Sermons by Joshua Hartwigsen
Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus’ charge to his disciples to take the message about him throughout the world reminds us that Jesus expects big things from his people. Jesus’ expectation motivates the mission our elders have given to the 151st church family. This lesson will offer a few reminders about our mission and its intersection with Jesus’ expectations.
Exodus records the curious incident of Moses’ face shining after he talked to God. Rather than an oddity in Israel’s history, the story offers another way God worked to reveal Himself to Israel and to readers of the Bible.
Exodus 19:5-6 – God’s covenant with Israel sought to establish a relationship with God and the nation that, in turn, sought to (re)establish God’s relationship with the world. This lesson considers God’s relational agenda and what it means for us today.
Exodus 6:7 This lesson considers God’s repeated announcement in the book of Exodus that He was going to reveal Himself to Israel, Egypt, and the world. In considering those announcements, the lesson will explore why God needed to reveal Himself and with that need tells us about both humanity and ourselves.
John 17:20-23 — Just before his death, Jesus prayed that his followers would be united. This lesson will look at how the New Testament develops Jesus’ desire for unity and consider what that unity means for our lives.
Luke 1:26-33 — Nativity scenes portray Jesus’ birth but they often present it in ways that loses the tensions that surrounded that event. This lesson takes advantage of the holiday season to consider the contrasting circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth and how they establish a pattern that defined his life and offer a patter that should also shape our lives.
John chapter six records a lengthy conversation Jesus had with a crowd that ended with many of them abandoning him. When Jesus asked his apostles if they also wanted to leave, Peter replied, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life
Mathew 28:18-20 This lessons considers what it means to be a disciple of Jesus so that we can better understand the life we claim as Christians today.
Philippians 4:13 Value can be found in taking time to reflect on past experiences to help one think about both the present and the future. This lesson consequently considers this year to help us prepare for the coming year.
Acts 10 — The idea of world-wide evangelism forms an important part of the history of Christianity, especially in the United States. Good reason exists for that focus – Jesus commissioned his church to do that very thing. This lesson will therefore consider Peter’s interaction with Cornelius in Acts 10 as a way of helping us better understand the mission Jesus has given to us.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17–Every year people across our nation pause to celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday intended to remind us of the good things in our lives. This lesson takes advantage of that focus to consider the place God expects thankfulness to have in our lives.
David’s lament over king Saul’s death in 1 Samuel 1 might seem surprising given the very difficult relationship between the two men. This lesson will explore David’s response to Saul’s death and consider what lessons it offers to us
We have a responsibility to represent Jesus to our world, which raises the question, “How well do we understand our world?” This lesson, consequently, considers a few findings reported by the Barna Group (a non-profit organization that tracks trends in the thinking and practices of Christian religion in the United States) that offer us some insights into evangelism in our world.
Paul included a general command in his final comments to the Colossians – Christians are to “walk in wisdom toward outsiders” (Colossians 4:5). While his comment about walking in wisdom focuses on conversations with non-believers (Colossians 4:6), that wisdom offers an expression of the larger discussion Paul has in his letter about Christian living. This lesson considers that discussion and its meaning for our practice of evangelism.
God, in the Bible, gives His people a very real, very pressing mission. Understanding that mission prepares us to think about this month’s theme – following Jesus means dedicating one’s life to declaring his sovereign identity and its meaning for peoples’ lives. This lesson will therefore offer a big-picture understanding of the mission God gives to us and its meaning for us.”
Hosea 11:1-9 Hosea’s message addressed the northern kingdom of Israel, a nation formed from the eleven Jewish tribes God stripped from king Solomon as punishment for his disregard of his covenant relationship with God (1 Kings 11:9-13). Even though God formed the Israel in response to Solomon’s unfaithfulness, the northern kingdom did not pay attention to Solomon’s example and itself embraced unfaithfulness (2 Kings 17:7-17). God consequently sent Hosea to deliver to Israel a message of coming punishment and future restoration.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-11–While the Bible teaches about God’s generous forgiveness, it also includes passages that point out its limits. This lesson will consider some of those passages to help nuance our understanding of God’s forgiveness.
Jesus’ responded to his disciples’ debate about “who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” with a surprising teaching – the greatest are those who purposefully give up status (Matthew 18:1-4). His comment prompted a conversation with his disciples about forgiveness that this lesson explores.
God calls Christians “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Conforming to Jesus’ image means pouring one’s self into the template of his life and teachings. That pouring, however, reveals areas where Jesus acted very differently than we might act. We will consider one of those areas in this lesson – Jesus’ practice of forgiveness – and think about what his example means for our lives.
Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for neglecting “the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faithfulness” in Matthew 23:23. This lesson will consider why he included faithfulness in his list of weightier matters, how God develops it in the Bible, and the place it should consequently have within our lives.