Monday, November 3, 2014

Video Teaching: Romans 12:9-21

The link below will take you to a video teaching I did on Romans 12:9-21. This is meant to be a brief teaching for a small group. You will hear many similar themes if you listened to my "Transformed to Love" sermon. Under the link, I have included some questions I wrote to lead a small group in study. I invite you to talk over them with your friends or family or ponder them on your own. I pray the teaching is a blessing to you.

Video Teaching: Romans 12:9-21


In the second half of Romans 12 Paul continues to describe the transformation that takes place in our lives through the mercy of God .   Paul’s words encourage us to live a life of sincere love—an unstoppable love that knows no bounds.

WATCH THE TEACHING - (Find the teaching on DVD,  The WLC App or search ‘Transformed to Love’ on YouTube)

LIVING IN THE TEXT: Read Romans 12:9-21
· In verse 9, Paul talks about agape love, a love that has self-sacrifice at its core. This is the same love that led Jesus to give up His life for us on the cross. Talk about the different ways people might define love today. In what ways are these meanings like Paul’s idea of love, and in what ways are they different?
· In verse 11, Paul shows us that this self-sacrificing love for others begins in the body of Christ. Share a time when someone in the body of Christ showed you love when you did not expect it. How did that experience shape you?
· In verses 11-13, Paul shows us that sincere love does not lack zeal but lives fervently in service of the Lord. This fervent attitude allows us to be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” This attitude can lead us to give to those in need and be hospitable to strangers. Paul wants us to see that living out this kind of love actually energizes our lives in service to God. Where might an absence of this love in your life be leading you to feel burned out? Where in your life do you feel as though living out this love is giving you energy in your service to God?
· In verse 14 Paul talks about those who might mistreat or persecute us because of our faith in Jesus. Instead of responding to them negatively, Paul shows us that we should bless them instead. Paul’s words may remind us of a time when Jesus showed his persecutors love. As they were nailing him to a cross Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them...” (Luke 23:34).  Share a time when you felt mistreated for your faith in Christ. What things make it hard for you to bless people that mistreat you?
· In verses 19-20 Paul quotes from the book of Proverbs and calls us to care for our enemies. Proverbs says that this “will heap burning coals on his head.” In other words, our enemies will recognize our care for them and begin to be transformed themselves. Paul explains that this is a better course of action because even if the person does not change, the Lord will take care of avenging the mistreatment. Share how Paul’s reason for caring for your enemies comforts you or frustrates you. Talk about the fears that hold you back from caring for your enemies.
· In verses 16-21, Paul tells us that we will not win a victory over evil by expressing more evil. Instead, evil can only be conquered by good. Doing good according to love leads to peace, harmony, and friendship. However, the world we live in does not exactly follow Paul’s line of thinking. Share how the world tries to lead you into repaying evil with evil. Talk about things you can do to help pull your focus toward repaying evil with good.

NEXT STEPS
Spend some time pray for your church to live in love as the body of Christ and for God to give you the willingness to show love to those who are new, different, or difficult to deal with.
Two important ways that we can show love to those who have less than ourselves is by serving through things like feeding the homeless or reaching by telling neighbors and friends about our faith in Jesus. If you have not done so, talk about ways in which your small group can serve and reach out to others.

Sermon: Transformed to Love

After we finished our sermon series, "Follow," we started a series called "Transformed: So that He can become greater." This series is all about unpacking sanctification in our lives. The Holy Spirit transforms us each and every day of our lives so that we become more and more like Jesus each and every day. Over the five weeks of this sermon series, we are looking at ways in which the Holy Spirit transforms our lives. This week, I am looking at how we are transformed to love. I pray this sermon is a blessing to you.

Transformed to Love

Sermon: From Follower to Disciple

As we finished our sermon series, "Follow", at Woodbury Lutheran Church, I had the privilege of preaching at Woodbury Lutheran's Oak Hill Campus. This campus has not been connected with the church for a long period of time, and it has a much smaller attendance. Thus, the atmosphere is much more casual and relaxed. You'll hear that reflected in this sermon. I pray it is a blessing to you.

From Follower to Disciple

Sermon: Get Dressed

As we continued in the "Follow" series at Woodbury Lutheran Church, I preached on a section that Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians. In the sermon, I use an analogy: CHK FLK PG. I cannot take credit for the analogy. It's one I borrowed from Pastor Andy Stanley who is the lead pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta, GA. I pray the sermon is a blessing to you.

Time to Get Dressed

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sermon: What's Next?

Back-to-back sermon posts here. As Woodbury Lutheran moves into the fall, we have started a sermon series entitled, "Follow." We are taking time to simply look at what it means for us to follow Jesus as his disciples. The sermon series has been fantastic! I encourage you to follow along with the sermons by going to woodburylutheran.org and clicking on the media tab. There you will find audio recordings of all of the sermons in this series. For now, below is a link to a sermon I preached last weekend. It is the second sermon in the series and is entitled, "What's Next?"


"What's Next?"

Sermon: The Descent into Egypt

A few weeks ago, my vicarage congregation, Woodbury Lutheran Church, finished our summer sermon series on the book of Genesis. The series was entitled, "Genesis - Covenant People." I had the opportunity to preach the final sermon in the series. Below is a link to the sermon.

"The Descent into Egypt"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sermon: "Trusting YHWH"

I have started life as a vicar (or pastor intern) at Woodbury Lutheran Church in Woodbury, Minnesota. Below is a copy of my first sermon there entitled, "Trusting YHWH." It is part of a larger series entitled "Genesis - Covenant People." To learn more about Woodbury Lutheran or to hear more sermons in this series, go to woodburylutheran.org.

Sermon - Trusting YHWH