140406 Romans 8:11-19

Sermon Text: Romans 8:11-19

Sermon Theme: The Christian's IRA
1. We are God's Children
2. We are Heirs of Glory

IRA = Individual Redemption Account

Are you ready to retire? I think many of us, if we had the choice wouldn't mind it if we could retire early. If we did we would have more time to do the things we enjoying doing: camping, fishing, or traveling. One question which we want to ask ourselves before we make the decision to retire is: "Do I have enough money tucked away, so that I will be able to live out the rest of my life once the paychecks stop coming in?" With the uncertain future of our nation's social security system, many people have turned to different areas to invest and save their money. Many will invest in the stock market, or open special accounts to put away some money to be used only during retirement. One of these special accounts is called an IRA: An Individual Retirement Account. People are able to set aside money into this account, and every so often they receive an update on how much was placed into the account and what the total amount of funds are in that particular account. Today I would like all of us to review our IRA's. You see, we all have one. It is our Individual Redemption Account. This morning we will review THE CHRISTIAN'S IRA. We will see from God's Word, that because we have this IRA in our name WE ARE GOD'S CHILDREN and WE ARE HEIRS OF GLORY.

Read more: 140406 Romans 8:11-19

140330 Hosea 5:15-6:3

Text: Hosea 5:15-6:3
Theme: Come, Let Us Return To The Lord

If I conducted an informal poll this morning and asked all of you to choose your favorite book of the Bible, I suspect that you would give me many different answers. I would expect the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) to rank near the top of the list. I wouldn't be surprised if Romans and Galatians were popular choices. If you are a serious student of Bible history, you might pick one of the historical books of the Old Testament.

But I would be very surprised, no, I would be shocked if anyone chose Hosea. Hosea is the first and longest of the minor prophets, but the prophet and the book that bears his name are relatively unknown. And so to help us become better acquainted with Hosea, to help us appreciate the man and his message, I have devised a little quiz comprised of three true or false questions. The first question is this:

True or false. Hosea was married. The answer is: true. Hosea was married to a woman named Gomer, and the first three chapters of the book describe their rocky relationship. Gomer was unfaithful to her husband, but Hosea didn't divorce her because the Lord told him take her back and love her. Gomer's unfaithfulness and Hosea's forgiveness were symbolic of God's relationship with unfaithful Israel.

Question two: True or false. Hosea and Gomer had children. Again, the answer is: true. They had two boys (Jezreel and Lo-Ammi) and a girl (Lo-Ruhamah). These weren't very common names, but God chose them to symbolize his displeasure with his people. Jezreel means "God scatters." Lo-Ruhamah means "Not loved." Lo-Ammi means "Not my people." And whenever Hosea called his kids by name, he couldn't help but remember how God felt about his people.

Question three: True or false. Hosea was a prophet of doom and gloom. The answer is: true...and false. When Hosea came on the scene, the northern kingdom of Israel had totally abandoned God and the southern kingdom of Judah wasn't far behind. The Lord sent Hosea to confront the people, to warn them that God's judgment was near. But at the same time the Lord never stopped loving his people, and he longed to be reconciled to them.

This tender side of God comes out in our text for today, where Hosea reaches out to God's people. And in words inspired and preserved by the Holy Spirit the prophet reaches out to us with the same invitation...

COME, LET US RETURN TO THE LORD

I. He will never excuse those who rebel
II. He will always forgive those who repent

Read more: 140330 Hosea 5:15-6:3

140316 Romans 4:1-5

Sermon Text: Romans 4:1 – 5
Sermon Theme: Lent = Grace

The Lenten Season of the Christian Church Year is all about what our Savior-God has done for you and me. In love for all mankind, God the Father sent his one and only Son to pay in full the price demanded by a holy and just God for all sins. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, willing offered up his perfect life as the sacrifice for your sins and mine. God the Holy Spirit, working through the powerful Word of God, has placed faith in our hearts, so that we believe the Gospel proclamation of complete forgiveness through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Lenten season of the Church is not about you and me. Rather, during the Lenten season we focus our attention on the grace we enjoy from our Savior-God. Today, from a portion of the Second Lesson assigned for our worship this Second Sunday in the season of Lent, we see that Lent equals grace. God's grace gives Jesus the glory he alone deserves. God's grace gives us the comfort we need. I invite you to listen as I read again from Paul's letter to the Romans, as the Holy Spirit led him to write at the beginning of chapter 4. From God's Word we read,

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about–but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Read more: 140316 Romans 4:1-5

140309 Genesis 3:1-15

Text: Genesis 3:1-15
Theme: A Day That Will Live In Infamy

The mood of the nation was somber, mixed together with more than a little anger. The United States had just been attacked by the Empire of Japan, and the losses were devastating: a dozen warships, almost 200 airplanes and more than 2,400 lives. All of the sudden World War II was no longer confined to the other side of the world. The news, along with hundreds of bombshells, had hit home.

The morning after the attack the American people were feeling vulnerable, and they looked to their leader to lead. Addressing a joint session of Congress, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced his post-attack speech with these famous words: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy..."

For some people the day when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, is the saddest day they can remember. Other Americans, especially younger Americans, might think of September 11, 2001. It can be difficult to rank tragedies because they are all (by definition) tragic. It doesn't matter how many lives are lost. It doesn't matter how many buildings are destroyed. Tragedies happen everywhere. Tragedies happen every day.

But there is one day and one tragedy that rises above the rest. Every vile offense, every heinous crime, every evil deed that has ever been done in the history of the world can be traced back to the same place, a garden. In Genesis 3 Moses records for us the events that led up to the first sin, and that single act of disobedience started an avalanche of sin that is responsible for so much of the death and destruction we see in our world.

The day when Eve was tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden started out as a perfect day, but it didn't end that way. For Christians, for people who understand the lasting and devastating effects these events have had on our world and our lives, it is truly...

A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY

Read more: 140309 Genesis 3:1-15

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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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