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!
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.
There are some pretty big claims in God's Word - that anything is possible for those who believe and that if we ask anything according to His will, He'll do it. These claims seem so big that sometimes they can be hard to believe. So let's embrace the power of God with a study of Ephesians 3:20-21.
? What Now?
?? Ever have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong? What if one of those days turns into one of those weeks, or months, or even years?
?? Because we live in a sinful world we will always have troubles in this life. But what are we to do when it seems as if we face one crisis after another? This weekend we seek the answer to the next nagging question as presented to us in 1 Corinthians 10:11-13.
"God, What's Going On?" "I Don't Get It!"
Sometimes our world is turned upside down and nothing seems right. Sometimes we can't see how God is doing anything good and can't make any sense of how God works. For those times, we have Job 42:1-6.
Dirty birds. Growing up I [Pastor Krause] was taught that sparrows were "dirty birds". They got that nickname because they don't seem to have any redeeming value and when they finally fly away they leave a mess behind. But God sees the sparrows differently. In fact, this weekend's lesson teaches us they are a measuring device for our own worth. Together we discover our value to God as we plow through Luke 12:4-7 with the theme: "Do I really matter?"
Most of us know by now that Pastor Krause is just a bit hard of hearing (that's why he asks people to repeat things when we are at worship). We can deal with a pastor who is hard of hearing, but what if it seems like God has that same problem? This week we forged on to our next nagging question having to do with God's response to our conversations with Him.
Message from 8.16.20 in Fort Atkinson.
Ouch! When life is good and all goes as we want, do we question God? Usually we don't. Often, it is not until we find ourselves struggling, even suffering, that we wonder if God is doing His job? This weekend we looked at the opening verses of John chapter 11 to see if we can find any good in our moments of suffering. Pastor Krause asks the question: "If God Is Good, Then Why Do We Suffer?"
Message from 8.9.20 in Fort Atkinson
When we're reminded of just how big the world is, we can start to feel pretty small. That's why this weekend we'll study Psalm 8:3-6 and ask a pretty important question...
..."Does God Care About...?"
Message from 8.2.20 in Cottage Grove
Feel Like Giving Up? Sometimes we feel like giving up, like there's no hope for improvement. For every one of those times, we have the message of Jeremiah 32:27 that we'll be studying this weekend.
Message from 7.26.20 in Cottage Grove
Butterfly Effect: You're probably familiar with this theory... a butterfly flaps its wings in some faraway land and it has an effect on the other side of the world. The same is true in a spiritual sense. As a Christian what you do today has an effect on others. You may not see it and you may not know exactly how, but the Bible teaches us it does. This truth helps to get us ready for our lesson this weekend and the next nagging question we tackle: "Can I Really Make a Difference". We study 1 Peter 2:10-11 for the answer.
Is something missing?
You know that moment...uncertainty, indecision, the uneasy feeling of not knowing for sure what to do. Life can be that way sometimes. Because of sin we often struggle to understand what He is doing in our lives at that very moment.
God created every single one of us for a reason and with purpose, even though God does not dictate exactly what we are supposed to do every moment of the day. This week's lesson is Ecclesiastes 12:13 and answers that nagging question "what's my purpose," and it offers application for every moment of our lives.
No one likes to deal with the delay or inconveniences of repairs or reconstruction projects. At times it can be frustrating. But the most important reconstruction project that affects our lives is the one going on inside of us - in our hearts. As we celebrate the festival of Pentecost, we consider the most important repair God is doing in our lives as we study Psalm 51:10. King David's prayer is also our prayer to "Have a Heart".
Did you know that the average thunderstorm in Wisconsin lasts approximately 90 minutes? So what? Well, we tend to think in terms of "forever" when we are in the middle of a storm and have little appreciation for its benefits until the storm passes. I [Pastor Krause] keep hearing all kinds of promises made by various leaders and businesses that soon things will be back to normal, that this will pass. Truth is, only God knows for sure. And only God can make the kind of promise we study this weekend as we look at James 1:12 with the theme "Better Days Ahead".
I've [Pastor Krause] been reading about people getting a lot done during the virus quarantine: home projects or learning a new language. But I've also read some pretty humorous things too: getting caught having a Zoom meeting without pants and stores refusing to let people return thousands of rolls of toilet paper they obviously didn't need. What if I told you that your greatest quarantine accomplishment could be embracing the gift God wants to give you: learning to suffer well while trusting God's plans? That's our lesson this week as we study 1 Peter 1:18-21 with the theme "For You."
So, how are you spending your days during the quarantine? We miss normal life, but don't worry because something better is on its way. And I'm not just talking about normal life. I'm talking about the next lesson of our Easter sermon season "Something Better". We will study Hebrews 11:35 as the author tells us about a "Better Resurrection".
Good Friday really is a Good day! We journey with Jesus to the cross where we see Jesus win our freedom by being "Sacrificed."
As we enter Holy Week, we begin a series of days where we see in action God’s love for us. This is the love we trust in and celebrate with our words!
As we continue our "Ouch - the 7 Deadly Stings of Sin" midweek Lenten series we ask a very important question, Who Is Jesus? as we see that He was "Condemned."
We continue our "JUST in Time" series with a study of Romans 5:8-11. "Are We Good?"
"Scorned" is the 4th lesson in the Lenten Mid-Week sermon series "OUCH - 7 Deadly stings of sin" in which we focus on seven different Old Testament passages and prophecies telling the world what God's own Son would suffer to pay for sin.
What Time Do You See?
See the Season You You're
There are some events that change the way the world looks. There are some experiences that make you see something different. We may very well be living in one of those times now with the concern over COVID-19/coronavirus. But however the current concerns may or may not change the way you see the world, there is a far greater event that can change the way you see the world and make you see something different. This weekend we studied Romans 5:6 and learned about the special gift of how we get to "See the Time."
It is an epidemic!
Lately a lot of our Abiding Shepherd family has either been fighting illness or have had surgery of one kind or another. Fortunately, no one has contracted the coronavirus (nor have we begun to panic as if God were not in control). But we all are part of another epidemic known to us as sin.
This weekend we tackle the next lesson in our "JUST in Time" Sunday Lenten series. We dissect Romans 4:25 and see one of the laws of nature at work: "Equal and Opposite".
In this sermon we consider the love our Savior has for us that moved Him to choose to be "Forsaken" for us. This is the 2nd installment in our "7 Deadly Stings of Sin" midweek Lenten series.
The other day I [Pastor Krause] pulled the last can of soda out of the fridge. I went to the pantry to find some more to restock the fridge, but couldn't find any. I mentioned this to my wife who immediately found three six packs in the very place I had just looked. What's that about? Sometimes we can be looking right at something and still not see it. Not a big deal when it comes to soda, but very dangerous when it comes to our faith. This week we study our final Epiphany lesson and it is part of the Transfiguration account. We take a deep dive into Luke 9:29 and ask one thing of God - "Lord, Open My Eyes!"
I didn't know that, did you?
I recently ran across a website explaining the use for many everyday objects I did not realize. Without someone telling or showing you, there are certain design features we may overlook or never fully appreciate.
Our lives can be like this - certain design elements God wisely gave us that we have never fully realized. Our good works, our outward lives as Christians is one of these areas. This weekend we study the second part to Matthew's epiphany lessons to "LIGHT-en our load". The lesson is Matthew 5:14-16 and our focus will be: "Designed to Shine".
Can you see it?
With all our modern technology so many skills of the past are being lost. As an example, when we want a picture of something we pull out our smart phones and just snap away.
Lost is the fine are of focusing. In times past good pictures required the skill of understanding your camera, how it operated, and what exactly was need to get the best results. Could the same be true of our faith, both in the skills that are lost over time and the necessary steps to get the best results? Let's find out this weekend as we study Matthew 4:12-17. Our theme is "Focus".
Don't you just love those moments in time when everything finally comes together and you just get it? What about such moments when God connects all the dots and something we have been wrestling with, something we have been trying to get our heads around, suddenly the Holy Spirit shows us the light?
This weekend we began our Epiphany sermon series: "Light-en Your Load". Our first lesson is from John 1:1-14 and God shows us how just one day can make all the difference in our lives and in this world.
Sad Tears or Happy Tears? Maybe both!
Could These Sad Tears Also Be Happy Tears? Sometimes tears are from sadness. Other times they are from joy. But our God knows how to take sad tears and turn them into tears of joy.
Looking at the spirit of Christmas - past, present and future. A Christmas Day message from Pastor Krause