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St Andrew's Messages

Messages from St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Middleton, WI.
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Mar 31, 2020

A Lenten devotion by Minister for Nurture Mark Kjenstad

Mar 31, 2020

I can't count how many people I've talked to recently who are struggling with fear, anxiety, and worry. Isolation, pandemic, and an invisible illness that can infect without one's knowledge is all a bit terrifying and like something out of a novel or the movies. Perhaps that's why Outbreak is one of the top movies streaming on Netflix right now. This weekend we turn our focus from what we are currently enveloped in to see our Savior's powerful hand at work in his early church. As we gather digitally this weekend, we will see how Jesus used signs and wonders to give legitimacy to his apostles while also providing a message so contagious that the region came to experience it, and many were added to their numbers. 



To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 5:12-16 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Mar 20, 2020

This week in our study of Acts we meet two interesting characters: Ananias and Sapphira. They're beautiful names, aren't they? But they rank right down there with Judas in the biography of Biblical characters. Why? For the same reason you've noticed shelves devoid of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Their greed. Our study of Acts is taking us deeply into every area of our lives. It takes courage to let the Spirit do that, but it’s how the Spirit works. Grab your favorite mug and fill it with coffee, tea or, as some do, just hot water. Know that your brothers and sisters around the region are doing the same. May Jesus bless your attention to his Word.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 5:1-11 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Mar 16, 2020

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Tom Wilsmann

Mar 14, 2020

People have always known Christians are different. The Book of Acts shows us in the first few chapters two ways that difference was apparent: how they died and how they viewed economics. Christians' drastic and unreasonable generosity was one reason they gained attention and turned the world upside down. God's grace breaks the power of money over us and makes us more generous. God's grace to us makes giving that grace to others our greatest thrill.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 4:32-37 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Mar 11, 2020

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Kelly Huet

Mar 8, 2020

Ever since Carole King released Tapestry, one of the top ten selling albums of all time, we've sung, "I feel the earth move under my feet." She was describing a romantic interest, but there are other ways we feel the earth move under our feet. What things are shaking your world today? The early church felt the earth move under their feet because of Jesus. Then they went out and shook their world. We’re glad you’re here today to acknowledge the real reasons our world is shaken, to find hope in the way Christ shakes us, and to find power to go out and shake the world because of it.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 4:23-31 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Mar 4, 2020

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Jon Bilitz.

Mar 1, 2020

What do you do when someone criticizes your faith? How do you handle the snide or disparaging comment when someone finds out that you are one of those “Christians”? What do you say, and how do you handle it without feeling guilty or ashamed? How do you confront a friend that thinks they are religious but are holding onto false teachings, or worse, their own version of salvation? It may not happen daily, but when it does it can be challenging. Today we learn from Jesus how to handle such situations, as Peter and John face their first confrontation with boldness and confidence in Acts 4:1-22.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 4:1-22 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Feb 26, 2020

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Randy Hunter

Feb 23, 2020

Transfiguration. Today we recall a day in Jesus’ life when he was with his disciples, Peter, James and John, on a mountain and, according to Matthew’s record, "he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.” Two giants of the Old Testament also appeared there, Moses, the giver of the law and Elijah, the great prophet. Imagine the boost this gave to the apostles who would soon see Jesus betrayed, beaten, and crucified. You wonder how many times during those days they recalled, “But on the mountain…”  Let this event do the same for you. This week marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a time to rehearse and remember Jesus’ suffering and death for the world, for you. Until we make it to the empty grave of Easter, recall as they did, “But on the mountain…”

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 3:11-26 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Feb 16, 2020

Waiting for a miracle? Does that describe you? If it hasn't, or doesn't, it will. In the section of Acts we’re encountering today, the author Dr. Luke records Peter and John meeting a man who had been praying for a miracle for decades. Then healing came. Let that man's suffering and healing open your eyes to a biblical view of your suffering and healing. 

We hope you can join us next Thursday or Sunday for the conclusion of this story. In Acts 3:11-26, Dr. Luke records Peter’s explanation what happened to the man. Let Peter's explanation open your eyes to how God uses miracles—then and today.

Feb 9, 2020

What do Spirit-filled people do? Early in Dr. Luke's record of the seedling Christian church he recorded the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit. But then what? What happens next? Spirit-filled flapping of arms and fainting from being overcome by the presence of God? No. Here's how "spiritual" people became when the Holy Spirit filled them: they hung out together. There's more, of course, but people who are filled with the Spirit look for reasons and find ways to be together…like you…like right now…together.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 2:42-47 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Feb 2, 2020

It is sometimes called the sermon that launched the Christian Church. Jesus launched his church, but we get an amazing picture of how God uses his children. In the moments following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Peter stands boldly and preaches of Jesus and the forgiveness given by Jesus. What takes Peter from a terrified, timid fisherman to a bold proclaimer of the faith? It is the same gospel God has placed in your heart! Today, learn from Peter's first sermon how to proclaim Jesus and the means by which God gives his grace. 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 2:14-41 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jan 26, 2020

Burning but not burning out: There's a fine line between the two, isn't there? You pour yourself into your job, sport, or some hobby so fully because it fills you. You get energy from it. But if you're not filled, the time comes when you burn out. In Acts 2, Jesus keeps a promise to fill his church with energy, the Spirit. He's still doing that for you. The Spirit's work of filling you with purpose, grace, and gifts is the difference between burning out and burning for a lifetime. We’re glad you’re here because the Spirit promises to do that work through the Good News of Jesus. Let him light you up and keep you burning. 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 2:1-13 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jan 19, 2020

What do you do while you're waiting? Delete old messages? YouTube? Tap your fingers? Nobody likes waiting, but we all do it. And some do it better than others. (Did you really honk the horn while waiting in the car . . . in the garage? Really?) Last week we began our worship series on the Book of Acts. Jesus inspires us with his commission to go and be his witnesses. But then he says, “Wait.” Today, learn what earlier followers of Jesus did when they waited. We’re all waiting for something. What separates us is what we do while we’re waiting. 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 1:12-26 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jan 12, 2020

Every book of the Bible is about Jesus. Although some Bibles title the fifth book of the New Testament "The Acts of the Apostles," it's still about Jesus. Today we begin our study of that book, Acts. We're not going to study it as just scholars, but we're going to study it also as soldiers. Scholars and soldiers tend to be the ones who study history the most. Scholars tend to look at what people used to do; soldiers tend to look for what remains to be done. One is for information, the other is for mission. We will study the Book of Acts for both. Pick up your copy of the Acts Study Booklet before worship today. It's a way for us to consider a recent translation, the English Heritage Version, and a place for us to write notes, questions, prayers, etc. Like the grace of God, it's yours to keep. Also like the grace of God, it's free because someone else paid for it. If you’re a guest, this booklet is our gift to you, too.

Jan 5, 2020

We've rounded the corner on the shortest day of the year. Our days are finally getting longer; we have a bit more light each and every day. Jesus' arrival announced the good news of God's grace wasn't just for those of Jewish descent, but for all people. Today we learn from the Magi of what it is to stand in awe of Christ, the Light to the gentiles.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Matthew 2 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jan 1, 2020

On the last day of the year, countless memories flood our minds—some we treasure and some we repress; some memories we’re glad to hold on to and others we’re glad to get rid of. Through all, we remember and hold to Christ. His unchanging grace and presence has sustained us in the past and will define our future. He is the Lord of history and he is the Lord of our future. He is the One we worship tonight.

Dec 29, 2019

Please Skip to 1:25 for the start of the Sermon. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 

Not all were thrilled with the birth of Jesus. Not all were prepared for what it would mean in their own lives. Today we see the reality of what happens when God’s mercy in the flesh, collides with the worst of atrocities that hide in the darkness of the heart. Yet, we stand in awe of Christ, who is mercy incarnate.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Matthew 2 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Dec 25, 2019

Stand in Awe of Christ, who is Immanuel 

Emmanuel or Immanuel? We see it both ways throughout the Christmas prophecies and accounts. The difference is the language it was written in, Hebrew or Greek. Either way it has the same incredible meaning, God with us! This Christmas we stand in awe of Christ, who is God with US! 

Dec 24, 2019

We pray you enjoy the sights, food, family, and gifts of this season. They’re gifts from God. But there’s more, infinitely more, to enjoy. This Christmas, stand in awe of Christ. Because of the miracle of Christmas, blessings overflow into your life. That’s why we worship him. We’re glad you’re joining us to do so.

Dec 22, 2019

If you ever think, I wish I knew what God was like, look at Jesus. If you ever think, I wish I knew what God would say, listen to Jesus' words. That's what God says. There's one God, and Jesus, his one and only Son, makes him known. People all around us are groping in the dark trying to find God. Look at Jesus, and you’ll find him. If you were lost in dark woods and saw a light in the distance, you'd know that if you could just get to that light, you'd be home. Here’s the point of our worship: we fix our eyes on Jesus and trust he will lead us home. We’re glad you’re with us.

To receive 250-word devotions on John 1:14 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Dec 15, 2019

What's the most common reaction to seeing the glory of God throughout the Bible? You'd think it would be joy, elation, awe, and wonder, right? "And they were terrified" is actually the most common reaction people have when in the presence of the glory of God. Yet, there in the manger, we gaze into the glory of God, not with terror, but with awe that God took on flesh for us! Today we stand in awe of Christ as we gaze upon his glory and see how he's given his glory to us!

 

To receive 250-word devotions on John 1:14 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Dec 8, 2019

Come, stay with me. To how many people would you quickly say that? A hunch is, not many for a host of reasons, both obvious and nuanced. The Apostle John describes Jesus as God who became flesh and then adds, "he made his home with us." He came to us. Some of the meaning behind that is obvious. Jesus is God with us. But some of it is deeply nuanced. May the Spirit bless you through is revelation of God today. The goal isn't to become smarter (although that happens), the goal is, this Christmas, to stand in awe of Christ.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on John 1:14 this week, Monday – Friday,

go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

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