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Sermons from Grace/Bethel

Author: Mark Haefner

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Weekly audio recordings of sermons presented at Grace Lutheran and Bethel Lutheran churches Seward and York NE. Mark A. Haefner, Pastor
127 Episodes
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Like the Psalmist we too are bothered when we see the wicked prosper while believers suffer. Like him we find the answer when we go to the sanctuary of God and are reminded that this life is not the end. God's justice will be delivered on the last day when those who have rejected Jesus and mocked God will be sent away to eternal punishment while those who are righteous through faith in Jesus will bask in the glory of God for all eternity.
David was being chased by an enemy army led by his rebellious son as he was reminded of his sins. How did he respond? He turned to the Lord in prayer and trusted that the Lord would deliver him. Like David, we too can trust that the Lord will deliver us from all our enemies because Jesus has defeated the Devil for us and continues to intercede for us.
Peter wanted to hold on to a little heaven on earth. But to keep Jesus in glory on the mountain would have kept him for doing what was needed for our salvation. The Father reminded Peter and us to listen to Jesus. Listen to everything he says.
Jesus showed his authority by healing every illness and ordering demons to be quiet and come out. But illnesses and demon possession were only symptoms of the real problem he came to solve. He came to forgive sins and destroy the devil's work forever. 
The Holy Spirit teaches Stewardship. True Stewardship is a fruit of faith that comes when we focus on the Grace we have received from God. His grace to us fills our hearts with joy, trust and generosity. It moves us to use all that we are and have to bring glory to God and good to our neighbor.
Unity? It has to start with being reconciled to God. It means recognizing everyone is equally sinful in God's eyes, and that Jesus died to pay for everyone's sin. 
Add, Increase, Grow. These are words Peter uses to encourage us to life-long study of Scripture. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus we will gladly share the good news with everyone.
The writer holds up the Faithfulness of God to inspire us to gather for worship. As we gather, we encourage each other to show love to God and to one another we let our light shine and have opportunities to share the good news about Jesus.
Many examples of how God found ways to make himself known to all.
Luke 2:25-36 "Peace"

Luke 2:25-36 "Peace"

2020-12-2815:55

Nothing the world offers can give true and lasting peace. Simeon found that true and lasting peace comes from seeing the Lord's Salvation. That's our source of peace as well. 
The Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. They Word became flesh. The Word is Jesus. He is the promised seed of the woman who took on flesh and blood so that he could redeem us from sin, death and Satan by his perfect life in our place, his innocent death in our place, and his glorious resurrection from the dead. Through faith in him we are children of God and heirs with him of eternal life.
Luke 1:25-36 - Believe

Luke 1:25-36 - Believe

2020-12-2116:25

Mary demonstrated humble faith, but it wasn't blind faith. She knew the prophecies. She trusted that no word of God could ever faith. The same should be true of us. Like Mary we wonder why God would choose us and give us his grace and favor. Like Mary we know that no word of God can faith. Nothing is impossible with God. So no matter what he promises us, no matter how unbelievable it seems, we know it will happed. We say with Mary, "I am the Lord's servant."
Like Israel, we might wonder if we have reasons to rejoice. In Jesus we always have reason to rejoice because he has clothed us in his robe of righteousness and covered us with garments of salvation. He alone gives us everlasting joy.
Mark 1:1-8 Prepare

Mark 1:1-8 Prepare

2020-12-0616:48

Prepare for a proper celebration of Christmas by recognizing your need for a savior, recognizing that Jesus is that savior, and remembering your baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus is like the man who went on a journey and gave each servant a job to do until he returned. Jesus has given each of us gifts to use to serve him and our neighbor while he is gone. He hasn't told us when he will return, but he has given us signs so that we might know the time is near. Watch. learn and pay attention to the signs. In the mean time, remember that the wise and faithful servant is the one the Lord finds doing the work he has been given when he returns.
Psalm 103 Thanksgiving

Psalm 103 Thanksgiving

2020-11-2618:44

Thanksgiving cancelled? God's mercy endures from everlasting to everlasting. There is always a reason for thanksgiving.
Does it seem that God is King, ruling over all the earth? The evil in the world is not God's fault. He is ruling all the earth in the way that fulfills his promise of salvation. He showed this clearly as he turned the evil actions of the Jewish leaders and the sinful action of Pilate into salvation for all through the death and resurrection of Jesus. No matter what it looks like, trust that God is in control for your eternal good.
Everything we have belongs to God. We are his stewards. Considering the fact that we don't deserve anything from him, yet in his grace he gives us Jesus, and trusts us to use his possessions while we live on earth, we are motivated to use them faithfully. Stewardship is about attitude. Consider the difference in attitude between the two faithful servants and the unfaithful servant.
Isaiah 5;1-7

Isaiah 5;1-7

2020-10-1916:55

Believers are plantings in God's vineyard. Considering all the blessings he showers on us he has the right to expect that we will produce good fruit, the we will be a planting for the display of his splendor.
Ever sins Adam and Eve sinned we all have a heart that wants to blame others as they did in the garden. In order to take responsibility for our sins and trust Christ for forgiveness we need a new heart and a new spirit. God creates this new heart and spirit in us through the word and sacraments. As renewed children of God through faith we realize that no one else it to blame for our sins. We realize that each person is accountable to God. He will not punish us for someone else's sins, nor will he save us because of someone else's faith.
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