Series Individual Message Search Archives
“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?
They call it the dead zone. Not the place in the ocean where nothing can live, but the time of day after lunch. You have already worked hard for a few hours, you’ve eaten and are full, and all you want to do is nap. Speakers at conferences don’t want to be assigned the dead zone. Teachers struggle with their students in the dead zone. It is even possible for a person to be there
spiritually. To those who want to nap Jesus’ message is clear, “Wake up!”
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
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