Beware the misuse of God's gifts

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on January 16, 2021

In Genesis 38-40, we read of the sad misuse of one of God’s great gifts. In the heat of the summer (August 5-6), we will read Song of Solomon and blush at the joy and passion that a husband and wife find in each other. Our God created sexual intimacy as a gift for married couples to enjoy.

It is that great gift that can bring great grief. Judah sleeps with his daughter-in-law (Genesis 38). Joseph’s life is destroyed by the sexual advances of his master’s wife (Genesis 39-40).

Perhaps your life has been upended by your misuse of this gift. Look at Matthew 1. Notice that Tamar (1:3) is included in the genealogy of our Savior. He was given the name Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (1:21).

Isn't this why the Holy Spirit chose to reveal and record this sordid affair between Judah and Tamar? The Holy Spirit comforts us with this good news: Jesus came for sinners like Judah and Tamar and us.

In Matthew 11:20-12:14we see even the gift of this gospel can be misused.

  • How are we like the people of Capernaum and Bethsaida? Have we begun to take the gospel for granted? Have we chosen to continue to sin, thinking “I’ll repent later”?
  • How are we like the Pharisees? Have we become legalists, easily finding fault in another and not seeing our own sin?

Guilty! All of us. Guilty of misusing all of God’s gifts. Guilty especially of misusing the gospel.

Let us daily repent and hear again the Savior’s invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us Sabbath rest today. We grow weary in our battle against sin. Give us rest in the knowledge that our sins are forgiven. Give us the strength of Joseph to cry out, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" and flee from temptation. GIve us confidence that you can rebuild our lives even as you blessed Joseph. Amen.

St. Paul's News

Attached is this weekend's worship folder with St. Paul's News. Highlights are:

Worship in Person

To help you choose which service you want to attend, services are listed with last week's attendance. 

  • Saturday @ 7 pm - 95 in attendance
  • Sunday @ 7:45 am  - 77 in attendance
  • Sunday @ 9:15 am - 117 in attendance
  • The Bridge Sunday @ 10:15 am - 173 in attendance
  • Sunday @ 10:45 - 55 in attendance
  • Wednesday @ 7 pm - 28 in attendance

Worship online

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God grant us all Sabbath rest today and always.

Pastor Pete 

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