Worship at Grace of God Lutheran: Service of the Word Page 38
WORSHIP INTRODUCTION PENTECOST 10: Christians like us, seek spiritual wealth. Read and pray with meditation the Prayer of the Day, “Teach us always to ask according to your will that we may never fail to obtain the blessings you have promised.” What a fine prayer for this materialist world which only knows what we can see, taste and touch. Our lessons today from the Bible show people who have come into great wealth. But there is better ‘wealth’. There is ‘wealth’ for you that money cannot buy but can be found in God and Christ.
Opening hymn: 36 What has God done for us in Christ and what does He do? A Great and Mighty Wonder!
PRAYER OF THE DAY: O Lord, your ears are always open to the prayers of your humble servants, who come to you in Jesus’ name. Teach us always to ask, according to your will, so that we may never fail to obtain the blessings you have promised; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
FIRST LESSON: 1 KINGS 3:5-12 What would you have asked for? If anything in the world could be yours, what would be your request? God only gave one man the choice between unlimited riches and spiritual wealth. Can you imagine facing his dilemma? What should I pick, temporal blessings or eternal ones? What should I value, the things of this world or the things of God? How well Solomon expressed the words of our Prayer for today, to ask God what He thinks I should have. Lord, give us such faith as Solomon in his prayer. What pitiful choices we make, trading away opportunities for true spiritual wealth. Look at Solomon and see an example of what God means by spiritual wealth. God doesn’t ask us to forgo wealth. He just doesn’t want us to value wealth more than the pearl of great price. So, Solomon chose spiritual treasure and God also graciously blessed him with wealth. What did Jesus promise? ‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given you as well.’
1 Kings 3:5–12 (NIV) 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. 7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.
PSALM 119b, Page 110
SECOND LESSON: ROMANS 8:28-30 Paul explains the spiritual wealth that belongs to every Christian. We were chosen by God. The surprising grace of God found us and gave us this ultimate treasure in these terms: predestined, called, justified, and glorified.
Romans 8:28–30 (NIV) 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
VERSE OF THE DAY: Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia
THE GOSPEL: MATTHEW 13:44-52 Jesus’ parables here teach us to seek spiritual wealth. Both of the men in the parables found great treasure. For one it was a complete surprise, as unexpected as it was valuable. For the other it came from an expert search by a discerning man. Before they found these new treasures, both men no doubt valued what they previously owned. But once they saw this new treasure, see how little they valued all else they had! The spiritual wealth of Christ and his Gospel puts everything else into perspective; in fact it marginalizes all else. The importance of this truth comes to light in the parable of the net. All people, wealthy or not, will be caught in the net. But only those who found true spiritual wealth, i.e. Jesus Christ and His Gospel, are not tossed out as worthless. What encouragement for preacher and hearer: you and I have found true wealth in Christ; you and I have been given a storeroom full of treasures new and old. Let’s delight in them.
Matthew 13:44–52 (NIV) 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. 47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. 52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
SERMON: Romans 8:28-30
Closing Hymn: 479
Thank you: Judy, for accompanying worship today.
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