The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany February 7, 2021
Text: Job 7:1-7 ILCW – B 21:2238
Theme: When Life Spins Out of Control…
What do you do when life spins out of control? Let me tell you what it was like for me.
I. Dear God, help me accept whatever you send me…
I was once considered to be “the greatest of all the men of the East” (1:3). I had flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, camels, and donkeys that numbered in the hundreds and thousands. Everyone looked up to me because I was “blameless and upright – a man who feared God and turned away from evil.” I had so much going for me. You could say that I seemed in control of my life.
Then one day the devil complained. He challenged God to bring suffering upon me. “Sure, Job is a good guy,” the devil whined. “You give him everything. But his faith is shallow. You watch; he’ll buckle at the first sign of trouble. Let me have at him, and I’ll show you that he’s not strong at all.” God consented to a point. And my testing began.
The devil hit me hard. I lost just about everything, including my sanity. First my flocks and herds were wiped out; next my servants; then my sons and daughters were killed – all of them. Do you know how hard it is to lose your children? I was inflicted with painful sores all over. Lastly, one of the toughest things of all, my wife turned against me and God. My good life went out the window – just like that. My life spun out of control.
So deep was my hurt that for the first time in my life I questioned God and the purpose of life. I cried out, “Doesn’t man have hard service on earth? It’s like being compelled to serve in the army, like a soldier at war, battling an enemy I can’t stop. I’m like a slave hounded by hard work and I can’t take a break to rest until it’s too dark to do anything more. I’m like a hard laborer struggling to make a go of it, frustrated at every turn with heartaches and hardships I can’t control. All I want is to get paid what little I am owed, but I am put off to wait. Life stinks!”
I’m sure you have found for yourself that there are times when life can stink as Satan and sin work against you. When troubles strike, jobs are lost, sickness incapacitates, and loved ones die, things can get so discouraging. What can you do to stop it? Very little because such things are the reality and result of sin in this world! Its consequences lie outside your control.
Think of what God told Adam and Eve after they disobeyed Him: “I will greatly increase your pains…. Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you…by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food, until you return to the ground…for dust you are and unto dust you will return” (Gn.3:16f).
Ever since then life on earth is no eutopia. Things are not always soft and beautiful. Life can be difficult. That reality is hard to take and wears us out.
It’s so hard to take that even I, who was once considered blameless and upright before God began to question Him: “Why Lord? Why have you made me your target? Your arrows are sticking out of me. Have I become a burden to you? Why don’t You leave me alone? What harm have I done to You that You do not forgive me?” (v.20f)
Even a man whose patience and upright character were well-known, even such a one may carry anguished questions to the throne of heaven. I tried to comprehend the mysterious workings of God with His saints on earth. But the Lord didn’t answer me right away. At least I knew where to go as I struggled to find rhyme and reason to my life when it spun out of control.
When problems of suffering, pain, disappointment, or loss wear you down, where do you go? Go to God, even if you do not get an immediate answer to your questions. When the answers didn’t come, I accepted my lot and told my wife, “If we accept the good that comes from God, shouldn’t we also accept the bad?” (2:10).
God never promised you a “rose garden” in life. The fact is life in a fallen world can’t give it. There are always thorns among the roses. But you can go to the Lord in the time of your greatest anxiety and learn to accept what God sends, whether good or bad. Why? Because you know “that all things work together for the good of those who love God…for nothing will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ro.8:28,38), even though you may not see it at the moment. This is what faith is, knowing, trusting, holding to the Savior who cares for you in the distresses that sin brings upon you. You saw that in the Gospel Lesson today how Jesus tirelessly worked among the sick and suffering and proclaimed the comforting news of the eternal salvation He came to work for us. In the midst of our season of troubles, that Gospel is such good news.
So, rest assured, dear friend, He will use your troubles to build Christian character within you and hold you close to Him in saving faith. Oh, it’s hard when you’re struggling; it’s hard when you’re not in control. But the fact is you’re not in control; neither is Satan; God is. Life may not be a “rose garden,” but it is a place where His promises, like the flowers of spring, bloom even in troubled times. In the end God works it all out for your blessing.
To that end pray, “Dear God, When Life Spins Out of Control, help me accept whatever you send…
II. …for in confident hope I know that You will remember me. You will remember me, won’t You?” That’s what I asked when I cried, “Remember, my life is just a breath.” It was an anguished cry for help. Was it a complaint? Partially. but I intended it as a cry for God’s gracious intervention in my life. “Remember me!”
Years later another man used similar words. His life had spun out of control too. It was his own fault because he chose to go down a violent path in life, murder, robbery, insurrection. But it all came to an abrupt end when he was caught, tried, and sentenced to death.
On the day he died, he hung on a cross with two others, one was the Lord Jesus. As he hung there by Jesus’ side, he heard the Savior’s gracious words of forgiveness. He began to see in Jesus the Messiah prophesied of old, the One to redeem fallen mankind from the curse of sin and its uncontrollable consequences. He saw Him who would soon pass through death into a heavenly kingdom. He saw God. Turning in sorrowful repentance to Jesus he prayed like I did: “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
Remember me. Just one thought, one merciful remembrance on the part of the Savior – that would be enough for time and eternity, just one thought and all would take care of itself. In such faith he received more than he asked for the Savior responded, “I tell you the truth. Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Think of that, dear friends. That man’s situation on earth did not change. His sin was the cause of his death. Yet, of the few people whom the Scriptures specifically tell us are now in heaven, one was a criminal whose life had spun out of control. That man brought adversity down on his shoulders. Yet, in his dying moment he prayed in confident hope, “Jesus, remember me.”
He remembers those who call upon Him in confident hope for He assures us, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!… so I will comfort you” (Is.49:15; 66:13).
Would you mothers turn away from your children? Could you possibly forget them? I don’t think so. Even if there are those who would, the Lord Jesus is not like them. He will never turn away from you who come to Him. He didn’t turn away from the crowds of the sick and hurting that came to Him in your Gospel Lesson today, did He? (Mk.1:29f). He even worked Himself ragged at times so that He could reach them. He will be the same to you.
Eventually, when the time was right and I had learned what I needed to learn, the Lord came to me in mercy, might, and forgiveness. He restored my life.
Dear friend, to know Christ is to know the love of God, and to know the love of God is to be assured of redemption and eternal fellowship with Him. Trust Him in all times for through faith, no earthly burden can continue to depress.
So I pray: Dear God, when life spins out of control, help me accept whatever you send for in confident hope I know that You remember me for Jesus’ sake and will help. 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
You can also find us on Facebook
The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany February 7, 2021
“He healed many people who were sick with various diseases….He went throughout the whole region, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons” Mark 1:33,39
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
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases; He redeems your life from the grace and crowns you with love and compassion” (Psalm 103).
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
The Savior Cares. Given the endless things to which God must attend, we sometimes imagine that He is too busy for us, as though what is happening to “little old me” is hidden from His sight. That can cause needless anxiety, then loss of hope. We become easy prey for the devil’s entrapments to sin, thinking that God doesn’t care for us otherwise these difficulties and hardship would not arise.
But Jesus never loses sight of the goal. He renews, restores, and seeks to establish us in His grace when we are weak. He reveals how great His care is for each one. His highest goal is to proclaim the Gospel as He seeks to fulfill the Father’s command to save the lost.
To that end we pray: Almighty God, You sent Your one and only Son as the Word of life for our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Help us believe what the Scriptures proclaim about Him, turn to Him in every need, and do the things that are pleasing in Your sight; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: Job 7:1-7
Life in this world can be hard and seem meaningless at times. Even for the faithful, like Job, great difficulties arise as Satan seeks to pull us from God. Our hope is found in the truth that God is merciful and caring. He never forgets His people but remembers them in all their troubles.
The Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Paul’s highest care was found in his desire to preach the gospel to everyone he could reach, whether Jew or Gentile. Compelled by love for the Savior, he applied all his efforts towards that end, adapting his life to those who heard him so that by all possible means he might save some.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 1:29-39
Jesus’ first days of public ministry showed His great care for all. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law and many others; He cast out demons; He preached the gospel. After spending time in prayer with His heavenly Father, He moved on to other places for there were many to reach.
O u r P r a c t i c e o f H o l y C o m m u n i o n
Out of deep love for the truth of God’s Word and precious souls, we follow the practice of Close Communion in our congregation. This has been the practice of Christians for centuries and reflects the Bible’s teaching on unity of faith in the reception of the Supper (1 Cor.10:17). It does not judge a person’s heart but anticipates agreement in that which God says. Since we do not wish to put anyone in the position of declaring such agreement with us before study in the Word is possible, we ask that only those who are communicant members of this or another Wisconsin Synod or ELS congregation come to receive the Sacrament.
The Organist: Jane Rips The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: “Everything is full of troubles, yet those who look to the Word remain composed and feel secure. For God is often a hidden God (Is.45:15). Under the curse a blessing lies hidden; under the awareness of sin there is righteousness; under death there is life; under affliction there is consolation. But you will have to look into the Word to discover this, for those who do not have the Word follow their feelings and remain without consolation and hope in their tears and sorrow.” – Martin Luther on Christians Are Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing
Outline of Our Worship
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #243
Order of Worship: The Common Service with Holy Communion: page 15-16
Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
Old Testament Lesson: Job 7:1-7 – Job: “The Days End without Hope.”
1 Isn’t man’s time on earth like being compelled to serve in the army? Aren’t his days like those of a hired man? 2Like a slave, he longs for shade, or like a day laborer, he waits for his pay. 3In the same way, I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of agony have been assigned to me. 4When I lie down, I think, “How long before I get up?” But the night drags on, and I am filled with restlessness until dawn. 5My flesh is clothed with maggots and caked with dirt. My skin scabs over and then oozes again. 6My days pass by more swiftly than the shuttle of a weaver’s loom. They come to an end without hope. 7Remember that my life is just a breath. My eyes will never again see good fortune.
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 – Paul: “I Do All for the Gospel.”
16You see, if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast about, because an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17If I do this as a volunteer, I receive compensation. But if not, I have been entrusted with a responsibility as a steward. 18What then is my compensation? To present the gospel of Christ free of charge when I preach it, instead of making use of the right I have when I preach the gospel.
19In fact, although I am free from all, I enslaved myself to all so that I might gain many more. 20To the Jews, I became like a Jew so that I might gain Jews. To those who are under the law, I became like a person under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might gain those who are under the law. 21To those who are without the law, I became like a person without the law (though I am not without God’s law but am within the law of Christ) so that I might gain those who are without the law. 22To the weak, I became weak so that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all people so that I may save at least some. 23And I do everything for the sake
Song: Shelter Me
The Gospel Responses: pg.18
Gospel Lesson: Mark 1:29-39 – Jesus: “I Need to Preach there, too.”
29They left the synagogue and went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed, sick with a fever. Without delay they told Jesus about her. 31He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them. 32That evening, when the sun had set, the people kept bringing to him all who were sick and demon-possessed. 33The whole town gathered at the door. 34He healed many people who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.
35Jesus got up early in the morning, while it was still dark, and went out. He withdrew to a solitary place and was praying there. 36Simon and his companions searched for him, 37and, when they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is looking for you!”
38He told them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring villages, so that I can preach there too. In fact, that is why I have come.” 39Then he went throughout the whole region of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
The Nicene Creed pg.18
Sermon: Job 7:1-7 When Life Spins Out of Control…
Our Response to the Word
The Offertory: page 20
The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord Blesses Us
Order of Holy Communion
Hymnal pages 21-23
(Visitors: Please read the box on page 2 regarding Holy Communion)
Thanksgiving Prayer & Blessing
Hymnal pages 24-25
Closing Hymn: #331
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
Divine Worship Service
with Holy Communion on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief Bible Study
Midweek Bible Class
Divine Worship Service
on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief
Epiphany 6: Transfiguration
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Have you ever felt compelled to do or say something because you’re a Christian? Sometimes that compulsion springs from feelings of guilt. Sadly, that can even be true of our gospel outreach efforts. Such guilt-ridden efforts burn us out and leave us feeling unfulfilled, guiltier. Jesus doesn’t want us to feel guilty about His Great Commission. Instead, it’s the freedom and joy of the gospel that inspires our words and actions as Christians. As we more deeply appreciate the unconditional love that Jesus has for us and for all people, we will more and more feel a tireless compulsion to preach the gospel.
The Gospel Lesson: Mark 1:29-39 (answers are found on the back side)
- How did Jesus feel after a long day of ministry?
- How did Jesus respond to the demands of the people?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Dea Windsor; Clyde & Sharon Johnson; Dave Ballou; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Felicia Nichols’ family; Bill Buchanan; Norine Richardson; Barbara Long; Jodi Milam; Laurie Moon’s husband. William; Pastor Jim Witt, St. Louis; Lois Wiese; Felicia Nichols; Gary Sellin, recovering from testing positive to Covid.
Daily Devotions were not written by pastor this past week due to the time taken up by the pastors’ conference that was held in Marshfield. Look for them again this coming week.
Midweek Lenten Suppers and Services The Lenten Season this year begins in 1½ weeks and will conclude with Easter Sunday, April 4. Our midweek services at Zion are held on Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm with a supper beforehand. The suppers and services at Peace in Marshfield are held Wednesday evenings at 6 and 7 pm respectively. Our first midweek Lenten observance at Zion will be held Thursday, February 18.
Health Ordinance With Springfield and the Greene County Health Dept. extending the mask requirements until April, we will continue wearing masks in the worship service. You will find masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use. Please, continue to watch your physical distancing, side to side and front to back. We are not passing the offering plate during the service at this time, but it will be found at the door upon leaving the sanctuary.
Midweek Lenten Suppers & Services Begin at Zion – Thursday, February 18
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 13; Sunday Bible Class: 10; Midweek Bible Class: 5; Offering: $1,307.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany – Transfiguration: 2 Kings 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Mark 9:2-9 (Series B)
Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:
- He was worn out and looking for solitude. People were demanding an audience with Him. Sadly, it seems that they were more interested in earthly blessings (miracles of physical healing) rather than the heavenly blessings that Jesus had to offer, the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
- He left and went to other villages, knowing that His primary mission was to preach the gospel and bring eternal healing to souls. Jesus had a tireless compulsion to preach the gospel.
This week I am praying for……