Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Association (HiFi) Sunday XIII following Trinity, 11-17 September 2022

« The Word of God Is Alive »

Introduction: The Word of God is alive and will remain so for eternity. The duration of its life is unlimited, and its work is not restrained. Indeed, Jesus said, « The heavens and the earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass » Mt 24:35. The angel Gabriel, after announcing to Mary the birth of Jesus, declared too: « Every word of God will not remain unfulfilled » Lk 1:37. The living Word of God is a guarantee and assurance of life for all men, not only for this life, but for their whole future, as it gives eternal life. Jesus said, « Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and it is already come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear it will live » Jn 5:25. Since « the word of God is alive and powerful » Heb 4:12a, it gives life to those to whom it is addressed: it heals all evils and diseases (Mt 8:16), it raises the dead (Mc 5:42/ Jn 11:43). The Word of God exhorts tired hearts and laden with heavy burdens (Mt 11:28), forgives sins (Mt 9:2), and so on. It is a faithful and fair word, which must be received with all respect (1 Tim 1:15), namely, to believe in what it states, to observe and to execute what it says. Indeed, the Word of God pronounces promises that do not deceive and that do not return to Him without effect (Isa 55:11) but accomplish what they say. For it is written, « With regard to all the promises of God, it is in him that is the yes; wherefore the Amen by him is pronounced by us to the glory of God  » 2 Cor 1:20. Believe in the Word so that it may come true to live, such as the case of the captain who had a servant tormented by paralysis and who addressed Jesus in these terms, « Say only a word, and my servant will be healed » Mt 8:8b; and it was fulfilled as he believed. This is a great promise and the key to all the blessings Jesus gives when He says: « If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask what you will, and it will be done to you » Jn 15:7. Yes, blessed are those who believe in Jesus, for they will live (Jn 14:19c), from everlasting to everlasting (Rev 1:18). He is the Word made flesh (Jn 1:14a) who brings life and light, as it is written: « In [the Word] was life, and life was the light of men » Jn.1:4.

Monday, 12th: The Word of God gives life to those who observe it.

« The man who will put them into practice will live by them » Lev 18:5b.

Reading 1: Mt 7:21-27. Reading 2: Lev 18:1-5. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lev 18:5.

Introduction: The Word of God is life-giving. This is how He leads us to observe it so that we live. « To observe » means to pay attention and to receive well, as well as to keep and to work while doing what it says and prescribes. Jesus, as the Master of life (Jn 11:25), commands us: « If you love me, keep my commandments » Jn 14:15. Indeed, the Proverbs declare: « My son, be attentive to my words, listen to my speeches. Let them not go away from your eyes; keep them in the depths of your heart; because it is the life for those who find them, it is the health for all their body » Pr 4:20-22.

Tuesday, 13th: The Word of God is lived by faith.

« What was promised was given by faith in Jesus Christ to those who believe » Gal 3:22b.

Reading 1: Acts 2:34-42. Reading 2: Gal 3:15-22. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Gal 3:21-22.

Introduction: The Lord says: « My righteous will live by faith; but if he withdraws, my soul does not take pleasure in him » Heb 10:38, for « the just shall live by faith » Rom 1:17b. Faith means believing what the promise says, namely the Word of God that edifies and exhorts those who believe in it. Thus « faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes from the word of Christ » Rom 10:17. Whoever believes in Jesus and calls on Him will live (Jn 3:36a/ Rom 10:13).

Wednesday, 14th: The commandment of love followed by acts gives life.

« Go, and you, do the same thing » Lk 10:37b.

Reading 1: Lev 19:11-18. Reading 2: Lk 10:23-37. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 10:36-37.

Introduction: The commandment of love is the greatest (1 Cor 13:13). For it is out of love that God created all things and takes care of us men. He commands us to love as He does and to share grace, i. e. life, with our suffering neighbors. Indeed, « faith without works is of no use » Jas 2:20. The « true believer » lives by the Word of God and is guided by the Holy Spirit to proclaim and perform works of love. Jesus says, « He who believes in me will also do the works that I do » Jn 14:12a, that is to give life for the whole world (Jn 6:33).

Thursday, 15th: Believe in what the Word of God says.

« This man believed in the word which Jesus had spoken to him » Jn 4:50b.

Reading 1: Acts 16:16-31. Reading 2: Jn 4:45-54. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 4:50.

Introduction: God can not lie because all the Words He says are true (Tit 1:2). Indeed, He is the Lord and does what He says (Num 23:19). Happy are those who believe, for the Word of God in which they believe will be fulfilled, according to Elizabeth’s words addressed to Mary (Lk 1:45). Not to believe is a serious thing, because it is to make God lie (Jn 1:1). It is a sin that must be repented, because « the one who will believe and be baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned » Mk 16:16, said Jesus.

Friday, 16th: What the Word of God says is fulfilled.

« For every word of God will be fulfilled » (Lk 1:37) (free translation).

Reading 1: Acts 16:16-31. Reading 2: Lk 1:30-38. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 1:37.

Introduction: The fulfillment of what the Word of God says is the proof of its truth; it is a Word absolutely tested, according to the statement of the psalmist: « The words of the Lord are pure words, a silver tested on earth in the crucible, and seven times purified » Ps 12:6. It is entirely worthy of belief; for the Apostle John affirmed: « Whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep his commandments and do what is pleasing to Him » 1 Jn 3:22.

Saturday, 17th: Keep the Word of God alive in the heart.

« I hold your word in my heart, that you do not sin against you » Ps 119:11.

Reading 1: Col 3:16-17. Reading 2: Ps 119:8-16. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 119:11.

Introduction: The one who sanctifies and keeps the Word of God in his heart will live by the Word of God and be sanctified by it, by means of faith (Jn 17:17). Whoever keeps Jesus Christ – Word made flesh (Jn 1:14) – as Master in his heart (1 Pet 3:15) can declare as the Apostle Paul: « Christ lives in me » Gal 2:20a.

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