21
Jun
2010

Our Father’s Love

Sermon originally preached by Pastor Mike Hintze of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Westminster, Massachusetts, on Father's Day, June 20, 2004. Given again by Pastor Joshua Schneider at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Kahului, HI on Father's Day, June 20, 2010.

Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. Look in your Small Catechism (starts on pg. 321 in our hymnal if you don't have one at home...or ask Pastor for a free pamphlet copy). Read the First Article of the Creed, and the explanation. What has God the Father done for you? Also in the Small Catechism, read the Introduction to the Lord's Prayer and the first question, "What does this mean?" How does the privilege of calling God our Father invite us to pray? See also Matt. 6:8; 6:26ff; 11:25-30; Luke 12:32; 15:11-32; John 10:29, etc.

2. Is the image of father a positive or negative one for you? If it was negative, were there other "father-figures" in your life? How does God our heavenly Father embody and supply all that was lacking in our earthly fathers, however good or bad they were?

3. What does the strength of God our heavenly Father mean for us? How is it true that every human being is missing out on the kind of "father-love" they were meant for, if they are apart from God?

4. Why might our sinful nature not want to call God ‘Father'? How does calling Him ‘Father' involve us with Him?

5. Imagine yourself riding on your father's shoulders. What does that mean you can face when your are riding on your heavenly Father's shoulders? If God is the Strong One, we are the Loved Ones.

6. How do we sometimes take out the hurts we have received from others, on God? What has God done for us when He saw us dying in our sinful state?

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14
Jun
2010

Greater Gift, Greater Gratitude!

Sermon on Luke 7:36-8:3 for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, on the encounter between Jesus and the sinful woman at the house of Simon the Pharisee.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. What clues are there that Jesus was being “set-up” at this dinner? Cf. Luke 5:20-26; 5:30-32; 6:1-11, esp. verse 7; What was the response that the Pharisees expected Jesus to have toward this sinful woman?

  1. Who do we identify with in the story? Do we sometimes resent the fact that God’s plan of salvation involves sinners? Do we look down on certain people because of their sin? Or are we completely thankful that we as sinners are spared from God’s punishment?

  1. What is the “measuring stick” by which we evaluate ourselves and others? Read Luke 6:37-38; Rom. 2:1-5; Gal. 3:10-14.

  1. What was standard courtesy or hospitality for a guest such as Jesus? How did the sinful woman make up for the neglect of the host, Simon the Pharisee? Does our gratitude compare with his or hers? How can we show our gratitude and love to Jesus for all that He has done? How did Jesus accept and approve her actions?

  1. What is our personal debt to God? Does it matter how great someone else’s is if we couldn’t even pay ours? Psalm 49:7-9, 15.

  1. How can we increase in our gratitude? Eph. 3:18. Describe how great God’s love for you is, and all the wonderful things He has done for you through Christ Jesus. Reflect and pray a prayer of thanksgiving. How can we share that same warm welcome of Jesus with other sinners?

  1. Draw some parallels between the woman’s acts and Jesus’ response, to what happens in a worship service. How does it feel to know that your sins, which are many, are forgiven, and that you can go in God’s peace?
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8
Jun
2010

Comfort In Grief

Sermon on 1 Kings 17:17-24 & Luke 7:11-17, the raising of the dead sons of two widows. Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Read Psalm 34 especially verse 18. What is God’s relationship to those who are broken-hearted? Why does God hear them?

  1. What is grief, and what are its effects? Psalm 6 and 31. Cf. Matt. 26:38; Luke 22:44. What kind of grief have you experienced? How did you deal with it? Who could you share it with?

  1. What did the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 think was the reason her son had died? What kind of theology is this? What are some popular examples of this thinking today? What are some Biblical examples? Consider the friends of Job. What is wrong about this way of thinking (a theology of glory) about God?

  1. What is the true and certain way of knowing God’s attitude toward us? Where can we look to and be sure of how God thinks of us? How is suffering and bearing our “crosses” a testing point for us to believe in God’s goodness and favor toward us?

  1. How did Jesus show this faith, even in His greatest hour of difficulty?

  1. What does the Bible teach us about difficulty? Heb. 12. Read Lamentations 3:31-33. Does God desire that we be grieved?

  1. What does God do about the chaos and disorder of a sinful world? How do the two resurrection stories in the OT and Gospel reading show us a preview of the reordering and restoration that God is undertaking through Jesus? Explain how God is near to us in suffering.
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