Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel XXII Sunday following Trinity 31 October – 06 November 2021 « God is Lord » *

The message: « God is Lord » means that He is the only One God, according to His words: « I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god » Isa 45:5a. He says this to protect us from being torn apart by any false gods, who only aim to lead us into unrighteousness so that we will fall into guilt in His judgment, and perish forever. It is important, then, that we come to know God as Lord so that we may believe in Him and receive His salvation. The assertion « God is Lord » is, first and foremost, an acknowledgment of the existence of God who created the universe (Gen 1:1). The fact that He is the Creator, not a creature, reveals His sovereignty as Lord. The second important point is to acknowledge that God is the Sustainer of the universe, the work of His hands according to His words, « Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? » Isa 45:11. In fact, we need a Protector and Sustainer in what we plan and intend to do, as autonomy from God is deceiving, as it is written, « the way of human beings is not in their control » Jer 10:23b. Jesus’ word emphasizes it, as He says: « Apart from me you can do nothing » Jn 15:5b. In addition, God’s judging power is an aspect of his Lordship. Therefore, He will repay every one according to one’s deeds. This is in order to give vindication to justice, as it is written: « That you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment » Ps 51:4b. But the supreme Lordship of God is that He is Lord of salvation; for this He labored, sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to sacrifice His life as a ransom for sinners (Mk 10:45). This is fulfilled in all those who show repentance to Him, for « if we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness » 1 Jn 1:9. God is Lord; therefore, He is worthy of our fear and worship. He is also our caring Father, and we should love Him most. To those of us who are ready to receive God as Lord, because He is Lord, He says, « Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine » Isa 43:1b,c.

Monday 01: CELEBRATION OF THE GOSPEL. God builds His kingdom on the Word of God. « It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree » Lk 13:19. Reading 1: Ps 19:7-11. Reading 2: Lk 13:18-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 13:18-21. Introduction: The Word of God is the seed sown in people’s hearts to build faith so that they may receive salvation, for faith comes from the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17). It is God’s work to advance His Kingdom of Peace in the world, as in the prayer that Jesus taught: « Your kingdom come » Mt 6:10. The Word of God is like leaven working in a person’s heart, sanctifying his whole life (Jn 17:17b), according to the words of the Apostle Peter: « You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God » 1 Pet 1:23.

Tuesday 02: God is the Only Lord. « Know therefore that the Lord your God is God » Deut 7:9a. Reading 1: Mt 6:19-24. Reading 2: Deut 7:9-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Deut 7:9. Introduction: There are many different things that people consider to be « gods ». But these are all vanity able neither to speak nor save. God is jealous of the glory due to Him, the Creator of all things, and He does not want the humans, whom He created in His image, to deceive themselves with lies and remain in darkness. Therefore, He says to His people: « The images of their gods you shall burn with fire. Do not covet the silver or the gold that is on them and take it for yourself, because you could be ensnared by it; for it is abhorrent to the Lord your God » Deut 7:25.

Wednesday 03: God is Lord and He knows His. « The Lord knows those who are his » 2 Tim 2:19a. Reading 1: Jn 10:11-15. Reading 2: 2 Tim 2:19-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Tim 2:19. Introduction: Some people may think and are confident that they have entered the kingdom of heaven and are among those who inherit eternal life. They think this way because they donate to charities in the community, they are diligent in prayer, and they participates in church duties, etc. But the Lord knows who are His and distinguishes those who belong to Him from those who don’t; therefore, He knows those who repent and return to Him, those who are reconciled with Him; and He let those who are in communion with Him inherit His everlasting kingdom. To them He said: « Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom » Mt 25:34.

Thursday 04: God is Lord and judges all things. « For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light » Mar 4:22. Reading 1: Heb 4:12-13. Reading 2: Mar 4:21-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mar 4:22. Introduction: The religious leaders of the Jewish nation tried to hide their unrighteousness, but God knows everything and cannot tolerate deception and hypocrisy. Jesus strongly admonished them to repent, saying: « Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean » Mt 23:25-26.

Friday 05: God is the Lord of the redemption of mankind. « Who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification » Rom 4:25. Reading 1: Jn 1:19-31. Reading 2: Rom 4:18-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 4:25. Introduction: The love of God who does not want sinners to perish is most amazing and fascinating. Because none of us is righteous (Rom 3:10), He gave Himself as a ransom for sin, so He died for sin so that we might live in God. For it is written: « [He] emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross » Phil 2:7-8.

Saturday 06: God is Lord who has mercy on those who repent. « A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise » Ps 51:17b. Reading 1: 1 Jn 1:5-9. Reading 2: Ps 51:10-17. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 51:17. Introduction: God is a righteous Judge, yet He is also the Most Loving, so He says « I desires mercy » Hos 6:6. Thus, the Lord is not a God who loves to preserve sins, but is willing to forgive. He doesn’t like self-justification because it confuses people and makes them perish. To the sinners who confess their sin and truly repent, and who return to Him with all their hearts and ares reconciled with Him, Jesus says: « Take heart, […] your sins are forgiven » Mt 9:2b.

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