“God wants to redeem his people”
The message: God wants the humankind that He created to be in His image (Ge1:26); He does not leave them to perish in their sin, through which they made themself His enemies, and which separated them from Him (Is 59:2a). Therefore, He sent and gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to make redemption for them, that is, the forgiveness of all their sins (Eph.1:7), as He accepted to shed his blood. In fact, it is written: « without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins » Heb 9:22b. For God does not keep record of His people’s sin, not wanting anyone to perish. In contrast, He is willing to forgive in order to save them. Therefore, He exhorts the sinners to return to Him, saying, « Let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon » Isa 55:7. As for the nation and those He has chosen, but who have fallen because of sin, He says to them: « Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you, you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you » Isa 44:21-22. Unfortunately, His people’s response to God’s call did not match His great mercy, which was the reason why He did not forsake it. Indeed, it is written: « For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you refused » Isa 30:15. This rejection on the part of Israel persisted even when Jesus came on earth. Indeed, « He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him » Jn 1:11. In fact, Jerusalem rejected Jesus’ call, so that His word was fulfilled to her: « See, your house is left to you, desolate » Mt 23:38. For, the emperor Titus came to destroy the city by fire seventy years afterward. Jesus is still calling everyone to return to Him until His return, saying, « Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near » Mt 4:17.
Monday, 19th: God the Redeemer calls His people.
« Return to me, for I have redeemed you » Isa 44:22b.
Reading 1: Rom 3:21-26. Reading 2: Isa 44:21-23. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 44:22.
Introduction: God’s great love for the sinful man is beyond understanding. For God does not want the sinner to perish. He is willing to forgive them through the redemption made by His Son, Jesus Christ, « the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world » (Jn 1:29b). The Apostle Paul said: « Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? » Rom 7:24. In response, Jesus still calls man in these terms: « Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest » Mt 11:28.
Tuesday, 20th: Jesus Christ fulfilled the work of redemption through His blood.
« In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses » Eph 1:7a.
Reading 1: Lev 5:20-26. Reading 2: Eph 1:7-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Eph 1:7.
Introduction: « Redemption » means deliverance from the condemnation caused by sin. Thus, God justifies the sinner through forgiveness. This occurs by blood-shedding (Heb 9:22b). Since « righteous blood » removes sin, so Jesus the Righteous One accepted to lay down His life for our sake on the cross. Therefore, His blood was shed once for all in order to redeem us, « the precious blood of Christ, as the blood of the blameless and stainless lamb » 1 Pet.1:19.
Wednesday, 21st: Receive God’s redemption.
« I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me » Rom 10:20.
Reading 1: Mt 23:33-39. Reading 2: Rom 10:14-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 10:18-20.
Introduction: The prophet Isaiah complained to God because the nation of Israel rejected the message of God’s salvation he was proclaiming (Isa 53:1a). In the time of the Apostles, the Jewish religious leaders attacked and plotted against the Gospel, by persecuting those who believed in it. Thus, God’s word says: « Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart” Heb 3:7-8. Because « if we deny him, he will also deny us » 2 Tim 2:12b.
Thursday, 22nd: Jesus frees us from the darkness of blindness.
« Then I went and washed and received my sight » Jn 9:11d.
Reading 1: Rom 1:5-17. Reading 2: Jn 9:1-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 9:11.
Introduction: The story of Jesus healing the man who was born blind causes us to praise to God. It is true that « for God all things are possible » Mt 19:26. But the greatest of all miracles is the « opening of the eyes of the man who is blinded by sin and by the devil’s deception, and as a result ignores the way of righteousness, » even Jesus Christ. As for those who confess their sins, the blood of Christ cleanses them from all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9b).
Friday, 23rd: Jesus-Christ is the redemption for all men.
« He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world »1 Jn 2:2.
Reading 1: Col 2:12-15. Reading 2: 1 Jn 1:6-9;2:1-2. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Jn 2:1-2.
Introduction: As « there is no one who is righteous, not even one » Rom 3:10, « since all have sinned and fall short of the gloryof God » Rom 3:23, Jesus gave Himself for us sinners, in order to justify us and to clothe us with the glory of God, raising us as children and heirs of God (Rom 8:17). Therefore, « there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus » Rom 8:1. For He died for us (1 Cor 5:7), and after He has raised from the dead, He dwells at the right hand of God and interceeds for us (Rom 8:34).
Saturday, 24th: Believe in God’s redemption.
« O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem » Ps 130:7.
Reading 1: Lk 21:25-29. Reading 2: Ps 130:1-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 130:7-8.
Introduction: The work and outcome of sin is most detrimental, for it entices man to oppose the will of God. However, its fruit is most bitter, because the one who sows for sin will reap death, as « the sting of death is sin » 1 Cor 15:56. Thanks be to God who frees us from sin, in accordance with Jesus’s word: « Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven » Mt 9:2, a word that brings happiness (Ps 32:1-2), and gives « life abundantly » (Jn 10:10b).
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