130630 Luke 9:57-62

Sermon Text: Luke 9:57 – 62

Sermon Theme: Take a Closer Look at Your Priorities!

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

This is the Word of the Lord.

Look up the word "priority" and you will find a definition such as "a thing that is regarded as more important than another." Recent polls tell us that the American people want our leaders in Washington, DC to give their highest priority to creating jobs and improving our nation's economy. Talk to our son Nathan, and he may tell you that one of his highest priorities this summer is hitting the baseball hard or making the next basket. Whether you agree with his politics or not, I think our 43rd President, George W. Bush, had something good for us to hear about priorities when he said, "I would like to be remembered as a guy who had a set of priorities, and was willing to live by those priorities." How about you? Will people remember you as one who was willing to live by the priorities you have set for yourself? Are they God-pleasing priorities? Today, as we continue to take a closer look at the Gospel of Luke, our Savior encourages you and me to Take a Closer Look at Your Priorities.

Read more: 130630 Luke 9:57-62

130623 Luke 9:18-24

Text: Luke 9:18-24
Theme: Peter's Confession Is Good For Our Souls

Even if you don't consider yourself to be an expert on 17th century Scottish proverbs, there is a good chance that you are familiar with at least one. I wasn't able to identify who said it first, but at some point you may have quoted it yourself: Confession is good for the soul.

Think of a time when you did something you knew was wrong. Maybe you got away with it. Maybe no one else knew about it. But you knew what you did, and your conscience wouldn't let you forget. You couldn't eat. You couldn't sleep. No matter what you tried, you couldn't get rid of the guilt. And so you decided to come clean.

When you confessed your sin, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from your shoulders. You felt much better. Your outlook on life became much rosier. You could eat again. You could sleep again. You could smile again.

Normally when we talk about confession being good for our souls we are talking about admitting our sin, acknowledging that we have done something wrong and rejoicing when that wrong is forgiven. There is, however, another meaning for confession, and that second meaning is at the center of our sermon text for today.

Read more: 130623 Luke 9:18-24

130616 Luke 7:36-50

Sermon Text: Luke 7:36-50
Sermon Theme: Look at What the Love of Jesus Gives You!

To all those who are fathers or grandfathers, to all those who have served as a "father-figure" to someone, I want to begin this morning by wishing each and every one of you a very blessed Father's Day. Maybe Father's Day doesn't get the hype and excitement that Mother's Day receives. Maybe you won't get a bunch of Father's Day presents or even a card. But on a day such as today, it is good for us to give thanks to the Lord of the Home for the blessing of Christian Fathers. As Fathers, we love our family. Because we love our family, we will do everything we can to support them and care for them. Now, let's switch gears a little. At this time, I want us to focus not on the love of our Christian Fathers, but on the love of Jesus. Based on the Gospel Lesson that we heard read earlier, I want you personally to Look at What the Love of Jesus Gives You!

Read more: 130616 Luke 7:36-50

130609 Luke 7:11-17

Text: Luke 7:11-17
Theme: The Lord Cares!

Today's text is recorded in Luke 7:11-15: Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry." Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

"Who cares?" Have you ever heard those words before? Have you ever said those words before? If you have ever been on the giving or receiving end of that little phrase, you probably know how much it can hurt. "Who cares" is another way of saying "I don't care." I don't care about what you have to say, and I don't really care about you.

Most people (and I include myself in that group) are self-centered. We think and sometimes act like the world revolves around us. And as a result we don't have much time for anybody else. If what you have to say affects me, I might listen. If you want to share something that could potentially benefit me, then I might even be willing to get involved. But if there is nothing in it for me, you might as well stop talking because I don't care.

Imagine what it would have been like if Jesus had ever acted like that. Mary approaches her son at a wedding reception and asks him to do something because they have run out of wine (John 2), and he looks at her indifferently and says: "Who cares?"

As water pours into the boat the disciples desperately shake Jesus awake from his sleep and plead with him to do something before they all drown (Matthew 8), and the Lord replies with a yawn: "Who cares?"

A man covered with leprous sores falls at Jesus' feet and begs him to do something before the disease takes his life (Luke 5), and with a cold stare he looks the dying man in the eye and says: "Who cares?"

Who cares? Jesus does! That's why he turned water into wine at Cana. That's why he quieted the storm on the Sea of Galilee. That's why he cured the dying man of his leprosy. And that is why he stopped a funeral procession in the little village of Nain.

Read more: 130609 Luke 7:11-17

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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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