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The 18th Sunday after Pentecost
October 15, 2017

Matthew 20:1-16
As You Do god's Work - Think God's Way

1) Demanding to be repaid brings sin's "just" wages, death.
a. Peter wondered, "What will there be for us."
b. Jesus' answers with a parable about "just" wages.
c. To demand God be "fair" we would have to be perfect.
* What we deserve in God's justice is His curse (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6, Galatians 3:10)! Despite any praise from this world, those who demand God repay them for their hard work will hear Jesus say, "Depart from me. Take your pay and go!"

2) Pleading for God's mercy receives His gracious gift in faith.
a. In Jesus' story, those hired at later hours simply trusted the land-owner's generosity.
b. When we trust God's generous mercy, we'll enjoy His gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
* God acquired forgiveness and life for us at the great cost of His Son paying for our sin. He can now justly and freely give us His gifts!

Thanksgiving
October 8, 2017

Luke 7:36-50
"When is Our Thanksgiving pleasing to God?"

1) When we stand in Jesus' presence in true faith.
a. The woman knew she was a sinner.
b. The woman knew Jesus was her savior.
* The woman displayed her love and thanks, but the self-righteous Pharisee could only grumble and complain.

2) When we hear and respond to Jesus' gospel of forgiveness.
a. Those who have been forgiven much love much.
b. Thanksgiving out of faith and love pleases the Lord.
* Our God-pleasing thanksgiving includes: Confession of sin; Believing the gospel promises; Boasting only in the Lord; Remembering the spiritual and eternal gifts Jesus gives; Thanking God for all His blessings by declaring His praises.

The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 1, 2017

Matthew 18:21-35
"How Can I Forgive?"

1) By remembering the way God forgives you.
a. Peter's question - does forgiveness have a limit?
b. Jesus' parable - forgive in pure mercy.
* Our "debt" to God is the guilt of our sin (James 2:10). What if God demanded we repay the debt? Our only hope is in His mercy, Luke 18:13, Psalm 103:13.

2) By responding with forgiveness for others.
a. Revenge is natural. Forgiving is supernatural.
b. The person seeking revenge receives no mercy from God.
c. The gospel of God's forgiveness enables us to forgive.
1. Analyze your anger.
2. Speak the truth in love.
3. Forgive - "send the sin away."
4. Let it in God's hands to settle accounts (Romans 12:19).

The 16th Sunday after Pentecost
September 24, 2017

Matthew 18: 15-20
Don't Let Go! He's Your Brother!

1) Reach out to him in Christ-like love.
a) "lf your brother (fellow believer) sins (without repenting)"
b) "Go" - don't avoid, gossip, stew in silence.
* We forgive sins of weakness (1 Peter 4:8), but go in humility to urgently warn the impenitent (Psalm 51 :10-13, Galatians 6:1).

2) Reach out to him according to Christ's command.
a) Go privately to try to win the brother back.
b) Admonish with another and finally the church.
* Excommunication is "tough love" to warn the person in love.

3) Reach out to him with Christ's powerful Word.
a) Christ gives us the keys to try to win the brother back.
b) Christ is with us when we act according to His Word.
* Confess your sin when a brother corrects you. Seek to lead the straying brother back to Jesus. Don't let go! He's your brother!

The 15th Sunday after Pentecost
September 17, 2017

Matthew 16:21-26
Count the Cost of Following Jesus.

1 ) Count the cost Christ paid for you.
a. He paid the price of His holy life and suffering & death.
b. He rejected the temptation to avoid paying the price.
* Christ gave His life for you. He is the only way, and His Word is the only inspired truth to give us saving faith!

2) Count the cost of following Christ.
a. Deny yourself and take up your cross.
b. Don't conform, but be transformed.
* Will you submit your earthly goals to Jesus? Bound to Jesus by faith, we follow in His footsteps.

3) Count the cost eternally worthwhile!
a. If you save your life only for this world, you will lose it.
b. When we lose our life - by trusting in Jesus - we will find it.
* We can give nothing in exchange for our souls, therefore count the cost of following Jesus - eternally worthwhile!

14th Sunday after Pentecost
September 10, 2017

Matthew 16:13-20
Who do you say Jesus is?

1) Be convinced He is true God and true Man, your Saviour.
a. Eternity hinges on your answer.
b. Popular opinion in Jesus' day was varied - and wrong!
c. Peter confessed the truth: You are...
* Popular opinion about Jesus is still wrong today. Jesus is true God and true Man, our Saviour. Your faith in Him is God's gift to you, by which you have eternal life..

2) Build your faith and life on His Word.
a. Christ builds His Church on the truth Peter confessed.
b. Nothing can or will overcome His church.
* God's Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the only basis for Christ's Church and our personal faith. With that Word the Lord will defend our faith and advance His rule of grace.

13th Sunday after Pentecost
September 3, 2017

Matthew 15:21-28
"A Great Faith..."

1) Admits personal helplessness.
a. The canaanite woman was helpless against the devil.
b. She cried to Christ for mercy, knowing only He could help.
*Scripture teaches we all are helpless to overcome sin, death, and the devil - Ezekiel 18:20, Romans 7:18,24, James 2:10; Psalm 14:2-3, Hymn 389 v. 3.

2) Trusts only in Christ, the Saviour
a. The Canaanite woman trusted Jesus as Lord, Son of David.
b. Jesus tested her faith - to increase it.
c. Jesus granted her request.
* By grace the Holy Spirit has given us faith to believe Jesus our Saviour. He loves you and His final answer to your plea, whether, "yes, no, or later," will be for your eternal welfare.

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
August 27, 2017

Matthew 14:22-33
Jesus Will Never Let Go of Your Hand!

1) He comes to you in time of trouble.
a. The disciples battled the storm - but were they alone?
b. Walking on the waves, Jesus came to them.
* Jesus sends us out into our life's storms. We wonder, "Lord are you with me?" He is there. In His own time He'Il come to help.

2) He speaks to calm your fears.
a. Fear gripped the disciples' hearts.
b. Jesus spoke to calm their fear and give them faith.
* Jesus' Word also calms our fears. He is the incarnate Son of God (John 10:11,12:47; 10:10; 11 :25-26), and He gives us faith to conquer our fear.

3) He rescues you from life's storms.
a. He gave Peter the ability to walk on water.
b. He rescued Peter when his faith faltered.
* God, who redeemed us from eternal death, will come to rescue us in any trouble. By the means of grace (Gospel in Word and Sacrament) the Holy Spirit strengthens our faith.

11th Sunday after Pentecost
August 20, 2017

Matthew 14:13-21
Depend on Jesus to Meet All Your Needs!

1) With infinite compassion.
a) Jesus miracles proved He's our Savior.
b) Jesus saw the crowd's great need.
c) Jesus responded with compassion to teach the gospel.
*Jesus meets our need for eternal life with His compassion (John 6:68-69; Hebrews 4:14-16).

2) With infinite power.
a) The people were powerless to meet their need. Jesus miraculously met their need and fed them.
*Do you ever forget the Lord is our all-sufficient Saviour, who will care for all our needs? Look not at your little resources, but at Christ's power (Romans 8:31-32; Matthew 6:33; 1 Peter 5:7).

The 10th Sunday after Pentecost
August 13, 2017

Matthew 13:44-52
Why is the Gospel Your Most Valuable Treasure?

1) Recognize its priceless value!
a) Jesus tells a parable of a hidden treasure & priceless pearl.
b) The Gospel is that treasure and pearl!
* Will we joyfully believe and proclaim our gospel treasure?

2) Be willing to sacrifice everything for it.
a) Jesus sacrificed His all to give us the treasure.
b) We willingly sacrifice and surrender our all to Jesus.

3) Believe it, apply it, and share it.
a) Jesus tells a parable of a net that encloses all kinds of fish.
b) The gospel draws many into the visible Christian Church.
* We examine our hearts to repent of any hypocrisy. Understanding Jesus' teaching, we're equipped to live, witness, and serve Jesus.

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9th Sunday after Pentecost
August 6, 2017

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
What Shall We Do about the Weeds?

1) Recognize the devil has sown them.
a. The Lord sows the good seed by the gospel.
b. The devil sows weeds by his lies and temptation.
* The earth is still the Lord's and Christ is the Victor over evil.

2) Bring the gospel to them during this time of grace.
a. Pulling the weeds seems like the best way to get rid of them.
b. Jesus wants us to bring His gospel to unbelievers.
* Christ has entrusted us with the spiritual weapon of His gospel during this time of grace.

3) Know God will separate the weeds from the wheat at the end.
a. Living among "weeds" keeps us in the Word and longing for heaven.
b. When He comes for Judgment Jesus will separate the weeds from the wheat.

8th Sunday after Pentecost
July 30, 2017

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23
Be Good Soil for the Gospel Seed!

1) Bad soil rejects the seed.
a. The hard heart rejects the gospel.
b. The shallow heart has enthusiasm, but no depth.
c. The half-hearted refuses to give up love for the world.
* The Lord encourages us to keep growing in His Word lest the devil use the things Of this world to cause our faith to die.

2) Good soil accepts the seed and produces a harvest of faith and love.
a. The Holly spirit makes our hearts "good soil" (Ephesians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 12:3).
b. God's Law prepares our hearts by crushing our pride & self-righteousness. The Gospel gives us faith in
Jesus our Savior.
c. By the Word the Holy Spirit produces a harvest of faith and love.
* Think of your blessings through the Gospel! Let your heart be good soil for the gospel seed!

7th Sunday after Pentecost
July 23, 2017

Matthew 11:25-30
Come to Christ for Rest!

1) Give Him your burden.
a. The burden beneath all burdens-sin.
b. The "yoke" of the Law only increases the burden.
* No human relief can give us rest. Since our only rest is in Christ, give Him your burden of sin and guilt!

2) He will give you rest.
a. He earned this rest for us all.
b. We receive rest by faith in Him.
* Under Christ's yoke, we're free from sin's burden. We serve our Savior in love as we await the eternal rest of heaven (Revelation 14:18).

6th Sunday after Pentecost
July 16, 2017

Matthew 10:34-42
Find Real Peace through Jesus

1) It will bring conflict with the world (v.34-38)
a. Jesus' gospel of peace meets rejection by the world.
b. We can never have peace if we're at war with God.
c. Jesus' sword (His Word) defends us in faith.
d. Love for God comes even before love for family.
* We will deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Jesus. As you take your cross, Chris is with you.

2) It will bring peace with God and with God's people.
a. Those who "find" their life without Chris really lose it.
b. By "losing our life" for Christ we find it.
* The blessings of fellowship with God and with God's people will overflow to us when we find real peace in Jesus.

The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
July 9, 2017

Matthew 10:24-33
Confidently Proclaim the Gospel!

1 ) Without Fear of Failure.
a. Servants will be treated like the Master - what an honour!
b. Proclaim the gospel from the roof tops!
* Through Jesus we are holy in God's eyes. Confidently proclaim this good news without fear of failure (Isaiah 55:11).

2) Without Fear of Persecution.
a. Christ's enemies can kill the body, but not the soul!
b. Despite persecution today, the Lord safely keeps our souls.

3) With the Promise of a Glorious Future.
a. Our Heavenly Father will protect us throughout our lives.
b. Our Savior Jesus will welcome us to heavenly joy.
* Faithfully use the Means of Grace, and you will confidently proclaim the gospel in every area of life.

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
July 2, 2017

Matthew 9:35-10:8
"How do we reach others with the Good News?"

1) With Christ-like compassion.
a. Christ brings the "good news" of the kingdom.
b. He had compassion on the sheep without a shepherd.
* Most still are like sheep without a shepherd. Will we not have compassion?

1) With Christ-like compassion.
a. Christ brings the "good news" of the kingdom.
b. He had compassion on the sheep without a shepherd.
* Most still are like sheep without a shepherd. Will we not have compassion?

3) With zealous gospel work.
a. Christ zealously proclaimed the Good News.
b. He appointed others to zealously proclaim the Good News
* Let's tell others the Good News with our Iives, witness, and mission support.

The Third Sunday after Pentecost
June 25, 2014

Matthew 9:9-13
Thank God - Jesus calls sinners!

1) He calls us to follow Him to eternal life (v.11-13).
a. Tax collectors were definitely "sinners."
b. Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners.
* Jesus, the great Physician, makes house calls. He came to earth to live and die for all sin. He calls sinners. In humble faith His Church today still calls sinners. When we struggle with guilt, remember - Jesus calls sinners! (see also 1 John 3:19-20).

2) He calls us to follow to serve in His kingdom.
a. Jesus called Matthew, and he left everything to follow.
b. Jesus used Matthew to serve - and he still serves today through his inspired gospel.
* Jesus calls us to serve Him. As He renews our health by the gospel in Word and Sacrament, won't we also reach out to others with God's love and mercy?

2nd Sunday after Pentecost
June 18, 2017

Matthew 7:15-29
"Build Your Life's House Wisely!"

1) The house built on sand collapses forever.
a. A house built on sand may look good, but ..
b. Just being/looking good doesn't admit you into heaven.
c. Those who do God's will enter the kingdom of heaven.
* "Doing God's will" is believing in Jesus. Building on any other foundation (wealth, popularity. pleasure, self-righteousness) leads to eternal collapse.

2) The house built on the Rock endures forever.
a. Jesus is the only foundation for faith and life.
b. Whoever builds on Jesus believes the Gospel and follows God's will in faith and love.
* When the storms of life descend, the wise builder stands firm on Jesus. When death itself strikes, he will enter eternal rest in heaven!,

The First Sunday after Pentecost
Festival of Holy Trinity
June 11, 2017

Matthew 28:16-20
How Shall We Live Our Christian Life?

1 ) By worshiping the Triune God
a. Jesus came to His disciples to strengthen their faith.
b. Jesus revealed the true God is Three in One.
* Thank the Lord for His revelation as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, our Creator. Redeemer, and Sanctifier.

2) By bringing His saving gospel to others.
a. God wants all to be saved.
b. Christ's people will carry out His great commission.
* Remember Jesus' promise, "I am with you always!"

Pentecost
June 4, 2017

John 16:5-11
"lt ls Good for Us that Jesus Went Away"

1) He sent the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin.
2) He sent the Holy Spirit to convict us of righteousness.
3) He sent the Holy Spirit to convict us of judgment

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