THE WEEK OF TRINITY XVII – MONDAY
LESSON: PSALM 34:1‒10
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalm 50:14‒15
Before we can come to faith, the Gospel must be proclaimed to us. To come to faith, we must know that God is so friendly and merciful to us that He sent us His Son from heaven to help us. This our conscience must hear and believe. Even if all creatures were friendly to us, it would not help us at all in the event of God being ungracious and unfriendly to us. On the other hand, if God is satisfied with us, no creature can harm us, as Paul reminds us when he says in the Epistle to the Romans, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31). Therefore let death, the devil, hell, and all creatures rave and rage; they can harm us none.
It is the function of the Gospel graciously to portray the man to us who is none other than God Himself. From this source, our heart draws faith and a friendly confidence towards God, namely, that He will help us through life and death. We also see this in the case of the man whom Jesus cured of dropsy. He had heard of the friendliness of Jesus, and he had come to believe that Jesus would also demonstrate His friendliness and goodness as far as he was concerned. The Pharisees had Jesus before them, but they never really believed in Him; they rejected Him in unbelief. The Gospel goes out to all men in general, but not all accept it. It is often rejected.
SL 11:1676 (3‒4)
PRAYER: Remove from our hearts all distrust and unbelief, heavenly Father, and fill our hearts with firm confidence in Your grace, mercy, and love as promised to us and bestowed upon us in and through our Savior. Amen.