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Sermons on Purpose, Mission, & Ministry

Sermons on Purpose, Mission, & Ministry

followers, morals, marriage, choices, supper, gifts, hope

Foolproof Choices

How do you make decisions about what you will eat or drink or about what you will wear? Our culture tells us, “If it feels good do it! It’s your right! It’s your freedom!” But making decisions based only on our personal happiness can harm others. And that would be foolish. Paul sees the Corinthian Christians living like that. They were eating at pagan festivals in front of new Christians who were trying to separate from their old, pagan way…
followers, morals, marriage, choices, supper, gifts, hope

Foolproof Marriage

One of the most important decisions we make is who, when, or if we are going to marry. Our culture teaches that marriage is about our own personal happiness. Therefore, we should choose to marry someone only insofar as that person makes us happy. The new Christians in the Corinthian church inherited that same mindset from their culture. So, Paul teaches them to look at marriage as an opportunity to sacrificially commit to another person in Christ. (Paul does talk…
followers, morals, marriage, choices, supper, gifts, hope

Foolproof Morals

Our culture tells us that happiness comes from having the freedom to choose your own morality. To be open-minded and accepting of every lifestyle is considered a virtue. First Century Corinthian culture was the same. They were proud to say, “Everything is permissible!” But Paul shared a message with them that seemed foolish. He said that all people could “come as they are” to the Christian church, but Jesus didn’t want them to stay as they are. Christians have been…
followers, morals, marriage, choices, supper, gifts, hope

Foolproof Followers

We are all tempted to scroll through YouTube, Facebook, or the latest podcast to find the sage who will unlock the secret to true happiness. We look to leaders who have charisma and success. We can even look at our favorite spiritual leaders in the same way. But often, we find out that those leaders are broken people with flaws just like all of us. The Corinthians fell into the same trap. They put their faith in leaders who had…

Jesus’ Generosity is Good for All People

Some people have become wary of the Christian Church because they feel that they just ask for money. At times, we all get frustrated that we don’t have as much as someone else. But we find in God’s Word that Jesus is unendingly generous. All that we have – wealth, abilities, status – is from God. And the most important gift he gives to us is grace. Because of Jesus’ generosity, Christians can be inspired to serve others and give…

Remaining Faithful to the Work

Even after all the work is done on the temple, there is still lingering corruption and challenges. Nehemiah stays vigilant and calls God’s people to remain faithful to the work of building and maintaining God’s house. As we accomplish God-sized visions, there will be ongoing work to do. At Victory, we learn from each opportunity we take, and we continue to go back to our mission and values to stay focused on the work. If you have fallen away from…

Spiritual Renewal in the Love of God

The walls were up, and it was time to gather at the temple as God’s people. Nehemiah and Ezra read God’s Word to the crowds. The people are moved by God’s Word. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the people repent, and a revival begins. Our Ministry Center is an important building where God’s people gather. But it’s not the building itself that is important. The move of God comes through the Word of God. That’s why it’s essential…

Challenges from the Inside

As the work continues, Nehemiah finds out that God’s people have been corrupted from the inside. They are neglecting the poor and charging unnecessary interest. Nehemiah knows they can’t go forward with God’s plans on the Temple walls if God’s people are unwilling to examine and repair the “temples” of their own lives. Vision, hard work, and perseverance are necessary in doing the work to build God’s kingdom. But they’re not the only parts of the project. Each one of…

Opposition from the Outside

Nothing is quite as easy as it seems. Once Sanballat and Tobiah hear about Nehemiah’s efforts to rebuild the temple, they do everything they can to sabotage God’s work. But Nehemiah is undeterred. He expected opposition and struggle. So, he makes a plan to trust in God and prepare for conflict while continuing the work. Any time we have a God-sized vision like the one we have at Victory, we should expect conflict. From technology difficulties to the busyness of…

Getting Down to Work

God’s people are moved by the vision Nehemiah shares to rebuild the temple. But they don’t stop there. Under Nehemiah’s leadership, they decide to unite and get to work on the temple for the glory of God. It’s a blessing to dream and talk about the future here at Victory. We need to start any work we do with prayer and planning. But then, after we have a clear vision and plan, we need to get to work. Each of…

A Vision for Something Better

Nehemiah hears and sees the problem: the walls around the Temple are still broken down. The house of God is vulnerable to attack and dishonor. He fervently prays a prayer of repentance on behalf of himself and the people. He then meets with the leaders and clearly proclaims a vision of a better future for God’s people… with God’s help. At Victory, we pray for God’s guidance in reaching today’s people with Christ’s victory. We ask Him to help us…

Come Together: God’s People for the Gospel

Whenever the Holy Spirit breaks our hearts with the law and renews our hope in the Gospel, the Accuser quickly attacks our faith and tries to lead us back into pride, trouble, and despair. Because nothing is more of a threat to him than Christians overflowing with the hope of the Gospel. Despite these difficulties, God comforts and strengthens us. When we come together around the Gospel, we are strengthened in faith. God gives us his Word, Sacraments, and people…