Saturday, July 6, 2019

Pentecost 4 - Proper 9

July 7, 2019        
Pentecost 4 - Proper 9  
Luke 10:20          
Your Name has been written

Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Deliver us, O God, from our little fears, and spoil for us - whatever confidence we have left in anything but Thy victory. Amen[1]
Jesus sends out seventy-two of His followers to proclaim that the Kingdom of God has come. Christ's kingdom goes beyond the narrow boundaries of Jerusalem, and Judea. It extends to all the nations of the world. This mission has serious implications. - The last days of Old Testament prophecy have broken into this present age. The mission, as always, is a harvest of souls.

How did this mission go? How did they fare? They were successful! The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name! As Jesus commands the demons to obey Him so these ambassadors went forth under the same authority.

Jesus had equipped them for the mission. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” So, they rejoice. In their success of healing and exorcism.

Jesus gives His endorsement and approval. “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Then, He gives this divine perspective. “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

These words of the Savior are an encouragement for you. “Rejoice that your name is written in heaven.” Don't rejoice simply that demons are subject to you – but rejoice that you are washed in the blood of Jesus; that you are redeemed and saved; that your name is written down in heaven!

Rejoice in your salvation. – Rejoice in what Jesus has done for you. He saved you. Peter explains this truth – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… Baptism now saves you. Not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.”  -1 Peter 1:3; 3:21-22

“He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” – Titus 3:5

According to His mercy He saved you.” What is mercy? Not getting what you deserve.

For by grace are you saved.” says St. Paul. [Ephesians 2:8-9]   What is grace? Receiving what you do not deserve. Both – mercy and grace come from the Savior’s loving nail pierced hand. They are gifts for you. Cherish them.

The Lord looking at you through the eye of mercy and grace is not new thought. The Psalmist would simply say, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints… He will rescue them from oppression and violence and precious shall their blood be in his sight.”     (Psalm 116:15; 72:14)  

You are precious to the Lord, because of the precious blood of Jesus.  Thus Peter could say, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”   1 Peter 1:18-19

A common crook. Condemned to die. - By crucifixion. Because of his offenses of theft and fraud. Would simply ask, “Jesus remember me when you come into Your kingdom.” To which Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43-44)      

God will not forget about you. The words you hear in absolution, at His communion table, in His word written and proclaimed – “All of your sins have been forgiven by Christ the crucified.”  God is speaking to each of you - "Your name is written in heaven!”  Rejoice!
Words – 735
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[1] Collect for Friday of the week of Pentecost 4, For All the Saints A Prayer Book For and By the Church Vol.II © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

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