3–4). Through his suffering and death, Jesus satisfied God over the matter of our sin, paying him what our iniquity had left in the balance. This was God’s requirement and Jesus’ mission (John 3:16). God in the flesh satisfied his own requirements of holiness and justified the world to himself.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to take up my own cross and follow you. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Family Matters is a nine-session Bible study that focuses on the first generations of God's people—Abraham and his descendants. It looks at how God's covenant promise sustained them as they navigated family relationships.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1365.html Mon, 21 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Then, when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is accomplished,” and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Did Jesus really die? If he is God, can God die? Some say that he did not actually die. It is called the “swoon theory,” meaning Jesus only fainted on the cross, was presumed dead, then carried off to his grave. Yet Scripture tells us that the Roman soldier verified his death with a spear in Jesus’ side. Others say that Jesus is a spirit, and that spirits do not die. It was, in other words, a kind of stage play that dramatized the necessary sacrifice for the sins of the world.

The King James version says that Jesus “gave up the ghost,” a colloquialism for death we readily understand. This was not an act, a sham, or a misunderstanding. Jesus died. In fact, his death was necessary. In the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, God conclusively demonstrated his sovereignty over sin and death. And because we are baptized into Jesus’ death, we too will be raised just as he was raised from the dead (Rom 6:3–4).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for suffering and dying for me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Basics of the Christian Faith is an edition of the catechism that is aimed at seekers, visitors, and those that may not come from a Lutheran background. It is recommended for use in outreach, as a visitor welcome gift, or in new member packets.

You may customize your catechism with church name, address, and website.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1364.html Fri, 18 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 5 Have this disposition among yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grabbed, 7 but emptied himself, becoming the essence of a servant, coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5–7) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Why did God come to earth in human flesh? Why lower himself to such a level (if it really is such a low level [Psa 8:5])? God did so because love made him do it (John 3:16). As the incarnate God, Jesus did his Father’s will, suffering death for everyone (Heb 2:9) so that he may rightfully atone for the lives of all (Gal. 1:4; Heb 10:9–10). This is Jesus: the Son of God who emptied himself, becoming man, in order to take away the sins of the world he loves. Why did God come to earth in human flesh instead of destroying the earth and all its sinful inhabitants? Love made him do it (1 John 4:8–10).

Prayer: O Incarnate Love of God, thank you for not letting go of me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? is a six-week Bible Study that examines the most profound event of salvation history — the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the atonement.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1363.html Thu, 17 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why? What evil has this man done? I have found no guilt in him deserving death. I will therefore chastise him and release him.” 23 But they lobbied with loud voices, demanding that he be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate resolved that their demand should be granted. (Luke 23:22–24) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Jesus, innocent man and holy God, was condemned to suffer the cruelest death the Romans had at their disposal. He would be crucified. His crucifixion was mere expedience in Pilate’s mind; it would silence the mob. Yet, the rabble continues to shout. Humanity’s sin persists in its piercing petition for the death of its Savior.

Nonetheless, Jesus, only Savior of a lost and condemned world, has already died. His death was no expedience, but a suitable sacrifice to God, one that redeems the world, and frees it from sin and death. This redemption is received through faith in Christ Jesus, the holy and innocent God-man, who suffered and died so that we might live—forever.

Prayer: Thank you again, Lord Jesus, for your obedience, even to the point of death on the cross. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1362.html Tue, 15 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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John 6:54–63

From the Ecumenical Creeds: The Apostles' Creed

“He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”

Pulling It Together

Even in the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary, we see that human works had no play. Mary did nothing. Joseph surely did nothing. The poor man was very likely stunned at the news of Mary's pregnancy. Jesus was formed in the uterus of Mary by divine agency alone. The power of the Most High God overshadowed her and that was that (Luke 1:35). This we confess to believe, as unreasonable or difficult as it may seem to some. And in this doctrine, we are professing that Jesus is at once God and man. For Mary carried the child while the Spirit of God did the conceiving.

"We must note this well, for we see here that our works are impotent. Christ our Lord is neither your work nor mine, but He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. I had no hand in this. I did not carve Him out of wood or bake Him with dough. He is God’s and Mary’s Son. I contributed nothing. And yet He says: 'He who believes in Me has eternal life; he shall have it.' Thus we will not reconcile God or be justified by our good works, but only by our faith in Him" (Luther’s Works, vol 23, p 108).

Prayer: Thank you, God, for giving me what I could never gain, eternal life in your Son. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Three Keys to What Lutherans Believe is a three-session introduction to themes in Lutheran theology. By focusing on key biblical concepts, it demonstrates the primary themes that Lutherans emphasize in thinking about the Christian faith and the teachings of Scripture. The study may be particularly suited to new member classes, adult baptismal or confirmation instruction, or for use with young adults. For use in shorter sessions, leaders may choose to divide each lesson into two parts to create a six-week study.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1361.html Mon, 14 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And the angel answered her to say, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be fathered will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Jesus was born of the virgin named Mary but he was conceived by God. The Holy Spirit was the fathering agent, therefore the holy child was of two natures: divine and human. Jesus was born in “the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7), that is, he is similar to a man. Yet, he is not exactly the same. For, while his nature is human, he is also divine. The man Jesus is begotten by the power of God, the presence or overshadowing of his Spirit. So, we say that he has a dual nature, our own being singular in quality—human nature. Jesus is similar but not identical, as he is true God and yet truly human at the same time.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for becoming like me so that you are able to redeem my human nature. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The English Standard Version Pew Bible containing the Old and New Testament is an affordable durable Bible, designed for regular church use. Hardcover black with black print.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1360.html Fri, 11 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: We moderns, especially in Western cultures, tend to speak of the heart as being an emotional vessel. In the consideration of the ancient Hebrews, the heart was the seat of thought and will, as well as emotion. So it is, that the greatest commandment calls us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:37). When we confess Jesus to be Lord, we are professing that he is God, doing so with our heart—mind, will, and emotion.

The Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament and the one we find Jesus and the apostles quoting in the Gospels and the New Testament, uses Kurios when it translates the sacred name of God. We use a Latin form of this word, Kyrie, in the liturgy. In the Apostles’ Creed, we say that we believe in a single God of three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we acknowledge Christ as God, he is called both Son and Lord.

This word “Lord,” in the Apostles’ Creed comes down to us through the Greek Kurios and the Latin Kyrios, meaning not only “sir” or “master,” but in this context, “God.” It can escape us in the English, but what we are actually confessing in the Creed is, “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our YHWH” (Yahweh or Jehovah, the name of God). Read the beginning of John’s Gospel again to see this illuminated in fine detail (John 1:1–14). Then read Thomas’ confession again to appreciate his amplification of the word “Lord” (John 20:28).

Prayer: My Lord and my God! Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Connections Magazine features articles that connect Lutherans to the Word. Martin Luther's Small Catechism provides inspiration for confessional, biblical content, delivered in a stylish, readable design. Subscribe today.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1359.html Thu, 10 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 9 Therefore God exalted him, and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus each knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9–11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: As Jesus is master over life and death, so he is Lord of all things in life and death. He is God over all creation: in heaven, on earth, and even under the earth. Nothing is beyond his Lordship—even we who refuse to believe it. Because Jesus humbly fulfilled his redemptive mission (Phil 2:6–8), the Father has guaranteed that there is a day coming when every knee will bow to the Lord God (Rom 14:11).

This is what we do when we confess that Jesus Christ is the Father’s only Son, and our Lord. If only we knelt as we did so.

Prayer: I confess, Holy Father, that your Son is Lord—even my Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Personalities of Faith is a ten-session Bible study for youth. The goal of the series is to encourage young people to commit themselves to follow Jesus in discipleship by becoming "personalities of faith." By showing biblical examples of people who have followed—or failed to follow—God's call, participants will be prepared to better follow the Lord in their own lives.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1358.html Wed, 09 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 28 Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “You have believed because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:28–29)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Thomas, the perennial doubter, at seeing his crucified rabbi alive and standing before him, confessed what John had related at the beginning of his Gospel. Jesus is the Word become flesh, that Word who was in the beginning with God—and who is God. Thomas confesses that this risen Christ Jesus is both Lord and God.

Jesus denies neither. Rather, he proclaims that there is a blessedness in confessing this without the proof of having seen him. This is what we do in the Apostles’ Creed: without seeing, without proofs, we confess Christ Jesus to be Lord and God. We must and can only do so through faith, by the grace of God. Blessed are they who do. 

Prayer: Thank you for the Gospels, Lord, that we may believe through what is written. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola has lots of resources for Advent: candle lighting readings, Bible studies, dramas, and music. Many are downloadable. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1357.html Tue, 08 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for each of us, how will he not also graciously give us—along with him—all things? (Romans 8:32)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: As Abraham did not spare his own Son when God commanded it of him, God did not spare his own Son when his will demanded it of himself. Through this precious, only Son, he has redeemed the creation he loves. By the “holy and precious blood” of an only child, the Father has provided for each of us mercy, grace, forgiveness, redemption—life. He loves us each with the utmost love, the love that sacrifices all.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for obeying your Father’s will. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola has a number of Christmas programs for children. Those listed in the link with an "N" product code are downloadable products. Those listed with an "S" product code are small booklets. All the programs are reproducable for local congregational use.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1356.html Mon, 07 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And the Word became flesh, and settled among us, and we have regarded his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Just as God settled among his people in the Old Testament, God now “tabernacles” among those who believe. He does so through his Son, Christ Jesus, who is the exact image of God (Col 1:15). It is not enough for God to be far off and heavenly; he is God among us. He is God who dwells among us so fully that he has experienced the human condition, suffering in every way (Heb 4:15) so that he is able to redeem us in all ways. Christ Jesus is “God made flesh,” though still glorious God, one person with two natures: divine and human. Because he is both, and full of grace and truth, he is inclined to be merciful toward our single nature: human, flawed, in need of forgiveness. He is faithful to be so; this is entirely true.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being faithful to God and mankind. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Basics of the Christian Faith is an edition of the catechism that is aimed at seekers, visitors, and those that may not come from a Lutheran background. It is recommended for use in outreach, as a visitor welcome gift, or in new member packets.

Get a 100-pack customized with your Church name and website printed on the back cover.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1355.html Tue, 01 Oct 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to encourage the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the bound. (Isaiah 61:1)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Sometimes the Old Testament speaks of the king as an anointed one, a person on whom God’s blessing rests. A priest would pour a flask of oil over the king’s head as a symbol that God had anointed him king (1 Sam 10:1). The high priest was also anointed (Exod 40:13) as one set apart to serve God. At other times, the Old Testament referred to the people of Israel as God’s chosen people, his anointed. The anointed are those who have been chosen to serve God in a unique manner.

Scripture also refers to another anointed servant of God, his Messiah (a transliterated Hebrew word that means anointed one, Acts 3:18–21). The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, translates the Hebrew Maschiah (Messiah) as Christos, which is converted to Christ in English. The title Christ derives from the same Greek word that gives us these terms: chrism (anointing oil), christen, and even cream. The Christ is the one anointed to serve God for a singular purpose.

When we confess that we believe in Jesus Christ, we are declaring that Jesus is God’s Anointed, the one who has come into the world to free those who are captive to sin and bound for death. 

Prayer: Lord God, I believe in your Anointed One. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Who is Jesus? is a five-session Bible study, meant to serve as an introduction to what the Bible says about Jesus Christ—who he is and what it means to trust in him as Savior and Lord.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1354.html Mon, 30 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And she will give birth to a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: The name “Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew “Joshua” (which later morphed into “Jeshua”) which means “the Lord saves.” When we say that we believe in Jesus, we do not merely mean that we believe there was a person who once lived whose name was Jesus. We are declaring him to be the Savior of the world, the one who delivers us from our sins. This was the reason he was born into the world: to save us from sin (John 3:17).

When we say that we believe in Jesus, we are confessing that Jesus is the Savior, the deliverer of the world. Salvation comes in no other way (John 14:6) than through faith in him as deliverer. Though there are many who will not believe, he is their deliver nonetheless. C. S. Lewis wrote in his novel The Great Divorce, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’”

When we confess our belief in Jesus, we are saying to God, “Thy will be done”; deliver us!

Prayer: Jesus, Savior, deliver me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Faith of St. Paul: Transformative Gift of Divine Power by Roy A. Harrisville III provides a fresh perspective on the letters of St. Paul by presenting the apostle's concept of faith as a transformative gift of divine power.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1353.html Fri, 27 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 37 Then Pilate declared, “So, are you a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and announced to them, “I find no fault in him.” (John 18:37–38)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Article

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has created me and all that exists, that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, my eyes and ears, my reason and all my senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all my property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of my life. He protects me from all danger and guards and keeps me from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: “This is most certainly true!” declares Luther.

“What is truth?” responds Pilate. The Truth was standing right in front of him, and he dismissed him as though truth were too difficult to nail down (as it were). The popular idea is that everyone has a particular point of view, and thus, truth is relative and subjective. In that case, each one’s “truth” is at most, maybe right, and very likely, not true at all. Your version may be on the side of cultural correctness—the current political or religious indignation—or simply make you feel better in the moment.

Winston Churchill said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it; ignorance may deride it; but in the end, there it is.” So, “what is truth?” God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). Criticize him; dismiss or even kill him. Yet, there he stands before you.

Prayer: I believe, Lord; help my unbelief. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) also includes liturgies and services for your use. There are ready-to-copy settings for Holy Communion, services, services of the Word, Vespers, occasional services, funerals, and seasonal services. SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1352.html Thu, 26 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 Lord, you have been our sanctuary throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born, or you had birthed the earth and the world, even from ages past until forevermore, you are God. (Psalm 90:1–2)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Article

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has created me and all that exists, that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, my eyes and ears, my reason and all my senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all my property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of my life. He protects me from all danger and guards and keeps me from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: God has given us all we need for life. More than that, he has made himself our home. Paul puts it this way: “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The Father’s care for us is so complete that he provides himself as our dwelling place. It is beyond being more at home when someone special is present; he is himself our dwelling. His providence for his creation is certain, for he is an eternal refuge. While we may imagine our existence as uncertain and even fleeting, God’s existence is as never-ending as it is never-beginning. Therefore, our home in him is also infinite. His is an everlasting kingdom, a caring dominion, both faithful and kind to all generations and forever.

Such a caring and generous God deserves our obedience and service, as well as our thanks and praise. This is most certainly true!

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for my daily bread. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1351.html Wed, 25 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Article

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has created me and all that exists, that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, my eyes and ears, my reason and all my senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all my property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of my life. He protects me from all danger and guards and keeps me from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: We confess that God is the creator of it all. In the beginning, he made the skies and the land, the heavens and the earth, and by this we mean to say, the universe—everything. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Nothing exists anywhere that was not made by God, including life itself (John 1:4). But who is this fathering God?

Again, Scripture exposes the character of the Trinity. The psalmist and prophets declare that the Lord God is creator and does his making through his word (Psa 33:6; Isa 42:5). In Psalm 33:6, “word” has more meaning than is seen in a casual reading. Yes, God speaks and his creating will is accomplished. Yet, in John 1:1–3, we see that it is the Living Word of God, the Logos, his Son, who is creator of all things.

So, who is the creator—the Almighty Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit who hovered over the creation in the beginning (Gen 1:2)? Yes. God is the creator. God is the Savior. God is the Spirit indwelling the communion of saints. In the Creed, we name the creator as God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19).  

Prayer: Help me believe your Word, Lord God, even when it is hard to understand. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

If you are a pastor or Council member, you know it is budget preparation time for the coming year. Please consider adding Sola Publishing to your benevolence. You may also securely donate as an individual by clicking the red donate button above. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1350.html Tue, 24 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: But our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases. (Psalm 115:3)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Article

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has created me and all that exists, that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, my eyes and ears, my reason and all my senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all my property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of my life. He protects me from all danger and guards and keeps me from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: When we confess that God is almighty, we are saying something more than that he is strong. This confession also declares that what is impossible with people is possible with God (Matt 19:26). This is especially important when we consider God’s will. What impossibility does God want to take place? Of all that God could have, what does he still desire? Of all that he does have, for what does he still long?

God desires that everyone be saved and know him (1 Tim 2:4). He wants a people of his own who are holy and intent on doing his will (1 Pet 2:9–10). This seems an impossibility. No other sinner is able to be any more holy than you are. So how does God get the people he wants? He does what he pleases, and makes them holy by his own mercy. He infuses them with grace through faith in his Son. The impossibility of a holy people for God becomes a possibility for Christ’s sake. Indeed, Peter insists it has already happened: “You are,” he says (1 Pet 2:9).

Prayer: Your will be done, Almighty Father. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The purpose of Epistles, A Guide to Reading the Scriptures is twofold: to encourage Christians to read God’s Word on a regular basis, and to help the reader slow down and concentrate on each chapter of the epistles before moving on to the next.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1349.html Mon, 23 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Pray then in this way: Our Father—the one in heaven—may your name be made holy. (Matthew 6:9)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Article

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has created me and all that exists, that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, my eyes and ears, my reason and all my senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all my property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of my life. He protects me from all danger and guards and keeps me from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together

We believe in God as our Father. He is a good Father, having provided all we need in this life. But he is more than a dispenser of goods. Jesus tells us to pray to God as our Father, yet that his name would be sanctified. There is no better place to begin this hallowing than in prayer. So, we ask that our Father’s name, his reputation and how we think of him, would be revered to the extent that we regard him as holy, fearing him while loving and trusting him with the life he has given us.

Prayer: Father in heaven, may your name be sacred in my life today. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Confirmation Series, written by the Rev. Steven E. King, is basic work-book style Confirmation curriculum. It is designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. 

The Ten Commandments book is a ten-week unit, which includes one session on each of the Commandments. The Scripture focus in the Ten Commandment series is on Moses and the Exodus Cycle, with Bible Study lessons taken primarily from the Pentateuch.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1348.html Fri, 20 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; there is no other God than me.” (Isaiah 44:6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Article

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has created me and all that exists, that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, my eyes and ears, my reason and all my senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all my property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of my life. He protects me from all danger and guards and keeps me from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: When we say that we believe in God, we mean the Lord God named by God’s Redeemer in Matthew 28:19. Jesus gave the “name” of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the Apostles’ Creed, we address this Trinity wholly and individually. In the first article of the Creed, we initially state our belief in God, then specifically, God the Father. In the following two articles of the Creed, we state our belief in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. In the Apostles’ Creed we affirm our belief in God: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Though Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God, and therefore almighty, we lay this honor at the Father’s feet in the Creed. In doing so, we are also saying that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are omnipotent. As they are God together, they are together almighty.

Prayer: I believe in you, Almighty Father. Amen.

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Teach Us to Pray is an eight lesson curriculum based around Luther's Small Catechism.  Each lesson has a Bible study connected to the article of the Lord's Prayer covered. A section entitled "About Prayer"  teaches students helpful items about a solid prayer life and a prayer assignment for the coming week.  A major goal of this material is to help kids experience prayer and practice it in a variety of ways. This book could be used as part of a larger Confirmation series, or as a "pre-confirmation" Sunday School series for Jr. High and Middle School youth.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1347.html Thu, 19 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image.

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From the Word: The father of the child cried out at once, saying, “I believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Apostles’ Creed 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church (or holy Christian church), the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

Pulling It Together

The English word “creed” comes from the Latin credo, which means, “I believe.” A creed is a statement of what one gives credence to, finds credible. This is what is happening when you say the Apostles’ Creed. You are reminding yourself of what you believe, and are recommending your belief as something worthy of acceptance by others (1 Tim 1:15). As such, the Creed is a statement of faith and a tool of evangelism.

Prayer: I believe in you, Lord; help my unbelief. Amen.

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A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is a new, advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series, of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.

• Part 1  • Part 1 Leader's Guide  • Part 2  • Part 2 Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1345.html Tue, 17 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: For physical exercise is a little useful, but godliness is beneficial for everything, having promise for this life and for that which is to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

What does God declare concerning all these commandments?

He says: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5b-6)

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who violate these commandments. We should, therefore, fear his anger and in no way disobey them. But God promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. We should, therefore, love him, trust in him, and gladly keep his commandments.

Pulling It Together

Pointing toward my stomach, the doctor said that I needed to lose my little friend. I asked, “What, about 20 pounds.” She dryly replied, “More like 30 to 40.” I took her seriously, and began to work on a discipline of exercise and eating not only less food, but better food. I lost 25 pounds because I took the word of my doctor seriously.

If we were as serious about the word of God, the benefits would be of greater profit than weight loss and all that comes with it—less stress on joints and hips and back, clothes that fit better, and so on. God promises not only his grace but every blessing to everyone who keeps his commandments. While we are saved through faith in Christ, not by keeping commandments, there are nevertheless benefits in doing so. Obeying God brings both grace and blessings. Why would we ignore such beneficial counsel?

Prayer: Give me courage and strength, Lord God, to keep your commandments. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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The Letters of Paul looks at all but one of Paul's thirteen epistles and seeks to get at the heart of each one so that his message can inspire new hope, faith, and love in us today.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1344.html Mon, 16 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or am already perfected, but I pursue it so that I may acquire it, because Christ Jesus has acquired me. 13 Brethren, I do not consider myself to have acquired it, so I do one thing: forgetting the past, I reach toward the goal. 14 I pursue the goal in the award of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12–14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 109

What does God declare concerning all these commandments?

He says: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5b-6)

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who violate these commandments. We should, therefore, fear his anger and in no way disobey them. But God promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. We should, therefore, love him, trust in him, and gladly keep his commandments.

Pulling It Together: This may not be that hard to imagine. Think of the family dinner table with parents and children gathered for the evening meal. Now picture the children glued to their phones. They allow no time for interacting with mother and father because they are captivated by their friends’ posts in social media. This is no way for relations to be an actual family.

Nor will you grow into your faith, or receive “grace upon grace” (John 1:16) from Jesus by ignoring him. Word and Sacrament are necessary; they are the means by which we pursue the goal that we have yet to obtain. The promise is present, just as a child is given the family name, but a Christian is not one in name only. We are to imitate Christ, praying to the Father and listening to his Spirit in Scripture and Sacrament. This is how we are being perfected by God: by being in relationship with him through his Word and the sacraments.

We are pursuing a goal, one promised to those who hold on to God’s promises to the end. God accomplishes this through Word and Sacrament, by our giving him our attention, listening and receiving his grace. This is the way of pursuit that leads to eternal glory, the way that ends with the prize of the “morning star,” Christ Jesus himself (Rev 2:25–28).

Prayer: Help me hold fast to you, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The season of Advent is not only a time of preparation for Christmas, it is a time to consider God's long-term plans and how God has promised that he will intervene in the lives of his people, and the world itself, on the coming Day of the Lord. Prophecy Fulfilled is a four week Bible Study about the Old Testament prophecies of our Lord's Advent, showing how these prophetic words were fulfilled not only in the coming of Christ over 2,000 years ago, but how they also point ahead to the return of Christ in his Second Coming.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1342.html Thu, 12 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Who can say, “I have made my heart clean; I am pure from my sin”? (Proverbs 20:9)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

What does God declare concerning all these commandments?

He says: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5b-6)

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who violate these commandments. We should, therefore, fear his anger and in no way disobey them. But God promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. We should, therefore, love him, trust in him, and gladly keep his commandments.

Pulling It Together

It does not matter how hard you try to be good; you are a sinner. You were born in sin, and as long as you are in this body, you will be a sinner; and you will sin. You should try to keep all of God’s commandments, but you will fail (Acts 15:10). For no one is able to say he is without sin.

The only answer is a life outside of this flesh: a new life. In the new life that God offers through Jesus Christ, the regenerated nature may delight in the law of God, even though the natural nature will inevitably sin (Rom 7:15–20). We are pitiful beings, but thanks be to God for the victory we have over sin, death, and the devil. This conquest is Christ’s doing, not ours. It is not an earned victory, but instead, given to us through faith. All we can do, while yet in this sinful nature, is continue turning to God, confessing our sins, and gratefully accepting his forgiveness.

There is no guilty verdict for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). Christians are conquerors because of their Commander, not because they are good soldiers, because of a gracious judge, not because they are guiltless.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, a sinner who loves you. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Combining the message of salvation in Christ with personal witness, The Gospel in Miniature is a Lutheran guide for evangelism.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1341.html Wed, 11 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 25 And behold, an authority in the law stood up and put him on trial saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to obtain eternal life?” 26 And he said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you interpret it?” 27 And answering he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind—and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25–28)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

What does God declare concerning all these commandments?

He says: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5b-6)

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who violate these commandments. We should, therefore, fear his anger and in no way disobey them. But God promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. We should, therefore, love him, trust in him, and gladly keep his commandments.

Pulling It Together

When the law crushes us with its demands, as it did the lawyer in today’s Scripture, what are we to do but plead for mercy? Just when we imagine that we might have become experts in religion, God’s laws and even Christ’s example inform us otherwise. This is not the time to distance ourselves from God. It is the very time we should draw near to him, believing he is not only just but gracious and merciful too (Heb 4:16).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for being faithful to forgive me of my sins. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The ReClaim Hymnal for Church and Home contains three Communion Settings along with liturgies for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Funerals, and other occasional services. It also includes the Small Catechism, as well as 275 beloved hymns from various hymn traditions. It is a resource that would be suitable for confirmation and graduation gifts as well as congregational use. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1339.html Mon, 09 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

What does God declare concerning all these commandments?

He says: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5b-6)

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who violate these commandments. We should, therefore, fear his anger and in no way disobey them. But God promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. We should, therefore, love him, trust in him, and gladly keep his commandments.

Pulling It Together

God’s jealousy over us is ready to ignite. The word for fire in the Latin Vulgate is ignis, from which we get our English word “ignite.” The Lord’s wrath is ready to explode when we do not fear, love, and trust him. Therefore, we should fear him so that we are careful to please him. Yet, we should also love him and trust his love for us, so that even when we sin, we are confident of a loving Father who is ready to forgive us all our sins for Christ’s sake (1 John 1:9).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a believing heart, one that trusts in you for the forgiveness of all my sins. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

This volume in the series, "Old Places, New Faces," The General Epistles offers a series of 12 Bible studies based on Hebrews, James, I & II Peter, I, II, & III John, and Jude. The geographical locations of Biblical characters can symbolically refer to places we find ourselves with respect to our faith. As we become more acquainted with our spiritual geography, we will better discern where God would have us go or what changes we need to make in order to serve Him better.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1337.html Fri, 06 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Tenth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his workers, or his livestock, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not ruin our neighbors’ relationships with their husband or wife, workers, or livestock, or try to lure them away, but encourage them to remain and serve each other faithfully.

Pulling It Together

There is a difference between what your heart desires and what your flesh desires. As you find more and more joyful satisfaction, even sheer delight, in God’s company, you will find your heart desiring godly things. The Holy Spirit brings this to pass. Though the flesh still craves, God is also making you yearn for spiritual things. Delight in him, and he will delight to give you the latter.

Prayer: Give me the spiritual strength today, Lord, to hunger and thirst for you. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Not My Will, But Yours is a six-week study that explores the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1336.html Thu, 05 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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Romans 16:25-27

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

Secondly, the subject itself declares that works follow faith, and show that faith is not dead, but living and effective in the heart. Therefore, James did not believe that we earn the forgiveness of sins and grace by good works. For he speaks of the works of those who have been justified, who have already been reconciled and accepted, and have obtained forgiveness of sins. So, the adversaries are mistaken when they infer that James teaches that we merit remission of sins and grace by good works, that by our works we have access to God, without Christ as propitiator.

Pulling It Together

The old real estate expression, “Location, location, location,” might be modified when it comes to reading. “Context, context, context,” is crucial when interpreting a text. Otherwise, one may end up buying into the wrong teaching. James has been teaching about what real faith is, and uses works as a proof of faith. His subject is faith: “Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14). Everything read in this section, if read in context, refers back to faith. Therefore, if one has saving faith in Christ, works that glorify God will ensue. First, Christ satisfies God’s righteousness, then because we believe in his sacrifice for our sin, we are made righteous because of him. Only those works that are attached to his righteousness are acceptable to God. One may do religious deeds for a lifetime, but they will never save. Yet, a sinner, having never done anything good, may finally believe and be saved because of Christ alone. That sainted sinner will then seek to be obedient to the gospel, to continue in a true and living faith that glorifies God. Chrysostom said it well: “As faith without works is dead, so are works without faith dead.”

Prayer: Make my faith in you a living faith so that you are glorified in my life, Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

You may download a free, color PDF file of the 2019-2020 Year A calendar under the Home tab above, then clicking Free Resources.

For those who want calendars on glossy cardstock, printed copies of the Sola Liturgical Calendar may be ordered. Print or purchase calendars for sacristy, pastor, and secretary. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1335.html Wed, 04 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Speak to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, and say to them, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Tenth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his workers, or his livestock, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not ruin our neighbors’ relationships with their husband or wife, workers, or livestock, or try to lure them away, but encourage them to remain and serve each other faithfully.

Pulling It Together

We should fear and love God so that we do not make plans to steal anything or anyone that belongs to our neighbors. Indeed, we should so fear and love God that we do not even consider such a thing. For evil desires are also sin. Who has avoided both the doing and the thinking about doing? We all sin in thought and deed, or even as we declare in the Brief Confession: “in thought, word, and deed.” All the while, we are constrained to be holy like God is holy. What are we to do, if we take the Scripture seriously? How are we to be holy, holy like God?

We have two options. The first is horrible; the second meets the need. We might take upon ourselves a regimen of pharisaical living, in which we act quite religious and try to convince ourselves that we are not sinners like everyone else. We will not convince the others any more than we convince ourselves.

Or we may finally and fully believe there is a “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). If so, we are made holy by the sacrifice of God’s Lamb (Heb 10:10), not by religious devotion. We do not make ourselves holy; God does that by forgiving our sins (Eph 1:7) based on the offering of a perfect Lamb (Heb 9:14). This is how a person becomes holy; she is simply given the “righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21), being dressed in the holy robes of Christ himself in baptism (Gal 3:27).

When you sin—and when you are tempted to fix your sin by being holy—remember that you are already baptized into Christ Jesus. You are already holy: not your holiness, but Christ’s. Confess your sin, and give thanks that God forgives sinners. What else can you do but lift the cup of salvation and be thankful enough to drink (Psa 116:13)?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your forgiveness. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Combining the message of salvation in Christ with personal witness, The Gospel in Miniature is a Lutheran guide for evangelism. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1334.html Tue, 03 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 9 For the law: you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet—and if there is any other commandment—is summarized in this statement: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore, is the fullness of the law. (Romans 13:9–10) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Tenth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his workers, or his livestock, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not ruin our neighbors’ relationships with their husband or wife, workers, or livestock, or try to lure them away, but encourage them to remain and serve each other faithfully.

Pulling It Together

The Ninth Commandment deals with craving your neighbor’s goods, those inanimate possessions of your neighbor. The Tenth Commandment speaks about lusting after living things that are your neighbor’s, whether family or not—indeed, human or not: spouse, employees, farm animals, as well as domestic. We are not to yearn for anything that is in our neighbor’s care, but instead, take care of our own matters, and where possible, help our neighbor care for his own. This care for our neighbor demonstrates the sacrificial love that is to be the overarching ethic of all Christian relationships, just as it is the chief principle of the relationship between God and humanity.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for loving me; help me to love my neighbor. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Basics of the Christian Faith is an edition of the catechism that is aimed at seekers, visitors, and those that may not come from a Lutheran background. It is recommended for use in outreach, as a visitor welcome gift, or in new member packets.

Customized edition

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1333.html Mon, 02 Sep 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an occasion for the flesh, but through love be servants to each other. (Galatians 5:13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Ninth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not plot to take our neighbors’ possessions, inheritance, or home, or obtain them through deceptive means, but assist and serve our neighbors in keeping what is theirs.

Pulling It Together

The example of Christ instructs us to serve one another. Because of his love, alive within us through the Holy Spirit, we look for opportunities to care for our neighbors, instead of seeking a chance to steal their property. Indeed, the idea is so foreign to us, that we would not consider the idea of taking what is not ours. We understand—again, because of the Spirit of God who lives in us—that what we have is a gift from God. So, we do not plot to take another’s goods, knowing that we would be stealing God’s gift, which is tantamount to robbing God. Who would consider such a thing? More importantly, Christ’s love enjoins us to do better, to live at a higher level, to care for our neighbors as God cares for us.

Prayer: Show me my neighbor’s need, Father, and give me the means to meet it. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Saints and Sinners, Witnesses to the Faith, is the first in a three-volume series on saints and sinners in the New Testament who were powerful witnesses to faith in Christ. May this study of saints and sinners enrich your understanding of life with Christ and encourage you in discipleship.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1332.html Fri, 30 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 3 Do nothing through selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, consider others more significant than yourselves. 4 Each should look not only to his own things, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3–4) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Ninth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not plot to take our neighbors’ possessions, inheritance, or home, or obtain them through deceptive means, but assist and serve our neighbors in keeping what is theirs.

Pulling It Together: If we trust God, we are able to be interested in more than ourselves. God will take care of us, so we are freed up to take care of others. In the most basic sense, if parents only cared for themselves, who would look after the children? Parents pay attention to the needs of their children because they have set aside their own wishes. If a mother or father only looks to selfish desires, the child is abandoned. This basic understanding may be applied to one’s neighbor, the people at church, at work. What are their interests and needs? Do you know?

Prayer: Open my eyes, Lord, and my heart. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1331.html Thu, 29 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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Mark 7:31–35

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

The Third Part

The following articles deal with matters that may be considered with learned and reasonable people, or among ourselves. The pope and his government do not care much about these things, since the conscience is nothing to them, while money, honors, and power are everything.

Pulling It Together

What can you do with those who cannot or will not hear? If they will not listen, as reasonable people make a point to do, how will they be able to obey God’s Word? In Hebrew, the word for “listen,” also means “obey.” To truly listen to God’s Word means obedience to his word. It is no wonder some will not listen to the words of Scripture. Their ears are plugged and they like it that way. This is a real disability, but one that Jesus can easily heal. Jesus will open the ears of those who would truly hear, making them also able to speak plainly with others.

Prayer: Open my ears, Lord, so that I may obey your word. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Disciples of the Cross is a two-part Bible study addressing the topic of Christian discipleship from a uniquely Lutheran perspective. Part 1: Who We Are is an introduction to the theology of discipleship, laying the biblical groundwork for what it means to be called to live the life of faith as a follower of Jesus. 

The study may be used in conjunction with various discipleship programs and studies to highlight themes from the Lutheran tradition that are not often addressed in many discipleship materials. These include: a Theology of the Cross, the centrality of the Word and Sacrament, an understanding of the Means of Grace, and a recognition of the Christian as both "Saint and Sinner."

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1330.html Wed, 28 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we are unable to carry anything out of it. 8 But having sustenance and clothing, we will be content with these. (1 Timothy 6:6–8) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Ninth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not plot to take our neighbors’ possessions, inheritance, or home, or obtain them through deceptive means, but assist and serve our neighbors in keeping what is theirs.

Pulling It Together

The fear and love of God ought to constrain us from taking the property of others. The trust of God should make us content with what we have. This does not keep us from working hard, trying to make life better for ourselves and for those whom we love. It should, however, restrain us from plotting to take what does not belong to us. Indeed, the fear, love, and trust of God should compel us to work for our neighbors’ good, to help them not only keep what they already have, but even assist them, working to increase their share in life.

Prayer: Lord, show me how to be a good neighbor. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

All God’s Critters is a Sunday School series designed for young students in Preschool and Kindergarten. Lessons are based on storytelling, rhyme, and pictures, and are suitable for participation by non-readers. The flexible lesson plans introduce the youngest believers to the importance and truth of God’s Word. Each lesson includes the story of the day written in a simplified manner so that young children may understand an important truth about God and what it means for us to be God’s children.

The All God’s Critters curriculum is fully reproducible and is designed with the particular needs of small churches, mission congregations, and house churches in mind. Check out some sample pages by clicking here.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1329.html Tue, 27 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Above all, maintaining diligent love among yourselves, for love conceals a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.

Pulling It Together

There may be little worse than carrying a grudge. It lessens the life of the person holding the grudge, as well as the one for whom the grudge is held. We confess to be the “communion of saints” where there is “forgiveness of sins.” Now, the Apostles’ Creed is referring to the forgiveness of God. However, if there is real community of Christian people, there is forgiveness among them too. This is precisely what we pray: “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Real love conceals umbrages; it covers them, no longer to be seen, mentioned, or remembered (Prov 10:12).

Prayer: Give me, O Father, the Spirit of your Son so that I may love your church. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Rejoice in the Lord, Always! is a nine week study examines some of the most treasured verses in Scripture, in ways that are encouraging and realistic about our life in faith. Celebrating both the tensions and the joys of discipleship, Paul reminds us of Who it is that makes us a community as we share our lives together in a common commitment to Christ.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1328.html Mon, 26 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 16 These are the things that you shall do. Every one of you speak the truth with your neighbor; pronounce truthful judgments and peace in your gates. 17 Do not plot evil in your heart against your neighbor, and do not love a deceitful oath, for all these are things that I hate, declares the Lord. (Zechariah 8:16–17) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.

Pulling It Together

God is listening. He listens to our hearts, as well as our words. Even our intentions, our deepest desires, are known to him. We are to fear and love him to such a level that we dread our neighbor’s harm—whether at our own hands or another’s. We are to strive for his peace and prosperity, not imagine ways to undo him. God is listening.

Prayer: Give me your peace, Lord, so that I may live your peace in times of temptation. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

God's Reluctant Leaders is a nine-session Bible Study focuses on the stories of three biblical characters: Jonah, Gideon, and Moses. Sessions explore how God works to create faith within those whom He calls to serve His mission. The study is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. It would serve as an excellent resource for monthly women's group meetings, or in an informal small-group setting.

To view the Leader's Guide click HERE.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1327.html Fri, 23 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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1 Timothy 4:13–16

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Human Traditions in the Church 

On the other hand, all the sermons in our churches are occupied with such topics as repentance, the fear of God, faith in Christ, the righteousness of faith, the consolation of consciences by faith, the exercises of faith, prayer—what its nature should be and that we should be fully confident that it is heard and is effective, the cross, the authority of magistrates and all civil ordinances, the distinction between the kingdom of Christ (or the spiritual kingdom) and political affairs, marriage, the education and instruction of children, chastity, and all the works of love. From this report of our churches it may be judged that we diligently maintain church discipline, godly ceremonies, and good customs in the church.

Pulling It Together

Paul exhorts the young pastor to devote himself to three practices in his ministry: being sure that the Scriptures are read in services of worship, and preaching and teaching the Word of God. This is what the Church needs, though it is not necessarily what the people in congregations want. Too many of our churches want money managers, hand holders, back patters, and meeting goers who go by the name of Pastor but are afforded little time to actually fulfill their office.

The Church must make sure its pastors are allowed to absorb themselves in the office of God’s calling, not in the job description of a Council’s choosing. Then our pastors may faithfully read, preach, and teach God’s word in a way that is beneficial to their congregations.

Prayer: Give me the discipline, Lord, to immerse myself in your word. Amen.

Receive Sola's Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Music Series offers simple collections of easy-to-play worship music, including new songs and arrangements of old favorites. Based in a confessional theology and a respect for the historical and sacramental liturgy, these resources do not require a high level of musical expertise. Written in a simple and straight-forward style, these songs are intended for congregations that would like to explore a less formal musical style in worship, while still maintaining the integrity of the traditional order of worship. Such music would fit into what is sometimes referred to as "contemporary" or "blended" worship, without necessarily requiring a full band of experienced musicians and singers to lead the songs. Providing lead sheets for guitar and vocals, along with full scores for piano, Sola Publishing grants to those who purchase this volume the permission to reproduce words and music of the songs within for local congregational use.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1326.html Thu, 22 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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  Click for a recording of today's lesson, a Throwback Thursday devotion from August 22, 2016. 

1 Corinthians 1:20–25

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Human Traditions in the Church 

Among the adversaries, in many regions, no sermons are delivered during the entire year except in Lent. Yet the chief worship of God is the preaching of the gospel. When the adversaries do preach, they speak of human traditions, of the worship of saints, and similar trifles which the people justly loathe. Therefore, they are deserted as soon as the text of the gospel has been recited. A few of the better ones are now speaking of good works, but they say nothing about the righteousness of faith, faith in Christ, or the consolation of consciences. Indeed, they rail with reproaches at this most wholesome part of the gospel.

Pulling It Together

The gospel of God’s grace through Christ was snubbed as something “Lutheran” in the 16th century. In the 21st century, other gospels persist in churches. In their roots, these various false gospels are the same that Luther contended with and that the Apostle Paul fought against. They are a so-called gospel of works righteousness. The prosperity gospel and the social (or activist) gospel are two of many such false gospels in our world today. Giving in order to gain is obviously a works-centered belief. A church that rallies around the latest cultural correctness and that believes God favors them for doing so, is also focused on a righteousness of works.

But we teach a much different gospel than these. “We preach Christ crucified.” This is a point of stumbling and offense for many but to those who are called, Christ is the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:23–24). Christ is our righteousness, and his cross our rallying point. This is what must be preached and taught in our churches, lest human traditions and Christless religion soon overtake us.

Prayer: Ever draw me, O God, to the power and wisdom of Christ crucified. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

In One Word” is a Christmas program that tells the story of the nativity in the fictionalized format of a first century game show. The script is reproducible for use of the children. The program is able to accommodate eight character parts, plus a primary narrator (also able to be divided among multiple students). Simple biblical costuming and props are suggested. The script also includes music lead sheets for the Christmas carols that are a part of the program.

Click HERE to see the introduction and a couple of sample pages.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1325.html Wed, 21 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 8 Above all, maintain being diligent in the love among yourselves, for love covers a host of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one to another—without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:8–9) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.

Pulling It Together

How long would you expect people to stay at a party where the host walks around complaining about the party guests? When entertaining, one is considerate of the guests, shows interest in their lives, and even their opinions. Concern for the welfare of the guest is the measure of true hospitality. This kind of ancient hospitality hearkens back to a kinder day when travelers might be welcomed into a home. Imagine being such a wanderer, brought in to someone’s home for the evening. They provide you with supper and even a bed to sleep in, but the owners of the house bicker and complain throughout the evening. Eventually, they begin to grumble about all the visitors who come to their door, looking for a handout.

The church is to be passionate about hospitality. So when your church holds their next potluck, and you end up having to do all the dishes, or cleaning up after that particular family, do it without complaint. Speak of those folks as though you love them. Forgive them. The sin that is covered in doing so, may not be theirs alone.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, give me the heart of Jesus. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

In Part 2 of Sola Scriptura, "The Norm of Faith" study shows how an active view of the Word informs and guides our understanding of what Scripture says. In other words, it will talk about what the Bible means based on what it does. In terms of how we come to articulate our faith and our doctrinal teachings, to speak of Scripture as the "norm" of faith means that it is the standard against which our theology and proclamation are measured.

• Leader's Guide   • See also Sola Scriptura, Part 1: The Source of Faith

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1324.html Tue, 20 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Love endures, is kind; love is not jealous; love is not proud, is not arrogant, 5 not inappropriate. It does not demand its own way, is not provoked, does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 It does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 suffers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4–7) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 94

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.

Pulling It Together

What if God did not think the best of us? We would be hopeless. If each time he looked at us, he thought of us as irredeemable, each time he heard us, he considered us deplorable, each time he knew our hearts and minds, he found us sickening, we would be despondent.

Instead, the Father thinks the best of us by viewing us through the filter of his Son. May we see our brothers and sisters in the same way—endure them if necessary, but hope for their best because of Christ.

Prayer: Give me your patient strength, Lord, so that I may be patient with others. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola Publishing has added an online resource component to its education materials called SEED: the Sola Electronic Education Database. This new subscription-based resource provides teachers with tools to build a Sunday School program and lead classes for children, youth, and adults, with original resources printed in full color! The year's curriculum provides a full Bible overview — from Genesis to Revelation — with a collection of online media for each lesson, including new artwork, video presentations, updated teaching ideas, crafts, and more! 

Call 336-226-8240 to set up a 30-day trial. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1323.html Mon, 19 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Therefore, putting away falsehood, each of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are all members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.

Pulling It Together

In the strictest sense, we should not lie to or about our Christian brothers and sisters. No honorable reason denies this charity to all others. We should not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about the neighbor who lives down the street, a workmate, the president, or anyone. We are to think the best of them, pray for them, and when we cannot speak well of them, speak not at all. This is a spiritual exercise that we must practice, for we fail at it, must repent, and try again—and again.   

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, when I break your commandments, and give me the courage and strength to keep them. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The next issue of Connections is being sent to the printer this week. Subscribe today and you'll get the September/October issue on the Fifth Commandment in the mail at the beginning of September. Connections, a magazine for evangelical Lutheran Christians, provides great food for the soul, being filled with meaty articles as well as lighter spiritual fare. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1322.html Fri, 16 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: But reverence with contentment is great increase. (1 Timothy 6:6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together

Are you content with God? Do you trust him? Do you fear him, love him? For the one who is content with God, there is no need of anything more, no need to steal from another. For the person who trusts God, there will be enough. There may not be all that was hoped for, but there will be adequacy for the need. For the one who fears, theft is out of the question, for God does not suffer unrighteous people (1 Cor 6:9–10). The person who loves God, will love neighbor also, not stealing from others, but helping them increase their portion. For the person who fears and loves God, is content with what God provides. This contentment is not religious, but very real, because Christ Jesus has become our sufficiency (Phil 4:11)—not only for godliness but also for life (2 Pet 1:3).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, increase my faith so that I might be content in you. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Kinderbeten is a compelling story touching on the exercise of free religion, the religious wars in Europe, the roots of Evangelicalism, the supernatural, and more, all wrapped up in a religious revival which began not through a charismatic revivalist or any adult at all, but rather found it's origin with children aged four to fourteen. The children became pawns in a controversy between political and religious opponents. Indulge your curiosity and read the remarkable story about the King of Sweden and the 1707-08 Children's Revival in Silesia, a tale of hope and prayer.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1321.html Thu, 15 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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  Click for a recording of today's lesson, a Throwback Thursday edition from August 15, 2015.

Ephesians 2:4–10

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

Anthony, Bernard, Dominicus, Franciscus, and other holy Fathers selected a certain kind of life either for the sake of study or other useful exercises. In the meantime, they believed that they were accounted righteous through faith, and that God was gracious to them for Christ's sake, not because of their spiritual exercises. But since then, the multitude has not imitated the faith of the Fathers, but their activities without faith, thinking that they might earn the forgiveness of sins, grace, and righteousness by such works. They did not believe that they received these freely because of Christ the propitiator.

Pulling It Together

Being a pastor or missionary is not a free ticket to heaven. While the work that such people do is important to the kingdom of Christ, it is only faith in Christ that opens the gates of heaven. A pastor may labor for a lifetime to swing those gates but they will not budge without faith. Only the righteous will enter that blessed rest. Now, that would keep us all out of heaven—except for the work of Christ. Those who have faith in him are assigned his righteousness. Without his righteousness, no one will pass through.

I received a text this morning. It was an electronic boarding pass for a flight home. My wife had purchased my ticket, and then had the airline send the boarding pass to my phone. Now, without this pass, I will never get home. More to the point, while I was busy doing pastoral work, my wife made sure I could get home. Once I get to the airport, I could argue all day about being a pastor and that I was busy doing the work of the kingdom. They still will not allow me on the flight. It is her work that will get me home. You were created for good works, and you should live a life of Christian service, but it is faith in the work of Christ on the cross that brings you home.

Prayer: Lord, empty me of trust in my efforts, and help me rely on you alone. Amen. 

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The kind of church we see in the New Testament is different from what most modern people imagine when they think of “going to church.” Experience Life Together: Experiencing House-Church Ministry, by Rev. Tom Hilpert, is a 15-week house-church curriculum designed for pastors, lay leaders, and churches interested in getting a taste for what church in the home is really like. Whether referred to as a house-church, organic church, alternative church, or cell church, this material applies well to any group that wants to experience Christian worship in the context of a small group meeting within the homes of the participants.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1320.html Wed, 14 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who desires to borrow from you. (Matthew 5:42)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together

We must read the Bible with the eyes of faith, instead of allowing feelings to interpret Scripture. Too often, passages like today’s verse leave us with a sense of guilt. We remind ourselves: I drove right by that homeless guy with the sign asking for money on my way to work this morning. Bless our hearts; we were driving to work to take care of those whom God entrusted to our care, not to give away their means of support. We have a responsibility to those whom God has enjoined by vocation. For example, if God has placed you in the role of parent, that vocation requires giving and lending to those in need: your spouse and child. Do not give their living to someone whom God has not placed in your life. That would be stealing from those whom God has entrusted to your care.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to be faithful to my vocation. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Reading and Discussion of Luther's Catechisms is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, presented in a question and discussion format. 

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1319.html Tue, 13 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: For even when we were with you, we declared this command to you: if anyone is not willing to work, he does not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together

Everyone plays a part. If that part is neglected it diminishes the whole. The rest must pick up the slack, and carry the burden of feeling as though they must take care of those who refuse labor. God’s justice is different than society’s. In the early church, he commanded that those who would not work, would not eat. Maybe it was meant to be motivation—perhaps justice. We might call it reasonableness or common sense. Whatever we call it, it is God’s command. Do not allow society to make you feel otherwise. Those who beg from the church, when they are able to work, are thieves. All have their jobs to do, vocations that are to be worked at peacefully, so that they may earn their living and share it with those who legitimately need help.

Prayer: Give me the strength, Lord, to say yes to work and no to those who will not work. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The kind of church we see in the New Testament is different from what most modern people imagine when they think of “going to church.” Experience Life Together: Experiencing House-Church Ministry, by Rev. Tom Hilpert, is a 15-week house-church curriculum designed for pastors, lay leaders, and churches interested in getting a taste for what church in the home is really like. Whether referred to as a house-church, organic church, alternative church, or cell church, this material applies well to any group that wants to experience Christian worship in the context of a small group meeting within the homes of the participants.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1318.html Mon, 12 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Woe to the one who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve for nothing, and does not pay him his wages. (Jeremiah 22:13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together

Our Scripture reference today was originally written about Jehoiakim, king of Judah from 609 to 598 BC. He made his citizens build his palace but did not pay them. He cheated them out of their labor. The same “woe” is announced to any employer who does not pay, or even properly pay, an employee. The reverse is also true: woe to an employee who receives a paycheck without having done the work. And to those who do injustice to their neighbors by stealing their goods, hacking their accounts, defrauding them in any way: woe! Disaster and despair awaits them. The Lord of justice is not duped.  

Prayer: Give me your righteous character, Lord, so that I may love my neighbor, and thereby, love you. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Portraits of Jesus is a nine-session Bible study that explores the "I AM" statements given to us by Jesus himself. In comparing Jesus' words with related Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments, the study provides a well-rounded look at the center of our faith in Christ.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1317.html Wed, 07 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Let the one who stole steal no more, but instead, toil, working at what is good with his own hands so that he has something to share with one in need. (Ephesians 4:28)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together

Again, the keeping of the commandments begins with the fear and love of God. Nevertheless, we cannot perfectly keep this Seventh Commandment any more than we can perfectly love God. So, there will be failure, trespass, sin. Still, some considerable progress may be made with this commandment. There is something that may be done to help observe this commandment more completely. Get a job! This is a good beginning at not stealing. It is not the complete answer, but laboring hard, toiling until weary, is honest and wearisome. It leaves little room for getting into trouble. It also provides an income so that one need be not overly concerned about having enough for personal needs. Indeed, one might even discover he is in a position to benefit others.

Prayer: Lord God, give me honest labor that I may honor you in my vocation. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

   

Disciples of the Cross is a two-part Bible study addressing the topic of Christian discipleship from a uniquely Lutheran perspective. Part 1: Who We Are is an introduction to the theology of discipleship, laying the biblical groundwork for what it means to be called to live the life of faith as a follower of Jesus. Part 2: What We Do is an introduction to the practice of discipleship, using the Lord's Prayer to take us through key aspects of our life of faith as followers of Jesus.

The study may be used in conjunction with various discipleship programs and studies to highlight themes from the Lutheran tradition that are not often addressed in many discipleship materials. These include: a Theology of the Cross, the centrality of the Word and Sacrament, an understanding of the Means of Grace, and a recognition of the Christian as both "Saint and Sinner."

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1316.html Tue, 06 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the WordI am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. 4b …and his banner of me was love. (Song of Solomon 2:1, 4b)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

The force of the Sixth Commandment may be understood in one version of the ring vows: “with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.” When one truly fears and loves God, the neighbor is also honored. The closest neighbor, one’s wife or husband, is honored to the degree of being cherished. This is why we address them in metaphors such as “honey,” “dear,” sweetheart,” and so forth. These words convey the value we place in that nearest neighbor. That relationship therefore, must be treasured to the point that nothing is allowed to bring it harm—especially the other spouse. Love, the flag or banner flown over that relationship, must prevail at all costs. Both words and actions are disciplined to the degree that they express the great worth of this dearest neighbor. That discipline includes asking their forgiveness when we do not carefully speak and act. This honors both the relationship with spouse and with God.  

Prayer: Help me fear and love you, Lord, in a way causes me to love my neighbor. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

All God’s Critters is a Sunday School series designed for young students in Preschool and Kindergarten. Lessons are based on storytelling, rhyme, and pictures, and are suitable for participation by non-readers. The flexible lesson plans introduce the youngest believers to the importance and truth of God’s Word. Each lesson includes the story of the day written in a simplified manner so that young children may understand an important truth about God and what it means for us to be God’s children.

The All God’s Critters curriculum is fully reproducible and is designed with the particular needs of small churches, mission congregations, and house churches in mind. Check out some sample pages by clicking here.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1315.html Mon, 05 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Flee from sexual immorality. Every sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

Paul urges the Corinthians to flee from sexual sin. This would include fornication and adultery, to name a few. One flees something by running away. Yet, the wise person does not run aimlessly; rather he runs toward a different, better goal. Otherwise, one might run from something evil into something else that is evil, or as we say, from the frying pan into the fire. Have a goal in mind for when temptation occurs.

Later in this first letter of Paul to the church in Corinth, he tells them to flee idolatry too. The two—sexual immorality and idolatry—seem connected in the apostle’s thoughts. This may give us a clue as to where to fly when temptation to sexual sin strikes. Flee from that sin—to God. The old catechisms tell us to escape the fire of sexual sin by quenching it under the flow of God’s Word and prayer. We should also avoid the occasions that these temptations seek. No longer go where the temptations lurk; go where God is to be found. Flee! Flee to him.

Prayer: Create a clean heart with me, O God. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Saints and Sinners, Witnesses to the Faith, is the first in a three-volume series on saints and sinners in the New Testament who were powerful witnesses to faith in Christ. May this study of saints and sinners enrich your understanding of life with Christ and encourage you in discipleship.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1314.html Wed, 31 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the WordIf then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Focus on the things above, not on the things upon the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1–3) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

Paul teaches us to disregard the false teachers in our lives, those who would hold any religious thing, any material or earthly thing, over our heads. There are those who insist we must satisfy their particular religious rant in order to be a true Christian. Nonetheless, we must never let our focus go beyond Jesus. There are even those who claim we must perfectly keep the commandments, or else we are not filled with the Spirit. These only serve to sharpen our focus on religion and ourselves, our abilities to perform. Dead men do not perform. Their eyes are filled with deepest pitch. Those who have been given new life through faith in Christ, see brightest light, the Light who is Christ Jesus. Even when they fail to perform, try as they might, their sights are ever set on Christ—not just his commands but his forgiveness as well.Prayer: Give me the courage and strength, Lord, to keep seeking you. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Learning About Confession teaches the meaning of Confession and Forgiveness according to Luther's guidance in the Small Catechism. It is recommended for the Sixth Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story that illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism – Children's Version. With a healthy balance of Law and Gospel, lessons emphasize the connection between repentance and forgiveness, and how the promise of God’s forgiveness changes our lives.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1313.html Tue, 30 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word11 You were also circumcised in him with a circumcision not man-made, in the undressing of the sinful humanity of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ: 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the work of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 You were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature. God made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our sins. (Colossians 2:11–13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

It is helpful to remember that you are baptized. In Christian baptism, Christ removed your sin, though that old nature would still rear its evil head in this life. So, you must often consider that your old nature is now dead to God, and with it, human nature’s sin. The old person is left behind in the water; a new person has arisen through faith in God’s work in Christ Jesus. While in this body, you will remain a sinner who needs forgiveness daily. You should strive to keep the commandments; but you will fail in the effort. Nonetheless, God’s work prevails over your sins. Your sins are nailed to the cross (Col 2:14). Leave them there, remembering it is not your sinful nature that now lives in you, but instead, the power of God at work in Christ Jesus (Rom 7:16–17).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for making a way to you through Christ. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Confirmation Series, written by the Rev. Steven E. King, is work-book style Confirmation curriculum. It is designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. 

The Ten Commandments book is a ten-week unit, which includes one session on each of the Commandments. The Scripture focus in the Ten Commandment series is on Moses and the Exodus Cycle, with Bible Study lessons taken primarily from the Pentateuch.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1312.html Mon, 29 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word11 Likewise, you know the occasion, that the moment has arrived for you to arise from sleep; for salvation is now nearer to us than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is advancing, so let us cast away the deeds of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk appropriately, as in the day—not in partying and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and indulgence, not in bitterness and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no consideration for the flesh, for its evil cravings. (Romans 13:11–14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

We tend to consider the Sixth Commandment only in terms of sex. Yet, unfaithfulness to one’s spouse—whether human or divine—begins in the heart. It then, spreads to the lips and only afterwards, to the whole body. Both Paul and Luther teach us that appropriate Christian character goes beyond fleshly considerations: to words, and ultimately, to the heart. These follow the course of Jesus’ teaching, that evil intentions spring from the heart and find expression in the outward parts (Mark 7:14-23). So, the Small Catechism rightly urges chastity in terms of love, not merely sex, and in right words and actions, not simply sexual immorality. Faithfulness is a heart matter that unless armored by a right fear and the bright love of God, will end in the darkest deeds of human behavior.

Prayer: Remind me throughout this day, Holy Spirit, that I have put on the nature of Christ Jesus through baptism; and help me walk in that newness of life. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Views of Baptism is written for a range of readers including the parent or sponsor about to baptize a child, the adult who wants to understand baptism more fully, and the professional teacher or preacher who needs the truth about baptism stated simply but backed by careful research. This books explores three views of baptism: the individual-centered view, the means-of-grace view, and the Roman Catholic view. It includes a description of how Christian baptism came to us in stages from its Jewish roots. A question and answer section addresses specific matters often raised when people contemplate baptism.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1311.html Fri, 26 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 4 And [Jesus] answered and said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother behind, and shall cling to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 Therefore, they are no longer two, but one flesh. What then God has joined, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4–6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

The Song of Solomon has many beautiful images, perhaps none so striking as Song of Solomon 2:4. “He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (Song 2:4 NASB). The groom has brought his bride into his home, under the protection of his battle standard, his military flag. It is a sign in the field of battle, that the group under this banner fights together. In Song of Solomon, the groom has brought his wife into his home under the sign of his love. She is more than simply secure under the husband’s banner: she is part of the force. The two have become one, dynamic life.

This is God’s doing and design. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt 19:6 RSV).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for flying your banner of love over me, and over your whole church. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Saints and Sinners, Witnesses to the Faith, is the first in a three-volume series on saints and sinners in the New Testament who were powerful witnesses to faith in Christ. May this study of saints and sinners enrich your understanding of life with Christ and encourage you in discipleship.

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1310.html Wed, 24 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word27 You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27–28)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

Breaking the marriage covenant is not simply a physical matter. Adultery begins in the heart, with lust and intention or will. Jesus teaches us that it is possible to commit adultery mentally, in the deepest way: in the heart, as we say. This is an act of unfaithfulness, not only to one’s spouse, but also to God and to the Christian community. Just as brothers and sisters in Christ witness marriage between a man and a woman, God does too. He is the primary witness of the marriage covenant (Mal 2:14), a relationship that demonstrates the love of God for his church (2 Cor 11:2). Adultery severs this bond between two people whom God has made one (Gen 2:24; Eph 5:31). Lusting after another is a demonstration that the heart is not in the right place; one’s affections are neither for one’s spouse nor for God.

In this passage, Jesus is concerned with the heart, with our affections. We are to love God with our whole being (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:36–40), beginning with the heart and mind—the will. He commands us to love our neighbor in the same way, beginning with our closest neighbor: wife or husband. Love begins in the heart; so does sin. When the heart wanders from love to lust, remember that Christ calls sinners like us to repentance (Luke 5:32) and faithfulness.

Prayer: Give me such love for you, O God, that I love my neighbor as myself. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven, and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).

Free Educational Resources on the Afterlife

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1309.html Tue, 23 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Let marriage be esteemed among all, and let the bed be undefiled, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. (Hebrews 13:4)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

It is vital that Christians honor the marriage bed, especially when culture plays fast and loose with the Sixth Commandment. We must make it an emphasis because our consciences are impaired by our nature and by TV, movies, books, and the Internet—and frankly, by the people around us. All the while, we are each under his scrutiny (Prov 15:3). God will repay all people for the deeds they have committed (Rom 2:6). So, we should fear God, as none are exempted from judgment. The real fear of God then, leads us to love our spouses as God loves us (Eph 5:22–25).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your great love of me. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

This free download provides an overview of Sola Publishing’s online worship resource: SOWeR. There are sample pages from the website to provide you with a sense of the variety of content offered in this subscription-based resource. Subscribe here. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1308.html Mon, 22 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 1 Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and delivered himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But sexual immorality—and all filthiness or covetousness—is not even to be mentioned among you, as is appropriate for saints. 4 And let there be no obscenity, nor foolish talk, nor vulgarity, which are not proper, but rather may there be thanksgiving. 5 For you know this with certainty: that each fornicator or unclean or covetous person—who is an idolater—has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:1–5)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

The sexually immoral person is an idol worshiper. The one who covets a neighbor’s spouse or anything else in that person’s household, is essentially, as the King James Version puts it, a whoremonger (Ephesians 5:5 KJV), one who visits the pagan temples and the prostitutes who worked them. There may be no temples with prostitution in your city, but the covetous behavior is identical. We should fear and love God so that husbands and wives are content with his will, that they are devoted to and content with their own spouse. Anything less than this, is ungodly, covetous idolatry.  

Prayer: Strengthen me, O Lord, and give me a courageous spirit, that I may speak and act as you expect. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Did you know that SOWER contains a worship music database with hundreds of hymns and songs? Each one features author information, plain-text lyrics, full-score hymn graphics, and simplified lead sheets for accompanists. This is a great resource for building bulletins and powerpoint presentations. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1307.html Fri, 19 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word

10 Create a pure heart in me, O God;
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence;
And do not take your Holy Spirit away from me. (Psalm 41:10–11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 78

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

It has always been easy to have a polluted heart; indeed, we are born with such hearts, and are bent on folly. Consider David, who from a rooftop, looked upon Bathsheba with evil in his heart. He was a dirty, rotten, stinking sinner—whom the Lord loved. David loved the Lord too; but this did not keep him from running after a desirable woman. Nor did it keep him from covering up the sin, even when it meant taking the life of a woman’s husband, in an effort to keep his own infidelity secret.

Though God commands us to chastity, to faithfulness to one’s spouse, as he had commanded King David, our eyes wander, our lips are unclean. What are we to do? Try harder? Good luck with that, is all I can offer. History is filled with Davids, who tried hard and came up empty, of those who tried to be righteous but discovered their nature is weak (Matt 26:41). There is one thing, and one thing only, that makes the difference. “Watch and pray”; admit that you are a sinner, like David, who needs God to give you a clean heart, and make you righteous through his own pure righteousness. Throw yourself upon his mercy, begging him to give you a spirit so resolute that you run again to God, as David did, even in the face of what you imagine unforgivable. God is faithful and just to forgive you because of Christ, not because of your efforts, or even your momentary successes.

Prayer: Forgive me, O Lord, a sinner. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola Publishing has added an online resource component to its education materials called SEED: the Sola Electronic Education Database. This new subscription-based resource provides teachers with tools to build a Sunday School program and lead classes for children, youth, and adults, with original resources printed in full color! The year's curriculum provides a full Bible overview — from Genesis to Revelation — with a collection of online media for each lesson, including new artwork, video presentations, updated teaching ideas, crafts, and more! 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1306.html Wed, 17 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500

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From the Word18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a partner similar to him.” 19 Now the Lord God formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 And the man gave names to all the land animals, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam, there was not found a partner like him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept. And he took one of his ribs, and closed up the place with flesh. 22 And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man, he made into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This now, is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall bond to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:18–24)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

The Sixth Commandment is worded in the negative, but we readily perceive that “thou shalt not” (Exod 20:14 KJV) implies we must also do something. The commandment about adultery states what we must not do, yet indicates what we are to do. Instead of wandering outside of marriage for sexual satisfaction, one is to be joined to the partner whom God has created. This is the positive way of understanding the Sixth Commandment. It is hard to find a better word here than Wycliffe’s “clefe”—updated to “cleave” in the King James Version (Mark 10:7). Clefing or cleaving is not a dividing but a unity, an adherence to someone, a holding onto a partner, a tight-fitting loyalty, a faithful devotion and holding true to what has become “one flesh.”  

Prayer: Thank you for the partnership in the gospel, Lord, which you give to all who are blessed with the vocation of marriage. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14). 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1305.html Tue, 16 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word6 Do not worry about anything, but make your requests about everything known to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. 7 And the peace of God, which excels all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

We live in a time that is sometimes lamented as a post-Christian era in the United States. Complaints range from social media shutting out anything Christian, to the public square no longer allowing the church a voice. It is true enough: although some town Councils still have prayer before their meetings, even the smallest of communities feel the pressure to offer either a more general religious voice or none at all. What are Christians to do in such times?

American Christians are spoiled; we have lived in “one country under God” for hundreds of years. It is what we have always known—until now—and what we think should still be. The early church was under no such illusion. The church in other parts of the world today are also not so deluded. Here in America, however, we hope complaining will fix the problem.

First, the culture is not the problem; we are the problem. Complaining is not living the life of a disciple. Instead of grumpily whining, we ought to be carrying the peace of Christ into the lives of those we encounter every day. You have to admit, moaning about our dissatisfactions does not look too peace-filled. The complaining nature is a killer; it breaks the Fifth Commandment, often, without realizing it is doing so.

So, let us stop fearing the contemporary, and cease loving the past. Let us begin fearing and loving God instead, so that we, not only do no bodily harm, but not cause our neighbors any other kind of suffering. Suppose we feared and loved God in a way that prays for our neighbors, helps them, and befriends them in every need. Perhaps in this manner, we might offer our neighbors that peace that surpasses understanding—and discover again, that God’s peace even excels our own anxieties.

Prayer: Help me to fear, love, and trust you, Lord. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Not My Will, But Yours is a six-week study that explores the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1304.html Mon, 15 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people censure you, and persecute you, and say everything evil against you dishonestly, because of me. 12 Rejoice and be elated, since your reward in heaven is great, for they similarly persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:5–12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 75

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

The temptation is to lash out, to retaliate, to pay back. But that is not Jesus’ way, though he was tempted. When he was criticized and even beaten, Jesus could have called down legions of angels to defend himself (Matt 26:53), but he did not retaliate. He did not even open his mouth in defense (Matt 26:63; Mark 14:61; 1 Ptr 2:23). Following in his example, we are to regard those who despise and insult us as our neighbors. We are to pray for such people (Matt 5:43–48), even aid them with food and water (Rom 12:20). In other words, we are to love them by showing them the same basic considerations we would desire. This is not an easy response, but it is the righteous one. It is the meek response of Jesus, and so it must be the same for his followers. There is great satisfaction and peace in knowing this is God’s will, that Christ will demonstrate his power in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9), and that there is reward in heaven for obedient children of the Father.

Prayer: Give me the courage to follow you, Lord. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola’s Word of Life series is a resource for those looking to develop small groups built around the Word of God. This model of small-group ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism since it is rooted in prayer and Scripture. Its primary focus is to empower those who believe in Jesus Christ to be comfortable sharing their faith and inviting others to experience a transformed life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Meant for use in small group gatherings, each of the six sessions in Dwell in My Love is based on a primary Scripture text, with intentional time for reflection. There are questions, prayer, faith sharing, and mini evangelism case-studies. The series would be helpful for those involved in starting a Bible study fellowship, house church, or mission congregation. It can also be used by established congregations to aid in establishing a small group ministry.

• Unit 1   • Unit 2   • Unit 3

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1303.html Tue, 09 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has a grudge with you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go. First, be reconciled with your brother, and then come to offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23–24) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

The greatest need our neighbors have, whether they know it or not, is emotional. We must not cause them any anguish, as it is ongoing, causing stress that mounts on stress, a daily trauma to be withstood. Soon enough, this emotional suffering becomes spiritual in nature. As such, it is a tension that cannot be truly overcome without reconciliation. Because we cannot love God without caring for our neighbor, we must fear, love, and trust God to the degree that we risk personal humiliation by pressing for peace with neighbor and self. Only then can there be concord with both neighbor and God.

Prayer: Give me the courage, Lord, to be at peace with everyone, so much as it depends upon me. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Come, Holy Spirit! is a workbook-style Bible study about the work of the third Person of the Trinity being connected to the work of the Father and the Son. From the beginning, the Holy Spirit was actively involved in creation in giving life and breath. Throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit revealed truth to people and empowered people to do God's will by speaking through the prophets. In the same way, the New Testament show that the Spirit is at work in the hearts of all believers as the source of our life in faith.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1302.html Mon, 08 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word4 Be angry but do not sin. Consider your own heart upon your bed, and be grieved. Selah 5 Offer righteous sacrifices and trust in the Lord. (Psalm 4:4–5) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

So, are Christians not expected to get angry? Of course, Christians get angry; but they are not supposed to be angry. Followers of Christ do not carry their anger with them day after day, nor are they to act on their anger in a way that wounds another, especially those “of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10). We should instead, “do good” (ibid.), but this presumes we have put our anger to bed. When we are angered, it is time to go somewhere quiet and meditate on our own hearts, so that we may remember that we too are sinners who annoy and even infuriate people, then turn our anger over to the Lord. We must fear, love, and trust God enough to offer him our rage before it consumes us. When we leave our anger on the pillow, we have sacrificed a private treasure and made a righteous offering.

Prayer: Lord, take my anger and replace it with your peace. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? is a six-week Bible Study that examines the most profound event of salvation history — the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the Atonement.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1301.html Fri, 05 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 21 You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, “You shall not kill,” and, “Whoever kills will be in danger of the judgment.” 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his neighbor will be subject to the judgment, and whoever calls his neighbor stupid will be accountable to the council, and whoever says, “You fool,” will be in danger of the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:21–22)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

In case you think Luther takes his explanation of the Fifth Commandment too far, consider Jesus. The catechism explains not killing in terms of fighting and of being a caring friend to our neighbors. The gospel takes it further. You are not to murder, yes, but you are not to be angry with your neighbor or even resort to name-calling and insults. The one who does is subject to damnation.

Prayer: Guard my lips, O Lord, and my spirit. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Combining the message of salvation in Christ with personal witness, The Gospel in Miniature is a Lutheran guide for evangelism. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1300.html Wed, 03 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, provide a drink. For in doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:20–21)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

The motivation for taking care of our neighbor, including our enemies, is the fear and love of God. We help others because we understand our own need of assistance. Even if we have enough food, water, clothing, and shelter, we still need God’s compassion, his mercy, and his forgiveness. We too have been an enemy to someone: to God. Our sin put us there, our unrighteousness pitted against his holiness. Yet God was compassionate and merciful toward us. He forgave us, and made a way to justify us by means of his own righteousness (Rom 3:25-26). He has befriended us (John 15:15) and helped us in our greatest need (Rom 5:8). Since God has loved us so greatly, we too should love one another (1 John 4:11) even as he loves everyone (John 3:16).

Prayer: Thank you for your friendship, Jesus. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The ReClaim Hymnal for Church and Home contains three Communion Settings along with liturgies for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Funerals, and other occasional services. It also includes the Small Catechism, as well as 275 beloved hymns from various hymn traditions. It is a resource that would be suitable for confirmation and graduation gifts as well as congregational use. 

Most of the hymns and other resources in ReClaim are part of Sola's Online Worship Electronic Resource. Check out all that is in SOWER here

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1299.html Tue, 02 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click above for larger image.

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From the Word: 6 Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of oppression, to set the oppressed free, and that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to distribute your bread to the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you do not ignore your own relative? (Isaiah 58:6–7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

The faith is not about religious practice alone; it is not even just about God. Our devotion to God is most keenly observed, not in our worship and service, as much as God cherishes these acts, but in the love of our neighbor. The greatest commandment joins the love of God and the love of neighbor, as if into a single command (Matt 22:37–40). The two tablets, one about our relationship with God and the other about our relationships with our neighbors, is one Decalogue, one set of rules, one word. Any one commandment cannot be broken without breaking the others. In particular, one may not break any of the second tablet without breaking the first.

We are commanded to love our neighbor, to care for him as though our friend. We are to love him as if he were ourselves (Matt 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8), even though he be an enemy (Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35). This sounds difficult, perhaps impossible. Indeed, as far as it depends upon you, I am sure that both tablets are not possible. However, the silver lining to the commandments is that they do not depend upon you. What is impossible for you, is more than possible for God—even through you (Mark 10:27; 14:36; Luke 1:37; 18:27).

Prayer: Open my heart to my neighbor, Lord, so that you are glorified by both of us. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

We Still Believe is offered as a resource for reflecting on key themes in biblical, Lutheran doctrine that are at risk in the Church today. It is offered in the hope that it will inspire individuals and congregations to examine the core beliefs of traditional Lutheranism and how these beliefs apply to our own present context. Written in a question and discussion style, the participant's book includes an introduction to and copy of the faith statement known as the Common Confession.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1298.html Mon, 01 Jul 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 18 But that which comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and it defiles the person. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. (Matthew 15:18–19)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 69

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

A mountain seems to stand steadfastly—until the plates far beneath the surface shift. Not murdering someone seems simpler to pull off than not saying something nasty. It seems far easier to make the decision to not strike someone with a fist than it is to hold back emotions. It would seem so. Here is the rub: all of these actions originate from the same source. It is not easy to not do any of these things once the heart has moved the thought, the word, the rage, the fist—or worse.

Instead of changing the act, we should change the source of the action. Guard the heart and you stand a better chance of holding back the anger (Prov 4:23; Phil 4:7). It is the heart that controls the lips and the fists. So, make your decision now, to guard your heart, and later, in the heat of the moment, the outward action will match the inner source, where there is already either peace or violence lying in wait.

Prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Pastor Kent Groethe's study of the Book of Acts, Acts - Old Places, New Facesfocuses on the life of the early church as a model for church life today. The message and power of the church today needs to be revitalized and renewed by the power of God's Spirit, just as it was in the early church.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1297.html Fri, 28 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but allow an occasion for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

Leave it to God. It may sting your sense of honor if you do not avenge your dignity. But the honor belongs to the Lord anyway, and your own honor depends upon God (Psa 62:7). So, let it go. Move on; you have a life to live. In the other direction lie death and dishonor. God’s wrath will rule in the end. You may as well not be a part of it too.

Prayer: Give me patience, Lord, to love unlovable people. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Come, Lord Jesus answers the many questions that arise when modern readers look into the book of Revelation. In this book readers will come to understand the first-century context in which Revelation was written—and readers will join the holy choir in looking forward to the fulfillment of God's plan, offering our own invitation: "Come, Lord Jesus."

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1296.html Wed, 26 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And they saw [Joseph] at a distance, and before he drew near them, they conspired against him to kill him. (Genesis 37:18)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

It is difficult to like some people. They may differ politically, religiously, culturally; they may be better off than you are and even flaunt it; they may be downright nasty. Nonetheless, God commands that we love our neighbor. So, though we may not actually like them, we may still love them. It remains a difficult thing to do but it is made some easier by knowing our love of them is tantamount to our love of God. The Fifth Commandment exhorts us to work for our neighbor’s good as though we were doing so for God (Col 3:23)—as indeed, we are.

There is some evidence that Joseph was one of those guys who was hard to like. He was different and better off and seemed to flaunt it before his brothers. So, when they were far away from Dad, they conspired together to get rid of him. The notion of killing their brother was proposed, but with lightly controlled anger, they sold him into slavery instead. They would have been judged had they murdered him. Yet, if they had merely continued to hate him, been angry with him, or just called him names (which they did: Gen 37:19), they would have been condemned to hellfire (Matt 5:21–24).

The only appropriate response was that they love their brother. God was and is firm on the matter. We too, are to love the unlikeables among us. To offer anything other than love to our neighbor is the very same as having no fear of or love for God.

Prayer: Love through me, Lord, in spite of me. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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You Can Understand the Old Testament: Its Message and Its Meaning is an introduction to, and overview of, the Old Testament, exploring its meaning and its message for readers of today. Individual overviews and discussions of each book of the Old Testament are provided along with helpful maps, tables and charts as well as complete indexes of subject matter, biblical texts cited, and Hebrew words noted in the discussion. The book is aimed at students of the Bible, whether members of church congregations, pastors, or students in college or seminary. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1295.html Tue, 25 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 14 We know that we have crossed from death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love, continues in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no killer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know love: that he laid down his life for us. So, we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:13–16)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 66

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

Be careful that you do not imagine yourself exempt from bothering with the Fifth Commandment. You may say that you have never murdered anyone. Think again. Have you ever been angry with your neighbor? Bear in mind that your neighbor is the whole world. Have you ever harbored anger with a politician, a workmate, a church Council member, family, anyone? Jesus says that if you are angry with your neighbor, you are answerable to divine judgment (Matt 5:22). Do not let the day end without being reconciled so that you give the devil no opportunity over your soul (Eph 4:26). For anger will consume you with murderous rage. You would think the world better off with that hated person dead. To think so is as bad as the deed. However, “you shall not kill.”

Prayer: Give me the strength and the courage, Lord, to love my neighbor. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

It is a vital task of the church today to encourage a renewed interest in and use of God’s Word. Unfortunately, many people find the Scriptures difficult to read and hard to understand at first. The purpose of Epistles, a Guide to Reading the Scriptures is twofold: to encourage Christians to read God’s Word on a regular basis and to help the reader slow down and concentrate on each chapter of the epistles before moving on to the next.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1294.html Mon, 24 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Whoever spills a person’s blood, his blood shall be poured out by another, for God made humankind in his own image. (Genesis 9:6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

Human life is precious to the Lord. It does not matter whether that life is another’s life or one’s own, whether that life is nascent or full-formed. It is life; and it is life in God’s image. As such, God cherishes it, and it is to be treasured by all humankind. God is in relationship with human life, even that which is yet in the womb (Jer 1:5), for that is part of what it means to be created in God’s image. Being created in his image means that you are related to him.

God is relational, even in eternity. Before the creation, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit loved one another, else God could not be love (1 John 4:8). True love requires an object. Great love always loves more and more. So it is, that marriage seeks more than one another, and leads to children. The initial love of another is amplified in the love of others who bear their image. We bear the image of God, and are deeply loved by him. This is why he commands us to love not only God but neighbor as well. In loving our neighbor who bears God’s image, we love and honor God. We dare not murder our neighbor, for it is the same as striving to kill God. 

Prayer: Give me such grace, Lord, that I value all life. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Portraits of Jesus is a nine-session Bible study that explores the "I AM" statements given to us by Jesus himself. In comparing Jesus' words with related Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments, the study provides a well-rounded look at the center of our faith in Christ.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1293.html Fri, 21 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word5 …but he held no favor for Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your face downcast? 7 If you behave uprightly, will it not be lifted up? And if you do not do right, sin is lurking at the door, and it desires you. But you must rule over it. 8 Then Cain spoke with Abel, his brother. And when they were in a field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. —Genesis 4:5–8

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 64

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

It is an instinct that goes all the way back to Cain: we imagine that we may solve our personal problems with violence, and if necessary, the final violence of death. We must rule over our nature and the dishonorable and unrighteous acts that seek to oblige the flesh. In the heat of a moment, murder is considered an easy way out. It is not at all easy on the victim, nor is it trouble-free for the conscience. But chiefly, God commands life because life and death are under divine authority.

Prayer: Empower me, Lord, by your Holy Spirit to hold my tongue and my hand from my neighbor unless it be to help and befriend. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Many in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) remember the loyalty, strength, and uniqueness of our Lutheran tradition and the necessity of "Christ Alone." Stand and Confess explores these traditions in light of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1292.html Wed, 19 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word

Let every soul be subject to higher authorities, for there is no power except from God, and those that exist are established by God. Therefore, the one who resists the authorities, opposes the ordinance of God, and those who dissent will receive condemnation. For rulers are not an object of dread to moral behavior, but to the evil. And would you have no fear of authority? Do good and you will have his esteem, for he is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for no reason. For he is a servant of God, an avenger who administers punishment on the one who performs evil. Therefore the requirement is to be submissive, not only because of the punishment, but also for conscience. 6 For this reason you also pay taxes, since they are ministers of God, devoted to this very duty. Give everyone their due: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. (Romans 13:1–7)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

God has placed additional people in authority over us. We are to honor our parents above all others, second only to God, but the Scripture and the Catechism teach us to honor other authorities too. It may be a school teacher or principal, or later in life, an employer, a police officer, a government official—not to mention many other such examples of authority in our lives. It is of no advantage for us to disobey or make their lives difficult. God has established these forms of authority so that life will not devolve into anarchy. It is our responsibility to support and honor them, for in doing so we obey and honor God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all of your servants. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Hymns and Spiritual Songs from The North is a compilation of Nordic hymns. In the spirit of Martin Luther, such a hymn is usually a meditation or sermon on a Biblical text that grows out of the text for a Sunday. Sometimes it is long and slow, even mournful, giving singers the possibility of meditating on God's Word in their own context. Less often it is joyful, but it is always filled with longing and hope. We can imagine the grandma, during long dark winters, sitting by the fire, spinning or knitting as she sang stanza after stanza of an old favorite hymn or spiritual song, teaching her grandchildren to sing along with her. When they learned to lisp those words with her, they were learning how Scripture could be used to meet the deepest sorrows and the greatest joys of life.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1291.html Tue, 18 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was submissive to them. And his mother stored up all these matters in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and maturity, and in grace with God and man. (Luke 2:51–52)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

Of all people, Jesus might have insisted on being right when confronted with his parents’ demands upon him. Yet, he was obedient and submissive to them. Children sometimes demand that they are right, that their parents are not being fair, and belligerently rebel against their fathers and mothers. Society has even come to expect this to happen. This can, of course, turn into behavior later in life that worsens or even threatens the lives of others. The result is that maturity and wisdom seems lost on many adults. One begins their path when young, leading one direction or the other, to righteousness or pettiness, wisdom or foolishness, maturity or immaturity. Jesus honored his father and mother, and so, grew up to be wise and mature.

Prayer: Teach me, Holy Spirit, to be submissive to my parents. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola Publishing’s Alphabet Soup is a Sunday School series designed for young students in Preschool and Kindergarten. Lessons are based on storytelling, rhyme, and pictures, and are suitable for participation by non-readers. The flexible lesson plans introduce the youngest believers to the importance and truth of God’s Word. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1290.html Mon, 17 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Rise up in the company of the gray-haired, and honor the presence of the elderly, and revere your God. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:32)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

They took a photograph of the men at church yesterday, in honor of Fathers’ Day. It was a collection of hoary-headed fellows. We show appropriate fear or reverence for the Lord when we honor these men and their female counterparts. God would have us honor the mere presence of the elderly. When I was a boy, my father taught me to stand when a woman walks into the room. Our heavenly Father teaches further: stand in the presence of the elderly—whether they are women or men.

Prayer: Lord, teach us to honor the elderly as our own parents. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola Publishing has added an online resource component to its education materials called SEED: the Sola Electronic Education Database. This new subscription-based resource provides teachers with tools to build a Sunday School program and lead classes for children, youth, and adults, with original resources printed in full color! The year's curriculm provides a full Bible overview — from Genesis to Revelation — with a collection of online media for each lesson, including new artwork, video presentations, updated teaching ideas, crafts, and more! 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1289.html Sun, 16 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

Contents of The Athanasian Creed

Overview
Whole and Inviolable
"Trinity in Unity"
"Compulsion"
"Addressing Heresies"
"Equal and Subordinate"
"One Christ"
"Likewise"
"Standing on Your Own Feet"

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1287.html Fri, 07 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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Hebrews 13:17

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

God has set others over you, besides your parents. They too, are in their positions for your benefit. Before we move on to civil authorities, let us consider a few others. Growing up, we are expected by our own parents to respect the adults in our neighborhood. They look out for us and keep watch over us, protecting us as we walk to school or play. At church, we are to respect and learn from our Sunday School teachers, Catechism instructors, pastors, and all of the adults there. We ought to allow them to raise us in the faith joyfully. Exasperating them brings us no advantage. This attitude should not change when we have ourselves become adults. There remain those in congregational leadership whom we should value so that they are able to watch over our sould with gladness.

Prayer: Lord, bless and prosper the work of those you have given leadership in your church. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Full-Color Catechism Posters (Set of Seven)  These glossy full-color 11"x 17" posters feature the main texts from the six parts of Luther's Small Catechism, and are designed for use in homes and churches to help children memorize these important and timeless words. Posters include: Holy Baptism, The Lord's Prayer, The Ten Commandments (standard), The Ten Commandments (simplified),The Apostles' Creed, Holy Communion, and Confession & Forgiveness. Each poster features a picture of "Luther's Small Cat" and matches the colors of the corresponding booklet from Sola's Luther's Small Cat Series.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1285.html Tue, 04 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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Luke 18:20

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

Honoring parents is not the privilege of young children alone. Children who still live at home with their parents are of course, expected to love them, be obedient, and esteem them as blessed gifts of God. Adult children, even more, ought to have learned to honor their parents. They should not mock their mother or father, but instead, look to their needs, and care for them as they would have their own children care for them. We know these things, and are duty-bound both to our parents and to God to do them.

Prayer: Raise me up in your grace, O God, that I may keep your commandments. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? is a six-week Bible Study that examines the most profound event of salvation history — the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the Atonement.

• Participant's Book    • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1284.html Mon, 03 Jun 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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Philippians 2:14–15

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together: God expects us to behave for our parents the way we would act in his presence. Therefore, we are to obey our parents as we would obey God: without complaining or asking why. Grumbling disobedience shows a lack of love. Moreover, it would be an indication that we are no different from the stubborn, rebellious, and wicked children around us. We are to esteem our parents more highly than this, and in doing so, we shine so brightly that we bring honor to God as well.

Prayer: Lord, work your salvation out of me in good works that bring glory to you and honor to my parents’ name. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Ten Commandments book is a ten-week unit, which includes one session on each of the Commandments. The Scripture focus in the Ten Commandment series is on Moses and the Exodus Cycle, with Bible Study lessons taken primarily from the Pentateuch.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1283.html Fri, 31 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Proverbs 23:20

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

Our parents are God’s agents to and for us. They are meant to be his blessed envoys, graciously given to us by God so that we may begin our education in the catechism. Through these emissaries, we learn to be obedient, to protect the lives of others, to be faithful, to respect the property of others, to tell the truth, and to be content with what has been provided. We begin to honor our parents when we regard them as God’s representatives to and for us. And by honoring our parents in this way, we begin to honor God as well.

Prayer: I give you thanks, Lord, for my parents. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Five VBS Class Posters & Five Sticker Sheets

These glossy full-color 11"x 17" posters with the title "Welcome to VBS!" are designed for use in recording attendance for Vacation Bible School.  Five posters are included in each set, along with five color sticker sheets.  Days are numbered 1-5, to correspond to the standard weekday VBS schedule.

More from the Versatile Budget Series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1282.html Wed, 29 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Colossians 3:20

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

Even Jesus honored his parents with submissive behavior (Luke 2:51). This pleased his mother, and it pleases the Father when we follow the Lord’s example by being obedient to our parents. Parents are second to God alone as authorities and examples for their children. So, children are to submit to their fathers and mothers in all matters unless it goes against God’s word (Acts 5:29).

Prayer: Lord, help me trust in you through those you have placed in authority over me. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The biblical focus in this five-session VBS book, Moses and the Great Escape, is found in the Old Testament book of Exodus. God has a grand plan for humankind — a plan he enacts through the Hebrew people. He created Moses to be instrumental in this plan.

Sola’s Versatile Budget Series is a simple and flexible educational Vacation Bible School curriculum designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations. The flexible format works well for groups with limited budgets, or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. Unlike more elaborate and expensive VBS kits, this book is meant to serve as an “all-in-one” teacher’s resource. The worksheets and handouts it contains can be reproduced according to local needs. Each book in the Versatile Budget Series focuses on a particular character from the Bible, bringing together several stories on a common theme. Resources and ideas are provided for gathering time, music, activities, games, and refreshments — allowing just a few adult leaders to host a week of Vacation Bible School.

More from the Versatile Budget Series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1281.html Tue, 28 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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1 Corinthians 4:15–16

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

They say that imitation is the sincerest or best form of flattery. That must be very true for parents. It is satisfying and rewarding when children reproduce their parents’ good character and conduct. Biological parents are not the only ones pleased when children imitate their examples. No doubt, Jesus was pleased when his disciples understood and duplicated his teaching and lifestyle. Paul too, wanted his spiritual children—his disciples—to imitate him. We honor our biological and spiritual parents when we pay attention to them and duplicate their way of life.  

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to listen to those whom you have given me as teachers and guides. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Brave Queen Esther focuses on the story of a young Jewish girl named Esther, who was raised by her older cousin Mordecai after the death of her parents. Set in a time when people of faith were suspect in the eyes of the surrounding culture, the story illustrates the values of integrity and honesty.  It shows how being faithful to God, caring for one another, and standing up for what we believe, can help us through times of fear and doubt.

Sola’s Versatile Budget Series is a simple and flexible educational Vacation Bible School curriculum designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations. The flexible format works well for groups with limited budgets, or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. Unlike more elaborate and expensive VBS kits, this book is meant to serve as an “all-in-one” teacher’s resource. The worksheets and handouts it contains can be reproduced according to local needs. Each book in the Versatile Budget Series focuses on a particular character from the Bible, bringing together several stories on a common theme. Resources and ideas are provided for gathering time, music, activities, games, and refreshments — allowing just a few adult leaders to host a week of Vacation Bible School.

More from the Versatile Budget Series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1279.html Tue, 21 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Leviticus 19:3

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

God’s promise to be a Father to us demonstrates the importance he places on the role of parenting. It is the first commandment on the second tablet—those that focus on our neighbors. It contains a promise, where the other commandments do not. Clearly, this is a very important commandment. As God expects us to honor him as our heavenly Father, he expects and demands that we honor our earthly fathers and mothers too. They are his representatives to us, that we may be brought up well, trained in an orderly and lawful way, honoring and respecting, not only God and parents, but all those in authority.

Prayer: Give me, O Lord, the spirit of obedience, for you are my God. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

David: Hero of God is a five-session VBS program that features one of the most famous people in Scripture. The Books of 1 and 2 Samuel tell the story of a young Israelite shepherd named David, who was chosen by God to be king. The biblical story shows how God can work through an ordinary person to do great things, illustrating the themes of faith, courage, compassion, and leadership. 

Sola’s Versatile Budget Series is a simple and flexible educational Vacation Bible School curriculum designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations. The flexible format works well for groups with limited budgets, or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. Unlike more elaborate and expensive VBS kits, this book is meant to serve as an “all-in-one” teacher’s resource. The worksheets and handouts it contains can be reproduced according to local needs. Each book in the Versatile Budget Series focuses on a particular character from the Bible, bringing together several stories on a common theme. Resources and ideas are provided for gathering time, music, activities, games, and refreshments — allowing just a few adult leaders to host a week of Vacation Bible School.

More from the Versatile Budget Series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1277.html Mon, 20 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Ephesians 6:1–3

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

Seems right; if I did not respect my dad, he might have killed me! When he got out that paddle, I had cause to wonder. However, this is hardly what the Fourth Commandment means.

It is curious, even begging our attention, that this is the first commandment that contains a promise. Indeed, it is the only commandment that contains a promise. In order to more fully appreciate that promise, we should look back to the promise that prefaces all of the commandments. It is very precious, and will help us appreciate the value of the Fourth Commandment.

In Exodus, in the verse before the First Commandment, God promises: I am the Lord your God (Exod 20:2). In the statement of fact is the promise as well. What a promise! God promises to be your God. God is God, no matter what. And God is our God, no matter what—you may believe his promise. Bondage, sin, adversity, war, and even death cannot and will not alter the promise. He is our God. 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being, not just God but, my God. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The biblical focus in this five session VBS series, Rebekah & Her Family, comes from the Book of Genesis. God's hand is seen at work throughout the story — from Rebekah’s being chosen as a bride for Isaac, through the birth and lives of their twin sons, Esau and Jacob.  The story illustrates how God remains faithful to his promise, despite our sin, and that God's power can actually change our lives!

Sola’s Versatile Budget Series is a simple and flexible educational Vacation Bible School curriculum designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations. The flexible format works well for groups with limited budgets, or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. Unlike more elaborate and expensive VBS kits, this book is meant to serve as an “all-in-one” teacher’s resource. The worksheets and handouts it contains can be reproduced according to local needs. Each book in the Versatile Budget Series focuses on a particular character from the Bible, bringing together several stories on a common theme. Resources and ideas are provided for gathering time, music, activities, games, and refreshments — allowing just a few adult leaders to host a week of Vacation Bible School.

More from the Versatile Budget Series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1276.html Fri, 17 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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1 Kings 2:10

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

We are to honor our parents. One of the ways this is done is by respecting, obeying, serving, and otherwise loving them throughout our shared days. When those days are over, when our parents have died, the honor God commands is not concluded. We must honor our parents even in death. This was especially so in ancient societies when family did not hand over the duties required in preparing and burying the body, then later, gathering the bones of the deceased to “sleep” with their ancestors. Today, we pay someone to prepare and bury the dead, and because land is plentiful, we typically inter in a family lot. Nonetheless, being certain that this is done with dignity and in a manner that glorifies God is another way we ought to honor our fathers and mothers.

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to honor my parents, as well as all the elderly in my congregation, as I would want to be treated. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The biblical focus of Mary, Martha & Many Faithful Women, a five-session VBS book is found in the gospels. Through the eyes of sisters, Mary and Martha, we get a look at the ministry of Jesus. We see him as both human and as God. Along with some of Jesus' other female friends, we follow Jesus to the cross where he suffered a horrendous death to pay the price for our sins. From the darkness of the cross, we join the women at the tomb with Mary Magdalene as the mystery and victory of Easter morning unfold.

Sola’s Versatile Budget Series is a simple and flexible educational Vacation Bible School curriculum designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations. The flexible format works well for groups with limited budgets, or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. Unlike more elaborate and expensive VBS kits, this book is meant to serve as an “all-in-one” teacher’s resource. The worksheets and handouts it contains can be reproduced according to local needs. Each book in the Versatile Budget Series focuses on a particular character from the Bible, bringing together several stories on a common theme. Resources and ideas are provided for gathering time, music, activities, games, and refreshments — allowing just a few adult leaders to host a week of Vacation Bible School.

More from the Versatile Budget Series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1275.html Thu, 16 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Matthew 22:37–40

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

The commandment to love our neighbor begins at home. We are to love others as we love ourselves—not just loving those closest to us. Still, we cannot truly love our neighbor unless we love our own family. This, of course, begins with our parents. God has not given us parents only for the purposes of them feeding, clothing, sheltering, and protecting us. For these alone, we ought to respect and love them. Yet God does not command us to obey our parents (Col 3:20) because of the things they provide. We are to obey them as though they are his own representatives to us—as though it were God himself telling us to clean our rooms, take out the trash, do our homework, and so forth. It is God’s will and command that we do so.

Prayer: Help me to respect all those you have placed in authority over me, Lord. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The biblical focus of The Adventures of Paul, a five-session VBS book, is the life of the Apostle Paul, using lessons from the Book of Acts. Here Scripture tells the story of serious man named Saul who worked to silence Christianity—until the risen Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and changed his life. With his new name Paul, this one who had persecuted the Church went on to become one of the greatest apostles. 

The price of the book includes permission to reproduce the worksheets and handouts for local use. For smaller churches in a "one-room schoolhouse" setting, only one book is necessary. For churches with multiple grade levels and individual classes, we suggest that each teacher have a copy of the curriculum book.

More from the Versatile Budget Series

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1274.html Wed, 15 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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1 Timothy 5:8

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together

The penultimate way one honors parents is to care for them in their old age, when they cannot take care of themselves anymore. This was expected in ancient societies, and in many modern societies too. It may be today, that this kind of specialized care is delegated to nursing homes. That is attention to the physical, but aging parents also need mental and spiritual care. Again, pastors and social workers may do a good deal of this care. Still, God expects children to care for their parents, for no one can provide the kind of care that parents desire more than their children are able—if they will do so. This commandment was so important that one’s own life—let alone the lives of one’s parents—depended upon it (Exod 21:17; Prov 20:20). May it also be of great magnitude for us today.

Prayer: Help me honor you with my actions, Lord, not just my lips. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Connections is a magazine for Lutherans. It is filled with meaty articles, as well as lighter spiritual fare and inspiring graphics. Articles are contributed by individuals and ministries of AALC, CALC, LCMC, NALC, Lutheran Core, and other evangelical Lutherans from across North America. Click here for subscription information.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1273.html Tue, 14 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Romans 6:3–5

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together

The Sabbath of the old covenant observed God’s completion of creation. The Sabbath of the new covenant celebrates recreation—that people are recreated, or born again, through faith in Christ. This new life is the beginning of our inheritance of the imperishable life (1 Pet 1:3–4). We worship him who has provided us with a living hope of resurrection from the dead. The Holy Spirit stirs up this hope in us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is what we celebrate on the Lord’s Day, the day Christ Jesus rose from the dead. And that is why we observe the first day instead of the last day. We are celebrating a new beginning, eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

Prayer: Help me remember your resurrection every day, Lord, and have an ever-living hope in you. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Wise & The Foolish is a Bible study that focuses entirely on Jesus' "people parables"—or what might better be described as discipleship parables. These are the character stories that focus on the nature of discipleship and what it means to be a wise and faithful follower of Jesus.

This nine-session Bible study is intended for use by women's and men's groups, or for other small group fellowships gathering around the Word of God.

Click HERE to see the table of contents and a sample session of this study.

To view the Leader Guide click HERE.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1272.html Sun, 12 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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2 Timothy 3:16–17

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together

What do you depend upon for religious education, for correction or downright reprimand, and for training in virtue? What is it that governs your maturity in the Christian faith? Your opinions? TV shows? Newspapers? Social media? Hopefully, these are not what you depend upon.

If you want an inspired and solid upbringing in the faith, you must depend upon two things: the Word of God and the communion of saints. You cannot correct yourself to the extent necessary, nor can you alone be relied upon to discover all the Word has to offer you, let alone be accountable to yourself. You need the “mutual conversation and consolation” (Martin Luther, The Smalcald Articles) of those who walk with you in the path of Christ. That is where Christ is (Matt 18:20), and where God has always dwelled (Ezek 37:27; 2 Cor 6:16), breathing out upon us grace and truth.

Prayer: Lord, speak to me through you Word, on paper and spoken by others. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Introduce young students to the Church through this five-week series titled Welcome to Church. Click here for the Table of Contents and a sample session.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1271.html Thu, 09 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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1 Timothy 4:13

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together

The reading of Scripture to the congregation is vital. Indeed, the use of Scripture throughout the liturgy is central to our worship. But why is this the case?

We believe what we teach in the Catechism. Evidence of our fear and love of God is seen in how we cherish his Word—not just preaching from certain verses, but reading the pure Word itself—and large portions. Hearing it read ought to be a joy for believers, and reading it well, a precious privilege. Those who read aloud and those who hear the book read are truly blessed (eg: Rev 1:3). For in this book, the one, true God is revealed, and his people sanctified. Therefore, we ought to read the Scriptures often, and hear it read regularly. It shows who we are—and reminds us whose we are.

Prayer: Bring me to a love of your Word, Lord. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Wise & The Foolish is a nine-session Bible study that focuses entirely on Jesus' "people parables"—what might be described as Discipleship Parables. These are the character stories that focus on the nature of discipleship and what it means to be a wise and faithful follower of Jesus. 

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1270.html Wed, 08 May 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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Romans 10:14–17

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together: Faith comes through the proclaimed word of Christ Jesus, the message of the gospel. It is the good news because salvation comes by no other name (John 14:6). Jesus Christ is the way to the Father (Eph 2:18). We should remember the one day above all others each week when this good news may be heard, and pray that by our holy example, others will come and hear the gospel proclaimed by a preacher, hear it, believe, and be saved. In this example, we see that the day is observed, not only for ourselves, but for others.

Prayer: Order my priorities, Holy Spirit. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

One For All is a nine-session Bible study explores the center of the Christian faith by focusing on the unique and exclusive promise of Jesus. It examines not only the claims that Christ made about himself in Scripture, but the claim that the Lord makes on our lives as well. By focusing on the Gospel message of salvation in Christ alone, the study seeks to show how God makes us a part of His mission to the whole world, and how "the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all."

Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1269.html Tue, 07 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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1 Corinthians 1:21

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together

“God’s Word is the treasure that makes everything holy. Through it, all the saints have been made holy. God’s Word, at whatever time it is taught, preached, heard, read, or pondered, hallows there and then the person, the day, the work—not because of the external act but on account of the Word that makes us all saints” (The Large Catechism, The Third Commandment, Martin Luther).

It is the Word of God received in faith that makes one holy. The preaching of that Word is vital, whether it is a lector reading the Word aloud, a pastor proclaiming it from a pulpit, or the Holy Spirit speaking through a printed Bible or app. To be sure, the Spirit must be involved in the preaching. Inasmuch, we see that there are two things central to gospel preaching: God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Saving faith will not happen without both. You may read the Bible under the power of your own reason all day and gain nothing without the Spirit. You may listen to preaching Sunday after Sunday, and hear nothing salvific without the work of the Holy Spirit.

This is why we are to honor the Word and its preaching: through that holy Word of God, God make’s holy those who believe—whether on Saturday or Sunday or any other day of the week.  

Prayer: Speak, Lord, for I am listening in your Word. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is an advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.

Part 1  • Pt 1 Leader's Guide  • Part 2  • Pt 2 Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1268.html Mon, 06 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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John 17:17

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together

When we gather around the Word of God, we are separated from the world for a while. For the moment, we are devoted only to God. This is one major way that we keep the Third Commandment. We observe it by taking the time to study God’s Word through reading, hearing, and preaching. God sanctifies us by his Word spoken over and through us. Though we may not imagine how, or even feel the effects, God makes us holy through his Word. We keep the Lord’s Day holy so that he may consecrate his Church through the Word.

Prayer: Teach me, Lord, from your Word. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Basics of the Christian Faith is an edition of the catechism that is aimed at seekers, visitors, and those that may not come from a Lutheran background. It is recommended for use in outreach, as a visitor welcome gift, or in new member packets.

Get a box of 100 customized with your church name, address, and website. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1267.html Fri, 03 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Matthew 18:10–11, 18–20

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together

But the Sabbath is a Saturday, not a Sunday, you may argue. Yes, the Jewish Sabbath was Saturday; actually, it was Friday evening until Saturday evening. This is an important consideration for those keeping the outward commands—or keeping the commands outwardly. Christians should be intent on keeping the inward commands, so that even the outward commandments are observed in an inward manner. Therefore, law keeping can no longer be about legalistic duties, those things one must do in order to be right with God. Because Christ Jesus has justified those who believe, we keep the commandments for different reasons now. The important matter here is resting, not counting.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for fulfilling the law for me when I could not. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

   

Today, the reliability of the Gospel is questioned or denied by many voices, inside and outside the Church. But if we, as Christians, have only "hoped" in Christ, and do not see Him as reliable, then we are "most to be pitied." This series by As We Go Ministries examines the reliability of central claims of the Christian faith, including the truth of Scripture, the promise of the Gospel, and the certainty of Christ's death and resurrection for our sake. 

The series requires the accompanying video DVD featuring the pastors of Faith Lutheran Church, in Hutchinson, Minnesota: the Rev. Scott Grorud and the Rev. David Wollan. 

Click the thumbnails for product descriptions and ordering details. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1265.html Thu, 02 May 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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Genesis 2:1–3

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together

The Sabbath is a day of rest, a miniature holiday or holyday. This day of rest is to be kept because God not only commanded it, he observed it. This is not a moral commandment like lying and hatred, which concern the inward life, but a commandment concerning the outward life. Yet, the principal of the holyday, or holiday, still applies. It should not be observed in the sense of what one cannot do, as the Pharisees tried to do with Jesus and his disciples (Matt 12:1–8). Rather, we should focus on what we should do, how we ought to keep the day as holy. Therefore, Christians still keep a day of rest so they have space in a week to assemble for worship, study, prayer, and fellowship.  

Prayer: Lord, increase in me a love for the study and preaching of your Word. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) includes hundreds of hymns and songs for use in worship, organized by season and theme, available in full score, lead sheets, image files, and text only. These include popular hymns and songs, as well as new hymns from the lectionary texts and set to familiar tunes. 

SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, graphics, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1264.html Wed, 01 May 19 00:00:00 -0500

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John 4:23

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

Worship is always the correct attitude. If your conscience, the law, or the devil accuse you of sin, the right response is worship. Do not hide from God, as if you could. Instead, come directly into his presence, confessing and giving thanks. If you take his name in vain or conversely, do not wrongly use his name, call upon his name nonetheless. Do not wait for Sunday, or physically being in a church building. Now is the time for you to come to the Father, doing so in spirit and truth. Every need you have, whether of forgiveness or something else, is an occasion to worship the Father in prayer, praising him and giving thanks for his meeting your every necessity.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your mercy and love. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) is a lectionary-based web resource for worship planning and sermon prep. It includes DOC bulletin templates for communion and non-communion services in LBW and Reclaim settings. 

SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, graphics, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1263.html Tue, 30 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500

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1 Corinthians 1:2–3

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

Let us be clear. God will not hold guiltless the one who takes his name in vain. Yet, the one who calls upon his name in sorrow over that sin will be forgiven. For example, I am scheduled to be somewhere Wednesday afternoon but someone who does not believe I will actually show up, asked me, “Are you really going to be there?” What if I had replied, “I swear to God!” Would my response be a sin? Absolutely; I would have broken the Second Commandment. Will God consider me guilty? Yes. Will he forgive me, if I confess my sin? Yes; God forgives repentant sinners. Will he forgive me if I say, “I didn’t sin.” He will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain.

Even more, God will not hold guilty those who call upon his name. For those who respond to the gospel with confidence in God’s mercy through Christ will indeed be forgiven. As it is said, there is more mercy in God than there is sin in us.

Prayer: Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Sola has added a Bible Overview year to its Confirmation Series, with two ten-session booklets — one on the Old Testament and one on the New Testament. These books provide a step-by-step overview of the history and geography of the Scriptures, exploring the various time periods and sections of the Bible and how they connect to one another. The goal is to give students a sense for the over-arching story of Scripture, fulfilled in the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1262.html Mon, 29 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Psalm 139:19–24

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

It is easy to notice the faults of others. For example, you will hear God’s name used wrongly—whether as an outright expletive or by swearing by it to gain another’s trust. But the heart of a believer will hear when he has vainly taken his Lord’s name. Once the Spirit of God has attuned the ear of a believer, he is grieved when he takes the name of the Lord in vain. He loathes himself for his sin. At this point, all he can hear are his own evil words; the voice of his neighbor now seems mute. So, we must pray God finds us out as we have noticed the wrong in others. This is one way we hallow God’s name (Matt 6:9), by asking that he search our hearts, and correct our words and actions. This begins with confession, asking God to forgive us, and then asking him to help our neighbors too.

Prayer: Find the evil in me, Lord, and lead me in your ways. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. 

"SOWeR is the first place I go every week to start thinking about my sermon." —Pastor William Maki, Zion Lutheran Church, St. Marys, OH

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1260.html Mon, 22 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Acts 17:29–30

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

“God told me.” When people say this, they are taking the Lord’s name in vain. They say, “God told me to do this,” so that no one will be able to disagree with them. How could someone disagree when God said they should do whatever it is that they want to do! They may have a strong feeling that they ought to do something, but it remains just that: feeling—a mood resulting from a specific life situation. It does not mean God is telling them to do that something. God is not mood; he is not setting in life. Nor does he speak through mood or setting. God speaks to us through his Word. Applying a “thus saith the Lord” to our feelings is to give them a biblical authority. Saying “God told me” is taking the name of the Lord your God in vain. The Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain.

Prayer: Help me, Lord God, to honor and respect your holy name. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The biblical focus in this five session VBS series, Rebekah & Her Family, comes from the Book of Genesis. God's hand is seen at work throughout the story — from Rebekah’s being chosen as a bride for Isaac, through the birth and lives of their twin sons, Esau and Jacob.  The story illustrates how God remains faithful to his promise, despite our sin, and that God's power can actually change our lives!

Sola’s Versatile Budget Series is a simple and flexible educational Vacation Bible School curriculum designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations. The flexible format works well for groups with limited budgets, or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. Unlike more elaborate and expensive VBS kits, this book is meant to serve as an “all-in-one” teacher’s resource. The worksheets and handouts it contains can be reproduced according to local needs. Each book in the Versatile Budget Series focuses on a particular character from the Bible, bringing together several stories on a common theme. Resources and ideas are provided for gathering time, music, activities, games, and refreshments — allowing just a few adult leaders to host a week of Vacation Bible School.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1259.html Fri, 19 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500

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And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with your whole mind—and your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

So, we see that taking the Lord’s name vainly does not only break the Second Commandment; it also breaks the First Commandment. For taking the Lord’s name in vain demonstrates a lack of fear, love, and trust in God above all things. One who fears someone would never sully his reputation. Despising the one who is loved never enters the thoughts of the lover. Disgracing the one who is trusted would be self-defeating, likely depriving you of your need. Therefore, if we truly believe in God, we fear, love, and trust him with our entire being. In really doing so, we will not use his name vainly, for there is no need to do so.

Prayer: Help me to live what I believe, Lord. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

This edition of the Luther's Small Catechism is specifically designed to go with the Sola Confimation Series. The 2010 Sola/ReClaim Edition is a faithful word-for-word translation from Luther's German Catechism. It also includes the section on the Office of the Keys, added later to Luther's Catechism.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1258.html Thu, 18 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Matthew 6:31–33

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 36

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

Why does one need to lie or otherwise deceive in order to receive some necessary thing? God knows what you need, so ask your heavenly Father, and he will provide the needs of the day. The practice of deceit happens when one desires more than is necessary, or when there is lack of trust for what is needed. I do not recall sneaking food from the refrigerator or pantry when I was a boy. Mom and Dad made sure I had enough and more to eat. I trusted that they would provide for my needs every day. Even more, Jesus has promised that his Father will meet your needs. Trust—and give thanks.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for providing everything needed for my life. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Holy Families! is an initiative of the North American Lutheran Church provided through a generous grant from the Thrivent Foundation, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation (1517 AD to 2017 AD). Produced by Sola Publishing, this special initiative includes a number of Lutheran discipleship resources for families and congregations, including Daily Family Prayer Resources, Parent Pages, Faith Formation downloadable pages for children/families, Educational Videos, Parents' Video/Discussion Series on Faith Formation, Reformation Bible Study: In the Luther Household

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1257.html Wed, 17 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Romans 12:14

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

The Second Commandment deals with far more than using a specific word or words. If you are a Christian, then all you say and do is said and done in the name of God. You take (or bear) the name of the Lord everywhere you go, and in everything you do. Therefore, you should be careful that your words are gracious and seasoned with salt (Col 4:6) in a way that commends the message of the gospel. Your speech should be kind, not enraged, forgiving, not wrathful, complimentary, not slanderous, pure, not obscene (Col 3:8). Because you carry the name of the Lord everywhere, you should not do so in vain. Your words should be his blessing to all you encounter.

Prayer: Lord, keep watch over my mouth. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Dwell In My Love! - Word of Life Series (Unit 3) is a resource for those looking to develop small groups built around the Word of God. This model of small-group ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism since it is rooted in prayer and Scripture. Its primary focus is to empower those who believe in Jesus Christ to be comfortable sharing their faith and inviting others to experience a transformed life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Meant for use in Small Group gathering, each of the six sessions is based on a primary Scripture text, with intentional time for reflection. There are questions, prayer, faith sharing, and mini evangelism case-studies. The series would be helpful for those involved in starting a Bible study fellowship, house church, or mission congregation. It can also be used by established congregations to aid in establishing a small group ministry.

• Unit 1   • Unit 2   • Unit 3

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1256.html Tue, 16 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500

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Matthew 5:33–37

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You s