Tag Archives: Hope

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The Hope of Easter

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Easter 2019 at Beautiful Savior

Hope is a beautiful word and a powerful force, but our hopes aren’t always realized.

Our hopes aren’t always realized.

Discover a hope that won’t disappoint – the Hope of Easter. Experience the good news of love, a new start, and the promise of eternal life – all connected to a world-changing event that brings hope.

Join us at Beautiful Savior for vibrant worship, an inspirational message, and a place for your family to discover The Hope of Easter

Easter Sunday

April 21st, 2019


Series Continues Through June 2nd.

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Jesus Is…The Good Shepherd

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JesusMan Dies to Save Trapped Bunny pops up as you scroll through your news app. You tap on the video. You see what reminds you of the furry little Cadbury Crème Egg mascot trapped in a precarious position. A heroic rescue follows, but the rescuer dies.

You’re baffled, and…you’re impressed! You think, “What inspired that guy to give his own life for a bunny? Sometimes, I forget even to feed my own pet!”

Another headline: Man Dies to Save World.

That headline doespop up when you read the Bible. It may sound like it’s from a too-predictable superhero movie. It may seem too good to be true, but it is true! Jesus is that man. His agonizing, humiliating death on a Roman torture-pole was the heroic rescue of the world. He didn’t rescue it from global warming or hunger or war, but from the single problem at the root of each of those – our sins and the damnation they bring.  Despite what some speculate, Jesus didn’t come to post the 10 commandments at every town hall and enforce them. The world already stood condemned by the law because of its sin. Jesus came to rescue the world, and by the way, “world” means everyone in it, including you.

Look at the extraordinary heroism in Jesus, this world’s rescuer! It was more than heroism. Even though he is true God, Jesus displayed God’s love and God’s plan to give forgiveness and eternal life to all as he lost his own life! Jesus’ life, death, and bodily resurrection show you the very heart of God. This is a headline worth your time. It is worth reading more about. Scroll on.

Here’s a way to picture Jesus your God and Savior: Jesus is The Good Shepherd. He tells you why: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).We are the sheep. We have strayed and wandered into a precarious and deadly situation because we are sinful.  At some point our “bleating” hearts will cry out in fear, in anxiety, and in distress. We are lost sheep who need a rescue – not just by a hired hand, not just by any shepherd, but by The Good Shepherd. He is not a no-name hero who will be forgotten tomorrow. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who, being both God and man, laid down his life for you.

Your life’s headline reads: Good Shepherd Dies to Save THIS Sheep.

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Jesus is…The Lamb of God

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JesusHave you spent much time with animals? If people were going to compare you to a type of animal what would you like them to choose? A lion…because you are brave? A bear…because you are strong? A fox…because you are quick and clever? An owl…because you are wise?

What about a lamb?

Maybe you haven’t spent much time around animals, but with what you know about sheep, would you want to be one of them? They seem so helpless, defenseless, and maybe even dumb. Yet, a lamb is exactly what someone compared Jesus to. His name was John and he was a prominent and popular figure. He saw Jesus walking toward him and he said, “Look! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

He wasn’t saying Jesus was helpless or defenseless, and certainly not dumb. This had a much deeper meaning. This would have immediately grabbed the attention of the Jewish people who heard it first. Every day they sacrificed lambs as part of their worship life. They knew their lives didn’t always follow God’s plan. They knew it was true: “We all like sheep have gone astray.” (Isaiah 53:6) They knew they failed to live up to God’s expectations. They knew they needed the blood of a substitute to pay for their sins.

You know those failures too. Whether we would like to admit it or not, we also are like sheep who have gone astray. Sometimes we don’t recognize the full magnitude of those failures – those sins, but sin isn’t just what we read about in the newspapers. It has weaseled its way into our own lives. Sin is when parents want the best for their children, but forget that what’s best isn’t having everything you want. Sin is when spouses want to be loving, but instead put their own needs and desires first. Sin is when teenagers struggle for independence, but go too far and become disrespectful to parents and other authority figures. Sin is nothing more and nothing less than failing to be the perfect people our perfect God expects us to be.

So Jesus became the Lamb of God. He became the perfect substitute whose blood takes away our sins. He is the perfect Lamb who never fell short of God’s expectations. He was our substitute offered on the altar of the cross. His blood fully pays for the sin of the world. And he paid for your sin too! He is the sacrifice that enables you to live life without fear of God’s punishment. Jesus is the Lamb who gave you what you could never earn—eternal life and a home with him in heaven.

This month our church enters a season known as Lent. In Lent our focus is on everything the Lamb has done for us. Come, gather with us and thank him who died for you. Join us as we say, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise” (Revelation 5:12).

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March 2014

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Drama, Drama, Drama

Do you enjoy drama? Are you a “drama queen” or “king”? Maybe you aren’t, but the idea of drama seems to be welcomed and expected today, doesn’t it? The entertainment industry thrives on our desire for more and more drama: more twists, more turns, more cliff-hangers. We import drama into our everyday conversations as we overemphasize the details of our most recent dining experience, or the other drivers on the expressway, or our children’s teachers, or the dating adventures among our circle of friends. Drama is all around us.

Then real drama comes crashing down on our own lives and we have a problem. We can’t handle actual drama. When drama hits home it is no longer welcome. When drama hits home it can be annoying, frustrating, saddening, maddening, or downright depressing. Too much drama crushes us like a ton of bricks and leave us feeling helpless and alone. King David knew what real drama felt like. Listen to what he writes in Psalm 6:

“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.”

“I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.”

It’s hard to say what drama had entered David’s life when he wrote these words. We know there were agonizing moments in his life: when he understood the crushing guilt of his sins with Bathsheba; when the child of that adulterous relationship perished; when one of his adult sons rebelled against him and tried to snatch his kingdom. Whatever the drama was, it was severe. He felt it go deep into his body – all the way to his bones. He was worn out from all his groaning. His sobs and tears had drenched both his bed and his couch. He couldn’t keep his eyes open because they swelled from those tears. Have you ever felt like David did?

Then keep reading.

David turned to God. God doesn’t mess around with drama. He has always had one, straightforward plan in mind. Perhaps we see incredible drama in that plan: who would have thought God would send his only Son to redeem us from the dramatically damaging effects of our sins? Who would have thought God would die on a cross? Who would write the story-line so captivating? Who would expect Jesus to burst forth from the grave, alive? God did. God sent his only Son. He died. He rose. God did that for you. Do you think he will listen when drama hits home?

“…the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.”

Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms. These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on God’s Word.

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Jesus Is…Christ

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Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? If you have a “special someone” in your life – whether it is your wife or husband, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your children – you probably want to start to think about Valentine’s Day and how you can express your love and affection. From chocolates to red paper hearts, there will be many expressions of love and affection exchanged once again this Valentine’s Day.

God has also expressed his love to you. In fact, there is no greater act of love than the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus for our salvation. All of the Bible, God’s massive greeting card to all human beings, revolves around this one supreme act of unconditional love!

That tremendous expression of love can be highlighted in a simple little word and title. Unfortunately, we often use this word in vain as we cry out in surprise or curse our bad luck, but Christ is a title of Jesus that truly expresses God’s love for us.

What does the word Christ mean?

Matthew begins his book of the Bible by recording the genealogy of Jesus: “…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (Matthew 1:16). As Matthew sets the tone for his Gospel, he is careful to note that Jesus was revered as Christ. This title is a form of the Greek word chrio meaning “to pour or anoint.” To anoint was to pour sacred oil over someone’s head as a visible sign that God had set him aside for a special task. Jesus bore the title Christ because he was the one God anointed – set aside – to be the world’s Savior.

Another biblical writer, John, reveals Jesus as the Word made flesh and then describes Andrew’s excitement when he met Jesus: “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ)” (John 1:41). Andrew bursts forth in joyful acclamation. He used the title Messiah, which is the Hebrew equivalent of Christ, “the Anointed One.”

The Gospel writer John is keen to point out that from the time Jesus presented himself publicly the hope of the ages was intimately associated with salvation in Jesus. Yes, at the time of his baptism Jesus’ anointing as the Christ took place in an eye-opening way: “heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17). Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God and received the clear approval of his heavenly Father; a divine endorsement!

Because Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, he is the one God chose, even from ancient times, to bring salvation; redeeming us from the curse of sin!

There is no greater act of love! Jesus, the Christ, is God’s magnificent valentine to you!


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December 2013

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What’s up with “Emmanuel?”

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lowly exile here, until the Son of Man appear.

Familiar words to you?  More than likely you recognized the lyrics of that Christmas carol.  What do those words mean? What do they mean for you?

The pivotal word of the phrase is “Emmanuel.”  Sometimes it is written as “Immanuel.”  It is the same Hebrew word transposed into English, and the meaning behind this Hebrew word is huge for you.  The word comes from Isaiah 7:14:

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Somewhat of a unique name for a baby.  But not when you consider the baby this was referring to.  This baby is the baby you know as Jesus.  This is another name for Jesus.  It means “God with us!”  To break it down, emma = with, nu = us, el = God.  “God with us” is an amazing statement, isn’t it?  God is the perfect creator of all things.   Yet, we, his creation, are imperfect.  We are fallen.  We daily fall into sin – crossing the line which God has clearly laid out in his word and even written on our hearts.   How can the perfect God be with imperfect, unholy people? Through that baby, with that name.


Jesus was “God with us.”  Not only is it incredible that God was willing to be in the middle of the sinful world, and among sinful people, but the power of that preposition “with” goes even deeper.  In Jesus, God not only was among his people, but God took on the flesh and blood of his people.  He took on the flesh and blood of his people so that he could rescue them from their captivity. So he could ransom them – pay the price demanded by their captors.

You are a part of the Israel in captivity.  While the nation of Israel found itself carried into captivity by several foreign powers, the foreign power that has carried you into captivity is sin. Jesus paid with his blood and his life to rescue you from that captivity – to free you from the chains of sin.  He became God with us, so that you could be with God for eternity.


This well-known Christmas carol isn’t just about Christmas.  Its words do remind us to reflect on what happened when God became Emmanuel – “God with us” – on that Christmas morning, and Jesus has rescued us from the captivity, but we still long for the day when that rescued will be complete.  The day when the “Son of Man” appears again.  And once again God will be with us, and we will be with God.


Do you remember the refrain for this well-known carol: “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel will ransom captive Israel!”

Do it!  Rejoice!  God will be with us, because Jesus has ransomed us – he has bought us back from the sin that claimed our lives and gives us freedom in his name.


What special comfort do you have knowing Jesus is Emmanuel, “God with us”?

Write a prayer asking God to help you prepare for Jesus’ return.

Advent Worship

Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel

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Born to Save Us

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Born to Save USCome and hear the story of the child born to save us. This Christmas join us to remember the night when God changed the world by sending his Son as our Savior.  Beautiful Savior’s worship will feature an inspiring message, favorite Christmas carols, and a place for families to connect with Jesus, the child born to save us.  A Savior has been born to YOU; he is Christ the Lord! 

Christmas Eve Worship

Tuesday, December 24th 

Candlelight Service – 6:30pm

Christmas Day Worship

Wednesday, December 25th

Celebration Service – 9:30am

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Advent Worship

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The Christmas Season has been coined the “cycle of light.”  Into a world of darkness came the Word made flesh, the true light, Jesus Christ. The time of Advent is the time we set aside in our church year to prepare for the coming of the Light.  Advent has a threefold meaning: 1) the coming of our Lord in the flesh at Christmas, 2) the coming of the Lord in his Word, and 3) the coming of our Lord in glory at the end of time.  Advent is a season of repentance along with joyful anticipation.

Christmas centers of the miracle of our God born to save us.  As this celebration approaches, take time to meditate on the preparations to be made in your own heart. Join us for worship in December as we plead Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel.

Sunday morning services begin at 9:30am. These services will begin with a gathering rite built off of the words and music of Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel. 

Midweek meditative devotional services will be held at 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 4th, 11th, & 18th.

The service on the 18th will serve as the culmination of our midweek Advent preparation.  This service will follow a different format.  Families are encouraged to bring a tabletop advent wreath from home, and each member of the family can participate as we light the candles on the wreath as part of the service. Following this service we will have a time of fellowship.  Each family is encouraged to bring 1-2 dozen of their favorite Christmas cookie to share.

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Seeking a Promise for the End of the World

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Seeking a Promise

What would you do if you knew the world was going to end?  Spend all your money?  Go on every vacation you ever wanted?  Mope in abysmal destitution? Find a friend?

God’s Word clearly states that the world as we know it will one day come to an abrupt end.  No one knows the day or the hour save God himself.  It will be a day of acknowledgement.  It will be a day of destruction.  It will be a day of judgement.

Such a day would seem to strike terror into human hearts.  Yet, just as surely as God promises that day will arrive, he also promises his people joy, peace, salvation, and victory on that very day.

Join Beautiful Savior for worship in November as we seek those very promises from God; promises for the end of the world.

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November 2013

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How to Survive the End of the World?

Have you watched a doomsday movie lately?

“The Book of Eli,” “The Darkest Hour,” “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Hollywood keeps producing them. The end of the world both fascinates and frightens. What do we like most about Hollywood’s version? The inspiration of survival. Against all odds, all hope lost, humanity grabs hold of courage, defies doom, and turns the tide.

Hollywood can’t give you the real story.  It merely attempts to adequately capture the descriptions in God’s Word:

“The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men…but the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:7, 10)

Fire. Destruction. Judgment.

For some it will be a day of judgment and destruction, grief and pain like nothing even seen or imagined before – “eternal death.” For others the end of the world will mark the beginning of a new life where pain and trouble will cease forever.

How can you be among them?  How will you survive?

When that day comes there is no amount of courage which humanity can grab hold of to turn the tide.  It’s the last day; the final end of the cosmic war between God and Satan. The key to survival is Jesus. It was Jesus’ own blood that cleansed us of our sins and rescued us from the clutches of Satan, and it is by Jesus’ own blood, poured out for all our sins that we will be ushered into heaven on that day. By the blood of Jesus we not only survive, but we will be renewed, we will be glorified, and we will be home.  Revelation describes that last day as a joyful day for those in Christ:

“And there was a war in heaven…the great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan…Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our bothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!” (Revelation 12:7-12)

You will survive in Christ.


Words from Luther

On November 3rd, we celebrate the Reformation, which kicks off our time of worship focused on End Times.  Here follows a prayer from Martin Luther asking Christ to return:

“Grant, dear Lord God, that the blessed day of thy holy advent may come soon, so that we may be redeemed from this bad, wicked, world, the devil’s dominion, and be freed from the terrible plague which we must suffer from without and within, from wicked people and our own conscience.  Do thou dispatch this old maggot sack that we may finally get a different body, which is not full of sin, inclined to unchasteness and to everything evil, as the present one is, but one that is redeemed from all bodily and spiritual misery and made like unto thy glorious body, dear Lord Jesus Christ, that we may at last come to our glorious redemption.  Amen.

In November we celebrate Thanksgiving.  Here follows a quote from Martin Luther concerning our thanksgiving to God, which he spoke in explanation of Psalm 118:1 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

“This verse teaches us what the proper sacrifice is that pleases God most; for we cannot perform any greater or better work for God, nor can we render Him a nobler service than thanking Him.”

Luther Quotes taken from What Luther Says by Ewald Plass, © 1959 Concordia Publishing House, paragraphs 3542 and 4355.


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