Posts Categorized: Sermons
“Live Before You Die” – John 12:12-19 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Remember you don’t know what you don’t know
Jesus’ life and teachings challenge us to boldly live our faith.
Many Christians never find them themselves in a moral dilemma because they have watered down Christ’s claims on their lives.
In the name of the Lord
Trust Jesus and be suspicious of large crowds.
Remember a horrible week in the life of the disciples became a Holy Week for us.
Jesus is Lord
Eternal glory begins when knees bow and tongues confess.
Make sure you’re a follower of Jesus and not just a fan and be prepared to shout.
1. What were some of the things the crowd in Jerusalem might have expected when Jesus rode into Jerusalem?
2. How did His riding on a donkey send a different message than had He ridden on a white horse?
3. What kind of kingdom were the people of His day expecting Him to bring? How did their wishes differ from Jesus’ intent?
4. What role do you think their “unmet expectations” played in some people from this crowd changing their chants to “crucify Him” before the week was over?
5. Think of how Jesus has ridden into your life. What are some of the unexpected times and ways He has shown up in your life?
6. As you reflect on some of your “key life decisions” what are some ways you either blended in with the crowd or boldly confessed Jesus as Lord?
7. When was the last time anyone could have accused you of “shouting” your praises of Jesus?
SERMON SERIES: DEATH COULD NOT HOLD HIM
“LAZARUS IS (NOT) DEAD” – JOHN 11:1-44 – PASTOR JIM GLESNE
Jesus wept with those He loved, and He still does
Jesus raised people up, and He still does
Jesus includes other people in the Healing process.
The Rest of the Story ………John 11:45-53
1. When Jesus receives word of Lazarus’ illness, what does He tell His disciples? See John 11:3-4
2. How does John describe Jesus’ feeling toward Lazarus? What does Jesus do when He learns that Lazarus is seriously ill?
3. This is a story about God’s restorative power. Loss of a job or loved one. Feeling trapped in life. Endless deep despairs. What experiences have you had with God’s restorative power?
4. What does Ezekiel 37: 1-14 add to your understanding of the passage from John, belief in God’s powers or thoughts about God’s intentions for humanity?
5. What kinds of situations do people face which might cause them such despair that they feel like dried, dead bones?
6. Count how many times belief or believe is used in the passage. What do you think those words mean? What do you think lies beyond belief?
7. If someone were to ask, “What did you learn today?” how would you reply?
8. How do you think life was different for Lazarus after this experience? Were his priorities the same as before? Did he work less and spend more time with his family and friends? Can you imagine what his new life was like, and then apply it to our own lives as resurrected people through our baptismal births?
9. How would you explain to a non-believer or new believer what it means to Christians that Christ raised Lazarus?
“Promotion” – Matthew 25:21, 28-29 & Luke 10:30-37 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Without a warning
Our baptism includes blessings and a willingness to be called into “active duty.”
Don’t be surprised if your Godly promotion looks like a problem.
Luke 10:36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
A true double cross
The first Good Samaritan was Jesus and we are the wounded traveler.
We have life and hope not because of Jesus ‘generosity but because of His sacrifice
I John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Whatever it takes
When you “see it,” you “own it.”
Nothing great is ever accomplished without taking risk.
Luke 10:37 “The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
1. When have you been a recipient of the care and commitment of a “Good Samaritan?”
2. How is the summary of the Good Samaritan a good summary of what God did for us in life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
3. What have been some of your experiences of being a “Good Samaritan” to others?
4. What role do you think guilt plays in people’s decision to “pass by on the other side?” How effective do think that approach is?
5. Why did Jesus go to such great lengths to broaden the understanding of “neighbor?”
6. What are some of the risks of being a “Good Samaritan?”
7. How would you feel about defining “playing it safe” as unfaithfulness?
“Well done, good and faithful servant!”- Matthew 25:19-23
Avoid the “big two”
If you understand ownership, you’ll know you are to be a contributor and not a consumer.
If you understand accountability, you will prioritize your investments and how you measure them.
Hebrew 11:6 “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Know God- Know Peace/No God- No Peace
We give because God first gave to us!
Only massive doses of God’s love will help us overcome our self-doubt and self-pity.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
What does this mean?
Remember God has the right to take away anything in your life you don’t use for Him.
Exercise your faith regularly, exercise helps faith grow!
Hebrews 13:21 “God will equip you with all you need for doing God’s will.”
1. How would the world be different if everyone believed God created and “still owns” everything?
2. When/how are you tempted to doubt that everything you have are belongs to God?
3. Why/how would believing that God created and owns everything take most of the stress/worry/anxiety out of your life?
4. Which would God prefer- that you seek to serve and obey Him and fail or play it safe and succeed? Which do you find yourself doing most often?
5. How do you see the “use it or lose it” principle play out in your life?
6. How do you usually handle self-doubt, self-pity and self-consciousness? How can this parable help you with any or all of these concerns?
7. How can you ensure that you are more concerned about God’s affirmation than praise from other sources?
“Remember the Saints” – Matthew 17:1-8 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Saints are different
Most problems are old solutions that have outlived their usefulness.
Saints help us break the bondage of the past and give us a vision for the future.
What God does
God uses saints to provide security and strategy for our lives.
God uses saints to protect us from the full impact of life’s plagues.
Learn these lessons
Remember the temptation during trying times will be to go backward.
You can’t journey outwardly until you have journeyed inwardly.
1. What are some of the things Jesus had in common with Moses and Elijah?
2. What are some of the things Jesus could learn from Moses and Elijah?
3. What are some things you could learn from Moses and Elijah?
4. What are some of the season in your life when you had to make significant changes because you found yourself “in bondage?”
5. Who have been the saints that God has sent into your life when you were struggling?
6. What are some of your attitudes and actions that are no longer “life-giving?”
7. What are some of the ways you could be “Moses and Elijah” to others?
“Trained & Equipped” – Matthew 7:24-29 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Faith is a four letter word
It was a lot easier to get the Israelites out of Egypt than it was to get Egypt out of the Israelites.
God is always in the process of building lives based on faith and not worry.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Godly change is good
A journey with Jesus will change how you think and how you act.
Jesus says that the person who worries needs to change, not the things we worry about.
Matthew 7:28-29 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Just walk with Jesus
Develop a rhythm to your life centered on the idea that God calls and you are to respond.
Don’t forget life’s warning label, do not attempt this by yourself.
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
1. How is being a disciple of Jesus like being an Israelite on their way from the Egypt to the Promised Land?
2. As you look back at events/experiences in your life, can you see some of the ways God has been trying to train and equip you for both serving Him and enjoying His Kingdom?
3. Why are we often better able to learn and grow when we are forced out of our comfort zones?
4. What were some of the most important lessons you learned between the ages of 20 and 30?
5. In what ways are Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) and the giving of the 10 commandments (Exodus chapter 20) similar?
“Signs and Wonders” – Luke 2:40-52 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Our lives are powerfully influenced by our early experiences and decisions.
Even Jesus had to face the challenge of living up to his identity or down to others expectations.
Important time with God
God can certainly use signs and wonders but God also uses very ordinary experiences to transform lives.
Our lives are blessed when we value the contributions of all ages.
Now is a great time to make peace with your past and re-dedicate yourself to the season you’re in.
Plan to faithfully navigate the three key seasons of life- learners, doers and mentors.
1. What were some of your defining moments between the ages of 10 and 20?
2. What choices that you made in this 10 year span most please you? Most haunt you?
3. How well do you think you lived into the gifts, hopes and dreams God placed in you before you were born?
4. What were the experiences and who were the people who encouraged or discouraged you from becoming the person God created you to be?
5. In what ways can you use your experiences of your first 20 years to bless the lives of those of people who are currently that age?
6. Why is it so important for you to be intentional about doing that and how important is a plan and some accountability?