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February 18, 2024
Theme of the Day
“If God loves us, why doesn’t he remove all the trials and tests and temptations that we face?” Trials, tests, and temptations are not exceptions to God’s love. These are examples of God’s love. Proof is that God allowed his beloved Son Jesus to face trials and temptations, so that he might be our perfect savior and substitute.
Pastor Frick’s Welcome
In Christ Alone – CW 510
1 In Christ alone my hope is found;
he is my light, my strength, my song;
this cornerstone, this solid ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all;
here in the love of Christ I stand.
2 In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
fullness of God in helpless babe;
this gift of love and righteousness,
scorned by the ones he came to save.
Till on that cross, as Jesus died,
the wrath of God was satisfied;
for ev’ry sin on him was laid;
here in the death of Christ I live.
3 There in the ground his body lay,
light of the world by darkness slain;
then bursting forth in glorious day,
up from the grave he rose again!
And as he stands in victory,
sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
for I am his and he is mine,
bought with the precious blood of Christ.
4 No guilt in life, no fear in death,
this is the pow’r of Christ in me;
from life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man
can ever pluck me from his hand;
till he returns or calls me home,
here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Confession and Absolution
Lord God Almighty, what you say in the 1st Commandment is plain:
You shall have no other gods before me.
What does it mean to have no other gods? You command us to love you with our whole being. Hear, O Israel:
The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
You warn us against setting our desires on things in this world.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.
You make it clear that idolatry begins, not with bowing down to an outward idol, but with evil desires in our hearts.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
So today Lord, we confess to you our sins of idolatry:
Sins of loving this world and its things more than you.
Sins of loving other people more than you.
Sins of loving self more than you.
We ask you to forgive us, Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Our gracious Father in heaven has been merciful to us. He sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, who gave his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Adult Choir – If God Is for Us
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Prayer of the Day
Let us pray.
Mighty God and Father, our Lord Jesus walked into the wilderness to face the devil’s temptations, but he did not succumb to Satan’s lies or falter in his resolve to save the world from the prison of hell. Bolster our faith by his mighty victory that we may battle against the forces of evil with courage and confidence; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
First Reading – Genesis 22:1-18
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Psalm 25 – To You, O LORD, I Lift My Soul
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul;
in you I trust, O Lord my God.
In you, Lord my God, I / put my trust.
I trust in you; do not let me be / put to shame.
Show me your ways, Lord, teach me / your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my / Savior.
Remember, Lord, your great mer- / cy and love,
for they are / from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth and my re- / bellious ways;
according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, / are good. Refrain
Lord, forgive my iniquity, though / it is great.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and af- / flicted.
Look on my affliction and / my distress
and take away / all my sins.
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. Refrain
Second Reading – Romans 8:31-39
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses;
we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.
Gospel – Mark 1:12-15
At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to you, O Christ!
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God – CW 864
1 A mighty fortress is our God,
a trusty shield and weapon;
he helps us free from ev’ry need
that has us now o’ertaken.
The ancient evil foe
now means to work us woe;
deep guile and awful might
are his dread arms in fight;
on earth is not his equal.
2 With might of ours can naught be done,
soon were our loss effected;
but for us fights the valiant one
whom God himself elected.
You ask who this may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he,
the Lord of hosts his name,
from age to age the same,
he holds the field forever.
3 Though devils all the world should fill,
all eager to devour us,
we tremble not, we fear no ill;
they shall not overpow’r us.
The prince of darkness still
may scowl fierce as he will,
his raging harms us none.
He’s judged; the deed is done;
one little word can fell him.
4 The Word they still shall let remain
nor any thanks have for it;
he’s by our side upon the plain
with his good gifts and Spirit.
And should they take our life,
goods, honor, child, and wife,
though all of these be gone,
our victory is won;
the kingdom’s ours forever!
Pastor Westendorf’s Sermon – We Are Hyper-Victorious in Christ
– He brings us to God’s side
– He holds us through life’s ride
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Lord our God, we trust in you. Our eyes always look to you. Only you can release our feet from temptation’s snare.
You cannot be tempted by evil, nor do you tempt anyone. Strengthen us to withstand all temptations, so that we may overcome and win the victory with you.
Your Son, Jesus, resisted the temptations of Satan by the power of your Word. Let that same Word spread throughout the world. Let your saving gospel reach those held under the power of the devil and free them from the misery of sin.
Your Son, Jesus, said, “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.” Guard, guide and keep us steadfast in your Word and in the Christian faith so that we never tempt others to sin.
Look on Christians around the world who face temptations, trials, and persecutions because of their faith. Keep them from all harm and danger. Keep your Word in their hearts and on their lips.
Turn and be gracious to those who are lonely or afflicted, who suffer pains of body, soul, or mind, Relieve their distress and free them from anguish.
Lord God, heavenly Father, since that evil spirit, the devil, always prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us, shield us by your dear holy angels from all his cunning and terror for your dear Son’s sake. Through your Holy Spirit, give us repentant hearts, that we may serve you in all soberness and vigilance; through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, our Lord.
The Lamb – CW 525
1 The Lamb, the Lamb,
O Father, where’s the sacrifice?
Faith sees, believes
God will provide the Lamb of price! (Refrain)
Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me his own!
The Lamb is reigning on his throne.
2 The Lamb, the Lamb,
one perfect final offering.
The Lamb, the Lamb,
let earth join heav’n his praise to sing. (Refrain)
3 The Lamb, the Lamb,
as wayward sheep their shepherd kill
so still, his will,
on our behalf the law to fill. (Refrain)
4 He sighs, he dies,
he takes my sin and wretchedness.
He lives, forgives,
he gives me his own righteousness. (Refrain)
5 He rose, he rose,
my heart with thanks now overflows.
His song prolong
till ev’ry heart to him belong. (Refrain)
Lord, do not remember the sins of our youth and our rebellious ways. Remember instead the great mercy and love that you have shown your people for hundreds of generations. Forgive our sins and teach us to live lives of integrity; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.
Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing – CW 404
1 Jesus, grant that balm and healing
in your holy wounds I find,
ev’ry hour that I am feeling
pains of body and of mind.
Should some evil thought within
tempt my treach’rous heart to sin,
show the peril, and from sinning
keep me ere its first beginning.
2 Should some lust or sharp temptation
fascinate my sinful mind,
let me think about your passion,
and new courage I shall find.
Or should Satan press me hard,
let me then be on my guard,
saying, “Christ for me was wounded,”
that the tempter flee confounded.
3 If the world my heart entices
with the broad and easy road,
with seductive, sinful vices,
let me weigh the awful load
you were willing to endure.
Help me flee all thoughts impure,
mastering each wild temptation,
calm in prayer and meditation.
5 O my God, my rock and tower,
grant that in your death I trust,
knowing death has lost its power
since you crushed it in the dust.
Savior, let your agony
ever help and comfort me;
when I die be my protection,
light and life and resurrection.