Malagasy Lutheran Church Music & Gospel Sunday VII following Trinity, July 18-24, 2021 « God with His people, an assurance of blessing » *

Introduction: « God with His people, assurance of blessing » means that wherever the Lord is, He commands blessings and peace, happiness for all who believe in Him. There is no shadow of growth or suspicion of danger or failure, but a realm of great peace and certainty. For as Jesus’disciples gathered in the upper room for fear of the Jews who persecuted them, the Lord stood in their midst and said to them, « Peace be with you » Jn 20:19. In the same way, the heart in which the Lord dwells is far from sin and evil, but righteousness and holiness, which is the light of life and eternal life, will reign in it. As Jesus said, « I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life » Jn 8:12. In this is fulfilled the words of the hymn and prayer: « My sins will be
wiped away if you are near me, there is no folly in me that you cannot erase. My heart yearns for you; let my heart be your palace! » FFPM Hymnal 470, verse 4. The psalmist praised the goodness of dwelling in God, saying: « Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple » Ps 65:4. The Apostle John, who celebrated the coming of the Lord, did the same: « And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth » Jn 1:14. God would love His people to stay with Him to receive His blessings, so Jesus said: « Abide in me as I abide in you » Jn 15:4a. For « In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places […] I go to prepare a
place for you[.] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also » Jn 14:2-3. He invites us to be reconciled with Him and to enter His kingdom in order to receive blessings and inherit the kingdom of eternal life. He said: « I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people » 2 Cor 6:16b.

Monday, 19th: God with His people: an assurance of blessing.
« They shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us » Mt 1:23b.
Reading 1: Isa 54:11-17. Reading 2: Mt 1:18-25. Preaching 1 (optional). Preaching 2: Mt 1:22-23.
Introduction: He who receives Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord has eternal life (Jn 3:36a). When he is baptized, he is sealed by the holy blood
shed for his redemption, with the assurance of His blessing according to the promise that God had made to His ancient people Israel which says:
« Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors
that he swore to them » Deut 4:31. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews kept emphasizing this promise as He wrote: « I will never leave you or
forsake you – Jos 1:5″ Heb 13:5b.

Tuesday, 20th: God with His people: an assurance of care.
« I will satisfy the weary, and all who are faint I will replenish » Jer 31:25.
Reading 1: Efes 3:14-19. Reading 2: Jer 31:23-25. Preaching 1 (optional). Preaching 2: Jer 31:25.
Introduction: Our Lord is God who cares for His people and does not leave them alone or anxious. He assures: « I myself will search for my sheep
and look after them » Ezek 34:11. He emphasized that through the prophet Isaiah saying: « even to your old age I [God] 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. How to reach Him? « Call to me and I will answer you […] »
Jer 33:3a.

Wednesday, 21s t: God with His people: an assurance of grace.
« Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or
shadow due to change » Jas 1:17.
Reading 1: Isa 45:5-8. Reading 2: Jas 1:16-18. Preaching 1 (optional). Preaching 2: Jas 1:16-17.
Introduction: God alone is the Source of good. The psalmist particularly said: « How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take
refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with
you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light » Ps 36:7-9. Where is the way? Jesus said: « I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me » Jn 14:6.

Thursday, 22nd: God with His people : an assurance to believers.
« The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want » Ps 23:1.
Reading 1: Heb 13:5-7. Reading 2: Ps 23:1-6. Preaching 1 (optional). Preaching 2: Ps 23:1.
Introduction: God cares for His people who truly believe in Him. Jesus Christ assures them: « As the Scripture says, ‘Out of the believer’s heart
shall flow rivers of living water’ » Jn 7:38. For that, what God expects from His people is a trusting heart, confident in His word, just like the one
that Abraham, the father of believers had, as the Apostle Paul declared: « No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew
strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised » Rom 4:20-21.

Friday, 23rd: God with His people: an infinite care.
« From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace » Jn 1:16.
Reading 1: Lk 16:9-13. Reading 2: Exo 20:1-17. Preaching 1 (optional). Preaching 2: Exo 20:3.
Introduction: God’s care for those who believe and trust in Him has no limit, as He told the prophet Isaiah to write: « This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my
hands? » Isa 45:11. Jesus also said: « And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age » Mt 28:20b.

Saturday, 24th: God with His people: an assurance of blessedness.
« Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God! » Lk 14:15b.
Reading 1: Ps 65:1-4. Reading 2: Lk 14:12-15. Preaching 1 (optional). Preaching 2: Lk 14:15.
Introduction: Having Jesus Christ as Lord and God is a happiness that begins on earth and continues throughout eternity, in conformity with his
assurance: « those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water
gushing up to eternal life » Jn 4:14. In fact, what could be better than having God with us every day? Jesus says to all people: « Listen! I am standing
at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me » Rev 3:20.

This pericope is published in Malagasy, French, English and German, and can be found on the Site www.hifi- madanet.org and Facebook “Hira sy Filazantsara”. Listen to hifiradio.org
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