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Monday, September 22, 2014

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The only way this will come about is if Jesus kills off my and your old self... and raises us new daily. Have at us Lord.

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Verse for the Week:

“What does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep his commandments…”
Deuteronomy 10:12-13a

Prayer for the Week:

“Almighty God, you richly and unceasingly furnish us with all good things and preserve us day by day. Make us to acknowledge this with our whole heart, that we may thank and praise you for your loving kindness and mercy here and for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen __(K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 200)

Bible Reading for the Day

Philippians 2:1-13

boy reading BibleSo if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Prayer of the Day**

Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for Christ and the way he lived out his mindset for us… all the way to the cross. Repent me and your church of our self-interest and selfish ambition. Each day, bend our proud knees, humble us, and give us the new obedience to him…that every tongue – starting with mine – may confess Jesus Christ is Lord…to your glory, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Catechism Connection:

from: The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

praying in solitudeWhat is the significance of baptizing with water?

It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily sorrow for sin and repentance and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

St. Paul writes in Romans 6: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 ESV).

(from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

graphic describing article as new Pastor Paul has written a helpful guide on learning the Small Catechism. Read it here!

Benediction:

“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you this day. To him be the power forever and ever.” Amen.
I Peter 5:10

Explanations & Clarifications

Pr. Paul Owens and wife

* There are many patterns for devotions. This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.

**The TRIP approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray. It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:

Yes, there are fish in Texas!

  • T: thanksgiving
  • R: regret (repentance)***
  • I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
  • P: plan or purpose

Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God.

*** "Regret" is actually a very solid word, means deep sorrow, sorrow that makes one weep (the root word is “to weep”). Regrettably, I believe that Americans today have lost this sense of the word and for the most part – though not always – they use the word casually. To "repent" is to be turned around by God. "Repent" means "to have your mind and heart changed, to be converted". Luther recognized that scripture speaks of repentance both as the specific acts we change, and the deeper way God changes or "repents" us. Though our acts/works of repentance are certainly important, he still called them "little stuff, kinder (as in kindergarten) repentance". The big BIG work, the work that Christ brings about on and in us, is more lasting and goes deep, all the way to the heart, mind, and purse; he called this "anfechtung" the suffering & death of our will...so that Christ can raise us anew in HIS will. Lost sheep aren't very good at getting themselves found again...it takes the Shepherd to go after 'em and turn 'em around. So when it comes to repentance, our work might be good, but the work of the Master Carpenter Jesus is the BEST and most lasting...that's why I pray "repent me." This is also why we confess "I cannot, by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit calls me and does the work" (For you students of language and grammar: "repent" can ultimately not be a reflexive verb. God alone is the author of our repentance).

Scripture quotations are from NIV ©1978