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St Andrew's Messages

Messages from St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Middleton, WI.
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Now displaying: 2019
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.

Dec 1, 2019

Welcome to Advent, a season of preparation. Our worship for the next four weeks will not only anticipate the reality of Christ’s return, but our worship will also help us prepare for the real Christmas. There is a kind of Christmas that's too easy, too shallow, and too trite. But there's another kind that would fill the Grand Canyon with life-changing truth. That's the kind we're after. This Advent season, prepare to stand in awe of Christ this Christmas.

 

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

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

Nov 28, 2019

Imagine that you gave a magnanimous gift to someone: a house, a car, a kidney! In response, the person casually mentioned to another that he felt some vague sense of general gratitude. That wouldn't be enough. Even though you didn't give the gift to receive something in return, that kind of gratitude wouldn't be enough. We have received from God the greatest possible gift: forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. The gift was only possible because he gave up his Son for you. More than that, we receive daily evidence of God's grace. That's why Christians have more than some vague sense of general gratitude. Christians thank the giver. We seek evidence of God's grace and receive a tool to help us thank the Giver . . . daily.

Nov 24, 2019

Letters to the Seven has been a series where we hear from Jesus what he wants from his Church. He wants us to hold to our first love, to not give up amid suffering, to hold to the truth and not false doctrine, and to hold fast to his grace. The message we receive this week as we close out the series is to be on fire for the gospel and have an identity founded in Christ. What does that look like? Today learn from Jesus what he expects and how he promises to provide it to you.

 

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

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

Nov 17, 2019

The ancient Greeks had a proverb, pathemata mathemata, suffering is education. You've seen it. But it's not automatic. Suffering can make you more human or less human, more caring and compassionate or more hardened and bitter. What accounts for the difference? That's what Jesus taught the Christians in Philadelphia (not the home of the Eagles, but an ancient city in what is now Turkey.) We have a copy of the letter in Revelation 3:7-13. Through it, Jesus teaches us to endure and gives us what it takes to endure. We’re glad you’re with us today to receive good things from Jesus’ letter.

 

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

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

Nov 10, 2019

Twenty years Jim Collins wrote the bestseller, "Good to Great." Collins and his team researched companies that performed better than most for a prolonged period and determined the main reasons they became great. It caught on beyond the traditional audience of business books because, well, who doesn't want to be great? Jesus has something to say about that, too. In his letter to us, originally sent to the Christian church in the Turkish city of Sardis, Jesus tells us how his love and power explode in our lives. By any definition, that's greatness. We are thrilled you’re here to encounter Jesus today and pray for God to bless your worship.

 

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

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

Nov 3, 2019

Is tolerance loving? When a child decides she will dress herself for the day and her style is a mismatched hot mess, but at least she’s dressed, I'd say tolerating her choice is loving. If I tolerate the same said child's choice to then ride her bike down the middle of a busy street, I'm no longer loving. I'm reckless and have endangered her life. Sometimes love is intolerant. Today as we celebrate the Reformation, we hear from Jesus as he helps us understand how love means holding to the truth and sometimes being intolerant.

Oct 27, 2019

I know where you live. That sounds like the creepy voice of a menace in a horror movie. But it's also what Jesus says to Christians in the third of the seven churches he writes to in Revelation. Jesus didn't intend for it to cause horror; he wanted it to bring comfort. He knew the difficulty of remaining faithful to him in a place like Pergamum—and a place like your town. He doesn't need Google Maps to find your address, and he doesn't need a newsfeed to tell him what's going on. He knows. He knows what it's like where you work, live, and go to school. He encourages us to remain faithful to his name and he offers repentance for the times we aren't faithful to his name and Word. Believe his promise …and get a white stone.

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

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

Oct 20, 2019

A paradox is a statement that seems to say two opposite things. Less is more. I'll say it again, I never repeat myself. If you're not here, raise your hand. Jesus' message to the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) is a paradox. Things are worse than they seem. Things are better than they seem. It's his message to you, too. But he's not just employing some clever literary device, he's telling the truth. We’re glad you’re here today to learn from Jesus' message to the second of the seven churches in Revelation. It's as real, powerful, and true for us as it was for them. Even if it is a paradox.

 

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

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

Oct 13, 2019

What happens when you do everything right, but you've lost your way? The work is the same, but your joy is missing. The people, the very people whom you've loved and worked alongside, you now find annoying and frustrating. You know what needs to happen, but you just don't have the energy and passion that you once had. Ever been there? Today we will learn from Jesus about how the Ephesians had lost their first love, and how Jesus lovingly calls them and us back to himself.

 

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

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

Oct 6, 2019

"Out of the depths, I cry to you O Lord." God knows your pits. He knows the darkness that resides deep within, the secrets no one else knows, and the guilt, fear, and shame that overwhelm. Psalm 130 acknowledges the darkness but points us to the one who rescues and redeems us from the very sins that have entangled. We see his forgiveness, his rescue, and his love! If sin has been holding you captive, and if doubt, fear, and shame have you covering up some sin, we’re glad you joined us to hear God's amazing freedom and love for you! 

 

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

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

Sep 29, 2019

"Out of the depths, I cry to you O Lord." God knows your pits. He knows the darkness that resides deep within, the secrets no one else knows, and the guilt, fear, and shame that overwhelm. Psalm 130 acknowledges the darkness but points us to the one who rescues and redeems us from the very sins that have entangled. We see his forgiveness, his rescue, and his love! If sin has been holding you captive, and if doubt, fear, and shame have you covering up some sin, we’re glad you joined us to hear God's amazing freedom and love for you! 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 130 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Sep 22, 2019

An article in Psychology Today suggests we shouldn't ask "Who am I," because "it assumes there's an answer." Instead, the author recommends that we ask, "How would I like to experience my life?" That's honest enough; in fact, it’s the most honest answer when you're really nothing. God has so much more for you. When human reasoning throws in the towel, God steps in. Psalm 8 shows us the difference between the way our culture says to find out who you are and God's own word on who you are. We’re glad you’re here to see that difference and pray God blesses you through it.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 8 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Sep 15, 2019

How do you decide what's important to you? Your Beanie Baby collection is really only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it no matter what you think it's worth. Someone else determines what it's worth. You've decided some things are worth a fortune and some things aren't worth a pile of beans. What made you determine that value? God's Word gives timeless guidance for determining what's valuable. We’re glad you’re here to let him teach you through Psalm 19.  It’s not just about what’s valuable in this life; it’s about Jesus, the value of the One who kept God's Word for you.

 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 19 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Sep 8, 2019

When we suffer we tend to ask, “Why me, Lord?” Why did I break my leg? Why did my loved one die? Why did I end up alone? And there’s no answer. But when Jesus suffered he asked the same question, “Why me?” And there was an answer. Why? For you. We gather here today to remember that. The answer to Jesus’ suffering for us convinces us of his promise that our sorrow will lead to greater joy.  

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 126 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Sep 1, 2019

The time for laments and sadness is over. Our focus turns to praise that our Lord has rescued, redeemed, and restored. Our study this week leads us to one of the great praise songs of the salvation won for us by our God. As you pause and study Psalm 98 today, you may recognize some Christmas overtones: salvation has come to earth; let all the earth rejoice. We will join with all creation rejoicing in our Savior!  

 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 98 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Aug 25, 2019

All of us face forces that seek to knock us off the track of following Jesus. Anger is one of those forces. Have you suffered serious mistreatment or just run-of-the-mill snubbing? Either way, the result is often anger. Now what? Psalm 137 is the Spirit's answer. Some parts of it are hard to take, among the hardest to take in the whole Bible. But they're in the Bible, so we won't run from them. Today we ask God to teach us what to do with our anger; but more than that, to fill us with gratitude for what he has done to satisfy his justice over every mistreatment.

 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 137 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Aug 20, 2019

Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, "Of all the sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: it might have been." The most tragic thing about much of history is that it could have been so different. Because the Israelites turned away from the Lord their history was filled with disaster. Let Psalm 81 show you how the history of your life can be different. The First Commandment is, "You shall have no other gods." How different the history of our lives would be if we could nail that. Thank God, Jesus was nailed for our failure to keep the first commandment. Receive his grace in Word and in body and blood today. It’s God’s way of removing the sadness of "what might have been" and changing our history to, "satisfying you with honey from the rock." (Ps 81:17) 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 81 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Aug 11, 2019

Psalm 1 taught us that the key to knowing God is to delight in his Word. What is it? Psalm 119 describes it as his law, decrees, commands, and statutes. It’s permanently relevant for every time and place; more than that, it’s trustworthy. It’s perfectly suited for our needs. In God’s Word, though, we receive more than a set of abstract rules. We receive an expression of God’s own character and nature. That means knowing Psalm 119, or the whole Bible for that matter, isn’t an end in and of itself. We know it in order to seek him with all our heart. Let’s do that together in this time of worship.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 119 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Aug 4, 2019

Are you ready to marvel at the love of God? God’s love has been displayed throughout history through his great acts of mercy and deliverance and his power and patience. As we dig into Psalm 145 this weekend, King David helps us see the greatness of God and the variety of ways God reveals the depth of his love, patience, and grace for each of us!

To receive 250-word devotions on Psalm 145 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Jul 28, 2019

Probably the last subject anyone wants to bring up at a family picnic or company outing
is . . . wait for it . . . SIN. Yeah, probably not going to happen. So why does God bring it up? For the same reason he reveals anything to us: for our benefit. Today, benefit from God's revelation in Psalm 32—one of the seven "penitential psalms." Sin is real, but there's a treatment for it and an antidote to it that makes it not only possible but a welcome subject to discuss. May God bless your worship today.

Jul 21, 2019

Do you like multiple-choice tests? Or do you often find it difficult to choose one best answer? Here's the trouble with making one choice—the other options go away. And we don't like that. There's something good about that other option, whether it’s a test answer, a job offer, a romantic interest, etc. But finally, you have to make one choice. So did David. The Spirit inspired him to write in Psalm 27 about One Thing he wanted more than anything else. Read Psalm 27 this week, pray it, repeat it, and think about it. Then come together with the people of God at St. Andrew to grow into the person God is calling you to be and to see the one thing you need and get it.

 

Sign up to receive 250-word devotions this week, Monday – Friday, on Psalm 27 at st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jul 14, 2019

You drive the same route to work every day. Then one day you notice a building or sign you’ve never seen before. It’s been there for years, but you’ve gotten so used to it you didn’t even notice it. Worship can be like that. The “Old, Old Story,” as the hymn goes, can become just the old story. Psalm 147 calls us to worship actively and meaningfully. May God bless you through his Word today.

 

Sign up to receive 250-word devotions this week, Monday – Friday, on Psalm 147 at st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jul 7, 2019

What gets you down?  It's ok to admit it, even “glass-half-full” people get down. Even spiritual giants get down. Psalm 42 and 43 form a single message from God. They help us understand the condition of being downcast, how it happens, and what can help. You haven’t come to a therapist’s couch, but to the living God who delivers the downcast. You say you feel like you’re on top of the world and don’t need that? Good for you. Just wait. The Spirit who delivered the words of these two psalms is delighted you’re receiving his truth for today and for the future.

Jun 30, 2019

Effective teachers employ different strategies because they know some learn better by talking, some by personal research, some by memorizing steps, and others by creating their own way. God is the ultimate teacher. In Psalm 91 he employs a variety of pictures to help you know how deeply he cares for you. Undoubtedly, some of those pictures will be more meaningful to you than others. Start your meditation on Psalm 91 today, but let it continue all week: re-read it, read it to someone, read one verse and stop to pray about it, write one verse on a three by five card and keep it with you all day, commit to talking about a verse with someone, etc. Find your way to let God teach you through Psalm 91.

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