Dec 15, 2019
Week 3: Focusing on Jesus in the Storm
  • Dec 15, 2019Week 3: Focusing on Jesus in the Storm
    Dec 15, 2019
    Week 3: Focusing on Jesus in the Storm
  • Dec 8, 2019Week 2: Repent!
    Dec 8, 2019
    Week 2: Repent!
    Your friend is coming over for coffee, so you straighten up the kitchen and buy some fresh coffee beans. Your state senator is coming over to talk to you about some policy. The preparation is more intense, more meticulous, right? The more important the guest, the more preparation must be made. When it comes to meeting Jesus, whether during his first coming at Christmas or his second coming on Judgment Day, important preparation must be made. It is so important to prepare to meet Jesus that God raised up a special messenger, John the Baptist, whose only job was to help people prepare to meet their God in the flesh. If you want to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, if you want to stand on the Last Day, you need to be prepared too. And as John the Baptist preached to those who gathered to hear his message, part of preparing our hearts for Jesus' coming requires us to repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!
  • Dec 1, 2019Week 1: Keep Watch!
    Dec 1, 2019
    Week 1: Keep Watch!
    We know when Christmas will be. Maybe part of your family’s tradition includes an Advent calendar, or other countdown system used to track how many days are left until Christmas. But when it comes to Jesus’ coming again at Judgment Day, there’s no calendar; no countdown that we can look to to know exactly when Jesus will come again! So, because we don’t know the exact day or hour, we need to prepare our hearts as we keep watch for his coming again. Just as in the days of the flood, Noah didn’t know when the rains would begin, so we don’t know when Judgment Day will come. But just as God kept Noah safe in the ark, so also will God keep us safe on Judgment Day, through faith in the one we prepare our hearts for--both for his coming at Christmas, and his coming again!
  • Nov 27, 2019The Thanksgiving Mindset
    Nov 27, 2019
    The Thanksgiving Mindset
    Sermon Text: Luke 17:11-19
  • Nov 24, 2019The King We Need
    Nov 24, 2019
    The King We Need
    Series: Welcome Home
    Windsor. Bernadotte. Bourbon-Anjou. Orange-Nassau. Glucksburg. Liechtenstein. Do you know what those have in common? They are all names of royal families.  A member of each of those families serves as a monarch.  The extended members of those families enjoy fabulous privileges, even if the monarch serves largely as a figurehead.  For the past month, we have seen that Christ has welcomed us into his home and made us part of this family.  Today, we see that this is a royal family.  For our brother Jesus is Kin.  He does more than serve as a figurehead.  Christ rules over all Creation for the benefit of his family.  He promises us that one day we will sit with him on his throne (Revelation 3:21).  Today-Christ the King Sunday-the Church Year comes to an end.  We praise Christ for his glorious reign.  We thank him for making us part of his royal family. giving us a claim to the Kingdom.
  • Nov 17, 2019LIFE
    Nov 17, 2019
    Series: Welcome Home
    Death is ugly. It does not matter if someone dies after a long, protracted fight with some illness or if they die peacefully in their sleep. Either way, the body goes into the ground and begins to decay. Either way, that person is gone, and their absence is constantly noticed.
    Death would be overwhelming were it not for the fact that, for the believer, Christ has completely transformed death. Death is not the end. For those who are part of Christ’s family, death is the beginning of a new and better life, one where the deceased has triumphed over sin and all its consequences. We thank God for this beautiful gospel truth—that Christians have an everlasting family. When Christian loved ones die, they are not “lost.” Something is lost when: a) you don’t know where it is, and therefore b) you will not see it again. We know exactly where our deceased Christian loved ones are. We look forward to being reunited with them soon. This Sunday, we celebrate the Saints Triumphant—those believers who have died and been welcomed into their true home with Jesus.
  • Nov 10, 2019Where You Are Perfectly Safe
    Nov 10, 2019
    Where You Are Perfectly Safe
    Series: Welcome Home
    Twenty-one billion dollars.  That is how much Americans spend annually on home security.  We want our homes to be a place that our family can feel safe, where they can be apart from everything that can hurt them.  However, the reality is that no matter how many locks and alarms and cameras you might use to guard your house, you and your family are no perfectly safe. There is a greater danger than thieves ... a greater threat than bullies.  There is even something worse than physical death.  Judgement day is coming, and with it, the destruction of all creation.  If that day comes and you are not prepared, you begin an eternal nightmare.  In the Church, our brother Jesus has given us a home that is indeed perfectly safe.  Not even Judgement Day can touch it, Christmas can look forward to Judgement Day with great anticipation.  Even as "the mountains fall into the hear of the sea" (Psalm 46:2), we have Christ's promise that we will be perfectly safe.
  • Nov 3, 2019Where You Are Free To Be Yourself
    Nov 3, 2019
    Where You Are Free To Be Yourself
    Series: Welcome Home
    One of the joys of being home is you need not put on airs.  Out in the world, we do all we can to hide our faults and failings.  You might be afraid if your boss knew your secrets, he'd give you your walking papers.  You might be afraid that if neighbors knew your personal issues, they might consider moving.  But we know that in a healthy family, people will love us in spite of our faults.  As a young man, Martin Luther thought of himself as God's slave.  Thus he was terrified of God.  Luther believed God was a terrifying taskmaster, looking for every possible reason to punish him. But as Martin Luther studied God's Word, he realized that was not he case at all.  God is loving Father. He does not pretend we have no brokenness sin, but he paid for it all by the death and resurrection of Christ. Scripture says that through faith in Christ, we are completely forgiven.  we are part of God's own family-a family where we are loved in spite of our faults.  God's grace not only frees us from the fear of condemnation and punishment, it frees us to live a better, more grace-filled life.  We want to live as God's children.  We want to love and bear with one another-our brothers and sisters-just as out Father loves and bears with us.
  • Oct 27, 2019Week 1: Our Need for Christian Community
    Oct 27, 2019
    Week 1: Our Need for Christian Community
    Series: Welcome Home
    "Army of One" was the shortest lived recruiting slogan in US Military history. It was meant to stress the strength of the individual. The Army dropped the slogan relatively quickly because they realized it was contrary to the reality that, in the army, you are completely reliant upon your team. In a stressful situation, the individual (Adam) was isolated. "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18). Humans are hardwired by God to need fellowship, not just with him, but with one another. So, God is determined to bring believers into a loving, nurturing community-the Church. Perhaps you have been a part of this Christian family for a long time. Perhaps you once belonged to a church, but for whatever reason drifted away. Perhaps you have never belonged to a church. Whatever may be the case for you, may God bless you as you listen to his Word today. May he help us all to realize that this Christian community-this spiritual home-is something we badly need. Welcome home!
    Text: Hebrews 2:9-18

  • Oct 20, 2019Failing Forward
    Oct 20, 2019
    Failing Forward
    Judges 16:23-31
    Many people's, greatest fear is failure, and the greatest pain of many is regret.  When we fail, (and we all do fail to serve God perfectly!) all too often we choose remorse, and take steps backwards deeper into failure or despair. Yet, what we really need is repentance. because even in our failures of God can still accomplish his purposes! The Bible is full of them-Peter, Paul, an our focus for this series-Samson.  As we see  god call Samson back to him after his failures, its a reminder for us that God gently restores us when we fail, and uses us, flawed, broken, failing people that we are, to accomplish his purposes! In the end, its not about Samson's strength or his weakness.  Its about God's strength, and his mercy!