Posted

Make sure you click on the Title above to see the full content of the page.

To listen to the online devotional, click on the audio file below:

Download Bulletin

And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come….” Matthew 22:1-3 (Read 22:1-14)

The chief priests and Pharisees, along with many of the Jews, rejected Jesus and would not trust in Him for the forgiveness of their sins and a place in God’s eternal kingdom. God’s servants, the apostles and prophets, proclaimed to them the way of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus; but they made light of God’s gracious invitation and even mistreated and killed God’s servants.

With the parable of the king who made a marriage supper for his son, Jesus illustrated to his hearers how they were rejecting God’s gracious invitation to have a part in His kingdom and partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb through faith in His own dear Son, Jesus Christ (cf. Rev. 19:7ff.). They were too busy with their own lives and religious service and they made excuses and did not come and partake of the salvation God provided in His Son who He died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose again in victory.

As described in Jesus’ parable (v. 7), the city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants were judged by God for their rejection of Christ Jesus. The city was destroyed and burned with fire, and its inhabitants were either killed or carried away captive by the Roman armies in 70 A.D.

The LORD God has also sent His servants out to invite others to have a part in His eternal kingdom through faith in Christ Jesus. The Gospel has been preached, not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles around the world and many have heeded God’s gracious invitation. Through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross, many have received forgiveness of sins and will partake of the eternal joys of heaven.

And they are clothed, not with their own sin-tainted righteousness, but with the perfect righteousness of Christ. It is only for the sake of Christ and His innocent sufferings and death in their stead that they are acceptable to God and have a place in His everlasting kingdom (cf. Eph. 1:6-8).

But, like the man who came without a wedding garment, there are also those who try to enter God’s kingdom by their own sin-tainted works rather than by simply receiving the righteousness of Christ which is ours through faith in Him. Such, who attempt to partake of God’s eternal kingdom clothed in the spotted garment of the flesh rather than in the righteousness of Christ, will be cast out into the darkness and eternal torment of hell.

God’s gracious invitation continues to go out to all — us included — but only those who, by the grace of God, repent and heed the Gospel call, trusting in Christ alone for eternal salvation, will be saved (cf. Mark 16:15-16; John 3:18,36; Eph. 2:8-9).

As Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Christ died for all and the Gospel invitation goes out to all, but only those who by the gracious working of God’s Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament heed the Word, repent of their sinful ways, place their faith in the shed blood of Christ Jesus and continue in that faith will be saved (cf. 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 1:3ff.; Acts 13:48).

Therefore, as we learn from Jesus’ parable, we also need to beware lest we begin to take that invitation lightly and neglect the Word and Sacraments or we begin to depend upon our own sin-tainted righteousness rather than trusting alone in the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus our Savior.

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness my beauty are, my glorious dress; midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed, with joy shall I lift up my head. Bold shall I stand in that great Day, for who aught to my charge shall lay? Fully thro’ these absolved I am from sin and fear, from guilt and shame. Amen. (The Lutheran Hymnal, Hymn #371, Verses 1-2)

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,

Posted

Make sure you click on the Title above to see the full content of the page.

To listen to the online worship service, click on the audio file below and follow along in the Lutheran Service Book:

Download Bulletin

God’s Love for Sinners

Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church

An Independent Lutheran Congregation
“Holding Fast the Word of Life”

2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
479-310-5501

www.goodshepherdrogers.org

Third Sunday After Trinity
June 28, 2020

Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.

Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”

Hymns: (from the Lutheran Service Book)
LSB #606 “I Lay My Sins on Jesus”
LSB #568 “If Your Beloved Son, O God”
LSB #632 “O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee”
LSB #527 “O Savior, Precious Savior”

Psalm: Psalm 103 A Psalm of David.
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them. 19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Collect
O God, the protector of all who trust in You, without whom nothing is strong and nothing is holy, multiply Your mercy on us that, with You as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
109. Why do we here call the first Person “the Father”? Because He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also our true Father.
196) John 20:17. Jesus said … “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.”
197) Mal. 2:10. Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?
198) Eph. 3:14-15. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.
110. Why is God the Father called “Almighty” and “Maker”? Because He has by His word made all things out of nothing.
199) Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
200) Heb. 11:3. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
201) Ps. 115:3. But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

Old Testament Lesson: Micah 7:18-20
18 Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. 19 He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.

Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 15:1-10
1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. 8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Sermon: “God’s Love for Lost Sinners” Luke 15:1-10/1 Tim. 1:12-17

ANNOUNCEMENTS

We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.

Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith.
Upcoming Events: Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church calendar on the church website. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.

Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protection, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.

Holy Communion — Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@ goodshepherdrogers.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).

“Chief of Sinners”

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1Timothy 1:12-17

God was indeed merciful to Saul of Tarsus — we know him as the Apostle Paul — for he was a persecutor of the Church of Jesus Christ!

Being zealous for the Jewish Faith but misguided, Saul spoke against the Lord Jesus Christ and arrested, imprisoned and even put to death followers of Jesus (Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-2). But the Lord Jesus showed mercy to Saul when He met him on the road to Damascus and then washed away his sins in Holy Baptism (Acts 9:3ff.; 22:16).

When the risen and ascended Christ converted Saul and made him Paul, a preacher of the Gospel, he could testify: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”

Paul testified to the truth that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; and Paul could also say, “If Jesus could be merciful to me and save me, He can also show mercy to you and grant to you salvation.”

What a comfort this truth is to us and all people! “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” As sinners, we qualify! Since we too are sinners, we know that Christ Jesus came into the world to save us!

By His holy life and innocent sufferings and death upon the cross, Jesus has redeemed you and me. He paid in full the punishment for our sins and the sins of the whole world that God might be merciful unto us and grant to us eternal salvation through faith in His Son (John 3:16; Col. 1:19-23; 2:11-14; Tit. 3:3-7).

And do you know what? With Paul, we can also say, “If Jesus can save me, a sinner, He can save you as well.” Why? “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed “exceedingly abundant”!

Because of Christ Jesus and His innocent sufferings and death in our stead, we can pray with David (Psalm 86:3-5): “Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You for coming into the world to redeem us — for paying the just penalty for our sins — and we thank You for showing mercy to us and bringing us to trust in You. Graciously keep us in Your mercy throughout our earthly lives that we may receive the eternal joys which You purchased for us when You shed Your holy and precious blood on Calvary. Amen.

God’s Love for Lost Sinners

1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. 8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:1-10

How important are lost souls to you? When publicans, those who collected taxes for the Roman government and overcharged to make their living, and other sinners came to Jesus to hear Him and learn of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life which He offered to all, the Pharisees and scribes were critical of Jesus for associating with such sinners. And, what do church-going people say today if their pastors associate with and invite known sinners to attend their services?

Jesus told the two parables in Luke 15 to point out that it is perfectly normal for anyone who loses something to seek it until he finds it. A shepherd with one hundred sheep who loses one does not say, “I still have ninety-nine,” and then forget about the one that is lost. Even the scribes and Pharisees would not do such a thing! Nor would a woman with ten silver coins who lost one of them just forget about the one lost coin and be content with the nine. Both the shepherd and the woman in these two parables would seek out and find that which was lost. Then they would rejoice because they had found that one lost sheep or one lost coin. Wouldn’t we also act in the same way if we were to lose something of ours?

So also every lost soul is extremely important to the Lord Jesus. Our God created man to live for Him and serve Him in eternal righteousness. Because man fell into sin, He sent His only- begotten Son into this world a true man, that He might fulfill the righteous demands of God’s Law and suffer and die for our sins. Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. During His earthly ministry, He sought out all sinners and turned away none who came to hear His saving Gospel.

Since He had come into this world to redeem fallen mankind by His innocent sufferings and death, it gave our Savior great joy, along with the angels of God in heaven, when a lost sinner repented and turned to Him for forgiveness and life everlasting. Our Lord Jesus was not afraid to associate with sinners; He shed His blood to redeem them!

Since Christ died to redeem us, should we not also live in daily repentance, being truly sorry for our sins and trusting in our Savior for forgiveness and eternal salvation? It gives our risen Savior, as well as the angels in heaven, great joy when we hear His Word and live in daily repentance. We certainly should not, as did the scribes and the Pharisees, consider ourselves righteous and in no need of repentance (cf. 1 John 1:8-9; 2:1-2; Prov. 28:13).

Like our Savior, we should also seek out lost souls and rejoice when they are brought to repentance. We should not be satisfied if 99 percent of our members are continuing in the truth and only one is gone astray; we should seek that one until he is found and returns to the fold. The same is true of the lost souls who are not under the care of our congregation. We should, in the love of our Savior, seek out the lost and seek to bring them to the Good Shepherd by sharing with them the saving truths of God’s Word.

Christ Jesus shed His holy, precious blood to redeem them. We also ought to care enough for their souls to share with them the good news of forgiveness and life everlasting through faith in the Savior. Never should we be ashamed to be seen sharing the Gospel with lost sinners, no matter how bad their past reputation!

O gracious God, as You have shown mercy to me, a lost sinner, grant that I show mercy to others and share with them the good news of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice and of pardon and peace through faith in His name. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,

Posted

Make sure you click on the Title above to see the full content of the page.

To listen to the devotional, click on the audio file below:

Download Devotional

Devotional Series on the Lord’s Prayer

TLH #319 “In Thee alone, O Christ, my Lord”
Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ; Translator: Arthur T. Russell (1851, alt.); Author (attributed to): Johannes Schneesing (1542, ab.) Tune: ALLEIN ZU DIR; Harmonizer: Johann S. Bach, c. 1750

1 In Thee alone, O Christ, my Lord,
My hope on earth remaineth;
I know Thou wilt Thine aid afford,
Naught else my soul sustaineth.
No strength of man, no earthly stay,
Can help me in the evil day;
Thou, only Thou, canst aid supply.
To Thee I cry;
On Thee I bid my heart rely.

2 My sins, O Lord, against me rise,
I mourn them with contrition;
Grant, thro’ Thy death and sacrifice,
To me a full remission.
Lord, show before the Father’s throne
That Thou didst for my sins atone;
So shall I from my load be freed.
Thy Word I plead;
Keep me, O Lord, each hour of need.

(To hear the tune of this Reformation era hymn, see the YouTube link at the end of this devotional.)

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

Clearly connected to the petition, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” Jesus points out a truth we often are ready to forget: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Does our heavenly Father forgive our sins because we forgive others? No, but rather, we forgive others because He forgives us; and, if we are unwilling to forgive those who have sinned against us, it indicates that we have not really accepted and grasped in faith God’s mercy toward us in Christ Jesus — His pardon and forgiveness won for us by the shed blood of His own dear Son.

A refusal to forgive another who has offended us in some way, after God Himself so loved us that He sent His only-begotten son into the world to suffer and die upon the cross for our sins and the sins of all that we might be forgiven, is really a refusal to take hold of God’s mercy toward us in Christ Jesus.

In Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 18, verses 21 through 35, Jesus speaks of this further, illustrating with the parable of the servant who was forgiven a great, great debt by his master but who then would show no mercy and forgiveness toward a fellow servant who owed him a very small debt in comparison. Since the servant who had been forgiven so much was unwilling to show mercy to his fellow servant, he was delivered to the torturers until he paid all that was owed to his lord. Jesus concludes by saying: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (v. 35).

Clearly, Jesus’ words are to us a warning against refusing to pardon and forgive others as we have been pardoned and forgiven by our heavenly Father for the sake of His Son, the crucified and risen Messiah and Savior. Rather than being without mercy and love in our dealings with others, the Scriptures encourage us to: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

And how can we do this? Consider your own sinfulness according to God’s law, and consider the great debt of sin God has forgiven you because He sent His only-begotten Son and punished Him in our stead. When we consider and receive God’s forgiveness through faith alone in Christ Jesus, forgiving others for their sins against us will suddenly grow easier.

Dear Father in heaven, I have deserved nothing but Your wrath and punishment and am undeserving of the loving-kindness and mercy which You have shown to me for the sake of the innocent sufferings and death of Your beloved Son in my stead. Thank You for graciously forgiving and pardoning my great debt of sin against You. Grant to me also a merciful and forgiving heart toward others who sin against me, that I may be like You and show mercy and loving-kindness for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Luther’s Morning Prayer
I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

OR

Luther’s Evening Prayer
I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer (NKJV)
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

TLH #319 “In Thee alone, O Christ, my Lord”
Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ; Translator: Arthur T. Russell (1851, alt.); Author (attributed to): Johannes Schneesing (1542, ab.) Tune: ALLEIN ZU DIR; Harmonizer: Johann S. Bach, c. 1750

3 O Lord, in mercy stay my heart
On faith’s most sure foundation
And to my inmost soul impart
Thy perfect consolation.
Fill all my life with love to Thee,
Toward all men grant me charity;
And at the last, when comes my end,
Thy succor send.
From Satan’s wiles my soul defend. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,

Posted

Download Bulletin

Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church

An Independent Lutheran Congregation
“Holding Fast the Word of Life”

2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
479-310-5501

www.goodshepherdrogers.org

Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.

Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”

Hymns:
LSB #609 “Jesus Sinners Doth Receive”
LSB #823 “May God Bestow on Us His Grace”
LSB #628 “Your Table I Approach”
LSB #917 “Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise”

Psalmody: Psalm 34:11-22
11 Come, you children, lis | *ten to me; I will teach you the fear | *of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who de | *sires life, And loves many days, that he | *may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from | *evil, And your lips from speak | *ing deceit. 14 Depart from evil | *and do good; Seek peace and pur | *sue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the | *righteous, And His ears are open | *to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do | *evil, To cut off the remembrance of them | *from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and | *the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their | *troubles. 18 The Lord is near to those who have a | *broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite | *spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the | *righteous, But the Lord delivers him out | *of them all. 20 He guards | *all his bones; Not one of them is | *broken. 21 Evil shall slay the | *wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall | *be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the soul of His | *servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall | *be condemned. Glory be to the Father and | to the Son * and to the Holy | Spirit; as it was in the be- | ginning, * is now, and will be forever. | Amen. 11 Come, you children, lis | *ten to me; I will teach you the fear | *of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who de | *sires life, And loves many days, that he | *may see good?

Collect
O Lord, since You never fail to help and govern those whom You nurture in Your steadfast fear and love, work in us a perpetual fear and love of Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
108. Why do we in each of the three Articles say, “I believe,” and not, “We believe”? Because no one can be saved by another’s faith, but every one must believe for himself.
194) Hab. 2:4. But the just shall live by his faith.
195) Luke 7:50. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
B.H. Matt. 25:8-12. The foolish virgins.

Old Testament Lesson: Proverbs 9:1-10
1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding. 7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Epistle Lesson: Ephesians 2:13-22
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner- stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 14:15-24
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”

Sermon: “What’s Your Excuse?” Luke 14:15-24

ANNOUNCEMENTS

We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.

Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith.

Upcoming Events: Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church calendar on the church website. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.

Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protection, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.

Holy Communion — Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).

“Come, For all Things Are Now Ready”

“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready….”’” Luke 14:16-17 (Read Luke 14:15-24)

You have been invited to the greatest banquet of all! Even though you are a sinner and deserving of God’s eternal wrath and punishment, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the righteous demands of God’s Law in your stead, and then to suffer and die on the cross and bear the full punishment for your transgression and sin. God calls you through the preaching of the Gospel and invites you to receive His pardon and forgiveness and to take part in His everlasting kingdom.

The Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It tells us that “Jesus Christ … loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5); that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7); and that “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18).

And, the risen Lord Jesus even now is preparing a place for all who believe in Him, in the mansions of His Father’s house (John 14:1-3). Through the preaching of this good news, God calls you to come to Him and receive the everlasting blessings of His kingdom.

Even now, as you read these words, God’s Spirit calls you to “come, for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17); and to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Jesus told the Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15-24) to admonish His hearers for rejecting the salvation God was providing for them in His Son.

The Jews had the Old Testament Scriptures, which promised eternal salvation through the coming Messiah and Savior; but when Jesus, God’s Son, came into this world to accomplish the salvation God had promised of old — when the Gospel invitation went out: “Come, for all things are now ready” — the Jews excused themselves for various reasons. They were too busy with the things of this world to come to Christ Jesus and receive from Him forgiveness for their sins and eternal life. One bought a piece of land and wanted to go and see it; another had bought a yoke of oxen and wanted to try them out; and another had just gotten married and could not come (cf. Luke 14:18-20).

What about you? This same Gospel invitation has gone out to you: “Come, for all things are now ready.” Do you have time to come to Jesus and learn of Him and the eternal blessings He has won for you? Do you come to hear His life-giving Word and learn of God’s offer and promise of forgiveness for all your sins and of the everlasting joys of heaven? Or, are you too busy with the cares and concerns of this life?

What is your excuse? Are you too busy checking on land or property? Do you have to try out that car or truck or tractor? Do you have to try out that new tool or toy? Are you too busy with work or school or business to come to Jesus? Have you married a wife and become too busy with family concerns to take time for church services and the hearing of God’s Word? What is your excuse?

The excuses in Jesus’ parable angered the man who made the great supper (v. 21). He said, “None of those men who were invited shall taste my supper” (v. 24).

Will God accept your excuse? Is not this a warning to us not to become so busy with other things in this life that we neglect that “one thing [that is] is needed” (Luke 10:42).

Jesus admonishes us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). And Jesus warns: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him…” (Heb. 2:3)?

What did the master of the house in Jesus’ parable then do that his house might be filled with guests? He sent his servants out into the streets and lanes of the city to bring in the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. And, when there was yet room, he sent them out into the highways and hedges (where the poor often camped) to compel those there to come in (Cf. Luke 14:21-24.)

It is by the grace of God that we have heard the Gospel of Christ and come to trust in Him for forgiveness and life (Eph. 2:4-9); but “STILL THERE IS ROOM” (v. 22)! Our Heavenly Father sends His servants out into the streets and lanes, and to the highways and hedges, to compel them to come in — to call upon all, whether rich or poor, healthy or handicapped or sick, to come to Christ Jesus and partake of the blessings of His kingdom.

Jesus commands His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). They are to preach “repentance and remission of sins … in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47). They are to say: “Come, for all things are now ready!” (Luke 14:17). And, Jesus tells us: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

Dear LORD God, our Savior, grant that we not neglect and excuse ourselves from partaking of the salvation so graciously provided for us through the innocent sufferings and death of the Son, Jesus Christ. Fill us also with Your love for lost sinners that we may obey Your command and send men into all the world with Your saving Gospel and compel them to come in! In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,

Posted

Jesus once said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). And, when I see the things happening in our world today, it gives me cause to wonder about the answer to that question.

Yes, there are many who profess to be Christians, but how many are left who really hold to the true and Biblical Christian Faith?

How many believe the Triune God of the Bible created the heavens and earth and all things in six days (each with an evening and morning) and that the age of the earth is only about 6,000 years and not millions or billions of years old?

How many believe the account of the fall of mankind into sin in Genesis 3 or of God’s judgment upon the world in the Great Flood of Genesis 6-8? How many believe that the imagination of Man’s heart is (since the fall) evil from his youth (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9)?

How many believe all the Biblical accounts regarding the patriarchs and believers of the Old Testament period?

How many believe the Bible’s accounts of miracles in both the Old and New Testaments?

How many believe what the Bible teaches throughout about marriage being the lifelong union of one man and one woman unto one flesh? How many believe the Bible when it condemns fornication, adultery, homosexuality and every other perversion of God’s design for a man and woman in marriage as instituted by God in Genesis 2?

How many believe what the Bible says in regard to human life being God’s creative work in the womb and believe that abortion and euthanasia are contrary to God’s commandment against murder?

How many believe what the Bible teaches about the roles of men and women in the church and in the world? How many accept the Bible’s prohibition against women in the public ministry?

How many believe the commandments of God are good and right even though we all come short of keeping them as God intends and they reveal the sinfulness of our thoughts, desires, words and actions? How many believe the Bible’s teaching regarding their utter sinfulness before God and their inability to be acceptable to God on the basis of their own works and life?

How many believe that Jesus is truly God the Son in human flesh, born into this world of the virgin Mary; that He lived a sinless life in the stead of all mankind and then was crucified to atone for the sins of all mankind and rose bodily from the grave on the third day? How many believe He has ascended to the right hand of God the Father in heaven where He is over all things, and that He is coming again to raise up all the dead and will judge every human being who has ever lived?

How many believe that they — not just others — need to repent daily of the many sins and shortcomings in their lives and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His cross for mercy and forgiveness and then seek God’s help and strength to amend their lives and live in accord with God’s commandments?

How many believe that the only way to be acceptable to God and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness is through faith in Jesus Christ, which is not of our own will or decision but created by the Holy Spirit’s working through the promises of the Gospel?

How many believe there is only one way to be spared in God’s final judgment and not be condemned to the eternal fires of hell and that is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world?

Yes, I could go on and on, but you get my point. Many who claim to be Christians are smorgasbord Christians. They pick and choose what parts of the Bible they believe and reject or ignore the others. But we won’t get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are used when we are judged on the Last Day.

Considering the current direction of the world, most churches and so many people who still claim to be Christian, “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,