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02/23/2020

Jesus appears in glory as the Son of God.

Shortly before he began his journey to Jerusalem to suffer and die, Jesus took three of his disciples to a high mountain and showed them the divine reality that existed within his humble appearance: the Suffering Servant is truly the Son of God. We see this same sight through the eyes of faith as we prepare to follow the Savior to the cross during Lent.

Prayer:

Lord God, before the suffering and death of your one and only Son, you revealed his glory on the holy mountain. Grant that we who bear his cross on earth may behold by faith the light of his heavenly glory and so be changed into his likeness; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

02/20/2020

A gift is only worthwhile if it is used and used in the proper way.  God’s Word is an enormous gift to mankind, yet it doesn’t come without God’s instructions on how to use it!  In this latest episode, Pastors Huebner and Hackmann discuss the Proper Use of the Bible.  Four rules of biblical interpretation are explored and put into practice.   The discussion ends with the need for and purpose of creeds and confessions.    This discussion on Grace Abounds chapter 4 rounds out the introductory chapters on the Word of God!  

02/16/2020

Live a holy life.

How does God want us to live? How do we define “obedience” from God’s point of view? Jesus has the answer.

Prayer:

Lord God, in mercy receive the prayers of your people. Grant them the wisdom to know the things that please you and the grace and power always to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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02/23/2020

Jesus appears in glory as the Son of God.

Shortly before he began his journey to Jerusalem to suffer and die, Jesus took three of his disciples to a high mountain and showed them the divine reality that existed within his humble appearance: the Suffering Servant is truly the Son of God. We see this same sight through the eyes of faith as we prepare to follow the Savior to the cross during Lent.

Prayer:

Lord God, before the suffering and death of your one and only Son, you revealed his glory on the holy mountain. Grant that we who bear his cross on earth may behold by faith the light of his heavenly glory and so be changed into his likeness; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

02/20/2020

A gift is only worthwhile if it is used and used in the proper way.  God’s Word is an enormous gift to mankind, yet it doesn’t come without God’s instructions on how to use it!  In this latest episode, Pastors Huebner and Hackmann discuss the Proper Use of the Bible.  Four rules of biblical interpretation are explored and put into practice.   The discussion ends with the need for and purpose of creeds and confessions.    This discussion on Grace Abounds chapter 4 rounds out the introductory chapters on the Word of God!  

02/16/2020

Live a holy life.

How does God want us to live? How do we define “obedience” from God’s point of view? Jesus has the answer.

Prayer:

Lord God, in mercy receive the prayers of your people. Grant them the wisdom to know the things that please you and the grace and power always to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

02/12/2020

Pastors Hackmann and Huebner sit down to discuss chapter 3 of Grace Abounds and 4 characteristics of  the Bible – that it is Inerrant, efficacious, sufficient, and clear.  Ironically the podcast will be almost none of those things (hopefully still efficacious), because a setting was not properly enabled and the laptop microphone took over again! (Argh!!)   We’ve tried our best to make it the best that we can.  As you listen, you can ponder how much wildly better God is than Pastor Hackmann.   He’ll get it right one of these weeks!  Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for listening!!

02/09/2020

Be salt and light.

How do we live our lives among the people we know and love? Jesus’ answer is critical for the happiness and contentment of others.

Prayer:

Almighty God, you sent your one and only Son as the Word of life for our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Help us believe what the Scriptures proclaim about him and do the things that are pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

02/06/2020

The B-I-B-L-E is the topic of Chapter 2 of Grace Abounds.   Pastors Hackmann and Strong chat about the importance of the Bible and how it is God’s revealing to us who he is, who we are, and how much he loves us.  The doctrine of inspiration is discussed and how it is a guarantee for us that what we have before us in our home Bibles is clearly and truly the Word of God.

02/02/2020

We are blessed as we live humbly with God.

How do we find genuine and lasting happiness and contentment? Jesus’ answers may surprise us.

Prayer:

Almighty and everlasting God, look with mercy on us in all our dangers and needs and stretch out the right hand of your majesty to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

01/29/2020

By nature we ask questions that have supernatural or religious significance.  We yearn to know: Why am I here? Where have I come from? Where has everything around me come from and why does it exist? Where am I going?  What is the point and purpose of life, of joy, of suffering, of death?  What happens after death? Is there a God out there? Am I acocuntable to him?...Religions exist to deal with and provide answers to these questions (page 4).

Why Doctrine?  Why study doctrine?  Why should we read a 560 page book on doctrine and then spend time talking about what we read?  In his Word to us we can know his love for us!

God unveils his existence to us through what we might call "the natural knowledge of God."   In the beauty, complexity and wonder of nature we can know that there is a God.  In the fact that we have a conscience (and that every other has a conscience and it speaks to the same set of moral laws) we can know that there is something higher than us.  And in the coming chapters we see God reveal himself to us in his Word.           

01/29/2020

By nature we ask questions that have supernatural or religious significance.  We yearn to know: Why am I here? Where have I come from? Where has everything around me come from and why does it exist? Where am I going?  What is the point and purpose of life, of joy, of suffering, of death?  What happens after death? Is there a God out there? Am I acocuntable to him?...Religions exist to deal with and provide answers to these questions (page 4).

Why Doctrine?  Why study doctrine?  Why should we read a 560 page book on doctrine and then spend time talking about what we read?  In his Word to us we can know his love for us!

God unveils his existence to us through what we might call "the natural knowledge of God."   In the beauty, complexity and wonder of nature we can know that there is a God.  In the fact that we have a conscience (and that every other has a conscience and it speaks to the same set of moral laws) we can know that there is something higher than us.  And in the coming chapters we see God reveal himself to us in his Word.           

01/26/2020

Jesus is the Light amid the darkness.

The sensations of light and darkness are not as acute in our world as they were in a world which knew only torches and candles. We must imagine night without light. But the darkness of confusion, doubt, and sadness are real enough for us, and we rejoice with the ancients who saw Jesus as the Light of the world.

Sermon on Matthew 4:12-23 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Aaron Strong.

Prayer:

Almighty God, you sent your Son to proclaim your kingdom and to teach with authority. Anoint us with the power of your Spirit that we, too, may bring good news to the afflicted, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to the captive; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.  

01/24/2020

Join us in a reading challenge as we behold the Splendor of Christian Doctrine.  We as a church are beginning a journey through a doctrine book called Grace Abounds and we encourage you to join us on the journey.  We'll see what God's Word says to us and how we can apply those truths to our lives.   Find the reading schedule at:

http://www.gracedowntown.org/media/1881/grace-abounds-reading-plan-january-may.pdf

Or in the 'Learn and Grow' section of this website at the link for "Grace Abounds: Reading Challenge" 

We plan to discuss the weekly topic of the readings and chat about how that topic finds meaning and purpose in our lives today!  It's sure to be a fun journey filled with opportunity for spiritual growth.  We hope and pray that you join us and find benefit.   There's also a Facebook page for discussion and an e-mail list to receive reminders and encouragements about the reading challenge.  You can also e-mail questions that will be answered personally and may make their way anonymously into the podcast recording.   We are all very excited to watch God's Grace Abound in the lives and hearts of our participants.       

01/19/2020

Jesus Is the Lamb of God

In today’s world, spiritual advice comes from a variety of sources. But because the Son of God came as a Lamb of sacrifice for our sins, we look to him alone as the source of every spiritual blessing.

Sermon on Colossians 2:6-15 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Jim Huebner.

Prayer:

Almighty God, you gave your one and only Son to be the light of the world. Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and believed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

01/12/2020

Jesus is the Anointed One

At his baptism Jesus bowed to the will of his heavenly Father and took up the task of freeing the world from the horror of sin.

Sermon on Acts 10:34-38 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Keep us who are baptized into Christ faithful in our calling as your children and make us heirs with him of everlasting life; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

01/05/2020

The Son of God Shows Us the Father

Do you want to know what God is like? Of course! Why else would you gather with fellow Christians for worship? It is our life’s goal to know and understand our God better so that we can appreciate his love for us all the more. To know God, who he is and what he has done for us, look no farther than his Son. The Son reveals the Father to us.

Sermon on Ephesians 1:3-18 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann.

Prayer:  Almighty God, you have filled us with the new light of the Word who became flesh and lived among us. Let the light of our faith shine in all that we do; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.  

12/31/2019

God’s grace in Christ, the Word made flesh to save the world. They also recall his encouragement to plan their lives carefully and wisely for his glory. 

Sermon on Psalm 90 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Phil Huebner.

Prayer:

Eternal Father, before whom all generations rise and fall, teach us to think earnestly on the brevity of our lives and on the immensity of your goodness. Help us to enter the new year trusting in the name of your Son and walking in the way of his peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

12/29/2019

The Lord Preserved His Son to Redeem His People

The promise had been fulfilled! The Savior is born! But Satan was going to do everything possible to derail God's plan and rob us of the gift of God's love. Oh, the depths of the love of the heavenly Father that he countered the devil's wiles and will by preserving his Son to redeem us.

Sermon on Matthew 2:13-23 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Aaron Strong.

12/24/2019

Christ the Savior is Born!

Sermon on Titus 2:11-14 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Aaron Strong.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Word of the Father, when you became flesh and made your home among us, the heavens were glad and the earth rejoiced. In hope and love we await your return. Help us to proclaim your glory to those who do not know you, until the whole earth sings a new song to you and the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

12/22/2019

The King Is Coming: Recognize Who He Is

He asked his followers, “Who do people say I am?” Peter had it right, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” There is no better way to prepare for Christmas in this Advent season that to sharpen our focus on the reason for the season—who the Messiah is and what he came to do.

Sermon on Matthew 1:18-25 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Phil Huebner.

Prayer:

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Take away the burden of our sins and make us ready for the celebration of your birth, that we may receive you in joy and serve you always; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

12/08/2019

The King Is Coming: Repent

John the Baptist urges believers to repent: to turn from sin with tears and to trust God’s promises with joy.

Sermon on Isaiah 11:1-10 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann.

Prayer:

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way for your only Son. By his coming give us strength in our conflicts and shed light on our path through the darkness of this world; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

12/01/2019

The King Is Coming: Rejoice

The First Sunday in Advent marks the beginning of a new church year. As the crowds on Palm Sunday welcomed Jesus as their King and glorified God for sending peace to earth, we welcome the King who came to us at his Incarnation, comes to us in Word and Sacraments, and will come again at his return at the end of time.

Sermon on Matthew 21:1-11 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Jim Huebner.

Prayer: Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Protect us by your strength and save us from the threatening dangers of our sins; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

11/24/2019

Trust That the Lord Is Bringing Final Deliverance

This universe will one day end. What is our attitude toward the coming of The End? Knowing that we will be face to face with God and our eternal destiny, what attitude fills our hearts—fear? dread? anxiety? How about faith! Our worship today focuses on trust that he builds in our hearts as we look to his final deliverance.

Sermon on Revelation 22:6-13 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Daniel Bondow.

Prayer:

Almighty God and Savior, you have set the final day and hour when we shall be delivered from this world of sin and death. Keep us ever watchful for the coming of your Son that we may sit with him and all your holy ones at the marriage feast in heaven; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

11/17/2019

Brace Yourself for the Dreadful Days of the End of Time 

Jesus warns us that the days that precede the end of time will not be easy for believers. Our faith in Christ readies us for these difficult days and gives us confident joy as we look forward to our Savior’s return.

Sermon on Luke 21:5-19 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Aaron Strong.

Prayer:

Lord God Almighty, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by your Holy Spirit that we may always look forward to the end of this present evil age and to the day of your righteous judgment. Keep us steadfast in true and living faith and present us at last holy and blameless before you; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.

11/10/2019

Look Forward to the Best Which is Yet to Come

Faith cares little about the details of life in heaven with God but simply looks forward to the day when all believers will be with the Lord forever.

Sermon on Isaiah 65:17-25 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann.

Prayer:

Living God, your almighty power is made known chiefly in showing mercy and pity. Grant
us the fullness of your grace to lay hold of your promises and live forever in your presence; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

11/04/2019

Rely on Forgiveness in the Name of Jesus.
At the heart of our relationship with God is his pardon and forgiveness to us through Jesus. We have every reason to celebrate that astounding news as the focus for worship today.

Sermon on Romans 5:6-11 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Jim Huebner.

Prayer: Lord God, forgive the wrongdoing of your people and be gentle with us in our weakness. Deliver us from the bondage of our sin and direct us to the path of righteousness; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/28/2019

Rejoice in the Freedom of the Gospel
This is the truth: God forgives our sins for Jesus’ sake. This truth frees us from the impossible burden of trying to gain life with God on our own. In Christ we have freedom to live in joy and love one another.

Sermon on John 8:31-36 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Daniel Bondow.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, our refuge and strength, pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep
them steadfast in your Word, protect and comfort them in all temptations, defend them against all their enemies, and bestow on the Church your saving peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/21/2019

Persist in Seeking God’s Help
How often can I go to God when I need his help? Does he ever tire of hearing me? Jesus teaches us that faith can always approach God and that he never tires of hearing our requests.

Sermon on Luke 18:1-8 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Jim Huebner.

Prayer: God, our refuge and strength, have mercy on your Church as we come in prayer before you.
Answer us not in judgment on our sins, but in peace and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, your
Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/18/2019

Pastors Bondow and Hackmann discuss the first round of chapters as we grow in responding to people who ask: "Where is God when I'm hurting?" and "Why doesn't he answer my prayers?"

We'll be reading Prepared to Answer using this downloadable PDF schedule.

Guitar music by Troy Hergert, "Acoustic G, Getting There"

10/14/2019

Live in Thanks for God’s Grace
What moves us to thankfulness: obligation, propriety, common sense? Thankful living is born in the blessings God bestows on us. We love him because he first loved us.

Sermon on Genesis 8:15-22 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Daniel Bondow.

Prayer: Grant, O merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/07/2019

Act with a servant's heart. “You are not your own, for you are bought with a price.” We live
with Jesus not in a spiritual democracy, but in a benevolent monarchy: Jesus is the loving master, and we are his servants.

Sermon on Luke 17:1-10 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Jim Huebner.

Prayer:

Almighty God, in your bountiful goodness keep us safe from every evil of body and soul. Make us ready, with cheerful hearts, to do whatever pleases you; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/04/2019

This episode crosses state lines as Prof. Mark Paustian from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, provides background and explores the goals of his book, Prepared to Answer. Learn of past connections between Professor Paustian and Pastor Bondow along the way, but most importantly, grow in your confidence to engage others for the sake of sharing the Story with all people.

We'll be reading Prepared to Answer using this downloadable PDF schedule.

Guitar music by Troy Hergert, "Acoustic G, Getting There"