Posts Categorized: Sermons

“Words of Comfort” 5.28.17 – Pastor Jim Hale

“Words of Comfort” – John 14:1-11 – Pastor Jim Hale

When it comes to talking about religion, it is increasingly difficult to talk to folks about absolutes.

There are similarities in many of the world’s religions.

We cannot confuse that, because there are similarities between religions, all religions are essentially the same.

Truth matters!

Truth is not relative to my sincerity.

Truth is not relative to my feelings.

“All the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

“For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” (John 18:37)

“And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me.” (John 14:3)

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

“Then, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

“Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8)

 

 

“A Very Important Goodbye” 5.21.17 – Pastor Jim Hale

“A Very Important Goodbye” – Acts 1:1-11 – Pastor Jim Hale

Jesus’ Goodbye:

1) Jesus reviewed the mission that He was sent by God to accomplish.

“After His suffering, Jesus showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God.” – Acts 1:3

2) Jesus kept in touch by sending them the Holy Spirit.

The word “goodbye” is a contraction of the Old English, “God be with ye.”

3) Jesus’ goodbye included plans to get back together!

“Why do you stand looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:11

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am.” – John 14: 2-3

“We have a reservation!!

Now what? What does this mean for my Monday morning and for my week?

“You will receive power when God’s Spirit comes on you. And, you will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for, so that we can see exactly what He is calling, us to do!” – Ephesians 1:17-18 (MSG)

“Jesus Reinstates Peter” 5.14.17 – Pastor Kassebaum

“Jesus Reinstates Peter” – John 21:15-19 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum

The third time is charm

There is a huge difference between love confessed and love expressed.

Peter serves as role model for understanding the nature of forgiveness and restoration.

John 21:15

A change of heart 

We are different people when we realize we have been loved sacrificially.

Forgiveness leads to restoration and restoration leads to a call- to follow!

John 21:16

Practice makes permanent

Be gentle with yourself!

Give away the precious gift of time!

1 John 3:16

Study Questions:

1. What are some of the reasons this story belongs in the Bible?

2. What are some of the reasons Jesus asked Peter the same question three times?

3. If you had been Peter, how would you have felt by the time you had answered the third question?

4. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “feed my sheep”?

5. What valuable lesson(s) can you learn from Peter’s story about the connection between failure and taking on new responsibility?

6. How have you recognized helping you overcome failure/disappointment in your life?

7. What rituals help you reinforce Christ-like attitudes and behaviors?

 

“Heart-Warming Faith” 4.30.17 – Pastor Glesne

“Heart-Warming Faith” – Luke 24:14-35/1 Peter 1:17-23 – Pastor Glesne

The Walk

Jesus enters the pain and disappointment of His people.

God actively seeks people.

We are blessed when we recognize that God is with us.

What we learn from Cleopus and his friend:

1)  Christ Jesus walks with them

2) Christ Jesus talks with them

3) Christ Jesus opens the scripture to them

4) Christ Jesus breaks bread with them

5) Christ Jesus sends them back to the fellowship

 

Study Questions:

1. If you had been one of Jesus’ followers nearly two thousand years ago, how would you have reacted to His death on the cross?

2. Based on the apostles’ reaction, what can we conclude about what they had believed about Jesus’ death?

3. Why do you think they not recognize Him at first?

4. Try to think of a time when you were struggling to understand something and, suddenly, the “lights came on” and everything became perfectly clear.   What happened to make the difference?

5. In the final verses, how do the disciples come to recognize Jesus?  What part did the Scriptures play in their coming to recognize Him (verses 27 and 32)?

6. Jesus referred to passages throughout all the Scriptures that were about Him. What are some of these passages that he might have referred to? (Note: There are many such passages; you might want to read some verses such as Genesis 3:15; Numbers 21:6-9 [with John 3:14-15]; Deuteronomy 18:15; Psalms 22; 16:8-11; 118:22-23; Isaiah 11:1-7; 53:1-6; 61:1 [with Luke 4:18-22]; Daniel 7:13-14 [with Matthew 26:64].)

7. How did the Resurrection give the disciples hope?

8. Why is the Resurrection central to the Christian faith?  How does the truth  about the Resurrection impact you?

9. What do you think it means that their hearts “burned within them” when Jesus opened the Scriptures to them (verse 32)? Have you ever experienced this as you engaged the Scriptures?

10. What difference does it make that Jesus is alive today?

EASTER SUNDAY: “Time to Believe and Live Again!” 4.16.17 – Pastor Kassebaum

“Time to Believe and Live Again!” – John 20:1-18 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum

Everything has changed

Easter invites us to trade our concept of real life to resurrection life.

The miracle of the resurrection challenges us to change our plans and our identities.

John 20:1-2

Denial is not an option

It’s hard to ignore an earthquake, angels and an empty tomb.

Listen as Jesus offers us important commands and assurances.

John 20:17

No going back

You now live in a world where resurrection is a reality and where Jesus lives forever.

“Stop fearing ‘and “go and tell what you’ve seen, heard and believe!”

John 20:18

Study Questions:

1. Have you ever known anyone who doesn’t believe men have walked on the moon (or something similar)? Why is it so hard to convince people of extraordinary things?

2. What have you experienced that you wouldn’t have believed if you “hadn’t seen it with your own eyes?”

3. What is more powerful in changing your beliefs- What you see or what you hear? Why is this important in understanding peoples struggle to believe in the resurrection?

4. What are some of the ways the reality of death has shaped or continues to influence your life?

5. What are some of the ways the reality of the resurrection has shaped or is influencing your life?

6. What are some of the ways the early disciple’s lives were radically altered by a “resurrection” mindset?

7. What evidence would lead people who know you to think you had seen the “Risen Lord?”

 

PALM SUNDAY: “Live Before You Die” 4.9.17 – Pastor Kassebaum

“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.

Matthew 21:2-3

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.

John 12:16

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.

John 12:13

Study Questions:

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?

 

“Lazarus is (not) Dead” 4.2.17 – Pastor Glesne

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

Study Questions:

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?

MOMENTUM: “Promotion” 3.19.17 – Pastor Kassebaum

 

“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.”

Study Questions:

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?