The Lord Is Surely Coming to Give You His Kingdom
The Lord Himself was Abraham’s shield and great reward. For “the word of the Lord came to him” and sustained the patriarch’s faith in the face of death (Gen. 15:4). By divine grace, Abraham “believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6), on account of the holy Seed, Christ Jesus. To that one old man, the Lord granted “as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” (Heb. 11:12). The Lord is likewise faithful to you. It is His glad desire “to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Therefore, “consider the ravens” and “do not be anxious for your life,” but instead “seek for His kingdom” (Luke 12:22, 31).
Collect for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost: Almighty and merciful God, it is by Your grace that we live as Your people who offer acceptable service. Grant that we may walk by faith, and not by sight, in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer for steadfast faith: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayers in times of affliction and distress: Almighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in every situation they may recognize and receive Your gracious help, comfort, and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for hope of eternal life in Christ: Almighty, everlasting God, Your Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ may increase daily and that we may hold fast to the hope that on the Last Day we shall be raised in glory to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Monday, 2 August 2010—Psalm 147:8–11; antiphon, Psalm 147:7—Psalm 147 is a great hymn of praise to God for His abundant power and His understanding beyond measure (v. 5), and, especially for His steadfast love (v. 11). It is well for us who fear the Lord to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving, because He has saved us from the futility of trying to earn our way into His good graces. He gives us the good things we need for this life, and has done everything necessary for our salvation.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010—Psalm 33:12–22—What is it that gives the Lord pleasure, as He looks down from heaven upon His creation, and upon the children of men? It is not the might of man, his great armies, his war horses, or the strength of warriors. No, what pleases the Lord is those who fear him…those who hope in His steadfast love. He desires and takes delight in delivering their souls from death, of providing for the salvation of His people, and sparing them from famine and the wants of the body.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010—Genesis 15:1–6—Abraham was an old man, and his wife both barren and well beyond child-bearing years. Yet the Lord promised to Abraham that he would be father to many descendants, too numerous to count. If this promise had been made by a mere man, it would be utter nonsense, foolish and unthinkable. But the promise of a great nation coming from Abraham was not made by any man, but by the Creator of the earth, the universe, and all things, the Almighty God. Abraham’s response was one of faith: he trusted the Word of the Lord, and the Lord counted him righteous because of it. Likewise, when we trust in the Word of the Lord—specifically, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, slain and risen again for our salvation—then we, too are counted righteous by the Lord. Trusting in His promises to bring us the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of our souls delivers that very salvation to us. We are saved by faith—faith which God Himself delivers to us by Word and Sacrament.
Thursday, 5 August 2010—Hebrews 11:1–16—We are saved by faith, and the eleventh chapter of Hebrews is the great chapter of faith in the Bible. First, the author gives us a good succinct definition of faith: it is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Then, he proceeds to recount some of the great heroes of faith in the Bible: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham (who believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness, as we read in the Old Testament reading), and also Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Let us also add our own names to this list, for God has, by His Word and Sacrament given us saving faith and preserved us in it. We, too, who trust in God alone for our salvation, will spend eternity with those listed here and all who die in the faith, rejoicing in our Lord forevermore.
Friday, 6 August 2010—Luke 12:22–34—In this sinful, troubled world in which we live, it is altogether too easy to succumb to the cares of the world and become anxious. But our heavenly Father, who desires only what is best for us, provides not only for our earthly needs, but, more importantly, has provided for our eternal salvation. We can rest secure in the fact that we have a loving and gracious God who knows our needs and provides for them.
Saturday, 7 August 2010—Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe (LSB #666). In the face of anxiety and especially, spiritual warfare, we can be confident and unfearing, not because we are strong in ourselves, but because the Lord is for us and fights for us; therefore, we can rest in the certainty that not earth nor hell’s satanic crew against us shall prevail.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing HouseThis week's Time in the word is written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning who serves St. John Dexter and Zion Casey IA