Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

24 November 2019

Last Sunday of the Church Year Sermon: Speaking Against God

Preached on Malachi 3:13–18
Last Sunday of the Church Year — Proper 29C
24 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Speaking Against God

Malachi 3:13-18 Summary: “Tell God that He’s wrong — who, me?”

Yes, you — and all others who live and breathe.

Even if we’re not directly complaining to God, we whine and moan about who we are and what we have. We compare ourselves to others. We see what we have and grumble that others have more, better, or newer.

In all of this, we sound so much like the Israel at the time of Malachi ... or of Moses. Indeed, we’re no different from the ungrateful of all previous generations.

God has worked a complete change, without which we would remain lost and condemned creatures. Instead of letting continue our complaints that He allows the wicked to prosper, He moves us, His dear children, to remember and confess our own wicked thoughts, words, and deeds. In love, the Lord leads us to repent of our own sins and receive His forgiveness while there is yet time.

As Malachi says, the Lord gathers us up as his “treasured possession” sparing us “as a man spares his son who serves him.” This not because we do well at serving Him but because Christ’s perfect service is credited to us as our own righteousness.

Scroll Text: “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’

“You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.

“They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” Malachi 3:13-18

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Speaking Against God

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 46; Colossians 1:13-20; Luke 23:27-43

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