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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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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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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
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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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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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
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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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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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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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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:...
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
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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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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
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
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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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
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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
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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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
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Romans 5:1-5. Even in the midst of suffering we can sing: Now thank we all our God. Let's learn why we can rejoice in suffering. Parts: A. His verdict overrules our guilt. B. His training for us in troubles strengthens our hope. Preached on November 24, 2010, for Thanksgiving Eve, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Now-Thank-We-All-Our-God-Romans5_1-5.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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1 Samuel 26:7-25. King Saul had it coming, but David did not take revenge. What does David's example teach us about loving our enemy? Parts: A. Revenge usurps God’s place. B. Love trusts the Lord. Preached on February 23, 2014, for the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Love-Your-Enemy-1Samuel26_7-25.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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1 Corinthians 6:9-11. How the Lord changed us when he washed us clean in Baptism! Why would we want to return to the mud of unrighteousness and self-righteousness? You were washed clean. Parts: A. Don't forsake the inheritance you were reborn into. B. For in Christ you have a new verdict. Preached on June 16, 2013, for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Printable copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Jeremiah 33:14-16. Often God's promises seem to be dead stumps. We wonder how it's possible for him to keep them. But look how he kept his impossible promise to send Jesus. Like a branch springing from a dead stump, Jesus came to save you. The righteous Branch brings you hope. Parts: A. He fulfills God's saving promise. B. He is your righteousness. Preached on December 2, 2012, for the First Sunday of Advent, 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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Mark 8:27-35. Who is Jesus Christ? Parts: A. He is the Cross-bearer. B. He is the Cross-sender. Preached on August 30, 2015, for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Who-Is-Jesus-Christ_-Mark8_27-35.html
Caught by Jesus
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John 1:1-5, 14, 16-18. Deadness ruled over us. See how the Christmas tree reminds us of him who brought us life and light. Preached on December 24, 2010, for christmas Eve, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http:///hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Remember-Him-Who-Is-Your-Life-and-Light-John1_1-5,14,16-18.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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John 1:43-51. What joy we see in Philip and Nathanael when they first meet Jesus! How can we recapture genuine joy in Jesus? Parts: A. Separation? B. Contemplation. Preached on January 18, 2015, for the Second Sunday after Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Recapture-Genuine-Joy-in-Jesus-John1_43-51.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. How long, God? The evils in the world around us move us to ask that question. How long? But the Lord knows what he is doing. So wait for the harvest. Parts: A. God knows how to take care of his field. B. The weeds will burn. C. The wheat will shine. Preached on August 10, 2014, for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at:...
Caught by Jesus
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Matthew 10:24-33. We face many challenges as we confess Jesus with our words and actions. But the Father's great care for us gives us courage. So don't compromise your faith, rather couragously confess Christ. Parts: A. Expect cruel opposition. B. Count on the final outcome. Preached on July 17, 2011, for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, 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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Daniel 3:13-27. How tempting to compromise the Christian faith to fit in with the world around us! How do we stand tall, trusting our God, despite the insults and ridicule? Parts: A. Serve him no matter how fearful the threats. B. We serve him trusting his merciful power. Preached on January 30, 2011, for the Fourth 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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1 Kings 22:10-14. How can we know what the truth is? Only God's Word stands firm. Parts: A. Undaunted by lies. B. Undiminished in truth. Preached on June 22, 2014, for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Available in print at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/God_s-Word-Stands-Firm-1Kings22_10-14.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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1 Kings 8:22-23. Solomon humbly prayed to the LORD at the dedication of the temple. The temple wasn't for his glory but for the LORD's. So Solomon relies on the Lord's faithfulness and mercy. He approaches the Lord in prayer as a servant, saying: 'Lord, hear your servant's prayer, A. Because you are faithful. B. Because you are merciful.' Preached on June 2, 2013, for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Acts 20:28-32. What give us true worth and value? Why does God count each of the sheep in his flock as precious? Parts: A. Purchased by his blood. B. Protected by his word. Preached on April 26, 2015, for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/How-Precious-Is-God_s-Flock_-Acts20_28-32.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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John 6:60-69. As fearsome as earthly wars are, they cannot compare to the battle the Christian fights. We battle on, not with our own strength, but with the Lord's. With his strength battle on. Parts: A. Knowing your enemy. B. Standing firm with God's armor. C. Staying alert in prayer. Preached on September 9, 2012, for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
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In quiet meditation we reflect on what Jesus suffered to pay for our sins. By his wounds we are healed. Preached on April 2, 2010, for Good Friday: Service of Darkness, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Good-Friday_-Service-of-Darkness-JesusWordsFromTheCross.html
Caught by Jesus
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Acts 2:36-47. What a change a caterpillar undergoes as it becomes a butterfly! The Easter message works an even greater change in our hearts and in our lives. Preached on May 4, 2014, for the Third Sunday of Easter, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/What-a-Metamorphosis-the-Easter-Message-Works_-Acts2_36-47.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew 21:1-11. How different our King is! Come listen to his gentle invitation. For he carried your burden of guilt in your place. He alone answers our cry: Please, save! Hosanna! Following him isn't a bunch of shoulds and shouldn'ts but joyful service honoring him who alone can save. Parts: Preached on April 17, 2011, for the Sixth Sunday in Lent: Palm Sunday, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 19:37-40. Jesus will be praised, even if the stones have to do it. Let's shout with the stones. Parts: A. What are these stones?. B. How do we shout out?. Preached on March 24, 2013, for the Sixth Sunday in Lent: Palm Sunday, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Shout-with-the-Stones-Luke19_37-40.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Psalm 110:5, 6. Power corrupts. How can we remain safe in a world growing ever more evil? Take heart, dear Christian. For although the mighty of this world may flaunt their power now, the Lord will crush the mighty. Parts: A. Patiently endure, for that day is coming. B. Rest securely, for his judgment will be complete. Preached on March 30, 2014, for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Available in print at...
Caught by Jesus
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What a marvelous inheritance Jesus has left us in the Lord's Supper, his last will and testament! Let's reflect on it as guided by Jesus' words which Martin Luther used in the Small Catechism. Parts: The Setting for the Supper. Part One: What is the Sacrament of Holy Communion?. Part Two: What blessings do we receive through this eating and drinking?. Part Three: How can eating and drinking do such great things?. Part Four: Who, then, is properly prepared to receive this sacrament?. Preached on...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Matthew 7:15-29. What is truth? As Jesus closes his Sermon on the Mount, he urges us to stand firm in faith that trusts only the truth his word reveals. That's how we practice his truth. Parts: A. Don't believe the false disguises. B. Build your faith and life on the sure foundation. Preached on June 26, 2011, for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, 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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Philippians 2:5-8. We can so easily take Christ's obedience for granted. But as we take time to contemplate his obedience, our love for what he did for us grows and that love moves us to imitate his attitude of humbleness. So contemplate Christ's obedience. Parts: A. Consider the heights which he came from. B. Consider the depths he went to. C. Consider how to imitate him. Preached on April 1, 2012, for the Sixth Sunday in Lent: Palm Sunday, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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God's promises made the difference for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. His promises overcome our worries. He cares for you as your Father. For through faith in Jesus, you are his dear child. Parts: A. The widow's worries. B. Our God is in command. C. Trust your Father's promises and act accordingly. Preached on January 31, 2010, for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Mark 1:4-11. Jesus substituted himself for us. Do we value just how much those words say? Let's revisit Jesus' baptism to see what it means that he is our Substitute and also to see the power our own baptism brings us as we face temptations. Parts: A. He came in for all sinners, even the worst. B. He makes us winners against the Adversary. Preached on January 11, 2015, for the First Sunday after Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written...
Caught by Jesus
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John 6:51-58. Jesus concludes his Bread of Life sermon with a warning and a promise. Only those who believe in the sacrifice of his flesh and blood for them will be saved. But everyone whose faith feeds on him lives forever. Parts: A. Only his flesh and blood are real food. B. All who feed on him have fellowship with God. Preached on August 26, 2012, for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
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1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. What did God do to bring us out of the darkness, so that in Christ we are now children of light? How does that change our view of Judgment Day and affect the way we live until then? Parts: A. In Christ, stand ready for Judgment Day. B. In Christ, stand alert every day armored with faith, love, and hope. Preached on November 9, 2014, for the Second Sunday of End Times: Last Judgment, 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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Matthew 27:27-31. What splendid pomp and circumstance at royal events! But how different our King! What can we say as we see him bloody and humiliated? What can we say as we behold our King? Parts: A. How grave my sin! B. How grand my ransom! C. How gracious my cross! Preached on November 20, 2011, for the Last Sunday of End Times: Christ the King, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Printable copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Revelation 7:9-17. A person's dreams and hopes can motivate them to press forward. But human dreams often end in disappointment. Rather, for real strength and courage to face the troubles and tribulations of life, dream of where the Lamb, Jesus Christ, leads us. Parts: A. Delivered from tribulation. B. Dressed in blood-washed robes. Preached on April 21, 2013, for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, 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 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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Jesus turned water into wine. What does this miraculous sign point us to? How does it affect our faith? Parts: A. Jesus cares about all my concerns. B. Jesus blesses my earthly lot. C. Jesus reveals his divine glory. Preached on January 17, 2010, for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Faith-Celebrates-What-the-Sign-Points-To-John2_1-11.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Luke 12:13-21. Jesus' exposes the greed in our hearts. Only he can bring us the real riches that last, our heavenly inheritance. Parts: A. Greed robs you. B. Only God's barn endures. Preached on August 8, 2010, for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Enrich-your-Life-in-God-Luke12_13-21.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Ephesians 1:3-14. So often we get caught up in working for things in this life and forget about what's truly good for our souls. Even the good things of this world eventually spoils. But Jesus points us to the approved soul food. Parts: A. Feast on the genuine food. B. Believe the heavenly seal. Preached on August 12, 2012, for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy at...
Caught by Jesus
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Colossians 1:21-23. Enemies of God. That's what we once were. How could justice be satisfied to reconcile us to God? How can we keep our new relationship with him? Parts: A. How severe our alienation was!. B. How costly his sacrifice!. C. How vital to stand firm on the Gospel!. Preached on July 25, 2010, for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy available at...
Caught by Jesus
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2 Corinthians 13:14. How greatly the Triune God blesses us! The Apostle Paul reminds us of this as he closes his second letter to the Christians in Corinth. Parts: A. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. B. The love of God. C. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Preached on June 19, 2011, for Pentecost 1: The Holy Trinity, 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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Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16. What alone gives your faith true certainty and real sureness? The Scriptures answer that question and hold before us the promise of a heavenly fatherland. What a hope for our faith to hold on to! Parts: A. God's word of promise does not fail. B. Our fatherland is ready. Preached on August 15, 2010, for the Twelfth 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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Romans 15:4-13. So much discord among Christians, but Christ unites us. How can we get our hearts more in tune with Christ's unity? Preached on December 8, 2013, for the Second Sunday in Advent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Print copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Christ-Unites-Us-Romans15_4-13.html
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Hebrews 5:7-9. What did Jesus go through for us? How hard was it for him? We catch a glimpse of his suffering as we listen to him pray in Gethsemane. Then as he calls out from the cross: 'It is finsihed,' we know that he is our perfect Savior. Preached on March 22, 2015, for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church (WELS), Hancock, MN. Written copy available at: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Here_s-the-Perfect-Savior-for-You-Hebrews5_7-9.html
Caught by Jesus
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Jeremiah 29:7, 10-14. How easily we can swing from patriotic fervor on the Fourth of July to despair about our country's future. We find help in this letter the Lord had Jeremiah write to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. We learn why we pray for the country the Lord has placed us in. Parts: A. For he wants to bless you through your country. B. For he has an eternal future planned for you. Preached on July 3, 2011, for Independence Day (Fourth of July), at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock,...
Caught by Jesus
by Pastor Gregg Bitter
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Jacob must soon face Esau. Let's see what his prayer teaches about the Lord's blessing and thanksgiving. Parts: A. I confess my total unworthiness. B. I cling only to your promises. Preached on November 25, 2009, for thanksgiving Eve, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Hancock, MN. Print copy at http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/O-Lord,-How-Great-Your-Blessing-Is_-Genesis32_9-12.html