Lord, You Make My Life Secure!

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on March 30, 2024 in

The Resurrection of Our Lord –      Easter March 31, 2024

Text:  Psalm 16:8-11   Free Text                        24:2439

Theme:    Lord, You Make My Life Secure.

Do you feel secure? The world is in turmoil, overwhelmed with wars, plagued by pandemics, inundated in crime, social anarchy, nose-diving economy, and more. How can one feel secure? Can lasting security be found in a world drowning in sin?
When I was a boy, my parents strived to teach me where real security lay – not on anything of this world, but in Christ, my Savior. They did that when they taught me my bedtime prayers – 3 prayers that I still use today, over 65 years later.
The first was a song Dad taught us. It went like this: “Dear Father in heaven, look down from above. Bless Mother and Father and those whom I love. May angels guard over my slumber and when the morning is breaking, awake me. Amen.”
The second is a prayer many of you learned: “Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to take. And this I ask for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
Some people change the words, “If I should die before I wake”, to what they consider less morbid to teach children. I say “nuts” to that. It’s not a morbid thought to ask the Lord to take me to Himself above if I should die, because death is reality here. It’s at the heart of man’s insecurity. To pray like my parents taught me, orders my security rightly when death confronts me — in the Lord.
The last prayer is Luther’s Evening Prayer. It ends: “Into Thy hands I commend my body, soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angels be with me that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
When you teach your children prayers like that, you are teaching them security – real security. It lies in the only place lasting security can be found – Christ. That is our joy this Easter Day! Lord, You Make My Life Secure…

I. …for You are with me, and I am with You.
Jesus never doubted that truth, and He never took it for granted. He never gave it mere lip service, like we can do. God the Father’s promised presence enabled Him to endure the insecurities that were flung at Him in this world. It enabled Him to die and to sacrifice Himself so willingly for us on Good Friday.
You know, He could have avoided the sufferings that lay ahead if He had wanted. He could have run from the Garden of Gethsemane before Judas got there. He could have denied before the Jewish court that He was God’s Son, the Christ. He could have come down from the cross when the pain overwhelmed Him. He could have, but He didn’t. Why not? In the words of this Psalm, which were a prophecy about Him, He said, “Guard Me, O God, for I take refuge in You. You are my Lord…You have secured an allotment for me…I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Look to your right. Go ahead, look. Realize that the Lord is at your right hand even as He was with Jesus. Jesus held to that. It sustained Him for He knew His Life Was Secure even if He had to pass through the most God-awful things in order to win our salvation. So, He “set the LORD always before Him” because He knew that the Father “was at His right hand.” God was with Him.
Even before the cross, as Jesus felt the pressure in the Garden of Gethsemane, He did not succumb to it. Rather, He fell on His knees in prayer and directed everything to His Father above. He went to the One who Makes Life Secure, and He was not shaken.
Because Christ was not shaken, neither is anyone who comes to the Father in Jesus’ name. Through His suffering and death, He justified us from sin, returned us to God, promises to protect us from all evil, and is even now preparing a delightful inheritance for us in the mansions above. That faith links you to God. Through restless nights calm your troubled heart in Him. If the Father stands by Jesus and was at His right hand, even in death, He stands by the believer as well. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”
So dear friend, where do you find lasting security? It won’t be found in things of this world…food, medicines, vitamins, financial resources, or superstitious imaginations. All such things either pass away, lack trust in God, or are evil. Your security lies in a risen Savior. Hold to Him in faith, worship Him in spirit, and let nothing separate you from coming to Him. In faith we say: Lord, You Make My Life Secure for You are with me, and I am with You.

II. …and You will raise me up that I may rise to You.
Such security stretches beyond today. It stretches into eternity because of today. So the psalmist writes, “Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices. Even my flesh will dwell securely because You will not abandon my life to the grave.”
That is the Savior speaking in this psalm about His resurrection on Easter (Ac.2:25f; 13:35). “You will not abandon my life, literally – my soul, to the grave.” That is a very strong way of saying “me;” “You will not abandon me!” Jesus died on Friday, but His soul was never in the grave. Knowing that, He felt joy, even when all those horrible things were happening to Him. He had to do this, to win for us salvation and eternal life. But in it all He knew His Father would not leave Him in the grave. He would raise Him up again.
Think about it. How many times hadn’t He told His disciples, “Three days later I will rise again”? Heavenly security resonated in Jesus! His enemies so misunderstood it, that they placed a guard at the tomb to keep it from happening. How did that work out? People cannot overcome God’s will. After overcoming sin, Satan, and death for us, the Savior would bodily rise from the grave.
So it was that Jesus prayed this prayer first. But in faith we pray it too, with confidence, as our own prayer, because Christ won all these blessings for us. “Lord, You will not leave me in the grave.”
This is what Easter is about. This is why you came here today, isn’t it? You came to celebrate the one security, in a most insecure world, that is ours and lasts in time and eternity. We do not have a dead Jesus, nor an abandoned Savior. We have a risen One. He was raised to life again, and says, “Because I live, you also shall live.” Secure in our faith that God will raise us, too. In Him we make these words our own: “You will not abandon me to the grave, but You will raise me up again that I may rise to You!
Is that really true? I have been to enough funerals during my 42 years in the ministry to know that this does not mean that Christians never die here. Just go to a cemetery this afternoon. That ought to convince you. Row after row of silent stones mark the names of the remains that lie below. They seem abandoned to the grave, surrendered to forces of decay. But again, what does the Savior say to all who believe in Him? “Because I live, you also will live.”
Should I doubt that? No! Even if my body decays to nothing but a pile of dust, what kind of a challenge is that to God? Isn’t that the very material from which He first created mankind? He got down into the dust and formed Adam’s body, breathing into him the breath of life. He made dust live. He speaks; it happens. And Jesus said, “Because I live, so will you.” He raises my dust to life again.
On that day when He does it, “by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, He will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body” (Phlp.3:21).
Wow! What a promise! To be raised with a body like Christ’s now glorious one, a body which sin, death, and the insecurities of this life can never touch again. Then I will fully know what it means: “You have made known to me the path of life, fullness of joy in Your presence, pleasures at Your right hand forever.”
Right now, I don’t know what that all means. The Scriptures don’t explain in minute detail what life in heaven is like. What are my family members and friends in faith now experiencing there? I don’t know it all. But then how could Christ explain it to our hearts and senses that have never tasted anything like it? Yet, I believe it.
I’ve never been a billionaire. I can’t even imagine what a billion dollars looks like. But I don’t doubt its existence, and I can appreciate what it must be like to have such a wealth.
You have a far greater wealth than that through faith in a risen Savior and His promises of a blessed present and eternity above. There He will fill you with joy in His presence forever. It’s yours in faith because of Jesus’ resurrection. Lord, You Make My Life Secure. You will raise me up again, that I might rise to You.
So, dear friends, you go on praying and teaching your children to say, “Into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things.” And, “If I should die before I wake, I pray Thee Lord my soul to take. This I ask for Jesus’ sake.” And I will continue to sing, “May angels guard over my slumber and when, the morning is breaking, awake me. Amen.” I will go on singing that every night at bedtime because: “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand over the dust (or earth). And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see Him and not like a stranger. How my heart yearns within me” (Jb.19:25f).
Lord, You Make My Life Secure, for You are with me and I am with You. And You will raise me up that I might rise to You. God grant it to us in faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

 


Easter Festival Worship

– Sunday, March 31, 2024 –

“Do not be alarmed!  Stop being afraid!”  These are words, spoken by angels, that have comforted, quieted, renewed, and brought joy to the people of God throughout the centuries of time. “Don’t be afraid!” said the angel to Zechariah when he announced the birth of John. “Don’t be afraid!” said the angel when he appeared to Mary with the good news of the Savior’s birth. “Don’t be afraid!” said the angel when he proclaimed the Savior’s resurrection at the empty tomb.

“Don’t be afraid!” Such a good summary of what this Gospel means to us!  God wants it proclaimed to sinners. Sin, death, and the devil are conquered. With Jesus’ resurrection, salvation is complete. Nothing stands in the way of the sinner’s return to God. Believe the good news!

We gather on Easter to hear it. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! It is the promise of grace, peace, and hope with God.  It is the assurance of our forgiveness and of our rising one day to eternal life. So we preach Christ crucified, now risen to life.

Rejoice and be happy this day. May its comfort and joys be confirmed in you as we worship Him whom death could not hold. “Do not be alarmed!  Do not be afraid! He is risen! He is risen indeed!

The Order of Worship

The Preparation

Pastor:     Christ is risen!

Congr:    He is risen indeed!

Pastor:     The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!

Congr:    The Lord’s right hand is lifted high!

Pastor:     I will not die but live and will proclaim what the Lord has done.

Congr:    The stone that the builders rejected has become the capstone.

Pastor:     The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Congr:    This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Pastor:     Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

Congr:    His merciful love endures forever.                 

 (From Psalm 118 that was sung at the end of the Passover meal)

The Entrance Hymn: “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”   Christian Worship #438

The Confession of Sins and Absolution

Pastor:   On this most holy day in which Jesus rose from the dead, let us recall the reason for our Lord’s death, that we might again know the glory of His resurrection. We come before Him, confessing our sins:

All:        Out of the depths I cry to You.  Lord, hear my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.  If You kept a record of sins, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness. Therefore, You are feared. I wait for You, O Lord, my soul waits, and in Your Word I put my hope.

Pastor:   Children of God, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. He has redeemed you from all your sins. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Your sins are forgiven.  Go in peace, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

(Psalm 130; Romans 4:25; John 3:16)

The Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

Isaiah 25:1-8  The Lord has prepared a spiritual banquet of rich food for all nations.  It is the banquet of salvation.  All preparations are complete.  Nothing is missing.  God has taken away death and all sorrow that would ruin the joy of His people.

The Hymn:  “This is the Feast of Victory for Our God”                                 Christian Worship #938

1 Corinthians 15:1-11  Christ lived; Christ died; Christ rose again.  This is the Gospel message that the Apostle Paul preached to the early New Testament Church.  By believing it in its simplicity, one is saved, as long as one holds to it.  Its truth is verified by many witnesses who saw the risen Savior.  It even saved Paul, at first an enemy of it, and inspired him to work hard in proclaiming it.

Duet:  “Christ Has Arisen! Alleluia!”                                                               Christian Worship #466

Mark 16:1-8  Some of the women who followed Jesus, went to the tomb to anoint His dead body.  The sight of an empty tomb and a holy angel alarmed them.  But the angel had a wonderful message: “He is risen!  He is not here.”  Trembling, they ran to tell the other disciples.

The Sermon Hymn: “He’s Risen, He’s Risen”                                           Christian Worship #445

The Sermon:       Lord, You Make My Life Secure!                               Psalm 16

Our Response to the Word

The Confession of Faith:  The Explanation to the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed

All:       I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord;

He has redeemed me a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death;

All this He did that I should be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness;

Just as He is risen from death and lives and reigns to all eternity.

This is most certainly true.

The Hymn:  “Crown Him with Many Crowns”                                               Christian Worship #511

(The offering plates are not being passed in the service today.  You will find them at the door as you exit the sanctuary.  There you may leave your gift of thanksgiving for the life the Risen Savior has given us this day.)

The Prayer of the Church for Easter:

M:  O Lord God, our strength, our song, and our salvation, You fulfilled Your promises by the resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, from the dead.

C:   Thanks be to God! You give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

M:  In compassion You sent Christ, the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life to rescue the lost.

C:   Drive out all doubt and gloom that we may delight in Your glorious triumph.

M:  Lift our eyes heavenward to see Him who lives to make intercession for the saints and grant us             confidence in the greatness of His power. Keep before us the vision of Your redeemed people     standing before Your throne and singing the song of victory:

C:   Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive wisdom and power and honor and glory and praise.

M:  Make us instruments of Your peace as we bring the good news of hope and new life to those around us. Guide us in the use of all that You have entrusted to us: our time, our talents, and our treasures.

C:   Risen Lord, live in us that we may live for You.

M:  Merciful Lord Jesus, grant healing to the sick and strengthen the faith of the suffering and the dying. Assure them of Your abiding presence, and comfort them with the hope of eternal life.  Hear us, Lord, as we bring You our private petitions.

 (Silent prayer.)

M:  Gracious Father, You have restored to us the joy of Your salvation. With happy hearts, we come before You and say:

C:   Alleluia! Thanks be to God! Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer  (Hymnal page 171 – traditional)

The Lord Blesses Us

The Benediction

Congr:  (sung) Amen.

The Closing Hymn:  “I Know that My Redeemer Lives”                            Christian Worship #441

 Silent Prayer

Today’s Service Music: Jane Rips, organist

Today’s Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann


Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 25:1-8 – A Banquet for All Peoples

1O Lord, you are my God. I will exalt you! I will praise your name, because you have done astounding things, plans laid long ago that are firm and faithful. For you have reduced the city to a heap, the fortified city to ruins. The citadel of foreigners is no longer a city at all. It will never be rebuilt. That is why powerful peoples will honor you. The cities of cruel nations will fear you, for you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in their distress. You have been a shelter from the rainstorm and shade from the heat. When the breath of the ruthless is like a rainstorm battering a wall, like a hot wind drying up the desert, you put down the uproar of foreigners. It is like heat cooled by the shade of a cloud. The song of the ruthless is silenced.

On this mountain the Lord of Armies will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of aged wines, with the best cuts of meat, and with the finest wines.On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that covers all peoples, the burial cloth stretched over all nations. He has swallowed up death forever! The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face. He will take away the shame of his people throughout the earth. For the Lord has spoken.

Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 – We Preach the Resurrection  

1 Brothers, I am going to call your attention to the gospel that I preached to you. You received it, and you took your stand on it. You are also being saved by that gospel that was expressed in the words I preached to you, if you keep your hold on it—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. After that he appeared to over five hundred brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles. Last of all, he appeared also to me, the stillborn child, so to speak. For I am the least of the apostles, and I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God’s church. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not ineffective. On the contrary, I worked more than all of them (and yet it wasn’t my doing, but it was the grace of God, which was with me, that did it). 11 So whether it is I or they, that is what we preach, and that is what you believed.

Gospel Lesson: Mark 16:1-8 – Jesus’ Resurrection

1When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could go and anoint Jesus. Very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. They were saying to each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb for us?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. He said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” They went out and hurried away from the tomb, trembling and perplexed. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.   (EHV®) copyright 2019


The Easter Lily

One of the original uses of the white lily was to symbolize holiness and purity.  That symbolism still remains today.  However, we adorn our altars with Easter lilies to symbolize more the beauty, joy, and victory of our Lord’s Resurrection.

Its symbolism rests in this, that out of the seemingly dead winter earth springs the green plant of life.  From this early welcome sign of life, comes the beauty of the trumpet shaped flower, almost as if the Lord were sounding the trumpet of His creation to say, “Christ the Lord is risen today!  Alleluia!”

Lilies Placed to the Glory of God in thanksgiving, and in loving memory of family and friends by:

 

Sharon Ballou in memory of Dave Ballou & family members

Dee Bruck in memory of Chris Bruck and other family members

Sharon Burk in memory of Kenneth & Stella Natvig

Jim & Purr Inniger in memory of our parents: Talmedger & Lucy Huston;

                                                                         Richard & Marilyn Inniger

Pastor & Elizabeth Lehman in memory of Esther & Arnold Lehmann; and J.E. Hobson

Barbara & Larry Long honoring our mothers

Mistele Family in memory of Marcia Jones, Clete Leinen & Pastor Nate Seelow

Norine & Wade Richardson in memory of Bobbie Richardson; parents & grandparents

Jane & Jim Rips in memory of Jane’s Dad, Jim’s parents & grandparents

Glenn & Beth Schulz in memory of Shirley & Louis Schulz; and Roy & Carol Handrich

Bob Woessner in memory of Gerri Woessner

Linda Yount in memory Larry Yount, beloved husband & father;

                                              and Wink Mitchell, beloved husband & father


Calendar & Announcements for Zion Lutheran Church

Today March 31 Tuesday April 2 Thursday April 4 Saturday April 6 Next Sun.- April 7
9:00 am

Easter Festival Service

on-line on Facebook

10:15 am

Easter Brunch

 

Our Lord’s Resurrection

11 am

Midweek Bible Study

 

9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

with Holy Communion

on-line on Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study

Easter 2  Quasimodogeniti

 

A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Today is Easter. Easter is everything. If the Son of God had not come out of His tomb, Satan would have won, our faith would be worthless, and we would still be in our sin. But Jesus lives! To the Lamb who stands triumphant upon God’s throne, all heaven sings a new song.

The Gospel Lesson (Mark 16:1-8)  (answers are found on the back side)

  1. What, besides the heavy stone, had the women who went to the tomb forgotten?
  2. How did the woman respond to the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, (Jodi Milam’s granddaughter); Barbara Long; Robbie Woessner; Kay Schmidt; Liz Lisenby; Norine Richardson; Lois Wiese; Randy & Melissa Jaeger whose mother, Pauline Jaeger, the Lord drew to Himself on Good Friday.

Forward in Christ’s issue for April has arrived and is in the narthex.  There are plenty of copies for family and friends.

Upcoming Dates

Sunday, March 31 – Easter Festival Service followed by Easter Brunch

Sunday, April 14 – Spring Cleaning at Zion, mostly inside, following Fellowship and Bible Study

Saturday, April 23 – LWMS Spring Rally at Grace, Columbia, MO; Mission Speaker: Pastor Nixon Vivar from Ecuador; 9:30 am start with registration.  See Pastor for a ride.

May 3-4 – WELS/ELS Men’s Retreat, Camp Trinity, New Haven, MO – see bulletin board for info.

Next Sunday’s Lessons:

Easter 2: Quasimodogeniti: Genesis 32:22-31; 1 John 5:4-12; John 20:19-31  Historic Series

Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. 1. The women had forgotten that Jesus said He would rise on the third day.
  2. They were filled with a variety of emotions – fear, alarm, perplexity and later joy as they ran without stopping to tell the other disciples that Jesus lived.


 

Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann