Audio Sermons

Audio Sermons at Prairie Lane Church

We invite you to listen to past Sunday morning messages on your computer or on the go.
Files are available as .mp3s for download or you may listen with streaming audio.

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Nov. 19, 2017 "So, What's Next?"
               In anticipation of celebrating the Lord’s Supper, we thought together about what the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 11:26— “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
               We live in a world facing the big question: “What’s next?” and you and I, personally, confront the “What’s next?” question, too.
               None of us truly know what’s next. And this is why the Lord’s Supper is such a blessing. In the midst of not knowing what’s next, the Lord’s Supper helps us orient ourselves.
               First, the Lord’s Supper reminds us how the death of Jesus has taken care of all our sin (the past of Christ’s death).
               Second, the Lord’s Supper reminds us we aren’t’ alone on a journey into the unknown (the presence of Christ’s body).
               Third, the Lord’s Supper reminds us that our life is a journey to reunion with Jesus (the future of Christ’s return).
               Our celebration of the Lord’s Supper invites, encourages and commands each of us to leave our past with Jesus, to enjoy our present with him and to pin all our hopes for the future on him.
 
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Nov. 12, 2017 Guest Pastor Jeff Heerspink "Ordinary People"

Pastor Jeff gives a message drawing on Acts. We are thankful for Pastor Jeff and his work at F Street Neighborhood Church in Lincoln. 

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Nov. 5, 2017 "Getting Through the Night"

     Using Psalm 91:5 as our text for this Sunday’s message, we thought about “Getting Through the Night.” Getting through the night is a common problem: perhaps you have experienced hanging on for hours at the very verge of sleep that never seems to capture you. All the while your thoughts run uncontrolled through your mind. Regrets pile up; memories flow around you. Like the Old Testament character, Job, “The Great Sufferer,” we too, say, “When I lied down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.”
     
Listen to the full message to understand how true religion—not merely generic spirituality—but a faith shaped by the Bible with Jesus Christ and his cross at its center and focal point, can turn the challenge of night into brilliant day for each of us.

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Oct. 29, 2017 Sola Series 5 "Soli Deo Gloria: To the Glory of God Alone"

On Sunday, October 29, we concluded our “Five Solas” focus on the Reformation’s 500th anniversary by thinking about what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11:33-36: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” We also focused on I Corinthians 10:31, where Paul writes, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Our theme simply was the Reformation’s 5th Sola—Soli Deo Gloria—The God be the Glory Alone.
In the message we asked: What does it look like to eat and to drink to the glory of God? What does it mean to do everything for the glory of God? And how do we truly perform for an audience of One?

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Oct. 22, 2017 Sola Series 4 "Sola Gratia: Grace Alone--Mary Ann and Martin LUther

On Sunday, October 22, we continued our “Five Solas” observance of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary by thinking about what the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not y works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Our theme was, “Mary Ann and Martin Luther,” and we focused on the Reformation’s idea of Sola Gratia, By Grace Alone.

               Martin Luther was taught that God gives saving grace only to people who earn it through acts of love for God and others. He became a monk and later wrote: “It’s true. I was a good monk and kept my order so strictly that I could say that if ever a monk could get to heaven through monastic devotion, I should have entered in. All my companions in the monastery who knew me would bear me out in this. For if it would have gone on much longer, I would have martyred myself to death, what with vigils, prayers, reading, and other works…and yet my conscience would not give me certainty, but I always doubted and said, ‘You didn’t do that right. You weren’t contrite enough. You left that out of your confession.’ The more I tried to remedy an uncertain, weak and troubled conscience with human traditions, the more daily I found it more uncertain, weaker and more troubled.” Luther finally realized that our right standing in God’s eyes is not something we must earn. It is God’s gift to us sola gratia—by grace, God’s undeserved favor, alone.

               You and I are so in need of God’s grace. Contrary to what Luther had been taught, we don’t have the ability to find our way back to God. As fallen creatures, spiritually “dead in [our] transgressions and sins,” we’re like someone who has fallen into a pit and is lying unconscious at the bottom. The only way out is a rescue from above. Someone must reach down to us, revive us and pull us to freedom.

               When it comes to meeting the deepest need of our existence, our restlessness for God, we can do nothing to help ourselves. We’re totally reliant on outside help. Luther learned, and we learn, that grace is amazing. We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it. And yet God is willing and able to save wretched people like us and he actually does.

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Oct. 15 Sola Series 3 "Solus Christus: Through Christ Alone--A Special Kind of Priest"

      On Sunday, October 15, we continued our “Five Solas” observance of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary by thinking about what the author of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 5:8-10: Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Our theme was, “A Special Kind of Priest,” and we focused on the Reformation’s idea of “Solus Christus—Through Christ Alone.”     

        The Reformer’s “Solus Christus” and the text from Hebrews both emphasize the Biblical truth that “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people” (I Tim 2:5), and that therefore, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Christ’s identity as a special kind of priest— “in the order of Melchizedek,” is absolutely exclusive and his work entirely sufficient. We have no need for any other prophet to provide us with a new revelation, any other priest to mediate between us and God, or any other king to rule Christ’s church. Christ alone stands at the center of God’s eternal purposes, Christ alone is the object of our saving faith and Christ must stand alone at the very center of our lives. “Solus Christus” also stands at the center of the other four principles or “Solas” of the Reformation.

               So, what does Hebrews tell us about Jesus, this special kind of priest “in the order of Melchizedek?” First, he is greater than any priest or high priest that ever was or ever would be. He is the true King of Righteousness and the King of Peace. Second, Hebrews tells us Jesus is God. The dying priest on Calvary’s cross is the very Son of the living God who gave himself in love for you. Third, the Bible emphasizes that this special kind of priest continues his priestly work without stopping. And so, the salvation of those who belong to him is absolutely certain.

               May the Reformer’s principal of “Through Christ Alone” and the One who is the special kind of priest become more precious to each day.  In our individual lives and the life of Prairie Lane Church may we commit ourselves anew to believing, living out, and proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ eve as we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20b).

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Oct. 1, 2017 Five Solas 2 "Sola Scriptura: How to Hear God's Voice"

               2017 marks the 500th anniversary from October 31, 1517, the date when an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This date marks the launching of what later came to be known as the Protestant Reformation.

               On Sunday, October 1, we continued our “Five Solas” observance of the Reformations 500th anniversary by thinking about what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:97, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long, “and what the Apostle Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Our theme was “How to Hear God’s Voice,” and we focused on the Reformation’s idea of “Sola Scriptura—By Scripture Alone.”

               Why did the Reformers take their stand with “Scripture Alone?” Why did they stand on the foundation of the Bible alone as the authority for their faith and life? The answer: Because through the Bible we hear God’s voice speak the liberating good news of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone because it leads to sheer joy and excitement.

               Why did the Reformers value the Bible so highly? One answer: Because the Bible comes to us from God himself. God provided the Bible through his own action; it is his voice speaking through many human authors over many centuries. Another answer: It provides us just what we need to know about God. The Bible’s primary author is God and the Bibles’ primary subject is God.

               As we study the world around us we learn much about God. We’re awed by the signs of God’s wisdom, power and splendor as we study nature’s marvelous testimony about him.

               But, from the Bible we learn awesomely important things about God unavailable from any other source. We learn about God’s love, his compassion, his justice, his mercy, his wrath, his control of the world and his close contact with all he has make. The Bible tells us how he appeared in our very own human flesh in the person of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. It lays out God’s way of saving you and me. The Bible also tells us about the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son into the world an into the hearts of all believers influencing our lives on the deepest levels.

               Can and does the Bible bring the same joy and courage to us as it did to the ancient Psalmist and to Martin Luther and the other Reformers? If we use it properly, the Bible will. Here’s how: First Recognize that the Bible is the authority for our spiritual life, not the ideas of the 21st century.  Second, be willing to submit totally to the Bible’s authority as the foundation for your life. Listen, listen, listen obediently to God’s voice, to God’s Word, above the voices of the world around us.

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Sept. 24, 2017 Five Solas Series one "Faith and LIFE"

text Romans 3:21-23, 1:17

Sermon Review Sunday, September 24, 2017

               2017 marks the 500th anniversary from October 21, 1517, the date when an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This date marks the launching of what later came to be known as the Protestant Reformation.

               How can you summarize something that happened 500 years ago that still shapes our church and our culture? One summary is what became the “Five Solas” of the Protestant Reformation.

               The Five Solas are five Latin phrases summarizing the Reformer’s basic theological principles in contrast to certain teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of that day. “Sola” is Latin meaning “alone” or “only” and the corresponding phrases are Sola Fide—by faith alone; Sola Scriptura—by Scripture alone; Solo Christo or Solus Christus—through Christ alone; Sola Gratia—by grace alone, and Soli Deo Gloria—glory to God alone.

               On Sunday, September 24, we began our “Five Solas” observance of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary by thinking about what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:21-31 and Romans 1:17— “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’

               Martin Luther “…grasped that the righteousness of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.” This monumental insight into God’s word and way of working brought new LIFE to Martin Luther and literally billion of people since 1517.

               So, what does Luther’s revolutionary insight into and understanding of being made right with God by faith alone mean for us in 2017? First, by faith we respond to God’s word; second, by faith we receive God’s way of salvation; and, third, by faith we are united with Jesus Christ.

  1. LIFE-bringing faith is a positive response to the Bible’s content. At the center of God’s heart is a cross. This cross was born because of God’s love for you and me. And at the center of the Bible there’s a cross, too. There’s no other place than in the Bible we can learn about real salvation
  2. LIFE-bringing faith also accepts the message of salvation. You and I must call out to God in faith and ask him to apply Jesus’ finished work to our lives. In Timothy Keller’s words: “The Gospel is this; ‘We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.’’
  3. LIFE-bringing faith unites us with Jesus. “Because I live, you also will live. On that day, you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you,” Jesus says. LIFE-bringing faith sustains us by the really real presence of Jesus in our lives. His life becomes our life.

Faith is the most important thing about you. If you have faith, Martin Luther discovered and you experience, you’re out of danger. If you don’t have faith, you’re in extreme danger. Faith and faith alone makes the difference.

               Trust Jesus for there’s no other hope in this world. Jesus has become the righteousness of God through his finished work on the cross. Believe in him. Martin Luther did and experienced LIFE and peace. 500 years later, so can you.

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Sept. 17, 2017 "You Really Do Need a Shepherd"

text: Psalm 23
Nearly everyone is familiar with Psalm 23, with its words and with its imagery. But for many of us Psalm 23 feels out of touch with our technological, fast-paced world. In addition, green pastures, quiet waters and right pats sometimes, but not always describe our lives. And yet Psalm 23 endures. Psalm 23 continues to speak comfort and encouragement to us.

Why? Because we really do need a shepherd. We need a guide, we need someone bigger or stronger and wiser than we are to take care of us and to guide us through this life and beyond the grave to what is next. We really do need a shepherd.

Psalm 23 covers the entire spectrum of our lives: From good times to bad times, from sunny seasons to death’s dark valley. But this must be the constant in life: The presence of the shepherd. If and only if the Lord God is our shepherd then we have what we need.

And what kind of shepherd is our God? The One in whose presence we will finally never be in want. We’ll never be alone. We’ll never be abandoned. We’ll never travel down a path where he cannot follow in his goodness and love. We will never be in want of a God who loves us, a God who cares for us, and a God who prepares a place for us.

Sheep prefer to be led from the front rather than be driven from behind like cattle, for instance. Sheep form a trusting relationship with the shepherd they follow. Jesus picked up on this when he said, “I am the good shepherd and my sheep know my voice.” Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows his way through the valley of the shadow of death and through death itself.

And we follow this most remarkable of shepherds. He’s one of us. He’s a shepherd and he’s a lamb. He is the Lamb who has been slain but now lives. He walks with us, he protects us and he takes us home in the end. The Lord is our shepherd and we want for nothing. Why? Because in his presence we already have everything we need.

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Sept. 10, 2017 Pastor Richard Hartwell "Loving God"

text John 20:30-21:19

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Aug. 13, 2017 Neil Stanley "A New Chapter at Prairie Lane Church"
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July 30, 2017 Final Four "Integrity"

Pastor Dan's final Omaha sermon. 

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July 23, 2017 Final Four-Three "Prayerful Dependence"

Pastor Dan shares his thoughts on seeking the guidance of the Lord. text John 3:8, Acts 15:36-40, 16:6-10

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July 9, 2017: The Final Four-One "Persistance"
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June 11, 2017 Beatitudes: The Great Reversal
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June 4, 2017 Pentecost 2017
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