Rev. Dustin Parker

cerritos, California, UNITED STATES


Joined September 8th 2009

Number of Posts:
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I am a pastor, who serves Concordia Lutheran Church and School. Welcome to my blog!

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A Glorious Sample of Eternity

July 21st 2014 00:38
There is suffering like is common to all creation, the suffering caused by sin and decay. THere is also suffering that is like Christ's, which occurs as we love those around us, including those some consider unlovable.

In either case, there is the hope found in knowing God's promise, the freedom from from sin, and entering fulling realization that God has adopted us, made us His children. Both occur with Christ's return. We know, because God promises, that the suffering in this life is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us....

Until that day...we have something to hold onto, someOne to help us endure, something that helps us focus our anticipation, our hope, to stimulate our hunger for the feast that is to come...

A Lesson learned from Romans 8, and a bottle of catsup (or ketchup )
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Persecution and the Mission

June 23rd 2014 01:19
How to Deal with the Stress…
Of His Mission!
Matthew 10:5a, 21-33

† IN JESUS NAME †

As you go out, bringing the news of God’s loving us enough to take responsibility for our lives, may you endure, knowing the grace of Christ!

The Mission

There were some words I read this week by a priest that resonated deeply with me.

I am going to paraphrase them here, putting the thoughts in words that would make sense to us…

In our visits to the sick, in our administration of the sacraments, in our teaching of the catechism, and in all the rest of our priestly (pastoral) activity, we are collaborating (serving) with Christ in establishing Christian hearts. At the same time and by that same means, that is, by the work we do, the Lord is establishing and rooting our hearts in his own. (1)

What he is describing is what we are sent to do, to bring Christ to people. We all do it differently. Dane does it while going and checking on a good friend, Joanie does serves in such a way, at the Korean grocery Store, where she invited Jenny to Bible Study. It is what Rainbow does at Hope International University, and what Wanda and Kay do as they interact in the office with all who come into see them.

This is our mission, the same one that started among us when Jesus sent the twelve out to a certain group – but now sends us to the entire world.

It is the same mission, to bring the gospel, the news of the Kingdom of God coming among them, or as the pastor said, seeing “the Lord establishing and rooting our hearts in His own!”

This incredible mission is ours, but, you need to be warned, as the apostles were, it might not be the easiest…

The Challenge…..
One might read these verses in our gospel reading and wonder what you’ve gotten yourself involved in, following Jesus, hearing and trusting Him and sharing your faith with others.

I mean what is this about, breaking up families, even to the point of one handing over another to be executed. Why would people hate us? And real persecution, the kind of persecution where people zealously hunt us down and enslave or oppress us?

There are a number of temptations to dealing with such opposition.

The first is simply to be okay with their sin, to not see their sin, or ours as something we have to worry about. Christ died for all those sins, right? For jealousy and envy, for gossip and sexual immorality, for wanting to kill people, well at least with our thoughts and words, for not honoring those God placed in authority, or those who dismiss the times of rest with which God desires to bless them. Or maybe we become comfortable with people using God’s name wrongly, or even worse, with their not using it at all.

The reading of Paul’s epistle should straighten us out on that….

Don’t be slaves to sins, and don’t let others continue to dwell in spiritual death as their reward,

Don’t weaken the message of God’s mercy, by pretending we don’t need it. That will not free you from persecution. Don’t be cowed by those who would dismiss you from doing God’s work, by saying it isn’t necessary to treasure the life God has given us.

But that doesn’t give us the right to just stand up and act as jerks condemning people as sinners left and right. We can’t combat the opposition to God’s word, by getting ready to wield the rock with which to stone them. We can’t use the idea that using the Bible offensively is the best defense of the gospel.

We are called to love, and yes, sometimes to suffer, for the sake of those who need to hear of God’s love and mercy. As I heard yesterday, a basic summer of the gospel, that they know God matters, and that people matter to Him.

So how do we do this, in the face of opposition from friends and family and those that would rather not hear of their need for God, and His desire to show them all His love?

How do we deal with the stresses of the Mission that God has given us, to take His message to the world, that they would be saved?

The Key – the Relationship We Have with Jesus

If you could see the verse that precedes the bulk of our passage, you would hear how we deal with it.

19 … don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20 For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19b-20 (NLT)

How can this be? That as we focus on God, the words we speak are not ours, but those of the Holy Spirit? Who are we to speak for God, to utter not our words, but His?

We aren’t apostles, are we?

Hear verse 24 of the gospel again:

24 “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. 25 Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names! Matthew 10:24-25 (NLT)

We are His students, His disciples, His slaves, He is our Teacher, our Master, the One into whose image the Holy Spirit is transforming us. It should be natural, the more we think about His love, the more we contemplate the cross, and realize the link their to our unity with Him in baptism, and how we testify to that death for us, as we eat His body, as we drink His precious blood in communion, that we take on His nature, That we understand His desire is that not one of the people around us would perish in Hell, but that all would come to know His love and mercy.

The very unity we have with God in Christ, will see us through any discomfort, ever persecution, even as it did Jesus as He started this mission.

We are so His, that nothing can separate us from Him, and so we should go, and do that which He has sent us to do, to preach the gospel to all creation, to do so with each of our talents, with each of our gifts, abilities, to see this as the reason we are here, even as He came to us.

For that is the greatest miracle of this, that we dwell, we find our life, as St Paul said, in Jesus.

Or as the pastor I quoted at the beginning of this wrote,

In our visits to the sick, in our administration of the sacraments, in our teaching of the catechism, and in all the rest of our priestly (pastoral) activity, we are collaborating (serving) with Christ in establishing Christian hearts. At the same time and by that same means, that is, by the work we do (in Christ), the Lord is establishing and rooting our hearts in his own. (1)

hear the last line one more time… as you go into the world to share Christ in such a way that people’s hearts are established in Christ…. Then know

At the same time and by that same means, that is, by the work we do (in Christ), the Lord is establishing and rooting our hearts in his own. (1)

Established there, we know the incredible, indescribable peace of God our Father, the peace we know in Christ… in which He guards our hearts and minds. AMEN?






(1) Pope Francis; Jorge M Bergoglio (2013-11-18). Open Mind, Faithful Heart (pp. 39-40). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.
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The Wages of Sin is death!

June 23rd 2014 00:37
Why Are You Still Being Paid...
For the Wages of Sin?

† IN JESUS NAME †

May you know in the depths of your being, that incredible gift of God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, the freedom from sin, satan and the fear of death, and the gift of eternal life!


That’s it?

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you worked so hard you were physically and emotionally exhausted? Where you were so tired you couldn’t get up to walk to the refrigerator to get something to drink?

When you finally got home, kissed your spouse, hugged your kids, patted the dog (at least you know you did those things, not sure which thing to whom! ) sat down and fell asleep?

And then, you wake up, realize your paycheck is still in your pocket, you open it up and wonder…. “that’s it?”

That’s all I get for breaking my back, for losing my hair over this job?

I ought to go look for another one. There has got to be something better out there… something less exhausting, something with more of a reward, something that gives me some sense of satisfaction, some sense of life.

Now let’s say that you are offered the position of a lifetime, you are to replace the president of Microsoft, or Apple computers, or become the new head of the I.R.S. Your salary won’t be 6 figures, it will be 8……. A 30 hour work week, and that includes your own staff that does your nails, combs your hair, flies you to Hawaii in your own personal jet….gets you front row tickets to the Spurs, Patriots and Red Sox games…

After taking a week to think it through, you aren’t sure, and so you ask for a month, and for some reason you still aren’t sure…..

Wait – why wouldn’t you take that job?

Well, my bet is that is what you are doing spiritually these days… because I know I am doing it too! Matter of fact, that problem goes all the way back to St. Paul, and the church in Rome!

We have to stop collecting the wages of death, and allow God to give us life!

Why are still collecting death?

As we look at this passage of Romans, we see this point in each paragraph.

In verse 12 and 13, Paul begs us,

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6:12-13 (ESV)

In verse 16 he Says,

16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16 (ESV)

And in verse 21, Paul reminds US,

21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. Romans 6:21 (ESV)

What don’t we understand about this?

Yet we freely give in to envy, to lust, to hatred, to gossip about each other, to selfishness. We forget the needs fo those around us, and focus on our wants. We even disregard what God says, choosing to think what we want, thinking what we know is right, doing what brings us momentary pleasure?

We should be receiving Holiness, Righteousness, the Ability to do the things that take us this way…

Paul has spent an entire chapter telling us to live so hindered, so in bondage to sin is unnecessary. In the next two chapters, he will describe this war even more, For he fights it as well. Paul knows what it is, to do the things we know are sin, and do not want to do. He knows the heartache of wanting to do what is right, but failing to do it, over and over.

He started by saying we died to the power of sin, and satan, and the fear of death in our Baptism, when we were united to Christ’s death and resurrection, He will say in chapter 8, again referring to our being united to Christ, that there is no condemnation for those of us in Christ.

Here he says,

“present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” Romans 6:13 (ESV)

and

17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18 (ESV)

and

the free gift of God is eternal life….

You see, this justified, sanctified life that we have, isn’t by our power, it isnt’ lived by our strength. It is found in dwelling in Christ, in realizing His work, in keeping our eyes on Him, and realizing He lives in us. It is found in being quiet, and listening to the Holy Spirit.

It is realizing what happened to you in your baptism, what is given you at this altar, it is the reason we have joy and hope, the answer we have when others wonder why we can have hope, in the midst of this exhausting world.

It is the same power at work in us, when we look around us, and see the needs of others for Christ, and do everything we can, even more than we can, sacrificing to help them see Christ revealed in their lives. That same power, as we are focused on Christ that enables us to serve the hurting, the broken, whether they don’t know Jesus yet, or whether they’ve known Him for 30 years, or 80.

For we all struggle, for we all do battle with sin, and all need to be re-focused on God’s work in our lives, as He counts us righteous, as He works through us, to see His greatest desire come pass, that all come to repentance, to realize that He is their delivered, their Lord.

As we realize that those who serve Christ, aren’t just counted as slaves, but as His friends, (John 15:15) As we become adopted children of God the Father, co-heirs with Christ.

This is why we don’t continue to dwell as if we’ve earned death as our paycheck, as if we are still slaves, employed by the firm of Sin, Shame & Guilt LLP

Know my friends, that this is God’s plan for you, that you would see Christ. That would know Christ, that you would love Christ…..

And then look back, and see that God has used you, to bring to others, that incredible peace you know, the peace of God our Father, in which you dwell in Christ, your hearts and minds secure in Him. AMEN?



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He think about, and cares for us

June 16th 2014 02:13
He Thinks About, and Cares for Us!
Psalm 8

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He think about, and cares for us

June 16th 2014 02:13
He Thinks About, and Cares for Us!
Psalm 8

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Why are we standing around?

May 28th 2014 00:31
He is Risen! Therefore…
Why are you standing around?
Acts 1:1-11


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Why are we standing around?

May 28th 2014 00:31
He is Risen! Therefore…
Why are you standing around?
Acts 1:1-11


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Why are we standing around?

May 28th 2014 00:31
He is Risen! Therefore…
Why are you standing around?
Acts 1:1-11


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Why are we standing around?

May 28th 2014 00:30
He is Risen! Therefore…
Why are you standing around?
Acts 1:1-11


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Alleluia! He is Risen! And Therefore
We are a community that perseveres
Acts 2:42-47


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Recent Comments

Comment by Pastordt
on The Chosen Identified

January 10th 2011 00:39
Please leave comments if you ke the sermon or have a comment or question

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Comment by Anonymous
on His Presence Provides Hope

August 16th 2010 01:00
please leave comments!

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Comment by pastor dt
on Living In God’s Providence

July 26th 2010 03:04
please leave comments!!!

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Comment by pastor dt
on Living in Forgiveness, in Christ

June 14th 2010 00:26
This sermon was preached simultaneously by Deacon Don Harrell at Our Savior's in Bellfower and myself at Concordia.

As always, comments are welcome..

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Comment by Rev. Dustin Parker
on Deacon Don's Second Sermon

May 8th 2010 01:05
Matt,

They have appeared on my blog before - they will again.

thanks

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