THE WEEK OF MISERICORDIA DOMINI – WEDNESDAY
LESSON: PSALM 85
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. Psalm 103:8
In preaching Christ, it should be made quite clear that Christ rejects no one, no matter how weak he may be, but readily accepts everyone. He comforts and strengthens His sheep, like the good shepherd that He always is.
If Christ is proclaimed in this way, as He really is, the hearts of men will incline to Him of their own accord. There will be no need to use compulsion or force in bringing men to Christ. The Gospel coaxes men and makes them willing so that they get real pleasure and satisfaction in serving Christ.
A confident attitude also results from all this. Men begin to love Christ so that they gladly do all that He wants them to do. Confident obedience supplements all forces and compulsion. When we come under compulsion, we render obedience only with ill-will and reluctance. God does not want this. It is all wasted effort.
When I begin to realize that the Lord is dealing with me in such a friendly manner, He takes hold of my heart so that I render Him ready obedience. Pleasure and real joy of heart follow.
SL 11:786 (20)
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are always ready to pardon and forgive us our sins rather than bring us to the judgement we so richly deserve. All this You have made very clear to us in the salvation which Your own Son, Jesus Christ our Savior, accomplished for us. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 3:17-31.