Malagasy Lutheran ChurchSong & Gospel On the fifth Sunday after Trinity, from 09 to 15 July 2023. »God rebukes people » *

Introduction: « God admonishes men » aims to bring them back to the way of truth so that they can live, which is the way of God’s will, « what is good and acceptable and perfect » Rom 12:2. The way of truth or « the way of righteousness » is the « way of life » that protects from harm that can lead to death. The
Psalmist said: « He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake » Ps 23:3, because He is a good shepherd who cares for and protects His sheep (Jn 10:11). The Apostle John said, « I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth » 3 Jn 4. In fact, there are
many paths that people will take in life that they hope will make them happy and secure their future: the choice of their home, the work they do for a living, especially the way they live etc. In this case, « There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death » Pro 14:12. Paul said
to Timothy, « For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound teaching, but, having their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths » 2 Tim 4:3-4. What God does as a caring
Father is to teach and admonish, even discipline, so that He does not lose His children. For it is written, « My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves the one he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights » Pro 3:11,12. However, there are those who
choose the « willing way », for « The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse who can understand it? » Jer 17:9, namely sin, stubbornness, will fulfil the lust of the flesh. For  » If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh » Gal 6:8a. But it is not what we think is right, it is what God
thinks. Jesus said: « I am the way and the truth and the life » Jn 14:6a, « Come and follow me » Lk 18:22b.

Monday, 10th: God rebukes the people.
« They shall know that my name is the Lord » Jer 16:21b.
Reading 1: 2 Pet 2:1-10. Reading 2: Jer 16:4-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jer 16:19-21.
Introduction: It is God’s work to educate people for righteousness. This requires patience, wisdom and above all love. Since humanity is born in sin, they must be « born again », Jesus said (Jn 3:7), so that they may know God’s love, become God’s children who overcome sin (1 Jn 3:9), and receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). For this purpose: « Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray » Pro 22:6.

Tuesday, 11th: God is the one who is just.
« So that you may be justified in your words and you will prevail when you go to trial » Rom 3:4b.
Reading 1: Jn 8:39-45. Reading 2: Rom 3:1-20. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 3:4.
Introduction: Men like to debate in order to justify themselves. However, this does not justify them, « There is no one who is righteous, not even one » Rom 3:10, for they are all sinners. God warns and rebukes us, for He is faithful and true. Jesus prayed for those who belong to Him and said, « Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth » Jn 17:17.

Wednesday, 12th: God teaches the people.
« Rabbi, you are the Son of God! » Jn 1:49a.
Reading 1: Phil 2:6-10. Reading 2: Jn 1:35-51. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 1:49.
Introduction: Jesus Christ is the witness of God’s truth, and « And the Word became flesh and lived among us » Jn 1:14a, as well as the great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb 13:20) who will bring the multitudes back into the sheepfold of God. He spoke a reproving word when He began His ministry, proclaiming, « Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near » Mt 4:17.

Thursday,13th: God exhorts us to receive His Word.
« For with God no thing is impossible » Lk 1:37.
Reading 1: Deut 23:13-20. Reading 2: Lk 1:30-38. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 1:37.
Introduction: Since no word from God will ever fail, He gives a great promise of blessing. Elizabeth said to Mary, « And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord » Lk 1:45. So it will be with those who accept the rebuke, as it is written: « For they are life to those who find them and healing to all their flesh » Pro 4:22.

Friday, 14th: Accepting rebuke makes us happy.
« Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of rams » 1 Sam 15:22b.
Reading 1: Mt 7:24-29. Reading 2: 1 Sam 15:16-23. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Sam 15:22-23.
Introduction: Jesus gives an important place to all who accept the words of rebuke. In fact, He brings them closer to His heart. He says,
« If you love me, you will keep[g] my commandments » Jn 14:15. For a long time God has made it known that those who do this will receive His blessing. Namely, He said, « If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God  » Deut 28:1-2.

Saturday, 15th: God commands repentance.
« You have already spent enough time in doing what the gentiles like to do, living in debauchery, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry » 1 Pet 4:3.
Reading 1: Acts 17:22-30. Reading 2: 1 Pet 4:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Pet 4:3.
Introduction: The Word of God says that God shows mercy to sinners (Hos 6:6), and forgives their sins (Isa 55:7). Therefore, His mercy calls us to repent and sin no more (Rom 2:4/ Gal 2:17). This means to get rid of our habitual wickednesses and to return to Him and be reconciled with Him. Accordingly, we should become aware of our faults and renew our devotion to God (Rom 12:1), for He is ready
to receive the repentant sinner (Jn 6:37) and says: « Take heart, child; your sins are forgiven » Mt 9:2.

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