Support our Missionary to Sudanese Refugees

At the NALC Convocation in August, Rev. James Poutyual was commissioned as a NALC Global worker.  Rev. James is from St. Cloud, a pastor and member of the Minkota Mission District.  They will be working in Gambella, Ethiopia, serving in the Sudanses Refugee camps for at least two years.

Rev. James will be working in partnership with the NALC, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church, Mekane Yesu, and the South Sudan Lutheran Church, bringing sacramental worship and Bible studies to the Sudanese refugees.  He is Sudanese by birth, came to the USA as a refugee, and so has there will not be a language or cultural barrier for he and his wife to carry out this ministry.

Please consider supporting this Global mission of the NALC by adding the work of Rev. James and Nyandit to your mission support in the coming year. And, please, in season and out, remember Christian Global workers serving our Lord Jesus in all places!

Download: James Poutyual – Missionary Adoption Form
(for direct support of James)

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Minkota and E-SD Districts Convention

The Minkota and Eastern South Dakota Mission Districts will be having a combined annual convention on January 14-15, 2019. The gathering will go from Monday afternoon until Tuesday mid-afternoon, at Ebenezer Oromo Evangelical Church (3901 36th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN). Mark Chavez will be with us.

Hotels:   Group rate ($109) will be available at Hampton Inn down by the Mall of America.  Some of you may have stayed there in conjunction with Augustana District events. Herre is the link to make your reservation: CLICK

 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

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Matthew 19:11–12

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

What shameful acts have arisen from the tradition concerning celibacy!

Pulling It Together

We will not venture into the details; look to the newspapers for much of what Melancthon means by “shameful acts.” But what of the reason for the tradition of celibacy, such an entrenched tradition that it is considered a Sacrament by so many? For one, being considered a Sacrament, it is said that this celibacy merits forgiveness of sin and salvation.

Now, there is nothing wrong with celibacy for the sake of God’s kingdom on earth, as Jesus says. Paul adds much to this as well. But there is only one thing that merits our justification with God. It is not our efforts—at celibacy or anything else. We are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ. Period.

Prayer: Give me such faith, O Lord, that my faith is firmly in you. Amen.

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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

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Psalm 50:15

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Then, how many abuses and what horrible idolatry the invocation of saints has produced!

Pulling It Together

Whenever one wonders if a doctrine is true or false, look to the chief article. Does a teaching conflict with the first article? If so, then the doctrine is false. Christ alone helps sinners. The works of people—whether self or saints—is of no advantage. Indeed, they are a great disadvantage because they subvert the knowledge of and obscure the glory of Christ. Look to Christ alone; call upon him for help, for he is the one who delivers. Moreover, he is the only one whom glory is due.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for all your benefits in Christ 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.

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

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1 John 1:8–9

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 37

Satisfactions gave rise to indulgences: pure lies, fabricated for the sake of profits.

Pulling It Together

Christians often sin; it is as natural as breathing. Yet, when Christians sin, they know it. The Holy Spirit makes them aware of their sin and the guilt of their unrighteousness. As there is no righteousness within us, save the Spirit of Christ, we cannot correct either the sin or the unrighteousness. We must turn to God in faith and ask forgiveness through the blood of Christ. It is the only way. We cannot pay for forgiveness or earn it; nor may we expect another to do so for us, as all are unrighteous. But if we simply ask God for forgiveness, he will forgive us of the sin and relieve us of the guilt, all on the basis of the shed blood of Christ, but never on the basis of our own merits.

Prayer: Forgive me, Father, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

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Adversity is all around us. There is no getting around it. Sometimes we cause our own adversity; other times bad things just happen to us. No matter what it is that we are going through, we are never alone. There is someone who is always by our side through thick and thin. In Bumps and Bruises: Make It Through Alive, we talk about the problem that we have and the solution to that problem: Jesus Christ. We will also discuss some tips on how to get through adversity, and the tools that God gives us. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

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1 Corinthians 15:50–58

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Additionally, they have devised satisfactions by which they have also concealed the benefit of Christ.

Pulling It Together

What can we poor sinners do in the face of the malevolent leer of sin and death? The more we aim at purer piety, stricter law-keeping, faithful penance, and more and greater good works, the more assured we become that we can do nothing against our corruption. Unless we are self-deceived, we sense the foul breath of sin and death in each word, the horror of it in our thoughts, the crippling posture of our gaits in each step we take toward the grave. We are dying; indeed, we are dead. We are so utterly dead in our sins that a higher morality and finer religion will not bring us back to life—for we were never alive. We were born with this fatal disease. No priest or pastor can cure us. Better upbringing will not suffice, nor will harder work. We can do nothing to satisfy the hunger of death, and the killing corruption of sin.

Nevertheless, there is victory through faith in God. He alone has made the one satisfaction that removes the grip of death. He simply gives us this ultimate triumph over sin, death, and the judgment of the law. He is just in his doing so, because of Christ’s satisfaction of sin, death, and law. Moreover, we are justified through faith in Christ’s settlement of our sin—faith in him alone, not in our piety and good deeds. Because of this, we grin in the face of sin and death; we smile at the accusations of the law. Christ alone provides us this benefit, this assurance that not all is as it seems. In a moment, all will change. Thanks be to God.

Prayer: Give me such faith, Lord God, that I fear, love, and trust 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.

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.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

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Matthew 6:7–13

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

They have obscured the doctrine concerning sin, and have invented a tradition concerning the enumeration of offenses, producing many errors and despair.

Pulling It Together

We should not pray endlessly over our sins, thinking our devotion to naming each and every transgression is cause for God’s mercy. Instead, we must believe we are forgiven for Christ’s sake, not because of our religious zeal. So, pray like Jesus taught his disciples to pray: forgive my sin-debts. Period. No long list of offenses is offered—just a petition for forgiveness. Leaving it there requires faith in God where too often, there is only faith in religion. 

Prayer: Forgive me of all my sin, 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.

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. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

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Romans 4:5–7

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

The doctrine of repentance has been entirely corrupted by the pope and his adherents, as they teach that sins are forgiven because of the value of our works. Then they try to make us doubt whether forgiveness happens. They do not teach anywhere that sins are forgiven freely for Christ’s sake, and that we obtain forgiveness of sins by this faith. As a result, they shroud the glory of Christ, deprive consciences of solid comfort, and abolish true worship, that is, the practice of faith wrestling with despair.

Pulling It Together

There is no hope for sinners who are denied true and complete faith in Christ. So long as they are cast back upon themselves, they are sunk—the lot of them. If their belief system calls them to an exercise of religious mathematics, it will never add up because they doubt the correct answer to the sum. Trying to add up their own goodness while subtracting their individual sins is futility and madness at once. The accumulation of a thousand lifetimes’ of good works and acts of religious devotion will never add up. Christ is the sum! Only Christ—never you—adds up to the value of your salvation. This righteous standing before God may only be apprehended with complete faith in Christ, never adding or subtracting a thing from Christ alone.

Prayer: I believe in you, Christ Jesus, for righteousness and salvation—not in my practice of religion. 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.

Joshua, Judges, & Ruth: Old Places, New Faces Series  The geographical locations of Biblical characters can symbolically refer to places we find ourselves with respect to our faith. The Bible is not only intended to give the reader knowledge about events and people in the past, but through these events and people, to inspire greater faith.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

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1 Timothy 6:3–5

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

The idolatry in the profanation of the masses is clear, which, besides other faults, are brazenly applied for shameful profit.

Pulling It Together

Just as the grace of God is freely given, so is the means of grace. The Sacraments are not for hire. They are freely given, as need dictates. Sinners require a liberal provision of God’s grace. If anyone charges a fee for God’s free services, he is either deceived in his doctrine, or a religious extortionist.

Prayer: Thank you for your gifts of mercy, love, forgiveness, and peace through Christ Jesus. Amen.

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Mary, Martha & Many Faithful Women is a five-session VBS book designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations with a limited budget or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. This resource includes worksheets and handouts that may be reproduced, 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.

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

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Luke 12:51–53

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

To dissent from the agreement of so many nations and to be called schismatics is a serious matter. But divine authority commands all to not be allies and defenders of impiety and unjust cruelty. Our consciences are sufficiently excused on this account, for the errors of the kingdom of the pope are obvious, and Scripture exclaims with its entire voice that these errors are the teaching of demons and of Antichrist.

Pulling It Together

The only peace that Christ came to bestow on this earth is the peace that is had through faith in him. Believe in Christ—in God’s salvation and forgiveness given only through such faith—and no matter who offends you or disagrees with your faith or its teachings, you will be at peace with the one person who makes a difference. That person is Christ himself, not the person who offers you false peace if only you believed his deceitful doctrine.

Prayer: Give me that peace, O Lord, that surpasses all comprehension. 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 Levi 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

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Matthew 7:21–23

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

This being the case, all Christians should beware of becoming participants in the godless doctrine, blasphemies, and unjust cruelty of the pope. For this reason they ought to leave and denounce the pope and his adherents as the kingdom of Antichrist, just as Christ has commanded, “Beware of false prophets” (Matt 7:15). Paul commands that godless teachers should be avoided and condemned as accursed, (Gal 1:8; Titus 3:10), and says, “Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what…fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14).

Pulling It Together

The principal part of Christian doctrine is that we have faith in God, believing that he loved the world so much that he sent his Son to save us, forgiving all sin, justifying sinners, and saving them to eternal life only through faith in Christ. Does any doctrine conflict with this main part? Run! Avoid its teachers and the places they teach. They will surely tell you that if you do not believe as they do and do the things they do that you will be condemned. But how can anyone condemn those whom the Father loves and for whom his Son died? Those who have faith in his love for them through Christ Jesus are the ones he knows, as it is God’s will that faith forms a relationship with him. Those who do religious services that conflict with faith in Christ alone are strangers to him. Avoid them, if you can.

Prayer: Help me, Holy Spirit, to walk in the light 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.

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

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Isaiah 14:12–14

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Furthermore, it is obvious, firstly, that the pope rules in the church, and has established this kingdom with the pretext of the authority of the church and the ministry, citing these words: “I will give you the keys” (Matt 16:19). Secondly, the doctrine of the pope conflicts in many ways with the gospel, and he feigns for himself divine authority in a threefold manner.

First, he presumes the right to change the doctrine of Christ and services instituted by God, and wants his own doctrine and his own services to be observed as divine. Second, he adopts for himself the power not only of binding and loosing in this life, but also the jurisdiction over souls beyond this life. Third, because the pope does not want to be judged by the church or by anyone, he puts his own authority above the decision of councils and the entire church. Being unwilling to be accountable to the church or to anyone else is to make oneself God. Lastly, he defends his horrible errors and impiety with the greatest cruelty, and puts dissenters to death.

Pulling It Together

Whether it be Sargon II, Satan, or anyone else, no one is God but God. He alone is the Most High. Climb the ranks of the kingdoms of earth or invent your own kingdom, small or large; still you are not God. How does one go about inventing such a religious kingdom but by keeping the trappings of the true and right while denying its power? The power of a kingdom is its king and his word. Any representative of the king who would pervert the king’s word no longer represents the king. He speaks for himself now. If you change the king’s words and ways, then you have propped yourself up as king over the king.

Prayer: My knee bows to you alone, 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.

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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