Tuesday, March 31 UPDATE
Our church and church office are closed to the public. Our church staff will be working out of their homes until further notice.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."   Psalm 46: 1

1.  As we near Holy Week, our pastoral staff is planning for recording special services for you. We will be posting services this weekend for Palm Sunday, and then next week for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

2.  Our Church Council has established special assistance funding to assist members who are now unemployed or are experiencing financial difficulties due to CoVid19.  Our Good Samaritan Ministry volunteers are serving as the contacts for this financial assistance.  We ask that you please fill out a brief form and submit it to them to receive assistance.  You will find the form by clicking on the "Resources" tab at the top of this home page, and then going to "Forms."  

You can then print the form, fill it in and mail it to:  Good Samaritan Ministry, 3563 Crocus Dr, De Pere, WI  54115

OR

Print the form, fill it in, and scan or take a photo of it and email it to:  church_office@beautifulsavior.com

OR

Call 920-676-2702 and provide the information to us over the phone.

Our prayer today is for those who serve on the "front line" during time:

    Dear Jesus, we thank you for healing our souls from the spiritual sickness of sin, guilt and shame.  We are humbled by what we see happening in our country and in the world around us. We also thank you for blessing us with nurses, doctors, senior care facility workers and emergency responders.  We ask you to watch over them and protect them as they work long hours and put themselves in harm's way for the sake of others. We ask all this in your name, Savior.  Amen.

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Each weekend you will find a worship service and message on this site and our Facebook page.  This past weekend's service and a message from Pastor Diestler - "Some Things Never Change" - is found above and on our Facebook page.  Previous weeks' messages can be viewed by clicking on the "Sermons" tab above and then on "Church Service Recordings."

You will also find a Bible self-study from Pastor Ehlert by clicking on our "Ministries" tab above, and then going to "Adult."

Our pastors and ministry team continue to contact our members age 65 and older, as well as families with very young children. If you have not received a phone call, please contact us and let us know (920-676-2702).

Please don't hesitate to contact us by email, phone or text. You will find our contact information by clicking on the "About Us" tab above, and then click on either "Our Staff" or "Contact Us."  

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The Warrior Faces Satan’s Ally, the World 
By Pastor Piet Van Kampen          Lent Midweek, March, 2020 
John 18:38 - Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all…” 

She called herself Thu Huong, but to American servicemen in South Vietnam, she was “Hanoi Hannah,” the North Vietnamese’s chief propagandist. Three times a day for half an hour, American soldiers would hear her voice on their radios. “Hannah” would broadcast exaggerated war news, or she’d suggest that the soldiers’ wives and girlfriends back home were cheating on them. Occasionally, she’d even break an actual news story. Her broadcasts brought amusement to some soldiers and anger to others—because they knew she wasn’t telling the whole truth.

 Yet propaganda is an effective tool in war. If you can demoralize your enemy or plant seeds of doubt about the mission, you can gain an advantage. If nothing else, some soldiers become confused as to what’s real and what’s not— what’s true and what’s false. 

Our enemy, the devil, has been fighting a propaganda war with us from the beginning, starting with the first lies of the serpent in the garden, “Did God really say?” Satan’s not satisfied with getting some people to doubt the truth of God’s Word; he wants us to doubt it too. 

And in that objective, Satan has an ally, his own “Hanoi Hannah”. He uses the unbelieving world to propagandize us—to challenge and tempt us with regard to the truth of the Bible. So, how do we stand firm in the truth in the face of the world’s challenges and temptations?

 In John 18 we see how Jesus, our Warrior, faced the world’s question about what’s real and true. And because Jesus testified to the truth, now we can stand firm in that same truth. Tonight, as the Son of God goes forth to war, we see how the warrior faces Satan’s ally, the world. 

1. God’s truth is under attack

At some point we’ve got to realize that God’s truth is under attack. The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, asks Jesus if He’s a king. A practical guy, Pilate wanted to know if Jesus was a threat to the Roman government. This is how Jesus answers him: “My kingdom is not of this world… You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (v. 36-37). 

In this world there are two sides: there are those who are “of the truth”—on the side of God’s truth—and those who are not. You have God’s truth on one side and Satan’s lies on the other. The world is Satan’s ally because, by and large, the world has swallowed Satan’s lies. 

God’s Word warns us about this in 1 John 2: “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 Jn 2:16). The idea that freedom means living however you want and satisfying your every desire—that’s not from God. It’s the devil’s lie, proclaimed by the world. The idea that there’s no such thing as truth, that truth is something we make for ourselves—it’s the devil’s lie, proclaimed by the world. The idea that we don’t need God in our lives—that’s the devil’s lie, proclaimed by the world. Because of sin, people have no concept of God or their need for a Savior. To the unbelieving world, Jesus and His Word are foolishness. And they want nothing to do with Him. 

The hard part for us is that the lies are everywhere: in the books we read, the websites we visit, the television shows and movies we watch. They’re in our earbuds, in the music we listen to. Even the stuff that’s made for kids, how often are our kids told by the shows they watch: “Follow your feelings”? These are attacks on the truth of God. The attacks are constant; and so, it’s easy for us to let our guard down. 

The Bible tells us the world with all its lusts and lies is passing away (1 Jn 2:17); it won’t always be here. And yet how many times have we given into the lie that what the world thinks is the only thing that matters? How many times have we found ourselves half-buying the propaganda the world is trying to sell us? How many times have we found ourselves on the side of the world’s lies instead of God’s truth? 

2. Our Hero is the Truth

Thankfully, Jesus never let His guard down. What does Pilate say? “What is truth?” In that moment, Pilate voiced the words of the world—both his and ours. And yet the answer was right there in front of him! The truth is Jesus! Jesus is the truth! He’s the only way we know what’s real and what’s true. Life makes sense only when we live in Him! Jesus is the way and the truth and the life (Jn 14:6). When Jesus faces Satan’s ally, the world, our Hero is the truth! 

And the truth Jesus shares with us about our world is that it’s a fallen place. Hatred and death are everywhere. We all think and do the evil we know is wrong and fail to do the good we know is right. And all our efforts to fix the problem fail. 

Yet our Triune God had a plan to rescue this fallen world. God the Son came in the person of Jesus Christ not only to tell the truth, but to be the truth who would battle Satan and all his allies. He led a sparkling pure, holy life so that He could trade His sinless life for ours at the cross—at the place of God’s judgment. In the face of the world’s guesses and theories, Jesus always spoke with complete authority—with complete certainty. To the Jews who believed in Him, Jesus said, “If you remain in My teaching, you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31-32). And by His death and resurrection, not only are sin and death defeated, we have the truth of His promise: He will take all who trust in Him to live with Him in heaven. 

Our hero is the truth. This is the truth that we hold dear. This is the truth we believe and confess. The truth that sets us free from sin and death. The truth that changes us when we receive it. Through the Spirit’s work, we are now “of the truth,” on the side of God’s truth. Christ and the truth that He proclaim now lives in us. And more than that, it assures us that in Christ we have overcome the world—“because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4). Our Warrior faces Satan’s ally, the world, and wins—by the truth of His Word! 

3. He shares the truth through us

And the Warrior’s work continues—only now, it continues as He shares the truth through us. He calls us to face the world with the same weapon that Jesus Himself used: God’s own two-edged sword of the Word (Heb 4:12). And that Word is powerful! “For… we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal”—not worldly—“but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Cor 10:3-4). 

In a world without truth, people are left to move from one experience to the next, always looking for the next big thing, the next big idea, the next thing that will make them happy. But you and I are privileged to be rooted to the rock of Christ and His Word, and to grow in the truth of His grace. That means that we look at things in a radically different way than the world does. We believe that truth is real and knowable, while the world does not. And that’s just for starters. 

So what do we do? Some say the world’s so bad that we just need to pull ourselves out of the world, throw out everything that’s worldly. Some have even talked about even moving away from places that are too worldly, and just not engage with the world so much. But is that really the answer? 

On Maundy Thursday night, Jesus prayed this prayer for His disciples: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one… Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (Jn 17:15-18). In the face of the world, the answer for us isn’t to withdraw—but to engage. To face the world and its ungodly worldviews with the Word of God. To pick apart the propaganda with the truth of Christ. 

And engaging the world starts with engaging your family at home, studying the truth of God’s Word together. Talk about what’s going on in the world. Talk about what you see on the news. Talk about what’s going on at work and school. Talk about ideas that people share on social media. Talk about all of it—in the light of God’s truth, equipping ourselves with God’s Word. That way when the opportunity arises to face the world, we can stand firm in the truth of Jesus and boldly share it. 

We can respond to the world’s ideas with confidence—not in ourselves, but in our Warrior who fights for us. He has overcome the world—and He has given us the treasure of his truth. So, go out there and live, play, and work in God’s marvelous truth. Amen. 

 

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If this is your first visit to our improved Beautiful Savior website, please read the following information from previous Updates:

Please check back to our Beautiful Savior church website for daily updates here, as well as our Facebook page, or contact our church office and ministry team with any questions.

Some members have asked if they can still continue to support God's Kingdom work through a financial gift.   We are working with Vanco, a national service which works with thousands of churches and organizations in providing electronic giving alternatives. You will find a "button" at the bottom of this home page if you wish to make either a one-time donation, or if you wish to set up a recurring gift. If you have any questions with this new option, please contact us at our church office (499-7405) or email to: mike_pfeifer@beautifulsavior.com  Thank you.

  > For Confirmation students and parents: please follow this link to this week's Confirmation class video lesson from Vicar Pflughoeft!

 During these uncertain times, the staff and members of Beautiful Savior are concerned for you and all our members and families.  We will be posting these 'Updates' daily, to spiritually support and encourage you through these next weeks.

On our “Church Service Recordings” page you will find information and links to other WELS devotional sites, such as ‘Time of Grace.’

Please contact us at (920) 499-7405 or (920) 676-2702.  God be with you.

 

To see previous days' "Updates," please click on "Connect" and then "Announcements" at the top of this page.

 

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