•  — Edited

    Welcome to Edgewater Online! This is a place for the online community of our church where you can share your life, ask for prayers, join our church reading plan, and more! See an introduction to all of our technological resources at https://edgewaterlutheran.faithlifesites.com/sermons/845461--connecting-to-edgewater-online. If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Josh!
  • Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

    Matthew 13:51-58

    The things that people “knew” about Jesus in His hometown got in the way of them knowing Jesus. He spoke with authority and taught them difficult realities about God and themselves. They heard Him and responded saying “isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” They essentially conclude “who is this guy to tell us what to do, we know where He comes from, He’s not that special.” Jesus responds by saying “a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown.”

    Now this account informs us of an instance where Jesus was rejected, and we can learn a few things from it. First, it acknowledges the difficulty of faithfully challenging your family and the people closest to you because there’s always that potential that they’ll respond with “who are you to tell me what to do.” It also warns us to not let the things we might know about Jesus get in the way of knowing Jesus. Sometimes there might be a temptation to reject the Gospel because the Bible also contains teaching that you don’t like or aren’t comfortable with – don’t let that keep you from experiencing the love and grace Jesus promises! Finally, there’s a warning here about dismissing people. Just because you know where someone comes from or what they’ve done or who they’ve been doesn’t mean that God cannot use them to speak into your life. At very least, take the time to listen – you never know when the Spirit might be working.


    Focus on God

    We are reminded in these verses that God graciously speaks to us where we are


    Function in Our Lives

    We are encouraged to put the best construction on the people around us


    Topics to Pray About:

    • Thank God for coming to us even when we ignore His voice
    • Confess to God times where you block out what He’s trying to teach you
    • Ask God to work in the lives of people who let things they “know” about Jesus get in the way of knowing Jesus


    In His Service,

    J. LeBorious

    1. published a newsletter

      ReadJanuary 29, 2023
      Volume 13, Issue 5
      1. The Parable of the Net

        Matthew 13:47-50

        This parable talks about the end of the age, the time when Jesus comes again and restores creation in totality. At that point, Jesus explains that “angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

        We do not believe that everyone will go to heaven. We are not universalists that believe all souls will be saved. We are also not syncretists that believe all religions lead to heaven. We believe that faith in the Triune God and in Jesus’ work on the cross alone saves – as we’re told in Ephesians 2:1-10. That means we also believe that those outside of the faith will end up in hell, spending eternity locked away from God. This is an incredibly difficult teaching for a lot of people (so much so that there’s a name for it, the Scandal of Election), but it is what Scripture teaches, so we hold to it.

        This idea that hell is a reality should direct us towards a couple of places. It should increase our gratitude for the work of Jesus because He saved us from a very real potential doom. It should inspire us to witness, to speak of the Gospel, to the people around us and be tools for the Holy Spirit to save as many as possible.


        Focus on God

        We are reminded in these verses that God graciously saves us from eternal damnation


        Function in Our Lives

        We are encouraged to share the news of the Gospel with people around us


        Topics to Pray About:

        • Thank God for salvation
        • Confess to God times where you do not feel the urgency to share your faith
        • Ask God to work in the lives of people who haven’t come to saving faith


        In His Service,

        J. LeBorious

        1. The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Value

          Matthew 13:44-46

          For only consisting of a few sentences, these parables tell us a lot about how people come to faith and the priority faith should take in our lives.

          The first parable tells of a man who stumbles across a treasure in a field. The second parable tells of a man who finds a fine pearl after intentionally looking for it. This gives us some insight into some of the ways the Holy Spirit works to bring people into faith. Some people will be wandering through life with no intention to find God, to find truth, or to find faith. Then someone comes into their lives or they have an experience that brings them face to face with God and the loving grace He offers. Some people spend their time and energy searching for truth, searching for something more. They might try different religions, different causes, different purposes for life. Then they encounter a person or an experience that brings the one, true God into focus. These two parables encourage us to pray for people around us who aren’t in the faith and encourage us by revealing that God can bring faith to anyone – whether they’re looking for it or not.

          Interestingly, both men react to this treasure they’ve found in the same way. They each sell all that they have and secures the treasure. When the Holy Spirit gives us faith and brings us into a relationship with God, it becomes the most important thing in our lives. I know what you’re thinking, “he’s a pastor, of course he thinks that faith is the most important thing in the world, everyone believes that their passion is the most important thing.” That’s fair, but the reality is that God is our creator and our redeemer. Our faith in Him promises us eternity and nothing else in our lives can possibly be more important than what He has for us. So if we need to “sell” something to secure and protect our faith, we shouldn’t hesitate. Our faith isn’t just one part of who we are and what we do, it’s not just another box in our busy lives that we put next to our job, our family, our friends, our hobbies, etc. It is the house that everything else in our lives fits into. Is that a parable within the explanation of a parable? Maybe, I don’t know? Go in peace, serve the Lord!


          Focus on God

          We are reminded in these verses that God graciously draws people to Him


          Function in Our Lives

          We are encouraged to make our faith the most important thing in our lives


          Topics to Pray About:

          • Thank God for the treasure of the Gospel
          • Confess to God times where your faith takes a back seat to other parts of life
          • Ask God to work in the lives of people who haven’t found the treasure yet


          In His Service,

          J. LeBorious

          1. The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

            Matthew 13:31-33

            Have you ever seen a mustard tree? If you haven’t, go ahead and Google it – I’ll wait.

             

            They can grow up to be around 20ft tall and their seeds are incredibly small in comparison. Or the other example Jesus uses here, leaven (think bread yeast). To make my favorite pizza dough recipe it takes a teaspoon of yeast and it’s enough for two pizzas. The messages here are simple. The kingdom of heaven, those who have saving faith in Jesus, doesn’t have to look impressive to make its impact. Just a few words from a believer can change someone’s life, can change someone’s eternity. Like a mustard seed or leaven, the Gospel can grow from the smallest start into something unfathomable. In the same way, faith the size of a mustard seed is enough to change your eternity!

            So never question your impact as a believer, God can use even the small things to make unbelievable impact on other people and the world. Never question if your faith is enough, if you’re asking that question you have enough faith! All it takes is the smallest seed.


            Focus on God

            We are reminded in these verses that God works through things that others might call insignificant


            Function in Our Lives

            We are encouraged to avoid underestimating our impact or our faith


            Topics to Pray About:

            • Thank God for doing so much work on our behalf
            • Confess to God times where you take more on yourself than you should
            • Ask God to show you the impact He’s using you for


            In His Service,

            J. LeBorious

            1. The Parable of the Weeds

              Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

              One of the classic questions asked of Christianity is this. If God is all powerful and God is good, why is there still evil in the world? It’s a fair question and can be difficult to reconcile; however, this parable in Matthew 13:24-30 can give us a window into the response. God has created a good world and put the Gospel out into it, but the devil actively works against God and puts things into the world (the weeds of the parable) to destroy and harm. In the parable, the man instructs his servants to leave the weeds be because uprooting them might also damage the good plants.  God does not destroy evil because of the potential collateral damage. Ultimately, He is a God of incredible grace and gives us every possible chance to turn to Him and rely on this grace.

              So until the second coming of Christ (the harvest), we wait. We wait knowing that there are evil people and evil things in the world, we know that the weeds will take from the wheat, we know that their continued existence will cause difficulty and suffering, but we know that ultimately God will gather His people together in a perfect new creation. In the meantime, we do our best to resist the weeds and pray that God would “turn them into wheat.”


              Focus on God

              We are reminded in these verses that God graciously shows restraint and patience for the sake of His people


              Function in Our Lives

              We are encouraged patiently wait for His return


              Topics to Pray About:

              • Thank God for helping you understand His Word
              • Confess to God times where the weeds threaten to overwhelm you
              • Ask God to strengthen your roots in the faith


              In His Service,

              J. LeBorious

              1. Lord, please give us discernment!
            2. published a bulletin

              ReadEdgewater Lutheran Church
              The Whole Story - 1.22
            3. published a newsletter

              ReadJanuary 22, 2023
              Volume 13, Issue 4