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St Andrew's Messages

Messages from St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Middleton, WI.
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Now displaying: Page 10
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.

Jul 19, 2020

Transition. It's a word we're hearing often these days. Other words for it are evolvingshifting, and changing. We've always used these words to describe our times, but for the first time we're applying them to the little league season, vacation plans, the school year, and going out to eat. Roll into one all the transitions causing upheaval in your life right now, and you still don't even come close to the transition you'll discover in Acts 10. Read vs. 1-23 and check off what you see as cataclysmic changes. Experience a settled peace that can help you weather any change. 

Jul 12, 2020

What does that term bring to mind for you? Do you have a positive initial reaction, or are you somewhat turned off by that description? This weekend we are introduced to a Roman Centurion, a “God-Fearer,” whose prayer-time is interrupted by God fueling his passion to find out more about Jesus.

Jul 5, 2020

Jesus Christ heals you

Those were Peter's words to a man who had been paralyzed for eight years. Shortly after, in the same name of Jesus, Peter raised a woman from the dead. If only Jesus could do the same things among us today. COVID would lose its threat. Death would lose its power. We could live a different kind of life. He can. He does. This is the Jesus we adore and worship. This is the Jesus who sets his table before us again this weekend. This is the Christ who makes us whole. If only he were here now? He is. That’s why we gather with God's people to worship and adore him.

Jun 28, 2020

If asked to name a favorite disciple of Jesus, most of us wouldn’t quickly think of Barnabas. Our study of Acts might just change that. May the Spirit bless you through the record of his service. More than history and more than an example; his life is a testimony to the power of the gospel that is also at work in you. If God so used Barnabas for such grand things, who knows how me might use you. Register to receive 250-word devotions on this same text, Monday – Friday, at st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jun 21, 2020

The last 15 weeks have truly been a challenge, haven't they? Perhaps for you it's been a roller coaster of emotions, spiritual challenges, and the grind of constantly changing information and lack of routines. This week, some normalcy is returning. We will be able to, for the first time in 15 weeks, gather on-site for worship. Today we will pause our Acts series and learn from the Apostle Paul what it is to rejoice in the LORD always! 

Jun 14, 2020

You could say of very few, "That person turned the world upside down." But you could say that of the Apostle Paul. What's even more dramatic is the same Spirit who turned Paul upside down has turned you upside down and is turning our world upside down today through Paul's words. You can run from the Spirit, but you better keep looking over your shoulder, because you can't outrun him. May the Spirit bless your love for his Word. To receive 250-word devotions on this same text, Acts 9:1-19, this week, Monday – Friday, go to st-andrew-online.org/devotions.

Jun 7, 2020

In our study of the Book of Acts this weekend, we come to two people who couldn't have been more different. Philip was a Jew; the man he met was a Gentile. Philip was a Christian; the man he met was a pagan. Philip was (likely) not wealthy; the man he met was. Philip was white; the man he met was black. What could they possibly have in common? How could they possibly live in peace? Read Acts 8:26-40, pray for the Spirit to teach you how to give grace to every race, and join us online for help and courage to do so.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 8:26-40 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

May 31, 2020

“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Jesus encountered a man who said that. But it could have been any of us. Every one of us has at times felt a disconnect between our faith and our life. In the section of Acts before us today, a man demonstrates that disconnection. He's outside the kingdom of God. Then through the Spirit's gift of faith, he's inside the kingdom of God. But that's when things get interesting. Read about Simon the Sorcerer, Acts 8:9-25, and ask the Spirit to bless his Word to you today. 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 8:9-25 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

May 24, 2020

“There was great joy…” What brings you great joy? Throughout this season, perhaps joy has been a challenge to find. Perhaps it, like Charlie Brown's football, seems to always elude you. We could say it is our circumstances, all that is happening, but the words above are written at a time of great displacement and persecution and yet great joy. Today we will see how God crosses cultural boundaries and brings his great joy. 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 8:4-8 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

May 17, 2020

Who is the greatest baseball player who ever lived? Dimaggio? Robinson? Oliva? Rodrigez? Or substitute for "baseball player" the greatest runner, the greatest author, the greatest president, or whatever your hobby is. Who is the greatest? In the slice of first century history called The Book of Acts, we encounter a man we might call the greatest in many ways. Study Acts 8:1-3 with us this weekend and meet him. Let God speak to you through his Word in our worship services, in the Sunday night Growth Group, and in daily devotions. It won't make any of us the greatest, but we will better appreciate how God works in today's world . . . and in your world.

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 8:1-3 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

May 10, 2020

Have you ever wondered how your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents weathered the hardships of the Great Depression? Their stories of suffering are harrowing to most of us. In our more reflective moments, maybe more likely these days, we might ask, "How would I handle that?" God has an answer for you. He delivers it through his servant Stephen. Find Acts 7:54-60 and join us to receive God’s answer in our online worship. Let Stephen show you how your suffering, whatever it is, will lead to glory.

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 7:54-60 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

May 3, 2020

Though we won't be able to pet sheep this weekend, we have the wonderful privilege of seeing Jesus, our Good Shepherd, one more time. Stephen, as he preaches his first and last sermon, his funeral testimony, he recounts for us the tremendous love of God, the Good Shepherd, for his people throughout history. We will see his love and grace transcend nations, locations, isolation, time, and even rejection by his stiff-necked sheep. This is our loving Good Shepherd! 

 

To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 7:1-53 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Apr 26, 2020

How did you get the face of an angel? No, this weekend our theme isn't about a beauty makeover, although in a way it is. Nor is it a listing of cheesy pickup lines, although this one ain't bad. This question is prompted by deep theology inspired by the Holy Spirit, demonstrated by St. Stephen, and now passed on to us. We’re glad you joined us online to study Acts 6:8-15 and to receive the Spirit's blessing through it.
 
Can you believe this is already our 7th weekend of virtual worship? We've been blessed to receive the powerful gospel message via video, but we can't wait to be together face-to-face again. It seems likely that when we again gather we will at first be restricted to smaller groups than the several hundred people we’re used to. Our Minister of Worship, Ms. Laabs and her worship teams are discussing what that might look like for us. We'll keep you posted while this fluid situation unfolds. God-willing, soon we will be able to receive the Lord's Supper the way our Lord Jesus intended, together.



To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 6:8-15 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Apr 19, 2020

Show me a perfect church and . . . I'll show you heaven. Dr. Luke records how the earliest
Easter people sometimes didn't act like Jesus came out of the grave. But then, because they
knew he did, they repented and set a new course. Sounds like us. Luke didn’t record the
book of Acts to hold up the early Christian church as an impossible example to follow. His
purpose was to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the
growth of Jesus' church. And that sounds like us, too. We are glad you found us and invite
you to contact us if we can serve you.
To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 6:1-7 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

Apr 12, 2020

The four-year-old looked up from her chicken nuggets and announced to her parents,
“We’re all gonna die.” Her parents looked up startled and fearful they had allowed her to
see too much COVID coverage on TV. But then she continued matter-of-factly, “But Jesus
moved the stone.” No matter what has happened in this world or will happen, the best
news is this: Jesus moved the stone. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is true. Let’s
celebrate it together, even from a distance.
To receive 250-word devotions on Acts 5:29-33 this week, Monday – Friday,

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

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