Let Them See What You Know.

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on September 25, 2021 in

The 18th Sunday after Pentecost                                                                                  September 26, 2021
Text: James 3:13-18                                CW 3-year series B                                      21:2279
Theme: Let Them See What You Know.

“Let’s See What You Know.” When we heard those words in school, a big groan would go up from the class. It meant that we were getting a pop quiz that day, and we all cringed. “Let’s see what you know.”
Such “surprise” quizzes really aren’t such a bad thing. Yes, they are spontaneous, and one doesn’t have the time to prepare for them. But they do help the teacher see what his students know and perhaps how well he has taught them the subject.
Because knowledge in and of itself cannot be seen, since it’s up here in the head, how can a teacher measure if the students have it? Unless they show in some way what’s up here (head), the teacher doesn’t know if they got it. He must see what they know. If they can’t show it somehow, it may be safe to say that they don’t have it.
The greatest knowledge that Christians have is the priceless privilege of knowing the God of grace. To know Him as He has revealed Himself through Christ Jesus the Savior is to have life. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You (Father), the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (Jn.17:3). To know God’s grace means life in Him now and forever.
But to know God means more than merely to have it up here (head). It means being able to show it that others might see it and be drawn to it. Knowledge needs to be seen for it to be true and useful. So James asks, “Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good way of living show that he does things in wise humility.” In other words, as you believe Show What You Know.

I. If you are wise, show it in humility and good living.
In his epistle James hammers away at the idea of phony faith. Earlier he wrote, “Faith, if it is alone and has no works, is dead.”
You might say that your faith in Christ Jesus is on the inside. But faith within can’t just sit there like a duck floating on water and not do anything. That’s phony faith. Faith reacts. It reveals itself in outward ways as you conduct yourself in Christian living. Real faith believes; real faith acts. If not, it might be a phony faith.
And just as bad as having a phony faith is having phony wisdom. Maybe that’s even worse, because phony wisdom misleads a person into thinking he has something when he doesn’t.
For example, it seems like James had heard things about the members of his scattered congregation that weren’t good. Apparently, some proudly set themselves up as “wise” and “learned,” expecting others to adore them. How might that happen?
Maybe those “learned ones” just knew a lot of historical facts from the Bible. Maybe they could quote Bible passage after Bible passage perfectly. Maybe they had a lot of books on faith that they read. Whatever it was they seemed to be doing a lot of talking about themselves and their superior understanding. Today we might say, “They talked the talk” of Christianity. They had it up here (head), but it surely wasn’t coming out in their attitudes and in what they did. In fact, they were setting themselves up against one another.
A similar thing happened to the disciples in the Gospel Lesson today. While they were traveling with Jesus, what were the disciples talking about on the road? They were arguing about which one was the greatest. What were they saying? We are not told, but perhaps it had to do with things like this. Of the Twelve, only Peter, James, and John had been picked to be eyewitnesses of Jesus’ Transfiguration. Only Peter, James, and John saw Jesus raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Maybe that led them to think they were superior to the others. Or maybe some of the more educated ones, like Matthew or Judas, looked down on those who were uneducated fishermen. We don’t know exactly what they were saying. But whatever it was, they argued among themselves who was greater.
Know that such attitudes are not right before God. And don’t be fooled. They are seen outwardly in what people say or do.
Apparently, such wrangling was disturbing the peace among the Christians James knew. So, he warned, “If you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and lie, contrary to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is unworldly, unspiritual, and demonic.”
Demonic! That means from the devil. That’s frightening. If head-wisdom is yielding a pride-filled life full of bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, and arguing, it’s not from God.
You know, our sinful flesh does have those times when it is afraid to be humble; afraid that if we don’t sing our own praises, the song won’t be heard; afraid that others are getting the better of us and we’ll lose out. So, we try to dominate, or, put ourselves forward. We say, “If you don’t toot your own horn, no one will.”
But truly wise Christians show their wisdom not in superiority or in feeling the need to “toot their own horn” so people see how much they know. Truly wise Christians show what they know in humility by serving rather than being insistent – by being concerned about others rather than stuck on themselves. True wisdom is closely connected with humility and in the end will be seen not in boasting but in good living with kindly deeds.
Look at Christ, our Savior. He was true God. Yet He willingly humbled Himself as a servant unto death, even death on the cross that we might be saved (Phlp.2:5f). What a humble act to save us from the truly superior One, the One who knows all things! If you appreciate that Savior in His humble sacrifice for you, follow Him in the same. It’s what faith does; it’s where true knowledge leads.  So, dear friends, Show Them What You Know. If you are truly wise, it will show in humility and good living. And…

II. If you are truly wise, it will show in your love for peace.
James continued “But the wisdom that comes from above is first pure, then also peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who practice peace.”
“Peace-loving” seems to be a key ingredient here that proceeds out of a knowledge that is pure. Peace-loving describes an attitude on the inside that readily expresses itself on the outside. Where there is a love for peace, there is no bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, boasting, or lying, but there is consideration, mercy, and sincerity towards others. And it grows big and tall, like seed planted in the ground. Once that seed has sprouted and the plant grows to maturity, a rich harvest of fruit will be enjoyed by others.
These words are reminiscent of Jesus’ own words from the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God” (Mt.5:8f).
For all its talk about peace, our world does a poor job at it. If you have ever been at odds with someone, or rather, in their selfish ambition and pride, they are at odds with you, you have experienced the pain and bitter scorn they can throw at you. Such people can make your life miserable as they consider only themselves. And if you try to smooth things over in a God-pleasing way, they may react violently. Many look at peacemakers with scorn because the world, when it is without Christ, is out for itself.
But Christians know better and humbly place every issue into God’s hands. They want nothing more than to show their hope in the Savior who has given them peace with God and peace in their hearts through sins forgiven. It’s a peace they love. And they want nothing more than to live in it and express the happiness and contentment it brings to their own lives. They show it through acts of kindness and mercy, even to their enemies.
So, dear friends in Christ, Let Them See What You Know. It’s not like a pop quiz – only momentary. But it’s a lifetime of living wisdom. If you are truly wise, it shows in humility and good living. And if you are truly wise, it shows in your love for peace. God grant it to us in our lives of faith for Jesus’ sake.

Amen.


Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield

(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)

Church phone: 417.887.0886                                           Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244

www.zionluthchurch.com                                                email: revelehmann@gmail.com

 The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost     September 26, 2021  

 “If anyone wants to be first, he will be the last of all and the servant of all….Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me.”   Mark 9:35-37

 F o r   O u r     V i s i t o r s

The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.

U p o n   E n t e r i n g   G o d’ s   H o u s e

“In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; deliver me in Your righteousness. Be my rock…a strong fortress to save me. My times are in Your hands, save me in Your unfailing love. Into Your hands I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31).

W h a t   T h i s   S u n d a y   i s     A b o u t

Discipleship Means the Cross not the Crown. For what do you want people to remember you in life? For knowledge, skills, brave deeds, accomplishments? We crave recognition.

But the path of discipleship leads a person down a different road, not a road of recognition but a road of humility. The disciple does not seek to be first but strives to be last. He does not demand people to take care of him. Rather he will seek to serve them in Christ.

Such attitudes and behaviors are not native to us in our sin and weakness. So, we will cling to Christ for forgiveness and follow His example. Discipleship means the cross not the crown; it means walking in the Savior’s way of humility and servanthood. In the end such a faith reaps a rich harvest of righteousness.

To that end we pray: Lord God, You call us to work in Your kingdom and leave no one standing idle. Help us to order our lives by Your wisdom and to serve You in willing obedience; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.  

– T h e   W o r d   o f   G o d   f o r   T o d a y –

Today’s Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 11:18-20

Jeremiah worked faithfully for the Lord but incurred the anger of Judah’s leaders. For such selfless service to God, the leaders rewarded the prophet by plotting to kill him. Like Jesus, Jeremiah felt like a lamb being led to the slaughter. He called on the Lord for help.

Today’s Epistle Lesson: James 3:13-18        

Bitter envy and selfish ambition are unspiritual. Such attitudes are sinful. They are not wisdom from above. The wisdom that is from above is peace-loving and submissive.   It seeks to serve in God’s kingdom with all humility. In the end it reaps a harvest of righteousness.

Today’s Sermon Text: Mark 9:30-37    

Just when Jesus wants to shun popularity so that He can teach His disciples the saving truths of the Kingdom, the disciples want to pursue it. They want the crown but fail to see the need for the cross for Jesus and for themselves.   Jesus teaches the way of humility and service.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Organist: Jane Rips                     

The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Point to Ponder: “We should not allow the wickedness of the world to keep us from doing good. We should continue to do good for the praise and honor of God and our dear Lord Christ, and to spite the devil together with his hordes. A Christian should be a man who is able to sacrifice freely and lose the good he does just as God also does.”

— Martin Luther on Be Able to See Your Service Wasted

Deliver us from selfish aims; True stewards we would be.

Endow us with a deep desire To live unselfishly.

A full accounting we must give And see You face to face;

Let us approach Your throne with joy, Supported by Your grace.          Christian Worship #481:3

Outline of  Our Worship

Lord, Hear Us

Opening Thoughts on the Service

Opening Hymn: #240

Today’s Order of Worship:    Morning Praise: Hymnal pg.45

Lord, Feed Us

Psalm of the Day: #31     Hymnal pg.77

Jeremiah 11:18-20

James 3:13-18

Hymn Response: #481

Mark 9:30-37

Sermon Hymn: #486

Sermon Text: James 3:13-18     Let Them See What You Know.

Lord, Accept  Our Response

“We Praise You, O God”    Te Deum Laudamus:    Hymnal pg.48

“Lord, Have Mercy”

Prayers, Lord’s Prayer  & Prayer for Grace     Hymnal pg. 50

Lord, Bless Us

The Benediction

Hymnal pg. 51

Closing Hymn: #623

Silent Prayer


The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Series B

Old Testament: Jeremiah 11:18-20 – A Plot Against God’s Prophet

18The Lord revealed their plot to me so I became aware of it. He showed me what they were doing. 19I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I had not realized that they had plotted against me. They were saying:

“Let us destroy the tree along with its fruit.

Let us cut him off from the land of the living,

so that his name will no longer be remembered.”

20But, Lord of Armies, you judge righteously.

You test the heart and mind.

Let me see your vengeance on them,

for I have presented my case to you.

Epistle Lesson: James 3:13-18 – The Wisdom from Above

13Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good way of living show that he does things in wise humility. 14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie, contrary to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but it is worldly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16In fact, where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and every bad practice. 17But the wisdom that comes from above is first pure, then also peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who practice peace.

Gospel Lesson: Mark 9:30-37 – Jesus Teaches about Discipleship

30They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know this, 31because he was teaching his disciples. He told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill him. But three days after he is killed, he will rise.”

32But they did not understand the statement and were afraid to ask him about it.

33They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they remained silent, because on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35Jesus sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he will be the last of all and the servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and placed him in their midst. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me, welcomes not just me but also him who sent me.”

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.


        C a l e n d a r     &     A n n o u n c e m e n t s     f o r     Z i o n     L u t h e r a n     C h u r c h

 

Today

Sept. 26

Mon

Sept. 27

Tues.

Sept. 28

Wed.

Sept. 29

Thurs.

Sept. 30

Fri.

Oct. 1

Sat.

Oct. 2

Next Sun.

Oct. 3

9:00 am

Divine Worship Service online – Facebook

 10:15 am

Fellowship & Brief Bible Study

Pentecost 18

 Fall Pastors’

of IA and MO

Grace LC,

IA; noon Monday

Conference

Pastors at

Oskaloosa,

till noon Tuesday.

11 am

Midweek Bible Class,

4:30 pm Confirmation

  

Choir

  9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

with Holy Communion

online – Facebook

 10:15 am

Fellowship & Brief Bible Study

Pentecost 19

 

A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Greatness grows out of trust in the Lord. This greatness has its center in Love: God’s great love for us in Christ and our love for our neighbor. Such love leads to genuine service.

 The Gospel Lesson: Mark 9:30-37 (answers are found on the back side)

  1. Why were the disciples afraid to ask Jesus about His impending death?
  2. What was Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ desire to be first in the kingdom of God?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers:   Clyde Johnson; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Norine Richardson; Jodi Milam; William & Laurie Moon; Patsy Mickelson; Pauline Jaeger, Randy’s mother; Dave Ballou now in rehab; Lois Wiese; Barbara Long; John Workentine, Schulz’s brother-in-law; Khendra Murdoch’s husband, Jason.

 New Hymnal About 10 years ago, the WELS in convention authorized work on an updated hymnal, since the Christian Worship Hymnal that we use was 20 years old at the time. History shows that the life of a hymnal is about 25 years before revisions are made. The target date for publication was 2124, which is the 500th anniversary of the first Lutheran Hymnal.   Ahead of schedule, the publication of Christian Worship 2 is now at the press. Two copies of the hymnal and a musical rendition of the psalms, called a Psalter, were sent to each congregation. Please take time to look at the new hymnal that is in the fellowship hall. Talk with our organist Jane or Pastor about it. We are most interested in your thoughts on it.

Christian Business Referral Guides are like a Yellow Pages of Christian businesses in the area. The 2021-2022 edition is free for the taking and can be found in the narthex and fellowship hall.

No Face Mask Regulations Facemasks are not required in a church setting in Springfield. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, especially with the upswing in Covid cases, you may do so. Masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer are in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use.

Upcoming Events

Monday-Tuesday, September 27-28 – Fall IA/MO pastors’ conference at Grace LC, Oskaloosa, IA

Friday-Saturday, October 1-2 – Grace LC Ladies of Lowell, AR, sponsoring a women’s retreat, invite your attendance

Saturday, October 9 – LWMS Fall Rally at Grace LC, Columbia, MO; Africa Missionary Howard Mohlke – speaker

The Week in Review

Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 27; Communed: 21; Bible Class: 11; Midweek Bible Class: 6; Offering: $1,038.

Next Sunday’s Lessons:                                             

Pentecost 19: Numbers 11:16,24-39; James 4:7-12; Mark 9:38-50 (CW 3 Year Series B)

Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. The disciple’s thoughts seemed to stop with the words “be killed.” It was not their idea of a Messianic rule. Many Christians today imagine that the chief purpose of the Christian church is to be found in activities which relegate into the background the message of a Savior crucified for sin. They don’t want to hear repeated references to the ugliness of personal sin and the divine necessity of a sacrificial cross to atone for that sin.
  2. Jesus, through words and an impressive object lesson, shows that the way to true greatness in His kingdom lies in humble service. (Mark 10:43-44; Mathew 23:8-12; Luke 22:24-47)

This week I am praying for……      


 

Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann