Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel XXIV Sunday following Trinity, November 14-20, 2021 « The believer triumphs in God » *

The message: « The believers triumph in God » because God gives them the victory. For life does not go without struggle, and this is especially true nowadays, in this time which the Scriptures refer to as « the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth » Rev 3:10b. This age is a time for people’s faith to be really tested, like « a day of great exam », that one of God’s servants, in her lifetime, declared: « Whoever will be able to stand firm in these days is a man. » In the face of such a situation, the Lord stands for His people, and assures them, « In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world » Jn 16:33b. So He enters into the battles of His people, sides with them, fights for them and makes them triumph, thus fulfilling His words, « I am with you always, to the end of the age » Mt 28:20b. For God cannot disappoint those who rely on Him; He will not delay to vindicate those who come to Him and plead with Him for help (Lk 18:7-8). Thus, those who are united with God and abide in Him through faith in Him and His word will not be ashamed, for He will make them triumph in all their battles. So, even though they are still in battle, they are already winning, and can claim like the Apostle Paul: « If God is for us, who is against us? » Rom 8:31b. The Lord truly delivers and saves those who believe in Him, even in the most difficult times. Jesus said: « If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed » Jn 8:36, which we may translate as « you will be victorious indeed ». For what is impossible for human is possible for God; what human cannot overcome, God overcomes. This victory is received through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ; for He already overcame what is most hard and most difficult: death on the cross, together with sin, which is the sting of death (1 Cor 15:56). To those who believe, Jesus says: « Because I live, you also will live » Jn 14:19b.

Monday 15: God gives victory to those who believe in Him.
« They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away » Isa 51:11b.
Reading 1: Jn 16:19-24. Reading 2: Isa 51:9-16. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 51:11.
Introduction: God is the Lord of life, so He makes people rejoice. He seeks the lost, He raises the dead (Lk 15:24), He clothes with His glory those He justifies (Rom 8:30); and those He has saved, He make them settle in His everlasting kingdom so that they may share glory with Him (Jn 17:24a). God establishes such a great partnership with the believers as He adopts them as His children, for « if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ » Rom 8:17a.

Tuesday 16: God comforts His people forever.
« For this slight […] affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory » 2 Cor 4:17.
Reading 1 : Isa 25:6-8. Reading 2 : 2 Cor 4:11-18. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2 : 2 Cor 4:17.
Introduction: God gives eternal comfort to His people, by making them inherit the kingdom of His grace and glory, namely the kingdom of His victory for eternal life. For it is written: « For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. [ …] no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress » Isa 65:17,19b.

Wednesday 17: In God, the believer overcomes death.
« Death has been swallowed up in victory » 1 Cor 15:54b.
Reading 1 : Lk 7:11-17. Reading 2 : 1 Cor 15:50-57. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2 : 1 Cor 15:54-55.
Introduction: The kingdom of God is a kingdom of life, which conquers death. The work of the Holy Spirit, who is the « Spirit of life » (Rom 8:2), is the firstling of this kingdom, which is inherited forever by faith (Jn 3:16). In this regard, the Scripture says: « Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord » Rev 14:13a

Thursday 18: Living for God is a victory.
« Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive » Lk 20:38.
Reading 1 : Rom 6:8-14. Reading : Lk 20:27-40. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2 : Lk 20:38.
Introduction: God has set this as a principle of life and victory for humans: God will make victorious like Him whoever lives for Him. It is a gain not a loss for those who do so! For Jesus said: « For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it » Mt 16:25. The Apostle Paul also wrote: « For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain » Phil 1:21.

Friday 19: The believer’s abode is eternal.
« We have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens » 2 Cor 5:1.
Reading 1: Jn 14:1-4. Reading 2: 2 Cor 5:1-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Cor 5:1.
Introduction: Blessed are those who build their house on God. They always stand victorious, according to Jesus’ parable: « Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock » Mt 7:24-25.

Saturday 20: God secures his people and gives them victory.
« Because I live, you also will live » Jn 14:19b.
Reading 1: 1 Cor 15:12-22. Reading 2: Jn 14:15-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 14:19.
Introduction: God gives His people a great assurance as He says: « I will never leave you or forsake you (Jos 1:5) » Heb 13:5b. This is like when He encouraged the children of Israel as they were going out of Egypt, saying: « The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still » Ex 14:14. Surely Jesus is the faithful Savior. He gave His disciples the promise when He sent them out, saying: « And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age » Mt 28:20b.

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