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Bloom where you are planted

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 3:1-14.

“Bloom where you are planted: how God makes your life fruitful” (Luke 3:1-14)

I.   “The ___________ to come.” (v.7).

A. It is necessary and just.

B. It strikes none but the _____________/_____________ (v.9).

II.   What should we do then (v.10, i.e. How do we become ____________)? 

A.  “Jesus is coming soon.  Look busy!”  

B. We prepare for His coming by ______________ His __________.

1. John preached ___________ = repentance = the forgiveness of sins (v.3; Luke 7:29-30).

2. “Make the tree _________ and its fruit will be _____________.” (Matthew 12:33).  

C. Bloom where you are planted (vv.11-14).

1. “All over the world this ____________is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood the grace of God” (Colossians 1:6; 1 John 4:19; Luke 6:36).

2. “Let each one ____________ in the same   calling in which he was called” (1 Corinthians 7:20).

3.  “Do small things with great _________” (Mother Teresa).


We wait for: provision.

Pastor Armstrong starts the Advent midweek sermon series "Waiting Well" with"We wait for : provision."

“We wait for: provision”  (Psalm 145:15-16; Matthew 5:43-45; John 6:32-36)

I.   Waiting is a sign of creaturely __________________ (Ps. 145:15-16)

A. Even ___________ had to wait (John 7:6).

B. Waiting is not an interruption to your life, it ________________.     It is God’s way of ___________________.

C. The alternative to waiting is to be a self-sufficient, autonomous Being (I.e. ________).

II.  God’s provision for creation is a reflection of His love revealed ______________. 

A. It is a love for one’s _____________.

B. It ____________ us to wait well.


Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord

Pastor Armstrong begins Advent with a sermon based on the Santus.

“Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord” (from “The Sanctus,” LSB, p. 208)

I.   The greatest gift you can another is ______________ (John 15:13).

A. We long for the ______________ of others (Matthew 26:38;    2 Timothy 4:9-21). 

B. We long for the ______________ of the Lord (Isaiah 64:1-12).  

II.  Throughout Scripture, the Lord is the One who “comes.” 

A. Sin ______________us from the Lord (Genesis 3:8;            Isaiah 59:1-2).

B. The Lord seeks and saves ______________ (Luke 15).   

C. The “_______________________” departed the Jerusalem temple before it was destroyed in 586 BC (Ezekiel 10:18-22; 11:22-23) and went to the Mt. of Olives.  In Luke 19, the Lord returns (vv.28-40).

III. The God of the Bible does not _______________ Himself to  heaven.  He still comes:

A. ______________ in Word and Sacrament (Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 10:16);

B. ______________ at any moment (Revelation 1:7). 


When Truth stares you in the face

Pastor Armstrong's sermon for Christ the King Sunday is based on John 18:33-40.

“When Truth stares you in the face”  (John 18:33-40)

I.   Jesus’ “audacious” truth claim. 

A. “_________________ who is of the truth listens to My voice” (v.37).  “No such claim on man’s allegiance was ever made by any other master” (Bernard of Clairvaux).

B. Christ’s truth claim is an __________________ to Pilate     (cf. 34).

II.  Pilate’s truth question.

A. Is it sincere?

1. Early church commentators: _______.

2. Modern commentators: ________. 

B. It is ________________ question.

1. The ancient Greek view:  “aletheia” or “truth” = that which reflects reality (i.e. life as it is actually lived). 

2. The postmodern view:  absolute truth does not exist.  Truth is socially constructed and individually determined.  “Truth is made rather than found” (Richard Rorty). 

III. Jesus’ answer to Pilate:

A. not in ________, but in ________ (v.40; John 19-21). 

B. Truth is not only a proclamation but a ______________ (John 14:6).


God at Work

Pastor Armstrong's Thanksgiving Eve sermon is based on Luke 17:11-19.

“God at Work” (Luke 17:11-19)

I.  Leprosy _______________ the ten men (vv.12-13).

A. ____________experience of isolation (v.12).

B. They make, with one voice, an open-ended request (v.13).

C. ______________ knows no boundaries, but neither does God’s ________________.  Cleansing restored them to community life (v.14)

II.  “Kindness” (mercy) _______________ the ten men (vv.14-19)

A. Only one _____________ and was _____________ to acknowledge God (vv. 15-16).

B. The Samaritan recognized God at work in ___________________ (vv.15-18).

C. How should one respond to God’s mercy?   (Vv.15-16;             Ephesians 5:20).

III. Application:  All ten were cleansed (v.14).  Temporal gifts are a given automatically. By striving for the temporal, we are likely to miss the __________________gifts of God.

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or   ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that   you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  (Matthew 6:31-33)

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this      petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our    daily bread with thanksgiving.  (Small Catechism)


Endurance: why you need it and where to find it

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Mark 13:1-13.

“Endurance:  why you need it and where to find it” (Mark 13:1-13)

I.   With their “world” ending, what comfort do the disciples have? 

A. They have Jesus, the true _________ (John 2:19).

B. They __________ Jesus (vv. 9-13).

II.  How do disciples endure to the end the loss of all things (vv.5-13)?

A. Endurance is a ___________, a characteristic of God that He instills in us. 

B. God creates endurance in us by His _________ = the ___________ = His ________ (See John 13:37-37;    21:15-19.).  

1. “_________ endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).

2. Remove your gaze from what you are __________, and fix your gaze on what you are ___________. 

(“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of   witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside  every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on  Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has      endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3)).

The Lord’s celebrities

Pastor Armstrong sermon is based on Mark 12:38-44.

“The Lord’s celebrities” (Mark 12:38-44)

I.   The Lord brings down the proud (Luke 1:52a).

A. Celebrities live what all of us ____________ about.

B. “Beware” = ______________ (v.38)!

II.  The Lord lifts up the lowly (Luke 1:52b).

A. The widow gives up her ______________ (v.44)!

B. The widow is a ____________ figure.

1. Jesus celebrates the widow because He sees ______________ in her. 

2. Verses 38-44 contrast the way we instinctively are (________________) and the way Jesus instinctively is (________________) (Mark 10:45).

C. By giving up His own life, our Lord finds and forgives us and celebrates _______ (Luke 15:1-32)!

D. The Lord celebrates what He sees of Himself in ___________ (Matthew 25:34-40).