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St Andrew's Messages

Messages from St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Middleton, WI.
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Now displaying: 2020
Dec 27, 2020

Salvation prepared for all people
It was in the midst of a worldwide census, political and social upheavals, and the din of Temple worship that the Lord of creation quietly entered his Temple. There was no fanfare or ceremony. He entered humbly, carried by his teenage mother and unnoticed by all except one who had been waiting. We hear the words of the only one to notice the LORD of Glory entering his Temple, who announces peace and salvation for all.

To receive 250-word devotions on “The World’s Greatest ADVENTure: The Promotion” this week, Monday – Friday, go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Dec 25, 2020

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. The Baby in the manger grew up to be, as Isaiah the prophet described him, The Suffering Servant. His suffering isn’t incongruous with Christmas. His suffering makes Christmas deeper, more meaningful, and longer lasting. May God bless you with such a celebration tonight and every day.

Dec 20, 2020

Crossword fans, what's an eight-letter word for something that is heavier than heaven and earth combined? How about, Immanuel? Isaiah called Jesus, “Immanuel, God with us.” Our ADVENTure continues this week. Let the Creator God of the universe impress you with what it meant for him to become a human being and what it means for you to follow him now and await his return in the future.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on “The World’s Greatest ADVENTure: The Prophecies” this week, Monday – Friday, go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Dec 13, 2020

Where would you go if you knew it was safe and would be all you hoped for?  What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Questions like those might churn up our brains, but, of course, they're unrealistic. We can't get rid of doubt. Or can we? Let the Lord's words to our spiritual father, Abraham, help you face the reality of your doubts with the confidence only the Lord can provide. The ADVENTuresome place for him was the promised land. Your ADVENTuresome place is right where you are.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on “The World’s Greatest ADVENTure: The Promised Land” this week, Monday – Friday, go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Dec 6, 2020

God met Abraham and told him to get out. Get up and go. He sent him and his family on an adventure that involved great risk but on account of which we would receive great blessing. Meeting God changes us into people of mission, willing to leave what is comfortable in order to love and serve others with what is necessary. Here's your great adventure: because God risked coming to earth through Abraham's offspring, you are called to take a risk and bless others. God calls you his child and calls you to follow him and bless others.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on “The World’s Greatest ADVENTure: The People of the Promise” this week, Monday – Friday, go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Nov 29, 2020

Throughout history there have been some truly epic adventures written and recorded. This Advent, we are going to pause and focus on The World's Greatest ADVENTure, the arrival of God's son. The World's Greatest Adventure kicks off this weekend with God's Perfect Plan. 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on “The World’s Greatest ADVENTure: The Perfect Plan” this week, Monday – Friday, go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Nov 25, 2020

Thanksgiving is a bit different this year all the way around, but what is not different is our thanks to God for the blessings he's given. Romans 8:28 is one of the best-known passages in the Bible and also one of the most difficult to understand, but fleas can help us. Isn't that just like God to use a common little thing to help us see the greatest things?

Nov 22, 2020

Me? Enemies? How so? Okay, so no one is shooting at you (most of us anyway). But in spite of the nice people and good neighbors around us, this world is still fallen—and evil. Jesus didn't come to earth to eradicate evil. For him to do that he would have had to destroy us.  Jesus came to destroy enmity—the thing that comes between God and us and between us and each other. It would cost him everything, but that's how Jesus gives rest. The rest Jesus gives changes how we respond to enemies. Today we conclude our Esther series. Queen Esther finally got relief for her people. But her people, the children of Abraham, would get relief for the world by one descendant: Jesus. We'll hear her story but worship our rest-giver Jesus. 

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

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

Nov 15, 2020

What's the first question you ask when you meet someone new? “What do you do?” “Where do you live?” “What are you studying?” Or what happens when the shoe is on the other foot and someone says to you, "Tell me a little about yourself." Whatever our answer is, we consider that our identity. It's how we see ourselves and how we'd like others to see us. This week we are asking the Spirit to teach us through the inspired words of the Book of Esther. In chapter five, two people state their identity. But those who know that the point of the Bible is Jesus will expect to find a different, better, identity in him. If that's you, you won't be disappointed.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Esther 5:1-14 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Nov 8, 2020

What's the first question you ask when you meet someone new? “What do you do?” “Where do you live?” “What are you studying?” Or what happens when the shoe is on the other foot and someone says to you, "Tell me a little about yourself." Whatever our answer is, we consider that our identity. It's how we see ourselves and how we'd like others to see us. This week we are asking the Spirit to teach us through the inspired words of the Book of Esther. In chapter five, two people state their identity. But those who know that the point of the Bible is Jesus will expect to find a different, better, identity in him. If that's you, you won't be disappointed.

Nov 1, 2020

Welcome to St. Andrew LUTHERAN Church. But why? Who decided that we should be called Lutheran? I recently overheard a conversation that went like this: "Are you Catholic?" "Oh, no, I'm Christian." The Catholic Church is a Christian denomination, as are the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Evangelical Free denominations, etc. So, why Lutheran? Obviously, it has to do with a man named Luther, but he didn't invent a church or a doctrine. In fact, while he was alive, he forbade people to call themselves Lutherans. So how'd we get here? And what does it matter? How we got here is interesting, but it matters because it's life changing. The gospel is meant to be.

Oct 25, 2020

About 3,000 years ago, King David had a vision for a ministry expansion, but there was a problem. He held before the people of God a solution. We have a vision for expanding our ministry, too. Our challenges may be different from his, but the solution remains the same. Together, let us seek God and celebrate his presence in this final week of our four-week Fields Are Ripe series.

Oct 18, 2020

You've seen the pictures, heard the phrase, and watched the videos. Now we hear Jesus explain and encourage us to open our eyes and see The Fields Are Ripe for an eternal harvest. We will see how God prepares us for the harvest through the Service and Outreach ministry taking place through St. Andrew.

Oct 11, 2020

Fields Are Ripe—Nurture: When we learn facts, history, or about important issues in society, we benefit. But when we receive the gospel, we are blessed. The church's purpose is to proclaim the gospel so that the Spirit can provide spiritual blessings: forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. St. Andrew has always been about growing in the Word. We've learned a thing or two about how to do that, but we're always looking for new ways to connect people with the Word. Today we worship the God who has given us his Word, and we gain a fresh appreciation for our nurture ministries.

Oct 4, 2020

Why do you worship? It would be fun to survey everyone who comes to St. Andrew to get the answer to that question. This weekend, we'll listen to both those who come to St. Andrew to worship . . . and those who don't. The Fields Are Ripe for St. Andrew to pursue God's vision for our worship. We'll sing about it, listen to God's Word about it, pray about it, hear from our Staff Minister for Worship about it, seek unbelievers through it, and ask God to teach us about his plan for each of us to support our worship ministry.

Sep 27, 2020

What opportunity has God given you today to make some progress in your relationship with him? Today, not, “It’s on my to-do list.” Has the Holy Spirit been using the Word to tell you it's time to start reading Scripture, time to start confessing a sin, time to start praying, time to pursue more friendships with godly people, time to serve and use your gifts, time to start reordering your budget and your schedule so that your relationship with God isn't just "personal," but it’s public, time to make worship less about what's convenient and more about what's encouraging to others? When will you start making some progress? In Esther so far two main characters, Mordecai and Esther, have not shown much progress. But in chapter four they both make great progress. You can tell from statements each one makes. We’re here to seek the same progress. May the Spirit bless your attention to his Word.

Sep 20, 2020

"Mommy, who is the bad guy?" This is a question one of our younger members asked his mom this week. Have you figured out who the bad guy is in Esther? Do you typically look for the hero and the villain in the stories we read? This week as we read the third chapter of Esther, we see what happens when two people harden their hearts and how disastrous outcomes can follow, yet God is still in control. As you prepare for worship this today, ask yourself—have you ever had a Haman and Mordecai interaction?

Sep 13, 2020

Has this ever happened to you? You’re thinking about an old friend that you haven’t seen in years, and then you receive a phone call from him or her a few seconds later. Or you have a sudden, unexplainable urge to visit a place you have never been to, and then you end up meeting the love of your life there. Are such coincidences merely chance, or is there something more at work? To explain such remarkable events, the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity—a coincidence in which highly improbable events occur. Jung is a Johnny-come-lately. The Lord God has been teaching his people since the time of Esther and before that he's the one behind those synchronicities. We’re only in week 3 of our series on the book of Esther and we can see hundreds of  coincidences that had to occur for Esther to become Queen of Persia . . . to save the Israelites from distinction . . . so Mary and Joseph would one day end up in Bethlehem . . . so Jesus would be born there according to God's promise. Is it synchronicity? Is it coincidence? No. It's God. And he's at work in hidden ways in your life, too.  And that’s why we’re here to worship him. Glad you think so, too.

Sep 6, 2020

A tale of two kingdoms. No, we won't be studying the Dickens' classic this weekend. The Spirit intends to shape our thoughts and our lives through the second half of Esther, chapter 1. It's set in the 5th century BC, but it might as well be 21st century America. We live in an earthly kingdom, of sorts. But thank God he has brought us into another kingdom and under another king, Jesus. We live in two kingdoms; and It helps to keep them straight.  Welcome to worship.

Aug 30, 2020

Welcome to our worship series on the Book of Esther. If you've read through it already, you've been treated to some fascinating scenes. But you've probably also noticed what's missing: God. His name isn't mentioned. But that doesn't mean he isn't present on every page. God works in Esther not through his visible hand of miracle, but through his invisible hand of providence. Maybe you've felt like God is missing in your life, too. He isn’t. God is active and present in your life, just as he was in the life of Esther. Let the Spirit show you how. 

Aug 23, 2020

Perhaps you know a parent or a coach who has spoken these words. Typically, they come after repeated reminders, calls to correction, and a failure to listen. This week we hear what happens when God says, "Enough is enough." On the one hand, it is absolutely terrifying, as it should be, but for those who are in Christ, it is his hand protecting and prospering his children. This weekend we are reminded that all things, even corrupt rulers, are under God's providence.

Aug 16, 2020

In Chapter 12 of Acts, you learn the truth: God does hear and does answer your prayers. But he may not answer the way you want him to. Things are happening in our world that are more real than anything you'll ever hear on any news broadcast. You don’t need the Bible to tell you what’s happening in our world, but let Dr. Luke tell you what's happening behind the scenes and inspire you how to react.

Aug 9, 2020

So often throughout the book of Acts we follow the accounts of the apostles and early named missionaries. Today, we see the Holy Spirit's work through everyday Christians who are unnamed, yet whom God uses to bring many into the kingdom. It isn't always the traveling missionary that God uses but often the displaced friend, family member, and co-worker. We do see how God then uses his appointed workers, Barnabas and Paul, but the work begins with unnamed missionaries like you.

Aug 2, 2020

...then I tells them what I told them.

Have you heard this formula for effective communication: "First, I tells them what I'm gonna tell them. Then I tells them. Then I tells them what I told them." In spite of the grammar, there are both benefits and risks to that formula. In Acts 11:1-18, the Apostle Peter “tells us what he told us” already in chapter 10.  The benefit is worth the risk.

Jul 26, 2020

Make no mistake; you don't need to be converted to Christianity again. But every Christian needs to know both how we received this faith, and to what it calls us—and that might surprise you. Let’s study Acts 10, discover how Peter finally got that and marvel at the changes in us when we do.

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