Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Sunday IX before Easter, 5th – 11th February 2023 « God establishes His kingdom » *

The message: Because the peace in Eden was destroyed by the sins of man, in result of not following Word’s of God (Gen 3:6), the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem sinners and once again reconcile them with Himself, raising them as His children and as heirs of His kingdom for all of eternity (Rom 8:17). Jesus came with the intention of establishing His kingdom of salvation for the world, a kingdom of grace and peace. This is what He said to His disciples shortly before He left them: « Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid » Jn 14:27. For it is written: « Great will be his authority, and there shall be
endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this » Isa 9:7. Therefore, let us pray: « May your kingdom come » Mt 6:10a.

Monday, 06th: God establishes His kingdom.
« See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms […] to build and to plant » Jer 1:10.
Reading 1: Mt 10:1-8. Reading 2: Jer 1:4-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jer 1:9-10.
Introduction: God’s establishment of His kingdom is carried out by the servants of whom He appointed to be in solidarity with Him, in accordance with Jesus’ words to His disciples: « Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do » Jn 14:12a. Thus, He gives authority to His disciples in order to destroy and tear down everything that does not come from God and
to build, instead, His kingdom of justice and grace. For Jesus says: « I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit » Jn 15:1-2.

Tuesday, 07th: God establishes His kingdom in the hearts of men.
« But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord » 1 Pet 3:15a.
Reading 1: 1 Pet 3:8-17. Reading 2: Lk 17:20-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Pet 3:15.
Introduction: The heart that sanctifies God is one that accepts Him as King, and as the one who governs. He says to us: « My child, give me your heart » Pr 23:26a. And to the heart of man which carries an incurable disease (Jer 17:19), namely the sin which reigns within him, God renews him and says unto him: « A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you, and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances » Ezek 36:26-27. Yes, such is the kingdom of God!

Wednesday, 08th: Jesus Christ is the foundation of the kingdom of God.
« For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ » 1 Cor 3:11.
Reading 1: Isa 9:5-6. Reading 2: 1 Cor 3:4-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Cor 3:10-11.
Introduction: The revelations of the Holy Scriptures regarding Jesus are clear. This is what the Father says: « This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him » Mt 17:5b. For it is written: « See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame (Isa 28:16). The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner (Ps 118:22) » 1 Pet 2:6-7. Blessed are those who found their house on this Rock: for even if the
waters overflow, and the storm blow, it will not collapse (Mt 7:25).

Thursday, 09th: God appoints His people as participants of His kingdom.
« You […] will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel » Mt 19:28b.
Reading 1: Rev 3:14-22. Reading 2: Mt 19:27-30. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 19:27-28.
Introduction: Jesus has clearly stated that He had united His disciples to Himself in a common cause. He testified: « Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor » Jn 12:26. In this, the apostle Paul encourages Timothy in saying: « If we endure, we will also reign with him » 2 Tim 2:12a. For « those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified » Rom 8:30.

Friday, 10th: The kingdom of God is a kingdom that extends over the whole universe.
« Heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it » Deut 10:14.
Reading 1: Ps 47:1-9. Reading 2: Deut 10:12-22. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Deut 10:12,17.
Introduction: The kingdom of God is truly a kingdom extending to the ends of the universe, since everything belongs to Him and He is the Creator. For His works are innumerable and absolutely marvellous, which moved the psalmist to say: « O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures » Ps 104:24. Jesus declares: « All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me » Mt 28:18, so that « the name given to Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father » Phil 2:10-11.

Saturday, 11th: The kingdom of God is an eternal kingdom.
« For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever » Mt 6:13b.
Reading 1: 1 Kings 9:1-9. Reading 2: Mt 6:1-15. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 6:13.
Introduction: The kingdom of God lasts forever, because « He who is » (Ex 3:14) reigns in it and, in the same way, makes His kingdom last on all those who do His will and give Him glory (Dan 7:18). Those who serve Him do not do so in vain, for they inherit His eternal kingdom. Indeed, it is written: « And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God abide forever » 1 Jn 2:17.

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