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Ron Lavin

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Adult study


Prohibitions And Invitations In The First Commandment -- Exodus 20:1-2 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
The oldest problem in the world is idolatry. Idolatry is older than adultery.
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Tenth Commandment -- Exodus 20:17b -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
Some time ago I was preaching a sermon on covetousness, referencing the Tenth Commandment.
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Eleventh Commandment -- Mark 12:28-34a -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
The most important Commandment of all is to love God more than anything else and love our neighbors
Life Begins At Forty -- Acts 7:30-34 (NRSV) -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
The context for God giving the Ten Commandments to the Hebrews is their forty year journey in
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Second Commandment -- Exodus 20:7 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
If you are a Christian, you were baptized "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Third Commandment -- Exodus 20:8 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
"What's so special about your Sabbath day?" a young man asked his girlfriend.
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Fourth Commandment -- Exodus 20:12 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
The first table of the Law (Commandments One through Three) deals with our relationship with God.
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Fifth Commandment -- Exodus 20:13 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
The Fifth Commandment speaks against murder.
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Sixth Commandment -- Exodus 20:14 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
There are many misunderstandings of adultery in our society.
Prohibititions And Invitations In The Seventh Commandment -- Exodus 20:15 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
A man once sent an unsigned letter to the Internal Revenue Service with no return address.
Prohibition And Invitations In The Eighth Commandment -- Exodus 20:16, Matthew 7:1-5 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
Martin Luther says that the meaning of the Eighth Commandment is:
Prohibitions And Invitations In The Ninth Commandment -- Exodus 20:17a -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
Thomas Aquinas once observed: "We were created so that we would love people and use things.
Foundations -- Deuteronomy 5:1, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 5:17-18 -- Ron Lavin -- 2005
An expert on the Jewish Law once tried to challenge Jesus and trick him.
That The Next Generation Might Know -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
He (God) decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our for
The Bread Of Life -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.
From Attractive Distractions To Singing God's Steadfast Love -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfuln
When The World Oppresses You -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
My Protector -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say t
Sing To The Lord A New Song -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm ha
Your Word Is A Lamp For My Feet -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
I Will Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
I lift up my eyes to the hills -- where does my help come from?
I Wait For The Lord -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the LORD more than
When God Seems Far Away -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
Lord, you have searched me out and known me. -- Psalm 139:1, RSV
Fearfully And Wonderfully Made -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
The High And The Holy One Delivers Help And Hope -- Ron Lavin -- 2000
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

Bible Study


I Believe; Help My Unbelief -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
Immediately after his transfiguration, Jesus came down from the mountain and was faced with a proble
Hebrew Thinking And The Question Of The Trinity -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
As a parish pastor, one of the questions I was frequently asked was, "How can God be one and yet thr
I Believe In God The Father Almighty -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
Is the world really ruled by a loving Father as we confess in the Apostles' Creed or is this notion
I Believe In God The Father Almighty, Creator Of Heaven And Earth -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
In the last chapter we looked at the amazing personal relationship we have with the heavenly Father.
I Believe In Jesus Christ, His Only Son, Our Lord -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
Imagine that you are a first-century Christian.
He Was Conceived By The Power Of The Holy Spirit And Born Of The Virgin Mary -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
The emphasis on the tension between the divinity and the humanity of Jesus continues as we look at t
He Suffered Under Pontius Pilate -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
Let me begin this chapter on Jesus, the Suffering Servant, with the story of a French Bishop.
He Was Crucified, Died, And Was Buried -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
In this short phrase from the second article of the Apostles' Creed, we enter into the heart of dark
He Descended Into Hell -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
In this phrase we meet a tough challenge. What does the descent into hell mean?
On The Third Day He Rose Again From The Dead -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
In the last chapter we looked at the descent to the place of the dead based on two obscure Bible ver
He Ascended Into Heaven, And Is Seated At The Right Hand Of The Father -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
When he had led them out of the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
He Will Come Again To Judge The Living And The Dead -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father
I Believe In The Holy Spirit -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
In a conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus told him (and us) about the work of the mysterious Holy Spir
The Holy Catholic Church, The Communion Of Saints -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
To say, "I believe in the Holy Spirit," means that you believe in the work that this Spirit of God d
The Forgiveness Of Sins -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
Some years ago a Ball State University student told me that she did not believe in the Apostles' Cre
The Resurrection Of The Body And The Life Everlasting -- Ron Lavin -- 2001
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.

Faith Development


Plans For Your Welfare -- Jeremiah 29:11 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Listen to me, you islands;hear this, you distant nations:
The Sacrament And The Prodigal -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him.
Grace -- Ephesians 2:4-10 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Grace is freely given to us when we don't deserve it.
Hope -- Jeremiah 29:11 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
The original context of this passage was the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews.
Your Word Is A Lamp To My Feet -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Oh, how I love your law!I meditate on it all day long.
Saved By The Word -- Romans 10:8b-17 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
In this Bible passage we meet Saint Paul's clear vision of salvation through the word of God.
Not Ashamed Of The Gospel -- Romans 1:16-17 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Grace said, "No, sorry, I can't make it," to Mary Anderson's invitation to come to her house for cof
New Testament Baptism -- Matthew 28:18-20 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
What did Jesus mean when he spoke these words?
Do You Need To Be Baptized -- John 3:5 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Grace Livingstone was nervous about what the pastor would say about the necessity of being baptized.
The Darkness And The Light -- Matthew 4:17, Isaiah 9:2, 1 Corinthians 1:18 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
These four Bible passages point us to the difference between the people of darkness and the people o
Baptized Into His Death -- Romans 6:3-4 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Christ's death and resurrection are intricately interwoven with the death and resurrection of his pe
Old Testament Passover And New Testament Sacrament -- 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 -- Ron Lavin -- 2004
Baptism is the first sacrament.



Abba, Your Kingdom Come -- Luke 11:1-13 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - C -- 2006
The provoking incident for Jesus teaching his followers what to pray and how to pray is that the apo
You Fool! -- Luke 12:13-21 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - C -- 2006
The incident stirring up this text is the request of someone in the crowd who asked Jesus to judge b
Ready Or Not, Here I Come -- Luke 12:32-40 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - C -- 2006
When you were a child, did you play the game, "Hide and Go Seek"?
Family Ties And Good-byes -- Luke 12:49-56 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - C -- 2006
If ever we needed to strengthen the institution of family, it's today.
Cured Cripples And Crabby Critics -- Luke 13:10-17 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - C -- 2006
Have you ever been crippled by something that happened to you?
Only The Lonely -- Luke 14:1, 7-14 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - C -- 2006
There are three words I hope you will take home from church today.
Counting The Cost Of Discipleship -- Luke 14:25-33 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 18 | Ordinary Time 23 - C -- 2006
The best thing to say to a pastor after you hear a sermon that moves you is not, "That was a good se
Only The Lost And The Least -- Luke 15:1-10 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - C -- 2006
A woman approached her pastor with a question: "Where is the lost and found department in our church
Welcome, Rich And Poor -- Luke 16:19-31 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - C -- 2006
Can you name some disillusioned people you've met in life?
Faithquakes -- Luke 17:5-10 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - C -- 2006
A woman who went through her first earthquake in California said, as it was happening, "I think a tr
A Puzzling Parable With A Sharp Point -- Luke 16:1-13 -- Ron Lavin -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - C -- 2006
A young boy used to describe foods like spinach by saying, "I hate it." His wise mother responded, "
Final Instructions -- Acts 1:1-11 -- Ron Lavin -- Ascension of the Lord - B -- 2005
Final Instructions
Ashes For Remembering -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 -- Ron Lavin -- Ash Wednesday - B -- 2005
Ashes For Remembering
The Author Who Wipes Away Sins -- Acts 3:12-19 -- Ron Lavin -- Third Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
The Author Who Wipes Away Sins
Salvation In Jesus' Name -- Acts 4:5-12 -- Ron Lavin -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
Salvation In Jesus' Name
Yesterday, Today, And Forever -- Acts 8:26-40 -- Ron Lavin -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
Yesterday, Today, And Forever
God's Surprises -- Acts 10:44-48 -- Ron Lavin -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
God's Surprises
Man Proposes; God Disposes -- Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 -- Ron Lavin -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
Man Proposes; God Disposes
It's All About Jesus -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12 -- Ron Lavin -- Good Friday - B -- 2005
It's All About Jesus
Chocolate Cake, Flooded Waters, And Baptism -- Genesis 9:8-17 -- Ron Lavin -- First Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
Chocolate Cake, Flooded Waters, And Baptism
What Part Of "You Shall Not" Don't You Understand? -- Exodus 20:1-17 -- Ron Lavin -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
What Part Of "You Shall Not" Don't You Understand?
The Passion Of The Servant Leader -- Isaiah 50:4-9a -- Ron Lavin -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2005
The Passion Of The Servant Leader
A Funeral For "I Can'ts" -- Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 -- Ron Lavin -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
A Funeral For "I Can'ts"
Rebellion, Renewal, And Rebirth -- Numbers 21:4-9 -- Ron Lavin -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
A French Bishop once told a story to a vast audience about a rebellious group of boys who stood outs
Does Easter Make A Difference? -- Acts 4:32-35 -- Ron Lavin -- Second Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
A bully in a small town resented the man everyone looked up to as the wisest man in town.



Reborn As God's Children -- Hosea 1:2-10, Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19), Luke 11:1-13, Psalm 85 -- Frank R. Fisher, Ron Lavin -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - C -- 2007
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "Reborn As God's Children" by Frank R. Fisher
Seek The Welfare Of The City -- Luke 17:11-19, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7, Psalm 66:1-12 -- Frank R. Fisher, Ron Lavin -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - C -- 2007
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "Seek the Welfare of the City" by Frank Fisher
Have You Seen Any Eskimos Lately? -- Matthew 2:13-23, Hebrews 2:10-18, Isaiah 63:7-9, Psalm 148 -- Ron Lavin, Fanny Lee Seville -- First Sunday after Christmas Day - A -- 2007
Contents What's Up This Week
Va-Va-Voom -- John 2:1-11, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalm 36:5-10 -- C. David Mckirachan, Ron Lavin -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - C
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "Va-Va-Voom" by C. David McKirachan
Doing A New Thing -- Isaiah 43:16-21, Philippians 3:4b-14, John 12:1-8, Psalm 119:9-16 -- Frank R. Fisher, Ron Lavin -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - C
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "Doing a New Thing" by Frank Fisher
Smokin'! -- John 14:8-17 (25-27), Romans 8:14-17, Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Frank R. Fisher, Gregory L. Tolle, Ron Lavin -- Day of Pentecost - C
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "Smokin'!" by Frank R. Fisher
The Good Little Girl -- John 21:1-19, Revelation 5:11-14, Acts 9:1-6 (7-20), Psalm 30 -- Scott Dalgarno, Ron Lavin, John E. Sumwalt -- Third Sunday of Easter - C
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "The Good Little Girl" by Scott Dalgarno
Comfortable Clothes -- Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a), 2 Corinthians 3:12--4:2, Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99 -- John S. Smylie, Frank R. Fisher, Ron Lavin -- Transfiguration Sunday - C
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "Transforming Light" by John Smylie
Ashes For Remembering -- Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a), 2 Corinthians 3:12--4:2, Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99 -- John S. Smylie, Frank R. Fisher, Ron Lavin -- Ash Wednesday - C
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "Transforming Light" by John Smylie
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Easter 4
28 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
34 – Commentary / Exegesis
5 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Easter 5
33 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
34 – Children's Sermons / Resources
30 – Worship Resources
35 – Commentary / Exegesis
5 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Easter 6
30 – Sermons
180+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
31 – Commentary / Exegesis
5 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Elena Delhagen
Quantisha Mason-Doll
Mary Austin
Katy Stenta
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For April 21, 2024:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
These lessons all testify to Jesus is our all-in-all. The Good Shepherd theme could also be stressed.  

Acts 4:5-12
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Acts 4:5-12
The hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation” was written by Samuel J. Stone around 1866. It was part of a collection of twelve hymns that emphasized a part of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” speaks specifically to article nine of the Apostles’ Creed, and it emphasizes that Jesus is the one upon whom the church is built. According to C. Michael Hawn, the song became known as the “battle song of the church.”


John E. Sumwalt
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me. (v. 4)

Are there angels among us who save people in danger?

One of the stories I tell in response to this question, was sent to me by Robyn Bradley of Oxford, Wisconsin. She’s a therapist and licensed clinical social worker who is the Director of Psychological Health for the Wisconsin Army National Guard.


John Jamison
Object: A hearing aid.

* * *

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready for our story today? (Let them respond.) Great! Let’s go!

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
There was a farmer living in a remote part of the Norfolk countryside who had been burgled a number of times. On the last occasion he was disturbed in middle of the night, he went downstairs with his gun and when a torch was shone into his face, he pulled the trigger several times.


Stan Purdum
(See Lent 4, Cycle A, and Easter 4, Cycle C, for alternative approaches.)

If asked how many images of God this most familiar of all psalms includes, most people would probably say one, that of shepherd. (And, while saying it, there's a good chance they'd actually be picturing Jesus with a lamb in his arms, thanks to the famous painting of that scene hanging in Sunday school rooms all over America.) But, in fact, there are two images of God in this psalm -- the shepherd (vv. 1-4) and the host at a banquet in the temple (vv. 5-6).

Richard E. Zajac
... the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep...

Doctor Bernie Siegel claims that coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous.


I have spent nine years here at the hospital. In the course of those nine years I've witnessed and experienced many strange things. I've watched events occur that made me stop and think and wonder. I've found myself doing something or I've found others doing something that made me scratch my head. I've come across many coincidences that made me wonder if indeed they were coincidences.
David H. Webb
It is hard to find a more bold expression of the Easter faith than what we hear from Peter today in our first lesson.

Peter and John had just healed a lame beggar at the gate of the temple. Without hesitation Peter proclaimed to the astonished crowd that the healing was the work of God who had raised Jesus from the dead. Almost immediately, the Sanhedrin arrests Peter and John and puts them on trial. They ask. "By what power or by what name did you do this?" (v. 7).

Mark J. Molldrem
Easter is in springtime for a reason. Springtime is that time of year when new life emerges from the old. Easter is that time of history when New Life emerged from the old.

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