Jul 10, 2016
Who Will Escape Judgment?
This week, Jesus has some sobering words about the Kingdom of Heaven. He teaches us in the "Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds" that there is not only good seed being sown in His harvest field, but there is also bad seed being sown by His enemy.  What do we do about this? Do we fight fire with fire and harm those who appear to belong to the enemy? Jesus says, "No." In so doing we might judge incorrectly and end up harming His children as well. Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby columnist) would agree.  She once said, “People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.”  So what is to become of the wickedness that is being sown around us?  Jesus answers this in today's parable.
WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Jul 10, 2016Who Will Escape Judgment?
    Jul 10, 2016
    Who Will Escape Judgment?
    This week, Jesus has some sobering words about the Kingdom of Heaven. He teaches us in the "Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds" that there is not only good seed being sown in His harvest field, but there is also bad seed being sown by His enemy.  What do we do about this? Do we fight fire with fire and harm those who appear to belong to the enemy? Jesus says, "No." In so doing we might judge incorrectly and end up harming His children as well. Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby columnist) would agree.  She once said, “People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.”  So what is to become of the wickedness that is being sown around us?  Jesus answers this in today's parable.
  • Jul 3, 2016What is the Kingdom of Heaven like?
    Jul 3, 2016
    What is the Kingdom of Heaven like?
    This year our "God on Film" message series will feature teachings from the parables of Jesus each week, along with illustrations from popular movies.  This Sunday, Jesus answers the question, "What is the Kingdom of Heaven Like?" by telling His listeners the Parable of the Sower: "A farmer went out to sow his seed..." (Matt 13:3).  Jesus used the well-known examples of a farmer, a seed, and a harvest to explain mysteries of God's Kingdom.  He used common elements to teach uncommon messages.  And in so doing, He challenged His hearers to live a life aligned with God's Word - causing them and us to ask ourselves: "what kind of soil with the seed of God's Word find when it lands on my heart?"
  • Jun 26, 2016Raising Spirit Awareness
    Jun 26, 2016
    Raising Spirit Awareness
    Series: (All)
    As Lutheran Christians, we confess a Trinitarian belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This means that we believe that while we have only one God, that same God has revealed Himself to us in three persons.  The ancient creeds of the Church express this understanding as best as can be done in human words.  While the Holy Spirit is always spoken of "last" in those creeds, He is by no means less  Godly.  In fact, we recognize the Holy Spirit's enduring and powerful work among us today even in our Catechism: “The Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.”  (Martin Luther).  How can we move from viewing the Holy Spirit as a mysterious "blur" and "ghostly presence hovering in the background" (Gordon Fee), to seeing Him as the powerful and active person of the Godhead that He is?
  • Jun 19, 2016Praying for Patience
    Jun 19, 2016
    Praying for Patience
    Series: (All)
    Have you ever prayed for "patience?"  You might want to reconsider that - when you think about how God is going to make you patient.  It is unlikely that God will just change your demeanor overnight (though, He certainly could).  Rather, He will likely teach you patience by making you WAIT!  What better way to grow in integrity than to be faced with the opportunity for dishonesty and yet experience telling the truth?  What better way to grow in determination than to overcome failure?  So, if God needs to teach you patience, He will give you opportunities to wait on Him.  As you do, you will learn to trust Him more.  And as you trust Him, you will learn that He desires to grant you all good things.  
  • Jun 12, 2016Praying for Wisdom
    Jun 12, 2016
    Praying for Wisdom
    Series: (All)
    Slide5
    Young King Solomon, when asked by God what he wanted, prayed to receive wisdom (1 Kings 3).  Do you pray for wisdom?  What does that mean to you?  It has been said that wisdom is "knowledge applied."  It is true that humans are capable of amassing knowledge, and yet still remaining unwise.  Such is the case of the unbelieving heart.  Often what is perceived as worldly knowledge is wrongly applied and then deemed to be opposed to what is spiritually wise.  So how is the believing person to reconcile the wisdom of God, which is seen as foolishness to the world?
     
  • Jun 5, 2016What Gives Us True Happiness and Joy?
    Jun 5, 2016
    What Gives Us True Happiness and Joy?
    Series: (All)
    Slide1
    There are a lot of things in life that can suck the joy out of us and leave us discouraged - health, finances, relationships, and politics to mention a few.  We can have joy in our life when we are connected to Jesus.
     
  • May 29, 2016Persecuted
    May 29, 2016
    Persecuted
    Bless_this_Home_-_Banner_Resized
    The Bible clearly states that Christians will be persecuted. It still happens today in many different forms, from as simple as being mocked to as serious as suffering death. Be that as it may, we do not let persecution discourage us.  In fact, we embrace it. Persecution is an indication that we are "on the right track," since the enemy is always opposing the work of Christ.  Last week, after professing their faith, our confirmation students were asked this question: "Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession ... and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?" Recognizing that Christ is the creator and sustainer of your very life, and that He holds your eternity in His hands ... How would 
    you 
    answer that question?
  • May 22, 2016Peacemakers
    May 22, 2016
    Peacemakers
    Have you noticed how uncivil our culture has become?  People can be just flat out rude.  Polite manners seem to be a thing of the past.  Especially when it comes to the news media; whatever is the most divisive gets the most press and therefore fills the hearts and minds of the people - that is, us and our neighbors!  More and more people are ready for an argument.  But what about Christians?  How do we respond when provoked?  What does Jesus mean when he says, "Blessed are the peacemakers ..."
     (Matthew 5:9).  Does that mean peace at all costs?  Does that mean not caring?  Just how do we make peace?  For that, we must look to Christ Himself.
  • May 15, 2016Pure in Heart
    May 15, 2016
    Pure in Heart
    Bless_this_Home_-_Banner_ResizedBlessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God(Matthew 5:8) The first thing we learn from this beatitude is that Jesus is concerned with our heart. It is not enough to clean up our act on the outside.  The aim of Jesus Christ is not to reform the manners of society, but to change the hearts of sinners like us.  Considering the gift of the Holy Spirit given to us at Pentecost, we can see how Go
    d intends to change us from the inside out.
  • May 8, 2016Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
    May 8, 2016
    Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” 
    (Matthew 5:6, ESV) This one short verse of Scripture brings to us an incredible message of hope, and a message that should spark a deep sense of joy in all of us who are believers and those who may be seeking Christ. Satisfaction is available, but only through Christ.
  • May 1, 2016Heaven Breaking Through
    May 1, 2016
    Heaven Breaking Through

    God Is Closer Than You Think Graphic SermonMany Christians view the gospel message as being little more than the minimal entrance requirements for heaven. They miss out on the “living life on earth in the presence of God” portion of the gospel that Jesus says is available right now. To what extent have you missed out on the fullness of life with God in the here and now? Don’t wait till you die to start living in the presence of God.

  • Apr 24, 2016God Wants a Relationship with You
    Apr 24, 2016
    God Wants a Relationship with You
    God Is Closer Than You Think Graphic Sermon
    There is no one-size-fits-all way to draw close to God. God created you, knows you, and wants to have a relationship with you that is unlike his relationship with any other being. The miracle of the Incarnation is that God came to earth as one of us in order to connect with us. But an even greater miracle is that after Jesus ascended into heaven, he continues to be connected to His people through the Holy Spirit!
  • Apr 17, 2016Listening to the Voice of God
    Apr 17, 2016
    Listening to the Voice of God
    God Is Closer Than You Think Graphic Sermon
    The voices we listen to and the thoughts we allow to occupy our minds eventually shape who we become and what we do. If our goal is debauchery and depravity, we don’t have to do much—just avoid God, avoid Scripture, and avoid godly people. If our goal is a mediocre spiritual life, we can just occasionally focus on God’s Word, and the rest of the time focus on whatever else is out there. But if our goal is to have a mind that is the dwelling place of God, we need to fill it with what God says, and meditate on His Word.
     
  • Apr 10, 2016Partnering with God Today
    Apr 10, 2016
    Partnering with God Today
    God Is Closer Than You Think Graphic Sermon
    Spending the day with God does not necessarily involve doing different activities than you already do. It involves learning to do what you already do in a different way—doing it with God. It means acknowledging your dependence on God, telling him about your concerns, and inviting Him to share each moment of the day with you.
  • Apr 3, 2016Where is God in My World?
    Apr 3, 2016
    Where is God in My World?
    2016 GICTYT Postcard Front
    Do you sometimes wish that God would show Himself more plainly?  He can seem to hide somewhere between the clouds and the pages of the Bible.  Wouldn’t it be nice if God showed up the way that He did for the Disciples of Jesus and the nation of Israel?  When there seems to be so much wickedness at work in our world today, you may be tempted to believe that God has “left the building.” Don’t.  Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake you … why start doubting Him now?