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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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?"
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.
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".