It's a Marathon to Heaven--Don't Sabatoge Your Ability to Reach the Goal

Mar 12, 2000
Pastor Wayne C Eichstadt
Hymns: 544(1-4, 6); 446(1-4,6); 413; 47
Pre-Service Prayer:

Heavenly Father, as I consider our world and all the blessings you shower upon us in so many ways, I thank You for your mercy and abundant gifts. I also see how easily we sinners can take Your blessings and despise them or use them for sin. Forgive us! With Your leading and by Your grace, keep us running our race well and prevent us from doing things that will harm ourselves or others in our heavenward journey. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Pre-Service Devotion: 

Psalm 119:25-40

First Reading: 

Genesis 25:29-34

The birthright was the special inheritance and honor that the firstborn received in a family (at times the birthright was given to a non-firstborn child). Jacob sinned in his efforts to buy Esau’s birthright (Jacob would later trick his father to also receive the Messianic blessing instead of Esau). Esau also sinned because he despised his birthright rather than regarding it highly. The writer to the Hebrews (sermon text) uses Esau’s attitude toward his birthright as an example to warn us against a "couldn’t care less" attitude toward our blessings from God.

Second Reading: 

Matthew 4:1-11

In order to be our Savior and Substitute, it was necessary that Jesus live a life just as our own, except without sinning. After His Baptism, Jesus was tempted by the Devil for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. Scripture records the last three temptations and Jesus’ response to them. Each time, Jesus defeated the temptation with God’s Word. We too, face temptations along our way and like Jesus we too can defeat them by using God’s Word.