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.
When there's something in our future that we've never experienced before, we can tend to get a bit nervous. If that's true with any unfamiliar experience, it can be especially true with something as different as the return of Jesus. But as we study 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, we find incredible encouragement as we ask the question, "What Will It Be Like?"
Not just someday...
We often talk about what we will experience as Christians "someday." But what we're looking forward to isn't just far off in the distance. It affects how we live today!
1) God's heart for us is that we be sanctified, not just someday but today! Jesus makes us pure and clean so that Holy God lives in us today.
2) At the front lines of the battle between who we are in Christ and who we were before is this question, "Who's in charge? My feelings or me?"
3) When we live by what we feel, we often overstep and contribute to the pain and death in this world.
4) God is the ultimate justice-maker. Jesus endured the justice our sins deserve so we now stand right with God.
5) If we're longing for the day when we live in a pure and holy place with God, why would we go back to impurity now? God's given you His Holy Spirit so you can live the life God has called you to!
It Matters Today!
We're looking forward to eternal life with Jesus. Someday He's going to return. But let's be honest, sometimes all that good stuff can seem really far off. It can be hard to see how it changes the way we live today. So this weekend, as we're nearing the end of the church year and turning our focus towards Jesus' return, we studied 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 by asking the question "What Now?"
We often don't feel good enough. If left to ourselves, we wouldn't be. But God has completely changed everything for us!
1) If we're honest, we don't deserve to be glorified as an incredible people or Christians. None of us are good enough on our own.
2) The devil knows how to tempt each of us. We all have our weaknesses.
3) But God has taken us and is remodeling us, together with all the saints, into the most beautiful temple!
4) The love God has for us is beyond measure!
5) Through faith in Jesus you are now part of the family of God. You are good enough! You are a saint!
If we were to look at God, we know we'd see One who is holy. But what does God see when He looks at us? This weekend we got to see ourselves from God's perspective as we studied Ephesians 3:14-19, as we continue our "Nagging Questions" sermon series.
RISKY - Faith can feel risky. Living your life according to something that you can't see, finding your purpose, significance and hope in something that you can't set your eyes on, can feel dangerous. So this weekend we wrestled with faith as we studied Hebrews 11:6.
When your whole life is built on something that you can't see, it can sure feel risky. But when we explore how faith works we can begin to see why it's worth the risk.
1) Faith is not some power we work in ourselves, it's about who we've been persuaded to believe in.
2) Faith supports what we are expecting to happen. It's the proof that God doesn't need anything I see in order to create something good.
3) God delights in faith because it's through faith that we approach Him and experience the real Him.
4) If what we know about God was based on what we see, then what we believe about God would be limited by what we see.
5) Through faith we experience the God who is greater than what we see, who can make a way when we cannot see a way, who is giving us something better than anything we see in this world.
Think About It!
It's not just what you do and say that matters, God cares about what is going on in your heart and in your mind. When things are moving in the right direction on the inside, it's amazing the difference that can take place on the outside. That's why this weekend we're studying Colossians 3:1-2.
So often what we focus on is not really who we are anymore. It's time to leave behind the old ways and focus on who we really are in Christ!
1) It doesn't take much to see that there's something wrong with the world. But just trying to reduce the evil is only treating the symptom.
2) The events of 2020 have dragged our focus to what's wrong in this world in a pronounced way.
3) When Jesus died everything that dragged us down died there with Him.
4) We've been raised together with Christ. Our resurrection is an accomplished fact.
5) If we are dead to things of this world and our life is now with Christ, why focus on the things of this world? Focus on your life!
Not Just What, But How
Vicious. Whether it's campaign ads, social media posts or even things we say face to face, so often the words we say and hear can be downright cruel. But God gives us a better way.
1) Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. But there are times where we are called to speak up.
2) When we speak up, it's not just about what we say but how we say it. It's not just what comes out of our mouths but out of our hearts.
3) When we speak lovingly to others, we are blessed as well!
4) Thank God He doesn't just speak truth to us, but His love!
5) Imagine how God could be glorified this week if we were to speak His truth in love to those around us!
I'm sure you have heard all the cliches: "you have two ears and one mouth, think before you speak, open mouth and insert foot here", etc. Why are there so many sayings about the words that come out of our mouths?
This weekend we studied a close companion to the nagging question we tackled last weekend, however this week we focused more on how we say something rather than what it is we say as we studied Ephesians 4:15.
Sin, Them, and Me
Dealing with our own sin is challenging enough, but what about when someone I care about sins? Do I say something or do I just mind my own business? This weekend we dug into this challenging "Nagging Question" as we studied Galatians 6:1-2.
Their Sin. Your Opportunity.
Sin isn't fun to talk about and it's challenging to deal with. But when a brother or sister in Christ gets caught up in sin, there's a special opportunity in front of us.
1) We all have the same root issue. We all have the same Savior. Through faith we are now one united family in Christ, empowered by the Spirit to live differently.
2) When a fellow Christian is caught in a sin, it's not time for us to point fingers, but to see someone who is in desperate need.
3) By the power of the Spirit, God would have the church collectively work together to restore what was broken.
4) When working to restore a fellow Christian, we depend completely on Jesus and the Spirit to repair them and to sustain us.
5) We get to carry each other's burdens and in doing so, live out the way of Jesus, the One who carried our burdens to the cross and to the open grave.
Faith is powerful! But it's important to remember where that power comes from! Pastor Abrahamson takes us through a lesson from Matthew 17:19-20 as Jesus answers the question, "How Do I have a Mountain-Moving Faith?"
How's your faith these days? Sometimes our faith can seem big. Other times it seems small. Sometimes our faith feels weak and other times it feels strong. This weekend, we'll dig into what makes for powerful faith by studying Matthew 17:19-20 with the sermon "Just How Small Is My Faith?".
Pastor Klebig leads us through a message of hope in Jeremiah as we can be confident that God DOES have a plan for us as we go through our "Babylons".