So much has happened in the last year. Our eyes were glued to the daily numbers, we boarded up in our homes, and our routines were interrupted. Sports were cancelled and then were held in a very different format. There was racial tension that opened our eyes to injustices. The political vote revealed what social media already made apparent – we are divided. These changes were already a part of our lives, but a crisis accelerates change. And the result is confusion, frustration, depression, and hostility.
But God has an answer for all of this. When we dig into God’s word, we find that God has an answer for every challenge we face. We aren’t stuck in our current state. We can find renewal when we look at what God intends for our lives. As we study God’s Word in this series, we will see how God bring renewal to our hearts and minds, our daily lives.
January 3, 2021: Worship Over Worry
No political party can provide you what you need and make all of your dreams come true. We constantly find disappointment in the things of this world, and so we worry. We worry that things are not going to go the way we want We worry that we want be able to handle it. We worry that we don’t add up. When we worship instead of worry, we take our eyes and minds of ourselves and look to God, who is our creator, redeemer, and provider. He renews us through the good news of Jesus in Word and Sacraments.
Sermon Text: Matthew 6:25-34
January 10, 2021: Faith Over Feelings
Our feelings are so untrustworthy because they are always changing. And our feelings are affected by sin. But we don’t have to be tossed back and forth by our feelings. We’re called, not to live by our feelings, but to live by faith. Our faith is rock solid if we have placed it in God—the unchanging, perfect, eternal, sovereign One. This faith is founded on the infallible, certain, life-changing, authoritative Word of God. Bring renewal to your life by relying on the object of your faith and not your feelings.
Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 5:7
January 17, 2021: Forgiveness Over Revenge
Forgiveness is easier said than done. We want to use forgiveness as a weapon. The problem is that withholding forgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person so much as it cuts into our souls. It makes us feel superior and in control, but the lack of forgiveness actually crushes us. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean we’ll feel instant joy or relief. But it does mean we’re taking the right steps to walk toward healing and renewal.
Sermon Text: Matthew 18:21-35
January 24, 2021: Rest Over Exhaustion
We spend so much time trying to be perfect at whatever we do. We don’t want to let people down. We want to feel loved and needed. And so, we go above and beyond to prove ourselves to others and to God. The result is we are exhausted. We are tired. We are worn out. We need rest so that we can see and do the important things instead of the urgent things. Jesus lets us know that it is not only good for us to rest but that he wants us to rest, both physically and spiritually. Resting with God brings renewal.
Sermon Text: Mark 2:27
January 31, 2021: Prayer Over Other “Priorities”
We sometimes think of prayer as a waste of time. So we don’t make time to pray. When we offer to pray, we sometimes feel like we are taking the easy way out as opposed to enlisting the powerful God to intervene in life. We think prayer makes us weak, but prayer allows us to tap into our power source. Renewal comes with quality time spent with God in prayer.
Sermon Text: James 5:16
February 14, 2021: Love Over Hate
Disagreement is everywhere. There isn’t anything wrong with disagreements… until we cancel someone because they don’t share our views. Then, the situation becomes hateful. The hate in the world gives Christians a chance to let our light shine by loving the unlovable – like God loves us. God’s love for you renews you so you can be catalyst for renewal for others by sharing God’s love and your love with them.
Sermon Text: Matthew 5:43-48