Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Third Sunday after Easter, May, 4th-9th 2020 « God is the best portion » *

The message: God made humans such that they have free will in their lifetime. However, God wants them to live, this is why He said to them, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him” Deut.30:19-20a. In sum, happy are those who choose God as their portion, because it is a guarantee for their very existence, as Jesus reminds us by the following statement: “Because I live, you also will live” Jn.14:19b. The greatness and perfection of God that He put in Christ, His Son, and revealed through Him, are is immeasurable and infinite, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” Col.2:9. The Apostle John thus rightly writes: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” Jn.1:16. The Apostle Paul also said about the gift of God: “He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?” Rom.8:32. It is for such reason that the psalmist sang: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you” Ps.73:25. Eternal victory and boundless success are the grace that God gives to all who receive Him, the « best portion. ». The Apostle Paul wrote: “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Rom.8:31. He also wrote, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Phil.4:13. To this the martyrs testified, as they left the great message: « I have discovered the right path, and I will walk on it » – a song that Rasalama, the first Malagasy Christian martyr, as she was on the way to her place of execution on August 14, 1837]. This led a Malagasy hymn composer to write: « Money and abundant wealth: this is loved by many. But as for me, it is sweet to say: ‘Jesus is mine, that’s enough’” Malagasy Protestant Federation – FFPM Hymnbook #479:2.

Monday 04: God is the best portion.
“The Lord is my portion, » says my soul, « therefore I will hope in him” Lam.Jer.3:24.
Reading 1: Lk.10:38-42. Reading 2: Lam.Jer.3:18-26. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lam.Jer.3:24.
Introduction: Surely God is the best portion. In this regard, the Psalmist says: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” Ps.73:26. Jesus also said to Martha, when she wanted to drag Mary into encumbered with her, as she was listening to the word of God at the Master’s feet, “Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” Lk.10:42b. How good it to be near the Lord? “A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” Ps.84:10a.

Tuesday 05: Know Jesus, the portion that God gives.
“They have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me” Jn.17:8.
Reading 1: Acts 4:5-12. Reading 2: Jn.17:1-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.17:7-8.
Introduction: There is no other name than that of Jesus Christ, by which man can be saved (Acts 4:12). The Father declares about Him: “He is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” Mt.17:5. As the Lord asked His disciples, « And who do you say I am?” Simon Peter replied, « You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. » Jesus then answered him, « Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven” Mt.16:16-17.

Wednesday, 06: Christ, Our Priest.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” Heb.4:15a.
Reading 1: Mt.9:9-13. Reading 2: Heb.4:14-16. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Heb.4:15.
Introduction: The Christ who loves us, sinners, truly carried our weaknesses and offered His life as a sacrifice in order to save us. For it is written: « … while we still were sinners Christ died for us  » Rom.5: 8. For indeed He loves us with an eternal love, and that is why He has granted us his mercy (Jer 31:3), namely additional time to repent and be forgiven and to obey to faith and be saved (Rom.16: 26), for “The one who believes and is baptized will be saved” Mar.16:16a.

Thursday 07: The portion of God’s children is to inherit eternal life.
“Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” Mt.25:34b.
Reading 1: Rev.22:12-16. Reading 2: Mt.28:31-34. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt.25:34.
Introduction: The child who remains in his father’s house and serves him, inherits from him. In this regard, Jesus said, “The son has a place there forever” Jn.8:35b. The apostle Paul confirmed this when he wrote, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs─heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings so that we may also share with his glory” Rom.8:17. He does that for all those who honor him. In this respect, He said, “For those who honor me I will honor”1 Sam.2:30b.

Friday 08: Know Jesus, portion of eternal salvation.
“For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost” Lk.19:10.
Reading 1: Asa.2:32-39. Reading 2: Lk.19:1-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk.19:10.
Introduction: God shows us through this pericope that salvation is achieved through His only Son, whom He offered for our redemption. He gave Him full authority over all flesh and spirit and lifted him up, just like Moses had lifted the bronze serpent in the wilderness to save all those who looked at it. Jesus said the following prayer: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him” Jn.17:1-2.

Saturday 09: Jesus Christ, portion of eternal life for the believer.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” Jn.3:36a.
Reading 1: Rom.1:8-17. Reading 2: Jn.3:30-36. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.3:35-36.
Introduction: Eternal life sums up the portion that God gives to all who believe. This is God’s life and his kingdom that He offers us through his Son, Jesus Christ. In this respect, Jesus declared: “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. These words sum up the whole Gospel for the salvation of all who believe (Rom 1:16).

This pericope is published in Malagasy, French, English, and German. It can be found on the website and on Facebook ”Hifi – English”.
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