Let the One Who Has My Word

Speak it Faithfully! (the LORD)


         Many years ago, the added work of being director of the New York Metropolitan Opera (in addition to being one of its featured artists) took a toll on the health of great operatic singer Beverly Sills.  She ballooned into obesity.   Said Sills, “It made me sick to look at myself. I’d reached the point where I didn’t want to have my clothes made anymore, or go out in public shopping for them.  It was too embarrassing.  So I ordered everything from catalogues.”  (This was obviously in the days before a person could shop on the internet.)   Eventually Sills was forced to face the reality that she had a serious weight problem and that no one else could do anything about it – she had to…..or else.   She continues, “I woke up one day and realized I was really ill.  I went to see a specialist. He put me on the scales. They read 315 pounds.   ‘I cannot possibly weigh that much!’ I gasped.   And the doctor said, ‘Please look down. Are those two fat feet on the scale yours or mine?'”   Beverly said she smiled.  “Once I accepted the problem,” she reported, “I was on my way to losing the weight I needed to recover my health and restore my life.”

         Every day you and I also have to face and deal with a problem that has the ability to kill us…..and not just our bodies, but our eternal souls.  That problem isn’t our weight;   it’s our sins of deed, thought and word.   It has to be dealt with correctly and completely  too – or else we’re going to be lost eternally!

         Yet, we aren’t perfect, which God demands in Matthew 5:48 and Leviticus 19:2, in order to “earn” our way into heaven by our works.   So, what can we do?  Do we eat, drink and be merry while we have to time on earth…..and then suffer everlasting punishment in hell?   By God’s grace the answer to that last question is, resoundingly: “NO!”

         The Lord, in His mercy, worked out a plan of forgiveness and salvation for everyone of us.  He, Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ, assumed the total responsibility for all of sinful humanity….both in terms of our missing righteousness, and our abundant sinfulness.

Christ secured salvation for everyone.   He did this by living sinlessly, dying sacrificially, and rising triumphantly over death – all for us.  And we receive the earthly and eternal benefits of His work of redemption through faith…..which God also graciously gives us through the work of the Holy Spirit.

         But we have to know about the redeeming and reconciling work of Christ in order to believe in Him.   How can we learn the truth about the one, true God and what, through Christ, He has done for us?   …..Only through the Word of God.   The Apostle Paul put it so succinctly in Romans 10:17.   “So then faith comes through hearing the message.  And the message is heard through the Word of Christ.”

         God could have left us in our sinfulness to be damned everlastingly.   He could have left us in our natural ignorance of His will for us, and what He has done to save us.   And He could have left us in our native unbelief which would have “cemented” our souls in unbelief and inevitable damnation in hell.

         But God is gracious.  He loves us in spite of the fact that we do not deserve (and cannot earn) His love, let alone a place in heaven.

         Through His holy, inspired Word – the Bible – the LORD mercifully and powerfully speaks to us.  He tells us nothing but the absolute truth about ourselves, and also the truth about Himself.   In that Word He painfully (for us, and for Him – since they offend His perfection) shows us our utter sinfulness and calls us to repent of all our sins.   He also informs us of His righteous expectations of faithfulness to Him.    He tells us where we daily err, as well as how we can live righteous, blessing-filled lives.  And He motivates us – not with threats, but – with His love and forgiveness for us through Christ Jesus our Savior, because the best thing He tells us is the truth about salvation.   That He has saved us all by His grace, through the redemptive work of Christ.   Then, in addition to the Gospel of salvation, He chooses to teach us many other things about Himself, and about what He wants us to believe and how He wants us to live for Him.. 

         The problem is…..we don’t always listen as attentively as we should to His Word.  We take His grace for granted. Too often we “hear” His Holy Words (the Gospel as well as His Law) but – for a variety of sinful reasons – we don’t “do”/follow them.   We let our feelings, ideas, or the opinions of others guide us instead of God.   Essentially, we let God’s Words “go in one ear and right out the other.”  

         Nevertheless, In His love for us, God graciously continues to speak to us, just as He spoke to the people of Israel.   For example, He addresses us in today’s Old Testament Lesson, reminding us that He is very serious about His righteous expectations for us, and that He wants us to be serious about following them too….without compromising them or ignoring them.   He tell us what He wants us to believe and do because He knows what is good for us and especially because following His Word faithfully honors Him…..and given all He does for us, we owe Him our best.   Through our Epistle Lesson James reminds us that, as Christians, we need to be guided by God’s Word and – in so doing – to penitently put aside our sinful attitudes and behaviors.   We can’t just “hear” the Word of the Lord and then quickly forget it.   God both righteously and graciously (in Christ) calls us to live lives of faithfulness, not only to honor Him but also so that we might be blessed by Him.   Next, in today’s Gospel Lesson Jesus shares with us the parable of the Two Sons, which emphasizes both the importance of obedience and the necessity of believing in Him as our Savior and Lord.  Both sons heard what their father wanted.  Neither son obeyed perfectly, but one eventually did what his father expected, while the other promised to serve but never did.  Similarly, God is pleased when we do what He expects.   In addition, during Jesus’ ministry the “righteous” religious leaders (who had God’s Word) and the “unrighteous” tax collectors and prostitutes (among others) all heard Jesus preach.  However, the religious leaders refused to listen and believe in Him.   It was the “sinful” tax collectors and prostitutes who were moved to repent of their sins and, through faith, trust in Him as the promised Savior.   And through this morning’s Children’s Lesson we’ll hear Christ yet again reminding us that it’s important for us to build our lives of faith not merely upon “hearing” His Word, but upon “doing”/following it.  

         Finally, through our Sermon Text God speaks to the people of Judah through His prophet, Jeremiah, particularly to the false prophets who are misleading them into disobeying God and ignoring His Word.   These false prophets were very adept at telling the people what wasn’t true….but was what  they wanted to hear (that they were favored by the LORD Who was on their side;   that there was nothing they were doing that required repentance;   that Jeremiah was the real liar and false teacher [which he wasn’t]).   Jeremiah, however, was the one voice among many who was faithful to the LORD, and through whom the true God was speaking.   He condemned their compromised worship of Him.   He condemned their gross abuse and blissful ignorance of His Word.   And He warned them to repent and be fully faithful to everything God taught in His Word….or there would be grave consequences for them as individuals and as a nation.   Sadly, the false prophets and their listeners wouldn’t heed the words of God through Jeremiah.  Today, too, there are many false teachers both in and outside the visible church who are good at deceiving people and promoting their fantasies as fact.   We must be careful too, and remain fully faithful to God’ Word – and in so doing, avoid being deceived by their dangerous – perhaps even damnable – lies.

                  In humble gratitude for all that our Heavenly Father has done for us in life, and especially through Christ, may every one of us – since we all have ears to hear – not only “hear” what our Lord says to us today, may we also “do” what He says by faithfully and gratefully putting ALL of His Word – particularly His Law and His Gospel – into practice in our lives…for His glory and for our eternal and earthly good.




Pre-Service Prayer          Lord God, merciful Father, thank You for having brought me to this hour of worship.   Through Your Holy Spirit open my heart to the  truths of Your salvation which I will hear this morning and strengthen my faith through my time in Your Word.

Bless the preaching and teaching of Your Word both in our congregation and throughout Your Church on earth.   Give power and conviction to Your ministers everywhere, that their testimony to Your holiness, divine authority, power, and grace may be clear and true to everything You reveal to us in Your Word.  Give  me the grace to bring all my burdens before Your altar and leave them there at Your feet.   Keep me from mere formalism in my worship, from praying with my lips while my heart is far from you, and from failing to personalize Your words of rebuke, instruction and comfort that I will soon be hearing.   Receive my offerings  as expressions both of my trust in You as the Provider of all good things and of my commitment to being a partner in the growth of Your Kingdom.  And, after this service closes, enable me to live according to Your Word and for Your glory throughout this week.   All this I ask, in the name and for the sake of Your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

All Scripture Quotations in this worship flyer have been taken, with permission, from

The Evangelical Heritage Version, 2019 The Wartburg Project.    All rights reserved.



Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service Music                                                                                                                                   


We Praise Our God


The Invocation              We begin this service in the name of the Father,

                                        And of the Son.  And of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

The Opening Prayer


In the name of God  +  the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  +  Amen.  +        I thank You, My Heavenly Father,   +   through Jesus Christ,  Your dear Son,   +  for keeping me through the night   +  from all harm and danger.   +   Keep me this day also   +   from sin and every evil   +   that all my doings and life my please You.    +    Into Your hands I commend my body and soul   +  and all things.   +   Let Your holy angel be with me,   +  that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me.   +   Amen.



The Opening Hymn                                           Hymn 369   “Beautiful Savior”


1 Beautiful Savior,   King of creation,

Son of God and Son of Man!   Truly I’d love Thee,

Truly I’d serve Thee,   Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.


2 Fair are the meadows,    Fair are the woodlands,

Robed in flow’rs of blooming spring;    Jesus is fairer,

Jesus is purer;    He makes our sorr’wing spirit sing.


3 Fair is the sunshine,    Fair is the moonlight,

Bright the sparkling stars on high;    Jesus shines brighter,

Jesus shines purer    Than all the angels in the sky.


4 Beautiful Savior,    Lord of the nations,

Son of God and Son of Man!     Glory and honor,

Praise, adoration,     Now and forevermore be Thine!


The Confessional Order of Service


Pastor “O LORD, Open my lips.”


    Congregation – (sung) and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.


Pastor       “Hasten, O God, to deliver me.”


    Congregation –  (sung)   Make haste to help me, O LORD



Pastor       “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.”


    Congregation – (sung) A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise.


                      Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost

                      As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.

                      World without end.  Amen.


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor –    “I now ask you before God, who searches your heart, do you confess that you have sinned against God  and deserve His wrath and punishment?  If so, then declare so by saying, “I do confess.”


Congregation –      “I do confess.”


Pastor –    “Truly you should confess, for the Holy Scriptures say, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive  ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

                      Second, do you, with all your heart, repent of all your sins, committed in thought, word, and deed?   If so, then declare so by saying, “I do repent.”


Congregation –      “I do repent.”


Pastor –    “Truly, you should repent, as other penitent sinners have done:  King David, who prayed for a contrite  heart;  Peter, who wept bitterly;  the sinful woman, the prodigal son, and others.

              Third, do you sincerely believe that God, by grace, for Jesus’ sake, will

                  forgive  you all your sins?  If so, then declare so by saying, “I do believe.”


Congregation –      “I do believe.”


Pastor –    “Truly you should so believe, for the Holy Scriptures say, “God so loved the world that He gave His  one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

                 Fourth, do you promise that with the help of the Holy Ghost, you will, from this time forward, reform your sinful life?  If so, then declare it by saying, “I do promise.”


Congregation –      “I do promise.”


Pastor –         “Truly, you should so promise, for Christ, the Lord says:  “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

                 Finally, do you believe that through me, a called servant of God, you will receive from God the forgiveness of all your sins?   IF so, then declare it by saying, “I do believe.”


Congregation –      “I do believe.”


Pastor –         “Upon this, your confession, I, because of my office as a called and ordained servant of the Living Word, announce the  grace of God to all of you.  And, in the place of, and by the command of my Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ,  I  forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Peace  be with you.  Amen.”   Now, in the peace of God’s forgiveness, let us together praise our gracious and  glorious Lord!


We Respond To God’s Forgiveness


         ALL sing:                       To the tune of “Come You Thankful People, Come”

                                                                                                        meter:    7777D

Blessed Holy Trinity,    Glorious in Your majesty,

Father, Spirit and the Son –   Savior-God, the Three-in-One –

From sin’s curse You set me free   Heaven’s mine – eternally.

All I am, to You I owe,   Source from Whom all blessings flow.     Amen !



The Prayer For This Morning   (Offered by the pastor)


Dear Jesus Christ,   + in spite of the sinfulness that fills our thoughts, words and lives  +   in love, You chose      both to take upon Yourself our human form,   + and also to live, suffer, and die   +   as the Substitute in punishment for all our sin.  +    You did all this   +   so that we might be forgiven by Your Father in heaven,  +  and so that we might be made heirs of everlasting life  +   through faith alone in You, our Savior and Lord.   +  How can we ever thank You enough for Your grace?   +    Through Your Holy Spirit’s working in us  + please empower us to live lives of faithfulness   +  that bring honor and glory to You  +  confirming through our words, actions, and thoughts, +  that You truly are   +   our dearly loved Savior, God, and Lord.   +  All this we ask in Your name, dear Jesus,  + For You rule,  along with the Father and the Holy Spirit,  + as the One, True and only God,  + now and forever.  +  Amen.


Feed Us, Lord


The Old Testament Lesson                                            Deuteronomy 30:11-20


11 Certainly, this commandment that I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and

 it is not far away. 12 It is not up in the heavens, so that you have to say, “Which one of us will go up to the heavens and get it for us so we can listen to it and carry it out?” 13 It is not across the sea, so that you have to say, “Which one of us will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us so we can listen to it and carry it out?” 14 Instead, the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so you can obey it.

    15 See now, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. 16 This is what I am commanding you today: Love the Lord your God, walk in his ways, and keep his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and increase in number, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are going to possess.

    17 But if your heart turns away, and you do not listen, and you are lured away, and you bow down to other gods and serve them, 18 then I declare to you today that you will most certainly perish. You will not live a long life on the land that you are about to enter and possess by crossing over the Jordan.

    19 I call the heavens and the earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, a blessing and a curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live 20 by loving the Lord your God, by listening to his voice, and by clinging to him, because that means life for you, and you will live a long life on your land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.



The Epistle Lesson                                                                         James 1:17-25


    17 Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, who does not change or shift like a shadow. 18 Just as he planned, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creations.

19 Remember this,[e] my dear brothers: Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. 20 Certainly, a man’s anger does not bring about what is right before God. 21 So after getting rid of all moral filthiness and overflowing wickedness, receive with humility the word planted in you. It is able to save your souls.

    22 Be people who do what the word says, not people who only hear it. Such people are deceiving themselves. 23 In fact, if anyone hears the word and does not do what it says, he is like a man who carefully looks at his own natural face in a mirror. 24 Indeed, he carefully looks at himself; then, he goes away and immediately forgets what he looked like. 25 But the one who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues to do so—since he does not hear and forget but actually does what it says—that person will be blessed in what he does.


The Congregation will then rise out of respect for the words of the Lord Jesus, to hear


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                                  Matthew 21:28-32


    28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not,’ but later he changed his mind and went. 30 He came to the second and said the same thing. The second son answered, ‘I will go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”  

    They said to him, “The first.”

    Jesus said to them, “Amen I tell you: The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, but you did not believe him. However, the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him. Even when you saw this, you did not change your mind and believe him.



The Apostles’ Creed


I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.   And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;  Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost;  Born of the virgin Mary;  Suffered under Pontius Pilate;  Was crucified, dead, and buried;  He descended into hell;  The third day He rose again from the dead;  He ascended into heaven;  And sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost;  The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints;  The forgiveness of sins;  The resurrection of the body;  And the life everlasting.  Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated



The Children’s Lesson                                                              Matthew 7:24-29


24 “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on bedrock. 25 The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was founded on bedrock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of mine but does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—it was completely destroyed.”

28 When Jesus finished speaking these words, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught them as one who had authority, and not like their experts in the law.


“Hearing AND Doing



The Hymn of the Day             Hymn 286  “The Law Commands and Makes Us Know”


1 The law commands and makes us know   What duties to our God we owe,

But ’tis the gospel must reveal   Where lies our strength to do his will.


2 The law uncovers guilt and sin   And shows how vile our hearts have been;

The gospel only can express   Forgiving love and cleansing grace.


3 What curses does the law pronounce   Against the one who fails but once!

But in the gospel Christ appears,   Pard’ning the guilt of num’rous years.


4 My soul, no more attempt to draw   Your life and comfort from the law.

Flee to the hope the gospel gives;   The one who trusts the promise lives.


after which the Congregation will rise for


The Greeting


Grace and peace be yours in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer!   Amen.


The Sermon Text                                                                    Jeremiah 23:23-32


23 Am I a God who is only nearby, declares the Lord, and not a God far away?  24  Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord.  Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.   25 I have heard what the prophets who prophesy lies in my name have said. They say, “I have had a dream! I have had a dream!” 26 How long will this be in the hearts of these lying prophets? These prophets proclaim the fantasies of their own hearts. 27 They think they can make my people forget my name with the dreams each one tells his neighbor, the way their fathers forgot my name because of Baal. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream. But let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully.

What has chaff to do with grain? declares the Lord. 29 Is not my word like a fire? declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? 30 Therefore listen to this, declares the Lord. I am against the prophets who steal my words from each other. 31 Indeed, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their own tongues to say, “This is what the Lord declares!” 32 Yes, I am against those who prophesy about lying dreams, declares the Lord. I am against those who tell lying dreams to lead my people astray with their extravagant lies. But I did not send them or command them. They provide no benefit for this people, declares the Lord.


The Preacher Preaches To Preachers and Their Hearers


The Post-Sermon Blessing


May the God of peace, Who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, now equip you with everything good for doing His will!   Amen.



We Bring Our Offerings and Prayers to the 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 (www.gracelutherannwa.com)

and use the giving option there.

The Prayer of the Church


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.


Now Dismiss Us, Lord




Brothers and sisters, now go in peace.   Live in harmony with one another.   And Serve the Lord in gladness.


The LORD bless you and keep you,

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

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



The Closing Hymn                                           Hymn 460 “How Can I Thank You Lord”


1 How can I thank You, Lord,   For all Your loving-kindness,

That You have patiently   Borne with me in my blindness!

When dead in many sins  And trespasses I lay,

I kindled, holy God,   Your anger ev’ry day.


2 It is Your work alone   That I am now converted;

O’er Satan’s work in me   You have Your pow’r asserted.

Your mercy and Your grace   That rise afresh each morn

Have turned my stony heart  Into a heart newborn.


3 Lord, You have raised me up    To joy and exultation

And clearly shown the way   That leads me to salvation.

My sins are washed away;    For this I thank You, Lord.

Now with my heart and soul    All evil I abhor.


4 Grant that Your Spirit’s help    To me be always given

Lest I should fall again    And lose the way to heaven.

Grant that He give me strength    In my infirmity;

May He renew my heart   To serve You willingly.


5 O Father, God of love,    Now hear my supplication;

O Savior, Son of God,    Accept my adoration;

O Holy Spirit, be    My ever faithful guide

That I may serve You here   And there with You abide.



silent prayer, announcements

post service music



Last Week at Grace Lutheran Church          Worship Attendance: 54    Commune: 47

Online views of the Sunday service:   34                                                                 Tuesday Bible Class participants: 14

Budgetary Fund: $5975           School Fund: $161         Capital Improvement Fund:  $50


This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Today                         Pre-service Hymn Singing,           Morning Worship  9:30 a.m.

Tuesday            Morning Bible Class, 10:15 to noon

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

Fellowship Period, 10:45 p.m. Bible Class and Sunday School, 11:05 a.m.

This Week’s Birthdays& Anniversary     June 15 – Ken Pudas;     June 16 – Ed Bratton;     June 16 – Kris & Megan Arthur;     June `6 – Addison Arthur;

June 17 – Michael & Ann King            June 17 -Tony & Jamaica Hoyord


Serving Us Next Sunday (6-21)                   Elders:   Tim Pfortmiller, Ken Abernathy

Ushers:     Tim Huebner, Dale Johannes, Pat Quinlan, Taylor Ashley

Altar Guild:   Tammy Schwartz