Malagasy Lutheran Church Music & Gospel XXI Sunday following Trinity October 24-30, 2021 « Get to know God » *

The message: The statement « Get to Know God » is meant to encourage us to seek to know the true God. In fact, there are those who shirk or do not want to know God, and live their lives following only their own thoughts and desires. On the other hand, there are those who pray; but they do not worship God, the Creator of heaven and earth (Gen 1:1); instead, they worship creatures, or objects fashioned by human hands, or what they set up as gods, such as money and wealth, knowledge, honour, etc. But this is what the Scriptures call « idolatry, which is most lawless » (1 Pet 4:3) because it leads to perdition. Thus, it is vital for us to know God so that we can stand in true faith in Him, so that we can receive His salvation and infinite grace (Jn. 1:16), just as the Apostle Paul said, « I know the one in whom I have put my trust » 2 Tim 1:12 b. For darkness, ruin, and confusion is are the result of ignorance of God as it is written, « My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge » Hos 4:6, and of determination to oppose Him as it is written, « You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your helper » Hos 13:9. For God is the Lord of life, and it is in His authority that He commands us, « See now that I, even I, am he; there is no god besides me. I kill and I make alive » Deut 32:39a,b. But He is above all love (1 Jn 4:16b), so He does not want us to perish when we are separated from Him by sin (Gen 3:6), but made a redemption for us through His Son, according to His word, saying: « For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life » Jn 3:16. Jesus Christ has indeed come, made atonement to forgive our sins and reconcile us to the Father (Eph 2:14), and opened the way for us to come to Him (Jn 14:6). Therefore, He calls us to know and believe in Him so that we may inherit His kingdom forever, as He prayed: « This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent » Jn 17:3. So get to know God, that you may live!

Monday 25: Know that God is good and a Doer of good.
« O taste and see that the Lord is good » Ps 34:8a.
Reading 1: Mar 7:31-37. Reading 2: Ps 4:8-10. Preaching 1 (Free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 34:8.
Introduction: All perfection and goodness belong to the Lord, so all who rely on Him will not be in need. In Him is also the unfailing assurance of salvation, for « He is a very present help in trouble » Ps 46:1. So, the statement « Know that God is good and a Doer of good » is an exhortation to seek Him, to know Him and to have a personal relationship with Him, to enjoy His grace and to feel His divinity, so that we can say like Thomas: « My Lord and my God » Jn 20:28.

Tuesday 26: God is known in the Scriptures.
« You search the scriptures because […] it is they that testify on my behalf » Jn 5:39.
Reading 1: 2 Tim 3:10-17. Reading 2: Jn 5:30-47. Preaching 1 (free choice). Praching 2: Jn 5:39.
Introduction: There are so many books written, but the knowledge of God is only found from the Scriptures. The books that make up the Bible are the Word of God; He gave the instruction for them to be written, and His primary purpose was for us to get to know Him. For it is written: « All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work » 2 Tim 3:16-17.

Wednesday 27: Get to know Jesus, the manifestation of God.
« That they may … have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself » Col 2:2b.
Reading 1: Mt 16:13-17. Reading 2: Col 1:24-2.3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Col 2:3.
Introduction: Jesus Christ « is the image of the invisible God » Col 1:15, who has come in the midst of people and wants to enter everyone’s heart, so that the brilliance of God’s glory may shine within them. He is « the Word (of God) that became flesh and lived among us » (Jn 1:14), to tell us about God and His kingdom, as it is written: « No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart who has made him known » Jn 1:18. But Jesus is also known by revelation from Heavenly Father, according to His Word: « This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him » Mt 17:5b.

Thursday 28: The Holy Spirit reveals God.
« He will testify on my behalf » Jn 15:26b.
Reading 1: 1 Cor 2:6-11. Reading 2: Jn 15:17-27. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 15:26.
Introduction: The Holy Spirit is the unfailing witness to God because He is the Spirit of God who descends from above and is given to all believers (Joel 3:1). He is the Spirit of truth who guides the children of God (Rom 8:14), making known to them God’s thoughts, purposes, and will in all things, according to the words of the Apostle Paul, saying: « The Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God » 1 Cor 2:10b.

Friday 29: Get to know God who cares for His people.
« And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? » Lk 18:7.
Reading 1: Ps 18:1-6. Reading 2: Lk 18:1-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 18:7-8.
Introduction: God is great and mighty, great in thought and mighty in deed (Jer 32:18-19), but He cares even for the least and the tiniest, and the weakest, especially the little ones who believe in Him (Mt 25:40b). The heart gains confidence knowing that He does not linger to answer the requests made to Him or push them away, according to His word: « Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me » Ps 50:15. Jesus emphasizes this, saying: « Ask, and it will be given you » Mt 7:7a; « I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son » Jn 14:13.

Saturday 30: Believers are God’s witnesses.
« We declare to you what we have seen and heard » 1 Jn 1:3a.
Reading 1: Acts 1:8. Reading 2: 1 Jn 1:1-5. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Jn 1:3.
Introduction: God wants everyone to know Him as it is written: « The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” Isa 11:9b. For this purpose, He raises up many witnesses who have experienced and are convinced that He is the living God (Rev 1:18), and that He is mighty to save (Zeph 3:17), to preach the Gospel of His salvation to others as well. Just like the disciples who lived with Jesus and to whom He declared: « You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning » Jn 15:27.

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