This is ... Most Certainly True!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One final bit of wisdom before we close out our Bible Reading Challenge year...the book of Job aims to take down every last resistance to faith and a living love for God, resistance that often comes when we suffer and "need" answers. How to respond to suffering? How to speak to others when they are crying out? This book serves as a powerful statement to let God be God and go long in his love.
Next up: At Grace we'll be using two books for our spiritual growth, Prepared to Answer by Prof. Mark Paustian and Grace Abounds by Prof. em. Daniel Deutschlander. Check out www.gracedowntown.org and the "Learn and Grow" section for PDF schedules, Bible classes and more podcasts!
"10 for 10"
This weekend, the Lord will open our minds to consider the magnitude of his blessings. Each of us has been blessed in different ways and at various levels. What should our thoughtful, prayerful response be to these blessings? That’s where the Bible’s teaching about proportionate giving is such a help. For some families with fewer resources, the practice of giving 10% of their income might be a significant leap of faith. For other families with more resources, the practice of giving 10% may be a starting point for faith-filled giving.
St. Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Christians are blessed as they put God’s principles of proportionate giving into practice!
Sermon on Matthew 25:14-30 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Daniel Bondow.
Don't be afraid - both of the book of Revelation, but also because of its core message. Through terrifying sights and terrific sounds, incredible imagery and poetry in song, Revelation is a masterpiece of apocalyptic literature in which Jesus triumphantly shouts - "Hang in there, I've got this!" We discuss some helpful ways to outline and interpret this special book of Scripture that its purpose might not be lost on us and we be left in despair because of the threats of the world around us. Ultimately, we are not abandoned, but hear the reassuring promise of our Lord, "Yes, I am coming soon."
"10 for 10"
Today we begin a three-week stewardship emphasis to lead us toward giving ten percent of our income for ten weeks. The word stewardship is often regarded as a dirty word—a gimmick to get people to dig deeper and “give ’til it hurts.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Instead, stewardship is a precious word that sums up the Christian life. It encourages us to be who we truly are in Christ: Precious people who have been richly blessed by a Father who knows how to give good gifts to his children!
Sermon on Haggai 1:1-11 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann.
O Lord, giver of life and source of all love, we know that all we have received comes from your gracious hand. Help us to always use your gifts wisely and teach us to share them generously. Send your Holy Spirit to work through us, that many more might come to know the saving riches of your Son. May our faithful stewardship bear witness to the love of your Son in our hearts, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Keep Christ Jesus as Life’s Highest Priority. The Christian life is all about setting priorities. Faith asks: what is most important in my walk with God? Faith answers: To make God and his message the highest priority of life.
Sermon on Luke 14:25-35, preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann.
O merciful Lord, you did not spare your only Son but delivered him up for us all. Grant us courage and strength to take up the cross and follow him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
At the right place and the right time, God used a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes to lead a remnant of his people back into his grace. We get to relive this wonderful history and breathtaking book where persecution is met with perseverance and tired, weak arms find their strength in the Lord and his faithfulness. Nehemiah may be the name of the book, but the ultimate goal of this story shows a different main Character and praises the Lord of full and free grace to sinners. With such a Savior, we delight to see the storied examples of joyful worship, selfless service and undying courage in the pages of this book. The Lord encourage us all to imitate their fruits of faith as blesses the work of our hands and fuels us with his faithful love.
Seek the way of humility. Arrogance is a cancer that eats away at our relationship with God and our friends and neighbors. Faith grasps the danger of arrogance and strives to live in humility.
Sermon on James 2:1-13, preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor James Huebner.
O Lord of grace and mercy, teach us by your Holy Spirit to follow the example of your Son in true humility, that we may withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds avoid ungodly pride; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The Door to Heaven Is Narrow. Who will enter the gate that leads to eternal life with God? Jesus’ followers believe that only faith in their Savior will enable them to enter heaven. They also understand that many will be surprised and horrified at the end of time.
Sermon on Luke 13:22-30 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Aaron Strong.
Almighty and everlasting God, give us an increase of faith, hope, and love; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
...Grace Bible Study Days! What a thrill! These congregational growth nights of August mark a special time of year for our faith family. Listen in for a recap of the sessions offered, and to hear about some of the great blessings that come from an evening together in the Word in such a format. If you didn't make it this year, see you next August!
History-lovers, look no further: it's time to read the book of Daniel. God certainly equipped his people with foresight through the specific prophecies given to Daniel. The point is clear - hard days are ahead, but the Lord's eternal kingdom endures and an eternal inheritance is ours through his Anointed One. After some chit-chat, we're ready to soak in the bold comfort of God's presence in our world for his purpose of saving us all. We'll cover some context and the outline for this great book with the goal of growing in our Savior's love and the peace he alone gives in the midst of spiritual danger and turmoil.
Start Music: "The B-I-B-L-E," performed by Elsie B. (age 3) and Kevin B. (age 3+).
End Music: "Jesus Loves Me"