The Sixteenth Sunday after the Festival of the Holy Trinity

also known as  the Eighteenth Sunday of the Pentecost Season

September 27, 2020



Do You Want To Be Happy?  (And how you can be!)


In answer to the question, “Where is happi-ness?” a noted Christian author once wrote: “Happiness is not found in pleasure–Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure and self-indulgence  if anyone did. Yet near his death Byron wrote, ‘The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone.’ Happiness is not found in money either.  Jay Gould, the 20th century American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said, ‘I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.’ It’s not found in position and fame–Lord Beaconsfield of England in the 19th century enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote, ‘Youth is a mistake, manhood a struggle, and old age a regret.’  Happiness isn’t found either in military glory–Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Then  he wept in his tent because, he supposedly said, ‘There are no more worlds to conquer.’”

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be happy, do you?   Yet for many true, lasting happiness is not only incredibly elusive, it is all-but-impossible to find.   Why?    Because most people don’t know where real happiness is found.   By God’s grace you and I do know….and yet even for you and me, there are days when we simply “lose our focus” for our happiness.   We “forget” that our source of real, enduring happiness lies in seeking “first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.”  In other words, true happiness is found, not in earthly goods, fame, fortune, success, and the like ….but in having our Spiritual household in order.  That means you and I rely on and respond to the Word of God, humbling ourselves before the Lord as confessing sinners, being content with whatever God chooses to provide to us, and trusting in God above all things – including above and beyond our own intellect, instincts, and emotions.

Those points will be well-made in today’s Scripture Lessons.     In our Children’s Lesson Solomon will tell us that happiness is a gift that God gives to those who are faithful to Him.  Our Old Testament Lesson is the incident of the Tower of Babel, an account which highlights both man’s selfish and proud spirit, and God’s righteous, powerful anger against sin.   This morning’s Epistle Lesson is Paul’s confession of contentment and confidence in Christ found in Philippians 1.  He was convinced that he could deal with anything in life – no matter what the hardship….even as he faced death – since he continued to rely for his salvation and strength on His Lord and Savior.   Our Gospel Lesson is the account of Jesus walking on the water – and Peter, in faith, joining Him in that walk… least a small part of the walk.   What joy Peter must have felt as he walked on water….right up until he lost his focus on Jesus!     Finally, our Sermon, based on Philippians, will talk about Three “Keys” to Happiness:   humility, contentment and trust in the Lord.



We Welcome You To Grace Lutheran Church


We welcome you this day in the name of our living Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.   May you find abiding peace and renewed strength for your faith and Christian life in His Word of truth today.


The chief purpose of our ministry, as our Lord enables us, is to serve all people with the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the verbally inspired, inerrant Scriptures.    To that end, it is our privilege and responsibility:


  • To proclaim the Law and Gospel keenly and clearly, in order to convict sinners of their sins, to lead them to repentance, to comfort penitent souls, and to build each other up in our faith in the one, true, Triune God through the Means of Grace (the Word and Sacraments of our Lord).      ….
  • To equip believers, through that same Means of Grace, to grow in their Christian lives as faithful servants, stewards, and witnesses to others of the redeeming grace of our God in Christ Jesus.


    Grace Lutheran Church is a fellowship of individuals and families who have found Jesus Christ to be the only safe and reliable answer to all of life’s problems and critical questions.   We are members of the WELS, that is, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.   


Wisconsin indicates the geographical beginnings of a group of Christians who, over a century and a half ago, because of their comprehensive commitment to all that God’s Word teaches, united themselves in a join public ministry which we in the WELS carry on, by God’s grace, to this day.


Evangelical declares that we believe and proclaim the great, foundational principles of the Christian faith:   namely, that we are saved by God’s free grace alone (His undeserved love), through faith alone  in Jesus Christ.   And that this truth is found in Scripture alone (that is, the 66 “canonical” books of the Bible).


Lutheran affirms that we believe, teach, and confess all the doctrines of the historic Christian faith as taught by Jesus to His Apostles, now contained in the written Word of God.   Those truths, once all but lost to the Church because of the influences of false teachers, were – by God’s grace and blessing – restored to the Christian Church through the 16th century Lutheran Reformation led by Dr. Martin Luther.    We humbly remain today, the grateful heirs of that Lutheran Reformation, Apostolic legacy.


And, finally, Synod states that we, as a congregation, have united in a shared ministry together with 1275 other like-minded WELS congregations across this country, as well as like-teaching Lutherans in 24 other nations.   We join them in working together for the purposes of growing in our Christian faith, serving our glorious Lord, and proclaiming His gracious salvation in Christ to the world.



Pre-Service Prayer   Heavenly Father, please guide me in wisdom and truth through Your Holy Spirit, as I spend this hour meditating on Your Word and rejoicing in Your limitless love for me.  Assist me in being attentive in heart and mind to Your Word, as well as to the hymns of praise, the various petitions, and the prayers of thanksgiving my voice directs toward You.  Use this worship service, O Lord, to deepen my love for You, to strengthen my trust in You, and to renew my commitment to You.  All this I ask for the sake of and in the name of Your One and only Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Amen.



Scripture quotations in this worship flyer, unless otherwise noted,  are taken from the EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION of the Bible.  Copyright 2019

by the Warburg Project.   All rights reserved.


Pre-Service Prayer upon entering the sanctuary                     Pre-service Music


We Praise Our God


    Welcoming and Invitation to Worship


         The Opening Hymn                                  “Now Thank We All Our God”


1 Now thank we all our God   With hearts and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done,   In whom His world rejoices;

Who from our mothers’ arms   Has blest us on our way

With countless gifts of love   And still is ours today.


2 Oh, may this bounteous God   Through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts    And blessed peace to cheer us

And keep us in His grace   And guide us when perplexed

And free us from all ills   In this world and the next!


3 All praise and thanks to God    The Father now be given,

The Son, and Him who reigns    With them in highest heaven,

The one eternal God,    Whom earth and heav’n adore;

For thus it was, is now,    And shall be evermore.    Amen.


after which the Congregation will rise


The Invocation


Pastor            We begin this service in the name of the Father


Congregation    Who gave us our lives through His almighty power.


P: And of the Son

C: Who redeemed our lives with His precious blood.


P: And of the Holy Spirit

     C: Who gave us eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.


P: Amen.

Our Psalm Reading for Today                                                                 Psalm 1


P: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

C: Or stand in the way of sinners  or sit in the seat of mockers.

P: But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

C: and on his law he meditates day and night.


P: He is like a tree planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season  and whose leaf does not wither.

     C: Whatever he does prospers.

P: Not so the wicked!

     C: They are like chaff that the wind blows away.


P: Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

C: nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

P: For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

C: but the way of the wicked will perish.



We Join in Confession of Our Sins


P: Almighty God, Heavenly Father, we have violated Your holy will through our sinful actions, in our failure to do what You righteously expect from us, with our wicked words, and by our evil thoughts and desires.


    C: We come, O Lord, to Your altar to confess our sins.   +   We beg for Your mercy, + though we do not deserve it.   +   Hear our prayer.    +  Grant us the forgiveness of all our sins, for Jesus’ sake.


Just as I am without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


P: Our sins are many….inexcusable, yet inevitable given our weakness and dullness.    We have sworn falsely and used Your name to curse, rather than to bless others and to praise You.   We have not worshiped You as faithfully as we ought.  We have not listened to Your Word as we should.  Too often we have conformed our lives – not to Your perfect will – but to the norms and dictates of this sinful world.    At times we have lived as though we were “god” instead of humbly submitting everything that we are and have to You, O Lord.


Just as I am, though tossed about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


P: We have acted spitefully toward friends and strangers.    We have fought with our family.  We have been impatient with each other, and even with You, O Lord.  We have sought superiority over others at work, in the home, at school, and in the church.   We have preferred materialism more than we have pursued our spiritual growth.   We have committed the very evils that we have self-righteously – and You have properly – condemned.


Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


P: We have passed by and ignored those who have been in genuine need.   We have thought too highly of ourselves and too little of others.      Though converted by the Gospel’s power, we have been reluctant and indifferent to bring the Good News to others.    We have not readily forgiven those who have sinned against us.    We have not loved You and others as You have commanded us to do.


C: Forgive us all our sins,   +  those known and unknown to us,   + according to the mercy of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.     +   Pour Your grace upon us, +    that we might know the peace which surpasses all understanding, + and that we might share eternal life with Christ, our Lord.


Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because Thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


    Pastor   Having humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before Almighty God, now be strengthened in your faith, mindful that our Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but that everyone should come to repentance, turning from their evil ways and receiving from Him everlasting life.    God has commanded His ministers to declare His forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent.   Therefore, rest assured that your sins have been fully covered by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ your Savior.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


ALL sing:                            to the tune of “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”


All praise, eternal Son, to Thee

For Thy forgiveness, full and free,

He, who by grace, this truth believes

The blessings of Christ’s love receives


Praise God the Father, God the Son

And God the Spirit,   Three in One,

As ’twas, is now, and so shall be

World without end,  eternally!     Amen.




The Prayer For This Morning


O Almighty God,   +   Who alone can transform the unruly wills    +  and selfish, proud affections of sinful mankind;   +   Grant unto us, Your people,   +   the desire to love those things which You command,   +   and the faith to confidently believe   + all that You promise us in Your Word;    +  so that, in the midst of the many changes and challenges +   which take place in our lives +  our hearts might always be firmly fixed     +  on You and Your Word,   +  in which alone, now and forevermore, +    we can find true and lasting joy.    +    All this we humbly ask in the name   +  and through the merits   +   of Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord,   +     Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,     +    one God, now and forever.    Amen. 


After which the Congregation will be seated


We Hear God’s Word


The Old Testament Lesson                                                  Genesis 11:1-9


The whole earth had one language and a single vocabulary. 2 As people traveled in the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they settled there. 3 They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used mud brick instead of stone for building material, and they used tar for mortar. 4 They said, “Come, let’s build a city for ourselves and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let’s make a name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”


5 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If this is the first thing they are doing as one people, who all have one language, then nothing that they intend to do will be too difficult for them. 7 Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language, so that they cannot understand one another’s speech.”


8 So the Lord scattered them from there over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 It was named Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.



The Epistle Lesson                                                       Philippians 1:12-26


12 I want you to know, brothers, that the things which happened to me actually took place to advance the gospel. 13 And so it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to all the rest, that I am in chains because of Christ.  14 And, through my chains, the majority of the brothers in the Lord have become much more confident about daring to speak the word of God fearlessly. 15 Some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, and others out of good will. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, but thinking they can cause trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 What does it matter? Only this, that in every way, whether for outward appearance or for the truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.


Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 because I know that this will turn out for my deliverance, through your prayer and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20 This matches my earnest expectation and hope that I will in no way be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, so even now, Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 Yes, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to go on living in the flesh, that will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet which should I prefer? I do not know. 23 I am pulled in two directions, because I have the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. 24 But, it is more necessary for your sake that I remain in the flesh. 25 And since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and will continue with all of you, for your progress and joy in the faith. 26 And so by my coming to you again, my goal is to give you even more reason to boast in Christ Jesus.


After which the Congregation will please rise, out of respect for the words of Christ


The Gospel Lesson                                                          Matthew 14:12-36


22 Immediately Jesus urged the disciples to get into the boat and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed the crowd, he went up onto the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 24 By then the boat was quite a distance from shore, being pounded by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified and cried out in fear, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once, saying, “Take heart! It is I! Do not be afraid.”


28 Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”


29 Jesus said, “Come!”   Peter stepped down from the boat, walked on the water, and went toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid. As he began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”


31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God!”


The Apostles’ Creed                                     I Believe in God the Father”


I believe in God the Father,   Maker of the heav’ns and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, our Savior, God’s own Son, of human birth.

Virgin born, the Lord incarnate,    Whom the Spirit did conceive,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate;     Our salvation to achieve.


Crucified, was dead and buried,    Down to hell in victory;

From the dead He rose the third day;    Up to heav’n triumphantly.

There at God’s right hand He’s ruling,     By His will the world is led.

He will come to judge the nations,    Both the living and the dead.


I believe in God the Spirit,    In His Church, His chosen band.

They are joined in close communion,    Holy in His sight they stand.

I believe in sins forgiven;    That the dead will rise again;

I believe in life eternal.    Amen!   Amen!   A – – men!



The Children’s Lesson                                                      Ecclesiastes 2:26


God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness to the man whom He considers good.


Here’s How To Be Happy!




The Sermon Hymn                                    “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You”

                                          To the melody of “Ode to Joy” (cwh, 1999 adapted)


Joyful, joyful we adore You,   God of glory, God of love!

Heav’n and earth bow down before You,     Praising You, our Lord above.

You our Father,   Christ our Savior,    With the Spirit faith provides,

Life eternal we’ve been granted, gracious gift that e’er abides.


You are giving and forgiving,      Ever glorious, Ever blest.

Source of every kind of blessing,    Giver of eternal rest.

You have claimed us as Your children     Heaven’s heirs through faith alone —

In the Rock of our salvation,   Jesus Christ, our Lord, Your Son.

Lord, receive our prayers and praises, weak and humble though they be.

Yours the power, Yours the glory,   Both today and endlessly.

None beside You, None before You, God of mercy, full and free.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, ever blessed Trinity.    Amen


The Greeting


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge

of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Sermon Text                                                                    Philippians 4:4-13


4 Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent, and if anything is praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 The things that you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: Keep doing these things. And the God of peace will be with you.


10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord now that you have revived your concern for me once again. Actually, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I lack anything; in fact, I have learned to be content in any circumstances in which I find myself. 12 I know what it is to live in humble circumstances, and I know what it is to have more than enough. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, while being full or hungry, while having plenty or not enough. 13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.



The Keys To Happiness

  1. Be Humble Before God
  2. Be Content With What God Provides

III.  Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart All Your Days

following the sermon the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for



The Post-Sermon Blessing


And now, may the peace which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord.    Amen.



We Offer Our Gifts to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today during today’s worship

service those in attendance may leave their offerings in the offering plates

by the exit door at the close of our service today.

For those watching today’s service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:  

1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address

(415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go online to our website (

and use the giving option there.


We Offer the LORD Our Prayers


The Prayers for Today


Included in our Prayers this Morning…


A Prayer of Intercession on behalf of Bill Krizsan, as he continues to receive

treatment for bladder cancer, that God will give him with a successful recovery;


A prayer of Intercession on behalf of Mary Pudas, who is hospitalized at Mercy Hospital due to complications from having contracted the Corona Virus;


A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Rachel and Micah Galvan, whom our Lord blessed

this past Thursday with the gift of a healthy son,

and also

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Sean and Emily Krohn, who this past Thursday

were also given the gift of a health son, Colin


A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of Allen and Joyce Skogen, who will be

celebrating their wedding anniversary this coming Saturday.


The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father,  Who art in heaven    +    Hallowed be Thy name.    +    Thy Kingdom come.  +    Thy will be done,  on earth as it is in heaven.   +    Give us this day our daily bread.  +  And forgive us our trespasses     +    as we forgive those who trespass against us.     +  And lead us not into temptation.     +     But deliver us from evil.    +    For Thine is the kingdom  +    And the power     +  And the glory    +   Forever and ever.   Amen.



We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Closing Salutation


Pastor            May the Lord be with you.


Congregation –  And also with you.



The Doxology


Pastor                 Now, to Him Who is able to keep you from falling  and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy —


Congregation         to the only God, our Savior,   be glory, majesty, power and authority,    through Jesus Christ our Lord,   before all ages,    now and forevermore!  Amen.


The Benediction


Pastor –     The LORD bless you and keep you.

The LORD make His face to shine upon You and be gracious unto you,

The LORD look upon you with favor,  and give you His peace.   Amen.



The Closing Musical Selection                                                      “Blessing”

                                                                                           sung by Cynthia Tragasz


Oh, may the peace of God be with you evermore,

And may the pow’r of His great love your soul again restore,

And may you always know His never-ending care

And feel His gracious Spirit upon you ev’rywhere.


Silent Prayer, Announcements

Post-Service Music





Last Week at Grace Lutheran        Worship Attendance: 79    Online views: 12

Sunday School Attendance: 5           Bible Class Attendance: 25             Tuesday Bible Class:  14

Wednesday Evening Bible Class attendance:       Men’s study: 6    Women’s Study: 5

Budgetary Fund: $3892      Online Budgetary: $309.27       School Fund: $20       Cap Imv: $10


This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church


Today       Morning Worship at 9:30 a.m

Sunday School and Bible Class – begins 15 minutes after worship is done

Youth Confirmation, 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Tuesday   Morning Bible Study, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    Wednesday   Men’s and Women’s Bible Studies, 6-7 p.m.

Saturday   Morning Outreach Visits, 10:00 a.m.

    Sunday    Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m.   Including the Lord’s Supper

Sunday School/Bible Class – 15 minutes after      Confirmation, 12:00pm


Serving Us Next Sunday  Elders:   John Johnson, Steve Stone, Tim Pfortmiller

Ushers: Chris Roberts, Tom Otto, Kent Mayer, Drake Schwartz, Chase Roberts

Altar Guild: Tina Wambold, Harriet Johnson


Birthdays and Anniversary This Coming Week:                                                                                                         Sept 27 – Lesa Roe;

Sept 28 – Autumn Benedict:;     Sept 28 – Kaitlyn King;     Sept 30 – Cathy Brown;

Sept 30 – Roger Wilkins;    Sept 01 – John Johnson;    Sept 3 – Allen & Joyce Skogen;


Bible Classes This Week ………Today our adult class continues its general study called “Lessons Learned From Believers of the Past.”   This morning, we’re studying I Samuel 15, where we’ll be finishing our examination of  the consequences of King’s Saul’s “almost doing God’s will” – instead of doing what the Lord expected of him.