Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Sunday IV before Easter, March 16-21th 2020 « God, Mighty Savior » *

The Message: ”God, Mighty Savior,” this title mainly reveals the deity of God, namely that He is Love (1 Jn 4:16) and loves to save lost men, as Jesus said: ”the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost » Lk.19:10, and at the same time that He is the Lord over all power and can, as such, fulfill the work of salvation for the sinners. There is none like Him, neither in the fullness of His power nor in the perfection of His love, in that He accomplished the work of redemption by giving up His life for the sinners through the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross. For He said, « No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends » Jn.15:13, namely the sinners. Indeed, He is « great in counsel and mighty in deed » (Jer.32:19a), and marvellous in our eyes (Ps.118:23). The most amazing of Hisdoing – which sets Him apart from men and all that what man-made work may set up as gods – is that nothing is impossible to Him (Mt 19:26), so that He can achieve inconcevable things which may go beyond or even contrary to what we think (1 Cor.2:9). For if man would like to be equal to God (Gen.3:5), God,on the contrary, humbled Himself by taking our human likeness (Jn.1:14) and does not repay us according to our wickedness but covers our sins with His love (Pr.10:12b) and shows mercy, sharing continuously His blessing to us (Jn1:16). Blessed are those who have reconciled themselves with God and who accept to share His cause, for He is no longer hidden from them but reveals Himself to them so that they may say to Him face to face: « My Lord and my God! » Jn.20:28. So, know your Savior well, for He gives a great promise: »The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory » Zeph.3:17. Therefore, above all, ask Him to know Him; indeed, « Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near » Isa.55:6. For « everyone who searches finds » Mt.7:8b, and « Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved » Rom.10:13.

Monday 16th: God, Mighty Savior, is with His people. « The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer » 2 Sam.22:2. Reading 1: 1 Pet.2:1-6. Reading 2: 2 Sam.22:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Sam.22:2-3. Introduction: Saying that “God is with his people” means that He stands for them. And since He is the Mighty God, so He clothes them with power so that they may stand firm and not fail, as Jesus said to His disciples, « But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth »Acts.1:8. The believer is strong because Jesus “Founder and Perfecter of faith” is strong.

Tuesday 17th: Savior God, Mighty with His word. « Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her » Lk.4:39a. Reading 1: Gen.1:1-5. Reading 2: Lk.4:31-39. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk.4:38-39. Introduction: God is mighty with His word, and so it is with all Hisworks. Indeed, it is by the power of His word that He manifests His glory and accomplishes His work of salvation : forgiveness of sin, healing of sickness and physical and spiritual diseases. Blessed are those who receive His word, as Jesus said : « Anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life » Jn.5:24.

Wednesday 18th: God, Mighty Savior,gives confidence to His people. « The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory » Zeph.3:17a. Reading 1: Rom.8:28-32. Reading 2: Zeph.3:14-17. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Zeph.3:17. Introduction: God does not terrorize but gives confidence to those who seek Him, as He says « For I desire steadfast love » Hos.6:6, especially to those who are fighting and struggling with hardship. He said to his people, « I will never leave you or forsake you »Heb.13:5. In the same vein, Jesus urged His disciples, « In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world » Jn.16:33.

Thursday 19th: God manifests His power to those who believe in Him. « Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God? » Jn.11:40. Reading 1: Rom.4:13-22. Reading 2: Jn.11:32-44. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.11:40-41a. Introduction: It is by faith that men get in contact with God and receive His blessings. Indeed, it is written: « Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him »Heb.11:6. The Lord does not disappoint those who believe in Him, so He declares: « Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive » Mt.21:22.

Friday 20th: God, Mighty Savior, makes us heirs to Hiskingdom « To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God »Apoc.2:7b. Reading 1: Mt:25.31-34. Reading 2: Apoc.2:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Apoc.2:7. Introduction: Many are the battles confronted by the humankind, and which prevents them from entering the kingdom of God. There are « internal struggles », namely the fight against the sinful nature of man, namely self-indulgence, the fleshly desires, selfishness. There are also « external struggles » againstinjustice and wickedness of others, the devil’s temptations. But God’s love is so powerful that Jesus still calls out to us: « Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world » Mt.25:34.

Saturday 21th: Call on the Lord because He is Mighty to save. « Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you » Ps.50:15a. Reading 1: Rom.10:4-13. Reading 2: Ps.50:7-15. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps.50:15. Introduction: The Lord Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who came to seek his sheep and gave up his life for them (Jn.10: 11). He hears when men call on him and receives them, as “He is meek and humble of heart” Mt.11: 29. He is always ready to listen and answer them; in this respect, David said: « I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies »2 Sam.22:4. For « The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry » Ps.34:15

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