God designed us - recreated us through the gift of faith - to be in a helpful relationship with others, to make a difference in their lives. Not for fame or glory, but to show the love of Christ.
When the tension is rising....
...you may be exactly where God wants you to be! Spend some time in Mark 11:4-6 and see how we get to embrace a life of "Them's Fightin' Words."
The next time God puts an opportunity in front of you, don't be afraid. Know you can do it! You can gain some confidence as you are "Wrangling Donkeys."
Messy Family? Join the Club! Your family is probably messy, just like every other family. When once again family is complicated or even painful, you can find comfort in knowing that Jesus has redeemed family because He has made us God's family!
40. Testing. Jesus & You.
This Ash Wednesday we dig into Mark 1:12-13 where we see that we can pass the test because our Savior passed it for us!
What do you think of tests?
We don't usually like tests. But sometimes a test sets us up for a beautiful new beginning. On Ash Wednesday we not only began a new sermon series, but began to see the beauty of how we have a Savior and a faith that is "Tested."
What could taxes possibly teach us about God's relationship with us? Plenty!
What if, when it seems like there's no way to win, there's a new opportunity to see God's glory? Dig into Mark 12:13-17 and see Jesus "Level Up."
Whoa! Flipping over tables and benches... stopping people in their tracks... apparently Jesus was awfully passionate about something happening in the temple! He's just as passionate about what is happening in our world and our lives today. Mark 11:15-18 clues us into how we can see God's glory by asking, "What Would Jesus Undo?"
NOTE: No sermon video from Fort Atkinson this week due to technical difficulties with the recording.
Life's storms - we all have them.
There is no better solution than to place our problems in God's hands and allow Him, in His wisdom and love, to send the kind of rescue we need.
When the Storm Hits...
Sometimes there's a force against you making it nearly impossible to move forward. Sometimes the wind is so strong it feels like you're going to break. But in these moments you can ask, "What does God, in this storm, want me to see?"
Jesus can be offensive... in the best way!
With His words and actions, Jesus can be offensive to us. Through faith, however, we see the beauty of who He is and what He does for us!
"Life is one big awkward situation. The more you embrace it, the better it will be."
Okay, that may just be a goofy life motto that Pastor A lives by. Yet, Mark 6:1-3 can help us see the beauty of embracing the "Warning: Awkward Moment."
As amazing as it would be to see Jesus drive out a demon, what is even more amazing is the mercy that He showed and continues to show us today!
We might feel like we're beyond repair or like we'll never break free, but Jesus came to show us what happens "When Pigs Fly."
As we wrestle every day with being sinners in a sinful world, Jesus comes and says "I have the cure and I want to heal you". But it doesn't start with our legs, it starts with our hearts. He came to forgive all of our sins.
As good as that was... what if there's more?
All those special ways that God comes through for us now are little glimpses of the healing that is to come!
When Jesus teaches, it's absolutely amazing! Pastor Krause takes us to an event recorded in Mark 1:21-28 where everyone is blown away by Jesus as He teaches. This lesson kick-starts our new Epiphany series "Hidden Glory." It may not always be easy to see, but when we're tuned in, we can see the glory of Jesus again and again.
Jesus isn't just any teacher. He's the Key Piece to all the Scriptures. He gives the meaning and purpose to our lives. With that kind of authority comes real power. This lesson launches our new Epiphany series, "Hidden Glory." It might always be that easy to see, but when we're tuned in, we'll see Jesus' glory again and again.
Resurrection Is Real!
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Those are such fun beautiful words. But even when we say those words, does the truth of Easter always sink into to our minds and hearts. This Easter season, may God bend our minds a bit with the truth of Easter!
1) Jesus finished the work of healing His world on Good Friday. He rested on the Sabbath. Easter morning was the time for new life to begin!
2) The empty tomb with an angel sitting in Jesus' spot left the women dumbfounded. But Jesus had prepared them for this moment.
3) We can see and hear what Jesus has done, and yet the truth of the event doesn't sink in.
4) But when we don't go running out to Resurrection, Resurrection came to us!
5) We live in a world where a man really died and then really rose, just like He said. Resurrection happened, is happening and will happen again!
When the Son of God empowered His human body to come back to life it not only changed Him, but it changed us - for eternity! We have a living Savior. What God promises, he delivers!
Overlooked and Underappreciated
In the Passion History and Easter events, the burial of Jesus is often overlooked and underappreciated. But this event is powerful and gives us the boldness to get our hands a little dirty!
1) The God who created the earth was buried in the womb of the earth.
2) When we witness a baptism we actually step into the tomb of Jesus and are connected with the body of Christ
3) In that tomb we find the fullness of God in Christ and Christ is given to us. The dead body lying there of Jesus is a testimony of God's love
4) For Easter to mean anything, that death and burial needed to mean everything.
5) His death gives us courage to praise the God who laid down His life to give us life.
The feeling of failure can be one of the worst feelings in the world. But this weekend, we study Mark 15:33-41; when it looks like failure - it turns out that God is up to something amazingly significant with "ELOI, not Alias!"
Time to Let Go!
When we look at Jesus on the cross we see more than just a dark scene of suffering. We see God giving us every reason to "Let Go" with Him.
1) God doesn't make us do things His way. He will let us go our own way if we choose and will let us experience the consequences that come along with it.
2) The ultimate consequence of our going our own way was let go on Jesus instead of us.
3) Jesus let go of His final breath because He had exhausted the power of sin and paid the debt that we owed.
4) When Jesus let go of His life, everything that separated us from God was let go as well! He is now up close and personal with us!
5) We get to let go of doing things our own way, of thinking we know what we need and how God should work. We get to let go and let God do it His way!
The Center of Our Story
What Jesus accomplished when He was crucified on the cross is at the center of all of history!
1) Jesus took the worst this world has to offer head on.
2) We were created to be in the image of God but sin disassembled us.
3) Jesus took on Himself the undoing of humanity that sin caused.
4) Jesus' greatest act of ruling occurred on that cross.
5) By not saving Himself, He saved us!
More Than Relatable
Our God entered our story. He suffered alongside us and for us. He understands us and rescues us. He is "The People's King."
Picture A Powerful King
If you were to picture a powerful king, you likely wouldn't picture the scene in the lesson we studied this weekend. But after studying Mark 15:16-20, we may begin to see things a bit differently.
A King That Changes How You See Everything!
We all have expectations of how a king should look and what power looks like. But it's amazing how we can begin to see things differently when you "Consider Your King."
1) People expected Jesus to be a political leader who sought power like other kings. As such, when He was handed over to be crucified, they saw a failure.
2) We need to check our expectations of what our King looks like and how His power looks with Jesus Himself.
a. God can work through political nations, but Jesus refused to be a political leader.
b. Jesus did impressive miracles but in the hands of the soldiers it looked like nothing good was happening.
c. Jesus attracted crowds of thousands but then the crowd cheered for His death.
d. Jesus transforms us but His death on the cross took place because we needed Him to save us.
3) The One crowned with thorns is the King of Kings. The One who looked like a failure was winning the greatest victory. This changes how we see everything!
a. No matter what is happening in the world, the Kingdom of God is advancing.
b. No matter what is happening in our lives, God's purpose is prevailing.
c. No matter how impactful we seem to be at the time, God is working through us.
d. No matter how we're doing on the inside, Jesus came to rescue us!
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.