Sermons

Just One More Thing - October 14, 2018

Pastor Schroeder

Text: Mark 10:17-27

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Maybe you’ve been there, sitting down for a steak dinner with all the fixings. After waiting long enough to get good and hungry, the plate is set down, and the aroma makes your mouth water. It looks great; it’s the perfect cut of meat, and then you pick up the knife to make the first slice . . . and it’s not the way you wanted it done. Whether you like it rare or you like it well done, picture the opposite. Almost perfect, except for the grilling.



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Illustrations of Faith - September 30, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Mark 9:38-50

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Dear Friends in Christ, the Word of God we have before us today is multi-faceted and far-ranging. Jesus provides us with four individual lessons on the nature of true discipleship, all of which are important, any of which is worthy of a sermon in itself; each of which is worthy of personal application. For that reason, we’re going to look at all four of these ILLUSTRATIONS OF FAITH. But we’re going to have to do so in a bulleted, lightning round fashion. After that we’ll come back and concentrate on a particular truth embedded within one of them. So, without further introduction, let’s do just that.



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Godly Greatness - September 23, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: Mark 9:30-37   

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Godly Greatness. What makes a person a person worthy of being called “the greatest”? That greatest statesman. The greatest politician. The greatest athlete. The greatest general. Whatever it might be. I suppose in one sense it’s accomplishments that stand out from everyone else. But there’s probably a little more to it than that – attitude and conduct plays a role as well. Here’s one example. Some of you might recognize the name John Wooden – considered by many to be one of the greatest basketball coaches in history. In his 27 seasons at UCLA, he led his Bruins to 10 championships in 12 years, a run that included 4 undefeated seasons. A great basketball player himself, John Wooden never experienced a losing season as a player, and he only experienced one losing season as a coach. And it wasn’t just sports – he was also recognized as a scholar and was a World War II veteran. And if all that wasn’t enough, the midst of the “win at any cost” mindset that permeates so much of higher-level sports, John Wooden was famous for giving his teams advice filled with character and wisdom. Here’s one saying attributed to him: “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” It’s no surprise that many consider John Wooden to be the greatest college basketball coach.



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Salvation and Sacrifice - September 16, 2018

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: Mark 8:27-35

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How do you feel about crosses? That might seem like an odd question to ask a bunch of churchgoing people, right? Before someone even steps into this building, they could pretty safely assume that we like crosses. We have crosses on our church and school signs, on our church and school buildings. A quick look within our church and you can’t help but notice crosses everywhere, sometimes subtly inserted into the motif, other times prominently featured, front and center. And it’s not just church. People like us must love crosses, because we have them in our homes, on our clothing and our jewelry, proudly proclaiming to the world that we like crosses.



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Jesus Does All Things Well - September 9, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: Mark 7: 31-37

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What do you suppose life was like for the deaf man in today’s gospel? Or, if that’s hard to imagine, what was it like for his relatives and friends? I know some of you here today have some difficulty hearing in church. Sometimes there’s background noise. Other times the microphone settings aren’t quite perfect. Other times, like today, we worship in our gymnasium where the acoustics can be a bit of an additional challenge. Now imagine all that without microphones or hearing aids. Without other treatment options offered by modern medicine? Without the ability to learn an organized way to communicate like sign language? Without the hope that new treatments might become available during his lifetime? Certainly, a devastating situation. And what about spiritual matters? Assuming this man had been born deaf – we don’t know for sure, but it’s certainly a possibility – how would you as a family member or friend go about sharing God’s plan of salvation with a deaf person in a society where the ability to read was not common knowledge and where formal sign language had not yet developed? I suppose people would have found ways to communicate, but it certainly was a difficult thing!



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Ready for War - September 2, 2018

Passtor Eric Schroeder

Text: Ephesians 6:10-20

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The vast majority of us who are here today have never been to war. Other than a few veterans who may be present, none of us know what it’s like to leave home, train for battle, and then be shipped halfway around the world, with the chance that we might not make it home alive. We don’t know what war is like, because we haven’t been there. On the other hand, every single one of us who bears the name of Christ has been to war. As children of God, we are under attack as we speak. We are at war, every single day. Today’s Scripture is both sobering and encouraging, as God through the Apostle Paul tells us to be Ready for War.



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God's Word on Marriage - August 26, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Ephesians 5:21-31

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Dear Friends in Christ, In line with Paul, today we’re going to talk about something very specific. Something often misunderstood. Something that affects every one of us regardless of how we personally fit into it. And something we desperately need to hear addressed and clarified by nothing less than a Word from God so that everyone of us can proclaim Spiritual truth. The subject is marriage. The institution of marriage has long been understood and commonly stated to be the foundation of society. This is the reason why societies have laws that encourage and protect marriage. Strong marriages make strong families; strong families make a strong society. This understanding of marriage is historically true regardless of whether it is considered a religious belief or simply a social custom.



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Watch Your Step - August 19, 2018

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: Ephesians 5:15-20

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If you have ever stubbed your toe, or turned your ankle, or stumbled over uneven concrete, or slipped on ice, or stepped on a lego . . . then you know that sometimes something as simple as walking can hurt you. Sometimes walking results in momentary pain; sometimes it is a minor injury that takes a week or two to heal; in extreme cases—like when a fall results in a broken hip or a head injury, it can have long-term consequences. We learned to walk in our first year of life, and it becomes a daily part of our life to take our bodies where we want them to go. In Ephesians chapter 5, however, walking isn’t just a big part of our life; walking is our life. Now, I know that when you heard these words earlier, you probably didn’t notice any reference at all to walking. But in this chapter, where we read, “Be very careful, then, how you live . . . ”, the original language most literally says, “Watch carefully how you are walking around.” You see, walking is a synonym, or at least an illustration, for your life. So, we’ll go with that picture today, as God’s word holds a big caution sign before our eyes. In big bold letters, God through the Apostle Paul says, “Watch Your Step.”



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Imitators of God - August 12, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Ephesians 4:30-5:2

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Dear Friends in Christ, the divinely inspired letters of the Apostle Paul generally take on a predictable form. The first part is devoted to teaching and developing what God has to say on the eternally important subjects that pertain to our spiritual life (doctrine). The second part of his letters then focus on how Christians live out these teachings in their everyday life (practice). Another way of putting it: In the first part of his letters Paul tells us what God has done for us – that is, who we are as God’s people saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The second part of his letter provides instruction and encouragement on the Christian’s response – that is, what we will increasingly look like and desire to be as God’s people, because we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, the Christian life is not one of forced compulsion. Rather, it is one of grateful response. It is with this in mind that we approach the Word of God we have before us today. 



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Jesus Changes the Pattern - August 5, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bittter

Text: Ephesians 4:17-25

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Jesus Changes the Pattern. Grandfather: Heart disease, Parkinson’s disease. Grandmother: Alzheimer’s. Aunt: Cancer. Father: this set of risk factors. Mother: that set of risk factors. I was recently scheduling my annual physical and it can be kind of sobering to read through the family history that you can see in your medical records and the various ailments that can be passed along from one generation to the next. Maybe some of you find yourselves strangely curious about the medical side of family history. Maybe others of you try your best to avoid thinking about it because you don’t need another thing to stress about. Whatever the case, you know as well as I do why doctors track such things. Patterns of diseases can sometimes run in families, and knowing what your parents and grandparents struggle with can sometimes be helpful in preventing or treating similar issues in your life.



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