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October 2020 Message

My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.
(Proverbs 7:1-5)

Proverbs 7:1-5

Greetings to you in the Name of our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

When Johannes Gutenberg combined the printing press with moveable type in 1450, he ushered in the era of mass communications in the West, spreading learning into new social realms. Literacy increased across the globe and new ideas produced rapid transformations in social and religious contexts. Gutenberg produced the first-ever printed version of the Bible. Prior to this, Bibles were painstakingly hand-copied, taking scribes up to a year to produce.

For centuries since, the printing press has provided people like you and me the privilege of direct access to Scripture. While we also have electronic versions available to us, many of us often hold a physical Bible in our hands because of his invention. What was once inaccessible given the sheer cost and time to have a Bible copied is readily at our fingertips today. Having access to God’s truth is an amazing privilege. The writer of Proverbs indicates we should treat His instructions to us in the Scriptures as something to be cherished, as “the apple of [our] eye” (Proverbs 7:2) and to write His words of wisdom on “the tablet of [our] heart” (v. 3). As we seek to understand the Bible and live according to its wisdom, we, like scribes, are drawing God’s truth from our “fingers” down into our hearts, to be taken with us wherever we go.

First Lutheran Church
Little Rock

Questions to reflect on:

  1. How has having Scripture stored in your heart benefitted you?
  2. How can you begin to internalize more of God’s wisdom?

Prayer for the month: Loving God, help me to know Your Word intimately that I might live in the way
You desire. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Your servant and fellow brother in Christ,
Pastor Bacic

  • Article adapted from the devotional “Printed on our hearts” by Kirsten Holmberg, published in the September-November 2020 issue
    of Our Daily Bread.
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September 2020 Message

One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  

(41)  He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).  (42)  He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).  (43)  The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”  (44)  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  (45)  Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  (46)  Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

John 1:40-46

Greetings to you in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We tend to think of well-established, successful movements and organizations as beginning in that same fashion. That is rarely the case. Because of the explosive growth of the Christian movement in the first century and to the present day, we naturally read the stories of its origins in the light of its later success. We celebrate those early disciples and outright champion the Twelve. It is so easy to retrospectively romanticize the early days of a smashing success.

Did you catch this phrase from today’s text?

One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  

Wait! One of the two? The great John the Baptist, the phenom forerunner of the Son of God, the one who first identified him to the world, only managed to come up with two followers for Jesus?

Think about it. By any standards, we would file an outcome of two responses on day one (or day two) in the Epic Fail folder. We might console ourselves to remember that one of those two brought his brother and the other one produced a sarcastic, cynical colleague (a.k.a. Nathanial).

Why are we so seduced by the shallow metrics of numbers when it comes to our churches and kingdom efforts? Three joiners and a tepid fourth does not seem like anything we would even have the guts to report. Even twelve would be considered an embarrassment we would desperately want to somehow explain away.

As ego-inflating (or deflating) as the case may be, when it comes to the kingdom of God, numbers are at best an unreliable source and at worst a deceptive measure of success.

Of all those droves of people listening to John, only two raised their hands. It just so happens that one of them turned out to be the apostle to Europe and the other the apostle to Africa—both of which were founding fathers of what is today a 2000-year-and-counting global movement of more than two billion people.

This is how God starts a movement. This is how Jesus saves the world. It should cause all of us to pause and reconsider what success might look like in the eyes of God—to remember the mustard seed and the loaves and fishes and a band of twelve that started with two. And, yes, to never, ever despise the days of small beginnings.

Questions to reflect on:

  1. Have you ever thought of Jesus’ beginnings as being weak and unimpressive?
  2. What is it about numbers that so seduces us?
  3. What will it take to shift our mind-set on what  constitutes true success?
  4. How do we live in the midst of a world (even the church) that remains in the old and broken way of seeing and thinking?

A final thought: Never despise the days of small beginnings. Small beginnings are, in fact, the true nature of how the kingdom of God spreads and grows.

Prayer:  Abba Father, thank you for teaching us the secret of the seed. Cultivate in us the audacity of faith to trust the small starts and humble origins. Come, Holy Spirit, and retrain our vision, remake our mind, and retool our expectations that we might be freed from the ways of the world and fit with the wisdom of the kingdom. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Your servant and fellow brother in Christ,

                      Pastor Bacic

*Adapted from the article “Remembering the days of small beginnings” (08/10/20) from To subscribe to the Seedbed Daily Text, go to and click on the “Daily Text” tab and select “Subscribe.”

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August 2020 Message

6“You are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 7:6-8

We make a lot of choices every day. We choose what to eat for breakfast. We choose what to wear. We choose what we are going that day. Here is something God chose. These verses from Deuteronomy 7 show that God’s most treasured possessions are His people. He loves and cherishes us above everything else. As baptized children of God, we are His treasures. We are more special to Him than anything.

To explain why God chose us, here is a little story: Once a mother dog had eight pup¬pies. Of all the puppies, one was very small. He was nervous around people. He was frightened of loud noises. He huddled in the corner of the pen away from the other puppies. As the weeks went by, the owner noticed the little, scared puppy and worried no one would want to adopt him.

Finally, the big adoption day came. Families came and looked at the dogs to take home to their new surroundings. A few families were introduced to the puppies. Kids got excited about the happy, playful puppies as they ran around the yard with them. But the littlest puppy cowered in the corner. One family arrived with a little girl named Clara. Clara had some developmental delays, but she was quick to make a decision that day! She pointed right at the little puppy and said she wanted him. The puppy and Clara soon became best friends. The puppy helped Clara express herself, and with Clara’s gentle care, the puppy became confident and happy.

This story may be a little bit like how God chooses us. He chooses us who are weak and sinful. We are His most precious treasured possession. In fact, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of each one of us. He counted us even above His own Son! Jesus died for our sins so that we could be brought close to God again. The Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, loves us!!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for choosing us to be your own dear children. Thank you for making us your most treasured possessions. Help us to trust that you always will care for us, your dear children. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Your servant and fellow brother in Christ,
Pastor Bacic

*Adapted from the children’s message “God chose you” in the issue of Concordia Pulpit Resources, Vol. 30, Part 3, Series A, June 7-September 6, 2020.

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July 2020 Message

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”

(Psalm 91:2-4)

Greetings to you in Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Amen.

We know the familiar story of the three little pigs. Two lazy little pigs build houses out of straw and sticks. When the wolf comes along with his threat to huff and puff and blow the houses down, that is exactly what happens. The poorly crafted homes comes crashing down. Only the third home, constructed of sturdy bricks by the more industrious third pig is able to withstand the huffing and puffing of the wolf. In line with the wisdom demonstrated by at least one little pig, many great castles and fortresses were built out of stone. Constructed centuries ago, many such strongholds are still standing, having withstood long years of struggle and bombardment far more deadly than a wolf’s huffing and puffing.

Psalm 91 celebrates a fortress of immense and enduring strength, a refuge for us in every time of need. Nothing can bring it down. This stronghold is not built of brick or stone, or even of straw and sticks. We live in a fortress of feathers. To human reason, such a fortress does not appear to be very substantial. But our sturdy shelter is the God in whom we trust. He covers us “with His pinions” and hides us “under His wings.” He is a place to hide when fears and doubts threaten to overcome us, when we are threatened by “the snare of the fowler,” “deadly pestilence,” and every other trick and trap of the devil.

God is our fortress, a stronghold that no foe can conquer. We are safe because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for a time, stepped purposefully into the snares of His enemies. For the sake of our salvation, Jesus allowed Himself to be overcome by the powers of darkness. In helpless weakness He was nailed to a cross, where He suffered the penalty of death that we deserved for our sins. His body was sealed in a tomb, a stronghold of stone guarded by soldiers. Then, on the first Easter morning, the stone door of that fortress of death was rolled back to reveal an empty tomb. Jesus had risen from the dead! His victory over sin, death, and Satan is our victory, and when our Lord returns, the stronghold of death will not be able to hold us in. We will be raised from death as our Savior was raised!

Until that great day, we have an unfailing shelter. The world may not think that our God is a strong refuge. They consider us foolish to trust in Him to shelter us. But we know better, and we rejoice within the sure and certain safety of our feathered fortress:

“You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy”

Psalm 63:7b

Prayer: Heavenly Father, shelter us with Your love. Be our refuge in every time of trouble and keep us safe from the snares of the devil. Hear our prayer in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Your servant and fellow brother in Christ,
Pastor Bacic
*Adapted from the devotion by Lutheran Hour Ministries for June 15, 2020 “A Refuge and Fortress”. Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int’l LLL (LHM).

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May 2020 Message

(5) For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (6) He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. (7) On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. (8) Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

Psalm 62

A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.

Ecclesiastes 10:2

Greetings to you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer! Amen!

We live in a world filled with opposites: right and wrong, light and darkness, left and right, and the list goes on. As Christians, we deal with opposites there as well: sinner and saint, all flesh born is subject to death, etc. All of humanity struggles, because it is inclined toward the left (that which is wrong)-that is the fool’s folly that completely disregards, disbelieves, and mocks the clear truth from God above.

The only way a heart becomes wise is for the Word and Spirit of God to have its way, instilling a true fear, love, and trust in God. We cannot cause the Word of God to have its way with us or others. God Himself works in our midst, giving us both the written and spoken Word. He gives faithful preachers and teachers to make known the righteousness we receive in Christ, apart from the Law. This righteousness inclines the heart to the right, the way of the wise. It is light and life, albeit hidden under the cross and sufferings we experience in this life. Christ Jesus entered into this world of stark opposites to exchange our sin for His righteousness so that, although we may see only sin and death and suffering all around, in reality there is life, light, and peace that passes all understanding. The Creator has in love freely joined Himself bodily to our every need, both temporal and eternal. A heart filled with God’s wisdom is inclined to this truth.

Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, we daily swerve from the paths of Your righteousness. By Your Word and Spirit, preserve us in Your righteousness, that we may not swerve. Amen.

*Adapted from the Portals of Prayer devotional “A life of opposites”

Your servant and fellow brother in Christ,
Pastor Bacic