Friday, September 23, 2016

Sermon Notes for September 25

+  "Where Your Heart Is" is a special two part sermon and Bible Study series on Stewardship and the proper use of money.  Concluding the series, we will read 1 Timothy 6:6-17 and consider the "root of all kinds of evil."  Despite the unusually warm weather we have been having in Northern Virginia, we may be reminded of a popular Christmas story in our studies.  

+ Sermon Title and Outline: "Righteous Root" 
i.  Timothy the Steward
     a. "Flee..."
     b.  "Pursue..."
ii. Raising an Ebeneezer
     a. Samuel
     b..  Scrooge

Bonus Quote from the aforementioned Christmas story: 

“Business!  Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sermon Notes for September 18

First Thoughts + This Sunday, we start a special two part series all about Stewardship and a Godly attitude toward money.  First up is a look at Luke 16:1-13 and the parable of the dishonest manager.  When Jesus tells a story about a shrewd dude who cooks the books and gets away with it, what is the message?  One key for understanding is to discover who are the servants, and who is the master.  

Title and Outline + "Where Your Heart Is 1 - Unrighteous Wealth"

1. The Meaning of Money 
    a.  Unrighteous wealth
    b.  Praise of the master
2.  Three Purposes
    a.  yourself
    b.   your neighbor
    c.  your church
3.  Stewards and Servants
    a.  Macedonia and Corinth
    b.  Sharing God's Gifts

*NOTE: Elements of this week's sermon are from the last part of the free Stewardship series from CPH (Concordia Publishing House) titled, "Managing God's Gifts."  We shared parts 1-3 over the summer, saving part 4 for this Sunday.  

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Sermon Notes for September 11

 Title + “Search and Rescue”

Text + Luke 15:1-7

Time + Pentecost 17

First Thoughts + This Sunday, it is Rally Day at Bethany Lutheran.  Our thoughts are on children returning to school and Christian Education programs starting at our church.  Yet, the day also falls on 9/11, so our thoughts are also on the day our nation took serious wounds from a savage attack.  We are left with images of planes being used as weapons and colliding into places of work, trade and travel.  There are also images of men and women who put themselves in danger and did their jobs to search and rescue what lives they could. 

This day of 9/11 brings back memories of tragedy, heroism and sacrifice.  It is within that background that we will be renewing our own dedication to sharing the news of a Savior who searches for lost sheep, rescues them from danger and carries them home, rejoicing.   While we boldly ask God to help us heal from the wounds of the past and bless our ministry now and into the future, we know that already we have been rescued by the Good Shepherd who seeks and saves those who are lost. 

"Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost."

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sermon Notes for September 4

The photo above was taken at the Memorial to the Unknown Slave at St. Augustine Catholic Church in New Orleans, Louisiana.  

Time + Pentecost 16

“I appeal to you for my son, Onesimus who has become my son while I was in chains…”

First Thoughts +  “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother…” – this is one of my favorite lines from the Christmas song, “O Holy Night”.  Slavery is a difficult issue to tackle because of all that this issue has meant in the history of the United States.  In some ways it was very different in time of St. Paul.  In other ways, it was similar – if you were a slave you belonged to someone else.  Philemon is the shortest of all Paul’s letters and it is a personal appeal for a slave owner to take a former slave into his house as a brother.  In that appeal, we see St. Paul making connections to the great adoption we have through Christ into a new kind of family.  That new relationship breaks our chains and frees us, but now we totally and completely serve our Lord and Savior who sends us to serve our brothers and sisters. 

Sermon Title and Outline + “Chains Shall He Break”

I.                  Chains of a slave
a.     Rome and the United States
b.    Who do we serve?
II.              Freedom
a.     Slave to none

b.    Servant of all

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sermon Notes for August 28

TextHebrews 13:1-8

First Thoughts – Last week, we read through Hebrews 12 and examined where we stand with God, which is on Mt. Zion surrounded by His glory.  While it is well and good that our future is in God’s hands, we also receive strength to stand up for what is right in this life.  The next chapter of Hebrews shows us how while also giving some more “Rock Solid” Good News to encourage us on the way.

Sermon Title and Outline – “Rock Solid 2: Take A Stand”

Introduction: There and back again
I.                   Take a stand against selfishness (13: 1-3)
II.                Take a stand for marriage (4)
III.             Take a stand against greed (5-6)
IV.            Take a stand for your leaders (7)

V.               When we stand up for Jesus (8)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sermon Notes for August 21

First Thoughts – Hebrews is a journey between two covenants and, in the text for this Sunday, a journey between two mountains.  To demonstrate the fullness of God’s plan for salvation, the writer paints a vivid portrait of that journey which we take by faith.

Sermon title and outline – “Rock Solid 1: Where Do We Stand?”

Introduction – the joy of mountains
I.                   God’s Presence on Mt. Sinai (12:18-21)
a.     Darkness
b.    Fear
c.     Death
II.                God’s Presence on Mt. Zion (12:22-24)
a.     Light
b.    Joy
c.     Eternal Life

III.             Where do we stand? (vs. 28-29)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Go and Do Likewise!

Enjoy a second sermon from the month of July and some of our worship at Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia is shared in this podcast.  The last episode featured a teaching on evangelism.  This episode is all about mercy in the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Before and after the sermon, listen for the sweet sounds of C2W (Created 2 Worship).  

Article 7 Sermons

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