S-1264 6SAP/3A 07/24/11, (O) #521 vv. 1-3; (S) #521 vv. 4-6; L.S. # 370; (#57, 9) SOD; (C) #428
Text: Deuteronomy 7:6-9; Romans 8:28-39; Matthew 13:44-52
Theme: “It’s A God Thing” (Deuteronomy 7:6-9)
Question: “Have you heard the expression “This is A God Thing!!!?”
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for the 6th Sunday after Pentecost is the O. T. lesson: “For you are a people holy to the LORD Your God. The LORD Your God has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set His love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples” (Deuteronomy 7:6-7).
In Nomini Iesu,
Beloved in Christ, 17 years ago today @ 4:00 p.m. with a temperature of 94%, with many pastors and saints gathered in this house of worship, I was installed as the Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church of Armour, SD. It is downright amazing that the Lord of the Church can take a Palestinian pastor and use him to serve among Germans and Norwegians and be blessed in more ways than he could ever imagine. It is nothing short of “A God thing.”
Some of you know that I have a hobby of welding and making crosses. The other day, I was working on this cross (show it) and as I was Bluing it (heating the metal) had on the arms two spots as if they were nail prints. It is nothing short of “A God thing.”
14 years ago, I and David Olson attempted the Bike-For-Life (BFL) ride. A 100 miles trip from Armour to Sioux Falls, to save babies from the abortion mill; and we made it. And in a few more weeks (September 10) we will have our 14th BFL event and there will be many riders. Last year we ended up with 29 riders and over $14,600.00 It is nothing short of “A God thing.”
In 2009 Ra’ida Fouzi a young Palestinian woman from the Gaza Strip gave birth to a son Mohammed Mustafa. Mohammed was born with immune deficiency. Mohammed’s deficiency needed to be treated. He needed a bone marrow transplant. Without the proper care this child will die. Listen to the story please.
Shlomi Eldar an Israeli journalist receives a phone call from Dr. Raz Somach, a doctor at Tel Hashomer, to come and see a child in isolation, a little boy named Mohammed, 4 1/2 months old, who is suffering from a terrible genetic disorder. If he doesn’t get a bone marrow transplant soon, he will certainly die by the age of one year.
Since they are desperately looking for funds for the transplant, the doctor asks Shlomi to help raise the funds by publicizing the story via the media. So Shlomi prepares a TV broadcast and surprisingly, one donor calls and agrees to donate the entire sum. He wants to remain anonymous, but we learn that he is a Jewish father who lost a son, willing to donate $55,000 in order to try to make things different.
Ra’ida and Fawzi, the mother and father of Mohammed are cousins. They have already lost two of their children to this disease and Ra’ida lost two of her sisters the same way. The disheartening news is that none of Mohammed’s three older siblings are a match for the transplant. This is nothing short of “A God thing.”
Today, as we gather in the Lord’s house for the first time with air condition which is in fact nothing short of “A God thing.” we hear the Words from the text that spells in so many ways this is how our Amazing and Awesome God works in the lives of His people. Listen again to the text please: “For you are a people holy to the LORD Your God. The LORD Your God has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set His love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples.”
These words were spoken by God to His people as they were traveling in the wilderness. God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob used Moses to comfort the Israelites that they are His treasured possession. God set His love on them because He is the God of love. He shows them love not because they had anything going for them, no on the contrary, He chose them because He is a unique God who loves His people in spite of what they do.
This is a proven fact. Study the prophetic writings and you will see again and again God pouring out His love on those who don’t deserve it. He continually showered them with blessings from heaven even when they grumbled. He gave them water to drink from the rock when they cried to Him. He sent them the judges, prophets, kings and messengers to get them back on the right track and to know Him intimately. And they still disobeyed and disregarded His Word and Laws. But because of His love for them, He promised to send them a Redeemer. This is a God Thing
By the grace of God we too, have been called as God’s Segoula (Hebrew) His treasured possession that He loved us unconditionally and eternally. He chose us not because we are something special, but because He is LOVE. PAUSE.
This loving God fulfilled His promise by sending the Redeemer to REDEEM the world-His Son. The Son was loyal, loving, and obedient to the will and Word of God and His Laws. He kept every single one of God’s decrees even to the point of giving up His life for all of humanity.
Know this truth you who are His precious and treasured possession. Jesus died for all sins. He died for all transgressions of all people no matter how disobedient, disloyal and disgruntle they and we have been. Again read the Book and you will see clearly what God does for us even today. He showers upon us His unmerited grace and favor. He gives love to the unlovable and ungrateful. He forgives the sins of all people for the sake of Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary.
As the Gospel lesson so intrinsically reminds us today, that God gives us the Kingdom because of His Son—Jesus the Christ. Through this Gospel we know we are loved and cared for. The gospel of free forgiveness brings about salvation, reconciliation, and regeneration. Christ’s pardoning love through His means of grace sets people free from all sins and burdens and affliction. PAUSE.
When I saw the documentary on the baby Mohammed Mustafa, I was captivated to see such love for an enemy, that an anonymous donor would pay the full amount of $55.000 for the bone marrow transplant with one request. His name would not be known.
The young mother was happy that her son had the transplant. But what was shocking to the Dr. is that she was going to raise this son to be a terrorist. The Dr. told her, “We have worked very hard to save your baby, and now you are going to raise him up to be a ‘shaheed’ a martyr for the cause of Hamas. I don’t understand your logic.” How tragic that this woman wouldn’t value life but valued death more. On the other hand, the Dr. valued life more than anything and did everything in his power to save the baby. After some lengthy discussion the young mother agreed that she will try to teach her son to love life instead of death. And oh, one final thought on this story. The anonymous donor, who gladly gave the $55.000 to save this baby, had lost his son—a soldier in the Israeli army, who was killed by Palestinians bullet in the Gaza Strip.
Are we not like that woman Ra’ida? So many times we cherish and love the things that bring us death instead of life. God has saved us from the burden of satan, hell, and sin, yet just like Ra’ida we keep going back to those things that destroys our lives.
But God intervenes. He does more than just give $55.000 to save one child. He gives His Son to save all of Adam’s sons and Eve’s daughters to give them life eternal. God was not an anonymous donor, but revealed His plan and wrote it down so that all people would know Him as the God of love who loves us still.
Here in this place, He calls you His chosen people, His Segoula—Treasured Possession and indeed, this is nothing short of “A God thing.” Amen.
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA