150315 Numbers 21:4-9

Text: Numbers 21:4-9
Theme: A Story About Sin, Snakes And Salvation

"What's that on your arm, grandpa?" a young boy asks as he jumps up onto his grandfather's lap. "Oh, you must be imagining things," the old man replies, pulling down his robe and trying to quickly change the subject. But the boy persists. "No, I know I saw something." And he pushes up on his grandpa's sleeve to expose his right forearm.

Embedded in the dark, wrinkled skin he sees two small marks. They are circular and identical, less than an inch apart. "What happened?" asks the boy, not knowing that his questions are bringing up some not so pleasant memories for his grandfather.

The old man pauses and then says: "I suppose you are old enough now. I want you to listen very carefully because what I am about to tell you is not just a story about me. It's a story about our people, and ultimately it is a story about God's plan to save all people."

And I invite all of you to listen too. Listen to this amazing, true story...

A STORY ABOUT SIN, SNAKES AND SALVATION

Read more: 150315 Numbers 21:4-9

150308 Exodus 20:1-6

Text: Exodus 20:1-6
Theme: Why Will I Make The Lord #1?

It is that time of year again. It won't be long and "March Madness" will be in full swing. During this time of year many basketball teams are playing in playoff games to determine which team is #1. Today the Lord God comes to us in his Word and he has something to say to us about being #1. The one and only true God isn't happy to be #3 or even #2 in our lives. He wants to be #1. So the question before us this morning is why? Why will I make the LORD #1? Listen now as I read a portion of the First Lesson I read earlier from Exodus chapter 20. The verses we consider this morning are the first six verses of that chapter. We read from God's Word:

Read more: 150308 Exodus 20:1-6

150301 Romans 5:1-11

Text: Romans 5:1-11
Theme: Rejoice In The Lord Always

Someday I am going to get to Rome, and when I do I have a bucket list of places I want to see: the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain. And no tour of Rome would be complete without a visit to the Pantheon. Originally built by the Roman consul Marcus Agrippa in 27 BC, the massive domed structure remains a "must see" destination for modern day tourists.

The dome itself is 43 meters in diameter and stretches 43 meters from the floor to the top. It is supported by brick and concrete walls that measure twenty feet thick, and when it was built it was the largest structure of its kind in the world. The hole in the top of the dome, called the oculus, is open to the sky. And some people say the dome is so high that rain evaporates before it hits the floor.

Today the Pantheon serves as a Roman Catholic church (the Church of St. Mary and all Martyrs), but this was not always the case. True to the meaning of its name, "all gods," the Pantheon was originally built to honor the gods and goddesses of Roman mythology.

You are probably familiar with some of the more prominent gods (Jupiter, Juno, Apollo and Venus, to name a few), but the Romans recognized a host of lesser deities as well. Roman religion was built on a foundation of ritual and ceremony, and about one day out of every four was set apart for the worship of the gods.

On the surface the Romans were a very religious people, but that was the problem. It was all on the surface. No one actually believed in the gods, at least not anyone who claimed to be educated. The religious skepticism of the day culminated in the poetry of Lucretius, who declared that faith in the gods had been the curse of the human race.

This was the spiritual atmosphere that surrounded the Christians who lived in Rome, people who regularly passed by the Pantheon, people who found themselves surrounded by gods in a godless society. As worshippers of the one true God, they were mocked. They were ridiculed. They were persecuted. So what was this small band of believers to do?

Would you believe "rejoice?" I'm not kidding. I'm actually borrowing from the inspired words of the apostle Paul. And his words of encouragement for first century Christians are no less meaningful for us, for twenty-first century Christians trying to find our way in a skeptical, secular world. No matter how tough things get, no matter how difficult the situation appears to be, children of God always have reason to rejoice...

REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

I. Rejoice in the hope that is yours by faith
II. Rejoice in the God who gives you that hope

Read more: 150301 Romans 5:1-11

150222 Genesis 22:1-18

Text: Genesis 22:1 – 18
Theme: Don't Be Afraid to Give the LORD Your Best!

As we begin this morning, I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Abraham. You can read all about my life in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. As you may know from reading through Genesis, when I was 100 years old and my wife Sarah was 90 years old, we finally had our first child: a son, whom we named Isaac.

Read more: 150222 Genesis 22:1-18

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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