You missed the point!
How many times have you heard a sermon on the feeding of the 5,000? Really, that many times - well get ready for one more. What if I told you that we have been missing the point of this miracle? While this miracle shows us God can provide everything we need, the truth it is about so much more than that. We will focus in on verses 16-18 of Matthew 14 with this thought in mind: "Expect More".
Just Give Up Already!
This Doesn't Make Any Sense!
Sometimes it's not just that life is really tough, but we actually hear voices saying we should give up on God. This weekend we have a challenging section of God's Word, Job 2:7-10, where you get the surprising encouragement to just go right ahead and "give up on YOUR god."
("Job" Video courtesy of The Bible Project and can be downloaded for free at www.thebibleproject.com.)
So Close! But So Far Away......
Ever start getting excited because you think you're close to your destination, maybe you can even see where you want to be, only to find out that the road to get there is closed? The let-down that comes after getting your hopes up can bring an extra dose of discouragement and frustration. This weekend's lesson gives us some much needed perspective, hope & encouragement for the journey as Genesis 40:14-15 & 23 teaches us the "Principle of the Path."
You're being lied to!
Not sure if you caught that, but every day you are hearing a lie. No, I'm not talking about that political ad you just saw on TV, or the story your kid just handed you about how they didn't do what you just saw them do.
I'm talking about your life. Every day we hear two stories - one heavenly and one earthly, and one of them has to be a lie. Which one is the subject of our 20th spiritual battle lesson and it just so happens to also fall on the observance of the Protestant Reformation. We will study 2 Timothy 4:10 and our theme is "The Problem with Jesus".
I'M ANGRY! I [Pastor Krause] was trying to find a good way to describe what we will be studying this weekend so I googled "anger" and the results kind of made me angry. Seems there is no perfect way to reference anger - I found one list identifying 4 kinds of anger, one says 7, one says 10 and another says 12 different kinds. Argh!
So I'm going to skip Google and go right to the expert, the man of our spiritual warfare lesson this week - Jonah. We will be studying chapter 4:9-10 with the theme "Anger Mismanagement".
Church, Youâ€™ve Got Mail!
God Wants You to Knowâ€¦.
If God were to send a letter to the Church, what do you think it would say? Would it be a happy message? Would it be a challenging message? Would it be a message that changes your life? This weekend we hear a special message God brings to us by studying Genesis 16:7-10 with the message "Dear Church,".
I [Pastor Krause] think it is a pretty safe guess that you all know I am a huge Packer fan. I am excited the Pack is off to good start this season. But I am a bit concerned how our defense has been playing, especially with Sunday's upcoming game against Dallas.
I hope the Packers prepare for the game with a philosophy this weekend's lesson teaches us about spiritual warfare. We are going to study another prophet who was at the point of wanting to quit. And so God taught Jeremiah to "Bend, but not Break".
How strong are you? Strength can be measured in any number of ways: the amount of weight that can be lifted, the ability to stay focused in difficult circumstances, and even good old fashioned horsepower. As important as it is to be strong while fighting our spiritual battles, the real question is how much strength do we really have? Our next "I Quit" lesson shows us a man who thought he was weak but in reality he was really just afraid. We study Judges 6:11-16 and hear God tell Gideon, and us, "You are stronger than you know!"
Fear or Faith – Which Wins?
It’s the Matchup of a Lifetime! Fear may be powerful. But is it really any match for faith? This weekend we step out boldly with a study of Matthew 14:29-31 to see that in Jesus, the result is always “Faith Over Fear.”
You're All Set!
Welcome to the Trip! God has given us a new life and incredible calling. But do we sometimes hold ourselves back? This weekend we study Judges 4:8-10 where we hear God say "This Is Your Permission Slip."
You're Weird! So I just called you weird. How do you feel about it? Before you answer, listen again to the message of Jesus with this weekend's lesson, "Weird (Because Normal Isn't Working)" from John 6:66-69.
Experience the Freedom of Opportunity! Today there are tasks, challenges and battles in front of you. You have to do them. Or do you? What "IF" you had a choice? What "IF" you said no to what's in front of you? What "IF" you said yes? This weekend we study Esther 4:12-14 as we embrace the freedom of having the opportunity to fight the battle in front us.
Is Your Worst Enemy Looking At You In the Mirror?
There's Victory Over the Battle Within!
It's easy to point fingers at others or the world around us. But sometimes the biggest attacks come from within. This weekend we studied Acts 2:37-38 to see how God gives us an eternity changing, life giving "Intervention."
The best time to win a spiritual battle is before it starts. Guard your heart! Our lesson comes from 2 Samuel 11:1. Let's strategize so we don't give up!
Words mean things. I am not a fan of people misusing words. Brain Anderson, one of the Brewer's TV announcers, often misuses the term "anxious" when the word he really should use is "eager" - “ i.e. so and so is eager to get another at-bat.
Many people also confuse the words "alone" and "lonely". Alone means being by one's self while lonely is that feeling of being unwanted by others, maybe even feeling unloved. Our next "I Quit" lesson is another look at the prophet Elijah and his spiritual battle with loneliness. Our lesson is 1 Kings 19:14 and our theme is "Alone or Lonely?
Ever been in a conversation where a person's words do not match their facial expression, that is, they are hiding what they are really thinking and feeling?
Ever try to have one of those conversations with God where we put on a brave face outwardly, but inwardly we are "dying". Our next "I Quit" lesson takes us to another Old Testament great - Elijah. But, like us, Elijah had his bad days too. This weekend we studied 1 Kings 19:4 and our theme is "Worth Less".
There is one universal topic you can discuss with just about anybody - the weather. Either it is too hot, too cold, too dry, to wet, etc. Everybody has an opinion about the weather. But the real hot topic is storms. How much rain did we get? Is it going to snow? Did you hear that thunder last night? Storms always get peoples' attention, especially the big ones. But what about spiritual storms? How many of us discuss the spiritual storms we need to weather? This week we have that discussion with our next "I Quit" lesson: Mark 4:38 “When the storm isn't really the problem!"
When all you see is trouble....
You've been there. You know the feeling - when it seems like everywhere you look there's another challenge, failure or threat - when the enemy is attacking from every direction. Now, we can lay our fears down through a study of 2 Kings 6:15-17 as God opens our eyes to see that He has chosen to "Surround" us.
EVIL - How do you know for sure if a person is evil? And looks can be deceiving since we are unable to look into the hearts of others to examine if their motives match their words and actions. Often it seems we are unable to recognize true evil until it is too late, or so we may think. As we prepare for the next battle in our spiritual warfare on a personal level Jesus gives us a view of evil we might not ever considered. Our lesson comes from Matthew 13:24-30. And our study will be all about "Necessary Evil".
Problem Solving - Wouldn't it be nice if everything in life was simple, easy and fun? (That's the way it was supposed to be). But much like a muscle, without exercise, our faith would atrophy if everything were easy. And so God wisely allows challenges for our faith. Our next lesson in the "I Quit" series displays a challenge for the man whom this series is patterned from - Moses. Moses faced a big challenge and unfortunately he thought he had to face it alone - that became the real problem, the real spiritual battle Moses was fighting. Our lesson is specifically on Numbers 11:13-15 - but I'm adding verses 10-12 for a fuller understanding of the question on Moses' mind, "Why Me?"
I Dare You! Take Hold of God's Calling! Jesus has given us a life of eternal significance and limitless potential. What's holding us back from living that way? This weekend we study Exodus 3:11-14 and learn why we can boldly say "Challenge Accepted."
What Is Controlling You? You're free to leave it behind! What if you're giving over control to something that has no business having power over you? This weekend step forward into the 2nd week of our "I Quit! (spiritual warfare on a personal level)" series with a study of Luke 22:3-4. It's time to recognize that you are "Not A Hostage."
NO END GAME?
Imagine this: I ask you to help out here at church but give you no information about how long the job will last or even how to know if you are meeting expectations. My goal here is not to describe how some churches recruit volunteers. It is about defining details. This week we begin the Trinity season and our new sermon series "I Quit" (spiritual warfare on a personal level). There is no better place to begin than with the details of what spiritual victory actually looks like as we study Luke 10:17-20. Our theme is one, glorious word: "Victory!"
FORGOTTEN HOLIDAY - Do you have your celebration planned yet and did you invite the relatives? Did you purchase the appropriate flower display to properly represent this next holiday? It is amazing how Christmas and Easter are off the chart holidays on the Christian calendar. Even the world pauses a few moments to "celebrate" these big days. So why does Pentecost, the third major festival of the church year, receive so little attention and celebration? I'm hoping we can change that, even a little bit, this weekend as we study Joel 2:28-32. Our theme is "Baggage Check" (and other blessings of Pentecost).
What did you lose? What did you gain?
What was lost has been restored!
There was a popular song lyric a while back that said, "We were meant to live for so much more, but we lost ourselves." Well, because of Easter, what was lost has been restored. This weekend we wrap up the Easter season by studying Romans 4:25 and taking hold of what "You Were Made To..."
Because this is an expression that has been twisted and misused in recent times, allow me to define it for our purposes. The new normal is: the current state of being after some dramatic change has transpired. The new normal is what replaces what we previously expected. For instance, in high school I had a class to learn how to type on a typewriter. Now we do everything on computers - that is the new normal.
Easter presents us with a new normal for our earthly lives as we dig into our second last lesson of the Easter Epistles series from Romans 6:3-8.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It's not just at New Year's when people resolve to change and start over. It seems whenever there is a new fad, a new diet program, or a new self-help process, people are compelled to change. So how's that working out for you? Maybe you are not one of the millions to start over and over, again. But maybe part of you is, or at least you have considered changing something in your life. What if I told you there is one thing that actually does change your life? I will tell you this weekend as we study 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 and see how Jesus' resurrection compels us to see life from a new perspective of "Not what, but why".
What does a good life look like? God's answer to that question may surprise you. This weekend, as we celebrated Mother's Day & Confirmation, we studied 2 Timothy 1:8-11 and learn to embrace "The UnWasted Life."
There's a life that God created you to live. Sin broke it. But the resurrection restores it. Learn how the resurrection "rejoys" us with this lesson from 1 Peter 1:3-6.
How was your week? Easter was so much fun! But what about Monday? How about the rest of the week? This weekend's lesson, 1 John 3:1-3, frees you to admit that you don't see all the results of Easter just yet but that doesn't mean you shouldn't embrace "The New You."