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Sermons – St John United Methodist Church, Prospect, KY
23 minutes | Feb 20, 2022
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series "Fruitfulness." The practice of gleaning is centuries old. It was very much a part of law for the Hebrews. Farmers were to leave a portion of their fields unharvested so the poor might access them and have something to eat. Gleaning was a way to be generous. It was an expression of holiness and a very clear way to recognize God’s benevolence and generosity. The practice of gleaning leads us to think about how we are leaving room on the margins for those in need. It leads us to consider our own generosity. Sure, that sort of thing has to do with money, but it also causes us to consider how we are offering ourselves so that others might benefit. There are all sorts of ways to do that, both near and far.
24 minutes | Feb 13, 2022
A Bountiful Harvest
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our Fruitfulness series. The Apostle Paul must have been quite familiar with the proverb, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Interestingly, that proverb is not in the Bible save for when Paul quotes it in II Corinthians 9:6. Paul was well-aware of what it meant to be generous when he wrote to the Corinthian Church about taking an offering for the saints in Jerusalem. Paul knew that sowing generously was important to turning the heart toward generosity and making for an abundant harvest. What Paul writes about in II Corinthians 9:6-11 clearly has to do with money. I am of the mind, though, that what he writes is more than applicable to the whole of life. Paul writes about the abundance of God’s grace which turns our hearts toward generosity in all facets of life. God’s generosity toward us in Christ is able to bless us abundantly, so that in ALL things, at ALL times, having ALL that we need, we will abound in every good work.
21 minutes | Feb 6, 2022
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series about "Fruitfulness." Jesus was clear with his disciples about their going into all the world and making disciples. He consistently lifted this up throughout his ministry. He often used the image of a field ready for harvest. Jesus knew that what stood in the way of a bumper crop were the number of laborers willing to go into the field and bring the harvest in. The notion that “the fields are white for the harvest” applies today. There are people all around us who need to hear a good word about Jesus. It comes to us to notice them. Just like the disciples, we are called to go. There are all sorts of reasons why we are hesitant about reaching out in this way. Most have to do with our fear. Nobody wants to be rejected. Rest assured, God would not call us to go if he weren’t ready to sustain us. After all, he is the one who makes the harvest possible. Let’s honor him by going in his name.
26 minutes | Jan 30, 2022
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” That’s a common reminder for a lot of us who have enough stress as it is in dealing with the big things of life! The small stuff will somehow work itself out, so let’s not make it harder than it already is. But with this week’s parable about the mustard seed, we come to understand that Jesus places the importance on the small stuff! So what are we supposed to do with that? I can’t wait to dig into this truth and what it means for us as we continue to live out our lives as fruitful disciples.
26 minutes | Jan 23, 2022
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our Fruitfulness series with a message about another parable. Gardening takes a lot of work. It left unattended, a garden will spring up with weeds all over the place. Any gardener worth their salt will make sure those weeds don’t get a chance to take hold. In his Parable of the Weeds Jesus has a good deal to say about the final judgement. He also speaks about judging others. More importantly, he addresses the idea of letting him tend to the fields of our lives. With his help, we’d do well to tend to the “weeds” that have a way of springing up and robbing us of the fruitfulness that God wants for our lives. The seed of God’s Kingdom is good in every way. It is the seed of the world we need to be wary of.
28 minutes | Jan 16, 2022
Pastor Tom Grieb kicks off our new series "Fruitfulness." This week we consider the great parable often called The Parable of the Soils. In it, Jesus talks about four different soils that receive seed, each with varying results. Those soils speak very clearly to the disposition of our hearts. Some have called this parable The Parable of the Extravagant Farmer. With that in mind, God is the focus of the parable, not the soils. We serve an extravagant God. He liberally broadcasts the seed of his Kingdom. That seed has a way of settling in and, with God’s help, grows and prospers, which is nothing short of miraculous given the state of our hearts at times.
30 minutes | Jan 9, 2022
Will Partin, President of GO Ministries, updates us on the discipleship efforts at GO Ministries, shares about his new responsibilities there, and encourages us to “go” as the Lord leads.
27 minutes | Jan 2, 2022
Pastor Ashley Adkins delivers a stand-alone message based on Matthew 28:16-20, "The Great Commission." Therefore. An adverb that means for that reason; because of that; or on that ground. When this word is used in Scripture, whether in “therefore” form or one of its synonyms, we know something is coming that commands our attention. When Jesus uses therefore in the Great Commission in Matthew 28, he does it so that not only would the disciples hear and apply his great direction, but so that we would hear it even more so today. It’s a new year. A new day. Will we live it the way Jesus commands us? Or will we continue to do what we have always done and expect different results?
27 minutes | Dec 26, 2021
Pastor Tom Grieb concludes our "Images of Christmas" series with a message on how Jesus Christ is hope fulfilled, especially as seen through the eyes of Simeon and Anna when the baby Jesus was presented at the temple.
16 minutes | Dec 24, 2021
A Baby’s Birth
Pastor Tom Grieb brings a Christmas message in our "Images of Christmas" sermon series.
19 minutes | Dec 19, 2021
The Shepherds’ Joy
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series "Images of Christmas. We shouldn’t be surprised that the shepherds play an important role in rounding out the images of Christmas. The angel of the Lord approached the shepherds with the greatest birth announcement ever with a message of “good news of great joy.” A baby had been born, and not just any baby, but the Savior of the world. God knew just what we needed in sending Jesus. He knew that humanity had become separated from him. Sin had gotten in the way. Through Jesus, God provided the way for us to be reconciled to him once and for all. It’s interesting that the news of Christ’s birth came first to a group of shepherds. Shepherds were somewhat on the periphery of everyday life. They were common folk. They worked hard and kept to themselves. By approaching the shepherds first, God was making the grand statement that Jesus was not just for a few, but for all. God’s good news in Jesus Christ is for all people.
22 minutes | Dec 12, 2021
A Father’s Faith
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series "Images of Christmas." In the minds of some, Joseph the earthly father of Jesus gets lost in the shuffle; not so with me. Joseph plays an important role in the birth of Christ. He also figures heavily in Christ’s early years. Joseph was quick to be present, looked to support and always to protect the precious gift that was Jesus. He is an inspiration for us all and a wonderful example of what it means to love those who are in our families. Joseph is also a great inspiration when it comes to living a life of faith. He sought to be faithfully obedient to what God asked him to do. Despite the challenges that presented themselves in and around Christ’s birth and later during his early years, Joseph remained faithful. He teaches us, above all, that acting faithfully is not only the way of Christmas, but the way God wants us to live the whole of life.
19 minutes | Dec 5, 2021
A Mother’s Prayer
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series “Images of Christmas.” It is good to give God praise. It is good to glorify his name. God is worthy of our praise. His presence alone strengthens and guides us along life’s way. A regular practice of giving God glory will only heighten our sense of his good work in our lives. This week we will be studying that great passage known as the Magnificat. It is the faithful prayer of a mother-to-be who seeks to give God glory above all else. Mary had been set aside by God to give birth to his only Son. In the uncertainty that this represented, Mary remained faithful. She would be true to what God had called her to do. That sort of faithful response is evident throughout the beautiful prayer she prays in Luke 1:46-55. In reading that prayer we can’t help but be encouraged to pray with the same sort of faith that leads us to glorify God for the things he is doing in our lives.
24 minutes | Nov 28, 2021
The Voices of Angels
Pastor Ashlee Adkins begins our new series "Images of Christmas." Angels are a staple of Christmas. Whether on top of the Christmas tree, lit up in a window or on a ledge, or being portrayed by kids in annual Christmas pageants, angels have an important place in the story of Christmas. How much do we really know about these beings? It’s evident throughout Scripture that God uses angels to deliver his messages and carry out important tasks. There are lots of depictions and images we see all around of angels. But will we ever know their true identity and magnificence until we experience them for ourselves in glory? We are kicking off Advent this Sunday and I can’t wait to dig into some Angels 101 and to talk about the angel who launches our way to the manger, Gabriel.
31 minutes | Nov 21, 2021
Partnership in Giving
Pastor Tom Grieb concludes our Partnership series. This morning we will celebrate our “partnership” together and, in particular, our “Partnership in Giving.” We will be studying Philippians 4:14-20 where we hear Paul commending the Philippians for their financial support. Paul is quick to recognize that their generosity did more for them than it did for him. Giving frees us to put our focus on God, extends our reach, and nurtures a generous spirit, which after all is where God wants us to be.
25 minutes | Nov 14, 2021
Partnership in Contentment
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series "Partnership." Paul lets us in on a little secret. No, it really is a big secret. It’s the sort of secret that has everything to do with the way we live our lives. In Philippians 4:12, Paul talks about “the secret of being content in any and every circumstance.” He references the ability to be content whether in plenty or want. In an age where enough is never enough and having to do without is a major challenge, Paul challenges us to center ourselves in Christ. In fact, Paul asserts that in Christ who strengthens us, we are able to endure any circumstance. Paul was living proof of that. He knew what it meant to have a lot and to have nothing. He would not be swayed one way or another by that because his trust was in the sufficiency of Christ to provide just what he needed. We’d do well to put that into practice. That was Paul’s “secret” to living life; it should be ours as well.
25 minutes | Nov 7, 2021
Partnership in the Gospel
Pastor Tom Grieb begins our series "Partnership," based on Philippians. The Apostle Paul had a deep love affair with the church in Philippi. He was deeply appreciative of the support they directed his way. That support heartened him to no end. Paul expressed his appreciation not only to the church, but to God. Paul offered prayers of thanksgiving to God thanking him for the church there. He wrote in Philippians 1:3-5, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” We are talking about that partnership and how it played out for Paul and those who made up the Philippian Church. It was a partnership that was founded in Christ and resulted in a great deal of effective ministry. To a large degree that partnership was expressed in a generosity borne out of a deep desire to be faithful to Christ.
25 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
Pastor Ashlee Adkins finishes up our "Storyline" series by digging into the storyline of Lydia. There’s not much written about her in Scripture, but we know the ripple effects of her willingness to serve God went on for many years and had great impact on spreading the Gospel. God prepared her heart, she accepted the truth of the Good News when she heard it, and she allowed God to move through her in all she did from that moment on.
33 minutes | Oct 24, 2021
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series, "Storyline." Those in the armed forces are used to taking orders. It just comes with the territory. For many, taking orders is not the easiest thing to do. For a fellow like Cornelius of Acts chapter 10, taking orders was second nature. Cornelius was a Centurion after all, an important part of the Roman legion. Cornelius’ willingness to follow orders cut much deeper. Not only was Cornelius a Centurion, but one whose desire it was to follow God. Cornelius dedicated himself regularly to prayer. He willingly gave to the poor. In a word, Cornelius was open to God’s direction. Cornelius’ obedience to God’s call upon his life made all the difference in his life and, quite frankly, to the overall ministry of the early New Testament Church. Cornelius’s conversion to Christianity freed the church to then go into all the world offering the good news about Jesus not only to Jews, but Gentiles as well.
29 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series, "Storyline." This week we move from the Old Testament to the New Testament with the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus. He was so short that he climbed a tree to see Jesus, from which Jesus immediately called him to come down. As Zacchaeus came down, something dramatic happened. Upon meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus’s life was forever changed. Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was primed to hear his call. He was not only primed to hear his call, but also to respond to it. Jesus has an innate ability to seek us out, just like he did Zacchaeus. That has everything to do with his grace.
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