Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sermon for 8/25/13 Hebrews 12

In Isaiah 66 we read that God is recreating the heavens and the earth.
 He is making everything new
 The old will pass away
 All will acknowledge Him.
Does this fill us with confidence? Just what kind of God is he?
 consuming fire
 glory before which none can stand
 too holy to look upon evil
In Luke 13 Jesus tells us that some will be shut out of his kingdom.
 strive to enter
 difficult to gain a position in God’s kingdom
 even the recognition and association we think we have will fail
   but what about all those things I’ve done?
 we may be cast out - beware - salvation is not from our good deeds, our life, our righteousness
We need to bring ourselves to Hebrews 12.
As Jesus told us in Luke - yes, strive to enter by the narrow path.
But . . .
 our hands hang down
 our knees are weak
 our arms are tired
 my brain hurts
 we strive against sin and it wins
 we tried to be better
 we tried to live a joyful life
 we tried to be victorious
 we tried that positive confession
Again and again it has failed us. We try and try only to find ourselves as moralists and legalists. We don’t value what God values, we see his perfection and are confronted by it.
 blazing fire
 a trumpet
 a voice which paralyzes us with fear
 even to approach the mountain of God’s holiness brings death
 terrifying even to Moses.
Do we want to see God in his glory? Lord, deliver us from that.
But we have not come to Mount Sinai. We have come to Mount Zion.
The Law came through Moses, but grace and peace came through Jesus.
 the city of God
 heavenly Jerusalem
 our home
 angels gathered for a festival, not for battle
 assembly of those called by Jesus’ name - those whose names are written in heaven
 God acting as the judge of his enemies, treating us as his dear children
 we find ourselves made perfect
 this perfection through Jesus
    new covenant
    sprinkled blood
Welcome to Zion! We are not in Sinai any more.

 Jesus present for us, bringing us all the life we can ever need.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sermon for 8/18/13 Jeremiah 23

wheat vs. straw
Did you see those bales of corn last summer?
 not worth much
Prophets say all is well
How do we make our plans? What do we trust?
 what Dad or Mom would do
That trusts straw
OK to look back, share visions, reminisce but that isn’t our authority
Hebrews 11 - the authority of the Word of God
Jesus is the true and living Word
There is our power
 grace and truth
Learn God’s power, God’s promises, God’s Word
 Bible study
 God’s hope for the world
We’re walking forward, looking back, relying on the Word.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sermon for 8/11/13 Luke 12

What do we want? What do we care about?
what we will wear
Where will these things get us? What will our concern, our anxiety, gain us?
longer life?
Some manuscripts – greater height?
What does our Lord say about them?
These are small things. They are insignificant.
Seemed pretty significant to me at times!!
What do we treasure? Is that even the right question?
It is, at times.
circle of concern vs. circle of responsibility
What is Jesus' concern in this?
It is the Father's good pleasure to give us - - - the kingdom!
What will we lack?
What will we need?
What of consequence can be taken away from us?
He has purchased us to his life of forgiveness, hope, eternal life.
We are always protected by Jesus' blood and righteousness.
There is no need for fear. Our heavenly Father knows what we need. And he will provide it.

Where's our treasure? What's the Father's pleasure?
No fear
No shame
No guilt
No condemnation
Only the riches of God in Christ.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Funeral Sermon - John 6, 1 Corinthians 13 - in memoriam Don Theesfeld

Our Lord calls his servants to his side. We never know ahead of time how he will provide for them or what he will do through them.
Our brother, Don, who lies here is one of those people who always seemed surprised at how his Savior had worked in him.
Whenever we would talk he always wanted to talk about how the Lord had blessed him.
Life of farming
opportunities for service
ability to love and serve his late wife, Elizabeth, ability to love and serve his wife, Virginia.
Never blessed with children, so he worked to be God's blessing to others, both family and friends
always seemed hungry to hear from God's Word and to receive the Sacrament of communion
This is where life comes from – God's Word.
This is where we find our hope.
This is where we find love – this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son Jesus Christ for us.
This is where we end up living, in 1 Corinthians 13.
Not our love
Not our patience
Not our kindness
Christ's love on our behalf
What will Jesus do through us?
Love our neighbor
Bless those who curse us
Persevere patiently, knowing that our reward is great because our Savior is great
All those earthly things, as we read in 1 Corinthians 13, will pass away.
God's love will endure forever.
We are weak, we wither, we fade away
Might as well give of what the Lord has given us. He has blessed us, we can be a blessing to others.
We love because Christ first loved us.
We give because Jesus has given to us.
We nurture others because Jesus has nurtured us.
How has he nurtured us?
Word and Sacrament.
How do we do the works of God?
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. This is our eternal bread. This is food to life everlasting.
As we lay our brother to rest, we know we can see him again. He has spent many years hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
He has been a partaker of the Word of God, the food to eternal life.
He will rise again, for he knows that his Savior has risen again.
He has seen his Savior face to face. All wondering, all doubting, all fear, all the cares of this world have passed away.
We too can look to our Savior. We too, right here, right now, are partakers of the Word of God. We too do the works of God by hearing and believing the Word of the Lord. We too are nourished to eternal life. And we know that death is not final. It has been overcome in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Jesus is the one who raises the dead. Jesus is the one who gives himself so that we can rise like him.
Don is not alone. Neither are we. We too can rest in the perfect love of Christ, who casts out all fear, who has defeated death on our behalf. Let us then look to him, trusting that he is our great reward, as he is the reward of our brother Don.
Throughout this day, then, as we are led by our brother to the cemetary, as we walk down the path we pursue, let us remember how our Savior went there too. Let us build one another up, reminding each other of the Word of God at work in our brother, reminding one another of the Word of God at work in each one of us. I hope the luncheon will be a place where that building up continues, as we tell stories and share memories. I hope that in the days and weeks to come we will gather around Virginia and the rest of the family and friends, building one another up together in that living hope that we have in Jesus, receiving nurture to eternal life.
That's what our Savior has given us. That's what our brother Don would rejoice in, for he always hungered for the Word of God.
Now may the peace of God which passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sermon for 8/4/13 Luke 12

 Sermon: Where’s the Treasure?

Many kinds of treasure in this world
 business success
 family traditions
Are these idols? Are they false gods? What is a god?
 that which you will sin to get
 that which you will sin if you don’t get
What is our treasure?
 false god?
 true God?
What’s our attitude toward those other treasures?
 very important
 not indispensable
 under God’s sovereign design
 given by God’s gracious hand
 used for His purposes
What passes away then?
 Colossians 3 passage - anger, malice, wrath, obscene talk, slander
 Can we put them away? I guarantee you that when you try to stop being angry you will find more people than ever to provoke anger.
How are these things put away?
 new creation in Christ
 bought back from the kingdom of Satan, the kingdom of death
 translated into Christ’s kingdom
 more than conquerors
 God’s perfect love poured out upon us
 washed in grace
 presented in the image of Jesus
 partakers of his nature - 1 Corinthians 10 - true communion
Seek treasure! Seek true, pure, heavenly treasure! This is what our Savior has given us.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sermon for 7/28/13 Colossians 2

Discipleship - walking along with Jesus - what we need.
How are we doing? How are the Colossians doing?
 called out of the world
 rooted in Christ
 gathered in thanksgiving
Seems it should go well. But . . .
warning - danger zone - look out!

Jesus, not a philosophy
Jesus, not a theory
Jesus, not some sort of empty idea that slips away
But what do we depend upon?
 Heard a local pastor say the church is here to serve families - wrong, that’s a by-product
 Have heard many say the church is a social organization - wrong
 We think we have a good philosophy of religion
 Are we being dangerous by having “worldview through song lyrics” meeting?
    No, because we will see the futility of all pursuits outside of Christ crucified for you and me, sinners.
We don’t depend on human tradition
 What’s up with church tradition then? It all points uniformly toward Jesus. Human tradition points to us. Very different directions.
But we depend on our upbringing
 our intuition
 “Trust the Force, Luke!”
 trust our reason
  trust our street smarts
  trust our diligence, our friends, our college degree, our government

We turn to everything except Jesus. We don’t walk in Christ. We pursue our own interests.
against our teaching
petty, spiteful, impatient, easily angered, distrustful
That’s where our sinful nature pulls us.
That’s the record that we have.
 haters of God
 in love with our own glory
 dead in trespasses and uncircumcision - natural state

What will you do? What will you do?

Nothing. Flee? Despair? Give up? Lash out? Nothing we can do.

What’s the good news?
Nothing we can do - Jesus has done it.
 God made alive with Jesus - we have a friend in the resurrection business
 He buried us in baptism - the power of God to wash us clean from sin, to put the old man to death
 He raised us to newness of life
 He filled us with his spirit
 He circumcised us, cut off the deadness - it hurts
 He took our place in death and led us in life
 He took that record of evil that we had and nailed it to the cross
    How? In his flesh
    He didn’t just declare us not guilty. He became sin for us. He died for us.

What’s the result?
 disarmed this world
 triumphed over this world

Walk in Christ Jesus! Restored, forgiven, built up, established, giving thanks. Lay down the enmity. Lay down the desires to run things ourselves. Lay down the burdens. Be conformed into his image, as you remain his baptized child.