Malagasy Lutheran Church Music & Gospel Sunday VII following Trinity, July 25-31, 2021  »The True Worshipers » *

The message: The concepts of a « true worshiper » are not just a few nor is it unique. Simply put, a true worshiper is one who worships with a sincere and honest heart. So it is with those who pray with a « pure heart », or with a « purified heart », because they have a repentant heart and are justified by God, like the tax collector who beat his breast and said:  »God, be merciful to me, a sinner! » Lk 18:13. A  »true heart » in God’s eyes is the heart of a sinner who is forgiven and who forgives, so that there is no more distance in his relationship with Him. Jesus said:  »Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God » Mt 5:8. Therefore, there is no doubt that the worship with a pure heart will go directly to God, and He hears it, and He justifies and blesses those who practice it, according to His words:  »If you will
only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today—loving the Lord your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all your soul— then he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil; and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill » Deut 11:13-15. This is the kind of true prayer that led Jesus’disciples to ask Him:  »Lord, teach us to pray » Lk 11:1b. According to the Bible, God’s Word of truth (Jn 17:17b), a « true worshiper » is a person who is without guile or hypocrisy. But to those who are hypocritical,
Jesus admonished:  »You are from your father the devil » Jn 8:44a, so they have no place in the kingdom of God.  »For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? » 2 Cor 6:14b-c-15a. According to the Gospel, the « true believer » is one who prays with faith (Mt 21:22), that is being founded upon God’s word and trusting in Him. Jesus said:  »If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you » Jn 15:7.

Monday, 26th: The true worshipers, they love God.
 »God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth » Jn 4:24.
Reading 1: Isa 55:6-7. Reading 2: Jn 4:15-24. Preaching 1: (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 4:23-24.
Introduction: God appreciates the believers who seek Him and love Him with all their hearts and souls. He said through the prophet Jeremiah:
 »When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart » Jer 29:13. Here is what Jesus, the Truth, says to those who seek
Him so earnestly and are hungry and thirsty for his word:  »Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled » Mt

Tuesday, 27th: God listens to repentant worshipers.
 »Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin » Ps 51:2.
Reading 1: 1 Jn 1:5-10. Reading 2: Ps 51:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 51:2.
Introduction: God does not despise the brokenhearted and humble who come to Him (Ps 51:17b), those who confess their sins, those who do not
hide their sins or weaknesses from Him, and who are determined to change. He says:  »if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land » 2 Chr 7:14. This is what the prodigal son did when he came to his senses:  »I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against
heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands » Lk 15:18-19a.

Wednesday, 28th: God answers who pray with faith.
 »Go; let it be done for you according to your faith » Mt 8:13a.
Reading 1: Rom 4:13-22. Reading 2: Mt 8:1-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 8:13.
Introduction: Those who believe that God exists and is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him are rewarded by God (Heb 11:6b). Jesus
said:  »Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive » Mt 21:22. The Apostle James said to those who have someone sick among them:
 »And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up […] they will be forgiven » Jas 5:15.

Thursday, 29th: God admonishes the false worshipers.
 »This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me » Mar 7:6.
Reading 1: Jas 1:19-25. Reading 2: Mar 7:5-15. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mar 7:6-7.
Introduction: God hates those who are hypocritical towards Him and admonishes them. Jesus said to the Pharisees and scribes who just
pretended to be worshipers:  »woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not
go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them » Mt 23:13. Peter also said to Ananias and Sapphira, who deceived God and the
church:  »Ananias, Peter asked, ‘why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?'[…]
Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died » Acts 5:3,5a.

Friday, 30th: The true worshiper, defeats the false.
 »You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them » 1 Jn 4:4a.
Reading 1: Mt 7:15-21. Reading 2: 1 Jn 4:1-6. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Jn 4:4.
Introduction: God’s children cannot be fooled. They see, recognize, and overcome the guile of the devil who is  »the father of lies » (Jn 8:44d),
because God has given them His Holy Spirit at their baptism, and this is the Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17,15:26,16:13). Concerning the victory of
those who believe in Jesus Christ, the Apostle John wrote:  »for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers
the world, our faith » 1 Jn 5:4. The Apostle also wrote:  »the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy
strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, […] to obey Christ » 2 Cor 10:4-5.

Saturday, 31th: God is on the side of true worshipers.
 »I am with you to save you and deliver you » Jer 15:20c.
Reading 1: Rom 8:31-37. Reading 2: Jer 15:19-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jer 15:20.
Introduction: God is with those who worship Him with sincere and genuine hearts without hypocrisy. The Apostle Peter said:  »For the eyes of
the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil – Ps 34:12-16 » 1 Pet
3:12. And the Lord is pleased with everything they do and saves them. In particular, Jesus assures all who believe and trust in Him:  »remember, I
am with you always, to the end of the age » Mt 28:20b.

This pericope is published in Malagasy, French, English and German, and can be found on the Site www.hifi- and Facebook “Hira sy Filazantsara”. Listen to 24/7: lessons, songs, … © Madanet.

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