Posts Categorized: Sermons
“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?
“In the Beginning” – Pastor Jim Glesne
Genesis 1:1-2 / Revelation 21:1-5
Look back at God’s providence over your life.
God is a God of new beginnings.
The Lord will do a new thing.
1. What would be consider “new beginnings” in your life?
2. What role have other people and/or the church made in your life?
3. Read Philippians 3:6b. What is Paul saying about himself, and perhaps us?
4. How does God’s faithfulness offer us a new beginning no matter where we find ourselves?
5. Read Lamentations 3:22-23. What does that say to you?
6. What does Isaiah 43:18-19 remind us of?
“Blessed in the Ordinary” – Matthew 5:1-12 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Like a good rabbi, Jesus did most of his important and official teaching sitting down.
In these words, Jesus takes life situations we normally would like to avoid and unlocks their treasure.
Jesus offers true joy
God’s grace is revealed most powerfully because of pain and through pain.
In our pain, we re-discover God’s power to comfort and heal and the value of loving friends.
Nobody is lucky all the time.
Nothing can break the beatitudes but our lives will break when we live contrary to their spirit.
1. How do the beatitudes help you understand the saying, “you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you”?
2. How have you found yourself believing that you “are not blessed” when these things have happened to you?
3. How radically do these words from Jesus contradict the normal thought pattern of most unbelievers?
4. How would embracing the truth behind all 8 of these beatitudes transform your thinking and behavior?
5. What are some of the examples of Jesus “practicing what he preached” with regard to these teachings?
6. Which beatitudes are you best at? Worst at?
7. What are some of the ways you’ve become aware of the blessings described by Jesus?
“Let Go and Let God” – Matthew 4:18-23 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Faith or foolishness
The call of Jesus is short on details and long on uncertainty.
Your fear will tell you what you are afraid of leaving behind and taking a leap of faith.
When Jesus calls
Jesus drew people to Him because His words and actions promised a better life.
Jesus has the ability to see our true talent and transforms us with a higher calling.
God uses our past
Jesus knew that fishermen would be used to frustration, hard work, setbacks and obstacles.
You already know enough to rise up and follow.
- If you had been one of those early fishermen who were invited to follow Jesus what would you have done?
- What are some of the factors that might have enabled them to make such a major decision so quick?
- Spiritually, are you:
- Still tending the nets
- Leaving the boat
- Following hard after Jesus
- Feeling left behind
- How do you feel when you compare their decisions and behavior to your own relationship with Jesus and his desires for you?
- If the disciples would have known all that was going to happen, do you think they would have still followed so quickly?
- Where do you see signs of a miracle in this story?
- How does this story help you see God’s miraculous work in your life?
“That Life-Changing Moment” – Pastor Glesne
John 1:35-42; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
“If you will change the way you are looking at things – the things you are looking at will change.”
Thoughts and Questions:
If you get to where you’re going, will you be where you want to be?
If you find what you are looking for, what else will you need to make you happy?
God uses relationships to build a relationship.
1. Jesus invites
2. Jesus insures freedom and honors uniqueness
3. Jesus involves
“Something in the Water” – Matthew 3:13-17
Our bondage to sin is far worse that the bondage in Egypt.
Our baptism is not so much a ritual as it is a re-enactment of the Red Sea experience.
Life as it should be
The cleansing power of baptism does wonders for hearts and souls.
Assurance of our acceptance and identity free us to truly live.
Baptism is an “uh oh” event
Our baptism is loaded with responsibility and calls for a life-time commitment.
Never underestimate the power of repentance and baptism.
1. What do you know about your baptism? What does this tell you about how important it was to your family? To you?
2. How much of what Jesus heard at His baptism applies to you? How has this impacted your life?
3. Who has been a “John the Baptist” to you? With what effect?
4. During difficult time s in his life, Martin Luther would remind himself that he had been baptized. Why was this important?
5. The Great Commission ties baptism to teaching all that Jesus commanded. Why is this important? What happens when the full teaching is neglected?
6. How have you experienced God’s power through your baptism?
7. Whose baptism are you praying for on a regular basis?
“Seeing the Big Picture” – Matthew 2:13-23 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
The exile of baby Jesus reminds us of the dual threats of evil and ego.
Trust and obedience are once again highlighted by the holy family’s behavior.
An Awesome God
This story clearly reveals both the awesome power of God and God’s personal compassion.
God’s nature and will are not found by looking at our personal discomfort but are revealed in God’s faithfulness.
Getting on with life
The wisest and safest way live is under the shelter of God’s purposes.
As you face the problems of the New Year, make sure you also focus on God’s promises.
1. Where do you see similarities between your life and these experiences of Mary and Joseph?
2. What are some of the reasons why Mary and Joseph would have been tempted to doubt God rather than remain trusting and obedient? What can you learn from their experience?
3. How does this story change our perspective about thinking “bad things” shouldn’t happen to “good people?
4. When you look back at your life, when/how have you been the victim of evil/ego? How might the evil and ego been your own doing?
5. When/how can you now see that God was doing some amazing things during some of the most difficult times your past? How does the passage of time make that perspective easier to see?
6. How does this story help prepare you for the uncertainties of the coming year?