161113 Isaiah 65:17-25

Text: Isaiah 65:17-25
Theme: Blessed By The Lord

What a day! What a glorious day! Today is Lutheran Education Sunday at St. Matthew's. Hearing how the students sang this morning and seeing how they helped "Fill It Forward" by filling this big jug with coins and bills over the past few weeks, both of those things reminded me of David's inspired words in Psalm 8: "From the lips of children...you have ordained praise" (2).

But that's not all. Today is also Commitment Sunday at St. Matthew's, the culmination of five consecutive stewardship Sundays, and really the result of months of planning and praying. This morning we will gather our offering a little differently to mark the uniqueness of the occasion. Instead of passing the plate down the pew like we usually do, families will be invited to come forward and place their regular weekly offering as well as their three year Forward commitments in the baskets provided.

But that's not all. Today we also celebrate Saints Triumphant Sunday and honor the memory of those believers who have finished their lives in faith and now rest from their labors. Today we remember our Christian friends and family members who have gone ahead of us into heaven. The fact that they are no longer with us may make us sad, but the knowledge that we will see them again fills our hearts with joy.

This morning Isaiah gives us a glimpse of the glorious future of God's chosen people. As we take a closer look at what the prophet says, and as we apply his prophetic words to our lives, my prayer is that we will all come to the same conclusion: we are blessed. We are...


Read more: 161113 Isaiah 65:17-25

161106 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Text: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Theme: Rejoice That You Will Be Counted Worthy!

All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

Does the thought of Judgment Day fill you with fear or peace? For many, they don't have fear or peace, because they simply don't believe such a day is coming. For others, when they read sections of God's Word such as we hear today in our worship service, or sing a hymn like the one we just sang, they are filled with a great amount of fear. Fear grips the heart of many when they hear about having to stand before a holy and just God to be judged; a holy and just God who says that those who aren't holy, who sin, must be punished. They know that they aren't holy. They know that no matter how hard they try, they never will be holy. They know they sin. Deep down, they know that all they deserve is punishment for the evil things they have done or said or thought.

Because of your sins, because of my sins, the thought of Judgment Day should fill you and me with nothing other than fear. Deep down, we, too, know that because of our sins all that you and I deserve is to have our Judge sentence you and me to a life that never ends in the pain and suffering of hell. But, because of Jesus, as we read about the coming Judgment Day, fear is replaced by peace. We have peace because you and I know that we will be judged worthy of heaven. You and I are worthy of a place in heaven, not by the Judge basing his judgment on anything we have done; rather, it is only because of what Jesus did for you and me. Our Savior-God makes you and me worthy of a place in heaven through the holy, perfect life that Jesus lived in your place and mine. The innocent suffering and death of Jesus paid in full the price for all of your sins and mine. God the Holy Spirit has worked faith in your heart and mine to believe in Jesus as our Savior. It is Jesus who makes you and me worthy of heaven. So, on this "Last Judgment Sunday" I invite you to join with me and give thanks! Because of your Savior, Jesus, REJOICE THAT YOU WILL BE COUNTED WORTHY!

Read more: 161106 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

161030 John 8:31-36

Text: John 8:31-36
Theme: The Truth Will Set You Free

What do Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University and The California Institute of Technology have in common (besides the fact that they are all schools)? All three institutions of higher learning share the same motto, Veritas vos liberabit. If your Latin is a little rusty, le me provide a translation for you. Actually it's already up on the screen because it is also the sermon theme for today: The Truth Will Set You Free.

It's not a surprise that this motto is a popular choice among educational institutions. Students go to school to learn and grow, to gain knowledge, to get answers, to ultimately discover the truth. Unfortunately, for many people in our world truth is relative and those who seek the freedom it offers fail to consult the quote's original source.

These well-known words first came from the lips of Jesus, and his disciple John recorded them in his gospel for future generations, for people who would need to know the truth, for sinful people like you and me. In his conversation with a group of fellow Jews, Jesus made it clear that truth is not in the eye of the beholder, and seeking truth is much more than an academic exercise. The liberating truth our Savior offers is biblical...spiritual...eternal.

As we gather today to celebrate the 499th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, we give thanks to God for preserving his truth among us and for the personal assurance it gives...


Read more: 161030 John 8:31-36

161023 1 John 2:15-17

Sermon Text: 1 John 2:15-17

Sermon Theme: What is the World to Me!

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

I want to begin today by having you think of something or someone that you don't really like all that much. Now, I want you to think of something or someone that you love. Are they the same thing or the same person? Most likely not. I just read for you words that John, led by God the Holy Spirit, wrote in chapter 2 of his first letter: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Yet, in the Gospel that bears his name, John was led by the same Holy Spirit to write the Good News that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Do we have a contraction here in the Bible? Which is it? Are we to hate the world or love the world? We just finished singing the hymn, "What is the world to me!" Today from God's Word we will see that you and I are to hate the world but we are also to love the world.

Read more: 161023 1 John 2:15-17

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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

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

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

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985 or on-line


St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066




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