Tuesday, August 17, 2010

“We Proclaim Him” (Colossians 1:28-29)

S-1203 8/15/10 10SAP/3C Hymns: (O) #15; S#496; (C) #507

Texts: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Colossians 1:21-31; Matthew 28:16-20

Theme: “We Proclaim Him” (Colossians 1:28-29)

Question: Are You Proclaiming Him?


Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleuia. The text for our meditation is from the Epistle lesson: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” (1:28-29).


People of God, CHOSEN and BELOVED, my beloved professor and spiritual father Louis Brighton told us a story while a student at the seminary and it stuck with me ever since. (Please hear my spiritual father tell the story) During WWII, 2 young men 18-19 were drafted into the American army. During Basic Training they became close buddies, close allies; because they realized when they would be sent overseas to France to fight against the German army, they needed to depend on each other, and hold on to each other. One of the young men was a dedicated Christian. He read his Bible every day. He prayed. The other buddy was an agnostic, didn’t believe in anything. The Christian buddy witnessed to his unbelieving buddy but to no avail. But still, despite this gulf they still remained close buddies.

They were shipped overseas. After about 6 months, they were on reconnaissance in No Man’s Land between the German army and the American army. They were crawling on their bellies, with the rifles on their shoulders. The unbelieving buddy was quite a bit ahead of his believing buddy. All of a sudden the Germans began to shell. The believing buddy started to holler, “He is going to be hit! He is going to be hit!” So he got up, runs and puts his own body over the unbeliever’s body. When the shelling finally ceased, the Christian buddy rolled over, mortally wounded. The unbelieving buddy with tears in his eyes said, “Why did you do that?” The believing buddy said, “I know Jesus, you don’t and you are not ready yet”. And he died. They took the wounded unbelieving buddy back to base hospital in France. And for the first time in his life he began to read his Bible and pray.

The French nurse who attended him was a wonderful Christian. They formed a good relationship and visited often about the Bible. He asked her many questions about Christianity. One day the unbeliever asked the nurse, “What day did they bring me from the battle field wounded?”It was Good Friday” she said. “Oh, he said. That is the day my Lord died for me. And my buddy died for me to help me come to know Jesus.” PAUSE.

After the war was over, he was sent to a hospital in the States. 3 months went by; he recovered well enough to leave the hospital. He contacted the parents of his Christian buddy. “I would like to see you if you permit me, because I would like to tell you how your son died.” They readily agreed to the meeting.

At the appointed time, he limped into the house evidence of his wounds. He told them the story. “I have been encouraged by your son to commit my life to Jesus. For he not only died to save me physically but spiritually. I want to give my life to Jesus and do what he did even to die if necessary to help someone come to know Jesus.” That is a powerful transformation from unbelieving to committed, from death to life!

BELOVED in the Lord, If only every Pastor and lay person would have the same attitude like this Christian buddy—give his life for the sake of his friend so that he may know the Savior; we would be confessing and proclaiming Him to the World. PAUSE.

In John chapter 15, Jesus said: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you’” (15:12-13). If all of us have this attitude to be willing to die for the sake of others so that they may know Jesus, more people would come to know that they are not meant to live in this world with pain and grief, but rather in the presence of the One who gave His life for them—Jesus Christ the greatest buddy the world has ever known.

Jesus’ heroic act of sacrificing His life not only for His friends but for His enemies is the greatest act of love the world has ever witnessed. Jesus’ death brings life, Jesus’ suffering brings salvation, Jesus’ blood gives us boldness, and Jesus’ mercy gives us a message that changes the world one soul at a time.

Today, as we observe Seminary Sunday. I challenge you to proclaim Him. By virtue of your call as a baptized child of God, do the right thing—even to be willing to die for another so that they may know Jesus. Proclaim Him in word and deed saints in Christ. PAUSE.

As a Christian you have a great and noble purpose for your life. You are a messenger of Jesus. Through your sharing of the gospel, people will be saved forever. How amazing that Jesus would choose you! But that is what He did! Jesus gave us this command together with a promise: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16) PAUSE.

It is my great privilege and honor, as your pastor, to proclaim this same Jesus, and the mystery of the riches of His glory to you, the BELOVED and CHOSEN people of Redeemer week after week, for a total of some 1150 sermons and 840 Bible studies. I have been blessed to have learned this great and glorious mystery of Christ from other pastors, both seminary professors I had and other pastors who taught me both before and after my seminary days. They proclaimed Jesus to me, warning and teaching me with all wisdom, just as they learned it from the generation before them, and those from the generation before them, all the way back to and dependent upon Paul and the other apostles and prophets our Lord chose to reveal Himself to.

Many of you first learned this wondrous and mysterious message about Christ from your parents, and from other pastors and teachers you’ve had through the years and when you were members at other congregations.

What a blessing to be with you today working together as pastor and people to proclaim Him. For 69 years this place has stood for one reason only—to get the message out. This place is not here to do weddings, funerals or social activities, though we do these as part and parcel of the ministry. But the main reason this place exist is to proclaim Him to a condemned world. For the past 16 years you have helped me get the message straight and out to the world. For all of these things, I can say along with Paul “for this I toil (a good and blessed toil), struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” I know that I could never do these things on my own by my own energy or power, but I give thanks to God that His Holy Spirit continues to work among us powerfully, that “we may present everyone mature in Christ.”

We proclaim Him. I, like Paul, always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when I pray for you (1:3). I give thanks for the partnership in the Gospel (Philippians 1:5) we have together. I would not be able to proclaim Him with the authority of the pastoral office, warning and teaching with all the wisdom of God’s Word, were it not for the fact that you, yes you the BELOVED and CHOSEN people of God have entrusted me with the call to this office. Thank you for blessing me with such a privilege and honor to proclaim Him along with you. Amen.

Now the peace of God…

“What A Price!!! (1 Corinthians 6:20)

S-1202 8/14/10 10SAP/3C Hymns: (O) #537; #744; S#461; (C) #878 (All from LSB)

Texts: Psalm 46, 23; Acts 4:1-12; John 10:11-18

Theme: “What A Price!!! (1 Corinthians 6:20)

Question: What did it cost God to save you?

Armour, SD SOLI DEO GLORIA celebration of New Life of Donald Ray Peiman

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleuia. The text for the celebration of the new life for our departed brother is his confirmation text from Paul’s letter to the Church of Corinth: “For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:20).


Family and friends, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has gathered us by His Holy Spirit to celebrate the life of our dear departed brother Don and to receive from that same God the precious comfort that comes in His Holy Word. Our Lord’s precious Word brings us to the talk of cost. We know about cost don’t we?

Let me ask you. What would happen if you visited a car dealership and drove away with a car without paying? More than likely you would head to jail for grand theft. While there is no crime to shopping, have you priced a car lately?

Let me ask you a second question. Have you tried to buy a car/truck lately? If you have you know that the coast for new vehicles is very pricy. Most people can’t afford to buy a new vehicle, so they resort to making payments. It is interesting to note that the advertisement industry today, don’t sell you cars, but sell you payment plans. For only $340.00 a month you can own this 2010 Dodge Truck.

Today, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul tells us of the cost that was paid for the unbeliever. Listen again to the text please: “For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Notice what Paul states here, “YOU WERE BOUGHT with a price.

Have you ever considered the price paid for the soul of Donald and all believers? Consider this event. Jesus is walking on the streets of Jerusalem. On His journey He encounters Satan standing guard over a prison-cell filled with unbelievers. They have no hope of escape—they have no hope period. Jesus looks at the cell and asks, “What’s to become of these?” Satan answers with far too much glee, “The Law condemned them to death. The Law has them prisoners. There is no escape. They will spend eternity with me in torment! They will suffer with me forever in the fiery hell!” It is then that Jesus looks heavenward. “Father,” He prays. “What would the price be to set them free?” The Father’s voice answers, “There is only one price, My Son. Your life for theirs!” Without hesitation, Jesus replies, “It is done! My Life for theirs, Father!”

And so it was that Jesus paid for the soul of Donald our departed brother. Not with gold or silver, but as Peter reminds us; with His holy innocent blood on the cross of Calvary (1Peter 1:19) and as the author to the Hebrews teaches: “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2).

When Donald’s father picked this text for his son’s confirmation text, he knew the meaning of the word “BOUGHT with a price.” The Greek word used is in the aorist, passive, indicative. To you it means nothing, but to Paul and every other preacher it means that the payment paid was not an installment plan—so much every month, but one time payment—a full payment for the souls of all of humanity.

And that payment was costly. For 6 hours Jesus hung on the cross. For 6 hours He tasted hell. For 6 hours He suffered the wrath of God. For 6 hours blood dripped from His aching body. For 6 hours His tongue stuck to the roof of His mouth. For 6 hours His lips cracked under the Palestinian sun. For 6 hours He paid the full payment for Donald, you and me so that we may never taste hell or suffer under the torture of our arch enemy Satan.

Paul brings comfort to all of us who trust by the Spirit’s power in the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That we, too, have been bought with a price—the price paid on Calvary’s cross to free sinners from the shackles and prison of Satan. Donald too, was bought with a price and what a price it was.

That is the first part of the text, but the second part is just as important. Paul tells us to honor God with our body.

This Donald did. Not because he was so good. Not to earn salvation. Not because he lived the perfect life. You know, and I know that he was a sinner in need of God’s redeeming grace. His adopted Father, Pastor Peiman understood that very well so that on January 4, 1936; he took him in his arms and with simple water and Word baptized him in the Name of the Triune God—Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. That was the beginning of honoring God with His life.

Under the watchful eyes of his father, Don was instructed in the faith and on April 29, 1945 he confessed the faith as he stepped to the Altar to receive Christ’s body and blood for the forgiveness of his sins and the strengthening of his faith. As he became a young man, he met a young lady that would become his wife—Virginia Knodel who would help him to continue to honor God in his life.

These two became parochial school teachers. By the grace of God, they were blessed with two sons—Gregory and James who they brought to the Lord’s house, to baptize them and continued to bring them to Church so that the next generation would honor God as well. PAUSE.

Throughout his earthly life Don honored God as much as humanly possible. In the few times I visited with him when they returned to SD, I learned and saw his love for God, devotion to his family and to the Church family.

I remember vividly the call I got shortly after his mother-in-law Lea passed away. “Pastor, my wife and I would like to do something in honor of my mother-in-law. What memorials can we give to the church that might help the church continue doing its ministry—of spreading the Gospel?” At the time of the call, we were preparing to replace the pews. I informed him of our plans. And he said, “We will give enough money to purchase one pew!

This man honored God with his life, not so that he may win God’s approval, but rather to bring glory to the God who paid for his life with His innocent, holy, precious blood. Donald understood the gift of salvation. Donald in his own hand writing chose some verses to be used for his funeral. From the book of Acts: And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). And from 1 John: “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). PAUSE.

Dear friends, we heard the words of Paul this day. But better than that, we have the life of Don as a testimony of that word. In it you are exhorted to live a life worthy of the name you bear—Christians! The price paid for us leads us by the Spirit’s power to actions that befit it. Remember, Donald and YOU are free. What a price has been paid! AMEN

Now the peace…


Thursday, August 12, 2010



“As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him…the servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go” (Matthew 18:24, 27).

As you read the parable taught by Jesus, you wonder can this really be true. We say, “It doesn’t make any sense,” “Impossible,” “unbelievable”. Indeed, how could the master forgive that servant such mammoth, massive and colossal debt? At the time of the story the amount owed would have been close to $10 million. Today, we would have to talk in the Trillions of dollars—like the national debt of our country.

The question needs to be asked again to sink in. Why would the master do such a thing to wipe out the debt completely? Not because the destitute and penniless debtor deserved it but because the master had pity on him. This is NOTHING BUT PURE GRACE

Now bring this closer to home—to you personally. We say, “It doesn’t make any sense,” “Impossible,” “unbelievable”. But is this not what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me the sinner? The Lord of the Church Jesus looks at the ton­nage of sin that bends the shoulders of my soul. He looks at my abilities and sees nothing that can help me get rid of that horri­ble weight. He notices that no matter how hard I try, how many prayers I lift up, how many good deeds I do, I still fall short.

So, God springs into action as ONLY God can. He lifts those sins off me and puts them on the One who CAN carry them. The prophet Isaiah put it this way: “The lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” (Isaiah 53:6). Take your Bibles out and read that verse again and highlight the word “him” in bold red color. When Isaiah says “him” he is pointing to Jesus, the sin­less Son of God. On Him God heaped, piled and stacked the sins of the world (yours and mine too) and through Him hurled them forever into the depths of the sea. With my sins paid by Jesus’ blood, I can stand debt free before God. This is NOTHING BUT PURE GRACE

It is told that the English pastor who penned the hymn “Rock of Ages” estimated that by the time a person reached the age of 20, he had sinned 630 million times. By the age of 50, he sup­posed the count had gone up to a billion and a half sins. Not sure what it will be at 70 or 80 years old, but am sure it has gone out of the roof. I am not a mathematician and therefore, I don't know how good that pastor’s math was. However, I am a theologian and do know how numerous my sins are and so do you. And we don't even know half of them. But thank God I also know that Jesus bore them all when God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. This is NOTHING BUT PURE GRA CE

John Newton an English poet and clergyman (1725–1807), wrote a Christian Hymn “Amazing Grace” and published it in 1779. With a message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most recognizable and loved songs in the English-speaking world.

No wonder people love this hymn, because after all this is NOTHING BUT PURE GRACE. Here are a couple of stanzas to cause you to reflect and give thanks to the Lord, Jesus Christ who took upon His shoulders the sins of humanity:

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

The blessings of Grace received is not because we deserve it, but because God Himself is gracious, compassionate and merciful. He doesn’t wish anyone to get to hell, but all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the TRUTH (1Timothy 2:4)

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ makes this Grace freely available every time the Word is read and proclaimed. It is Grace upon Grace that is freely offered at Redeemer. Here, hearts are touched by this GRACE so that sinners leave un-burdened, un-shackled and un-weighted by sins, its shame and consequences and their hearts are over flowing with this pure and lovely sweet GRACE; but hearts filled with GRACE upon GRACE. THIS IS NOTHING BUT PURE GRACE!!!

In Christ’s love and in His service,

Rev. Nabil S. Nour Pastor and Foot Washer Phil. 1:6

“ONLY God Can…” (Psalm 49:7-8, 15)

S-1201 8/01/10 10SAP/3C Hymns: (O) #349; S#201; (C) #400

Texts: Ecclesiastes1:2, 12-14; 2:18-26; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

Theme: “ONLY God Can…” (Psalm 49:7-8, 15)

Question: What price do you put on your life?


Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleuia. The text for our meditation is the Introit: “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice…But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me” (Ps. 49:7-8, 15).

People of God, CHOSEN and BELOVED, many stories have been told and written about our POW’s being brutally mistreated in Japanese prison camps during WWII. In one of the camps, the Americans soldiers arrived while it was snowing. Their quarters were very rudely made huts with grass walls, and had no heat of any kind. Many prisoners died from pneumonia, the food was lousy and they were forced to do heavy labor under terrible conditions. Often these POW’s were beaten unconsciously by their Japanese guard (real name unknown), but he was nicknamed “The Beast.”

At the end of the day, the guards would count the shovels and picks that the POW’s used. On a particular day, the guard returned with a big frown on his face saying, “He had counted the shovels and one of them is missing. Unless the shovel is brought forth immediately, one prisoner would be put to death every hour.” All POW’s stood at attention in fear and no one dared blink or move. Finally, at what seemed like an eternity, a man came forth saying, “I took the shovel!” The guard known as “The Beast” beat him mercilessly to death with a shovel.

The next morning, when the guards were counting the shovels and picks again, it was discovered that they counted wrong. The shovel had not been missing but was in the shed all along. The man, who was brutally beaten to death, was killed needlessly. However, he offered his life as a ransom for the other comrades.

Today, as we listen to the text from the Psalm of the Sons of Korah, we are told plainly, clearly and bluntly that man CAN’T ransom another life. Oh, many have given their lives for the sake of others. There is no denying it. You know and I know that many of our brave men and women have died in battle for the sake of others. Some have even exchanged their lives so that one of their comrades can go home to his wife and new born son.

But even with this act of bravery and kindness all that the person is able to do is save and spare the life of the other person for a while. But no matter how many give their lives for the others eventually, death will come knocking down. The payment for the soul is not made possible by man; no amount of wealth can buy escape from death. Although many think they can. Many even say, “I am going to cheat death.” But every one of us living now is destined to die.

The reason for death is sin. God commanded our ancestors in the Garden of Eden, “Saying,You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Gen. 2:16-17). Ever since that day, men and women have been dying. Death has a hold on us. Death will claim us. Death will call us. For some it is sooner than they like. But regardless death will come!

So how can we sinful, selfish and self-indulgent people save our lives or the lives of others? WE CAN’T! It is impossible with man. Man can’t and never will redeem ransom or restore the life of another. ONLY God can.

Not only is this golden nugget truth taught in our Psalm today, but throughout all of Holy Scriptures. As the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ taught the people of Palestine in the Gospel lesson saying, What benefit if a man gains the whole world but looses his soul?The answer is obvious. NOTHING!

Again, when our Savior, was on the earth He confessed this truth: “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes unto the Father, except through Me” (John 14:6). The Apostles Peter and John gave us this wisdom to hold unto. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Yet, many think they can and try to. Some even pray to saints or Mary as if they have power to save or ransom someone’s life. Not long ago I was visiting with someone who told me, “That their parent is with the Lord because the priest performed the Last Right!” No, Priest or Pop, , Politician or President, Peasant or Pastor can Ransom a soul, ONLY God can.

This is emphasized by the words of text today. In verse 7 we read these words: Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice” The words “give to God the price of his life” is from the Hebrew Cfar or kipper, Meaning covering or payment for sins. This is the same word that is used for the highest festival in the Jewish holiday known as “Yum Kippur”, “The Day of Atonement”. Again, ONLY God can make and put in place a covering for our sin! ONLY God can ransom the life of another. He is the One who can make alive from the dead.

Man can’t split the sea, but God can…Man can’t make the sun stand still, but God can…Man can’t bring food from heaven, but God can… Man can’t cause the rock to gush with water, but God can…Man can’t walk on water, but God can… Man can’t give His blood or body to save another, but God can and He does…Man can’t confess Jesus is Lord except through the Holy Spirit. ONLY God can cause us to acknowledge Him. PAUSE.

In the movie, “Men of Honor,” you hear the story of Carl Brashear. Carl Brashear is a black man wanted to be a Navy Diver in the 1960. As a black man he had no hope. But he was confident he could do it. When he left the farm for basic training his father gave him a radio with these inscriptions on the back of it. ASNF.

As the story progressed, his commanding office Master Chief Sunday did everything possible to fail Brashear even though he passed every test. When the final test was to take place, where each student had to assemble a flange 200 feet underwater using a bag of tools, Brashear’s bag was cut open. Brashear finishes the assembly and successfully completes the task after 9 hours and 31 minutes earning the quiet and suppressed admiration of Master Chief Sunday.

Master Chief Sunday had told Brashear to quit, but he wouldn’t and couldn’t. As he looked at Brashear’s father’s photo, Master Chief Sunday asked, “What did your dad say to you that keep you driving on and on?” His response was simple by the reminder of the inscriptions on the back of the radio-ASNF. A Son Never Forgets. PAUSE.

It is indeed true that a son never forgets. This truth is evident more than anywhere else except in our Big brother Jesus—The True Son of the Father. The Father had sent His Son Jesus to complete the mission not of becoming a Master Chief Diver to assemble or rescue ships, but to rescue and ransom humanity from sin, and hell and death and the power of the devil

Jesus the true Son of God never forgot His mission though many tried to get in His way. Many attempted to suppress, subdue, silence and stop Him from reaching His destination—the cross. He continued in spite of everyone’s attempt to stop Him—from the disciples, to Herod, to the Chief Priest and Pilate, but He wouldn’t and couldn’t.

So He continued His march to Calvary and there was beaten brutally and mercilessly for the sake of humanity. Even while He was on the cross for 6 full hours, people encouraged Him to save Himself and forget about the rest of the world. But A Son Never Forgets His mission and ministry to ransom you.

People of God CHOSEN and BELOVED, the POW gave his life but couldn’t spare nor save anyone’s life. Carl Brashear gave over 44 years of his life in the service of his country at a cost of 3 divorces and a lost leg but in the end he died too. But only the True Son, our God, Jesus Can and has Saved, Ransomed and Redeemed us to live with Him forever. What a blessing to know that God alone can. Amen.

Now the peace…