Devotion: True Freedom in Christ!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).”
Freedom. Is it just a word, or way of life? As Americans, we greatly value our freedoms, although so often, many do not fully appreciate or understand them. Today, many express concerns that we are losing our freedoms, as government regulates more and more of our lives. It is important for all our citizens, but especially for Christians to be active and educated, not only about the freedoms our country enjoys, but also in doing our part in maintaining those precious freedoms. That’s simply being a good steward of our American citizenship, which we have been blessed to possess!
But as wonderful as America’s freedoms are, more valuable still is the spiritual freedom we have in Christ Jesus! His freedom brings forgiveness, new life, and life forever!
The chains of sin, that shackled us at the moment of our conception and condemned us to an eternity in hell, were destroyed by Jesus, who replaced our sinful lives with His own sinless life, on Calvary’s Cross. His shed blood paid the price for the whole world’s sins and brought forgiveness and salvation to all who believe in Him! In Christ, we have been freed from the guilt and condemnation of sin! In Christ, we have been freed for serving Christ and one another! And in Christ, we have the certainty that our eternal salvation has been secured!
But just like our nation’s freedoms need to be guarded and maintained, we also have to be careful and diligent about our spiritual freedom. The apostle Paul calls for a proper understanding of the spiritual freedom we have, in Christ, so that we don’t lose it, or take it for granted, but always maintain it, through God’s Word and sacrament!
By way of our Lord’s life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has lifted off the burden of our sin so that we can be free of its guilt and punishment. He has removed the overbearing pressure of the law from cutting off our right standing with God. He has pulled us away from our sinful and selfish ways, and put us on the liberating course of serving Him, that involves honoring His will, growing in our faith, and dealing with others, in Christian love.
We have been freed from sin and freed to serve. So, you see, freedom in Christ is more than just a word… it is our way of life! May His freedom always ring loud and clear, as it reigns in our hearts and lives…and daily proclaims the saving Name of Jesus, for all the world to see and hear!
This devotion was prepared by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod´s Board for Home Outreach.
New Member Welcome
Recently, we were blessed to welcome two new members to our congregation. We welcomed Susan from Banning, CA and Philip from El Segundo, CA. Susan and Philip were officially welcome during our English worship service on May 28, 2017. We thank God for these new members and their eagerness to participate in our mission and ministry.
Building Remodel Update
This month the congregation met on several occasions to continue planning for our upcoming building remodel. Three open forums were held before our worship services on May 28, June 4, and June 11. A voters meeting was held after our worship service on June 11.
The mission of this project is to renovate Christ the King Lutheran Church to create a beautiful worship facility that gives glory to God, creates a welcoming and reverent environment for members and visitors, and communicates our missional nature to our guests and the community.
The project will include new flooring in the sanctuary, classroom, office, and restrooms; a new ceiling with recessed lighting; installation of plaster on the interior brick walls; reconfiguration of the chancel; new sinks and vanities in the restrooms; and new cabinets, counter tops, and sink in the kitchen. Included in the project is a new fence and gate for our property.
A team of Builders for Christ from Kingdom Workers will be arriving on September 11, 2017 to begin work on the project. Builders for Christ anticipate the project will take four to five weeks to complete. For more information, please contact Pastor Matt.
Outreach Efforts Continue
In our efforts to create an audience for the gospel, we continue to put a focus on outreach and evangelism. We finished our series of three mailings to 3,000 homes in Bell Gardens. We continue to produce and promote short outreach videos on Facebook. Our most recent video was titled, “You are a star.” It was based on Philippians 2:15 and shot on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. We recently received 3,000 purple silicone wristbands with our logo and website address to distribute in our community. We are working on designing and printing a concise flyer that can be used in canvassing. Please continue to pray that God blesses our outreach efforts with a fruitful response.
Synod Convention Summary
This month Pastor Matt and Philip (who served as a delegate from our congregation) attended the annual convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Mankato, MN. During the convention, Pastor Matt presented to the assembly on the work that is being done at Cristo Rey Lutheran in Bell Gardens. To learn more about the business conducted at this year’s synod convention, please click here.