Saturday, November 1, 2014

All Saints

Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Reformation


Almighty God, gracious Lord, pour Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and comfort them in all temptations, defend them against all enemies of your Word, and bestow on the church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Simon and Jude

Almighty God, You chose Your servants Simon and Jude to be numbered among the glorious company of the apostles. As they were faithful  and zealous in their mission, so may we with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Time in the Word - Proper 26



The Lessons for this week fall under the theme The Price of Christian Leadership. A national election is upon us. People ask the pressing question who shall lead us and what will tomorrow bring. We need not fear for the Lord directs us. He orders our days. He directs our path. We pray that the Lord would raise up godly people to use their talents for the praise of God and in service to the neighbor. At what price will we be willing to serve?  The appointed psalm for the day is. Psalm 43 (antiphon; V.3) In the Old Testament lesson Micah 3:5-12 – we see the price of true instruction in God’s truth. In the Epistle lesson 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 – Paul explains the price of godly living. In the Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12 – Jesus explains the price of humble service

Two simple yet heart felt Prayers Almighty God, source of every blessing, your generous goodness comes to us anew every day. By the work of Your Spirit, lead us to acknowledge Your goodness, give thanks for Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience.

Lord, we pray that Your grace may always precede and follow us that we may continually be given to good works

For Schools – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, since You have committed the care and nurture of children to Your people, graciously enlighten those who teach and those who are committed to their instruction that they may know the truth and trust in You all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A prayer before we study the Word Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.

Collect for Reformation Almighty and gracious Lord pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Collect for All Saints Day: Almighty and everlasting god, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into on holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect for Proper 25 -Merciful and gracious Lord, You cause Your Word to be proclaimed in every generation. Stir up our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that we may receive the proclamation with humility and finally be exalted at the coming of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen


Monday, October 27, 2014 – Psalm 34:1-2, 11, 22 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Psalm 9:18: “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Micah 3:5-12 – The price of true instruction in God’s truth. The false prophets predicted peace for Judah while Micah predicted destruction and captivity. One of the chief purposes of Micah was to declare to Judah it sin. Micah along with the rest of the prophets were Spirit-filled messengers. The destruction of Jerusalem happened in history in 586 BC. These verses were quoted a century later in Jeremiah 26:18  Jeremiah 26:19 indicates that Micah’s preaching may have been instrumental in the revival under King Hezekiah. (see 2 Kings 18:1-6; 2 Chronicles 29-31) The words you speak today might not take root until one hundred years from now. We are not called to see results but to remain faithful.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 – The price of godly living. In the 1st Century moral standards were generally very low. Chasity was regarded as an unreasonable restriction. Paul however, would not compromise God’s clear and demanding standards. The warning was needed then and is needed now. Christians are not immune to temptations. (See 1 Corinthians 5:1)

We are not our own. Sexual sin harms others beside those who engage in it. In adultery, the spouse is always wronged. Premarital sex wrongs the future partner by robbing him or her of the virginity that ought to be brought to marriage. Here we see a motive for chasity.

Still another reason for chasity is God’s call to holiness. Sexual sin is against God. He gives the Holy Spirit to believers for their sanctification. To live in sexual immorality is to reject God. Specifically in regard to the Holy Spirit.

Some in the congregation were taking undue interest in other people’s affairs. The Greeks in general thought manual labor degrading and fit only for slaves. Christians took seriously the need for earning their own living. But some, perhaps as a result of their belief in the imminent return of Christ were neglecting work an relying on others to support them. Christians in need because of their idleness are not obedient Christians.   

Thursday, October 30, 2014 Matthew 23:1-12 – The price of humble service. The warning here is against seeking titles of honor to foster pride. Doubly zealous for ritual purification, which fostered pride and false security and brought no salvation was the downfall of these false teachers of the law.

Friday, October 31, 2014 – Psalm 43 - This Psalm is appointed for this coming Sunday.  The key verse is verse 3. This psalm is a prayer for deliverance from the enemy and for restoration to God’s presence. The key verse personified as God’s messenger who work our God’s salvation. He shows His faithful care on behalf of His own. Thus we pray with the psalmist, may these guide me back to Your temple.

Saturday, November 1, 2014 –Luke 24:29 - Our reading is the inspiration for tomorrow’s sermon hymn, LSB #585 “Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide” The two Emmaus disciples urged Jesus, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over.” We pray, Lord, abide with me. Jesus responds. “ So He went in to stay with them.” Jesus is always with you. He will never forsake, never abandon, never leave you. This is His promise, “I am with you always!” Not a wish but a constant reality. The Lord sticks with you forever.

Sources:
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use



Hymn writers

Almighty God, the apostle Paul taught us to praise You in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs... We thank You this day for those who have give to Your Church great hymns, especially Your servants Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann ans Paul Gerhard. May Your Church never lack hymn writers who through their words and music give Your praise. Fill us with the desire to praise and thank You for Your great goodness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dorcas, Lydia and Phoebe


Almighty God, You stirred to compassion the hearts of Your dear servants Dorcas, Lydia and Phoebe to uphold and sustain Your Church by their devoted and charitable deeds. Give us the same will to love You, open our eyes to see you in the least ones, and strengthen our hands to serve You in others, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Reformation



Reformation
26 October 2014
Romans 3:19-28
Living By Works or Faith?

Upon reading St. Paul’s letter to the Romans Martin Luther finally got it. He discovered the answer for which he had been searching. How does a person get right with God? Is it by works? Or by faith? Let’s see how Luther was drawn to the Gospel message of grace as Paul speaks to us this morning.

The quest of getting right with God is a timeless question. It’s an issue with which each generation must wrestle. How can the sinner approach God?  St. Paul addresses this important question.

1. The whole world is involved - Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God V. 23
A.    All have sinned. No one is exempt.  There is not a single religion known to man which states that man is somehow perfect, or that he is exempt from sin. Each will readily admit that man is far from perfect. But in trying to justify himself the people of the world will conclude one of two possibilities - either God will make up for the bad or he will somehow close His eyes to your sin. Yet this kind of religion will not stand the test of every man.  We therefore must come to God through Christ who, as Paul explains to us, has freed us from the punishment of which our sin has brought us.   (but) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; V.24

B.    Redemption is a free gift! It is given to us by God’s free favor, - with no strings attached. If it were anything else but a gift, we would have an obligation to God - which we could never repay. The Lord lavishes upon us His mercy and grace. As an offering of His love.

2. The whole world stands accountable to God. - Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; V.19
A.    The Law speaks to us in three ways.

1.    Curb – which checks our sin – where we fear punishment, retribution, and payback. The emotion which is employed is fear. When an exasperated and frustrated mother says to her children “just wait until your father gets home!” that’s the 1st use of the Law at work – fear.

2.    Mirror - Here we feel guilt. The Law shows us our sin. It shows us what we have done and what we have left undone.  It shows us our failing and our flaws. Embarrassment is a byproduct of the 2nd use of the Law.

3.    Ruler – Here we feel joy – as we can measure our faith – gladly doing those things, which the Lord would have us do. Only the Christian can experience this 3rd use – for only the Christian desires to please God.

B.    The Law condemns us before God.

1.    We are all under its curse. And it is a dreadful curse; it is the curse of death. “The souls which sins it will die” the Scriptures remind us and “The wages of sin is death.”
2.    It crushes us. Under the weight of sin no one can bear. Unless that burden and load is removed, we will be eternally devastated.  

3. We need Christ to bear our sin because of the inability of the Law to reconcile – Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law {comes} the knowledge of sin. V.20
A.    The Law shows us the knowledge of sin; which always condemns, and always destroys. There is no saving power in the Law. The Law can only charge, prosecute, and indict us. The Law always accuses. 

B.    No one can be justified by means of following the Law. If all it can do is charge us as guilt, there is nothing the Law can do to free us from its curse.

4. In answering the question – how do we get right with God we must conclude reconciliation therefore is a gift. – Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; V. 24
A.    To be reconciled with God – to be at one with Him - comes through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ. The Gospel message is at the same time so simple and yet so significant. It is so straightforward that a mere child can know and accept it.  Yet, at the same time, it challenges us.     

B.    It is a gift given freely by God. The hymn writer put it so clearly – “not the labors of my hands could fulfill Thy law’s demands…”  What we are unable to do the Savior does for us. He forgives our sins and credits our account.

5.    This gift of God is made possible only by grace. – Romans 3:25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. {This was} to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; V. 25

A.    God passed over sins previously committed. This was demonstrated in the Passover event in the Old Testament. When the Lord saw the blood splattered on the doorpost He bypassed that house and spared those who remained inside. They were safe because of the mark. What He did in Egypt he does in your life.

God’s mark was placed on you on the day you were baptized. You received the sign of the a cross upon your forehead and upon your heart as a sign that you have been redeemed by Christ the crucified. When you make the sign of the cross {as a devotional aid} you are reminding yourself of this reality. Because of the cross – your sins are forgiven. The Father has passed them over.  

B.    Likewise, Christ’s sacrifice for sin is a sacrifice that satisfies and angry and offended God. What good news. “There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

C.    God is now appeased – Christ has compensated for us. There is nothing left to be done.

Christ has accomplished everything we need to be in a right relationship with God. Christ has done it all. He has done all things well.

D.   Saving faith looks to Jesus Christ in His sacrificial death for us. When we say there is “faith in his blood” we simply mean there is faith in what Jesus’ blood has purchased and won for us, for “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.”

6.    It is necessary for faith to appropriate the gifts. Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law V. 28

A.    When Luther translated this verse into German, he added the word “alone”.  It’s not faith plus works. Not faith plus my prayers. Not faith plus my co-operation. Not faith plus my pious behavior, actions and activities. It is faith and faith alone which saves. 

B.    Faith is not man’s contribution or decision, but a gift of God. Even your faith is a gift, which comes from God. The Scriptures are quite clear on the matter. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the Word of God.” Even your faith, which clings only to merits of Jesus Christ, is a good and gracious gift of God.



What more could be said then to add what Paul has stated in Ephesians 2:8-9  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”

Words – 1,286
Passive Sentences – 10%
Readability –83%
Reading Level – 4.4