Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

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Exodus 20:4

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

If you knew what God looked like (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12) and made an image of that likeness, would you be able to fear the image? I suppose you could, but it would be irrational to do so. For example, imagine you had been bullied by some kid in elementary school, and forty years later, you saw a photograph of that kid on Facebook. Would you be afraid of the digital photo? While it may bring old feelings to memory, you would not actually fear the photo.

Could you love a statue of God, even if you did know what he looked like? Would you be able to place your total trust in a carving or painting of God? Is worship of representation of God acceptable practice? Of course not; no one goes in to a church and worships a stained glass window of the Good Shepherd or of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane.

We are to fear, love and trust the Lord alone. This is faithful worship.

Prayer: Though I have not seen you, Lord, I believe with fear, love, and trust in you alone. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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Learning About Confession teaches the meaning of Confession and Forgiveness according Luther's guidance in the Small Catechism. It is recommended for the Sixth Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story that illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism - Children's Version. With a healthy balance of Law and Gospel, lessons emphasize the connection between repentance and forgiveness, and how the promise of God’s forgiveness changes our lives.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:3

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

The command to have no other gods is packed with things to consider. Having another god means to own the god, as one could an idol. But we cannot own Yahweh, in that sense, unless we try to make him into an image that we would worship instead of Yahweh himself. Having a god also means the god belongs to you; you possess the god. Instead, we belong to the Lord.

These other gods are not to be kept before the Lord. Literally, they are not to be in his presence. Where could we possibly fly from the presence of God? (Psa 139:7). We cannot keep other gods to a private side of our lives and imagine we have not placed them before— in the presence of—the Lord. The other way to think of “before,” is that we have made other gods more important to us than the Lord; they rank higher; they are above the Lord. This is one reason Luther explains the commandment as he does. “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.”

Still, the best way to think of the commandment is the way we naturally do, and the way Luther’s Catechism states it in a simple way for children—that we simply have no other gods. Besides the Lord, we must have no other gods. He alone is God. How could we have others?

Prayer: Lord, remove the foreign gods from my life. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:3

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

The command to have no other gods is packed with things to consider. Having another god means to own the god, as one could an idol. But we cannot own Yahweh, in that sense, unless we try to make him into an image that we would worship instead of Yahweh himself. Having a god also means the god belongs to you; you possess the god. Instead, we belong to the Lord.

These other gods are not to be kept before the Lord. Literally, they are not to be in his presence. Where could we possibly fly from the presence of God? (Psa 139:7). We cannot keep other gods to a private side of our lives and imagine we have not placed them before— in the presence of—the Lord. The other way to think of “before,” is that we have made other gods more important to us than the Lord; they rank higher; they are above the Lord. This is one reason Luther explains the commandment as he does. “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.”

Still, the best way to think of the commandment is the way we naturally do, and the way Luther’s Catechism states it in a simple way for children—that we simply have no other gods. Besides the Lord, we must have no other gods. He alone is God. How could we have others?

Prayer: Lord, remove the foreign gods from my life. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:2

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

You may initially counter that God did not bring you out of Egypt. It was the Hebrew people whom God led out of slavery to pharaohs. They were enslaved for over four centuries in Egypt, waiting for God to send Moses to lead them out. But God—your God—has led you out of slavery too. Since Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience in the garden (Gen 3:1–6), the human race has been enslaved to sin. We are born in bondage to sin (Psa 51:5), cannot escape on our own, and will die in sin without someone to lead us out (Rom 5:12–21).

Because of the sin of that one man, Adam, generations remained dead in sin, and in bondage to it. But thanks be to God! Through the one man, Christ Jesus, the free gift of God’s grace overflows in our justification to God. We were once enslaved to a worse taskmaster than any pharaoh. But Christ has led us out of bondage, setting us free from sin, death, and the devil. So, we must no longer fear death or the devil. Instead, we should fear, love, and trust God above all things.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for setting me free from sin. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Small Cat Intro Kit includes a copy of one Student Book and one Teacher's Guide from each level in the  basic Luther's Small Cat Series. It also includes a sample Luther's Small Catechism Children's Version, a Booklet of Memory Verses and a Catechism Poster Set, all for the special package price of $85.00. The kit serves as a great way to do an advance review of the entire series, or as a teachers' sample for leaders of all grade levels.

The Kit includes: 6 Lesson Books and corresponding Teacher's Books with 5 sessions each, 1 Luther's Small Catechism Children's Version, 1 Memory Verse Booklet, and 7 Posters.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:2

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

You may initially counter that God did not bring you out of Egypt. It was the Hebrew people whom God led out of slavery to pharaohs. They were enslaved for over four centuries in Egypt, waiting for God to send Moses to lead them out. But God—your God—has led you out of slavery too. Since Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience in the garden (Gen 3:1–6), the human race has been enslaved to sin. We are born in bondage to sin (Psa 51:5), cannot escape on our own, and will die in sin without someone to lead us out (Rom 5:12–21).

Because of the sin of that one man, Adam, generations remained dead in sin, and in bondage to it. But thanks be to God! Through the one man, Christ Jesus, the free gift of God’s grace overflows in our justification to God. We were once enslaved to a worse taskmaster than any pharaoh. But Christ has led us out of bondage, setting us free from sin, death, and the devil. So, we must no longer fear death or the devil. Instead, we should fear, love, and trust God above all things.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for setting me free from sin. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Small Cat Intro Kit includes a copy of one Student Book and one Teacher's Guide from each level in the  basic Luther's Small Cat Series. It also includes a sample Luther's Small Catechism Children's Version, a Booklet of Memory Verses and a Catechism Poster Set, all for the special package price of $85.00. The kit serves as a great way to do an advance review of the entire series, or as a teachers' sample for leaders of all grade levels.

The Kit includes: 6 Lesson Books and corresponding Teacher's Books with 5 sessions each, 1 Luther's Small Catechism Children's Version, 1 Memory Verse Booklet, and 7 Posters.

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Minkota District Pastors Meeting

District Pastors Meeting: Our next district pastors meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 30th, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Bemidji, Minnesota (5232 Irvine Avenue NW).  Our agenda will parallel previous meetings:

10 am      Coffee and conversation
11 am       Worship
Noon       Lunch
1-3           Discussion: Pastor Kris Synder will lead a discussion on youth ministry.
3 pm       Departure

New Congregation:  Ness Lutheran Church of Mekinock, North Dakota has been officially received into the NALC.  They are a very small congregation leaving a 4-point parish.  Greetings and welcome may be sent to the following address:

Ness Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 66
Mekinock, ND  58258

Missionary: Pastor James Puotyual carries our prayers with him as he goes to serve as our missionary to Sundanese refugess in Ethiopia.  Please ask your congregations to consider supporting him financially.  Support may be sent to The Lutheran Church of South Sudan who will be acting as Pastor Puotyual’s fiscal agent.  Contributions can be sent to them at the address below, please include the following in the memo line: “Pastor James Poutyual, Global Worker”

Lutheran Church of South Sudan
c/o Lutheran Church of the Master
2617 S 114th St
Omaha, NE 68144

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:2

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 20

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

Note: Exodus 20:2 does not simply say, “I am the Lord God.” It reads, “I am the Lord your God.” Without God revealing himself to the people of Israel, he may have been any deity, any one of the gods of the land. So, he declares, I am Yahweh—your God. This is the same Lord who would one day give himself for the world in an it-is-finished” atonement (Heb 10:1–18). The very same Lord your God is the Lord given for you. This covenant God has every right to expect his people to hear and obey. The commandments speak to his authority over us; the relationship speaks to his right to do so. His expectations of us are greatly outweighed by his blessings to us and his giving of himself for us.

Prayer: My Lord and my God, give me the courage to follow you and in doing so, keep your commandments. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Confirmation Series is a basic workbook style Confirmation curriculum, designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. Click HERE to download a pdf sheet describing the program, including an outline of session topics.

The Lord's Prayer workbook is a ten-week unit, which includes one session on the Introduction, one for each of the Petitions, and a one-session Conclusion. The Scripture focus in the Lord's Prayer series is on the Parables of Jesus, with Bible Study lessons taken from the Gospels.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:2

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 20

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

Note: Exodus 20:2 does not simply say, “I am the Lord God.” It reads, “I am the Lord your God.” Without God revealing himself to the people of Israel, he may have been any deity, any one of the gods of the land. So, he declares, I am Yahweh—your God. This is the same Lord who would one day give himself for the world in an it-is-finished” atonement (Heb 10:1–18). The very same Lord your God is the Lord given for you. This covenant God has every right to expect his people to hear and obey. The commandments speak to his authority over us; the relationship speaks to his right to do so. His expectations of us are greatly outweighed by his blessings to us and his giving of himself for us.

Prayer: My Lord and my God, give me the courage to follow you and in doing so, keep your commandments. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Confirmation Series is a basic workbook style Confirmation curriculum, designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. Click HERE to download a pdf sheet describing the program, including an outline of session topics.

The Lord's Prayer workbook is a ten-week unit, which includes one session on the Introduction, one for each of the Petitions, and a one-session Conclusion. The Scripture focus in the Lord's Prayer series is on the Parables of Jesus, with Bible Study lessons taken from the Gospels.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:2

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

The commandments bring God to the forefront of our hearts and minds; the actual commandments seem almost secondary. They are commanded because of the nature of God. So, his nature must be considered first. The one who commands is the God who commanded Moses to go and speak to the people of Israel. Moses wondered the name he should tell Israel when they asked whom it was who had sent him. God replied, “I am who I am.” Tell them, “I am” sent you (Exod 3:13–14). The commandments begin with this reminder of who it is that commands us. I am commands. The name of God, which we often see as Yahweh or Jehovah, is always replaced with Lord, out of reverence for the name of God and the Second Commandment. This is who commands us, not the so-called gods of the land. The one who has called us into relationship, revealing his personal name, is the one who now commands us.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for showing me who you are. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Confirmation Series, written by the Rev. Steven E. King, is basic work-book style Confirmation curriculum. It is designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. 

The Sacraments is a ten-week study, including sessions on Baptism, Communion, and the Office of the Keys. The Bible Study lessons in The Sacraments series emphasize the connection between Old and New Testaments, by drawing on sacramental themes foreshadowed in familiar Old Testament stories, and how the promises of God "for you" are expressed and fulfilled in Christ.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Click above for larger graphic.  • Original image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Exodus 20:1–6

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Ten Commandments presented as the head of the family should teach them in a simple way to his household.

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

The commandments begin with a brief foreword that is the condition for the words to follow. Why should we do and not do these certain things? What is the condition for our obedience? God said so. Frankly, we need no more reason than this one precedent: God is the one who makes the command. This is not dissimilar to what we heard from our parents, or what we may have said to our own children. When children begin to learn disobedience, they challenge authority, demanding, Why do I have to do that? The ready answer is, “Because I said so,” sometimes adding, “that’s why.” The Lord our God provides this information at the start. We do and do not do because God spoke all these words to us.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for speaking these ten words that I may live as you will have me live. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Confirmation Series, written by the Rev. Steven E. King, is basic work-book style Confirmation curriculum. It is designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. 

The Apostles' Creed book is a ten-week unit, with one session on the Trinity and three sessions on each article of the Creed. The Bible Study lessons in the Creed series provide an overview of creation-redemption themes in Scripture, driving toward the promise of God at work in our present lives. Click here to see the introductory pages and a sample of session one.

• Student Workbook   • Leader's Guide

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