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Articles written by Joe Greiner


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  • Sermonette: July 15, 2024

    Joe Greiner, Pastor, Evangelical Free Church|Jul 15, 2024

    Sometimes, life is hard. Part I of II Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes, life is really really hard. Somedays it’s hard to get out of bed, hard to have joy, hard to have any confidence that the life you’re living is the life God wants you to live. You wake up in the morning, and if you had one wish, it would be to start clean somewhere different. In these times, there are many passages that can give comfort. Famous passages like Psalms, Jesus in Gethsemane or Job. But this week and next week, I want to look instead at Jeremiah, and God’s respo...

  • Sermonette: Faith and actions

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jul 8, 2024

    Recently, as part of my study at the New Rockford E-Free Church, I took a look at James 2. For those who aren’t familiar with James, this is the chapter where he talks about faith and actions. James’ basic argument is that if a Christian truly has faith in Jesus, it will be obvious in the way they act. It is impossible for a Christian to have saving faith, and not have it be obvious in the way they act. To show this, James makes three arguments to back this up. First, James points out the obvious fact that if we have faith, but don’t actua...

  • Sermonette: Esther 4:14

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 27, 2024

    A couple of months ago, I was working through Esther for Sunday School when I discovered an extremely powerful verse I didn’t know existed. The passage occurs at the most important point of the entire story. Esther, a Jewish woman, has risen to be the brand new queen of Persia, and her uncle/adopted father Mordecai has discovered a plot to wipe out all the Jews in the Persian empire. He comes to her and begs that she intercede on behalf of her people. Esther is, unsurprisingly, hesitant. The previous queen was disposed of for merely d...

  • Sermonette: Esther

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 20, 2024

    At church and among fellow church people, there are a lot of discussion circles around what our favorite books of the Bible are. What books of the Bible do we find easy and fulfilling to read or have spoken to us? We like to compare and contrast our favorite list with other Christians, and see what other people think. Along with this, however, many of us avid Bible readers have a list of our least favorite books of the Bible. These are the books that we don’t like to read, and we don’t get excited about when the pastor chooses to preach fro...

  • Sermonette: Gideon

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 13, 2024

    You might find this strange, but I don’t have a favorite passage of scripture. I know this is kind of odd, especially coming from a pastor, but my favorite parts of the Bible aren’t specific verses; rather I enjoy a certain type of passage. Instead of having favorite memory verses, I particularly enjoy any passage of scripture where a human has a discussion with God. Adam and Eve, Moses, Job, the entire book of Habakkuk, and even when Jesus debates with the Jews. I find so much depth and truth reading examples where man has shaken his fist at...

  • Sermonette: An appearance of Godliness

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 6, 2024

    Check out this gem of a verse I noticed the other day. In his 2nd letter to Timothy, Paul warns Timothy of how people will be in the last days. There’s a lot to this verse, but focus on the penultimate phrase in the list. "For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance o...

  • Sermonette: Run the race

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Feb 19, 2024

    Currently in Sunday school at my church, we are working through the Book of Acts. This week, we arrived at Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders in chapter 20. In verse 24, Paul states that his entire difficult life will be worth it if only he can finish the race. This struck me because I am a runner. I did a quick word search and found that Paul talks about his run and/or race nine separate times across eight different letters! This was surprising to me that Paul uses the reference so many different places. Obviously, the ‘running the rac...

  • Sermonette: God even uses the love pentagon

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 29, 2024

    “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” That is how God is often referred to. He is the God that Jewish forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob called upon. The God who promised Abraham he’d be a great nation – despite Abraham only having one son of the promise. The God who promised Isaac he’d be a great nation – despite again, only one son of the promise. It’s Jacob where God finally begins to make a nation with Abraham’s family through the 12 sons of Jacob. But have you ever read the chapter when the first 11 sons are born? It’s chapter 30 of Gen...

  • Sermonette: 1 Timothy 4

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 22, 2024

    When I was younger, I used to be blown away by the complexity of the Bible. This is a book that covers thousands of years of history, contains hundreds if not thousands of prominent characters, and explains the roots of two of the world’s largest religions. It is also written in three different languages and many different writing styles. Everything from the stories of Genesis, the commands of Leviticus, the prophecies of Ezekiel, the poetry of Psalms, the short sayings of Proverbs and the letters of Paul. Then, three years ago, I became a p...

  • Sermonette: God doesn't owe us an explanation

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 15, 2024

    Read the Book of Job. Seriously, if you haven’t read that book of the Bible yet, go read it. Leave my sermonette, read the book and come back. I won’t promise it’s easy or short, but I will promise that it’s got some great truths in it. You won’t regret it. The main character of the book of Job is, unsurprisingly, Job! Job is a good man, and not “humangood” – Job is regarded as righteous in God’s eyes. However, one day he loses everything. All his animals, all his servants, all his children and even his health. One day he has everything, the n...

  • Sermonette: Corn

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 8, 2024

    So, here’s a hypothetical situation for you. Imagine the researchers at NDSU came up with a new type of corn seed. We’ll call it corn seed X. Now, what makes corn seed X so incredible is that it can survive the frigid North Dakota winters. Not only survive, but be able to produce. Instead of planting in the spring, and getting a harvest in the fall; one can plant corn seed X in the spring, get an average harvest in the fall, and then it will also produce all the way through the next year. And all the years that follow. Plant once, and then harv...

  • Sermonette: Jesus prays

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 1, 2024

    Recently, I was studying Jesus’ use of prayer and I came across a very intriguing verse that I’ve probably read a million times, but never noticed before: Luke 6:12. “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” (NIV) Now what makes this verse significant to me is the context. Luke is perfectly clear that the very morning after Jesus’ marathon prayer he selected his 12 disciples. Prior to this, there was probably a small crowd following Jesus around, but afterward there was “the 12” and eve...

  • Sermonette: October 2, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner, E-Free Church|Oct 2, 2023

    This week as I was reading 2 Timothy, I came across a strange passage. For those who don’t know, this book and its companion 1 Timothy are letters from Paul to young Timothy and a must-read for all young pastors. As I read 2 Timothy 1, I arrived at verse 5: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” This verse struck a chord in me because it hits a very dangerous and emotional issue in rural America today: our youth are leavi...

  • Sermonette: Sept. 25, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner, E-Free Church|Sep 25, 2023

    I wrote this sermonette years ago; but in memory of Gary Mackrill who passed away last week, I’m sharing it again. This week I was reading 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. For those who don’t have this passage memorized, this is where Paul talks about Christians having the "ministry of reconciliation." Now I won’t lie, I was a bit intimidated by this phrase. It sounds extremely burdensome and religious. "Ministry of reconciliation." Then, I look at the passage, and that didn’t help my fear. The passage is a mess. Paul’s words spin around, and back and...

  • Sermonette: September 11, 2023

    Joe Greiner|Sep 11, 2023

    E-Free Church How big is your faith? This is the question I feel like Jesus has asked every last human in their heart of hearts. How big is your faith? Is it big enough to believe in Jesus? Is it big enough to move mountains? Is it big enough to believe in the Twins this year? (Just kidding.) This is “the” question of all existence that even the people of the Bible had to face. Often times, I feel like the only reason some people are even mentioned in the Bible is to show how they responded to this question. One of these sorts of cha...

  • Sermonette: July 31, 2023

    Joe Greiner, Pastor, Evangelical Free Church|Jul 31, 2023

    Acts 2 If I were to say the word "church," what would you think? I’m guessing you might think of big brick buildings. Maybe some preaching. I think many of us would probably imagine an organ or piano. When we hear the word "church," we think about popes and pastors, dressed up people and the dreaded offering plates. We think about hymns and singing, Sunday mornings, and potlucks. The word "church" is an extremely loaded term, connected to dozens of thoughts, memories and feelings. Some of these are good, but many of them are at best not h...

  • Sermonette: July 24, 2023

    Joe Greiner, Pastor, Evangelical Free Church|Jul 24, 2023

    'Come and see' Once upon a time, my wife and I were resident assistants at our college. As resident assistants, our job was two-fold. First, we were responsible for the physical life in our respective dorms. Maintain the rules; make sure no one burned the place down, etc. Second, we were also responsible for the emotional needs of the students; make sure freshman weren’t crying their way through first semester, keeping the sophomores off each other, checking on juniors to make sure they were still sleeping occasionally between finals. D...

  • Sermonette: "Worthless religion"

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jul 17, 2023

    Have you ever had someone drop a verbal bombshell in the middle of a conversation? You know, you’re talking to someone and they’ll off-handedly mention “oh, that was when I almost died.” Or “that was right around when the car exploded.” Or “oh, yeah, I had a tumor once. It was the size of a watermelon.” Those sorts of comments that bring a conversation to a screeching halt as you respond with “wait, what?!?!?” As frequently as people do this by accident, the Bible seems to do it even more often on purpose. I found one this morning in James. ...

  • Sermonette: Home

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jul 10, 2023

    I recently returned from a long and emotional trip. I enjoyed myself, that is for sure, but as many of you will agree, weddings are exhausting. Family is fun, but can be exhausting. Sleeping in different places is fun, but again, exhausting. I’ve never been what people might call a “homebody,” but certainly there’s a point on every vacation when I can hear the bed at home calling me. This is nothing compared to the soldier I ran into the other day who spent a month training thousands of miles away. Or the soldiers deployed overseas for months a...

  • Sermonette: July 3, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jul 3, 2023

    “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” This is my favorite quote by one of the most forgotten characters of the Christmas story: John the Baptist. Sure, he was at most only a couple of months old when Jesus was born, but John’s entire mission was to prepare for Jesus’ ministry. John’s entire story, from his mother Elizabeth’s song, to his father Zechariah’s muteness is a precursor to Jesus. Because of this, I feel as though he warrants more mention in the Christmas story. John the Baptist, as many may know, was a 1-trick pony...

  • Sermonette: May 1, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 1, 2023

    Why was John the Bap-tist arrested? Do you remember why John the Baptist was arrested? Much of John the Baptist’s life and ministry is remembered by most people. His miraculous birth, his wild “Florida-man” style of preaching, his baptism of his cousin Jesus and his final beheading are known by most people who attend church. However, people often forget the crime that ended his career and put him behind bars, where he died. “For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, b...

  • Sermonette: April 24, 2023

    Joe Greiner, Pastor, Evangelical Free Church|Apr 24, 2023

    This is my 99th sermonette, but to be perfectly honest, I write this with the most trepidation of any so far. I’ve resisted writing it for quite a while, and I’ve run out of reasons not to write it. So, please know that the following is written with nothing but respect for my fellow “seasoned” believers. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2nd Timothy 4:7 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” 1st Corinthians 9:2...

  • Sermonette: April 17, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Apr 17, 2023

    “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” 1st Corinthians 10:23-24 I know this is a bold statement but I believe this to be one of most important verses for Christians. I’m not trying to puff it up to get you to read this, I truly believe this is a verse Christians ought to have memorized and actually apply it to their lives almost daily. Paul writes this famous verse to the Corinthian church. See, as far as we can...

  • Sermonette: April 10, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Apr 10, 2023

    “Come and See!” Those are the words that greet the women who first discovered the empty tomb. They come Sunday morning with spices, but without a plan to move the stone. As they wonder about what they’re going to do about the stone, they are greeted by not only the stone moved, but an angelic visitor. “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5b-6 “Come and see!” The angel challenges the women to test his words. If the massiv...

  • Sermonette: Canoeing

    Joe Greiner|Apr 3, 2023

    I like canoeing. I used to go to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota before I moved further away but even today, I enjoy jumping in the James River with my canoe and a paddle. If you’ve never canoed before, perhaps someday I can give you a lesson. As you learn, you’ll notice something odd: good canoeists paddle on both sides. Perhaps that seems inefficient to you. You think “joe, doesn’t it make more sense for you to paddle on one side, and the front man (usually my wife) to paddle on the other side?” Logically, that does make sense, but in pr...

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