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Genesis 15:1-18 15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Fear not, Abram,

I am your shield; your reward shall be very great. 2 But Abram said, O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue[a] childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir. 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: This man shall not be your heir; your very own son[b] shall be your heir. 5 And he brought him outside and said, Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, So shall your offspring be. 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. 7 And he said to him, I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess. 8 But he said, O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it? 9 He said to him, Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.

17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your offspring I give[c] this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, Hebrews 11:1-16 11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and

builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Luke 12:32-48 32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 35 Stay dressed for action[a] and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants[b] whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house

had known at what hour the thief was coming, he[c] would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 41 Peter said, Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all? 42 And the Lord said, Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant[d] whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, My master is delayed in coming, and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Have No Fear? Have no fear little flock? Are you kidding dear Lord? LBW 476 Have no fear, little flock; Have no fear little flock, For the Father has chosen to give you the Kingdom; Have no fear, little flock!

Have good cheer, little flock; Have good cheer, little flock, For the Father will keep you In His love forever; Have good cheer, little flock! Praise the Lord high above; Praise the Lord high above, For He stoops down to heal you, Uplift and restore you; Praise the Lord high above! Thankful hearts raise to God; Thankful hearts raise to God. For He stays close beside you, In all things works with you; Thankful hearts raise to God! According to the "Psalter Hymnal Handbook", 'the text has the character of a benediction: the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom (st. 1); the Father will keep you in his love forever (st. 2); the Lord stoops down to heal, uplift, and restore you (st. 3); God stays close beside you to work with you (st. 4). Ms. Jillson wrote the text while working at Gallaudet College (college for the deaf), and when she herself was dealing with illness. Beloved we hear clearly first from the Old Testament lesson of Gods stooping down to bless Abraham with descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens. In the Epistle clearly it is by faith that God bestows his promises to the chosen people of God the Israelites and to all. That it was by faith that the promises of God came. By faith creation was ordered it was good. That we believe by faith that God put all things in place even bringing us the very breathe of life that sustains us. And by faith God brought a plan to redeem us even when we

have fallen in sin, when we have broken our promises, and that God sent His very son to die in our place to be the sacrificial lamb rendering life eternal for all to receive the promises by faith. By faith we believed in the promises God had prepared for us. By faith we gathered in members homes praying for a clear future for our church and for the Lutheran confessional witness. By faith God lead congregational leaders, bishops, pastors, and faithful men and women to foresee a new birth God blessed us with a name, the North American Lutheran Church. We prayed fervently that God would guide us and direct us and beloved He most certainly has! We have seen growth not in just mere numbers but in application of Biblical truth, Lutheran orthodoxy which strives to place the principality of Word and Sacrament in the center of all that we do as a church, and in faithful application of the Lutheran confessions. We are emerging as a church body healthy and ready for the challenge before us. What is that challenge? 1. Acknowledge, understanding, and work through our fear! a. To have no fear little flock means that we must embrace the realities of fear that shakes us in our boots. But Pastor have you seen our attendance? Do you know the challenges? b. To have no fear does not mean that we are foolish to believe that we can dismiss the present realities around us. Rather we need to believe and have faith in the Lord who can move mountains, can change and transform us, lead and guide us to a new day. c. What gives YOU fear today? 2. Be ready and dress for action! a. After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, The

harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. b. Stay dressed for action[a] and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants[b] whom the master finds awake when he comes. c. God has made a covenant with you to never leave or forsake you. It is He who calls you by name and through the waters of Holy Baptism has bestowed on you the riches of Gods abundant grace. You have been liberated from the powers of sin, death, and the devil. Let your light so shine before others so they can see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 3. Listen God is calling you and me to lead others to Christ! a. Do you hear the calling of our Savior today? b. Listen God is calling! c. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. d. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ. e. We are not pleading the case for church membership. Country clubs and other civic organizations do a fine job with that. Beloved in the Lord we are preaching both law and Gospel and the very remedy for our sinful

condition. It is a matter of life and death eternal salvation or eternal separation from God. f. As was the case for Dietrich the matter of following Christ is truly a path marked with self denial, of cross taking and following whole heartedly the way of our Savior. From death to resurrection to new life. Have no fear, little flock; Have no fear little flock, For the Father has chosen to give you the Kingdom; Have no fear, little flock!