The First Sunday of the Season of Lent

also known as Invocavit (“He will call”{ Sunday

March 06, 2022

Satan’s Temptations….Our Weakness

And God’s Powerful Word as our Strength


Some people fall into temptation, but far too many make plans for disaster ahead of time.    Consider the following story, for example:


            “Son,” ordered a father, “Don’t swim in that canal.”      “OK, Dad,” he answered. But he came home carrying a wet swimming suit that evening.    “Where have you been?” demanded the father.     “Swimming in the canal,” answered the boy. “Didn’t I tell you not to swim there?” asked the father.    “Yes, Sir,” answered the boy.    “Why did you?” he asked.  “Well, Dad,” he explained, “I had my swimming suit with me and I couldn’t resist the temptation.”     “Why did you take your bathing suit with you?” he questioned.    “So I’d be prepared to swim, in case I was tempted,” he replied.

Too many of us expect to sin, excuse our sin, and are even

excited to sin.  The remedy for that dangerous attitude is found in Romans 13:14, “Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not give any thought to satisfying the desires of your sinful flesh.”   Whenever we flirt with temptation, it’s typically much easier than we image for us to drift into serious Spiritual danger.   

            Then there’s the woman who was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.    She was enjoying the comfort of relaxing on an inflated cushion that kept her afloat.   When she realized that she had been swept about a half mile out from the beach, she began to scream, but no one heard her.  A coast guard craft finally found her five miles from the place where she first entered the water.   She simply didn’t see the  danger she was in, until she was beyond her own strength and ability to save herself.

            That’s usually the way temptation works on us, isn’t it?   We don’t see the danger because we choose not to look for it.  Only after we’ve succumbed do we realize that danger we’ve put ourselves in.

            Temptation – particularly those temptations coming from Satan – is the focus of our worship and the attention we’ll be giving to God’s Word throughout today’s worship service, as we find ourselves near the beginning of the season of Lent.    We’ll consider how we can better, more faithfully deal with and dismiss the temptations to sin that come our way, by relying  – not on our strength, wisdom, or determination, but – on the powerful Word of God and the Spiritual strength it gives us to say “no” to sin, and “yes” to faithfulness.


The Origin of the Season of Lent

            “We are going up to Jerusalem.”  With these words Jesus invites us to follow Him as He travels the way of the cross during another season of Lent.   Having already begun this past Ash Wednesday, Lent is a 40 day period which ends on Holy Saturday, just before Easter Sunday.     While Ash Wednesday actually takes place 46 days prior to Easter, the six Sundays in Lent are traditionally not included in the 40 day count of this Lenten season with its penitential emphasis.   The reason for this omission is that, by custom, the Sundays during Lent are regarded as interludes during which the Church can celebrate, however briefly and still with a measure of solemnity, the joy that continues to be ours by virtue of God’s grace to us in Christ.  

            The term “Lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for “spring,” the time when the days lengthen.  The earliest Christians to observe Lent did so over 40 hours, remembering the 40 hours during which our Savior lay in the tomb.  The period of commemoration was later extended to two weeks (the period of “Passiontide”), and eventually to forty days. 

            The 40 days, incidentally, are representative of several biblical events: Jesus’ 40-day fast at the beginning of his ministry;   Moses’ stay on Mt. Sinai during which the Lord gave him the written Law;  and   Elijah’s period of fasting on his way to the mountain of God.


The Focus of Worship during Lent

            The Christian Church has traditionally made use of the season of Lent as a period of time during which it has devoted itself to the contemplation of the cross of our Savior, and all for which it stands.  While the midweek Vespers (evening) worship services during Lent have a more “penitential” character, and thus focus the worshiper’s attention on Christ’s Passion (His sufferings for our sins), the Scripture readings and prayers for the Sundays of Lent are typified by a spirit of “celebration” which anticipates the victories of Easter.  And so, all of the traditional Scripture lessons and prayers of the six Sundays in Lent deal in one way or another deal with the challenges and battles which our Savior waged and won against the kingdom of Satan.  Each victory “prefigures” (points ahead to) the glorious triple- victory which Jesus won on Easter morning over sin, death, and Satan’s power.


The Prayers and Scripture Lessons of the Lenten Season

            Today’s (and our entire Lenten season’s) Scripture lessons and “Collect-Prayers” can be traced back to the first centuries of the early Christian Church.  During that era the Church customarily required its adult candidates for Baptism to undergo a 40 day period rigorous discipline, prayer, and fasting, which — in time — came to be known as the season of Lent.  The intent was to help these soon-to-be baptized members to free themselves from affection for worldly matters and for any attachment to the Devil’s wicked works and ways.  The terminal point of their period of Lenten denial was Easter Eve (or Holy Saturday), when they were baptized into the faith and first permitted to commune with their Savior through the Lord’s Supper.   In the weeks ahead, we will be hearing many of the same Scripture readings those early Christian candidates for Baptism also heard during the worship services that they attended over 18 centuries ago.  We will also join in offering essentially the same “Collect-Prayers” to the Lord which they joined in offering.  In addition to giving us a sense of the heritage we possess, which connects us with the earliest Christians, these specially-selected readings and prayers  will also help us to better prepare our hearts and lives both for the reception of the Sacrament during Holy Week, and for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morn.


Today is “Invocavit” Sunday

            Over the past sixteen centuries, the Christian church has retained the custom of identifying the six Sundays of Lent by the first words of their Latin “introits” (Psalm readings for the day;  “introit” is the Latin word for “he enters” and refers to a particular point in the worship liturgy/order when the minister approached the altar).   The first Sunday in Lent, then, is known as Invocavit Sunday, taken from verse 15 of our Psalm for this morning, Psalm 91 (“invocavit” means “He will call”).  The Scripture readings for this day were originally assembled to focus the Church’s attention on Satan’s relentless efforts to tempt Jesus (and us), as well as on the Savior’s ability to successfully overcome all the temptations of the Devil.       


This Morning’s Worship Focus and Lessons

            Today’s Old Testament Lesson directs our attention to Satan’s active role in Adam and Eve’s fall into sin while they lived in the Garden of Eden.   Notice how, then as now, Satan appeared “in disguise,” and also that he used the same “tools” (deceit, temptation, doubt, and pride) on Adam and Eve then that often still work so successfully for him today.           Through this morning’s Children’s Lesson we will talk about how Jesus helps us to successfully deal with “the World’s Worst Bad Guy,” namely the Devil.      Next, through our Epistle Lesson for today we see that in Jesus Christ we have the “Great High Priest” who can truly understand and support us in all our difficulties amid temptation.  You see, He was tempted in every way, just as we are, but He remained sinless.  That account of Satan appearing before Jesus three times in succession in an effort to tempt Him into sinning (in the vain hope of stopping Jesus from carrying out His mission of saving fallen mankind) is our Gospel Lesson for today.   Each time the Devil tried to tempt Him, Christ turned away the temptation by relying on a portion of God’s Word.  Nearly 2000 years later the Devil continues to work his wiles of temptation on God’s people.   Since he never gives up, let us always be on our guard against Satan’s repeated temptations, and may we always be pre-pared to use the power of God’s Word as our best defense against the Devil’s temptations.          

            Finally, this morning’s Sermon is based on today’s Gospel Lesson.  We’ll be examining the strategy of deception, doubt, and deceit that Satan used to try to tempt and corrupt our Savior in the wilderness at the beginning of His ministry.   IF Satan could have corrupted Christ into sinning, His perfection would have been lost.  Then He would not have been able to live the perfect life needed (along with His death and resurrection) to save us from our sins and eternal death in hell.   IT was a “high stakes” battle… which in which Christ decisively defeated Satan.   We’ll also see that each time Satan fired a temptation Christ’s direction, Christ fired back with a portion of Scripture.   “It is written” (God’s Word) was all the ammunition Jesus needed to send Satan away.   It’s also all the ammunition we need to not only resist the Devil’s temptations, but to find the motivation we need to live lives of faithfulness to the Lord.



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 upon entering the sanctuary                                                                            Pre-service music


We Praise Our God


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 in the name of the Son

C:        Who redeemed our lives with His precious blood.


P:         And in the name of the Holy Spirit

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

P:         Amen.



The Opening Prayer                                                                                                                                         


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.


after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Opening Hymn                                                                                      “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”


(The Congregation will rise for the singing of the final verse.)


A mighty Fortress is our God,   A trusty Shield and Weapon;

He helps us free from ev’ry need   That hath 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.

With might of ours can naught be done,

Soon were our loss effected;

But for us fights the Valiant One,   Whom God Himself elected.

Ask ye, Who is this?–   Jesus Christ it is,

Of Sabaoth, Lord,    And there’s none other God,

He holds the field forever.


Tho’ devils all the world should fill,    All eager to devour us,

We tremble not, we fear no ill,     They cannot 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.


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

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

And take they our life,    Goods, fame, child, and wife,

Let these all be gone,    They yet have nothing won:

The Kingdom ours remaineth.             Amen.


After which the Congregation will rise for


The Confession of Sins


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.


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, carrying out my office as a called servant of Christ,  and according to His command and authority,   I forgive you all your sins   in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.   


Congregation   Amen.



Lord Have Mercy


P:         For all that we need in life, and for the wisdom to use all Your gifts with gratitude and joy, hear our prayer,  O Lord.


C:         (sung)   Lord have mercy


P:         For the steadfast assurance that nothing can separate us from Your love and for the courage to stand firm against the assaults of Satan and every evil, hear our prayer, O Christ:


C:         (sung)   Christ have mercy


P:         For the well-being of Your holy Church in all the world and for those who offer here their worship and praise, hear our prayer, O Lord


C:         (Sung)    Lord have mercy


P:         Merciful God, Maker and Preserver of life, uphold us by Your power, and keep us in Your tender care:


C:         (Sung)   Amen



P:          The works of the Lord are great and glorious;   His name is worthy of praise.


O Lord, our Lord, How glorious is Your name in all the earth.

Almighty God, merciful Father, Your crown our life with Your love.

You take away our sin;    You comfort our spirit;

You make us pure and holy in Your sight.

You did not spare Your only Son, but gave Him up for us all.

O Lord, our Lord, How glorious is Your name in all the earth.

O Son of God, eternal Word of the Father,

You came to live with us;   You made Your Father known;

You washed us from our sins in Your own blood.

You are the King of glory;   You are the Lord!

O Lord, our Lord, How glorious is Your name in all the earth.



The Psalm for Today                                                                                                               Psalm 91


P:         One who lives in the shelter of the Most High will stay in the shadow of the Almighty.

C:         I will say to the Lord, “My Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in Whom I trust.”


P:         Surely He will rescue you from the fowler’s trap, from the destructive plague.  With His feathers He will cover you, and under His wings you will find refuge;   His truth s will be your shield and armor.

C:         You will not fear the terror of night,   +   nor the arrow that flies by day,   +  nor the plague that prowls in the darkness,   +   nor the pestilence  that destroys at noon.  +   A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,   + but it will not come near you.   +   You will only observe it with your eyes.  You will see the punishment of the wicked.   +   Yes, Lord, You are my Refuge!


P:         If you make the Most High your shelter — evil will not overtake you.   +   Disaster will not come near your tent.

C:         Yes, He will give a command to His angels concerning you  +   to guard you in all your ways;   +  so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.   +   You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;  +   you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

P:         The LORD says, +   “Because He clings to Me,  I will rescue him.   +   I will protect him   +   for he acknowledges My name.”     

C:         He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;   +   I will be with him in distress,   +  I will deliver him and I will honor him.   +   With long life I will satisfy him + and I will let him see My salvation.



after which the Congregation will be seated


We Hear God’s Word


Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                           I Peter 5:8-9


Be alert. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him by being firm in the faith. You know that the same kinds of sufferings are being laid on your brotherhood all over the world.


“The World’s Worst Bad Guy”



The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                       Genesis 3:1-19


Now the serpent was more clever than any wild animal which the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?”


2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3 but not from the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden. God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it. You shall not touch it, or else you will die.’”


4 The serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die. 5 In fact, God knows that the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”


6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was appealing to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate. She gave some also to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 The eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for their waists.   8 They heard the voice of the Lord God, who was walking around in the garden during the cooler part of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.


9 The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”


10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”


11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?”


12 The man said, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”


13 The Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?”


The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”


14 The Lord God said to the serpent:


Because you have done this,

you are cursed more than all the livestock,

and more than every wild animal.

You shall crawl on your belly,

and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

15 I will put hostility between you and the woman,

and between your seed and her seed.

He will crush your head,

and you will crush his heel.


16 To the woman he said:

I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing.

With painful labor you will give birth to children.

Your desire will be for your husband,

but he will rule over you.


17 To Adam he said:


Because you listened to your wife’s voice

and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,

“You shall not eat from it,”

the soil is cursed on account of you.

You will eat from it with painful labor all the days of your life.

18 Thorns and thistles will spring up from the ground for you,

but you will eat the crops of the field.

19 By the sweat of your face you will eat bread

until you return to the soil,

for out of it you were taken.

For you are dust,

and to dust you shall return.




The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                 Hebrews 4:12-16


12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the point of dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, even being able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from him, but everything is uncovered and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we will give an account.


14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest, who has gone through the heavens, namely, Jesus the Son of God, let us continue to hold on to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. 16 So let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

after which the Congregation will rise out of respect

for the words of our Savior as we give our attention to



The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                   Matthew 4:1-11


Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The Tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”   4 But Jesus answered, “It is written:   Man shall not live by bread alone,  but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”


5 Then the Devil took him into the holy city. He placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and he said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:  He will command his angels concerning you. And they will lift you up in their hands,  so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”    7 Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written:  You shall not test the Lord your God.”


8 Again the Devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 He said to him, “I will give you all of these things, if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written:  Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”


11 Then the Devil left him, and just then angels came and served him.



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.



The Hymn of the Day                                                                                Hymn 475  “Fight the Good Fight”


1 Fight the good fight    With all your might;

Christ is your strength and Christ your light.  

Lay hold on life, and it shall be   Your joy and crown eternally.


2 Run the straight race   Through God’s good grace;

Lift up your eyes and seek his face.

Life with its way before us lies;  

Christ is the path and Christ the prize.


3 Cast care aside,  Lean on your guide;

His boundless mercy will provide.

Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove

Christ is its life and Christ its love.


4 Faint not nor fear;   His arms are near.

He changes not, and you are dear.  Only believe, and you will see

That Christ is Lord eternally.



The Greeting

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge

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

The Sermon Text                                                                                                      based on Matthew 4:1-11

(Today’s Gospel Lesson)


Let’s Tell Satan Where To Go….

  1. By Being Wise to His Tricks and Traps
  2. By Relying on the Word of Truth When He Attacks


after the Sermon, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for


The Blessing


To Him Who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God, our Savior, be glory, majesty, power, and authority…now and forever.  Amen.



Lord, Receive our Offerings and Prayers


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:

the Congregation will please rise as the offerings are brought to the altar


Our Prayers for This Morning


Included in our prayers this morning are:

A Prayer of Intercession for Dan Beck as he continues to contend with the challenge of cancer;

A Prayer of Intercession regarding the fighting that is occurring in the country of Ukraine;

A Prayer of Intercession for our brother, Steve Davis,

who is in Mercy Hospital recovering from heart surgery;


A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of

Larry and Barbara Center,  whose wedding anniversary is Thursday


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 Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


P:   The Lord be with you.


C:  (sung) And also with you


P:   Lift up your hearts.


C:  (sung)  We lift them up to the Lord,


P:   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God


C:  (sung)   It is right to give Him thanks and praise



P:  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, for in the wonder and mystery of His birth You have opened our eyes to the glory of Your grace and renewed in our hearts the fervor of Your love. 


Now have come the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ.  To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and thanks and honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen


(Sung)    Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord of hosts. 

The whole earth is full of Your glory

You are my God and I will exalt You.

I will lift You up for You have become my salvation.

Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord of hosts. 

The whole earth is full of Your glory


The Words of Institution


P:  “The peace of the Lord be with you always.”


C:    (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 Your peace.   Amen.


After which the Congregation may be seated.



The Exhortation Regarding the Lord’s Supper                                                                                               


The Distribution of the Sacramental Elements




                                                                                 (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                           our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)




     We ask that only “Confirmed, Communicant” members of this congregation, or of one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod congregations come forward to receive the Lord’s Supper at this time.                            

     We believe, according to Scripture, that only those who are “one,” that is, in complete doctrinal agreement, united in a common public confession of faith, are to commune together at the same altar (see I Corinthians 10:17 and I Corinthians 1:10).

     To be “in communion” means to share and to hold in common.   By eating and drinking at our Lord’s Table, we are not only sharing in, with, and under the bread and wine, Jesus’ very body and blood…we are also publicly declaring that we hold in common a specific confession of faith.  In other words, as a result of having comprehensively studied the Scriptures together all of our communicants have agreed to accept and proclaim the same Biblical doctrines and practices.

     Through membership in a particular church body (for us, that church body is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), each person makes a public statement that he/she is in full agreement with the teachings and practices of that body.  Because not every church body or Lutheran Synod teaches and practices the same things, we in the WELS want to be honest in our recognition of the doctrinal differences that, here on earth, separate us from other church bodies.   Please bear in mind that we are not, in any way, judging the legitimacy of your Christian faith.  Still, we ask that  if you have not (upon study of the Word with us) declared yourself to be in full doctrinal agreement with us, you would respectfully not join us in the Lord’s Supper this morning.  

     It is our prayer that our Scripture-based practice of “Close Communion” will encourage anyone among us today who is not presently in full fellowship with us to seriously examine the teachings and practices of his/her church in order to determine if those teachings and practices are really in full agreement with God’s Word. 

     And if you are guest among us today, we want you to know that it is our earnest desire that you might become familiar with the Biblical doctrines our congregation confesses, in order that you might one day join with us at the Lord’s altar in this public expression of full unity of doctrine and practice.  Until then, please know that we are most grateful for your participation as a fellow Christian in this worship service, and that we appreciate your understanding and respect of our Communion practice. 





The Distribution Hymns                                                                                                  Hymn 306   ‘Before You God, the Judge of All”



1 Before you, God, the Judge of all,

With grief and shame I humbly fall.

I see my sins against you, Lord,

 My sins of thought and deed and word.

They press me sore; to you I flee:

  O God, be merciful to me!


2 O Lord, my God, to you I pray:

  Oh, cast me not in wrath away!

Let your good Spirit ne’er depart,

 But let him draw to you my heart

That truly penitent I be:      O God, be merciful to me!


3 O Jesus, let your precious blood

Be to my soul a cleansing flood.

Turn not, O Lord, your guest away,

But grant that justified I may

Go to my house at peace to be:   O God, be merciful to me!   Amen



                                                                                     Hymn 315   “Here, O My Lord I See You Face to Face”


1 Here, O my Lord, I see You face to face;  

Here would I touch and handle things unseen;

Here grasp with firmer hand the eternal grace,

And all my weariness upon You lean.


2 This is the hour of banquet and of song;

This is the heav’nly table spread for me;

Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong

The brief bright hour of fellowship with thee.


3 I have no help but Yours nor do I need

Another arm but Yours to lean upon.

It is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;

My strength is in Your might, Your might alone.


4 Mine is the sin, but Yours the righteousness;

Mine is the guilt, but Yours the cleansing blood;

Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace;

Your blood, Your righteousness, O Lord my God.


5 Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear;

The feast, though not the love, is past and gone;

The bread and wine remove, but You are here;

Nearer than ever; still my shield and sun.


6 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,

Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,

Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,

The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.   Amen.



After the distribution, at the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation will rise


We Leave With the Lord’s Blessing


The Thanksgiving


(Sung)   Thank the Lord and sing His praise.   Tell everyone what He has done.

Let all who seek the Lord rejoice, and proudly bear His name.

He renews His promises and leads His people forth in joy,

With shouts of thanksgiving, Alleluia!   Alleluia!


The Closing Prayer


Almighty God, to Whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from Whom no secrets are hid, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the power of Your Holy Spirit, that we may love You more completely, praise You more joyously, and serve You more faithfully.  These requests we make in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, both now and forever.  Amen. 



The Benediction


P:     Brothers and sisters, go in peace.   Live in harmony with one

           another.   Serve the Lord in gladness.


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 grant you His peace.    Amen.



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

                                                                                                                                                     Verses 1, 5 & 6


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

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


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,

announcements, post-service music





Last Week                  Worship Attendance: 64   Online views: 21

 Bible Class:  23 (4 Online)    Sunday School: 4    Tuesday Bible Class: 11

            Budgetary Offerings: $3022                                                                        Online Offerings:   $134.27

Online Benevolence Offerings:   $51.80

Ash Wednesday MLC Choir Concert: 156      Online views: 30


Birthday and Anniversary                     Mar 10 – Karen Swogger;              Mary 10 – Barbara and Larry Center;

Serving Us Next Week   Altar Guild: Christine Quinlan, Linda Winnat

Ushers:   Jim Taylor, Jim Winnat, James Boatright

Elders:   Vic Walker, Steve Stone    Fellowship: Harriet & John Johnson


Looking Ahead at Grace Lutheran Church

Mar 06 (Sun)  Morning Worship with Communion, 9:30 a.m.

                       Fellowship, 10:45 a.m.    Bible Class/SS 11:05 a.m.

                       Youth Confirmation Class, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Mar 08 (Tues) Morning Bible Study, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

                       Church Council Meeting, 6 p.m.

Mar 09 (Wed)   Soup and Sandwich Fellowship meal, 6:00-6:45 p.m.

                       MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP SERVICE   7 p.m.

Mar 13 (Sun)  Choir, 8:30 a.m.     Worship 9:30 a.m.

                       Fellowship 10:40 a.m. BC/Sunday School, 11:05 p.m.

                       Youth Confirmation, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.


Easter Outreach Encouragement: “Each one Brings One”….   It’s now exactly seven weeks before Easter arrives.   That’s not far off!   Our hope (and plea) this year is for every person  and family in our congregation this year to already be praying about those persons that you can invite to join you (and us) to celebrate Christ’s resurrection here at Grace Lutheran Church.   (You can invite them for another Sunday service, too, if you’d like.)    Think of how God would be glorified, our guests would be blessed, and how thrilled we would be, if everyone in our church family could bring one person to worship here that day!   Believe it or not, that can actually happen….with God’s blessing…..through prayer…as well as  with each of us purposefully inviting (and, if needed, transporting) our unchurched acquaintances to worship with us on Easter morning.   The majority of non-churched people, if they go to church ever (aside from funerals and weddings) will go to church to celebrate Easter.   Not only that, but 15% of non-churched people say that they would come to church – if only someone would invite them.   You might have to invite one, two, or seven or eight people….but if each of us asks enough people, those guests will come.   So, please pray and plan now already, to make those Easter invitations to your friends, relatives, acquaintances …..and even to folks you don’t know at all.   And may God bless our efforts…to His glory! 



This Week’s Bible Classes

     In Bible Class today we’ll be studying what God has to say to us through I Corinthians chapters 14 and 15.  For our Tuesday morning Bible class we’ll be starting a new study….the book of Ezra !!!


Rummage Annoucement…..Approximately two months from now our Women’s Group will sponsor a  rummage sale…..on May 14-15.   If you’re one of those persons who does an annual “spring cleaning” of your home, would you please keep our rummage sale in mind?   Even if you don’t do a “spring cleaning,” if you have items you could donate to our rummage sale, that would be very much appreciated.   And, if you might need to bring items earlier than the week prior to the sale, early drop offs will be available in early May.   Please speak with Pastor about this  when the time comes.  We’ll do our best to work with you.


Remember, Midweek Lenten Services Have Begun!!!….    Starting last Wednesday, March 2nd,  through April 13th, over 6 Wednesday evenings we will be offering six special Lenten worship services, each beginning at 7 p.m.   Our  goal is to enable us to become better prepared spiritually for the commemoration of our Savior’s death and the Easter celebration of His resurrection.   This  year’s sermon theme is  “The Seven Words From Christ’s Cross.”     This Wednesday, our service theme will be: “A Word of Anguish….My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me.”

In the four midweek services that follow, along with two services during Holy Week, we’ll ponder six other statements of our Savior while he was on Calvary’s cross, suffering to save us.   Each statement, or “Word” is rich in its significance for Christ, as well as for every one of us.   Please also keep in mind that many churches don’t offer worship services like these midweek Lenten services.   Each of them provides us with an opportunity to invite others to join us in meditating on Christ’s supreme sacrifice, through which we have been saved.  We want to remember that these services also give us opportunities to invite to worship people who often have to work on Sunday.  So, please pray about whom you might invite to attend one of these services, and then ask that person or family (maybe offer them a ride) to worship with us.



Meditations, Available on the Entryway Table, ….serve as an excellent personal, daily, devotional booklet.  They are produced by our Synod’s Northwestern Publishing House.  The devotions in this current edition began last Sunday, Feb 27th.    If you haven’t done so yet, please take home and put to good use a copy for you and/or your family today.


Church Council Meeting, THIS TUESDAY (March 8)    Council members, please keep in mind that we will hold our next Church Council meeting this coming Tuesday evening, March 08, at 6 p.m.


Daily Devotions for Your Smart Phone, Computer or Tablet – Through a web site identified as “What About Jesus” (, operated by our Synod, we can sign up to have short,  morning devotions sent straight to our smart phones each day via an email address.    Each devotion is Biblically accurate, and takes about a minute to read.  They arrive around 4 a.m, so you can start your day with it.   Just go to the web address, and click “Recent Devotions,” and (on the right side of the page) click “Get It Delivered.”  After providing some information to identify you, you’ll be sent an email with directions to complete the sign up process.   It takes a few minutes….and you will be blessed by these devotions on a daily basis.



Grace Lutheran Church of Northwest Arkansas

is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a church body which spans the United States and Canada, and which also operates a number of foreign missions.

Our Vision:      Extend God’s Kingdom through His Word,

serving each Soul.

Our Mission:  Share the Gospel, Encourage Faith, and Prepare Souls

through Worship, Education and Fellowship.

I Corinthians, Chapter 15   

The Great Resurrection Chapter



There’s an old familiar saying:   “There are two things you can’t escape…. death and taxes.”  

Whether or not one can escape taxes, this much is true….death is inescapable.   In the portion of God’s Word before us, the Apostle Paul addresses the topic of death;   not so much what death is, but rather, what will happen after death.

            To many people today, death is a horrible fact of life that evokes intense feelings of anxiety and fear.  In fact, the fear of death underlies many present-day burial customs (e.g., the many flowers given, the cosmetic art applied to the corpse, and the elaborate, emotional productions that typify many funerals, as well as “celebrations of life.”

            When there is no hope of a resurrection, death naturally seems frighteningly final.   That’s the view many people have today.   They hopelessly see death as the end of life….and so of ones existence.   Others are afraid of death’s arrival because they have no idea what – if anything – follows death.   Still others, in vain attempts to “dodge the bullet” of death, have seen to it that their bodies (or portions of them) are frozen at the moment of death, in the hope of being medically revived at some future date….should medical science and technology ever become so advanced (and they won’t).  

            “There is no resurrection.”   “There is no heaven.”   And “there is no hell.”  These are the declarations of a growing number of rather hardened unbelievers who see this lifetime as all there is.   Perhaps that was also the case in Corinth some twenty centuries ago.   Perhaps even some of the relatively “new” Christians that Paul had served, and to whom Paul was now writing, had become confused about what happened after a person died.   Is there a resurrection from the grave, or isn’t there?   Is there despair for us, or hope beyond the grave?   These are a few of the questions we’ll be considering as work our way through what some have called “The Great Resurrection Chapter,”  I Corinthians 15, under the theme:


Despair in the Face of Death, Or…..

Confidence and Expectation through the Resurrection


Overview of Chapter 15

From problems of disunity (chapters 1-4), immorality (chapters 5-6), the use and misuse of

marriage and Christian freedom (chapters 7-10), and problems concerning public worship and the use of Spiritual gifts, Paul now turns his readers attention in chapter 15 to another subject on which the Corinthians needed instruction:   the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.   He lays the foundation for his discussion by first establishing the reality of Jesus’ physical resurrection as attested by in the Old Testament and by living witnesses of the New Testament era.    In the two sections (verses 12-19 and 29-34) he touches on the absurdities that follow denials of the bodily resurrection of the death – Christ, included.    He bases his belief in the resurrection of the body on Christ’s conquest of death as proved by His resurrection and further exaltation.    Paul also anticipates and answers the questions of how the dead are raised and with what kind of bodies.   After a resurrection-supported, doxology-like declaration of confidence in the Christian’s victory over death, Paul urges the Corinthians to maintain a steadfast, hopeful faith in the bodily resurrection as a cornerstone of our Christian faith.


  1. The Proofs of Christ’s Resurrection (verses 1-11)


  1. What does Paul mean by “unless you believed in vain”? Of what particular importance is that phrase to us?


  1. How had the Scriptures foretold the atoning death (Is 53:5), burial (Is 53:9) and resurrection (Ps 16:10,11) of Christ?


  1. How many people does Paul cite who were witnesses to Christ’s resurrection? (3-8)


  1. How did Paul acquire this information? (Acts 9:3-9;   Galatians 1:13-170


  1. What does Paul mean in verse 8 by “the stillborn child – so to speak”?


  1. To whom does Paul give credit for his conversion and his success as an Apostle? Of what should Paul’s testimony remind us about both our earthly and Spiritual successes?


  1. In verse 11, Paul states that he and his fellow apostles are united in the message they preach. Why did Paul feel the need to say this?   Is full unity of message necessary in our day?


  1. The Resurrection of the Dead (verses 12-34)


  1. What problem pertaining to the doctrine of the resurrection had arisen in the church in Corinth? (12)


  1. How is one’s faith “pointless” if the resurrection of the body didn’t happen? (14, 17)


  1. On what basis can Paul make his statement in verse 19? What’s his real point?


  1. How does the victory of the “Second Adam” (Christ) balance out the defeat of the first Adam in Eden? (21-22)


  1. Does verse 23 imply that there won’t be a resurrection for unbelievers? (see John 5:28)


  1. What is the “millennium”? And does verse 25 support its teaching?


  1. Do verses 27 and 28 teach the inferiority of the Son to the Father?


  1. Can we baptize persons who are already dead? (Some churches/religious groups do this…..)   Consider verse 29.
  2. What two reasons, mentioned in verses 29-30, make it absurd to deny the resurrection of the dead?


III.    The Resurrection of the Body (verses 35-58)


  1. To what things does Paul compare the resurrection? (35-41)


  1. What sort of body will you have after the resurrection? (44)


  1. What weaknesses, associated with our sinful flesh and blood, will NOT be found in our resurrected bodies?


  1. What will happen to those who are alive when Christ returns? (51,52;   I Thessalonians 4:13-18)


  1. How do we achieve victory over death? (57)


  1. For Discussion


  1. Agree or disagree: A person can deny the resurrection of the body and still be a Christian.


  1. In light of this chapter, how should we approach the deaths of loved ones? How should be approach funerals?


  1. How might we use verses 2 and 33 in dealing with churches that are not in doctrinal fellowship with us?


  1. What implications should verse 8 have for us in our personal work of the Lord?


  1. Why is Easter the most significant Christian festival?


  1. Note the emphasis on Christ’s resurrection as an historical fact. Why is that so vital?


  1. What should every Christian’s attitude toward death be in view of the truths Paul lays out in this chapter?


  1. Can a Christian be cremated?


  1. How should we live in anticipation of Christ’s return and the resurrection of the dead?