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The Last Sunday of the Church Year

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40).

Have you ever noticed that Jesus is constantly doing great things for “the least of these?” For Jesus, no one is insignificant, everyone is important, and He will not stop until He has all of God’s children home. In fact, Jesus went all the way to the cross to make sure the “least of these” were all saved, and that includes sinners like you and me. Such is the model that we can emulate in our own lives of faith. Through thoughtful, prayerful planning with our Gifts of Love gift planning counselors, you can help the LWML to reach “the least of these” for generations to come. We know that no one is insignificant and that even the smallest of kindnesses, merciful acts, or forgiving and loving words can make a big impact on someone who is hurting and struggling through life. The LWML supports missionaries who do this and equips the faithful to serve in this way in their vocation. What a blessing it is to see hope given to “the least of these,” a hope that is centered upon Christ who has done all things needful to bring salvation to the world.

The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance (Matthew 25:29a).

What a tremendous promise this is from Jesus! Everyone who already has something will be given even more! Of course, Jesus is not talking about material things or earthly riches. What we have been given is faith, and to everyone who has faith will more be given: eternal life, salvation, and the gift of heaven. Because of Jesus, we are granted a heavenly abundance, the best of what God has promised. Helping others to grow in their lives of faith is part of why the LWML exists. Through Bible studies, devotions, retreats, and conventions, the LWML puts the Word of God at the center of all we do because, through faith, we will have an abundance of God’s blessings. Gifts of Love seeks to support that work for future generations, so that many more from all corners of the world may be called into lives of faith by the Spirit and given the “even more” of eternity. As you prayerfully consider supporting Gifts of Love, know that whatever you can give will be a blessing and, by the work of God’s Spirit, will multiply into a great abundance, all for the sake of Christ and His glory.

The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut (Matthew 25:10).

So, are you ready? This parable of the wise and foolish virgins reminds us that the Lord could return at any time. The wise virgins not only had their lamps at the ready, they also had extra oil to endure until the bridegroom came. The foolish virgins, however, were not at all prepared, and while out getting things ready, the bridegroom came and they were shut out. Part of what our gift planning counselors do is to help individuals get ready for the time when the Lord calls them to Himself. They assist families to consider ways they can support the LWML so that the work they undertake may endure for many years to come. Through careful planning, the LWML will be able support missionaries, help the women of the Church grow in their faith and their confidence in sharing the Word, and keep the message of Christ and His salvation moving in the world. That way, when our heavenly Bridegroom returns in glory, there will be countless wise children of God ready to greet their Lord and enter with Him into the unending wedding celebration.

All Saints’ Day

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:17).

This is such a beautiful picture of eternity, pulling together many of the best themes from all of Scripture into one succinct sentence. The Lamb of God slain for us stands victorious in the midst of the heavenly throne room. That Lamb is also our Shepherd, guarding us and tending us for our eternal good. He invites us to drink from the living water, water that wells up to eternal life. All of this is given to us so that God could wipe away the tears of sorrow and grief from our faces forever, because Christ has conquered death and the grave. The beauty of this sentence, which we can only imagine, is the beauty that our beloved saints now see for themselves with dried eyes that are now filled with joy. These saints that have gone before us have left a blessed legacy of faith behind so that, in God’s time, we may join them in the presence of God eternally. The LWML is seeking to leave a legacy for the generations that will come behind us, a way for many to hear the Gospel and grow in faith. Gifts of Love is one of the ways that we pray will get us there. Prayerfully consider exploring your legacy with our gift planning counselors, so that many more will join us as saints of God led by our Shepherd to living water and a place in His kingdom eternally.

The Day of Reformation (observed)

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).

This is such a freeing word from Jesus. To abide in His Word and follow Him as a disciple is to know the eternal truth and, therefore, not be worried about what the world throws at us. We are free from the troubles of this world, free from our sins, and free from the death that comes for all of us. In Christ, we have everything we need for this life and we have the gift of life eternal. We all know people in our lives though, who do not know this freedom, who find themselves abiding in whatever the world says is important, looking for safety and security and meaning from all the wrong things. Because we know the joy there is in Christian freedom, the LWML seeks to assist women in being grounded in the Word of truth and thereby set free to share the Gospel of Christ in their words and deeds. Will you consider joining us in this work by considering how you can support the LWML long-term through Gifts of Love? With your help, we can continue to encourage future generations to share the freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ so that all people will let go of the lies they hold on to in this world, and find the truth of the Gospel to pick them up and give them the joy of the eternal kingdom. This is what Christ does for us, re-forming us by His Word and setting us free from sin and death to live with Him forever.

The Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go (Luke 10:1).

In the month of October, the Church typically sets aside some time to appreciate those whom the Lord has sent to us: our pastors. What started with seventy-two disciples at the time of Jesus has carried on with the apostles and pastors of the Church through the centuries. The Lord sent a pastor to you to baptize you, to preach the Word to you, to place Christ’s body and blood in your mouth, and to pray you through the joys and sorrows of life. It was in those gifts of grace that Jesus himself also came to you to make you a child of God. Part of what the LWML does is to assist future and current pastors and missionaries continue this important work for the sake of the Gospel. There is much work to do, of course. Through your generosity and planning, you can make a difference in helping to shape and form pastors to bring the Good News to the world. Contact a Gifts of Love gift planning counselor today to talk about how you might support the LWML so that generations after you in every place will hear the Gospel as Jesus comes to them with His grace and life.

The 19th Sunday after Pentecost

Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find (Matthew 22:9).

If it were our wedding feast, we might have been a bit more discriminatory. We would probably want to invite the best of people: friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and the like. This way, we could ensure that the party would go off without a hitch since everyone have similar interests. As we hear this parable, we might think the king is crazy. He sends his servants out to the streets and alleys and backroads and tells them not to be selective — “invite as many as you find.” This is the attitude of Jesus: no one is out, everyone is in, and let’s get the party going! This is the task He sets us to then, to be fervent in inviting everyone we see to come to the feast and to be part of the celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and death for us. Through Gifts of Love, the LWML hopes to be able to find as many ways as possible to get the message out to the world through support of missionaries, through raising up Godly women through their study of the Word, and through equipping people to share the hope that is in them. Taking some time to sit with a gift planning counselor through Gifts of Love can be a tremendous blessing to you and to the Church so that when the eternal wedding feast gets under way, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord is there.

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