Series Individual Message Search Archives
The G.I. Joe cartoon from the 1980s usually ended with a lesson to help kids learn and grow. The soldier/hero closed with the phrase, “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.” When it comes to faith and living it out, the Holy Spirit is the entire battle, and Jesus has given the Spirit to us. Filled with the Spirit, we take all we have been learning and turn it into action.
There are some homes – maybe yours is one – which should have a revolving door installed. So many people coming and going all the time! The research shows this kind of “open door” mindset is a key component of a spiritually vibrant home.
The table is the hub of our homes. It is around the table that we gather for meals and conversation. One of the pillars of a spiritually vibrant home is a loud table. What kinds of conversations are you having around your table? God has called us to be daily reflecting and talking about God at work in your daily life. How do we make it less awkward and more part of our everyday life?
Do you feel comfortable praying…out loud…in a group? Prayer can be such a tremendous part of our relationship with Jesus, but many people don’t understand it or are nervous about praying, especially with others. One of the three keys to a spiritually vibrant household is “messy prayers.” No matter how you say it, God loves you and wants to hear from you and, in fact, has provided everything you need to talk with Him.
The home is central to life and culture. In His life and ministry, Jesus did not try to supplant the traditional household as we see in some other world religions and spiritual movements (communes, extreme asceticism). Rather, Jesus embraced and valued the household, choosing homes as a central tool of His new kingdom to impact individuals, families, and the world.
Oikos is the Greek word for households. The American model for a household is typically a nuclear family, however, that can leave many feeling alone or left out. When we understand the biblical definition of households (oikos) we will see that no one is left out. The beauty of a biblical household is that, by definition, it provides a place of belonging to people who would otherwise be living life alone.
This is the service from September 12th, 2021.
Immersion. When people want to learn a language, the best way to do that is complete immersion, living in the culture, speaking only that language, drinking it in (from a firehose). Immersion. We have spent three months in Corinth. What have you learned? What has changed? What will you take away? And how does it impact how you follow Jesus?
“My grace is sufficient for you,” That is the answer that Paul received when he pleaded with God to take away the “thorn” that Paul regularly faced. We all face our own “thorns” but the answer Paul received holds true for us today because God’s power is made perfect in weakness.”
Annie Oakley and Frank Butler spar back and forth in the song “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.” The song makes us laugh, but it reveals a desire many people have to be the best (and for everyone else to know it). Paul certainly has plenty of reasons to declare he is the best follower of Jesus, but he chooses instead to boast about Jesus.
What kind of giver are you? I don’t mean the amount, and I am not limiting this to just money. When you give a gift, what happens with your heart? When you serve, what is your attitude like? When you see a need, do you turn the other way or jump in? Paul teaches the Corinthians that God LOVES a CHEERFUL giver. Our reading from 2 Corinthians 9 helps us see how that attitude is possible.
Sin destroyed relationships. Jesus restored relationships. Through the destruction and restoration, we have the opportunity to bring restoration and love to our relationships through our everyday lives as the hands and feet of Jesus.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul uses the metaphor of jars of clay referring to human weakness. We face a variety of challenges and difficulties, but because of the work and power of Jesus we are not destroyed.
This past week in Vacation Bible School we were reminded that God has given us “the armor of God” so that we can stand tall and strong in the Lord to fight against challenges and difficulties that we face.
My Pastor in Illinois, Wray Offermann, often used the phrase, “God never wastes a hurt.” That short phrase captures the sentiments of 2 Corinthians 1:3-11. God does not want us to suffer; He does not cause our suffering. But God understands our suffering. He works in it to comfort us…and through it to comfort others. Wayne and Nancy Lippert have experienced great suffering. They share some of God’s work in their lives, and His comfort, with us.
We live in a world that is broken by sin. It doesn’t take long to see how sin has had negative effects on creation. On a regular basis, we experienced broken relationships, broken lives and broken bodies. All that is broken will one day be restored. The good news is that Jesus has already given us the victory.
The sells seashells by the seashore. Can you say it ten times really fast without messing up? If so, congratulations! But what good does that do? Can you encourage someone else through it? Can you express love to others with the recitation? In our section from 1 Corinthians this week we discover many gifts and abilities. The key is that we use them in love to build others up.
Every aspect of the Christian life gives honor and glory to God. Our mourning, our celebrations, our work and our friendships. Everything that we do can and should bring glory to God!
Are you a fan or fanatic? Fans typically go to a game and cheer, but don’t actually play in the game. Someone who is fanatic about the sport usually participates in that sport, training and devoting himself or herself to be the best. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul makes it clear he is much more than a fan of Jesus. Rather, he pushes himself to the limit as he follows Jesus and carries out the mission of Jesus.
Paul argues in circles: It is better to be single, but marriage is a blessing and it’s fine if people want to get married. But if a person can stay single, he or she should. What?! What are we supposed to do with that? And how does that apply to the spectrum of beliefs and expressions of human relationships today? As people who belong to God, who have the Holy Spirit in us, we look to God to show us what His plan is for people to experience God’s best.
Do you want to open a can of worms? Then bring up the topic of sex. Sexual freedom. LGBTQ+. Gender identity. Uncomfortable yet? How are we, as followers of Jesus, supposed to think about these things, much less live in our culture today? It all starts with knowing what we are worth and who gives us that value.
One of the most important parts of a structure is the foundation. If the foundation is not solid, the rest of the structure will be weak. Paul addresses the church in Corinth reminding them that the foundation of faith is not built by human hands, but rather God's hands.
This weekend we begin our summer sermon series on 1st and 2nd Corinthians. Just glancing through the books of 1st and 2nd Corinthians, you quickly realize the people of Corinth are not so different than we are. They dealt with the same temptations, the same conflicts, the same messed up beliefs. Addressing the congregation, Paul starts and ends with Jesus, with the message of the cross and the victory of the resurrection. As we begin our summer break, that’s where we begin as well.
“I could never do that.” This phrase of doubt weighs heavy on all of us. The devil uses our doubts to drag and tear us down as followers of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples are given the power to speak the love truth and hope of Jesus to their community, nation and world. We might struggle with the doubt that we could never do that, however the same spirit given to the disciples has also been given to you!
Doubts can paralyze a person. What am I supposed to do? What should I say? At first the disciples locked the doors and shut themselves in, paralyzed. The presence of the resurrected Jesus broke through those doubts. And then He gave them a mission: Go! The power of the risen Lord is still at work and the mission of Jesus remains for us today. Go!
We are blessed this week to have Mr. Mark Newman, Brookfield Lutheran member and beloved teacher at Lake Country Lutheran, as our guest speaker. He continues the “I Doubt It” series, addressing the question, “Do all roads lead to the same place?”
Most people in the world believe in some concept of god. Most people say they are spiritual. That’s all good, right? Not if the god they believe in isn’t real and can’t save them. Only one God is the true God and He has demonstrated that repeatedly throughout history, which means only one religion really is THE WAY.
A big barrier people have to the Christian faith is the idea of God sending people to hell. How could a loving God do that? That certainly is not what God wants; so why does it happen? Today, we are blessed to have Dr. Brad Alles as our guest speaker as he tackles this issue.
Why is there suffering? We live in a world where suffering is very evident. We see it on the street corner, we hear about it on the news, we experience it within our bodies and within our families. Suffering is not far from any one of us. In the suffering, pain and evil... Jesus your Good Shepherd is walking with you.
How can I know God exists? This is one question of doubt that pervades all cultures. Scripture reveals that we can know this through natural and revealed revelation from God. When our eyes and ears are open, we can see God at work all around us.
“Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter clinched it for Paul. If God’s Son, divine and holy from all eternity, would take on human flesh for me, obey the commandments for me, suffer and die for me, and rise again to guarantee my forgiveness and resurrection, there can be no doubt. He loves me.” Rev. Mark Jeske, Time of Grace
Jesus walked a road only one person has ever traveled: the road to the cross (death for all) and to the empty tomb (resurrection). Though that was a singular journey, it opens the way for every person to now walk with Jesus. Join Jesus today on the road from death to life, the road to hope and joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Jesus rides into Jerusalem receiving glory and praise, but Hosanna! soon changes to Crucify! Our lives often go from good to bad just as fast. No matter what tomorrow brings: to God be the glory forevermore.
Hope. In Jesus Christ, the word hope reflects life and confidence. Living in the truth of the gospel of Jesus, we have certain hope and we reflect this to each other and to the world around us. Imagine the impact on people who live with so much fear and uncertainty to see Christians filled with joyful, peaceful, life-giving hope!
“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.” Living a life for the Lord means that we are going to set aside our personal opinions and preferences so that we can love and build up the people around us for the sake of Jesus.
It’s a no-win situation. When people gather in groups you are supposed to avoid discussions of politics and religion so you don’t make waves. Paul doesn’t give us the choice with what he writes in Romans 13. What God tells us actually frees us up to not only talk politics, but to put our faith into action in the world of politics. Here we go!
Talk about a bloody mess! When you read about the practice of animal sacrifice in the Bible it can be confusing, horrifying, and flat out disgusting. What was it all about? What does it mean for us? That is what we explore as we look at Romans 12 and the call to be a living sacrifice.
God’s love, grace and mercy has been extended to everyone. How does everyone learn this amazing fact? Through our Everyday spiritual conversations! If we are connected to the root of Jesus Christ, the only error we make is not speaking this good news at all…
Valentine’s Day is a day of love. Flowers, Chocolates, Valentines Cards and Gifts, fancy romantic meals... all are typical cultural traditions that surround Valentine’s Day. The theme of this holiday is love. However, the love that we receive in the world is nothing like the unconditional love that we receive from God.
Why did I just do that?! Have you ever asked yourself that? You do something you know is wrong, you feel bad about it, but you still do it? Welcome to the world of Romans 7. This struggle is what Paul addresses (and admits to). Thankfully (“Thanks be to God!”), Paul also brings us to the resolution.
Do you ever wish you could just start over? We left 2020 behind and prayed (maybe more earnestly than ever) that the new year will allow us to leave the past behind and start again. Turning the calendar, setting a new resolution, vowing to change your mind won’t do it. Only in Jesus Christ, in His cross and resurrection, do we truly find new life. The old has gone; the new has come.
Peace is often seen as the absence of conflict. At our best, we desire peace in our everyday lives and the world around us. Peace with God does not mean the absence of earthly difficulties, but it is our state of being given to us by Jesus.
Events throughout the last year have emphasized a variety of things that divide us, sometimes sharply and even violently. The sin that lies at the heart of this is actually something that unites us (last week’s message). We also have another wonderful thing that unites us: Jesus Christ who overcomes sin, who forgives us, who saves us all entirely as a free gift.
I have heard it said that when you point at someone else (accusing, condemning), there are three fingers pointing back at you. None of us are in a position to condemn someone else, because we all deserve to be condemned. This isn’t a feel good message, but it is an important one that Paul delivers in the first few chapters of Romans. Hold on, because the good news is coming.
The world desperately needs the gospel today, hearing its truth and experiencing its power in God’s people. Paul’s letter to the Romans remains one of the most important expressions of Christian truth ever written, proclaiming the gospel and showing its life-changing power. As we explore the book of Romans, we’ll dive into this message that confronts us with who we are, comforts us with who God is, empowers us to live in this world.
It can be easy to crash after Christmas, to tune out and just coast to the end of the year. But wait! If you didn’t miss Christmas, then you have much to celebrate and carry you out of one year and into the next. Like Simeon and Anna, keep your eyes open and let the peace and joy of Jesus fill you.
One of the sentiments expressed by many coming through Thanksgiving and into the Christmas season is that of loneliness. Not feeling safe to gather with family, to see friends, or even to talk with people in the grocery store, people are feeling increasingly isolated. Thank God He does not leave us alone but actually joins us. That is what Immanuel means and what He does.
In the darkest time for Israel, as the oppressive Roman Empire seemed to block all light, the tree of Jesse was not to be seen. Gone was the glory of David and Solomon. But the true life of that tree had come into the world—the Seed of the woman and the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity. There stood the Life of Jesse’s tree before John the Baptist, and all righteousness was fulfilled.
“It’s the thought that counts.” People sometimes say that in connection to giving gifts. What do you think as you give and receive gifts? Do you consider the need that is being met? Do you think that you are reflecting the generosity of God? Is your thought on the baby in the manger, God’s greatest gift? Don’t miss Christmas because you didn’t get or give the gift you wanted. Thank God He has given the gift we most need.
In a broken world, the word of the Lord had come to a man we know as Abraham. That which was promised at the fall (Genesis 3) was renewed through a promise that Abraham’s son Isaac would bear the promised Seed. But Abraham was put into a position where he had to trust the giver of the promise. Through Isaac would come Jesse, and through Jesse would come hope and joy and life.
No Christmas music until after thanksgiving. Grandma’s special pie. Stockings on Christmas morning. A pickle in the tree. We all have certain traditions that help to make Christmas, Christmas. Do you know why you have those traditions? What do they point to? To WHOM do they point? Have fun with your traditions and make sure you don’t miss Christmas.
This Advent, we gather in the name of Jesus and consider His great story anew. The Jesse Tree is filled with symbols telling the story of Jesus from creation to His second coming. The story of the Bible, Old and New Testaments alike, is the story of Jesus. He is the Seed of Jesse’s tree. He is the Root of Jesse’s tree. He is the Life of Jesse’s tree. And He is the Firstfruit of Jesse’s tree.
Every earthly tree has a beginning—a moment of planting and life. The tree of Jesse is no different. There was a beginning as God created Adam from the dust and formed Eve from Adam. But sin and death came to that tree—a destruction that could only be reversed when the Creator of the tree would Himself become the Seed of new life in the midst of death.
A Christmas song asks, “Do you see what I see?” The song lists multiple things that are obvious to grasp, but not everyone can see them. John the Baptist was very vocal and visual in his ministry, pointing clearly to Jesus, but not everyone could see Him. Our Advent season begins with a clear call to see Jesus so we don’t miss the wonder of Christmas.
Jesus says some challenging things. Telling someone to sell everything they have and give it away is near the top. What does He mean? What am I supposed to do? The answer: Take Him seriously.
Priorities allow us to manage our time and make progress towards goals. Jesus gives us a clear picture of how followers of Jesus must prioritize God above all else. This leads to a radically different life from the culture around us.
“Do you want to come with me? I am going to suffer and die and everyone who is with me will suffer too. Doesn’t that sound good?” Admittedly, it’s not a very good sales pitch. But Jesus isn’t selling. He is offering eternal life to all who follow Him; a gift that is absolutely worth anything we might encounter!
Today we celebrate All Saints Day, an opportunity to remember and give thanks to followers of Jesus who have paved the way before us, resting now in the presence of Jesus. Some went peacefully to meet Jesus, others sacrificed their lives. All lived and died knowing that the life in Jesus was worth more than anything else.
We often let others’ particular brand of sin and unbelief define them and divide us. However, we are all sinners in need of God’s grace. Our ongoing involvement and relationship with those whose lives look like a mess from our eyes begins with a profound grasp of God grace.
What makes someone a follower of Jesus? Is it church membership? Knowing about Jesus? Having a relative who is a Christian? Jesus says the ones who really belong to Him, the people who are His family members, are the ones who do His will. Being a disciple just got a lot harder!
What does it mean to follow Jesus? It means to learn who He is and do what He does.
Jesus’ statement, “Follow Me” is an invitation into a deeper more meaningful relationship with our Savior. This invitation comes with joys and challenges. As we reflect on our personal discipleship journeys can the world tell that you are following Jesus or something / someone else?
Over the last six months we have all faced changes, whether related to the pandemic or just because of life itself. We have missed out on events, lost opportunities, had liberties taken away, grieved for loved ones. As Christians, no matter how dark things seem, there is always hope. Christ is risen; there is life after death.
“Boldly and without hindrance, he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28:31). This is how the book of Acts ends, but that is not the end. Others stepped in to take the place of Paul, and others after them…all the way up to you and me. Filled with the same Spirit Jesus promised to His disciples at the beginning of Acts (Acts 1:8), we continue to boldly proclaim and teach about Jesus every day, everywhere.
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Alexander Pope penned this proverb over 300 years ago. When looking at the events of Acts 21 and following, you might think he was writing about Paul…as the fool! Was Paul being foolish, even reckless…or was he being bold?
In Acts 17-20 we see Paul establishing habits and patterns for his life as he lives on mission following Jesus. Relationship and Context are how the Holy Spirit uses Paul to advance the Gospel in new places. This is a mission mindset. How can we reproduce the same behaviors?
Why does God let bad things happen? Over the last several months you or someone in your relationship circle has asked this question. Jesus told the disciples that following Him was not going to be easy. So how do we handle it? How can we make sense of the evil that is all around us and what is our daily response as we continue moving forward into new frontiers following Jesus? The journey of the early church in the book of Acts was not easy. Through Paul’s experience the Holy Spirit reveals to Paul and to us that we can be armed and ready for the battle that is waging all around us.
Attention Deficit Disorder (or its brother, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). The diagnosis indicates that someone has trouble focusing their attention on a single task, attending to teaching, following instructions, etc. The early church had a lot of trouble staying focused on the main thing, but God provided the treatment for the church to keep her focus.
As Paul’s missionary journeys begin, we see a missionary habit of seeking out people of peace and being deliberate and intentional in their actions. Some reject the Gospel message while others embrace it. We all live in a mission field everyday. So what does that mean for followers of Jesus? Everyone. Everywhere. Everyday. Go!
At times it seems like evil is winning; that wicked people thrive when followers of Jesus struggle. Certainly, it looks like that at different times as the church began and grew! But God has a way of working things out in the end. We can be confident that He is doing that even now.
We all get into a fight at some point. Fights even happen in the church! The challenge is getting out of the fight without much damage—or with none at all. This can happen, but only when we are willing to lose (and in losing, win). Sounds confusing, doesn’t it?
God is “able to do for more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Really?! Because it seems like there is a lot that God cannot—or at least will not—do. Today we see God remove barriers and do far more than Peter could imagine in bringing salvation to a whole new people group.
God does not waste our time. God uses past and present experiences, situations and weaknesses to mold and shape us as well as to use it for his honor and glory. Do we see our past as a hang up or an opportunity?
We offer worship services on our campus or online. We provide Biblical teaching and worship songs and resources online, through streaming, on our website, and in other digital media as we are able. Offerings to God can be made online, text amount to 84321 or mail to the church office at 18500 W. Burleigh Road, Brookfield, WI 53045. We encourage you to participate in these services on your own, with your family, or with some of your neighbors. We will also give you some resources to help process the message and apply it more directly in your life. • Sunday morning worship services will be LIVE on Facebook and our website. Traditional worship will be at 8am and Contemporary worship will be at 10:30am. A copy of the video will be available on our website as soon as possible.
We are not promised an easy life as a follower of Jesus. There will be difficulties and persecution. It will come in a variety of ways. We should not be surprised when difficulties come, but we can rejoice that God will be glorified in the midst of the persecution. Jesus always wins.
As the Church continues to multiply, the ministry is also multiplying. The Church is not the building, but the church is the people and God has gifted the people with talents, gifts and resources. How are you using your God-given talent and gifts to serve the kingdom?
We all struggle in various aspects of our lives with control. In Acts 5 we see how control leads us down dangerous paths. No matter what is happening in our lives or the world around us, God is in complete control and He will always be glorified.
The Cowardly Lion wanted to find the Wizard of Oz so that he could give the Lion courage. The Wizard gives him “liquid courage,” but we come to see that the Lion was already courageous, acting boldly to help his friends.
Christians face many situations that could cause us to shrink back in fear. Those who have been with Jesus, who have the Holy Spirit, have all the courage we need. Pray for boldness. Be bold!
The Holy Spirit transforms people! These are not just little tweaks but lives completely changed. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit cut people to the heart, made them new in baptism, and the church was born. Filled with the Holy Spirit they became the model of Christian community. That work continues in us and in God’s church today!
Jesus gave a clear mission to His followers: You will be My witnesses. He also has given us all we need to fulfill that mission: the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that descended like fire, gave the ability to speak in tongues, and brought 3,000 people to salvation in Jesus is at work today…in us and in our world.
In the course of one day, it is believed that each person makes 35,000 different choices and roughly 2,000 decisions per hour. How do we know if we make the right decision? The disciples had a choice to make for the disciple to replace Judas. They lifted it up in prayer and moved forward in action. No waffling or second guessing, they gave it to God and moved forward in decisive action.
The book of Acts is a history of the early Christian Church. In the opening verses we see the purpose statement of the Christian Church. We are told that we will be given the Holy Spirit and we will be witnesses of Jesus across the world. Jesus is particular and gives a framework for this witnessing. He says that it all starts where we are right now. It doesn't start by getting on a plane for 12 hours or riding in a packed van for 24 hours van. The mission of Jesus begins HERE.
How would you respond if Jesus wanted to do a miracle? What would you say if He wanted you to be part of it? Continuing the theme of new wineskins, we want to be ready for Jesus to do whatever He wants with us and through us…right now.
Out with the old, in with the new. Some people hear that message as a threat, trying to get rid of something that they hold dear. Some people hear it as an opportunity for a fresh start. God, who is eternal, is constantly making all things new and has wonderful things in store for you. Are you ready to receive it?
Isolated, fearful, overwhelmed. The longer this goes on, the darker things can seem. That can be discouraging…except for the light that is shining. Jesus is the light of the world and, as we experience in the resurrection, nothing can put out that light. As followers of Jesus, we have His light in us and shine it in this dark world.
The first Easter we find the disciples huddled in a locked room afraid of the Jews. This year we are experiencing similar feelings and circumstances. We are quarantined at home because of COVID-19 and are filled with fear and anxiety. Through Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection we have been given purified hearts and we shall see God! Because Jesus is alive, we have nothing to fear.
12:00pm | Poor In Spirit
1:00pm | Those Who Mourn
2:00pm | Meek
3:00pm | Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
4:00pm | Merciful
5:00pm | Persecuted for Righteousness’ sake
6:00pm | It is Finished
Our focus is the Beatitude “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” The twist in this is that Jesus was merciful, but did not receive mercy from the people (or even from His Father). However, we, who do not receive mercy, get plenty of it from Jesus…and then are able to show mercy to others.
What satisfies you? As we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all experiencing massive changes and adjustments to our life and schedules. We are experiencing a time of pruning. God is pruning out what is unneeded and giving us the gift of time to focus on what is needed. God is pruning you and the Church to follow Jesus more closely. How will we come out of this pandemic? Will we go back to life as usual or will we find ourselves closer to Jesus as we hunger and thirst for righteousness?
We can look back with longing on what has been...the "good old days". Psalm 126 calls us to look ahead and trust that God has given greater acts for us. That seems so fitting for us today.
“God helps those who help themselves.” Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. I’m a self-made man/woman. So much in American culture encourages us to put on a face of strength and independence. No one wants to be or even appear to be weak. But the drastic changes in our world over these last weeks can shake even the strongest. Hear Jesus’ promise that the meek (often seen as weak) will inherit the earth. There is much more good to come!
Do you ever feel like God has stopped paying attention, or doesn’t care, or is actually against you? When things go from bad to worse, it can be easy to conclude this. The psalmist reminds us that, far from ignoring us, God is with us, keeping us from much worse and blessing His people with many victories.
Why would anyone consider it a blessing to mourn? Truly, no one goes looking for grief. But God is at work in our mourning, bringing comfort now and, most importantly, forever.
The world values status, titles and rank. Jesus values humility. Following Jesus turns the tables on what we might consider important and valuable. Jesus sets a standard of life that is not attainable without God being in full control of our entire lives.
Our series throughout the month of February has focused on love: God’s love for us, loving ourselves as the precious creation of God, loving those closest to us (family), loving those around us (neighbors and enemies). This week is the culmination of the series, emphasizing that it is the role of Christians, Christian parents, churches, and Christian schools, to pour love into children and equip them to demonstrate the love of God to the world. Our guest preacher is Rev. Dr. Roy Peterson from Concordia University Wisconsin.
Taylor Swift sings, “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” There is enough hatred (or at least animosity, criticism, negativity) to go around. What if we countered that, or even overcame that, with love?
There is a ripple effect. When you know how much God loves you, when that sinks into the core of your being, love for God spills back out of you and then onto the people around you. That usually affects those closest to you at first. Who is feeling the ripple effect in your life?
What Jesus has called His church to do is clear; most Christians agree that our primary responsibility is to tell others about Jesus (the Great Commission). As a follower of Jesus at Brookfield Lutheran Church the behavior we demonstrate is connecting with the community. But how do we do this? When? Why? Jesus has actually given us all we need. Really!
In The Princess Bride Westley wheezed that there is one thing to live for: true love. But what is love? People try to find it, define it, hold on to it, lament it. Only in God do we find the true meaning and perfect expression of love.
“No man is an island.” “Two are better than one.” “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” There are many sayings that affirm the value of being in relationship with others. Being connected to other Christians provides support, encouragement, accountability and so much more as we grow in our connection to life in Jesus.
Jesus lived and demonstrated a life of peace. Jesus’ peace sprang out of His regular connection with the Father. We all want peace in our chaos. God promises rest and peace, but it might not come the way we hope or desire. Through our ongoing and regular connection with God, He brings peace in our chaos beyond human understanding.
Connected to life in Jesus. That means you believe in Jesus as your Savior; the love of Jesus fills you; it drives you. Jesus and His amazing love define who you are and all you do. As we begin this new year, this new decade, this new time of ministry, we explore what that means for us as individuals and as a family of faith.
The wise men followed a star that led them to Jesus. When they find Jesus they “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matthew 2:10). As the Christmas season continues and we launch into a new decade, will you rejoice exceedingly with great joy like the Magi or be blasé about the upcoming year?
The hard road or the easy road? Joseph was faced with many choices. We know very little about his life, but we know his actions. Joseph could have run the other way when his life became complicated and difficult with Mary’s miraculous pregnancy. However, Joseph listened to God, denied himself and was ultimately a great example for us in walking in faith.
What “impossible” situation are you facing right now? Do you think anything can be done? The God of the universe, far beyond anything our minds can grasp, enters the world as a tiny embryo in the womb of a virgin. If He can do that, what do you think He can do in your life?
Would you rather stand out in a crowd or blend in? Maybe it depends on the kind of attention you get. If it meant you were going to be criticized, or even physically harmed or thrown in jail, you would probably rather just blend in. John the Baptist was destined, from his conception, to stand out, but that meant facing some difficult options during his life.
An old priest is met by an angel and an astounding message from God. What will he do with the news? How will it impact his life? We all come to points in our lives where we must make a choice. The Christmas Option explores some of those points as people encounter God and have to decide between doing what makes sense (often the easier choice) or faithful obedience (which is sometimes difficult).
We were created by God to be in relationship with one another. Sin has broken that relationship. While we will never experience a perfect relationship on this side of heaven, we can aspire towards the relationships that God intends in our marriages and families as well as our work and friend relationships. It begins through selfless love.
It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. If that is the case, who are you trying to flatter? As a follower of Jesus, we (are supposed to) imitate Him. That is what we explore as we dig in to Ephesians 5.
God extends His amazing grace to each of us – and to every person in the entire world throughout all time. That message of salvation through God’s grace alone was at the heart of the Reformation 500 years ago and still is for the church today. The unity that we experience by our faith in the one true God is also a powerful force in our witness for Jesus. Let’s grace each other today!
There are over seven billion people in the world today and each one is unique, different from everyone else. That’s a lot that could divide us. But there are also certain things – very important things – we all have in common. God addresses this with Paul’s words in Ephesians 2 and helps us to see what unites us…overflowing grace!
“We receive an overwhelming amount of messages telling us to define ourselves by external
measures. What would it look like to base our identity on the way God sees us? One author puts
it this way: “an identity grounded in God would mean that when we think of who we are, the
first thing that would come to mind is our status as someone who is deeply loved by God.” How
would viewing yourself in this manner change the way you live?
John the Baptist said that Jesus must increase and he must decrease. Most of the time our lives are not on the line when it comes to living for Jesus, but every day we face situations where we have to decide if we are going to more concerned about ourselves (our own comfort, ideas, desires) or whether we will lay it all down for Jesus. Ken Daniel shares with us today how God has worked in him to be able to say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Compassion is one of the characteristics that marks the ministry of Jesus. More than a feeling, it is action, often moving Jesus to do things that are very uncomfortable or unpopular. For us who have received God’s compassion, it flows out of us as well.
“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. ‘My God,’ you will say, ‘if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?’” Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations
Oh, the Places You’ll Go is a fun, famous children’s book written by Dr. Seuss recounting the adven-ture and anxieties of new beginnings. Today, we celebrate the beginning of a new school year for teachers, students and coaches as well as our Life in Jesus (LIJ) classes. Living Life in Jesus begins with a new mindset: HE is greater than I. As followers of Jesus we have a unique opportunity in all the places we go this year to live a transformed life where our thoughts and actions are molded by Jesus.
Cubs fans are (were) notorious for the phrase, “There’s always next year.” Even when things were bad, they found a way to have hope. Because of Jesus, we know that we have something absolutely perfect to which we look forward. “There’s always eternity!”
I love hot tubs. It feels so great sliding into the steaming, bubbling waters. I love a cup of ice cold water when I am hot and tired. Hot: Good. Cold: Good. God writes the letters to the seven churches to encourage us, to correct us, to challenge us, to assure us. He brings them to their conclusion in lukewarm Laodicea.
Alexander Graham Bell is quoted for saying: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” What door(s) of God’s mission and are open that we fail to recognize because we are star-ing at the closed door?
When Jesus writes to the churches, He does so because He wants them to experience the fullness of His love and the blessing of eternal life.
You shall have no other gods. The first commandment is the baseline for our entire life as followers of Jesus. It means that we fear, love and trust God above all things. Jesus calls us to a life following him alone; no compromises.
Not a fan. This book, written by Kyle Idleman a few years ago, calls Christians to be completely committed followers of Jesus, not just fans. “Be faithful even to the point of death…” That is what Jesus calls us to; not fandom, but faithfulness.
If God were to write a letter to our church today, what would He say? What would He celebrate? What would He correct? That is what we consider as we look at the first of seven letters to Christian congregations in the book of Revelation.
This last week was Vacation Bible School (VBS) here at Brookfield Lutheran Church. Our theme was To Mars and Beyond: exploring where God’s power can take you. We live in a DIY (Do It Yourself) culture. Our world encourages and celebrates independence. When it comes to following Jesus, DIY is not part of the equation of our faith journey. It is all about Jesus and His work within you. As a follower of Jesus you are empowered with the Holy Spirit to do what God has called you to do in ALL your relationships wherever you learn, work or play.
Not long after God created the world Satan went to work to try and destroy God’s good creation. Since that first rebellion and sin, a battle has been raging. John shows us what that looks like from the heavenly perspective, which helps us to better understand the earthly consequence of this so that we can stand firm. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Jesus wins! Remember that. Hold on to this truth. Look forward to the full realization of it when Jesus returns. This helps us to keep our focus and our courage as we live through the vicious cycles of life in limbo.
In Revelation 7:9-17 we are given a snapshot of heaven. There are a variety of books and artwork that try to give us a glimpse of what heaven in like. The concept of heaven is incomprehensible to our fallen, sinful minds and hearts. Especially as we face various trials and tribulations in our daily lives. As we live our lives in limbo dealing with the daily trials and struggles, we know that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. (Revelation 7:17)
The book of Revelation is one of the most intriguing books in the Bible. Its message is both clear and mind-boggling. The gift God gives us in this book is a picture of life between the beginning and the end; a life in limbo, but not in uncertainty. In the book of Revelation we see Jesus with greater clarity and live with confidence in His (and our) ultimate victory.
Connected. Wired, wireless, web, cloud, streaming...We live in a connected world. How are you connected to Jesus? What keeps that connection strong? We hear from Jesus why that connection is so important and how we can remain in Him.
As Christians, we are all on a journey in our faith that we can call following Jesus. Following Jesus is about a life-long discipleship process of learning the truth of God’s word and applying that truth to
our lives. Today we celebrate with our 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students who have been on this journey of faith. This last week they gave their testimonies of how God’s Story has been working in their lives and how they are applying it to life today. We are all disciples following Jesus. What does following Jesus mean to you? How does God’s story transform your life
Walking is a great way to stay healthy, improve balance, lower blood pressure and many other positive things. What really matters is HOW you walk. God tells us that a significant vital sign is to walk…humbly…with your God.
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Filled with resurrection power, we bring Jesus to the world, especially in our daily relationships with the people around us. Love dominates those relationships, steadfast love, faithful love, love that would die and rise for another.
Easter brings us joy because of the fact that Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins and won for us a new life in Jesus. Living in the post-resurrection age, what does it look like to live a life in Jesus? The Old Testament prophet Micah shares with us the vital signs of a follower of Jesus. He asks the rhetorical question: What does the Lord require of you? We will be diving into the answer that is given over the next three weeks: To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Today, we explore what it means to act justly as a follower of Jesus. We have been made right by Jesus. How does Jesus’ justification change your daily life and interactions with the people around you?
Everything inside you and around you screams, “It’s impossible!” “I can’t do it!” “It will never get better!” I am sure the women (and disciples) were thinking the same thing on the way to the tomb after Jesus died and was buried. But the stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty, and the an-gels announced that the impossible happened… “He is not here, but has risen!” That fact…that TRUTH changes everything!
We must acknowledge our chains and lay them down on the Cross every day. Good Friday is a reminder of that process. Listen as Pastor Rob Mrosko talks about the exchange of our sin to the works of Christ.
On the eve before Jesus rides into Jerusalem on what we call “Palm Sunday”, a woman named Mary anoints Jesus with very expensive oil of “pure nard” in an act of humble devotion and extrav-agant expense. Others present that evening saw it as a “waste” of valuable resources. Mary’s ac-tions give us a glimpse into her heart for following Jesus. What do our actions demonstrate about our hearts?
What is your story of meeting Jesus? Was it an instantaneous, life-changing moment? Or maybe a gradual development over time? Maybe you are still on the journey and not sure what to conclude. Meet Nicodemus, whose own faith story may surprise and delight you.
Peter and John encounter a man who was lame and in the name of Jesus is healed. The man’s im-mediate reaction is Joy! He was “walking and jumping and praising God.” In our busy worlds, we are often going from one thing to the next checking things off our to-do list. We can become overly critical in our lives when things don’t go the way that we would like. Jesus has ex(CHANGED) our sadness and turned it into joy. How can we reflect the joy he has given us this week?
Jesus’ conversation with the rich man reveals that a life following Jesus is sacrificial. The rich man approaches Jesus confident that he has done all the right things. He is confident that he has walked “the good life” having followed all the commandments. However, in his desire to “achieve the next step” he walks away sad, because his priorities were incorrect. Jesus EX (changed) his life for ours therefore our lives as followers of Jesus are not about doing one more thing but rather making Jesus the king of our heart.
To exchange something means the act of giving one thing and receiving another in return. Usually you hope to get something good out of that transaction. This series will look at what God exchanges with us and how that changes us.
As followers of Jesus, we have been equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the salt and light of Jesus in everyday situations. We are all placed in various situations and conversations on a daily basis where the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do something about it. Our relationship with God is both vertical and horizontal. God has lavished His love onto us so that His love will overflow into our daily relationships.
Religion can become a major distraction from the heart of Christianity: a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus restores the focus when He teaches us to love God and love others. Because we are loved by God, we respond first by loving Him. Flowing from that love we also love those around us, which means sharing with them the hope of salvation in Jesus. How are you sharing and teaching Jesus' love to the people that God has placed right in front of you? Brookfield Lutheran Church is here to equip and train you so that you might be sent out in various capacities. What are you intentionally doing to be equipped for the mission? Do your priorities line up with God's priorities?
Ask good questions. Why? This is the best way to learn, grow and develop better solutions to problems. It is also a wonderful way to learn more about people and find ways to point them to Jesus.
In here is for out there. All the stuff that we learn and receive and experience together as followers of Jesus is not meant to be kept in one place or left here at church. Where will you take what God has given you and done in you and for you?
Transformed from stone and filled with the Spirit. We are meant to go out and make disciples of all nations. Welcome new Assistant Pastor Eric Kolonich as he delivers his first sermon at Brookfield Lutheran Church.
Our vision statement says, “We are an imperfect family actively sharing the love, truth, and hope of Jesus with our community.” We can hope that happens (passive), but this family is committed to making that happen (active).
Some businesses work hard on what is called their “corporate identity” – how they present themselves to the public. Pay attention to commercials and you will see what that means. Flowing out of our individual identity as a child of God, the Church also has a corporate identity. What and how we present to the world impacts eternity.
Our guest pastor is Rev. David Schwan, Father-in Law of Pastor Eric Kolonich (Jennifer’s Dad).
Social security number. Bank account. Driver’s license. A variety of documents exist that help define who we are. More and more, that information is taken and used by someone else and we end up hurt and violated. This week we focus on how we help each other remember and restore our true identity in Jesus.
Who are you? We identify based on profession, sports team, gender, ethnic group, etc. At our core, however, we ARE someone specific and precious, not changing with circumstances or feelings. With all the uncertainty of identity, God speaks certainty into our lives.
We are thrilled to welcome back Dr. Daniel Paavola from Concordia University Wisconsin as our guest preacher.
As one year ends and we prepare for the next, we remember those who have gone before us and look forward to the promise of eternal life before us. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:17)
Christmas trees are a symbol of life (ever-green). However, as soon as you cut one down all you have left is a stump, dead and hopeless. The birth of Jesus is God's declaration that He can and does bring new life, even out of a stump (Isaiah 11:1).
The love story of Ruth and Boaz is filled with sorrow and beauty. It is also a picture of God working to bring all people into His family Christmas tree.
The family tree of Jesus includes faithful men and women who followed God. They also happen to be sinners who make some foolish choices that God forgives and redeems...just like us. Our guest preacher this morning the Rev. Dr. Timothy Maschke.
Dr. Maschke was a professor in the theology department at Concordia University Wisconsin. He now serves as an associate pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grafton, WI.
The marriage of Jacob and Rachel begins as a beautiful love story…and turns into a wild account of deception, jealousy, blended families, conflict and, ultimately, God’s incredible grace. Welcome to the family tree of Jesus!
Many people know about Abraham, the old man who had a son when he was 100 years old. The family tree that branches out from him is truly amazing…and embarrassing. In this family we see the faithful love of God and His work to bring the Savior.
The last Sunday of the Church Year focuses on the return of Jesus and being ready for it. This is an opportunity to be vigilant, but not be afraid; to be confident in our Savior, Jesus, who is coming soon.
What is an appropriate response when you have been given a gift? Use it. Use it a lot. Use it joyfully. God has given us so many gifts…and we respond appropriately, generously, hilariously!
The guest pastor for today is Dr. Daniel Paavola from Concordia University Wisconsin. He focuses on the blessing of debt, celebrating the good and faithful love of God.
“Save it for a rainy day.” That is the advice some people give about the reason to save. But what are you saving it for? The goal is to best use what God has given us for things that matter not just for a rainy day, but for eternity!
"Workin' for a livin', livin' and a workin', I'm takin' what their givin' 'cause I'm workin' for a livin'." When you think about work, is it something you have to do, or something you get to do? God is good and He is faithful. In His goodness He created work for us to do. On this Reformation Sunday, we celebrate the freedom we have in Jesus and explore the blessing of work under His grace.
Our guest pastor this morning is Rev. Dr. R. John Buuck. He is the former President of Concordia University Wisconsin and now serves on behalf of Food for the Poor, a Christian mercy ministry that exists to help the materially poor and to renew the poor in spirit. Their ministry is a reflection of our Lord's unconditional love. It is also shaped by the belief that Christ is alive and can be served directly by serving those in greatest need. (Matthew 25:40)
“Did you bring enough to share?” Other kids would ask that when I brought something for school lunch that was really good. My answer, usually, was “NO WAY!” (Okay, I was selfish.) One purpose of provision is to enjoy AND to share. That attitude marked the early church and continues to reflect God's desire for how we use the gifts He has given us.
“What is it?” The Israelites asked this when they saw the flaky substance covering the ground as they began their wilderness journey. The answer is that it was God’s miraculous, daily provision of bread for His people for 40 years. “Who is it?” People want to know who Jesus is, what He offers, why we “need” Him. The answer is that Jesus is God’s miraculous, daily provision for life today and forever.
Your boss stops by and says, “You did a great job! I’m so glad you are on our team.” Your mom says, “I’m really proud of you. You used your gifts so well.” Most people love to hear words of affirmation. At the end of our lives it will be wonderful to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Our series “Good and Faithful” helps us understand what this means in relation to all of life and life’s resources.
“Rules were made to be broken.” So says the person who loves to break rules. But rules serve a valuable purpose and reveal an order that comes ultimately from God for our good.
There is no “I” in “team,” so the saying goes. There are so many ways to apply this concept to our lives. It is especially true when it comes to our faith and the mission God has given us. If we are going to “win” (last week’s message), it is going to happen as a team.
Our guest preacher for this morning is Dr. John Oberdeck. He begins our series “Play to Win,” focusing on the purpose for which we exist and the attitude with which we live.
Jesus tells Peter to “feed my sheep.” He refers to caring for people who were or would become followers of Jesus. This is our charge as well, and so we feed them the food that gives life and peace and joy…PIZZA! Just kidding, we feed them with the love, truth and hope of Jesus.
What proof do you need in order to believe that something is absolutely true? Thomas did not believe the words of the women and the other disciples; he wanted to see and touch Jesus for himself to believe that Jesus was alive. Jesus delivered BIG TIME! Do you believe it?
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love” (Jackie DeShannon). What the world needs now is true love, the sweet love of Jesus. And we are the ones who deliver it. Sweet love.
Why do we worship Jesus? Because He makes (AND KEEPS) promises that no one else can deliver. Jesus says He is the resurrection and the life and He proves it by raising a person who was dead. I don’t know anyone else who can do that. Do you?
Jesus says that He will set us free. But if a person is already free, why do we need Jesus? That is what Jesus addresses in John 8.
Why did Jesus come here? What was His ultimate goal? John 3:17 summarizes this perfectly: not to condemn the world, but to save the world. As a church devoted to the mission of Jesus, this is our focus as well.
Light and darkness. Rejection and reception. Law and grace. There is a broad spectrum of what a person experiences when they meet Jesus. This is true today as we encounter Jesus in our lives and introduce Him – His love, truth and hope – to others.
Along the coast of Lake Michigan lie many hulls of ships that never reached their destination. The numerous wrecks are a testimony to the powerful forces of nature and the weakness of human beings. At various times you may get beaten, battered and even wrecked by the things going on in your life. In every instance God is there, ready and able to rescue.
People cannot live in peace with one another for long unless they forgive each other. This affects families, schools, teams, places of work, nations…our entire world. Thankfully, we know the source of forgiveness and what we freely receive from Jesus we freely give.
Why do people do the things they do, even “good Christians”? God gives us the answer in His Word, the answer that leads us to view ourselves and others with greater compassion and Jesus with greater appreciation.
Do you rejoice when a sinner repents? How bad can the sinner be and still be welcome? “Older brothers,” get ready for part two of Jesus’ story.
The Prodigal Son. The Lost Son. The Dead Son. The Imperfect Son. The story Jesus tells in Luke 15 is well-known and loved by many. It is a wonderful picture of grace. If you have ever felt yourself in the place of this younger son, then hear, know, receive, rejoice in the limitless grace of the Father.
What do you think of when you hear the word “imperfect”? Often it carries the idea of less than, not good enough. So we try to hide our mistakes, cover up the fact that we are not perfect. NO MORE! Only in accepting our imperfections can we fully understand God’s work to love and save us. Right now, right here, I declare it, “I am imperfect!”
Hanging on by a thread. Made it by the skin of your teeth. Just squeaking by. These are all phrases that capture how we often feel. We might make it through the day, or a project, or an event, but just barely. What if you actually made it by a mile, won by a landslide, there was no contest, it was a blowout? That is what it means to be “more than conquerors.” And that is who we are because of Jesus.
Our Half True series continues - "God Want Me to Be Happy." What's wrong with that? Perhaps our definition of "Happy" might need to be calibrated.
Love the sinner, hate the sin. It sounds like a true statement, something that God might even have said. But in what ways is that message heard? Today we look at this statement to determine if there is a better way to reflect total truth.
“God will never give you more than you can handle.” Is that statement true, false, or half-true? We explore the source of this statement to find out…and to find confidence in following Jesus.
Thank you for joining us to celebrate the most powerful event the world has ever known. In the power of Jesus’ resurrection, we can fully BE. Jesus brings that power to us HERE, entering our world and our lives today.
Relentless negativity. It seems like every comment on every issue is critical. We can add to that...or we can reflect relentless hope, building up and filling people with joy.
Relentless can have both a negative and positive meaning. It can mean unending or merciless, as in relentless trials. It can also mean continuous or never giving up, as in love or pursuit. And often we can find the relentless love of God in the midst or relentless trials.
The God who is working throughout Daniel’s life is the same God who created the universe, is still reigning today and will be for all of eternity. Everything else comes and goes.
Have you ever been knocked flat on your back, absolutely humbled by a person or circumstance? What did you learn from that? Was it positive or negative? God often works in our lives to teach us, sometimes humbling us, so that we keep ourselves and our relationship with Him in the proper perspective. That is what God does with Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4.
The account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
What sets the one true God apart from all other gods (which are ultimately false gods)? The one true God can do what no one or nothing else can do.
Have you ever felt like you did not fit in? Daniel and some of his Jewish friends were taken to a new land with different beliefs and values. The people lived very differently than Daniel and his friends. Though they could have changed to fit in to the new culture, Daniel and the others chose instead to be faithful to God. This led to some very difficult situations in which they experienced the power, grace and faithful love of God.
Brookfield Lutheran Church
18500 W. Burleigh Rd.
Brookfield, WI 53045
Office: (262) 783-4270
Fax: (262) 783-4616
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