Pastor Weise’s Sermon – The Powerful Word

Pastor Weise's Sermon - We Shall See The Lord

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – The Powerful Word

Isaiah 55.10-13/St. Luke 8.4-15

Sexagesima/February 24, 2019

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Good Shepherd Community Chapel, Sauk Rapids, MN

Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain

LISTEN TO SERMON

Text

Isaiah 55.10-13

10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”                                                                                    (NKJV)

 

St. Luke 8.4-15

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that

‘Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.                                                      (NKJV)

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Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

I          As Christians

we cherish the Word of God.

 

In our Gradual Hymn

                        we sing—God’s Word is our Great Heritage

                                    and we pray that God would grant us grace

to hold fast to his Word until The End of the Age.

 

From the time of the prophets

even up till now

we confess with

Isaiah and St. Peter—

The Word of the Lord Endures Forever.            (I Peter 1, Isaiah 40)

 

And we all know about Sola Scriptura

The belief that the Scripture alone—

the printed and preached word of the Bible—

is sufficient for our knowledge of God

and for our eternal salvation in Christ.

 

We are people of the Word—

so we cherish the Word.

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II         This love of the Word of God

is not something Luther and the reformers made up.

It’s not something anybody made up

just because it sounds good.

 

We love the Word of God

because of what God

tells us about his Word.

 

Through the prophet Isaiah

today God tells us

that his Word does

what he sends it to do.

 

It—My Word—shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please,

            And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.                                               (Isaiah 55.11)

 

When God sends forth his Word—

the Word does what God sends it to do.

 

III       And in the Gospel today—

Jesus tells us how he sends us his Word.

 

It’s like a farmer sowing seed—

and he sows that seed EVERYWHERE!

 

Some of it lands by the wayside.

Some of it lands on the rocks.

Some of it lands among the weeds and the thorns.

and

Some of it lands on good soil.

That’s how it is

when God sends us his Word—

He sends it EVERYWHERE.

 

God is not stingy with where he sends his Word.

He sends his Word into ALL kinds of places

and

He plants his Word in the hearts of ALL kinds of people.

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IV        And every place God does that—

Every place he plants his Word—

the enemies of God—

do their best to keep the Word from ever bearing fruit.

 

The devil lurks by the wayside—

waiting for his opportunity

to snatch the Word away from the hearts of those who hear.

 

Temptation comes

and does its best

to lure folks away from the sure and certain Word of God.

 

Cares, riches, and the pleasures of this life

try with all their might

to choke out the power of the Word

lest it take root and bear fruit.

 

V         Jesus’ parable about

the sower

and

the seed

and the Word of God

isn’t so much about different kinds of people being different kinds of soil

and how they do or don’t receive the Word.

 

It’s about

God continually planting his Word in the hearts of people EVERYWHERE

and how the enemies of God and his Word

strive to destroy the power of God’s Word in our lives.

 

The devil does not want the Word of God to take root down deep in your heart—

because he knows

that one little Word from the Scripture

spoken with faith in its power—

will send him on his way.

 

Your flesh does not want the Word of God to take root down deep in your heart—

because it knows

that the Word of God

is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing

even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.                        (Hebrews 4.12)

 

The world doesn’t want the Word of God to take root down deep in your heart—

because when it does

you will cherish the eternal things of the world to come

far more than the passing things of this present, evil age.

 

VI        The Devil

The world

and

Our sinful flesh

don’t want the Word of God to take root down deep your heart

because when it does!

amazing things happen—

wonderful things happen—

heavenly, eternal things—

happen to those

in whom the Word takes root.

 

Jesus says that when the Word is heard

with a noble and good heart—

those who hear it

keep it/and love it/and cherish it/and preserve it—

and

they bear fruit with patience.

 

So God keeps sending the Word to us.

Jesus keeps preaching the Word to us.

and

The Holy Spirit keeps holding the Word before us.

 

VII      God keeps sowing the Word among us—

And when he does

He uses his word to bless us every moment of every day.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it(St. Luke 11.28)

Jesus says.

 

God uses his word to come and live in our hearts.

If anyone loves Me, Jesus says, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 

(St. John 14.23)

 

                        God uses his Word to forgive our sin and restore our souls.

Be of good cheer, he says, your sins are forgiven you,              (St. Matthew 9.2)

                                   

 

                        And Christ himself—

unites his Word to bread and wine

and by that Word

unites himself to the bread and wine

to come to us

to restore us

and

to give us everlasting life.

This is my body

he says of the bread                                                                                                                                  and

This is my blood

                                                                                    he says of the wine—

given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of your sins. (St. Matthew 26.26-29)

 

When God says—

My Word shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please,

And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it—                                 (Isaiah 55.11)

THIS word of blessing

is the Word of which he speaks!     

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VII      God sends us his Word

when we are in the wayside

being attacked by the devil.

 

God sends us his Word

when our flesh tempts us

and tries to lure us away from God’s eternal blessings.

 

God sends us his Word

while the world tells us its lies—

You must worry most about what everyone thinks of you.

                                    Do what you must to get rich now.

                                    If it feels good—it must BE good!

 

Into the midst of all that

God always sends us his Word.

And

God’s Word is always doing what he sends it to do.

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VIII    If you are not experiencing the blessings of God’s Word—

If you don’t like what God’s Word says—

If you have trouble believing in the Word—

the problem is NOT with God—

and

the problem is not with the Word!

 

Perhaps the devil has more power over your ears and your heart

than does the Word of God.

 

Perhaps your flesh

is winning

in its battle against God and his holy Word in your life.

 

Perhaps the world

looks and sounds a whole lot better than God’s Word does to you.

 

If you’re not experiencing the blessings of the Word—

If God’s Word of

forgiveness

life

and

salvation in Christ

has no effect on you and your life—

the problem is NOT with God or his Word—

THE PROBLEM IS WITH YOU!

And the way—

the ONLY WAY—

to fix that problem is to repent.

 

Repent of listening to Satan

more than you listen to the Word of God.

 

Repent of listening to your own sinful flesh

instead of paying attention to the Word of God.

 

Repent of listening to the world and its every-changing lies

instead of holding fast to the eternal, unchanging Word of the Lord.

 

Repent

and ask God to plant his Word down deep in your heart.

and ask God to give you a noble heart—a good heart.

and ask God to give you patience to endure

all that the Devil, the World, and Your Sinful Flesh

do to steal his Word away from you.

Repent—

and open up your Bible.

 

Open up your Bible and read the Word of God

or have someone to read it you.

Read a verse or two a day to get started if you’re not used to it yet.

Read a chapter or two a day if you are used to it.

(Hold up the Bible)

THIS IS GOD’S WORD.

When you read it—

When you hear it—

God plants his Word in YOUR HEART.

Christ himself speaks TO YOU.

and

The Holy Spirit is brings forth the fruit of the

Word

in your heart and in your life.

 

So fight against the devil/the world/and your sinful flesh.

Stand up for Jesus and stick to his Word.

Repent and return to the Word of the Lord—

because God has promised you amazing things

by the power of his holy Word.

 

IX       God has promised—

That he will make good soil of your heart

and the Word will take root in your life.

 

That he will give you a noble heart—

and by his Spirit-given purity you will see the face of God.

 

That he will give you a good and clean heart full of faith to believe his Word—

and from that faith good works will flourish

to bless your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

That he will plant the Word in you

and nourish it and make it grow—

and he will lead you to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest his Word

so that as your knowledge of the Bible grows—

so will your faith in the Word

and the good works you will do.

 

God has promised—

That he will give you patience—

and he will give you every gift of heaven above.

 

That he will keep planting the Word in your heart

until the day you die

and the angels take you home to live with him forever.

 

That’s God’s promise to you

concerning his holy Word.

That promise

is why we pray in thanksgiving for the Word.

is why we cherish the Word.

and

is why we are people of the Word.

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X         Over and over—

the sower goes out to sow.

 

Day after day after day—

God sends us his Word.

 

And as wonderful as that is—

there is one time

God sent us his Word—

that truly is greater than all others.

 

St. John tell us—

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. . .

 

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.                       (St. John 1.1-5, 14)

 

Christ Jesus—the Word made Flesh—

is the Word to which we cling.

 

Christ—the eternal Word of God—

is our great heritage.

 

Christ—the victorious Word of God—

endures forever.

 

And by his presence in our lives through

the spoken Word/the written Word/and the tangible Word of the sacraments—

the saving Word—

takes root.

bears fruit.

and

endures among us forever—

Because that’s what God has sent his Word to do.

 

Praise God.  Amen.

 

Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Hymn of Response:  Create in Me.

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