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Caught by Jesus

Pastor Gregg Bitter

St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church is a Bible-based church, centered on the Good News of Jesus, our divine Savior from sin. These weekly messages from God's Word seek to build us up in Christ, as the Holy Spirit strengthens our faith in God's promises and binds us together in Christian love. Through his Word and Sacraments we are caught by Jesus. St. John's is located in Hancock, Minnesota and is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Scripture quotations often taken from the H...



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Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 136:1. 'O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.' We say these words from Psalm 136 so often at meal time. Let's think about them as we ponder what great mercy comes from the Lord, our God. Parts: A. Remember his goodness. B. Proclaim your thankfulness. Preached on November 23, 2011, for Thanksgiving Eve, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Printable copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Philippians 1:18-27. What does it mean to live for Christ, to live in a way that magnifies him? Put into practice those words that the Apostle Paul lived by: For to Me to Live Is Christ Parts: A. Magnify Christ in adversity. B. Magnify Christ in worthy living. Preached on October 16, 2011, for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Printable copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/For-to-Me-to-Live-Is-Christ-Philippians1_18-27.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 9:18-24. In the safety of our homes and churches, confessing Jesus isn't too hard. But are we prepared to confess who he is as we go out into the world? Now is the time to prepare ourselves, so that both our words and actions confess who Jesus is. Parts: A. The Christ, whom God sent. B. Your Savior, whom you follow. Preached on June 23, 2013, for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Graduate Sunday, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Printable copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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How dare we lift up our heads, sinners that we are? Jesus answers that as he rides into Jerusalem. Parts: A. How can we dare to? Only because his blood washes us clean. B. How do we? By seeking him as our mighty Hero. Preached on March 28, 2010, for the Sixth Sunday in Lent: Palm Sunday, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Lift-Up-Your-Heads_-See-the-King-of-Glory_-Psalm24_1-10.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Genesis 1:1, 2, 26-28. The Triune God created mankind to have a relationship with him, but our sin destroyed it. Only Jesus could restore it. That's how much God desires fellowship with you. Preached on June 15, 2014, for The Fist Sunday after Pentecost: Holy Trinity, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Created-for-Fellowship-with-God-Genesis1_1,2,26-28.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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1 Kings 17:17-24. Tragedy strikes even good Christian people. Why? When we're caught up in the emotional confusion of our own troubles, we seldom can see any good outcome. But as we take to heart what the Lord did for the widow at Zarephath, we learn that he works strength through tragedy. Parts: A. A widow's faith grows stronger. B. A prophet's example emboldens us. Preached on June 9, 2013, for the Third Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy...
Caught by Jesus
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Judges 6:3, 5, 11-16, 34-40. The Lord took timid Gideon and trained him to trust. How does the Lord train us to trust? Parts: A. He chooses the timid. B. He trains us with his promises. Preached on August 29, 2010, for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/The-Lord-Trains-the-Timid-to-Trust-Judges6_3,5,11-16,34-40.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Colossians 1:9-14. So much information is at our finger tips today. But do we have any more knowledge? When God's word fills us with true spiritual knowledge, that knowledge changes our lives. Be filled with spiritual knowledge. Parts: A. Knowledge that brings wisdom and understanding. B. Knowledge that give thanks to the Father by the way we live. Preached on July 14, 2013, for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
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2 Thessalonians 1:5-10. What encouragement does God's judgment bring to me to live my faith despite the world's opposition? Parts: A. The world opposes your faith. B. God's judgment encourages your faith. Preached on November 7, 2010, for the 2nd Sunday of End Times: Last Judgment, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Face-the-World-Confident-of-God_s-Judgment-2Thessalonians1_5-10.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew 5:1-12. Jesus pronounces blessings on his disciples as he begins his Sermon on the Mount. Yet we don't always feel happy. What kind of blessedness do we have as Jesus' disciples? Preached on February 2, 2014, for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Blessed_-Matthew5_1-12.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Hebrews 10:5-10. How different Jesus sacrifice is! As we celebrate his birth, we see the Son of God with a human body. Only his sacrifice can make us holy. Parts: A. He came as the Sacrifice. B. He fulfilled God's will. Preached on December 23, 2012, for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Christ_s-Body-Makes-Us-Holy-Hebrews10_5-10.html
Caught by Jesus
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As the Apostle Paul prays, his heart goes out to his fellow Christians. What can we learn for our prayer-life from the Apostle? Parts: A. Remember the deep bond of fellowship in Christ Jesus. B. Pray that love overflows in knowledge. Preached on December 6, 2009, for the Second Sunday in Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/A-Christmas-Prayer-from-the-Christian-Heart-Philippians1_3-11.html
Caught by Jesus
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Luke 1:11-20. Zechariah was not prepared for the Lord to answer. Are we ready for the Lord to act on his promises? Do you have an Advent heart prepared for Christmas? Parts: A. A heart of prayer. B. A heart of penitence. C. A heart of praise. Preached on December 4, 2011, for the Second Sunday in Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/An-Advent-Heart-Is-Prepared-for-Christmas_-Lessons-from-Zechariah-Luke1_11-20.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 17:11-19. Consider the ten lepers Jesus healed. What can we learn from them? How can we act like the one who returned? Parts: A. With our pleas for mercy. B. With our public thanks. Preached on October 17, 2010, for the Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Faith-Glorifies-Our-Merciful-Lord-Luke17_11-19.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 42:1-6a. God can seem so far away. We thirst for him. But the taunt 'Where is your God' drives our soul down all the more. Our hope thirsts for God. Only his word and sacraments satisfy that thirst, for they alone bring us our God. Parts: A. Enduring the taunt of others. B. Remembering the fellowship of God's people around God's word. Preached on August 11, 2013, for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. (Part one of a three part sermon...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Genesis 2:18-24. Marriage is God's wonderful gift. But we see it under attack more and more. How can we defend and honor his gift of marriage? Parts: A. God established marriage according to his design. B. Marriage is attacked by the world and our own sinfulness. C. Your Bridegroom has given you his wedding gown. Remain faithful to him. D. Uphold marriage by carrying out your god-given roles as Christian, citizen, and family member. Preached on October 14, 2012, for the Twentieth Sunday after...
Caught by Jesus
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Luke 13:1-9. Jesus longs to gather us to himself. Hear his patience calling you to repentance. Parts: A. How terrifying my own sin is!. B. How fruitful Jesus wants your faith to be!. Preached on March 3, 2013, for the Third Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Hear-Christ_s-Patience-Calling-You-to-Repentance-Luke13_1-9.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Ephesians 1:3-6. As we enter a new year, God's choice from before all years began changes how we make our choices as we live this new year. Parts: A) God chose us in Christ. B) God chose us according to his good will. C) God chose us to live for us glory. Preached on January 2, 2011, for the Second Sunday after Christmas, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/God_s-Choice-Changes-our-Choices-Ephesians1_3-6.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all proclaim one and the same Gospel, namely, the Good News of Jesus our Savior from sin and death. Yet each one has a unique style and characteristic. Today we consider how John calls on us to believe the testimony of the Word made flesh. Parts: A. John the Apostle. B. The image of the eagle. Preached on August 14, 2011, for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 148:1-14. What does it mean to praise the LORD and shout 'Hallelujah'? The reasons behind this praise tell us both why we praise the Lord (our motivation) and what we praise him for (the content). Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Parts: A. Who has created us. B. Who has raised up our Horn. Preached on February 15, 2015, for the Transfiguration of our Lord: The Last Sunday after Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
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1 Peter 4:12-19. Often as we do what is right in God's sight, we may suffer at the world's hand. But take heart. Your Creator is faithful. Entrust yourself into his care. For when you suffer fiery trial as a Christian: Parts: A. Rejoicing as you share in Christ's sufferings. B. Anticipating the glory at Christ's revelation. Preached on September 23, 2012, for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
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In our Christian warfare on earth, imitate the example of those like Paul who look only to the cross of Christ, anticipating heaven. Parts: A. Imitating those who, like Paul, are allies of the cross of Christ. B. Anticipating our true country. Preached on February 28, 2010, for the Second Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Stand-Firm-With-Your-Fellow-Citizens-Philippians3_17-4_1.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Isaiah 63:16b, 17; 64:1-8. Why doesn't God just end it all? That cry of despair becomes very different as we keep our focus on Jesus and pray: Rend the heavens, O Lord! Parts: A. For you are our Redeemer. B. For you are our Hope. Preached on November 30, 2014, for the First Sunday in Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Rend-the-Heavens,-O-Lord-Isaiah63_16B,17;64_1-8.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 27:1, 13, 14. Waiting breeds impatience, worry, and even anger in us. How can we wait patiently? Take to heart these pictures from Psalm 27 that strengthen our hope in the Lord so that we can wait.Preached on July 14, 2010, for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN.
Caught by Jesus
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Genesis 3:1-15. How far Adam and Eve fell! And all of us with them, for he have inherited their fallen relationship. How faithful our God is! He promised the Offspring of the woman, our Snake-crusher. Parts: A. Satan's lie ruins all. B. The Lord's promise restores us. Preached on March 13, 2011, for the First Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 51:10-12. Could we call the Holy Spirit our janitor? Consider how he cleaned the mess of sin in David's heart and how he cleans ours. Parts: A. To keep bringing the joy of forgiveness to you. B. To sustain a willing spirit within you. Preached on June 12, 2011, for Pentecost: The Coming of the Holy Spirit, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/The-Holy-Spirit-Cleans-Your-Heart-Psalm51_10-12.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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John 5:25-29. How powerful Jesus' voice! Long ago, his word made the lame to walk. Still today his word brings spiritual life to hearts once dead in sin. And when he returns, his word will call the dead from the graves. Because of his word, you're alive. Parts: A. Raised by the Son's voice. B. Raised to live eternally. Preached on November 18, 2012, for end Times 3: Saints Triumphant, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 110:4. So much doubt in the world! But the Lord God wants you to be sure of what's most important. He wants you to believe with all certainty that your High Priest, Jesus Christ, excels forever. Parts: A. A priest like Melchizedek. B. A sacrifice unlike any other. Preached on March 23, 2014, for the Third Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Proverbs 9:8-12. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. What is the fear of the Lord? How does this play out in my life? Let's meditate on these words from Proverbs. Parts: A. Humbly receive the Lord's correction. B. Continue growing in wisdom all your life. Preached on September 12, 2010, for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Wisdom-Learns-in-Reverent-Fear-Proverbs9_8-12.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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1 Corinthians 12:1-11. How many Christmas gifts don't leave up to our expectations and are soon forgotten? How different is the Holy Spirit and the gifts he distributes! You, dear Christians, are God's gifted people. Parts: A. You have the gift of the Holy Spirit. B. He distributes other gifts to you as he knows best. Preached on January 20, 2013, for the Second Sunday after Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 2:11. Does Xmas ex Christ out of Christmas? Or is there more too it? Preached on December 24, 2014, for Christmas Eve, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Xmas-Luke2_11.html
Caught by Jesus
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Colossians 3:1-4. Looking up into the night sky, our eyes can only see so much. Christ's resurrection opens our spiritual eyes to see that our life is hidden with him. How that changes the way we think and live right now! Parts: A. His resurrection raises your mind to things above. B. His resurrection will raise you in glory at his return. Preached on April 20, 2014, for Easter: The Resurrection of Our Lord, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at...
Caught by Jesus
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Numbers 6:22-27. In a world of broken promises, there's only one name for you to trust no matter what. The Lord (יהוה), our Triune God, is gracious and faithful. Parts: A. His name guarantees his blessing. B. Their actions fulfill it. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Yahweh_s-______-Blessing-Never-Breaks-Number6_22-27.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 14:25-33. When we count the cost, how could we ever follow Jesus? To follow him means to love him more than we love even our dearest family members. How can we live up to that kind of commitment? We can't. It's impossible for us. Give up on yourself. For when we have given up on ourselves, our hands are empty, ready to receive all that Jesus so freely and generously gives. Preached on September 8, 2013, for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS),...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 16:19-31. The rich man and Lazarus had quite different lives and quite different deaths. What does this teach us about where to look for happiness? Parts: A. Beware the alternative. B. Find comfort in the promise. Preached on October 3, 2010, for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Angels-Carried-Him-to-Abraham_s-Side-Luke16_19-31.html
Caught by Jesus
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Psalm 91:11, 12. We are not alone in our spiritual warfare. God's angels guard and protect us. They are spiritual warriors guarding God's people. Parts: A. They guard you, who know the Lord in faith. B. They guard you from Satan's snares. Preached on September 30, 2012, for St. Michael and All Angels, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Angels_-Spiritual-Warriors-Guarding-God_s-People-Psalm91_11,12.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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John 18:33-37. As Jesus stands before Pontius Pilate, he appears so weak and foolish. But here is our King and his kingdom is out of the world. Parts: A. It appears weak, but only Jesus is strong to save. B. It appears foolish, but Jesus speaks the absolute truth. Preached on November 25, 2012, for last Sunday of End Times: Christ the King, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Romans 7:15-25. The sinful nature within us corrupts all that we do. What a struggle! We want to do good but we see our sinful nature corrupting even the best we do. That's the struggle the Christian fights throughout this earthly life. Only Jesus rescues us day after day. Parts: A. We fail to do the good we want. B. Who will rescue us? Preached on July 27, 2014, for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
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Many talk about having faith. But Abraham shows us what real faith is and what it mean when we confess that we're saved by faith alone. Parts: A. Faith needs a promise, an unconditional promise. B. So go to his promises, his unconditional promises. Preached on November 1, 2009, for the First Sunday of End Times: Reformation Sunday, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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1 Peter 1:17-21. What value God placed on you! He redeemed you with the blood of Christ. What a ransom! How that changes the way we live! Live as his redeemed, ransomed with the blood of Christ. Parts: A. In holy fear. B. In hopeful faith. Preached on May 8, 2011, for the Third Sunday of Easter: Confirmation Sunday, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Live-as-His-Redeemed-1Peter1_17-21.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew 5:38-48. How remarkable is God the Father's love toward you and me! Let's see how that changes our hearts toward others, even towards our enemies. Parts: A. The Father's love for us while we were still his enemies. B. Our love for others while they're still our enemies. Preached on February 20, 2011, for the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew 2:1-12. Even the most familiar events from the Bible have much to teach us, if we take them to heart and practice them in our lives. What about the Magi? What wisdom can we learn from those wise men? Parts: A. Wisdom that confronts us. B. Wisdom that comforts us. C. Wisdom that compels us. Preached on January 4, 2015, for the Epiphany of our Lord, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
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Luke 18:1-8. The platitude, 'Just keep praying,' seldom helps us in our struggle to persist in prayer. What encourage does the parable of the unjust judge give? Preached on October 24, 2010, for the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Keep-Praying-for-Justice-against-Your-Adversary-Luke18_1-8.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Proverbs 3:5, 6. What does it mean to lean on the LORD? Parts: A. Let go of your own understanding. B. Know him as your Shepherd. Preached on May 3, 2015, for the Fifth Sunday of Easter: Confirmation, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/_Lean-on-Me_-_-the-LORD-Proverbs3_5,6.html
Caught by Jesus
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Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all proclaim one and the same Gospel, namely, the Good News of Jesus our Savior from sin and death. Yet each one has a unique style and characteristic. Today we consider how Luke emphases how Jesus came to seek and to save the lost and lowly. Parts: A. Who is Luke?. B. The image of an ox. Preached on August 7, 2011, for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Jeremiah 26:1-6. Which direction are you headed in? How the Lord longs for us to be following him and not our own ways! So he calls out to us: Listen and turn before it's too late. Parts: A. How earnestly the Lord calls to you! B. How disastrous to ignore his words! Preached on November 10, 2013, for The Second Sunday of End Times: Last Judgment, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Isaiah 25:7-9. Many talk about a better place after death, but for most that's a deadly lie. Only Jesus has conquered death. He alone is the Way to a better place. Apart from him there's only hell. But through him we have everlasting victory. For Jesus alone has swallowed up death. Preached on April 5, 2015, for Easter: The Resurrection of our Lord, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Mary rejoiced in God, her Savior. That's where we want our Christmas joy to come from as well. Parts: A. Recognize our lowliness. B. Rejoice in his greatness. Preached on December 20, 2009, for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Mary_s-Secret-for-a-Merry-Christmas-Luke1_39-55.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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1 John 2:3-11. Our relationship with Jesus changes our relationship with one another. Parts: A. His word of truth calls for a response. B. His love shines out from us onto one another. Preached on January 23, 2011, for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Knowing-Jesus-Moves-Us-to-Love-1John2_3-11.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 110:1. A baby needs his mother, and we need our Lord. He defeated Satan to make us his own. He's certainly taking care of us according to his good purpose whether we see his power at work or not. What joy for us to exclaim: My Lord reigns over the enemies! Parts: A. His power is hidden. B. His purpose is certain. Preached on March 9, 2014, for the First Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at...
Caught by Jesus
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2 Samuel 7:8-16. So many things can keep us busy. Busyness can be good. Yet busyness can distract us from what God has done for us. Christmas is not about our doing, but about what God's love has done for us. Because of his love, our King stooped to our lowliness to build us into his temple. Marvel at the wonders of your King's love. Preached on December 21, 2014, for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
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John 9:1-7. The clouds of trouble can cast shadows of doubt on our hearts. But see Jesus shining. He has done the saving work the Father sent him to do. He has done it for you. Through his Word and Sacraments he has opened the eyes of your heart that were born blind. Now you see Jesus shine. Parts: A. His light penetrated our hearts. B. His light is reflected in our confession. Preached on March 27, 2011, for the Third Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Acts 17:22-31. The listeners in Athens had no Bible background. But Paul starts where they're at to bring them to where God wants them to be. For God wants all to know him. A. As the Lord of Creation. B. As the Giver of all that’s good. C. As the Savior-judge. Preached on May 25, 2014, for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/God-Wants-All-to-Know-Him-Acts17_22-31.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 24:36-45. People have so much confidence in things that are uncertain and so little confidence in the One who never fails. How does Jesus cure our doubts? Preached on April 19, 2015, for the Third Sunday of Easter, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Jesus-Cures-Our-Doubts-Luke24_36-45.html
Caught by Jesus
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Matthew 21:1-11. It all happened just as Jesus had said. What certainty that gives our faith! Hold on to your Redeemer's words; they will not fail you. What Easter joy, for it is just as Jesus said! He has risen indeed! Preached on April 24, 2011, for Easter: The Resurrection of our Lord, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/What-Easter-Joy,-For-It-Is-Just-As-Jesus-Said_-Matthew28_1-10.html
Caught by Jesus
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Psalm 103:1-22. How greatly the Lord desires to bring his good news of forgiveness deep into our soul! Let his message of forgiveness soak in as it changes you from the inside out. Parts: A. How great our need to ponder his forgiveness! B. How wonderful his pictures are! C. Our praise overflows as his forgiveness soaks in. Preached on October 5, 2014, for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Deuteronomy 5:12 and Mark 2:28. What kind of rest does Jesus bring and why do we need it? Parts: A. Rest in Christ’s wounds. B. Rest in Christ’s works. C. Rest in Christ's word. Preached on June 7, 2015, for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Rest-in-Christ-Deuteronomy5_12AndMark2_28.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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John 15:26, 27. So much in this world troubles us because we follow Jesus! But Jesus has not left us to fend for ourselves. He has sent God the Holy Spirit as our Counselor. The Spirit testifies about Jesus. Parts: A. To comfort us with Christ's forgiveness. B. To assure us with God’s truth. Preached on May 19, 2013, for Pentecost: The Coming of the Holy Spirit, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
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Mark 1:12-15. The precious Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought us into the magnificent kingdom of our Lord and keeps us with him. God's kingdom is all about the Gospel. Parts: A. Penetrating our hearts. B. Protecting your soul. Preached on February 26, 2012, for the First Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/The-Kingdom-of-God_-It_s-All-about-the-Gospel-Mark1_12-15.html
Caught by Jesus
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Mark 1:14-20. What kind of fishing does Jesus call us to do? Not with bait and hook, but with a net, the gospel net. This good news of the kingdom draws people to Jesus. Parts: A. Believe the Good News with a repentant heart. B. Share the Good News to bring others near to Jesus. Preached on January 25, 2015, for the Third Sunday after Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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2 Kings 5:1-17. As we refelct on the events surrounding Naaman's life, we learn about thanksgiving. Thanksfulness springs up from our hearts. Parts: A. In words. B. In faith. C. In actions. Preached on November 21, 2012, for Thanksgiving Eve, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Thankfulness-Springs-Up-from-Our-Hearts-2Kings5_1-17.html
Caught by Jesus
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Matthew 3:1-12. How do we prepare our hearts for Christmas? Let's listen to the messenger God sent to prepare the way. Parts: A. A heart horrified at my sin. B. A heart rejoicing in Christ's kingdom. C. A heart producing real fruit in my life. Preached on December 5, 2010, for the Second Sunday in Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Repentance_-It_s-Not-Just-Words_-It_s-a-Complete-Change-of-Heart-Matthew3_1-12.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew 14:22-33. So many things can make our hearts quake. But your Savior comforts you, 'Take courage! I'm here,' he says. Hold on to that promise in faith. Parts: A. Faith's courage overcomes our fears. B. Faith's courage dares whatever our Lord commands. Preached on September 4, 2011, for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/_Take-Courage_-I_m-here_-Matthew14_22-33.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 34:1-22. No matter what the danger, the Lord is our refuge. Now to take refuge in him includes having a new attitude toward him. We see David express this attitude of faith in Psalm 34 as he takes refuge in the Lord. Parts: A. With humility that boasts in the Lord. B. With righteousness that pursues the good. C. With confidence in the Lord's deliverance. Preached on August 19, 2012, for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy...
Caught by Jesus
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2 Peter 1:16-21. Only the Bible, which is God's sure, inspired Word, convinces us that Jesus is our God and Savior. For the Bible is the word of the Holy Spirit. Only the Bible prepares us to see Jesus in his majesty and glory. Parts: A. It's the eyewitness testimony that the prophecies are fulfilled . B. It's the Word from God the Holy Spirit. C. It alone prepares you to see his majesty on that Day. Preached on March 6, 2011, for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany: The Transfiguration of our...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 2:29-32. Simeon longed to see the promised Messiah. What peace when he held the baby in his arms! By faith he knew that this Child was the Son of God, his Savior. By faith we, too, have seen our salvation. Parts: A. What peace he brings! B. What light he gives! Preached on December 30, 2012, for the First Sunday after Christmas, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/We_ve-Seen-Our-Salvation-Luke2_29-32.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Although God's way can seem must unusual, trust him with patient hope. Parts: A. His way amazes. B. His way brings hope. C. His way prevails. Preached on December 27, 2009, for the First Sunday after Christmas, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/God_s-Way-Does-Not-Fail-Numbers24_17.html
Caught by Jesus
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1 Corinthians 2:6-13. What is God's plan for me? How easily that question can lead us down wrong paths! Human thought dismisses God's saving plan and imagines we need to know other things about him. But through his Word the Holy Spirit draws us to love God and trust his plan. For God's wisdom has planned glory for you who love him. Parts: A. Human thought cannot begin to understand. B. Only the Spirit’s words reveal it. Preached on February 16, 2014, for the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Mark 4:35-41. All kinds of storms can strike us. But Jesus knows, first hand, what we go through. Go to him in prayer. Trust him rather than your own ability or the resources of others. For he is the mighty God and he cares for you. Pray: Jesus, save me from the storm. Preached on July 1, 2012, for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Printable copy a http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/_Jesus,-Save-Me-from-the-Storm_-Mark4_35-41.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Hebrews 9:24-28. Judgment Day stirs up dread and terror. But because of Christ's once-and-for-all sacrifice, our entire view of that day changes. Through faith in Jesus, we can say, 'I can't wait for Judgment Day!' Parts: A. Because Christ's one sacrifice does away with all sin. B. Because Christ's second coming will bring me salvation. Preached on November 11, 2012, for End Times 2: The Last Judgment, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN.
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Genesis 6:9-22. As we watch the water, we imitate Noah's faith. Let's think about what water to watch. Parts: A. Entrusting even the details to our Lord. B. Working faithfully in all he gives you to do. Preached on December 1, 2013, for the First Sunday of Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Watch-the-Water-Genesis6_9-22.html
Caught by Jesus
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Genesis 18:16-33. How can we call on the the Lord (Adonai) who reigns over all? Abraham teaches us about persistence in prayer. Parts: A. For he rules over all with justice. B. For he has redeemed you, his people. Preached on June 13, 2010, for the Third Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Plead-with-the-Lord,-Adonai-______,-with-Humble-Persistence-Genesis18_16-33.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Daniel 7:13, 14. The victory has been won by none other than our Brother, Jesus Christ, who shares our human nature and yet is God over all. Stand firm with him against all who claim to teach the truth but do not. For the Son of Man reigns in victory. Parts: A. Worship your Brother, who reigns in forever. B. Stand firm with your King, who reigns over all. Preached on October 20, 2013, for the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Acts 6:1-9; 7:2, 51-60. What is the full life? Let's learn from what the Scriptures tell us about Stephen. He lived life to the full. Parts: A. Life full of the Holy Spirit. B. Life ready to fall asleep in Jesus. Preached on May 15, 2011, for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http:///hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Stephen-Lived-Life-to-the-Full-Acts6_1-9,7_2,51-60.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Isaiah 58:5-9. We can never make ourselves sorrow enough. In fact focusing on our efforts to be sorry is earthly repentance. It leaves our hearts dead. Only the Holy Spirit can ignite our hearts with godly repentance that shines out into our lives. So beware earthly repentance. Parts: A. Godly repentance ignites the heart. B. Godly repentance shines out into our lives. Preached on February 9, 2014, for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print...