Thursday, March 31, 2016

Joseph, Patriarch


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2005              Just one more Amen!



The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all. Amen Revelation 22:21

Thus a concluding benediction. Similar to the ones appearing at the conclusion of other NT Epistles.[1]

Why do we end the Lord’s Prayer with the word amen? The word amen means, “So shall it be” and emphasizes that God, who has commanded us to pray, will hear our prayers and answer them as He has promised[2]

The Lenten season is now past us. We now bask in the glow of an empty tomb for we truly are Easter people! We have just reviewed the various aspects of the Lord’s Prayer. The only thing left is the word Amen.

The word Amen simply means - yes! It is so! As we daily come to the Lord, we can be assured that He hears every petition. Such is the privilege of being a part of a community and people of faith as we uphold each other through prayer. In our prayers, we take our needs burdens joys and sorrows to the throne room of grace and then we are truly thankful as the Savior answers each petition according to His gracious will. Amen simply means that we are in agreement with what we have asked. “Amen” from the Lord’s perspective is that He will answer us according to His gracious favor. From the perspective of Easter, our only request needs to be that the Lord would bring us at last to be with Him in glory. Thus, in this Easter Season, we keep our eyes heavenward as we await His final return in glory.

Yea, Amen, let all adore Thee. High on Thine eternal throne; Savior, take the pow’r and glory; Claim the kingdom as Thine own. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Thou shalt reign, and Thou alone![3]



[1] The Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO Pp.2236
[2] Luther’s Small Catechism, Conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[3] Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending Stanza 4, Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Monday, March 28, 2016                 Amen!                      



He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord JesusRevelation 22:20

These words may function as a liturgical response to the reading of this prophetic word. On that understanding, what followed the reading of this revealed word would be the Communion liturgy.[1]

How do I know God is able to answer the prayers of His people in Christ? He alone is the King who has all good gifts in His control. He alone has the power to grant our petitions. He has all glory and is worthy of our praise.[2]

O God, in the paschal feat You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive 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[3]


[1] The Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO Pp.
[2] Luther’s Small Catechism, Conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[3] Collect for Easter Monday, Lutheran Service Book © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter


Time in the Word - Easter 2



The theme for the Second Sunday of Easter is Faith in the Risen Christ. The First reading, from St. Luke’s history of the Apostolic Church, the Book of Acts, tells about St. Peter, the one who, out of fear, had denied Christ (Matt 26:69–75) and been restored (John 15:19). Here, Peter performs miracles in the name of Jesus and testifies boldly before the Jewish council. He has moved from fear to faith. The second reading speaks of the revelation of Jesus Christ that was given to the holy Evangelist and Apostle John. Though Christians were being persecuted, and John himself was living in exile on Patmos, the vision of Christ, the One who died, but is alive forevermore, brings reassurance that the victory over death and Hades is complete. John has moved from tribulation to faith. The Gospel is the familiar account of “doubting Thomas,” who, when he saw the risen Christ, was moved to confess, “My Lord and my God.” Thomas has moved from doubt to faith.


Collects for the Feast of the Resurrection of Our LordAlmighty God, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. We humbly pray that we may live before You in righteousness and purity forever; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

O God, in the paschal feast You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive 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


Time in the Word
28 March - 2 April 2016
Preparation for next week, the Second Sunday of Easter

Monday, 28 March 2016Psalm 105:1–5, 8; antiphon, 1 Peter 2:2–3—The second Sunday of Easter is sometimes called Quasimodogeniti, Latin for the first words of the Introit, ‘Like newborn infants.’ Just as a baby eagerly suckles at its mother’s breast, so we, who have been given new life in Christ by His death and resurrection, also do eagerly desire the pure spiritual milk provided by our Lord for our nourishment and good growth. This He gives us through the preaching of His Word and the most blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016Psalm 148In Sunday’s psalm, the psalmist calls upon all of creation—those on the earth, those under the sea, and those in the heavens—to join in a chorus of praise to the Lord. Animate and inanimate, all of creation proclaims the glory of the Lord!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016Acts 5:12–32—Jesus remained a threat to the Jewish authorities, even after He had ascended to heaven. Here, the apostle Peter is jailed for performing miracles in the name of Jesus. After he is miraculously freed by an angel of God, he is summoned before the Jewish council. Peter, filled with strength that comes only from God, boldly asserts, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Thursday, 31 March 2016Revelation 1:4–18—St. John, the only one of the Twelve still alive at the time of his revelation, sees a glorious vision from the Lord Jesus. The revelation, recorded for our sakes, gives great comfort to Christians of all times, whether they are living in a time of severe persecution or not. Jesus is the Victor! Just look at all this short section has to say about Jesus: He is the One who was and is and is to come, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, the Ruler over all, the Alpha and Omega. Having conquered death, He holds the keys to Death and Hades; these can trouble us no longer, we who are in Christ. His called ministers exercise these keys to forgive our sins, as the Gospel shows.

Friday, 1 April 2016John 20:19–31—There are two appearances by the risen Christ in Sunday’s Gospel, each bringing us a great deal of comfort. In the first, Jesus establishes the Office of the Holy Ministry, and assures us that, in the words of the catechism, ‘when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they…absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.’

In the second appearance, our Lord appears to Thomas. Thomas wanted the certainty of seeing his risen Lord in the flesh, as the others had. When he beholds the wounds in the One who was crucified on our behalf, his faith is sure, and he confesses, ‘My Lord and My God!’ Thomas’s assurance is ours also. We need never doubt that our Lord is truly risen from the dead, ‘the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.’ (1 Cor 15:20)

Saturday, 2 April 2016—The Hymn of the Day, O Sons and Daughters of the King (LSB #470), recounts the story of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and particularly His encounter with Thomas. His words to Thomas are meant for us, also: ‘How blest are they who have not seen And yet whose faith has constant been, For they eternal life shall win. Alleluia!’




Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Image of Christ appearing to St. Thomas found here:
Luther’s Seal © Ed Rajas Higher Things


Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016



Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016   For Thine is the Kingdom –           



Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

God’s giving is not limited by our asking. “He is like an eternal unfailing fountain. The more it pours forth and overflows, the more it continues to give. God desires nothing more seriously from us than that we ask Him for much and great things.” (Large Catechism III 56)[1]

What is the Conclusion? For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. What does this mean? This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to heaver us. Amen, amen, which means, “yes, yes, it shall be so.”[2]

Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrated with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[3]


[1] The Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO Pp.2020
[2] Luther’s Small Catechism, Conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[3] Collect for Easter, Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Sunrise



Easter Dawn
27 March 2016
Luke 224:1-11
Life Now Makes Sense

Almighty God, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. We humbly pray that we may live before You in righteousness and purity forever.

The disciples’ early unbelief gave way to faith. When they saw the risen lord. Christ now overcomes people’ unbelief through His Word and promise. (Vv.25-27, 32, 45) These promises center in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Life now has meaning for us.

Have you ever felt that life has no meaning? No purpose? No sense to it all?

1.       The meaninglessness of life is a problem of human nature.
A.      Many have no purpose that reaches beyond this life; hence, despair and hopelessness arise.
B.      The fall robbed human beings of their life, hope and future.
C.      Because of sin, our only future is death and damnation.
2.       Christ gives meaning to our life.
A.      His work gives meaning.
1.       He suffered and died (v.7a)
2.       He rose again (6 indications in our text!)
3.       This work was necessary (v.7) for people to have forgiveness (24:26-47)
B.      This gives meaning to all history.
1.       The previous ages looked forward to it.
a.       God’s saving acts in the Old Testament prefigured it. (see Ex.15:1-11)
b.      The Old Testament predictions foretold it. (see Is. 52:13-53:12)
c.       Christ Himself predicted it (see Luke 9:22, 44; 17:24-25; 18:31-33)
2.       Due to His work, forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to all.
C.      This gives meaning to each of us.
1.       Through the proclamation of Christ God offers the forgiveness of sin.
2.       With sin forgiven, we have life through the Living One (Luke 24:5)
3.       We now have a future and a home – eternal life.
4.       We now have a purpose in life – to proclaim repentance and forgiveness. In His name, we proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations.

Life is no longer meaningless. Because He lives, we shall live also! Because “He is not here; He is risen indeed!” Christ’s resurrection gives purpose to our life in this world.


____________
Words – 304
Passive Sentences –3%
Readability – 75%
Reading Level – 4.6  

Easter


Easter
27 March 2016
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever
Matthew 6:13

We trust, O Lord, in Your great mercy to hear and answer us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. [1]

The kingdom remains forever with Jesus!  We come now to the conclusion of this much loved prayer: “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory forever and ever Amen

Yes! The kingdom remains forever with Jesus! It is a powerful kingdom.  It is a glorious kingdom. It is an eternal kingdom.  Why do we pray? Jesus has given us plenty of reasons why we should pray. In the conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer we find three good reasons for asking all these things from Jesus.

1.       Jesus alone is King, from whom we seek help. On this Easter let us remember that there is no such thing as a dead Christ. The German philosopher Nietzsche declared that God is dead. Unfortunately for Nietzsche he died and met a living Christ! Because of Easter you and I can come to Christ with our faults and our fears, with our cares and our concerns with our triumphs and our trials, with our disasters and our dreams and know that He will hear every single one of them.

This not so with the false gods of this present age. They are only the cheap imitation of man’s own imagination. They are utterly worthless. David reminds us in Psalm 115: “Why do the nations say, where is their God? But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man's hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them. O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.” (vv.2-9) Man left to his own devices is powerless and ineffectual.

But because of Easter Christ is alive and hears every prayer. That’s why we can say with David in Psalm 110: “You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may be terrified no more” (vv.17-18).

2. Because of Easter Jesus alone has the power to grant us our petitions.

Jeremiah the prophet of old reminds us “Like a scarecrow in a melon patch their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good” (v.15)

Dumb idols remain silent. They cannot help. They cannot hurt. A prayer offered to a false god is like speaking to the wind. Not so with Jesus. 

He has the power to grant our petitions because He is alive. As the child once put it “He can’t be dead…I spoke to Him this morning!” Every petition, every request is answered by Him because he is alive forevermore. 

3.       Because of Easter Jesus alone shall have all glory and praise for all that he has done for us. 

He is the eternal God deserving of our prayers and our praise. The writer to the Hebrews put it this way: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will. And may He work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever Amen (13:20-21)

So what else is there to say other than the word, Amen! What is meant by the word Amen? ‘That I should be certain that these petitions are acceptable to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us so to pray, and has promised to hear us. Amen, Amen, that is, yea, yea it shall be so. A blessed Easter! Amen.




[1] Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service, Setting Five © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis 

Holy Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday, March 26, 2016   Deliver us from Evil              



They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.  Acts 14:21-22

Pressure, hardship, and opposition are to be expected by God’s people on their earthly journey toward their full experience of His heavenly kingdom. Luther: “Curses will not be lacking. But go forth to face them more boldly, be strong, and cling steadfastly to the blessing, no matter how much everything seems to be full of a curse. For this is what we should conclude, it is sure that I have been baptized. I have heard the Word from the mouth of the minister. I have made use of the Sacrament of the Altar. This is the divine and unchangeable truth. Even though I am weak, it is sure and unalterable…You are children of the kingdom, your sins are forgiven, the devil has been overcome and laid low under your feet, sin and death will do you no harem, but you are blameless. Therefore, bear the hostile curses with equanimity.” (AE 5:145-146)[1]

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen[2]



[1] The Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO Pp.1864

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday




Good Friday



G Friday
25 March 2016
“Deliver us from evil”
Matthew 6:13


ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

but deliver us from the evil one.

Friends in Christ, I urge you all to life your hearts to God and pray with me as Christ our Lord has taught us and freely promised to hear us. And lastly, O heavenly Father, deliver us from all evil of both body and soul, now and forever.[1]

Father, rescue me and all your saints in the church militant from evil. Protect us when we are tempted, assure us of your love, and transform everything that seems to harm us into blessing. Bring us all to glory, where we will worship you, our all in all. I pray this in the name of the One who taught us this prayer, Jesus Christ, your Son.

In the Greek text this petition reads thus: Deliver or preserve us from the Evil One, or the Malicious One; and it looks as if He were speaking of the devil, as though He would comprehend everything in one, so that the entire substance of all our prayer is directed against our chief enemy. For it is he who hinders among us everything that we pray for: the name or honor of God, God’s kingdom and will, our daily bread, a cheerful good conscience, etc.[2]


The incarnation reminds us that Jesus is the personified Son of God – conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. Jesus is true God and Man at the same time. To win your salvation, Jesus had to be human. To guarantee your salvation, Jesus had to be God. 

The Annunciation reminds us that God became human. Jesus entered time. And space. The incarnation – Jesus taking on flesh - is proof that God is not against us![3]   

It was Necessary for Jesus to be a Man
1.       To take your place under the Law
2.       To live the perfect life – for you
3.       To take you unto Himself

It was Necessary for Jesus to be God
1.       To overcome sin
2.       To overcome death
3.       To overcome the devil

Because of Jesus’ Incarnation, when Jesus entered time and space, and because of the bloody cross on a hill called Calvary, we can boldly pray, “Deliver us from evil…

Quite possibly Luther has saved the best for last. In the 7th petition we pray: “But deliver us from evil.” Luther writes: “We pray in this petition, as the sum of all, that our Father in heaven would deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor, and finally, when our last hour has come, grant us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this vale of tears to Himself in heaven”.

In this petition we ask God –

I.        To keep every evil from us.

The Lord promises us in Psalm 91 that He will keep us safe so that no harm or evil will overcome us. “If you make the Most High your dwelling –even the Lord, who is my refuge then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.” (vv.9-10) “God is our refuge and strength an even present help in all kinds of trouble.” says David. (Psalm 46:1)  Thus, we are called to have a triumphant confidence, a fearless trust in God.

The devil and sin would threaten our very existence - yet God in Christ has done something about our sin and the devil’s might. He dealt with our sins on a hill called Calvary when He suffered and died for our sins and the sins of the entire world. That’s why we have been taught to pray: “but deliver us from evil,” or as some put it, “but deliver us… from the evil one”.

II.    In this prayer we ask God to take from us or to help us bear and turn to our benefit the cross with which He afflicts us.

Returning from Antioch Paul, “Strengthened the disciples and encouraged them to remain true to the faith.” (Acts 14:22) Those early Christians were tempted within and without. There were many crosses and temptations, challenges and persecutions placed in their road.  Yet, the Lord by His Word and Spirit kept them as they remained true to the faith.  To this day, the Lord does this in your life and in my life as we pray with the hymn writer:

“Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
Hea’vn’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me![4]

                 
No matter what might befall us, Christ remains with us.  In the book of Job, chapter 5, verse 19, we are told, “From six calamities He will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you.” Though many trials may come to us Christ will see us through.
 
We can trust that these promises will be kept because Christ kept the greatest promise ever made when He went to the cross on a day called Good Friday. He suffered in our place so that we could receive forgiveness, life and salvation.

III. We pray in this petition that our dear redeemer would deliver us from all evil and finally lead us to a blessed end.

Paul writes in 2 Timothy, “The Lord will rescue me from every attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom.” (v.18) When we know the Savior and are assured of His protection you and I can pray with Simian of old, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace as you have promised. For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people. A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for the glory of Your people Israel.” (vv.29-32)

We toil here on this earth where we are bombarded by the forces of the devil, the world and our own flesh. Our ultimate goal is to be with Jesus in glory.  That’s what St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians. Chapter 1, “I’m torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” (v.23)

And that’s why today is called Good Friday. Christ has conquered and gained for us the victory. Hidden under the shadow of the cross we wait for a new day when we will be with the Lord. Until that day comes, we can be assured that He will continue to deliver us from every form of evil. Yes you are covered and protected by the Savior.

Pilgrims here on earth and strangers
Dwelling in the midst of foes.
Us and ours preserve from dangers;
In Thine arms may we repose
And, when life’s sad day is past,
Rest with Thee in heav’n at last.[5]




[1] Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service, Setting Five © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Luther’s Large Catechism
[3] A quote attributed to Luther
[4]   The Lutheran Hymnal “Abide with me” #552, stanza 8,© 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

[5] Through the Day Thy Love hath Spared Us, stanza two, The Lutheran Hymnal #553 © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Good Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday, March 25, 2016     Deliver us from Evil                                   



And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one 2Thesalonians 3:2-3

Saving faith is not an inherent human ability. The Lord has shown Himself to be reliable and trustworthy. He has always kept His promises to His people (e.g. the exodus, the Promised Land, the Messiah) and will continue to keep them Cf. 1:6-7, 11-12, 2:8, 13-14.[1]

What is the Seventh Petition? But deliver us from evil. What does this mean? We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley or sorrow to Himself in heaven.[2]

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen[3]


[1] The Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO Pp.2064
[2] Luther’s Small Catechism,7th Petition of  the Lord’s Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Thursday, March 24, 2016

M Thursday



M Thursday
24 March 2016
“Lead us not into temptation”
Matthew 6:13



καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶςεἰς πειρασμόν

And do not bring us into temptation

Friends in Christ, I urge you all to lift up your hearts to God and pray with me as Christ our Lord has taught us and freely promised to hear us. Lead us not into temptation, O Lord, but help us by Your Spirit to subdue our flesh, to turn from the world and its ways, and to overcome the devil with all his wiles, Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.[1]

Keep your promise and be true to Yourself, Father, by not doing anything that would cause us to sin. Do not abandon us in temptation, and do not let any temptation beyond our strength befall us, but send us Your Spirit to defend us in every temptation. I pray this for myself and all Your children.

On this holy night, when we remember that the Savior endured temptation for us we are brought into remembrance that He Himself allowed Himself to suffer. He prayed in the garden “Father, not My will, but Thine be done” and then allowed Himself and permitted Himself to be crucified.
Tonight, we look at the sixth petition, “and lead us not into temptation” Luther in his small Catechism reminds us: “God indeed tempts no one…” Well, if that is the case, what then do we ask in the sixth petition?

              I.      We ask that the Father would guard and keep us, so that the temptation to evil may not come upon us.
Paul writing in 2 Thessalonians 3 reminds us, “But the Lord is faithful, and will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (v.3) Here Paul places the faithfulness of God in sharp contrast with the lack of faith in people.  “No temptation has sized you except what is common to man…”
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10, “And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear but when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand under it.” (v.13) 

Temptation in itself is not sin. Jesus Himself was tempted. Yielding to temptation is sin. Through God’s battling for us we are able to resist temptation to sin and stand up under it.

           II.      God also promises to strengthen and preserve us when He permits temptation to come.
                Why, pray tell, would the Father allow His children to be tempted? You might ask.  The Father allows temptation so that in the end we may overcome and obtain the victory.  Paul reminds us to be clothed with Christ’s protection.  In Ephesians 6:13 he writes, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (v.13)

                Withstanding temptation is the end result.  God by these words assures us that he will give us the means by which we can withstand temptation. Those means are His Word and the Sacraments, which are connected to God’s Word and promises.

                To help guard and keep us the Savior has given us His Supper. This meal is an everlasting testament in which the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation is given to us.

                Jesus, knowing all that was about to happen to Him took the time to offer for us His Supper. This meal is offered to you and to me that we may withstand temptation, that we may overcome, that we may gain the victory.

Lord, I believe what You have said,
Help me when doubts assail me;
Remember that I am but dust
And let my faith not fail me.
This Supper in this vale of tears
Refreshes me and stills my fears
And is my priceless treasure.[2]




[1] Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service, Setting Five © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Lord Jesus Christ, You Have Prepared stanza 6, Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
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M Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday, March 24, 2016                But Deliver us from Evil       



So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1Corinthians 10:12 -13

All humans undergo temptation, even those who like some Corinthians, think they have special spiritual abilities. Because God has promised to be with His people, we are never left in a losing situation. His grace provides new opportunities for us to be faithful.[1]

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen[2]


[1] The Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO Pp.1960
Image found at Google images