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The Word of the Lord Remains Forever:Sermon for the Funeral of Millie Ahrendt

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Click here to listen to this sermon. Danny, Steve, and Toni, family members and friends of Millie: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The loss of a loved one is never an easy thing to endure. It seems that we are never ready for that to happen and yet, it does happen. I’m not telling you anything new. Many of you know that more personally than I. And no matter when it happens, it’s hard to know what to say. Our words fail us. Often they do not help, but unintentionally irritate the wound. For none of our words can bring our loved one back. And memories can be wonderful, but they are a weak substitute for having them with us. And so, on this day as you seek a word of comfort and hope, I will direct to the Word of God—which is the only thing that gives comfort and hope that can be trusted and that can live forever. Listen now to the words of the Holy Spirit as written by Peter in his first epistle: You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of im…

God's Servant from the Womb

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Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! It is the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, the season of the year in which we focus on Jesus revealing Himself as God Incarnate, the Savior of all mankind. It is also Sanctity of Life Sunday. So, it is fitting that our Old Testament lesson, Isaiah 49, is serving double duty today. Let’s focus especially on verses 5 and 6: And now the Lord says, He who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him; and that Israel might be gathered to Him—for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and My God has become My strength—He says: “It is too light a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make You as a light for the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Do you see the connection? This Servant will “bring the preserved of Israel” and will be “a light for the nations,” …

The Next Step

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“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17). 

The Good King's Wisdom

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11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days”  (1 Kings 3:11–14).

Out of Egypt

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Click to listen to this sermon. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy Him.” And he rose and took the Child and His mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Matthew 3:13-18). Grace to you and pe…

Present Sufferings, Much Greater Future Glory: Sermon for the Funeral of Jerry Popma

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). Gayle, Corey, Kyle, Kellie, Amy, grandchildren, the rest of Jerry’s family and friends gathered here today: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Just looking at Jerry’s life history, you can see that he had a pretty good life. Happily married to Gayle for over 54 years. A family man, blessed with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Starting his own electrical contracting company, successfully operating his own family business for 38 years before turning it over to his son. Civic-minded, active, and well-respected in the community. Known for his sense of humor, work ethic, kindness, and generosity. Jerry lived a pretty good life. But no one would say it’s been perfect. The evidence is right in front of us. If life in this fallen world was perfect, we would not be here tod…

Good News for the Poor

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Click here to listen to this sermon. Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me” (Matthew 11:2-6). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! In his weekly radio program, Garrison Keillor would end by saying that in Lake Wobegon all the children are above average. Fictitious or not, there is some truth in this. Every parent’s child has hidden talents waiting to be discovered. Our job as parents and teachers is to recognize their abilities and help them to perfect them. Without a sense of who they are and what they can do, they will not have the confidence to reac…