How does it feel when someone accuses you of something? Pretty awful isn't it? Now consider how often we live like we're being accused. Whether it's in the ways that we suspect that people are unhappy with us or if it's simply the accusations that play in our own heads. But Jesus was also accused. When we look to His response and what He achieved we can have peace and confidence to say to our accusations, "I Rest My Case."
Love Working Through Injustice
It's tough when we're misjudged by someone. But it was through the greatest act of injustice that we get to experience real love.
1) There is a strong desire for justice in our world today because God placed a desire for justice in our hearts.
2) We'll never achieve true justice by passing a law or digging deep down inside of us because we all have a flawed standard of justice.
3) If we're going to work for true justice we all need to also admit that we stand guilty of breaking God's law and God's world.
4) God tells us over and over again that His choice was to have the innocent One, Jesus, die in our place.
5) Only God can be real justice and through His justice, we are able to experience real love.
There may be times that we talk and act like we don't know Jesus. But Jesus has always known us. We are totally known and completely loved. It's amazing how everything changes when we ask Jesus, "do You know me?"
What A Change!
We can be all over the place when it comes to our faith, our boldness and our trust in God. But thankfully Jesus brings us the ultimate change whenever we experienced "Mixed Emotions."
1) If we're honest there are plenty of times when we deny Jesu with our words & actions or when we refuse to speak up when given the opportunity.
2) Thankfully, we’re not the main character in the story. Jesus is.
3) Jesus not only was willing to die for the sins of the world but God used something as simple as a roosters crow to change the trajectory of Peter’s life.
4) If God can use a rooster to save Peter, imagine what He can do for you!
The next big thing might be really little!
Most people focus on the big things in life. Things like birthdays, anniversaries, even Valentine's day. But the little things matter just as much, sometimes even more. If you don't believe me then try sleeping with a mosquito in the room.
Often, we want God to show up in big ways. We want big changes, and even bigger miracles. However this week we celebrate Transfiguration Sunday by going in a completely different direction as we study Matthew 17:24-27.
See How Things Have Changed!
God often works in ways that seem odd or surprising because He is making things different for us! We get to open our eyes and see how things have changed!
1) Sometimes church can just look like a place we go to and our faith can feel like an obligation. But that's not what God has in mind.
2) When Jesus did miracles He always did what He came to do, undo something broken by sin.
3) Jesus went to the cross in order to give us the inheritance that comes with being God's children.
4) Just like you don't have to pay to go to your father's house, you also have free access to God the Father's house! It's now your house!
5) You don't just go to the Father's house. Now the Father's house is inside of you. That means that everything God did in the temple, He does in you!
See the Spectacular Today!
Seeing something spectacular isn't limited to those who lived in Bible times. We get to see it today!
1) When our expectations of what God is doing are misguided, we often end up looking for far less than what God is actually up to!
2) Jesus looked just like a normal guy because He was a normal guy. But He wasn’t just that. He's God Himself!
3) God's plan has always been to showcase Himself through normal people. In this normal looking guy named Jesus, the Divine is on display!
4) When you want to see something special, simply look at Jesus, what He's accomplished for and through you.
5) Your life might not seem all that exciting, but remember, Jesus looks pretty normal!
The people in the Bible saw some pretty incredible things. So do you. Where do we see these things? Let's study John 8:57-59 together to find out.
Looks can be deceiving. Thankfully what really matters isn't how things look on the surface!
1) It's not about what or how much we give, it's about what's going on inside of us.
2) God doesn't need anything from us for Him to be God. He simply wants our hearts.
3) God simply wants us to trust Him.
4) If God is first in our lives, everything else falls into place.
5) It's refreshing to stop worrying about appearances, to know that God isn't about looks, He's about hearts.
See What's Really Going On!
Our perspective is often limited if we only see what's on the surface. We begin to see what's really going on and understand what we see when we "Look Deeper."
1) When we think we see the problem, we look for a solution to match. When our focus is off, so is our vision.
2) The special worship practices in the Old Testament were not about the practices themselves. They pointed to God's promise of healing. Jesus is the promise fulfilled.
3) It's hard to look deeper when we're convinced that the main problem is someone else and when our focus is on actions we see.
4) Surface is comfortable. Looking deeper is scary. But when we see the brokenness inside, we're ready to see the healer God provides.
5) When we see Jesus as the healer we need, it's amazing how much more we can see when we look deeper!
Settling For Surface Vision?
If you're only seeing what's on the surface, then you're missing out on a far greater view. This weekend let's refine what we see by studying John 7:21-24.
Blessings in the Blurry
Something can be right in front of us and still we can't see it. Thankfully God can give us a new perspective!
1) People are often looking for the wrong kind of Messiah. Jesus didn't just come to make life a little better. He came to give us eternal life with Him.
2) When Jesus fulfilled a physical miracle, it showed that He was here to do a greater miracle.
3) Jesus knows that sometimes, if He were to give us full sight all at once, it would be too much for us. He knows what we need.
4) We're living in an awfully confusing time. When we find ourselves confused, it is an opportunity to trust God. Letâ€™s celebrate this opportunity!
5) When our vision is blurry, let's focus on what is clear. Jesus came to give us exactly what we need and continues to work according to His plan.
Blurred Vision Meets A God Who Sees Perfectly!
We often struggle to see what God is really up to but God always sees exactly what we need and how it needs to be done. Take a look at how God works in our lives as we ask, "What Are You Seeing?"
What Eyes Are You Using?
A lack of vision can be dangerous, especially when it comes to how we see God, ourselves and our world. Thankfully, we've been given the gift of sight because Jesus gives us "New Eyes."
1) Lack of vision has been a problem ever since Adam and Eve took the fruit that "looked pleasing to the eye" rather than listening to God.
2) It's important to recognize that we live in a world of blindness and blurred vision.
a. Sometimes things that start off with right intentions, become misunderstood and misapplied and can actually blur our vision.
b. Our selfish ambitions can prevent us from seeing what is right in front of us.
3) Instead of talking about all the blindness out there, Christ would have us be honest about ways we've acted blindly.
4) Jesus gave a blind man the ability to see with His physical eyes. But the greatest miracle given to Him was the eyes of faith.
5) We get to leave the blindness behind and see what we know to be true. When we live by the light of Jesus it's then that we can be His lights in the world!
Fully A Son. Free To Live.
So often we live like we're still under restrictions and slaves to our sin. But you've been set free. You are God's child. God wants us to celebrate that "It's A Family Thing!"
Stop Trying to Be What You Already Are!
We all have a list of things we think we need to do in order to be who we want to be. But God wants us to live in the reality of who we already are in Him!
1) God has been working throughout history in order to make us His children.
a. Instead of sending a Savior right away, in His grace He first gave the law to show us our need for a Savior.
b. He knew the perfect time and conditions for a Savior to enter this world.
2) God's Son became us, so we could become God's Son.
3) When God looks at You, what He sees is His perfect Son!
4) Being a good Christian is not an objective to be achieved, it's a position of authority that we've already been given and from which we live!
There's a treasure that you don't need to hunt for to find. It came to you. Now the quest begins.
1) God's grace is not only His undeserved love for us, it's a beautiful trait of His character where He cherishes us and chooses to give us the greatest gift!
2) What if part of being truly rich isn't the acquiring money, a fancy house or expensive foods, but it's the lack of needing them?
3) What if a true treasure consists more of things like being loved and being able to love, having life and being full of goodness?
4) Jesus was willing to lack, to the point that He even died for us, so we might receive a treasure from God.
5) A gift is meant to be enjoyed, so let's live like we're overflowing with treasure. Let the quest begin!
Look At What You've Been Given!
No matter what was placed under your tree, you've received the most incredible gift at Christmas. Unpack your gift this weekend as we study 2 Corinthians 8:9.
On Christmas we celebrate so much more than great memories, but an actual event that changes everything today. Let's study together John 1:14 and consider what "Became" that day.
Our Advent series ends with a message from Pastor Krause on Christmas Eve - "Impossible?", from Genesis 18:14A, "Is anything too hard for the LORD?"
The King We Really Need
For all the challenges in our lives and in this world, we need more than a regular king. Jesus is exactly the King we need!
1) God's people have often wanted a king that just makes things a little better now. But is that the king we really need?
2) A day is coming when a King will arrive that doesn't just make things a little better, but solves every single problem!
3) This year it seems like everything has gone off the rails and unfortunately, in many ways we've done it to ourselves.
4) Man-made solutions just don't cut it.
5) We don't need a good king, we need A Greater King!
Who or what rules your life?
It's one thing to know Jesus is King. It's another thing to live that way. That's why we're so blessed to study Jeremiah 23:5-6 where we get to prepare our hearts for "A Greater King."
In a season when we're longing for the people, places and activities that we love, Jesus gives us exactly what we need by being "A Better Priest."
1) How could sinful people be assured that they were on good terms with God, that His presence was there among them and that He was working for them and through them? A vital piece was the work of the priests!
2) The priests would bring sacrifices into the holy place on behalf of the people. These sacrifices would point to how God would bring justice for sin and create a way for us to be at one with Him.
3) Jesus is a greater priest because:
a. He is not limited by death. He is speaking to the Father on our behalf always and forever.
b. He gives us unlimited access to God. We can come into His presence again and again, knowing He is here with us and we will live forever with Him.
c. He not only brought a sacrifice before God, He was the sacrifice before God. He laid down His life so we could be set right with God once and for all.
4) In challenging seasons like we're in, we may long for what once was. But perhaps this is an opportunity to recognize that as good as those things were, they were limited.
5) Focus on something greater! No matter where you are or who you're with, you can come into God's presence right now. He is there with you and you will live forever with Him!
Presence for You!
No, that's not a typo. This weekend is not about presents but about presence. Which actually might be what we want most during this crazy year after all. This weekend we study Hebrews 7:23-28 where we prepare to welcome the greatest presence of all through the "Greater Priest."
Can Anyone Actually Help Us?
With all the challenges in life, we may wonder if there's anyone who can actually help us, who can actually do the job. Thankfully, God has given us A Greater Prophet!
1) When God sends a messenger to us, He wants us to listen!
2) Whoever is called by God to speak on His behalf is to say nothing more or nothing less than God says.
3) Jesus not only spoke God's Word perfectly but embodied God's Word.
4) Jesus is the leader that actually leads us to the promised land, that actually solves the problems of life!
5) God is calling us to be His prophets to this generation, to speak the truth that there is a Greater Prophet who brings light into this dark world!
We are constantly being bombarded with messages. We get to choose whether or not to listen. There is a better message from A Greater Prophet that we get to listen to again and again every day!
Your Life Is About Something Greater!
What we prioritize in our lives says a lot about where we find our identity and security. Remember what your life is all about!
1) When we make ourselves number 1, it might seem like it will benefit us, but it never turns out well.
2) When we rob God of being first in our lives, we really rob ourselves.
3) God takes our lack of glory and gives us the glory of Christ.
4) We give God glory when we honor all that He's done and continues to do!
5) We reflect God's glory so all the nations can see what He has done!
We just got done with one holiday that didn't feel quite right, and soon an even bigger holiday will present us with many of the same challenges.
2020 has been filled with strange and unusual circumstances leaving us all with that "something is missing" feeling. As we begin the season of Advent, as well as a new church year, God chooses to fill the gap with some great news. Our Advent series is called SOMETHING GREATER and our first lesson takes us to Haggai 2:6-9 with the theme "A Greater Glory".
It's Good Not to Know!
If you've ever felt like it would be easier if God would just tell us when Jesus will return, you're not alone. But there is incredible blessing for us today not to know!
1) Rather than having us be ready on a specific day for Jesus to return, God would have us always be ready.
2) Part of being ready is not just being prepared for the day Jesus returns, but knowing that our personal last day could also come any day.
3) We often feel like we're most ready when life is going smoothly, but it's often in those challenging times when we're depending on Him that we're most ready.
4) God would have us be ready every day, seeing each day as an opportunity to glorify Him and serve others.
5) Perhaps our current situation with the virus, where we don't know when it will all be over, is a great opportunity to practice encouraging each other being ready for Jesus to return.
The end is near!
Sometimes I [Pastor Krause] wonder if the rest of the world is as interested in the end of time as Christians are. When I started actively looking to see how many apocalyptic shows and movies are out there I was blown away by how many there really are. Of course, many of them are about zombies. This weekend we tackle our second to the last nagging question about Judgment Day. Our lesson "How?" is from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.