golter's mussings september 2019

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • Fighting the Wrong Enemy?

    September 5, 2019

    Are You Fighting the Wrong Enemy?

    Perhaps you are. I have.

    Consider St. Paul’s stunning comment in his letter to the church at Thessalonica. “We wanted to come to you — I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us,”

    (1 Thess. 2:18).

    Now, notice that Paul does not blame the unbelieving Jews. Oh, to be sure, they doggedly persecuted Paul and his preaching of the Christ. He says they “displease God and oppose all mankind,” (2:15).

    Finally, though, Paul blames Satan. “Satan hindered us.”

    In another place, Paul says “we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness,” (Eph. 6:12). He means the Devil and the other fallen angels.

    This is so good to remember. When another verbally attacks you, even a fellow church member, they’re not the enemy. But the devil’s delight would be if you thought so.

    Satan loves to play nasty among believers. He doesn’t spend time with the unbelievers. He sets up shop right in the midst of churches. He gets Christ’s people to focus on others’ words or non-verbal actions. He gets you to think the worst of others and situations, and forget about forgiveness.

    Satan really hates this holy-making by the Holy Spirit in the church. And, he is attracted to holy-making like bugs to light. That’s why you find in the four Gospels a tremendous increase of demonic attacks, especially on the Son of God, the very image of God Himself. That’s why, as well, he’s right in the midst of the church, where Christ is invisibly so with His Word and the Holy Sacraments.

    What to do? Clearly identify the enemy.

    Secondly, stay close to Jesus. Meditate on and hear His Word, for they give life. And call upon your Champion by prayer to fight for you and the church. Christ’s fighting for you is His daily delight, and your confidence.

    Are you fighting the wrong enemy?

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • In a World Where Money Talks…

    September 13, 2019

    In a world where money talks, power and prestige go hand-in-hand. Those sitting on the outside desire it; those on the inside aren’t satisfied. Both of those who don’t have and those who have are owned by these passions. Life is not free, joyful and light-hearted by either crowd.

    Solomon writes this startling divine principle: “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting…” (Ecclesiastes 7:2).

    You must remember that Solomon writes as an insider of the money and power. He lived it, loved it, and fell by it, away from the Lord. Ecclesiastes is his own letter of confession and repentance. “Don’t do like I did. I was owned by my evil desires.”

    What did Solomon do? He catered to all his senses. This is downright dangerous for the believer in Jesus. Many a Christian subtly falls away, when the triple three are the main focus.

    Life is more than a “house of feasting!” Such a life on the inside is empty, for it squeezes out the God who gives enjoyment, true enjoyment of life.

    Surpluses in goods do not eliminate the worries.

    Consider the ninety-two year old man who frets and then is angered by a down money-market. How silly? Every dead man’s pockets are empty. Another will get his nest egg.

    How different those who are rich in Christ! The child of God treasures a meal, thanking Jesus for His providing of it. There’s not the thought of the future, for the child of God knows God has that covered.

    So unworried is God’s child that he gives the first portion of his salary back to the Lord who provided it. He doesn’t love money but takes advantage of it for the growth of God’s church.

    Instead of taking and piling up possessions, seeking power and prestige, the child of God simply trusts in Christ. Owned by God brings a life of freedom.

    It’s rather unexplainable but real. 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • I Feel God Loves Me - Very dangerous.

    September 27, 2019

    I Feel God Loves Me – Very Dangerous.I remember during my college days when I took a math test. I felt I did terrible; I did. I hurriedly went to the registrar’s office and changed the class Pass/Fail.

    The next exam was on the topic of electricity. I studied (this time) but still felt unsure about the test of this material. I didn’t think I did that well.

    The test score was a 96; I was elated and surprised. The results didn’t match what I felt.

    Relying on feelings to determine your “score” before God is very dangerous. Oftentimes, people judge a church service this very same way.

    “That service moved me.”

    “I felt touched by God.”

    “I feel God was present.”

    Here’s the problem. God does not authorize your feelings to measure His work or presence. His Word, you see, is sufficient. Was God’s Word preached, rightly dividing it between Law and Gospel? Was the Sacrament rightly taught and given?

    The wow factor—measured by feelings—leads to a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows, of pride and despair. You don’t need this.

    Our Lutheran Confessions states: “For the presence, effectiveness, and gift of the Holy Spirit should not and cannot be assessed…as a person feels it in the heart,” (Solid Declaration, Art. II, par. 56).

    It’s called Mysticism, a belief that God works directly on the heart, apart from the Word

    .Mysticism is looking for God in all the wrong places.

    God directs you to His Word and promises, to the objective, not the subjective. Feelings come and go, like a morning fog.

    God’s Word stands.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran