160807 Hebrews 11:1

Text: Hebrews 11:1

Theme: What is Faith?

Our worship service this weekend gives us the opportunity to talk about an area of our life that we may not think about very often. Yet, this part of our life is not only important for your life here and now, it is important for your eternal life as well. Based on Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1, we will answer the question: What is faith? Led by God the Holy Spirit as he wrote, the author of the letter to the Hebrews offers this answer:

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Read more: 160807 Hebrews 11:1

160731 Revelation 3:14-22

Text: Revelation 3:14-22
Theme: From The Savior With Love: Laodicea

I wish I could say that I planned it this way, but I didn't. As we worked through our sermon series on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, we have used the appointed lessons for the Sundays after Pentecost. Sometimes there was a close connection between the Scripture readings and the sermon text. Sometimes there wasn't.

But today's lessons, especially the gospel lesson, and the seventh and final letter in Revelation not only complement each other. They fit together like a hand and glove. In the parable of the rich fool, Jesus warns against putting your trust in your possessions. And the church in Laodicea serves an example of the problems and pitfalls that result when you do.

The Christians in Laodicea were doing just fine. They were successful. They were comfortable. They didn't need a thing...except for someone to expose that kind of thinking for the devilish lie that it was, except for someone to force them out of their spiritual comfort zone, except for someone to call them out and call them to repent. Whether they knew it or not they desperately needed Jesus, and because Jesus loved them he wrote them a strongly worded letter.

The Lord addressed these words to a specific congregation, but he also caused the apostle John to preserve them for future generations, for sinners who would struggle with similar temptations in the future, for people like us. And so it is our privilege today to apply to our own church and to our own lives the words of the letter to the church in Laodicea...

FROM THE SAVIOR WITH LOVE: LAODICEA

Read more: 160731 Revelation 3:14-22

160724 Revelation 3:7-13

Sermon Text: Revelation 3:7-13
Sermon Theme: From the Savior with Love: Philadelphia

Good Morning, I would like to begin by taking just a moment to introduce myself to you. I am from the city of Philadelphia. No, I am not from the city here in your country, in the state you call Pennsylvania. Rather, the city of Philadelphia that I am from is about 75 miles or so northeast of the city of Ephesus. I serve as the pastor of the congregation in Philadelphia. Pastor Schmidt and Pastor Pagels asked me to come here today and share with you a letter that we received from the Lord of the Church. In your Bibles, it is recorded in Revelation chapter 3, verses 7-13. Through the inspired pen of his disciple John, Jesus wrote this to me, to all the members of our congregation and to all of you here today:

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Read more: 160724 Revelation 3:7-13

160717 Revelation 3:1-6

Text: Revelation 3:1-6
Theme: From The Savior With Love: Sardis

If you have been worshiping at St. Matthew's this summer, there is a good chance you noticed something different when you walked into the sanctuary today. The color for the Sundays after Pentecost is green, and for seven consecutive Sundays green has been draped over the altar and the pulpit and the lectern. Green has been hanging around the pastors' necks and projected up on the screen. But this morning the screen looks different, doesn't it? The background is brown, not green.

How many of you think that background is a picture of a piece of wood? In spite of appearances, you are all wrong. The picture you see is not of a solid piece of wood. It is what is commonly called a veneer. A veneer is a thin decorative covering that is laid over coarser wood or some other material that isn't wood at all.

Veneer covered products are popular because they give the appearance of solid wood construction at a fraction of the cost. But if you have any veneer covered cabinets or other furniture in your house you know there is a downside. After a few months of use and abuse, the truth comes out. Scratches and stains reveal a product that is much cheaper than it appears, a product that doesn't stand up to normal wear and tear, a product that is far different from what it looks like on the surface.

Because of that, the word, "veneer" is sometimes used in a figurative sense to describe people who make themselves appear a certain way to others, but deep down they are very different. If someone ever compares you to a veneer, you shouldn't take it as a compliment. Being compared with a veneer is an insult, and it is probably not an accusation any of us should ever make because we can't see inside people's hearts.

But God can. He knows us. He knows everything...everything about us. And when the Lord took a closer look at the church in Sardis, he was able to see beneath the veneer. He saw a congregation that looked strong and healthy on the outside but was wasting away on the inside. He saw church members who were on spiritual life support. He saw Christians who desperately needed to be roused from their spiritual slumber. And because he loved them Jesus wrote them a strongly worded letter, a warning for them to wake up before it was too late, a warning that we dare not dismiss as if these inspired words could never apply to us...

FROM THE SAVIOR WITH LOVE: SARDIS

Read more: 160717 Revelation 3:1-6

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Our Mission Statement:

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.

 

Worship Schedule

Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

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

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

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Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985

 

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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