A Slice of Heaven

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Hartman Creek near Waupaca, Wisconsin

There is something quite beautiful about the way the pine needles shimmer in the late afternoon summer sun (that I’ve never been able to capture with a camera).  This place seems to me like a slice of heaven.

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Mist from campfire smoke and water vapor.

Even tainted by sin, God’s creation remains wondrous.  But the greatest beauty of all is God’s mercy in Christ.  In him all things will be made new.

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Mist on the creek.

Christ is much more than just a slice of heaven.  He is life itself.  (John 14:6).

God’s blessings to you.

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“Seek God’s will rather than the rewards.”

Obedience to the Law apart from faith does not justify, but those who have been justified will necessarily produce fruit worthy of the Holy Spirit, repentance, and justification.

“[W]hen obedience happens in those who have been justified, it merits other great rewards.  [However] God puts His saints to work in various ways, and often holds back the rewards of works-righteousness.  He does this so that they may learn not to trust in their own righteousness, and may learn to seek God’s will rather than the rewards.  This can be seen with Job, Christ, and other saints.”

Book of Concord; “Apology of the Augsburg Confession:”
Love and Fulfilling the Law, paragraphs 76-77.  Emphasis added.

The True Law & Gospel

Christianity is only about Jesus and his payment for our sins on his cross.  Too many of us claim to preach “Law and Gospel” while omitting the cross, but the cross is the true intersection of Law and Gospel.  Only there do we see at once the consequences of our sin and God’s mercy in the same place.

The cross is the only place where we find Law and Gospel: not Law or Gospel: not Law and then Gospel: but Law and Gospel together at the same time.  If we do not preach Christ crucified, we are not preaching the true Law & Gospel.

I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. . . so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

— 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

Law † Gospel.