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10/18/2020

The Church honors governing authorities.

Wisdom from God helps us to see the relationship between the Church and the government and the respect we owe to all who govern.

Prayer:

O Lord, our God, govern the nations on earth and direct the affairs of this world so that your Church may worship you in peace and joy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/16/2020

God gives us government as a gift and as his servant.  Even when we can’t see it so clearly, God is working his plans and purposes for us and for all people through government.  Church and state have different tools, different roles, and different goals.  We would do well to keep these differences in mind. When we expect the government to accomplish what the Church has been called to do or vice versa, we will be left disappointed.  Whether we have a government that is good, fair and equitable to us or not, we can rejoice that God is in control.  Christ is King of both kingdoms and nothing can take from him his throne in either realm.  Join us for a discussion on chapters 3-4 or Civil Government.   

10/11/2020

The Church is composed of those who believe the Gospel.

The Church is not made up of the good and the great, but only of those who
put their faith in Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

Prayer:

Almighty God, you invite us to trust in you for our salvation. Deal with us not in the severity of your judgment but by the greatness of your mercy; 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"

09/30/2019

"10 for 10"

People will invariably give beneath their ability when they fail to put the Bible’s teaching on firstfruits and proportionate giving into practice. Others give at their ability. This happens when people, confident in God’s blessing, prayerfully and thoughtfully practice firstfruits and proportional giving. Finally, one can even give beyond their ability. That’s the case when God’s people step out in faith and give in a way that, humanly speaking, doesn’t add up.

Scripture tells us of people who, even in their poverty, opened up their hands and gave beyond their ability. They gave from the overflow of their hearts. How could they do this? They simply trusted in God’s unlimited ability to care for them.

These biblical accounts of heartfelt giving are another one of God’s blessings to us. May we hear them, be inspired by them, and—as God gives us opportunity—make them our own story!

Sermon on Mark 12:41-44 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Aaron Strong.

Prayer:

Gracious God, all that I have comes from you: my body and mind, my strength and intelligence, my time and abilities, my energy and possessions. Guard me from the temptation to use these gifts only for my personal benefit. Make me willing to use them joyfully in service to you and to your people. Amen.

09/27/2019

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!

09/23/2019

"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.

Prayer:

Dear Father, you have given me so much more than I can ever return to you. Give me the wisdom I need to respond to your love thoughtfully. Strengthen my will to thankfully dedicate all that I am and have to your glory. I ask this in the name of the One who lived and died for me, Jesus Christ, your Son, my Lord. Amen.