Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Forth Sunday before Eastern – week of 01st – 06th March 2021 “God, Savior of His people” *

The world is not without suffering and the believers could be hit by it. Indeed, it is written: « the whole world lies under the power of the evil one » 1 Jn 5:19b. But, thank God, « who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age » (Gal 1:4a). Paul ‘statement to Timothy is being fulfilled in the present day: « You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power » 2 Tim 3:1-5. This word prompts above all to meditation and introspection, but it is also a word through which God invites us to consolidate our faith, looking to Jesus, « the pioneer and perfecter of our faith » Heb 12:2a. In fact, He said: « My righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back » Heb 10:38. It is surely a great assurance of victory, « for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? » 1 Jn 5:4-5. For Jesus has already said to His followers, « In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world! » Jn 16:33b. Therefore, these words of Paul encourage them in all their struggles: « No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us » Rom 8:37. The Lord shows indeed that He cares for His

Monday 01st: God, Savior of His people.
« My Savior⸺from violent men you save me » 2 Sam 22:3b.
Reading 1: Isa 51:7-11. Reading 2: 2 Sam 22:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Sam 22:3.
Introduction: Men of God, like David, have undergone numerous struggles and temptations; nevertheless, He rescued them from them all. In fact, it is in the time of trouble that He most shows that His heart is near His people, those who acknowledge Him. David was indeed described as a man « after His own heart » 1 Sam 13:14. To such men the Holy Scripture says, « For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways » Ps 91:11.

Tuesday 02nd: God strengthens His people.
« Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown » Rev 3:11b.
Reading 1: 2 Tim 4:1-8. Reading 2: Rev 2:8-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rev 2:10.
Introduction: “To strengthen” means to encourage in order not to fear emptily and to make one victorious. Fear is one of the enemies that strike men; this is why the word of God declares: « Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death » Heb 2:14-15.

Wednesday 03rd: God sets His people free from slavery.
« You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free » Jn 8:32.
Reading 1: Eph 3:1-13. Reading 2: Jn 8:31-44. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 8:32.
Introduction: The slavery of sin and of the devil is what makes men blind. The Lord said indeed: « Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear » Isa 59:2. These have been completely destroyed by the redemption work fulfilled by Jesus ( 1. Jn 2:2). And Paul said of the devil: « The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet » Rom 16:20.

Thursday 04th: God cares for His sheep in order to save them.
« I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep » Jn 10:11.
Reading 1: Ezek 34:11-16. Reading 2: Jn 10:11-16. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 10:11.
Introduction: The Holy Scripture states that there are “shepherds who only take care of themselves” (Ezek 34:2), who only seek their own interest and whose god is their stomach (Phil 3:19); thanks be to God, there were and there still are faithful shepherds, like Paul who said, « But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace » Acts:20:24.

Friday 05th: God’s salvation is free.
« For by grace you have been saved through faith » Eph 2:8a.
Reading 1: Acts 8:14-24. Reading 2: Eph 2:1-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Eph 2:8.
Introduction: « Grace » means that God does not repay us according to our misdeeds and wrongdoings, rather He covers all sins with His love (Pr 10:12b), forgiving our iniquities in order to save us because of His Son’s blood shed for our sake in Calvary and the intercession of Jesus who dwells at our Father’s Right Hand (Rom 8:34) and the Holy Spirit who helps us in our weaknesses (Rom 8:26a).

Saturday 06th: God’s salvation is fully satisfying.
« From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace » Jn 12:16.
Reading 1: Ps 23:1-6. Reading 2: Jn 1:14-18. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 12:16.
Introduction: David saw the greatness of God’s salvation and grace, so He sang: « My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long » Ps 23:5c-6. In fact, the Lord says to His people: « Even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you.I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save » Isa 46:4.

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