Scroll below for descriptions of previous sermon series delivered at Living Hope.
For 1400 years the Church has set aside the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter as a time of repentance and renewal. Believers humbly acknowledge that sin is the ultimate source of all the crushing moments in life. Our sin even crushed Christ. Yet, on Easter Sunday, Jesus took up his life again. Our Savior crushed both death and the serpent's head. Yes, Lent is a solemn season. But it is also a season of great hope. With the psalmist we say, "The Lord saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Epiphany is a Greek word that means "to appear." Salvation has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. In Epiphany, the Church explores everything that Christ makes apparent about God. We need God to appear to us and make himself known to us. For not only is God beyond our understanding, his works and his ways are contrary to mankind's natural assumptions about him. In other words, the truth about God cannot possibly be discovered by us. Rather, it needs to be uncovered for us. That's what the Spirit is doing for us during this season of Epiphany. Week after week, surprising truths about Jesus our King and life in his kingdom will be uncovered.
When the Lord Comes Near
"Advent" is a Latin word that means "coming." The season of Advent is the four week period before Christmas that the Church uses to connect the two "comings" of Christ. The first time the Lord came into our world it was as a tiny, helpless baby, born in a manger in Bethlehem. However, when Jesus comes again, it will be in all his power and glory with his angelic army behind him. He will be coming as judge at the end of time. Let us use these four weeks to see how the events of Jesus' first coming remove all our fears about his second coming. We can hold our heads high when the Lord comes near.
Rise - Psalms of Ascent
The Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120–34) are typically viewed as songs that were sung as the Hebrew people ascended to Jerusalem to celebrate an annual festival. This series will examine these celebratory songs that were designed to praise God for his provision, protection, and deliverance as the Jewish people made pilgrimage.
As we make our pilgrimage through this weary world to our heavenly home, we also pause to fill up on promises, provision, and protection from our God for the journey.
Joining Jesus On His Mission
Joining Jesus on His Mission will alter the way you see your life as a follower of Jesus and take you beyond living your life for Jesus to living life with Jesus. Simple, powerful and applicable insights will show you how to be on mission and recognize where Jesus is already at work in your neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. You will feel both relief and hope. You may even hear yourself say, “I can do this!” as you start responding to the everyday opportunities Jesus is placing in your path.
Have you ever felt as though your life is nothing special? Does it seem as though nothing you do is all that important? God sees it differently. Just as a skilled potter can take a formless lump of clay and turn it into a beautiful vase, so also God accomplishes extraordinary things in our world using ordinary people like us.
What are you following? Who are you following?
We probably follow a lot of junk on social media these days. Not everything we follow is harmful but, at the same time, it may not always be beneficial or very worthwhile. We probably need to spend less time following celebrities, sports figures, and internet sensations and more time following our Savior.
As we follow Jesus we’ll find that he fills us with the things we really need. Following Jesus is less about doing things and more about receiving things. Following Jesus means receiving true rest, growth, confidence and comfort.
Look around. The world is not as it ought to be. But God has come to make all things new. He makes a way back from darkness to light and from death to life. God came to revive a dying world, to revive despairing hearts and desperate lives. To revive us all.
The key to our revival is Christ’s resurrection from the dead. This series will explore the amazing repercussions that flow to us from Christ because of Easter.
The Road to Redemption
This lent series traces Jesus’ path to the cross and empty tomb by looking back at the Old Testament. The road Jesus walked to win our redemption looks very familiar when we pay attention to the road God was paving for the Messiah in the Old Testament.
And the good news is that Jesus walked this road to redemption for you and me. Life isn’t about us finding redemption for ourselves. It’s about receiving the redemption Jesus won for us. He walked the road—so we can reach our destination.
This series is all about bringing things back into focus.
As we look at Living Hope’s mission and vision statements we'll see how refocusing on that vision in 2021 will bless not only our church but will also personally bless us and those around us.
The church season of Epiphany is all about seeing the good things God reveals to us. Let's open our eyes to refocus on the mission God has placed before us and enjoy the humbling kingdom work we get to be part of.
2020 wasn’t a great year but our 2021 vision can be even stronger than “20-20” vision.
Expect More Out of Christmas
The year 2020 has been a total flop. Every hopeful expectation we had was thrown out the window as the pandemic rolled in. Our expectations and hopes lasted through mid-March but since then have flown away without a trace.
But the end of 2020 can finish strong because Christmas is coming. It’s been a year of lowered expectations. The bar for happiness has been set very low. But the joy of Christmas is untouchable. Our Savior brings gifts that outweigh the losses of this year. He brings light to a world without hope, comfort to the quarantined, and joy for the grieving.
This year especially, expect more out of Christmas than you ever have. The true meaning of Christmas will never disappoint.
God is with us! The Savior is born!
Jesus does not fail to live up to expectations.
Paradoxes of God
A Paradox is a statement that, despite sound reasoning, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory. If you haven’t noticed, God is full of paradoxes. And, actually, were glad he is! Join Living Hope the next 2 months to explore some of these paradoxes of God.
- Oct 11—God’s Love Isn’t Fair
- Oct 18—God Saves the Wicked
- Oct 25—God Glorifies the Rejected
- Nov 1—God Sends His Sheep to the Wolves
- Nov 8—God Invites the Uninvited
- Nov 15—The End is the Beginning
- Nov 22—The Criminal is the King
The Planted Church
Living Hope is what we call a 'church plant.' We're planting a new church in a new place so people can get planted in the hope found in Jesus.
But how do we know when we've really been 'planted'? What does a planted church look like? Are we planted when we have a church building? Are we planted when we have a certain amount of people in our church?
The book of Judges displays some flawed saviors God sent to deliver his people. God delivered his people from their enemies and idol worship by sending a cripple, a scaredy-cat, a doubter, a rash oath-taker, and a womanizer. These “heroes” looked like zeros. But God used these broken and sinful judges to bring deliverance for his people.
God’s grace and deliverance came to the Israelites through some unlikely means. Then again, that’s how God tends to operate doesn’t he? His grace and deliverance come to us through the ultimate “broken-looking” Savior named Jesus.
Planted + Harvested
Jesus often used parables to talk about the spread of the gospel and the kingdom of God. For these next two weeks we'll take up the planting and harvesting pictures Jesus often used.
Listen to learn how we fit into the parables of the sower and the seed and the parable of the wheat and the weeds. Find comfort that we are planted and harvested by God.
How to Be a Christian
This isn’t like most step-by-step guides you’ve seen. Being a Christian isn’t really so much about what we do. Being a Christian is all about what God does. God is the active force behind every step of turning someone into a Christian, providing not only the means, but also the power and the Spirit that creates new life in what was once spiritually dead.
- God Plans—June 14
- God Speaks—June 21
- God Calls—June 28
- God Sends—July 5
- God Preserves—July 12
- God Reigns—July 19
God gave his New Testament church a “reboot” of sorts once Jesus had accomplished his work of salvation. Things would be different than they were in Old Testament times. Now God’s people wouldn’t be just the one nation of Israel. God’s people, his Church, would be made up of people from all nations. And the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, was going to be poured out on God’s people in a way he never had been before.
Our nation is beginning the messy work of trying to reboot after pandemic. And as we look to reboot in-person worship soon, we remember what our purpose is and we rejoice that God’s Holy Spirit is dwelling with us through it all.
Victory is sweet...the joy...the excitement.
But victory often lasts just for a moment. It eventually fades away.
Except when it's a victory that lasts forever.
This Easter, celebrate a victory that will never fade. A victory won for you. A victory that gives you more than a thrill. A victory that gives you eternal life.
Join Living Hope in the weeks after Easter to celebrate our victory in the risen Savior!
The Jesus We Need
You know what you want. Do you know what you need?
The people in Jesus' time wanted the Messiah to be very different from who Jesus was. And still today, we might desire that the central figure of our faith isn't like Jesus. We want a conquering hero arriving with his armies of angels. Instead, we find a willing suffering servant.
But the Bible makes it clear that the Jesus we get is far greater than we could have ever designed. He meets all our greatest needs, from forgiveness, to eternal life, to peace in the midst of trials.
Join Living Hope for this series as we approach Good Friday and Easter during Lent.
Upside Down Wisdom
The opening chapters of 1 Corinthians show us God's definition of wisdom. What we call "foolishness" God calls "wisdom."
Join us in a search for true wisdom this January and February. God's upside down wisdom will turn your life right-side up.
The Weight Begins
It's supposed to be "the most wonderful time of the year." But it usually doesn't feel that way. Between deadlines and decorating, shopping and baking, the countdown to Christmas can easily become more of a burden than a blessing.
But no matter how unprepared you feel for the weight of the Christmas countdown, God's Word helps you prepare for the most important part of Christmas: meeting your Savior. The comfort and hope the Christ-child gives to lost, stressed-out sinners will let you face the Christmas countdown with joy and peace.
Faith that Sings
The Psalms are some of the best songs ever written. They are "songs of faith." The Psalms show us our Almighty God who is strong to save like a mighty fortress, who cares for us like a loving shepherd, who fills our deepest desires, who gives us a never-ending stream of blessings to be thankful for.
Join Living Hope this November to dig into these 3,000 year old songs of faith. You'll come away with a faith that sings.
How To Use God's Things
Determining ownership of things is very important to people. One of the first words we say as toddlers is "mine." As adults we are also obsessed with owning things, whether that's money or property or prestige or patents/ideas.
God unveils a revolutionary concept in Scripture. Nothing we are or have is ours. It is all on loan from God. This is a tough concept to get our heads around, but once we do, we can be made both selfless and wise, as we use everything we have and are for the good of God and others.
There's that certain feeling you get when you walk through the doors of your home. It's a safe place, a familiar place, a place you can rest and unwind. Home is always there waiting for you, no matter how long you've been gone.
Our September sermon series will take a look at the blessings of having a church home. We have a place that can be our refuge each week, a place where we find rest and comfort for our souls. Our church home is where we find our family of believers and it's where we have the joy of inviting others to come in and find rest as well.
No matter how long you've been away...welcome home.
Jesus' sermon on the mount is perhaps the best known sermon of all time. But if you've ever read this well-known sermon maybe you realize Jesus teaches some tough truths to swallow!
This August at Living Hope we'll hit some highlights from the sermon on the mount as we learn how to take a "mountain view" of our lives as followers of Jesus. Let's tackle these tough truths and find amazing comfort in Jesus' famous sermon.
Faith Has A Face
What does faith look like? Throughout history God has been at work in people's lives, leading them to him, and causing them to do amazing things as they trust in him.
Join Living Hope this summer to meet some faces of faith from the Bible who have more in common with us than we might think. Faith has many faces - a Roman centurion, a lonely widow, a crying woman, a former prince of Egypt, and so many more. Every face is different but we all have faith in one object - a God who turns his face toward us and smiles. Your faith is never in vain.
We might sometimes wish Jesus was still here on earth with us or that he would make some physical appearances to us now and then. Wouldn't that be nice?
Even though Jesus is now seated in heaven he has not left us alone. Jesus gives us the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will lead you in faith and in knowledge of God's Word. You're never alone, you are guided and counseled by God the Holy Spirit!
A New Season. A New Start.
Everybody needs a new start.
The Christian life is not about performance or trying to measure up. It's okay to not be okay because Jesus has already made us right.
We find our new start in the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus rising from the dead gives us a new lease on life - a living hope! We have hope for a new life in heaven and the peace of a new start today.
We each battle temptation every day. God tells us "no." We say "yes." He tells us to stay away from something. We go directly toward that something. We want what we want.
Since the beginning, Satan has been custom tailoring temptations for individuals. He knows our weak points and exactly how to strike.
Join Living Hope during the season of Lent and take up the fight against temptation. God will give you the boxing gloves of his Word. And he's already supplied the Savior to forgive us when we fail in our fight. Satan doesn't stand a chance.
The full splendor of God’s glory is often veiled from our eyes. Instead, God has chosen to reveal himself to us in humble ways—with his Holy Word, and the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion. God also reveals himself, and his love for us, in Jesus. For these next two months we’ll follow Jesus as he begins his public ministry.
See others react to Jesus’ true identity. See miracles unveil the Savior’s heart. See power unveiled in weakness. See God’s plans unveiled. See what God unveils about you. Prepare to see your God—unveiled!
A Light in the Darkness
Light and darkness are polar opposites. Where light advances, darkness must retreat.
Light and darkness point to the ultimate of polar opposites—good and evil, holiness and sin. Ever since mankind fell into sin, God promised to send a great Light to pierce the darkness of sin and death.
The Light has come. Christmas is all about God giving us a light in the darkness.
He Comes, Bearing Gifts
"Curly head dolls that toddle and coo. Elephants, boats, and kiddie cars too. Santa Claus is comin' to town."
You'll hear those lyrics often during the holiday season - a song about a man who's coming to bring all sorts of gifts. But are they really gifts? The man in red has conditions.
"You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good..."
If you give someone a gift only if they meet certain qualifications, that is not a gift.
There is one who is coming, bearing real gifts, profoundly important gifts. Jesus came that first Christmas to win forgiveness and give all the gifts that come with it: hope, peace, joy, love.
We're hungry. We’re broken. We're afraid. We're unable to enjoy life to the full.
We need help. We need a hero.
We have one.
Jesus overcomes our larger than life problems with supernatural grace. Our hero bends the rules of nature and heals broken bodies but also gives us real solutions for spiritual problems. Get ready to see something supernaturally good.
Hope can be a hard concept to pin down and make concrete. Hope is seen as a desperate, last-ditch wish for something to happen which seems too good to ever become true.
This is not the kind of hope that God gives you. In the Bible, hope is not wishful thinking but a firm conviction; and it's built on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
The hope of eternal life that we have in Jesus brings hope for every day in life. Our hope rises because Jesus, our living hope, rose from the dead. 1 Peter is called the "Book of Hope." With each turn of the page in 1 Peter your hope will rise; your hope for the future and your hope for today. You have hope for living; hope for every day.