You need a miracle. We all do. There are situations in our lives and in this world that we have no power to fix. But when you find yourself in the dark because you have no idea what to do, remember how Jesus was revealed "In Miracles."
The miracle of faith gives us our life back! Count your miracles!
When you're surrounded by darkness, it's amazing what light you'll find, when you see how Jesus is revealed "In Baptism."
The more we recognize the Glory of Christ, the more we'll come to realize and appreciate that God's glory is meant to shine in our hearts! We begin the Epiphany season by seeing "Jesus' Glory Revealed in Baptism."
Even when it feels like there's a dark shadow over our lives of faith...
...Jesus is able to bring light "In the Shadow!"
What if what you thought you knew was all wrong? Thankfully God is able to open our eyes to see Jesus clearly, like He did with "The Other Judas."
May we have humble heart to serve when called up, so that Your grace may work through us to be a blessing to others.
Contemporary songs tell us that "all we need is love" - but the truth of God's word tells us that what His children really need is peace! Peace between ourselves and a holy God, through Jesus' perfect life, His punishment on the cross for our sins and His resurrection.
So You Can Face Anything...
...no matter what challenge we face, we have exactly what we need because of "What's left" from Jesus!
1) Jesus lets go into our hands a special gift - peace!
2) Biblical peace is more than just the absence of conflict, it's the restoration of relationship. It means that now nothing is missing!
3) The peace that belongs to Jesus, the relationship and partnership with the Father, is now given to us.
4) Jesus' life didn't look all that peaceful according to the world's standards. But His Father was present throughout, carrying out His plan according to His purpose. That's peace!
5) We often pull back in fear from God. But because of the peace Jesus gives us, we can have calm hearts and step forward in faith no matter what we face!
When we are truly in harmony with what God thinks, when we want what God wants, our lives touch others in the same way as God's love touches each of us.
This Is Refreshing!
Feeling tired and worn? Refreshment is waiting! Jesus makes possible today for you to "revive."
1) Trees are pretty amazing, aren't they? As long as they're planted in soil with the right nutrients, they can thrive in the craziest of conditions. So can we!
2) You might not have noticed, but trees are central to your story.
a. We were meant to eat from the tree of life.
b. Our fundamental problem is that we take from the tree that looks good to us instead of the tree of life.
c. Jesus, by dying on the tree, is the new and greater tree of life.
d. Jesus is the vine, you are the branches and in Him you bear fruit!
3) When you stay in Jesus and His words stay in you, God will give you what you want because now you want what God wants!
4) Slow down. Stay in Jesus and let His words stay in you. You are transformed and God is glorified.
Guest preacher Pastor Clark Schultz shares a message from John 15:9-17. His lesson is not directly from our sanctification series, but fits nicely as an application of our series.
The Power of truth.
God's truth has given us life and changes our lives. Dig into how this works by looking at "Sanctification in the Wide Sense."
- Sanctification in the wide sense includes all that the Holy Spirit does in us.
- Sanctification in the narrow sense focuses in on the fruits of our faith.
- Once we lived in darkness and death. God's truth gave us life and called us into the light.
- God protects us from the evil one, keeping us in the faith by the truth.
- The devil is hard at work today attacking even the notion of absolute truth.
- Everyday we battle our sinful nature and face the difficulty of living in a sinful world. But God's Word has power and gives us life!
When you know the truth, you have a new life!
Study John 17:17 and learn how God gives us "The Real Life."
See the Spectacular Today!
Seeing something spectacular isn't limited to those who lived in Bible times. We get to see it today!
1) When our expectations of what God is doing are misguided, we often end up looking for far less than what God is actually up to!
2) Jesus looked just like a normal guy because He was a normal guy. But He wasn’t just that. He's God Himself!
3) God's plan has always been to showcase Himself through normal people. In this normal looking guy named Jesus, the Divine is on display!
4) When you want to see something special, simply look at Jesus, what He's accomplished for and through you.
5) Your life might not seem all that exciting, but remember, Jesus looks pretty normal!
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.
See What's Really Going On!
Our perspective is often limited if we only see what's on the surface. We begin to see what's really going on and understand what we see when we "Look Deeper."
1) When we think we see the problem, we look for a solution to match. When our focus is off, so is our vision.
2) The special worship practices in the Old Testament were not about the practices themselves. They pointed to God's promise of healing. Jesus is the promise fulfilled.
3) It's hard to look deeper when we're convinced that the main problem is someone else and when our focus is on actions we see.
4) Surface is comfortable. Looking deeper is scary. But when we see the brokenness inside, we're ready to see the healer God provides.
5) When we see Jesus as the healer we need, it's amazing how much more we can see when we look deeper!
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.
What Eyes Are You Using?
A lack of vision can be dangerous, especially when it comes to how we see God, ourselves and our world. Thankfully, we've been given the gift of sight because Jesus gives us "New Eyes."
1) Lack of vision has been a problem ever since Adam and Eve took the fruit that "looked pleasing to the eye" rather than listening to God.
2) It's important to recognize that we live in a world of blindness and blurred vision.
a. Sometimes things that start off with right intentions, become misunderstood and misapplied and can actually blur our vision.
b. Our selfish ambitions can prevent us from seeing what is right in front of us.
3) Instead of talking about all the blindness out there, Christ would have us be honest about ways we've acted blindly.
4) Jesus gave a blind man the ability to see with His physical eyes. But the greatest miracle given to Him was the eyes of faith.
5) We get to leave the blindness behind and see what we know to be true. When we live by the light of Jesus it's then that we can be His lights in the world!
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.
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 and asks the question: "Can suffering be good?"
Message from 8.9.20 in Cottage Grove
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
Freedom is on everyone's minds right now. The Fourth of July is a celebration of our freedom as Americans, but at the same time the current circumstances are making us feel less free than almost any other time in our lives. The tension between our two realities begs the question of how free are we really? The Bible offers special insight into the strange nature of freedom and captivity, and the implications for our lives as we study this Sunday under the theme, "Am I Really Free?" We'll be looking to John 8:36 for the answer.
It's always fun to hear about a time when someone met a celebrity or maybe even knows them personally. Maybe part of why it's so fun is because celebrities can seem larger than life to us, like they almost aren't real people, like they almost don't exist in "real life." If people can feel that way to us, how much more God? This weekend, as we celebrate Father's Day we study John 14:5-9 and ask a life transforming question, "Can I Really Know God?"
Running on an old version?
Is your system outdated?
It can be incredibly frustrating when we're stuck with a computer or mobile device that's running on an old version. It lags & doesn't work right. Could it be possible that some of our frustrations in life come because we've been trying to run on an old version of living? This weekend let's study together John 1:14-18 and learn how Jesus has given us a much needed "UPGRADE."
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.
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.
Fear verses Faith - Our "A Strange Kind of Victory" midweek Lenten series continues with a look at two men who overcame their fear and in doing so, helped set the stage for the greatest moment this world has ever known. Our study of John 19:38-42 shows us how because of the cross, "Faith Wins Over Fear."
How did we do?
Have you noticed that almost every on-line business asks you to rate them as you complete your purchase or use their services? (Maybe churches should start doing this, but then again, I [Pastor Krause] am afraid some of the sermons I,ve preached wouldn,t rate very well). What if you were asked to rate your life? How many stars would last week get? As we near the end of our Christian Character(s) study we come to one of the more challenging characteristics for us as God's children - satisfaction. Are we satisfied with what God has given us? Do we long for more? This week we "take a bite" out of John 6:27 and "snack on" one, simple concept... "Satisfied?"
No holding back. The love God has for you and wants to put on display through you is not partial, half-hearted or incomplete. This weekend we studied John 15:13 and celebrated that the love God has for us is "All In."