Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Sunday XI following Trinity, August 15-24, 2021 « God is righteousness » *

The message: God is righteousness because there is no deceit in Him, yes, « God never lies » (Tit 1:2.) For it is written: « God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? » Num 23:19. And He loves not lies, as says the psalmist: « For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face » Ps 11:7. For « The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth » Ps 34:15-16. God also wants us, His people, to be like Him, us whom He has taken for Himself (1 Pet 2:9) and to whom He said: « You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen […] » Isa 43:10a, that we may be righteous, and not deceive, and not love deceit, just as He loves no deceit. Therefore, His command tells us: « Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one » Mt 5:37. Jesus rebuked the Jews who justified themselves by claiming to be « descendants of Abraham »: « You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the
beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies » Jn 8:44. Instead, He told those who seek Him: « Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled » Mt 5:6. Our righteousness? It is to believe in Jesus who was willing to redeem us from our sins, for « […] he was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors » Isa 53:12b,c. The Apostle John wrote: « I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth » 3 Jn 4, because « the result of righteousness will be quietness and trust forever » Isa 32:17b.

Monday, 16th: God is righteousness, so he gave us Jesus Christ as our mediator.
« I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me » Jn 14:6.
Reading 1: Rom 4:16-25. Reading 2: Jn 14:1-6. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 14:5-6.
Introduction: There is no righteousness in us because of sin that has separated us from God (Gen 3:23). So He gave us His Son Jesus Christ as a
ransom on the cross, to reconcile us to Him (Mar 15:38). We are justified by faith in Jesus, as Jeremiah prophesied: « The days are surely coming,
says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch […]. And this is the name by which he will be called: The Lord is our
righteousness » Jer 23:5-6b. For « There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we
must be saved » Acts 4:12.

Tuesday, 17th: God is righteousness and justifies repentant sinners.
« If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will [ … ] purify us from all unrighteousness » 1 Jn 1:9.
Reading 1: Lk 19:1-10. Reading 2: 1 Jn 1:8-10;2:1-2. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Jn 1:9.
Introduction: Those who believe and trust in the forgiveness that Jesus freely offers them are justified and given eternal life by him (Jn 3:16). Yet
the Lord’s requirement for returning to Him is a genuine and humble heart, according to the Psalm of Repentance of King David: « The sacrifice
acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise » Ps 51:17, and especially a heart that truly loves
Him, as Jesus said to Simon the Pharisee, concerning the woman who repented and came to Him: « her sins, which were many, have been
forgiven; hence she has shown great love » Lk 7:47.

Wednesday, 18th: God is righteous and is pleased with those who do right.
« The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness » 2 Sam 22:21a.
Reading 1: Mt 25:34-46. Reading 2: 2 Sam 22:21-29. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Sam 22:21.
Introduction: God observes and finds out about the ways of all people, so He approves and rewards those who walk in righteousness (Ps 34:15a).
That was Noah’s case, whom He saved from the flood, as it is related in the Scriptures: « Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation;
Noah walked with God » Gen 6:9b,d. Here is the assurance Jesus gives to all who serve the righteousness and follow Him: « Everyone who has left
houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother [add: or spouse] or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will
inherit eternal life » Mt 19:29.

Thursday, 19th: God is righteousness, and He calls the believers to be His witnesses.
« You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning » Jn 15:27.
Reading 1: Isa 43:1-13. Reading 2: Jn 15:17-27. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 15:26-27.
Introduction: Jesus exhorts His followers to bear witness to His righteousness, both in deeds and in words, so that they will not be ashamed of Him (Rom 1:16a). That was what the Apostles, who dared to stand firm, did as they said: « This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are
witnesses » Acts 2:32. The Apostle John also wrote: « This life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal
life that was with the Father and was revealed to us » 1 Jn 1:2.

Friday, 20th: God is righteousness and admonishes unrighteousness.
« Therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach » Mt 23:3.
Reading 1: Acts 5:1-11. Reading 2: Mt 23:1-12. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 23:1-3.
Introduction: Jesus Christ, the Righteous Judge, cannot be deceived by the persuasive words (Isa 11:3b). He examines the kidneys and the heart,
and rewards everyone according to their deeds (Jer 17:10). That is why He exhorts the people to truly repent, turn away from all
unrighteousness, that they may share in His glorious kingdom. The wrath of God remains on those who do not believe and obey Him, but cling
to unrighteous practices (Jn 3:36). They will not enter His kingdom, as He says: « Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and
murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood » Rev 22:15.

Saturday, 21th: God is righteous and blesses those who do right.
« The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon » Ps 92:12.
Reading 1: Deut 28:1-14. Reading 2: Ps 92:12-15. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 92:12.
Introduction: The Lord pours abundant blessings upon those who fear Him and walk in His righteousness; forever, God will not let them be
shaken, and they will be always remembered (Ps 112:6). This is a blessing from generation to generation, and here is how the psalmist explains
it: « Who are they that fear the Lord? He will teach them the way that they should choose. They will abide in prosperity, and their children shall
possess the land » Ps 25:12-13. And this is especially a blessing for the soul, in which He gives them His Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of life,
according to the words of Jesus: « As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water’ » Jn 7:38.

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

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