The Ninth Sunday after Trinity     August 06, 2023   

The Eleventh Sunday of the Pentecost Season


Taming Temptation

           A number of years ago an article in “Leadership” magazine included a discussion of how an Eskimo kills a wolf.   First, the Eskimo coats his knife in animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by the frozen blood.   Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He gets so excited he begins to lick faster, lapping the blade until the edge is bare.   Because he’s so caught up in licking the blood and because it’s so cold, he doesn’t notice the sting of the knife on his tongue, nor does he notice that the blood he’s now drinking is his own blood.    His appetite just craves more until the Eskimo comes the next morning to find the wolf dead in the snow.  


            When it comes to the temptations that you and I daily face to sin, the “unholy trinity” of Satan, this wicked world and our own sinful flesh do their damnable best not merely to damage – but to destroy – our souls.   Often more enticing (and more deadly) than a blood-coated knife might be to a hungry wolf, the temptations that we face are intended to make our souls salivate for sin…..leading us into all sorts of shameful behaviors and, possibly, even separation from our God and the salvation He wants us to have.    Those temptations might satisfy your sinful desires and tastes for a while, but eventually they could sap the life out of you and leave you for dead – eternally.   Too many people have been devastated, spiritually-speaking, because they wouldn’t run from temptation when it confronted them.   Marriages have fallen apart.   Relationships between parents and children have been ruined.   Respect in the community has been irreparably lost.  


                  But regardless of how the Devil works to ensnare us in sin and unbelief, our all-powerful God always provides a way of escape for us, so that we can not only identify temptations as they come, but “tame” them by resisting them successfully through God’s strength.  The real question before us all today is:   “Are we looking for temptation to embrace it, or – with His help – to resist it?” 



Today’s Scripture Lessons


                  We’ll begin our examination of God’s Word today with our First Lesson, taken from the Old Testament book of Genesis.    It’s also the text for today’s Sermon, as we find ourselves at the second installment of our summer service/sermon series on the life of the Old Testament Patriarch, Joseph.    As our reading beings, Joseph has been sold by his evil brothers into slavery to some Ishmaelite traders.   The took him to  Egypt, far from home and the support of his family.   Joseph was purchased by Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard.   In everything that Joseph did, God blessed him and his master.   It wasn’t long before Potiphar, recognizing God’s support of Joseph, placed him in charge of everything he had.  

            Things were going amazingly well for Joseph….right up until his master’s wife began to make sexual advances toward him.   Every time she tried, Joseph fended off her invitations/temptations.    He tried to “reason” with her – that she was his master’s wife, a master he respected – but she wouldn’t listen.   He told her that he would not commit this sin against God.   He tried to avoid her.  And ultimately, he had to run away from her … relentless was the temptress, Mrs. Potiphar.  He would not ever give in to her temptations.  But Mrs. Potiphar would not be rejected without revenge.   She lied to her husband about Joseph, falsely accusing him of trying to seduce her, and she saw to it that Potiphar had Joseph thrown (innocently) into prison.   But the Lord was with Joseph and blessed him even in that awful, unfair situation….just as He has promised to work out everything for the good of His children who love Him.   In due time, Joseph was released – not as a slave but (due to his God-given ability to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams) as the right hand man of Pharaoh….a position through which God would use Joseph to save from famine both the nation of Egypt and his own extended family.


                  Today’s Epistle Lesson is “The Full Armor of God” lesson from Ephesians 6.   Tying this lesson in with the Scripture readings and their truths that we will be listening to today, it  will do each of us well not only to recognize that we are under daily assault from Satan, but also that ultimate and inevitable victory against him is already assured us through the redemptive work and power of Christ, our Savior.   Wrapped in the “spiritual armor” that He gives us, we can safely stand against all Satan’s assaults certain that our souls remain eternally secure through faith in Christ.


            In our Gospel Lesson for today, we find Jesus taking His disciples into the Garden of Gethsemane late on Maundy Thursday  night.  He took them there in  order to pray about the ordeal of crucifixion and being rejected by His Father, which would happen to Jesus in the coming hours of Good Friday.   But instead of supporting Him with their prayers, the tired disciples fall asleep twice.   Jesus’ warning to them can be generalized in our case.   He told them to be on their guard lest they succumb to temptation.   He reminded them – as He reminds us:   The spirit is willing, but the sinful flesh is weak.


            Finally, through this morning’s Children’s Lesson we’ll watch Jesus deal with temptation and learn from him how to tell the Devil to “get away” from us.   In this lesson, Jesus is headed to Jerusalem to die for us.  He tells His disciples that, but Peter (who loved Jesus) didn’t want to hear that.  In fact, Peter said that He didn’t want Jesus to ever die…and would do his best to make sure that wouldn’t ever happen.  Jesus knew that the Devil was using Peter in order to tempt Him (Jesus), not to go to the cross in order to save us all.   So, Jesus said the same words that we can use when Satan tempts us to sin: “Get away from me, Satan.  You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”     




The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831



Pre-service Silent 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.




Silent Prayer                                                                                                                           Pre-service music 


We Praise Our God


The Introduction and Invitation to Worship


after which the Congregation will rise for


The Invocation


Leader                                                                       We begin this service


In the name of the Father,

Who gave His Son into death for us and raised Him in glory on the third day;


And of the Son,

 Who laid down His life only to take it up again on the third day;


And of the Holy Spirit

through Whom Christ was made alive, Who has worked saving faith in our hearts,

Who lives in us now through the Word,

and Who will one day give life to our mortal bodies.   Amen.



The Opening Hymn                                                                                                                   Hymn 200

                                                                                                                “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”


1 A mighty fortress is our God,  A trusty shield and weapon;

He helps us free from ev’ry need     That has us now o’ertaken.

The old evil foe    Now means deadly woe;

Deep guile and great might    Are his dread arms in fight;

On earth is not his equal.


2 With might of ours can naught be done;   Soon were our loss effected.

But for us fights the valiant one   Whom God himself elected.

You ask, “Who is this?”   Jesus Christ it is,

The almighty Lord.   And there’s no other God;

He holds the field forever.


3 Though devils all the world should fill,    All eager to devour us,

We tremble not, we fear no ill;    They shall not overpow’r us.

This world’s prince may still    Scowl fierce as he will,

He can harm us none.    He’s judged; the deed is done!

One little word can fell him.


4 The Word they still shall let remain,   Nor any thanks have for it;

He’s by our side upon the plain    With his good gifts and Spirit.

And do what they will –   Hate, steal, hurt, or kill —

Though all may be gone,    Our victory is won;

The kingdom’s ours forever!


After which, the Congregation will rise as


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor              God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent  hearts.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.


Congregation          Holy and merciful Father,   I confess that I am by nature sinful   and that I have

                                     disobeyed You in my thoughts, words, and actions;    I have done what is evil in Your sight   and have failed to do what is good.    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment, both now and for eternity.     But I am truly sorry for all my sins    and trusting in the perfect life     and innocent death of my Savior, Jesus Christ,     I plead:    God have mercy on me, a sinner.


(Sung)  Lord have mercy on us.  

Christ Have Mercy on Us

Lord have mercy on us.


Pastor              Our gracious Lord and Master has shown us His mercy:   He has given His one and only Son to save us from all our  sins.     And now, having humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before Almighty

 God, 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, addressing you as a called servant of Christ,  and according to His command and under His authority,   I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


May the peace of God rest upon all of you.    Amen.


(Sung)    Glory be to God on high and on earth peace good will to men.

We praise You, we bless You, we worship You.  We glorify You,

we give thanks to You for Your great glory.

O Lord God heavenly King,   God the Father almighty.

O Lord, the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ,

O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

You take away the sin of the world.    Have mercy on us.

You take away the sin of the world.     Receive our prayer.

You sit at the right hand of God the Father.     Have mercy on us.

For You only are holy.   You only are the Lord.

You only, O Christ, with the Holy Spirit.

Are most high in the glory of God the Father.   Amen



The Prayer for This Morning                                                                                                                          


O Lord God,   +   mercifully hear our prayers,   +   and help us in our need.   +   Stretch forth Your majestic right hand   +  to defend us from every attack of the Devil,  +   from every assault of this evil world,   +   and from every inclination of our sinful human nature,  +   through Jesus Christ,   +   Your Son, our Lord,   +   Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God, forever and ever.   +    Amen.



We Listen to the Word of God


The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                      Genesis 39


            When Joseph was brought down to Egypt, Potiphar the Egyptian, who was an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, bought Joseph from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down to Egypt. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he became successful. He served in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made everything that he touched a success. 4 Joseph found favor in his sight. Joseph served him, and he made Joseph manager of his household. He put Joseph in charge of everything.

            5 From the time that Potiphar made him manager of his household, in charge of everything that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s household for Joseph’s sake, and the blessing of the Lord rested on everything that he had, both in the house and in the fields. 6 So he left Joseph in charge of everything that he had. He did not concern himself with anything except the food that he ate.

            Joseph was well built and handsome. 7 Sometime after all this, his master’s wife had her eye on Joseph, and she said, “Come, lie down with me.”

            8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not concern himself with anything that has been entrusted to me in the house. He has put me in charge of everything that he has. 9 He has no one in this house greater than I am, and he has not withheld anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a great evil and sin against God?”

            10 She kept speaking to Joseph day after day, but he would not listen to her. He would not lie down beside her or even be with her. 11 But one day when he went into the house to do his work, none of the men of the household were there inside the house. 12 She caught him by his garment and said, “Come, lie down with me!” He left behind his garment in her hand and ran outside.

            13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had run outside, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “Look, my husband has brought a Hebrew man in to put us to shame. He came in to lie down with me, but I screamed loudly. 15 When he heard me scream, he left behind his garment with me and ran outside.”

            16 She kept his garment beside her until his master came home. 17 This is what she told him: “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought to us, came to me to put me to shame and said to me, ‘Let me lie down with you.’  18 And look, when I screamed and cried out, he left behind his garment with me and ran outside.”

            19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, “This is what your servant did to me,” he became very angry. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were confined, so Joseph was kept in prison there.

            21 But the Lord was with Joseph. He showed mercy to him and gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison. 22 The warden of the prison made Joseph responsible for all the prisoners who were in the prison. Joseph was responsible for whatever they did there. 23 The warden of the prison did not pay attention to anything that was under his authority, because the Lord was with Joseph, and the Lord made everything that he did succeed.




The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                      Ephesians 6:10-20


            10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can stand against the schemes of the Devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,  but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to take a stand on the evil day and, after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness fastened in place, 15 and with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace tied to your feet like sandals. 16 At all times hold up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 17 Also take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

            18 At every opportunity, pray in the Spirit with every kind of prayer and petition. Stay alert for the same reason, always persevering in your intercession for all the saints. 19 Pray for me also, that when I open my mouth a message will be given to me that boldly reveals the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may speak about it boldly, as it is necessary for me to speak.



This Morning’s Gospel Lesson                                                                                 Matthew 26:36-46


            36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane. He told his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and he began to be sorrowful and distressed. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to the point of death. Stay here, and keep watch with me.”

            39 He went a little farther, fell on his face, and prayed. He said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

            40 He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “So, were you not able to stay awake with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray, so that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

            42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to pass from me unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 Again he returned and found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time. He said the same words as before. 45 Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise. Let us go. Look, my betrayer is near.”



The Nicene Creed


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,  and of all things visible and invisible.  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God,  Light of Light.  Very God of Very God.  Begotten, not made.  Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made;  Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven   And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary   And was made man;  And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried;  And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures;  And ascended into heaven,  And sitteth on the right hand of the Father;   And he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead;  Whose Kingdom shall have no end.   And I believe in the Holy Ghost,  The Lord and Giver of Life,  Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,  Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,  Who spake by the Prophets.  And I believe one holy Christian and Apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,  And I look for the resurrection of the dead,  And the life of the world to come.  Amen.



After which the Congregation will be seated for


Today’s Children’s Lesson                                                                                          Matthew 16:21-23


21 From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised again.  22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “May you receive mercy, Lord! This will never happen to you.”  23 But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a snare to me because you are not thinking the things of God, but the things of men.”

You Can Tell the Devil to “Get Behind Me” Too



The Sermon Hymn                                                                                                                     Hymn 472  

                                                                                                       “Rise, My Soul, To Watch And Pray”


1 Rise, my soul, to watch and pray;   From your sleep awaken!

Be not by the evil day    Unawares o’ertaken.

For the foe, Well we know,    Is a harvest reaping

While the saints are sleeping.


2 Watch! Let not the wicked world    With its lies defeat you

Lest with bold deceptions hurled    It betray and cheat you.  

Watch and see Lest there be   Faithless friends to charm you

Who but seek to harm you.


3 Watch against yourself, my soul,   Lest with grace you trifle;

Let not self your thoughts control    Nor God’s mercy stifle.

Pride and sin Lurk within,    All your hopes to shatter;

Heed not when they flatter.


4 But while watching also pray    To the Lord unceasing.

God protects you day by day,    Strength and faith increasing,

So that still Mind and will    Shall unite to serve him

And forever love him.



after which the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for

The Greeting


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ!   O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.  Amen.



The Sermon Text                                                                                                                        Genesis 39

(Today’s Old Testament Lesson)


              How Can I Resist Temptation?


The Post-Sermon Blessing


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  Amen.


Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from Your presence.  

And take not Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation.

And uphold me with Your free Spirit.   Amen.



We Offer Our Gifts to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.

   However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash) to the church address:   (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can donate on our website:


Lord, Receive our Prayers


This morning’s General Prayers                                                                                          ….followed by


C:        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 Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


Pastor                     The Lord be with you.


Congregation          (Sung)       And with You also



Pastor                     Lift up your hearts.



Congregation          (Sung)       We lift them up to the Lord




Pastor                     Let us give thanks unto the Lord, our God.


Congregation          (Sung)       It is good and right so to do.



Pastor         It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, O Lord, holy Father,

 almighty, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, and we praise You especially for the glorious resurrection of Your Son, the true Passover Lamb, Who by His sacrifice took away the sins of the world, and by His resurrection restored eternal life to all who believe in Him.  Therefore with angels and archangel, and all the company of heaven, we praise Your holy name and join their glorious song:




Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of heavenly hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of Your glory

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is He, Blessed is He, Blessed is He

Who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.



Consecration of the Communion Elements                                                                                                                                                               (Pastor)


Pastor                     The peace of the Lord be with you always.


Congregation      (Sung)  Amen.


O Christ, Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world;

Have mercy on us.

O Christ, Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world;

Have mercy on us.

O Christ, Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world;

Grant us peace.   Amen.



The Exhortation Regarding the Lord’s Supper                                                                         (Pastor)



The First Distribution Hymn                                                                        “Your Table I Approach”



1 Your table I approach;  Dear Savior, hear my prayer.

Let not an unrepentant heart  Prove hurtful to me there.


2 Lord, I confess my sins   And mourn their wretched bands;

A contrite heart is sure to find   Forgiveness at Your hands.



3 Your body and Your blood,   Once slain and shed for me,

Are taken at Your table, Lord,   In blest reality.


4 Search not how this takes place,   This wondrous mystery;

God can accomplish vastly more   Than what we think could be.


5 O grant, most blessed Lord,   That earth and hell combined

May not about this sacrament    Raise doubt within my mind. 


6 Oh, may I never fail   To thank You day and night

For Your true body and true blood,   O God, my peace and light.




Second Distribution Hymn                                                                                                      Hymn 303    

                                                                                                 “With Broken Heart and Contrite Sigh”


1 With broken heart and contrite sigh,   A trembling sinner, Lord, I cry.

Your pard’ning grace is rich and free–   O God, be merciful to me!


2 I smite upon my troubled breast,    With deep and conscious guilt oppressed,

Christ and his cross my only plea–   O God, be merciful to me!


3 Far off I stand with tearful eyes   Nor dare uplift them to the skies,

But you can all my anguish see–   O God, be merciful to me!


4 No gifts, no deeds that I have done    Can for a single sin atone.

To Calvary alone I flee–   O God, be merciful to me!


5 And when, redeemed from sin and hell,   With all the ransomed souls I dwell,

My joyous song shall ever be:   God has been merciful to me!




We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Closing Prayer



The Benediction  


The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

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



The Closing Hymn                                                                    Hymn 333   “Abide, O Dearest Jesus”


1 Abide, O dearest Jesus,  Among us with your grace

That Satan may not harm us    Nor we to sin give place.


2 Abide, O dear Redeemer,    Among us with your Word

And thus now and hereafter    True peace and joy afford.


3 Abide with heav’nly brightness    Among us, precious Light;

Your truth direct and keep us    From error’s gloomy night.


4 Abide with richest blessings    Among us, bounteous Lord;

Let us in grace and wisdom    Grow daily through your Word.


5 Abide with your protection    Among us, Lord, our Strength,

Lest world and Satan fell us    And overcome at length.


6 Abide, O faithful Savior,    Among us with your love;

Grant steadfastness and help us    To reach our home above.


Silent Prayer, 


Post-service music