Pastor's Message

Evidence of the Resurrection

Posted by nancy on April 30, 2014

Evidence of the Resurrection

 

John Stott suggests in his book Basic Christianity, “Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection.  It was the resurrection which transformed Peter’s fear into courage and James’ doubt into faith.   It was the resurrection which changed the Sabbath into the Lord’s Day and the Jewish remnant into the Christian Church.  It was the resurrection which changed Saul the Pharisee into Paul the apostle and turned his persecuting into preaching.”

 

For those who are reading these words who are Christian, Stott’s observation speaks directly to our hearts.  Christ’s resurrection is transformational.  Jesus’ disciples were never the same.  The fearful became fearless as they took seriously the commission to go into the world and preach and proclaim the Good News of Jesus.  They knew his resurrection was true.  They knew the sins of all were forgiven by Christ.  As God’s people we want to make that known and live for him. As I said, the message is transformational.

 

For those who might not be Christian and are reading these words, I challenge you.  No Christian is sinless in this world.  As the bumper sticker says, “Christians aren’t perfect; we just know we are forgiven.”  Yet I pray that you would see sincerity in the lives of God’s children to be more like Jesus.  While we all fail mightily at times, we really do want to do our best to thank him for what he has done for us.  If we were holy already, we wouldn’t need his death and resurrection.

 

All who are reading this are in the same boat; we are sinners.  We all need what Jesus came to earn for us – he reconciled us to God. It is a wonderful message we would like to share with you.

 

Pastor Larry Zahn    

 

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Come and Share the Joy of the Empty Tomb!

Posted by nancy on April 03, 2014

Come and Share the Joy of the Empty Tomb!

 

On Sunday April 20th, you are invited to join us as we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Our Easter schedule is: 

Easter Sunrise service - 7:30AM
Easter Breakfast - 8: 45– 9:45 AM
Easter Worship - 10:30 AM

Easter Egg Hunt - 11:45 AM

 

Come for worship. Come for breakfast. Come for the children’s Easter egg hunt. You and your family are welcome to participate in all our Easter activities.


According to Scripture, we believe that Jesus was raised from the dead three days after his death on the cross. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for all sin, and purchased eternal life for all who believe in him.


What a cause for celebration! And, that’s what Easter is about – joyful praise for all Jesus has done for us. So, come and experience this joy with us!

 

(770) 751-9357 www.MessiahLutheran.ws

 

 

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ISN'T IT STRANGE

Posted by nancy on March 04, 2014

Isn’t is Strange?

 

 

Isn't it strange…

How a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it

to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

 

Isn't it strange…

How two hours seem so long when you’re at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?

 

Isn't it strange…

That you can't find a word to say when you're praying, but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

 

Isn't it strange…

How difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?

 

Isn't it strange…

How everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games, but we do whatever is possible to sit at the last row in church.

 

Isn't it strange…

How we need to know about an event for Church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events in the last minute?

 

Isn't it strange…

How difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others, but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

 

Isn’t it strange…

How everyone wants a place in heaven but get serious about it only when it is time to go.  

 

Isn't it strange…

How we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away, but when we are going to send messages about God we think about it twice before we share it with others?

 

One of our members sent these to me.  I thought these to be thought provokers so we can be so grateful for Jesus’ journey to Calvary to bring us forgiveness.  

 

In Christ,

Pastor Zahn

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GOD'S INDESCRIBABLE GIFT

Posted by nancy on December 19, 2013

God’s Indescribable Gift

 

The apostle Paul called Jesus God’s indescribable gift. He is not toying with exaggerating superlatives or practicing some impressive phraseology.  Jesus is an indescribable gift.  Jesus does defy full description and understanding.

 

When the Son of God took on human flesh, God became flesh.  Reason fails to comprehend that and logic fails to understand.  We call it the incarnation.  I personally fail to describe it because I have a very difficult time understanding it.  The Divine became mortal; the Infinite became finite; the Son of God became the Son of man; the Creator became the creature.  The Son of the Highest was that “little baby wrapped in strips of cloth lying in a manger.”

 

While that might be hard to understand, God doesn’t ask us to understand.  He invites us to believe.  Believing that our God came to earth and walked on this earth to offer our Father in heaven the ransom price for our sins makes all the difference in the world.  Jesus saved us.  For what?  There we go again!  He gives us another indescribable gift.  We have hope and life!  It lasts forever.

 

The promise of God’s indescribable gift is everlasting triumph and eternal blessing.  All other gifts decay and perish.  All other love, even the most deeply rooted love that binds a husband and a wife or parents to children will end.  Not the love shown us in God’s indescribable gift.  It never changes.  It never weakens.  It never ends. 

 

Join us this Christmas Eve at 7 PM or 11 PM and celebrate God’s Indescribable love. 

 

Pastor Larry A. Zahn     

 

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Messiah's Living Christmas

Posted by nancy on November 14, 2013

Messiah’s Living Christmas

 

Welcome to Messiah’s Living Christmas - December 13 -14 - 6 pm to 9 pm each night! 

 I am Pastor Larry Zahn of Messiah Lutheran Church in Johns Creek.  On two days during the year I get to be the local prophet during Messiah’s Living Christmas.  We’d love to have you come to this annual event.

 

What will you see?

  • BethlehemVillage
  • Live Nativity
  • Live animals from the Little Red Barn (they are amazing!)
  • Games and crafts for the children.
  • Shepherds and Wise Men and local residents – they are friendly folks
  • Messiah’s adults and children explaining to you why Christmas is so special with skits and music. 
  • Roman guards – We only tried to find the nice ones!
  • Refreshments
  • Who knows?  You might get to meet the local prophet and his beautiful wife

 

What you will experience

  • A nice time with some good friends from Messiah Lutheran Church
  • Some good music
  • A nice experience
  • A reminder of what Christmas is all about!

 

It’s free!  Your children will love it!  We think parents will too!

If you want to make a donation, 100% of your gifts will go to North Fulton Community Charities!

 

We ask two favors:

  • Pray for good weather
  • Bring a friend

 

 I am looking forward to meeting you!  Blessed Christmas!

 Pastor Larry Zahn

 

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Messiah's Living Christmas

Posted by nancy on November 14, 2013

Messiah’s Living Christmas

 

Welcome to Messiah’s Living Christmas - December 13 -14 - 6 pm to 9 pm each night! 

 

I am Pastor Larry Zahn ofMessiahLutheranChurchinJohnsCreek.  On two days during the year I get to be the local prophet during Messiah’s Living Christmas.  We’d love to have you come to this annual event.

 

What will you see?

  • BethlehemVillage
  • Live Nativity
  • Live animals from the Little Red Barn (they are amazing!)
  • Games and crafts for the children.
  • Shepherds and Wise Men and local residents – they are friendly folks
  • Messiah’s adults and children explaining to you why Christmas is so special with skits and music. 
  • Roman guards – We only tried to find the nice ones!
  • Refreshments
  • Who knows?  You might get to meet the local prophet and his beautiful wife

 

What you will experience

  • A nice time with some good friends fromMessiahLutheranChurch
  • Some good music
  • A nice experience
  • A reminder of what Christmas is all about!

 

It’s free!  Your children will love it!  We think parents will too!

 

If you want to make a donation, 100% of your gifts will go to North Fulton Community Charities!

 

We ask two favors:

  • Pray for good weather
  • Bring a friend

 

I am looking forward to meeting you!  Blessed Christmas!

 

Pastor Larry Zahn

 

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Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by nancy on July 02, 2013

Same-sex marriage

 

How should a Christian react to the same-sex marriage controversy in our country? It seems kind of complicated to me.

Because debates about same-sex marriage usually include political, legal, cultural, and economic issues as well as moral and religious ones, they can get complicated. That also means our reactions may be somewhat mixed. Here is an incomplete list of responses that I personally believe merit consideration among us.

We can appreciate efforts to treat all citizens fairly. One aspect of the current debate has to do with laws that are judged discriminatory or economically burdensome in our pluralistic society. Even if we believe legalizing same-sex marriage is not the best remedy for perceived injustice, we can defend the civil rights of fellow citizens and seek equitable legislation for everyone.

We can acknowledge that the way we've treated heterosexual marriage is a big part of the problem. As a society—and most churches in society—we have abused and belittled "traditional" marriage to the point that the majority of those around no longer think it's worth fighting for. We have begun and ended marriages for frivolous reasons and tolerated shameful spousal behavior, often still calling matrimony a "sacred" institution.  We have redesigned marriage for personal happiness or pleasure with minimal regard for God's standards of conduct. Our rejection of same-sex marriage should be accompanied by repentance for the way we have disrespected God and distorted the goals and purposes of marriage as he designed it.

We should grieve for our culture as it moves toward rabid individualism that exalts personal happiness and self-fulfillment above God or God's definitions of what is right and wise. God creating male and female to be complementary sexual creatures within a consensual and contractual union means less and less in today's public square. But who is the loser in this? Not God. It's logical to make personal opinions and happiness supreme and then to ask the government to protect individual rights so everybody can pursue their brand of happiness any way they choose. We also believe that's shortsighted and self-destructive—for souls as well as for society in general.

 

We should speak distinctly to share our God-given convictions as we have opportunity. To a degree we speak to clarify fitting goals and purposes defined by God when it comes to procreation, sexual behavior, the nurture of children, the role of spouses, and expressions of affection and companionship in society. We can appeal to human reason, point to lessons from history, and make every effort to honor our own marriage vows so they show others what marriage really is and really gives. But primarily we do not seek to save culture or exalt tradition. We point fellow sinners, homosexual and heterosexual, to the Lord who surpasses us all in love, wisdom, and power and who saves sinners forever.

We should bear our cross as followers of Christ crucified. These words are being written while the U.S. Supreme Court is still deliberating legal aspects of same-sex marriages. You may be reading this article after the high court has spoken. Regardless of its decision, I am confident that the basic concept of same-sex marriages (or civil unions) already enjoys the approval of most of our nation's citizens. When we oppose that concept, especially for religious reasons, our opposition brings a social stigma. Genuine Christianity is always countercultural and always entails bearing a cross as we deny ourselves and follow Christ. As God so wills it, let that also be a part of our reaction to same-sex marriage.

Contributing editor Forrest Bivens, professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary,Mequon,Wisconsin – reprinted by permission from Northwestern Publishing House Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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An Easter Phenomenon

Posted by nancy on March 21, 2013

An Easter Phenomenon

 

Never has one event meant so much to so many. That one event is Easter, and the “many” are Christian believers. The physical resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead is what sparked the Christian faith. If there had been no resurrection, the few remaining followers of Jesus would have gone back to their prior professions—most of them were fishermen.

 

Oh, it had been a wild ride while it lasted, watching Jesus preach to people who were amazed by his insights, sharing the joy with people whom Jesus healed from dreaded maladies, listening to Jesus describe what the kingdom of heaven was like and how they were a part of it. But all of that would have been for naught. Jesus, who claimed to be the very Son of God, had promised he would rise from the dead in three days, just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and nights.

 

But where was he? Those hours, which turned into days after his death and burial, must have created a disappointment in the disciples like none other.

 

But then it happened. At first it was just rumors—“The tomb is empty.” “We have seen him with our own eyes.” By Easter Sunday evening, Jesus had shown himself alive to almost all who had come to love him and believe in him, and they and the world have never been the same since. Gospels and Epistles have been written about him. Men and women have died for believing in him. And a significant percentage of the world’s population will wake up again this Easter morning, travel by foot or car to their regular place of worship, and praise him with enthusiastic “alleluias” and “amens.” It is difficult to believe that death could be defeated. It is almost too spectacular to think that our own dead bodies will come back to life and be glorified just as Jesus’ body was. But we have every reason to be confident of both. Jesus, who said he would rise from the dead, is the same Jesus who said he will raise us from the dead as well. That’s the Easter phenomenon! 

 

From the March 2013

MightyFortressEvangelicalLutheranChurchNewsletter

Hiram,Georgia

 

 

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Easter Changes Things

Posted by nancy on March 07, 2013

Easter Changes Things

 

Josh McDowell is a very influential Christian who has written book on Christian apologetics.  He is a modern day St.   Augustine.  Augustine was a playboy until the age of thirty three when God’s Spirit changed his heart to accept what he had formerly rejected that Jesus was his Savior. 

 

Mr. McDowell had something similar happen to him.  He went to college.  He had a hard time settling on anything for his life.  He was obviously talented but every path he tried seemed to lead to boredom.  One day he saw a group of students engaged in Bible study and was intrigued by a radiance that he saw in a participant’s eye.  He asked her for the reason. She said “Jesus Christ.”  He objected and said that he didn’t believe in that garbage about religion.  She replied, “I didn’t say religion; I said Jesus Christ.”

 

He studied the Scripture and did all kinds of research.  He finally said that he couldn’t refute the body of proof supporting Christianity.  One of the major factors in his conversion he said was that he couldn’t ignore the bodily resurrection of Jesus.  He once was asked why he wouldn’t refute Christianity.  He replied, “For a very simple reason, I am not able to explain away an event in history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

 

Come hear the news of the resurrection!  It is truly life-changing and life-giving.  I would love to see you and meet you!

 

Peace in Christ,

 

Pastor Larry Zahn 

 

 

 

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Why Church Holidays?

Posted by nancy on November 29, 2012

Why Church Holidays?

 

I just saw an article that said that 45% of Americans would rather bypass Christmas.  I am convinced that news organizations devise polls so that they can then be the news.  It appears that according to the headline the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge are in this year.  A celebration like Christmas is the difference for most stores and companies supplying the gifts between a profitable year and bankruptcy. 

 

Why not make the holidays that we celebrate a time of personal introspection?  Prior to Christmas the church celebrates a season called Advent.  It really is a wonderful season of the church year.  Advent means that Jesus is coming to us.  He comes to us and lives in us by means of his Word and sacraments (the Lord’s Supper and Baptism).  He is coming again on the last day to judge the heaven and earth.  He came to this world in flesh and blood atBethlehem.  I can see why Satan is pleased to have Christmas turn more toward the fat guy who likes the red clothes; I can see why Satan is pleased to see that companies see the need to avoid the red and finish in the black and Christmas is what makes the difference.

 

Put Jesus front and center.  Remember what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2 when he said that Jesus who is God humbled himself and “took on the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”  God became flesh so he could become obedient unto death and pay the penalty of sin…for the entire world!  He became flesh to die for us.  He came to be tempted in every way that you and I are, but he never sinned.  The perfection God demands from us, he supplied for us.  If you have difficulty following what that all means, then explore some more.  My name is Pastor Larry Zahn and I promise to explain it all.  Just ask me.  When you understand what I wrote about in the last paragraph, you will easily see why Christmas is really about a baby born to save than that fat guy who climbs down chimneys. 

 

Peace in Christ,

 

Pastor Larry Zahn

 

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