Lutheran Church Malagasy Song and Gospel Sunday XVII after Trinity from 28 October to 02 November 2019

« God does not forsake his people »

The topic’s idea: God does not forsake his people and He never will. For He says, « I have loved you with an eternal love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness » Jer 31: 3. God makes a promise and gives us a great assurance, because we, human beings, have weaknesses and imperfection, and we are not constant, we change—people who can’t be trusted, with whom no covenant can be made. The topic expresses God’s mercy to us, his love that does not desert us, as described by Paul to Timothy: « If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself » 2 Tim 2: 13—He does not betray his commitment to save us. This word primarily points to Jesus and the work of redemption He did as the Christ, the Lamb of God whom the Father gave to take away the sin of the world (Jn 1: 29) and to reconcile us sinners to Him (2 Co 5: 19). As Jesus spoke about the reason why He was sent on earth, He said, « For I have come from heaven not to do my will but the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day » Jn 6: 38-39. This is God’s free gift of grace that is received by faith (Eph.2: 8). Today’s topic shields us from downheartedness and hopelessness which can occur in the times of hardship we pass through: worries of life, fight in the social life, disease, anxiety about the future, injustice, …Which makes us wonder: « Could it be that God has forsaken us? Doesn’t He see the distress we are in? Yet it is precisely in such situations that He gives us the promise that He does not change. He says, « Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you » Heb.13: 5. Jesus does not let His people struggle alone, He says, « I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you » Joh.14: 18. For He says, « And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age » Mat.28: 20. The end of the age tells us that « Jesus is coming. » Believe in His love, a love which never gives up!

Monday 28: God does not forsake his people and calls them to return to him « Return to me, for I have redeemed you » Isa. 44: 22b. Reading 1: Rom. 5: 6-11. Reading 2: Isa. 44: 21-23. Preaching: Isa. 44:22. Introduction: God calls people to return to him because He does not forsake them and also because they cannot on their own return to Him. About this, the Holy Scripture says, « In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent » Acts 17: 30. The Lord says, « Return to me and I will return to you », says the Lord Almighty  » Mal. 3: 7.

Tuesday 29: God does not forsake His people and renews them. « And to put on the new self, created to be like God » Eph. 4: 24. Reading 1: Joh. 8:1-11. Reading 2: Eph. 4: 22-28. Preaching: Eph. 4: 22-24. Introduction: Since men, being sinners, are unable to do God’s will or keep his commands, God renews them to become new creatures in him (2 Cor. 5: 17). His Word says: « I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you, I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws » Eze. 36: 26-27. God will certainly do that!

Wednesday 30: God does not forsake his people and forgives their sins. « Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven » Mat. 9: 2. Reading 1: 1 Joh. 1: 1-5. Reading 2: Mat. 9: 1-8. Preaching: Mat. 9: 1-3. Introduction: God’s love does not forsake his people and forgives their sins. Because it is written: « Who is God like you, who pardons sin ? » Mic. 7: 18. These are words of reconciliation and invitation to the sinners: « Let them turn to the LORD and He will have mercy on them and to our God, for he will freely pardon » Isa. 55: 7. Jesus says, « Peace I leave with you » Joh. 14: 27.

Thursday 31: God does not forsake his people and gives them Jesus for their redemption. « He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins » 1Joh. 2: 2. Reading 1: Isa. 53: 4-6. Reading 2: 1 Joh.1: 8-10, 2:1-2. Preaching: 1 Joh. 2: 2. Introduction: The « act of redemption » that Jesus did consisted in purchasing us sinners for God with his blood (1 Pet 1: 18-19). In this respect, it is written, « Without the shedding of the blood, there is no forgiveness » Heb 9: 22. So Jesus is the Lamb of God, « in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace » Eph 1: 7. He says, “this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins » Mat 26: 28.

Friday 01: God does not forsake his people and does not let them be dismayed. « If God is for us, who can be against us? » Rom 8: 31. Reading 1: 1 Pet 2: 1-6. Reading 2: Rom 8: 28-37. Preaching: Rom 8: 37. Introduction: The people of God are confronted with a lot of struggles in this world, but God does not let them be dismayed. Being dismayed is being disgraced, finding no justice, losing battles. God does not allow that because He loves his people and has all authority to make them victorious (Mat.1 28: 18). Jesus said to his disciples long ago, « In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world » Joh. 16: 33. Accordingly, He gives a great assurance to all those who believe in him, « And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age » Mat. 28: 20.

Saturday 02: God does not forsake his people and dwells with them.  » That you also may be where I am » Joh. 14: 3. Reading 1: Mat. 25: 14-23. Reading 2: Joh. 14: 1-4. Preaching: Joh. 14: 3.
Introduction: God loves dwelling with his people and gives them a place in his kingdom. During the age of the Old Testament, He said, « My dwelling place will be with them, I will be their God and they will be My people » Ezek. 37: 27. When Jesus came on earth, John the apostle said, « The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth » Joh. 1 :14. He says, « Remain in me, as I also remain in you » Joh. 15: 4.

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