Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Psalm 111 along with Psalm 112 is an ‘acrostic’ poem, that is, each line of the psalm starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. After the initial “Praise the LORD” (Hallelujah!), there are twenty-two lines following the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This stylistic device is somewhat limiting to the author (after all, only so many words begin with the letter ‘Q’), but tends to aid the memorization of the psalm.
Other acrostic psalms are 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145. Not all of them are ‘perfect’—some of them skip or transpose the order of letters. Psalms 111 and 112, however, are ‘perfect’ in sequence.
The psalm stresses the works of the LORD, using words that mean ‘work’ or ‘works’ five times in the ten verses of the psalm.
One of the greatest responsibilities of the Church that is you and me, the people of God is to proclaim, praise and acknowledge the works of the LORD.
The Church needs to proclaim with heavy doses of humility, compassion and love how the LORD has worked in the past, how it sees Him working now and prophetically speak of His work in the future.
The psalmist writes, “Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.” These works are his righteous acts or providential works by which he maintains his creation with justice.
The LORD performs his ‘works’ on behalf of his people—by providing a place for us in his creation, by sustaining the creation, by making us his people through the work of redemption, and by giving us his word to guide us and sustain our lives.
As you pray this psalm, are ask the LORD to make us the people who fear him to experience his wisdom to guide us in life in his world.
Collect for Psalm 111: Merciful and gentle Lord, the crowning glory of all the saints, give us, your children, the gift of obedience, which is the beginning of wisdom, so that we may be filled with your mercy and that what you command we may do by the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Sunday, January 24, 2021
January 26 84 Wedding at Cana
January 27 85 Peter’s Catch of fish
January 28 Chapel Day
January 29 86 Jesus calms a storm
January 20 87 Jesus heals a paralytic
Catechism Review: What is confession & What sins should we confess?
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LECTIONALRY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES B © 1981 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Lima, OH
Luther’s Works: American Edit Edition.55 volumes. (Volumes 1-30, Concordia Publishing House; volumes 31 31-55, Fortress Press)
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts "Jesus drives out demons" copyright © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Because of sin, we need another chance to obey God. Jonah was given this second opportunity. Who has not failed God like Jonah? In this second chance given to Jonah to proclaim the word of the Lord to a lost people we see we have a gracious God. As God gives us another chance to do better, it is incumbent upon us to give others who sin against us another chance to make good and to do better. A 2nd chance
I. Reveals a God of mercy – Vs. 1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time
A. Jonah didn’t necessarily have to be given a second chance.
1. In most cases, the prophets were given only one chance and if they did not fulfill their duty there were harsh penalties. Abraham pleaded with God to save the city of Sodom. If the Lord could find just ten righteous persons the city would be spared.
Lot, Abraham’s nephew and his family were led out of danger and spared yet Lot’s wife turned back and in so doing was turned into a pillar of salt.
2. The Lord wasn’t simply taking it out on His people the prophets – He wanted to drive home a specific point – namely that His Word meant something – that He was serious about dealing with His people – for this was the very reason why He sent the prophets to them in the first place.
B. The fact that God dealt patiently with Jonah shows His mercy and compassion.
1. It was His desire that these people would be saved. It was His desire that they would turn in repentance and live. It was His desire that they would turn from their wicked ways and acknowledge Him.
2. To this day this is the desire of God. He desires that all men be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth – yet they must come under His terms and conditions.
The LORD will have mercy but there is one stipulation – men must acknowledge Him as Lord – at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.
C. When the Lord deals with us – it may seem at the time to be punishment – but it is never to punish – His desire is that we turn to Him and live. His desire is to draw us to Himself –to have a deeper walk with us – to comfort us in our weaknesses.
The writer to the Hebrews put it this way - You see, this High Priest of ours isn’t a person who can’t feel any sympathy for us in our weakness because He has been tried and tested in every way, just as we are. But He never sinned!
Therefore we can come joyfully to the throne of our God whose heart is filled with love for those who don’t deserve it and there we will be given the mercy and love we don’t deserve to help us when we really need it.” –Julian Anderson translation Hebrews 4:15-18
Transition: The LORD desires to reveal His mercy. He also desires to restore people back into God’s favor.
II. He restores a person in God’s favor – Vs. 2 Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
A. In the case of the inhabitants of Nineveh it was to bring them to faith.
1. The Lord did not destroy them but rather restored them.
2. He sent His message to repent and in contrition and faith then turned from their evil ways and acknowledged Him alone.
B. His mercies are new to us each day – “Today Thy mercy calls us to wash away our sin. However great our trespass whatever we have been. However long from mercy our hearts have turned away. Thy precious blood can cleans us and make us white today.”
Transition: God desires to reveal His mercy. He desires to restore people back to Himself. This desire is for all people.
III. Results in salvation for all – Vs. 5 The Ninevties believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
A. Notice what God’s Word did – It worked a miracle. Unbelievers were turned into faithful followers. A city set on destruction was spared. A people bent on total annihilation were given life – new life.
B. This is your story for God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself not counting our sins against us and He has given us this ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19
Our sins stand up to accuse us. Our deeds are deserving of punishment but God in Christ has taken our sins to the blood cross and absorbed them into His own body.
No wonder Isaiah looking into the future could only predict, "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5
The story of Jonah is a story of the LORD’s mercy and grace. It’s a story of God desires to revel His mercy, His desires to restore people back to Himself. This desire is for all people.
Passive Sentences – 20%
Readability – 74.5%
Reading Level – 7.1
Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas Higher Things
Friday, January 22, 2021
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
This prayer echoes a line from a famous hymn that is found in our hymnal. You may well know it: “O Christ, Our True and Only Light” (LSB #314). The hymn was written by Johann Heermann, a prolific German Lutheran hymn writer of the century following Martin Luther. The hymn calls upon that true Light to shine on those estranged from God, who are lost in error’s maze and who sit in darkness. What is not so well known is that Heermann did not come up with the central idea of the hymn. He read it in a poem written by someone else. He did not know the author of the poem. It was an Austrian Jesuit named Peter Brillmacher who had lived decades before Heermann and had been on the front line of the Roman Catholic response to the Lutheran movement in southern Germany.
When Brillmacher wrote those words, he thought the Lutherans were the folks who had been estranged from God and were lost in error’s maze! Heerman heard these words and thought of other people. We find this hymn in the “Missions” section of our hymnals. But this prayer, if it is to be prayed needs to start with us. We all have been enlightened by that true Light because we needed it. We have done our fair share of wandering in error’s maze and have sat destitute and helpless in utter darkness. This is a prayer about us before it can ever be a prayer about someone else. Pray this prayer for yourself and then pray it for someone else too.