MALAGASY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Song & Gospel
Sunday III after Passover – Week of 13-18 May, 2019
“The believer, a man of hope”
Introduction: “The believer is a man of hope” because he is confident in the fulfillment of the things to come according to what is said in the Holy Scriptures, which are the word of Christ (Rom.10:17) who is « the pioneer and the perfecter of our faith » Heb.12 :2. For the word of God is the foundation of faith and the guarantee for the fulfillment of hope. The man of faith is a man of hope, and he does not surrender in the face of hardships and trials. In this regard, Paul the apostle of the Gentiles said, « We are pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair » 2 Cor. 4:8, which means that, whatever hard his sufferings may be, hope is a light that is shining inside him and it cannot be covered by the darkness of the trial he is undergoing. The confidence inside him is that « this world is passing away » (1 John 2:17), and so is the affliction happening. For the hope inside him was the strength which consoled, fortified and made him say: « For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen » 2 Cor. 4:17-18. What lasts forever are the Word of God (Mat. 24:35) and Jesus Christ who does not change (Heb.13:5). He is the Lord who has the full power to accomplish the word in which his people believe and upon which they hope for everything in God. For it is written « In him we were also chosen,[a] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory » (Eph.1: 11-12). The hope of the believer is not in vain because God guarantees and fulfills it. For the Holy Scriptures say: « And hope does not put us to shame because God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us » Rom. 5:5. The Holy Scriptures also say: « Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption » Psalm 130:7.
Monday 13 May: God, the hope of the believer.
« The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him » Lam 3:25.
Reading 1 : Col. 1: 24-29. Reading 2 : Lam 3: 18-26. Preaching: Lam 3:25.
Introduction: The statement « The Lord is good » expresses the goodness of God who is gracious and compassionate to all those who hope in His salvation. He does not reject the complaint of His afflicted and struggling people but shows them mercy. In this regard, the Word of God says, « Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him » Psalm 37:7a. Indeed, « Seeks the Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near » Isa. 55:6. Because the Lord answers the prayers of those who call on His Name (Joel 3:5), those who wait for and hope in His salvation (Psalm 17:6).
Tuesday 14: The Lord does not forsake those who hope in Him.
« Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him » Psalm 37:7
Reading 1 : 1 Pet. 2:11-20. Reading 2 : Psalm 37:1-9. Preaching : Psalm 37: 7.
Introduction: God does not deny His own word for Jesus said, « Heaven and earth will pass away but my Words will never pass away » Mat. 24: 35. It is a big promise of hope for all those who believe and hold on that. Jesus said, « the one who stands firm to the end will be saved » Mat. 24:13, the one who holds on to the reason of his hope.
Wednesday 15: Jesus is the assurance of the believer’s hope.
« I will see you again and you will rejoice » John 16: 22.
Reading 1: Exo.14: 10-25. Reading 2: John 16: 16-22. Preaching : John 16:22.
Introduction: In truth, Jesus is the assurance of hope for the believers, those who believe in the fulfillment of the promise that He gave. Jesus gives a great promise to those who have hope in Him. He says: « If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you » John 15:7.
Thursday 16: Hope, assurance of blessing for the believer.
« Yet I will rejoice in the Lord » Hab. 3:18.
Reading 1 : Rom. 5:1-5. Reading 2 : Hab. 3: 12-19. Preaching : Hab. 3:17-18.
Introduction: God can do anything and He is able to make His people rejoice in His blessing. In this respect, the Prophet Joel said: « Be glad, People of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains, because He is faithful, He sends you abundant showers » Joel 2:23―that is, the rain of blessing (Deut. 28:12). Jesus said, « Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete » John 16:24.
Friday 17: Jesus exalts those who have hope in Him.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” Col.1:27b.
Reading 1: Isa.25:1-5. Reading 2: Col.1:24-29. Preaching: Col.1:27b-28.
God certainly exalts those who put their hope in Him and honors Him. He listens to the prayers of those who hope in Him, so that, just as Hannah the mother of Samuel, they will be able to say: ”My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance” 1 Sam.2:1. Therefore, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” Ps.42:5.
Saturday 18: Hold firmly to hope.
« And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to … the hope in which we glory » Heb.3:6b.
Reading 1: Jer.29:4-11. Reading 2: Heb.3:1-6. Preaching: Heb.3:5-6.
“Hold on to hope” can be expressed as follows: “watch out not to lose confidence.” For anyone who has faith and union with Jesus “hopes all things, endures all things” 1 Cor.13:7b, and so they will be honored by God (Jn.12:26b). This a most precious gift, which made the Psalmist sing: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” Ps.73:25-26. This expresses a lifelong, unchanging hope.
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