The Mindset of Christ

April 10, 2017

Sermon on Philippians 2:5-11, for Palm Sunday, about the "mindset of Christ" as He chose to be a servant for our sakes, becoming obedient even to death on the cross. How do we "have this mind in ourselves, which is ours in Christ Jesus?" What is so amazing about this servant mindset of Jesus, and what He accomplished?


The Lord is our Supreme Joy

December 19, 2016

Sermon on Philippians 4:2-7, for the 4th Sunday in Advent (1 Year Lectionary), about how we can "rejoice in the Lord always." How does joy exist, even in dark or sad times? What is the Supreme source of joy, and how do we receive it or give it to others? What are some things that joy "survives" in the Bible?


Surpassing Worth

March 14, 2016

Sermon on Philippians 3:2-14, for the 5th Sunday in Lent, about Paul counting everything in his life as loss, in comparison to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. How do we obsess about counting earthly things? What does knowing Christ equal? How can Paul declare everything in his life to be rubbish? How do we run the race in light of all the struggles and challenges of life?


Calm, Cool, and Collected

December 14, 2015

Sermon on Philippians 4:4-7, for the 3rd Sunday in Advent, about what the place of joy is in this world of violence, war, and bad news. How can we genuinely rejoice in the Lord always? What is the relationship between Christian joy and peace, and how do we receive them? How do they shape the attitude and spiritual life of disciples? What is the place of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving in the life of the Christian?


Rejoicing and Prayer in the Reformation

October 13, 2014

Sermon on Philippians 4:4-13, for Reformation 2, the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, about the source of Paul's joy, peace, and contentment, and how we can have the same. How is it possible to rejoice in the Lord always? Related to rejoicing and prayer, what reforms did Martin Luther bring to worship?


Righteousness and the Reformation

October 6, 2014

Sermon on Philippians 3:4b-14, for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, about what Paul taught in Philippians and Romans about righteousness; and how that informs our Lutheran understanding of our relationship to God.


Living With Dying

January 28, 2013

A sermon from Rev. Dr. James Lamb, Executive director of Lutherans for Life. I preached this sermon for our observance of Life Sunday. The message is about how we as Christians "live with dying"--that is face our mortality with Christian hope and confidence, and how that guides our actions in relation to care for the elderly, ill, or disabled, as well as making decisions near the end of life.


Rejoice in the Lord

December 17, 2012

Note: This sermon on joy was written with the tragic and senseless events of the recent school shooting in mind. Our prayers and hearts go out to the victims and survivors, that God would sent His peace and the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of this time. As the Psalmist in Psalm 42 reflects, sometimes joy may seem distant and we may feel only bitterness and grief. Yet he puts his hope in God that there will again be a day of praise and gladness. The Bible's teaching on joy is a reminder to us that Christian joy does not concede or retreat from evil, or times of grief or loss, but rather that God sends His good news of redeeming love and comfort to us precisely when we are hurting, lonely, and lost. It is the message of Jesus' victory of good over evil at the cross, that is the only hope for joy in a time of darkness. It is this joy in the Lord that is brighter than the darkness, and that gives us hope even in midst of our worst troubles.

This sermon is on Philippians 4:4-7, for the 3rd Sunday in Advent.

Sermon Talking Points

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  1. Read Philippians 1:7, 12-14 & 4:4. In what circumstances did Paul find occasion to tell us to “rejoice in the Lord always”? What circumstances do we find ourselves struggling to rejoice? How does the peace and joy of the Lord penetrate our prisons of hopelessness and fear? Why does this joy truly come in the Lord?

  1. Why is joy “seated” in a deeper place than emotions like happiness and sadness? How does this make it possible to have joy, even when outward circumstances are bad? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 4:13; John 16:22. How does joy relate/compare to the blessedness of the beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)?

  1. What is the “reasonableness” that Paul speaks of in verse 5? Titus 3:2. In other passages, this word is sometimes translated gentleness. Why ought patient listening and gentleness be characteristics of all Christians and evidenced in our interactions with others? How do the opposite behaviors harm our witness?

  1. How is prayer the prescription for anxiety (worry)? See again 1 Thess. 5:16-18; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Matthew 6:25-34. Why does giving thanks to God in all circumstances help change our perspective on anxiety?

  1. God’s peace passes both human understanding, and also angelic understanding. How does this peace have the power to change our hearts and minds, and guard them against every attack of the devil to rob us of peace? How did Jesus give us this peace? Ephesians 2:13-18; when did Jesus announce this peace to His disciples? John 20:19; 14:27; 16:33

Thankful Thoughts and Life!

November 27, 2009

Sermon for Thanksgiving Day on Philippians 4:6-20


The Word of Life

January 19, 2009

Sermon on Philippians 2:15-16a for Life Sunday.

Sermon Talking Points:

  1. Why do Christians need to be concerned about life issues? How can we stay informed?
  2. Name some specific examples of how human life is devalued. How can we help change those attitudes?
  3. What are examples of crooked and twisted thinking about life, and how do we try to justify it? How does society, the media, etc try to justify it?
  4. What are the implications of the equal value of all human life, and the right to life?
  5. What threefold value does God give to our lives? (hint: think of the Creed)
  6. What comfort does the “word of life” bring to us, or others? Who can you share it with? How does it change our outlook on life?