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Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
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Jesus teaches another important lesson in the Gospel text. As sinful humans, we are unable to enter the king- dom of God. Therefore, in order to be saved, we need Jesus’ death and resurrection to provide forgiveness of our sins. Through faith in Jesus, we are made able, by God’s grace, to enter the kingdom of God. Thanks be to God for His gift of grace, Christ Jesus!

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God wants us to know Him fully. He wants us to empty ourselves and to believe in Him only. Jesus speaks the truth when He says, “No one is good except God alone.” We are all sin- ful; God is sinless. Jesus was sinless, good, and took our sins on the cross to restore our sinless relationship to the Father. Through the blood of Jesus, we are again good in the Father’s sight.

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In God’s plan of creation, the Father has thought of everything needed in this life. Recognizing that man should not be alone, God provided him a helpmate. Even if we are not married, we are never alone in this life, for God is always with us. We give thanks to God for His foresight and His concern for our well-being. He is certainly a most loving and caring Father.

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God’s children are called to do the work of the Father. We should not do only the work that we choose, nor should we relegate to others tasks that we choose not to do. We are to live and work in harmony with all God’s children. We are to “be at peace with one another,” even when things don’t go our way or we don’t like how things are done. We are to live as God’s children and not as children of evil.

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We are thankful for God’s Word. In it, Jesus speaks very plainly to His disciples and to us about His life, death, and purpose in this life. He says, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” We believe that Jesus came into the world to be given over to evil men and to be put to death for our salvation. Thanks be to Christ Jesus, our light and our life!

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As God’s people, we seek to lead a God-pleasing and Christ-centered life each and every day. However, we still sin against God. We sin much, and yet we believe in Christ’s promise of the forgiveness of our sins. Just like the man in the miracle, we find ourselves praying to God, “I believe; help my unbelief!” We give thanks to God that He never turns His back on us.

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We are spiritually deaf and have a speech impediment when we refuse to hear Jesus’ Word or when we do not tell others of His love. We have been given the most pleasant task of telling others of Christ’s forgiving love, which we hear from His Word. When we hear His Word, we are enabled to fulfill Jesus’ purpose for us in life. Jesus, through His Word, is able to heal us also.

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Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” is a fitting hymn about the lesson of today’s Epistle. We stand up for Jesus because He empowers us to do so by working faith in us. On our own, we are weak and would falter and fall under the oppressive pressure of sin. The devil is overcome by Christ, who has gained the victory for us. We offer our worship and praise for His gift of faith.

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God seeks order in all things, spiritual and earth- ly. The relationship between husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between God and His people. It is a relationship of service and respect, a relationship of love and order. God desires to restore His creation to His perfect order. God’s order is always good for His creation.

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What a wonderful blessing it is when God’s people understand how He provides for them. We believe, teach, and confess that our heavenly Father provides everything we need to sustain this body and life. Jesus provided for the crowd to be fed, and “they all ate and were satisfied.” He provides for us in this life and in the life that is to come.

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