Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

God’s Faithful Stewards

Knowing that God is the Creator and Provider of all things motivates us to worship Him with our faithful stewardship. As faithful stewards, we acknowledge God as the source and owner of everything. We are merely managers or caretakers of His property that is on loan to us. In our faithful stewardship, we seek to use our lives and blessings according to His will. We understand that our main purpose is to serve and glorify Him. We seek God’s wisdom and strength to fulfill our stewardship tasks, and we are aware of our need to be responsible and accountable. The reward for our faithfulness will come from hearing God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23).

Prayer: Lord, as I read and study Your Word, I pray that Your Spirit will enlighten my heart and mind so I may draw closer to you and better understand Your will for my life. May my stewardship give You honor and glory. I pray this in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Lessons and Hymns for Epiphany 3 A

These are the Scripture readings you will hear this coming Sunday:

1 Chronicles 29:10-22
Philippians 4:10-20
Luke 12:22-34

(The above readings are connected with our congregation’s Stewardship Emphasis and are not the appointed lessons for the day)

The Lord Manifests His Glory through His Office of the Holy Ministry

By His coming in the flesh and by His preaching and miracles, the Lord Jesus shines the light of His Gospel upon “the people who walked in darkness” and “who dwelt in a land of deep darkness” (Is. 9:2). He also has “multiplied the nation” and “increased its joy” (Is. 9:3) by calling disciples to Himself from the ends of the earth. For this purpose, He calls Peter and Andrew, with James and John, to follow Him and be “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). As Jesus did, they also go forth “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people” (Matt. 4:23). They preach the foolishness of the cross of Christ as the very power and wisdom of God. This word and preaching of the cross divides “those who are perishing” from “us who are being saved” (1 Cor. 1:18), but it unites the Church, the one Body of Christ, “in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).

These are the hymns you will sing:

Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now (LSB 902)
Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us (LSB 851)
What a Friend We Have in Jesus (LSB 770)
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (LSB 398)
Son of God, Eternal Savior (LSB 842)

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

Money Is a Test

Jesus said, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11). The way we handle our material possessions is a good test of the way we would handle responsibilities relating to God’s kingdom. Jesus tells us that, if we can be trusted with our stewardship of the material things that He entrusts to us, then He will trust us to be stewards over things of highest value which relate to the eternal. In order to be “trustworthy in handling worldly wealth,” we need to recognize our privilege and responsibility to use our material blessings with a kingdom focus.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to develop a right and proper attitude toward the money You have entrusted to me. Help me to see my money as a tool to help others. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

If Your Kids and Grandkids Aren’t Attending Church, Read the Following

One of the sadder aspects of my ministry has been seeing the smaller numbers of children remaining with the church as they grow older. What was assumed when I was a child is no longer the case that church was one of the most important parts of life.

Dr. Gene Veith has written about this topic and I encourage all of you to read his thoughts (which include some valuable research). You can read it here.

There are specific reasons why children and grandchildren aren’t in church today. Take a look at situations around you and see if this isn’t the case.

Lessons and Hymns for Epiphany 2 A

These are the Scripture readings you will hear this Sunday:

Deuteronomy 16:13-17
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Luke 8:1-3

(These lessons are not for Epiphany 2 but for the first Sunday of our Stewardship Emphasis)

God Reveals His Glory in Christ and His Cross

“The LORD, the Redeemer of Israel,” calls forth “his Holy One” (Is. 49:7), Jesus, the Christ, “from the womb” of His mother (Is. 49:1). The incarnate Son of God is revealed as the Savior, not only for Israel but also “as a light for the nations,” whose salvation reaches “to the end of the earth” (Is. 49:6). John came “baptizing with water” (John 1:31) to reveal Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and who glorifies His God and Father by His atoning sacrifice upon the cross. When Jesus was baptized in the waters of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended “from heaven like a dove” and “remained on him” (John 1:32). By our Baptism, we are anointed by the same Spirit, adopted by God the Father, and “called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:9). Therefore, we “are not lacking in any gift,” but we can trust Him who promises to sustain us to the end, “guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:7–8).

These are the hymns we will be singing:

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise (LSB 394)
We Praise You, O God (LSB 785)
O God, My Faithful God (LSB 696)
O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee (LSB 632)
My Faith Looks Up to Thee (LSB 702)

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

Boldly Proclaiming the Good News

Why do we hesitate to witness for our Lord? A frequent answer to that question is that we fear being rejected. Of course, we’ll be rejected! Christ Himself was “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3), and Jesus said, “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.” But He added, “If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20). Not all will reject us or the words we speak in Christ’s name. Surely, for Christ’s sake and by His grace, we can endure whatever mistreatment we receive in His name for the fruit that will result.

Prayer: O Lord, You are from everlasting to everlasting. Thank You for my Savior Who has lived the perfect life on earth in my place and Who will turn the dust of my body into a glorified body which will live eternally with You in Heaven. Help me boldly tell others of Your wonderful love, grace, and mercy. Through Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Lessons and Hymns for the Baptism of Our Lord A

These are the Scripture readings you will hear this coming Sunday:

Isaiah 42:1-9
Romans 6:1-11
Matthew 3:13-17

Click here to read the above lessons and the propers for the day.

The Triune God Is Manifested and Reveals Himself to Us in Holy Baptism

The Baptism of our Lord is an “epiphany” of the one true God in the flesh and blood of Jesus. He is the chosen servant of the Lord, anointed with the Spirit for the rescue of God’s people to “bring forth justice to the nations” (Is. 42:1). Thus, He makes all things new, and He is given “as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations” (Is. 42:6). In the waters of the Jordan, He takes His place with sinners and takes all the sins of the world upon Himself. He undergoes the Baptism of repentance in order to “fulfill all righteousness” for us (Matt. 3:15). He submits Himself to the curse of sin and death in order to redeem us. We are baptized with a Baptism like His, thereby dying and rising with Him, so that “we will also live with him” (Rom. 6:8). Indeed, all of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus are anointed with His Spirit and named by His Father as beloved and well-pleasing sons and daughters.

These are the hymns you will sing:

O Bless the Lord, My Soul (LSB 814)
To Jordan Came the Christ, Our Lord (LSB 405)
All Christians Who Have Been Baptized (LSB 596)
Go, My Children, with My Blessing (LSB 922)

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

Living an Obedient Life

In Genesis 22, we read the account of Abraham’s obedience to God. Abraham obeyed God’s calling, even with a most difficult request. Even though Isaac was the son of his old age, the son he loved, Abraham did not challenge God’s command that he offer his son as a sacrifice. God tested Abraham, and Abraham proved his faithfulness to Him. God, of course, proved His trustworthiness to Abraham. Abraham trusted God’s provisions. Abraham knew that God was in control and was trustworthy; therefore, he could obey all that God commanded of him. Do our lives reflect a life of trust and obedience?

Is God the Lord of our lives?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and Your promise to hear me when I call. Please grant me the faith that You gave Abraham who through his obedience would have slayed his own son. Help me to be faithful in following Your will for my life. Keep me focused on You so I trust and depend on You for all things. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Lessons and Hymns for the Epiphany of Our Lord A (Transferred)

These are the Scripture readings you will hear this coming Sunday:

Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

Click here to read the above lessons and the propers for the day.

The Lord God Is Manifested in the Incarnate Son

The Feast of the Epiphany centers in the visit of the Magi from the East. In that respect, it is a “Thirteenth Day” of Christmas, and yet it also marks the beginning of a new liturgical season. Where Christmas has focused on the incarnation of our Lord, that is, on God becoming flesh, the Season of Epiphany emphasizes the manifestation or self-revelation of God in that same flesh of Christ. For the Lord Himself has entered our darkness and rises upon us with the brightness of His true light (Is. 60:1–2). He does so chiefly by His Word of the Gospel, which He causes to be preached within His Church on earth, not only to the Jews but also to Gentiles (Eph. 3:8–10). As the Magi were guided by the promises of Holy Scripture to find and worship the Christ Child with His mother in the house (Matt. 2:5–11), so does He call disciples from all nations by the preaching of His Word to find and worship Him within His Church (Is. 60:3–6).

These are the hymns we will sing:

The Star Proclaims the King Is Here (LSB 399)
O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright (LSB 395:1-3)
Salvation unto Us Has Come (LSB 555)
O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright (LSB 395:4-6)

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

God’s Plan Gives Us Hope

Matthew 1:18-21 tells about the events just preceding Jesus’ birth. Verse 22 reads, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet.” Jesus’ birth was not an afterthought, nor did it occur haphazardly. God had every detail planned, down to the census, the star, and the stable. When the time was right, God sent us His Son. Do you think God is unaware or unconcerned about your future? Hardly! “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘… plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Prayer: Dear good and gracious Heavenly Father, You showed Your love to me and all people by sending Your Son. Help me to respond faithfully to Your love. I pray that the distractions of the Christmas season won’t interfere with my need to focus on You. I thank You for this wonderful season as we celebrate Jesus’ birth. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

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