kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Your strange debt


Verse of the week: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.  Isaiah 6.3

Prayer for the week: “Lord God, almighty, immortal, invisible, the mysteries of whose being are unsearchable: Accept our praises for the revelation which you have made of yourself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons and one God; and mercifully grant that, ever holding fast this faith, we may magnify your glorious name; for you live and reign, one God, now and forever.  Amen. (John Dowden, Book of Common Prayer, Scotland; Suter, The Book of English Collects, p. 34.)

Bible reading for the day:  Romans 8.12-17
So then, brothers we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.



prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for the strange debt that is mine in Christ’s Holy Spirit. By other debts I bring on myself I only enslave myself; by this one you set me free. Thank you!  Send your Holy Spirit through your word and sacraments upon me and my congregation again today and make payment on our indebtedness by granting us to live as your children… not falling back in fear but stepping forward confidently as your heirs, stepping into whatever suffering you have planned for us to reveal your glory.  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PF6osB4ud8

“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

benediction:    May the God of peace himself grow you in his will entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.  Amen.  I Thess 5.23

*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. 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:                                                                                        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. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Your second birth


Verse for the week: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.  Isaiah 6.3

Prayer for the week: “Lord God, almighty, immortal, invisible, the mysteries of whose being are unsearchable: Accept our praises for the revelation which you have made of yourself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons and one God; and mercifully grant that, ever holding fast this faith, we may magnify your glorious name; for you live and reign, one God, now and forever.  Amen.” (John Dowden, Book of Common Prayer, Scotland; Suter, The Book of English Collects, p. 34.)

Bible reading for the day:  John 3.1-21
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Prayer (based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for knitting me together in my mom’s womb; but thank you even more for birthing me by your Spirit into faith in Jesus Christ…’cause without my “second birth” I’d never understand why you brought me into this world in the first place.  Repent me and your whole church of not believing you…of trapping ourselves in our own wisdom.  Birth me and your church afresh in Jesus each day so that it be clearly seen that our deeds are carried out in you.  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

What 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?
Saint Paul says in Romans, “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).

benediction:    The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
                        The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
                        From this time on and forevermore.  Ps 121.7-8

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


**The T.R.I.P. 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:                                                                                        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. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Go away Jesus


Verse for the week: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  Zech 4.6

Prayer for the week: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the almighty God, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts through your blessed word, that he may rule and guide us according to your will; strengthen us in every trial and need; and lead us, past all error, into your truth; that we may stand fast in faith, increase in love and all good works, and by the sure hope of your grace, which you have obtained for us by your death, be saved eternally; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.  Amen.  (Viet Dietrich in Otto Dietz, Die Evangelien-Kooekten des Viet Dietrich, p. 57)

Bible reading for the day:  John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
5 “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious Lord Jesus, thank you for going away… and for sending us the Helper, your Holy Spirit. Repent me and my congregation of not trusting his work and of trying to control it. Convict us all the way… that we may be led into the truth that you take sinners like us and by your declaration alone, make us righteous. In Jesus’ name, alleluia and amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyavAoOlsIo

“I believe in the Holy Spirit…”
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers. At the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true.  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.  Amen.  II Thess 2.16-17



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

**The T.R.I.P. 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:                                                                                        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. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Far better than cheap wine


Verse for the week: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  Zech 4.6

Prayer for the week: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the almighty God, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts through your blessed word, that he may rule and guide us according to your will; strengthen us in every trial and need; and lead us, past all error, into your truth; that we may stand fast in faith, increase in love and all good works, and by the sure hope of your grace, which you have obtained for us by your death, be saved eternally; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.  Amen.  (Viet Dietrich in Otto Dietz, Die Evangelien-Kooekten des Viet Dietrich, p. 57)

Bible reading for the day:  Acts 2.1-13 (note: you can read Peter’s entire Pentecost sermon and the results of it in Acts 2.  This reading is just the beginning.)
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for pouring out for us not cheap wine but the best wine of all: the blood of Jesus filled with his Holy Spirit.  Repent me and your church of being drunk with ourselves, our churchy words, and being theologically tongue tied.  With your word, blow out my corroded pipes, deliver us from our ecclesiastical state rooms and teach me and my congregation afresh to speak Jesus in the vernacular…so that our neighbors may know what he means for them.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://vimeo.com/46203440

“I believe in the Holy Spirit…”
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers. At the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true.  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.  Amen.  II Thess 2.16-17

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


**The T.R.I.P. 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:                                                                                        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.  

Monday, May 14, 2018

Conforming you

to the image of...


Verse for the week: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  Zech 4.6

Prayer for the week: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the almighty God, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts through your blessed word, that he may rule and guide us according to your will; strengthen us in every trial and need; and lead us, past all error, into your truth; that we may stand fast in faith, increase in love and all good works, and by the sure hope of your grace, which you have obtained for us by your death, be saved eternally; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.  Amen.  (Viet Dietrich in Otto Dietz, Die Evangelien-Kooekten des Viet Dietrich, p. 57)

Bible reading for the day:  Romans 8.18-30
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for your incomprehensibly wise love that subjects us to futility… in the hope that we may be set free from our bondage to corruption…and thank you for taking our futility into yourself in Jesus Christ.  Repent me and my congregation of denying our weakness, trying to conceal or cover it, and of preferring our mind over the Spirit’s mind.  While we groan inwardly waiting for the redemption of our bodies, intercede for us and teach us to trust that in all things you are working together for our good…in order to conform us to Christ.  In his name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link a hymn not often sung, which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTt-M9VOo-U

“What 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?
Saint Paul says in Romans 6.4 “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” (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction: The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  (Romans 15.13)

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


**The T.R.I.P. 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:                                                                                        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.  

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A tree planted


Invitatory: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession of faith.  Hebrews 4.14

Morning prayer: “Eternal God, you commit to us the swift and solemn trust of life; since we know not what the day may bring forth, but only that the hour for serving you is always present, may we wake to the instant claims of your holy will, not waiting for tomorrow, but yielding today.  Consecrate with your presence the way our feet may go, and the humblest work will shine, and the roughest place be made plain.  Lift us above unrighteous anger and mistrust, into faith, and hope, and charity, by a simple and steadfast reliance on your sure will.  In all things draw us to the mind of Christ, that your lost image may be traced again, and you may own us as at one with him and you, to the glory of your great name.  Amen.” (James Martineau, Home Prayers, London: Longmans, Green, 1891)

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 1                                                 
Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for taking a sinner like me and planting me right by the life-giving stream who is Christ…ah the sweet, hearty nourishment he is for a tree like me.  Repent me of betraying these roots and following the path of this world and its scoffers.  Delight me in leading my family in the daily use of your Word and keep your work showing up in our thoughts and actions…and the fruit will come right on time.  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MimsQtU-ccQ

Hallowed be thy name…
What does this mean?
God’s name certainly is holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy also among us.
How is this done?
God's name is hallowed when his Word is taught in its truth and purity and we, as God's children, lead holy lives in harmony with it. Grant this to us, dear Father in heaven! But whoever teaches and lives in ways other than what God's Word teaches dishonors the name of God among us. Prevent us from doing this, heavenly Father!  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:   May the God of peace himself grow you in his will entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.  Amen.  I Thess 5.23
*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.


**The T.R.I.P. 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:                                                                                        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.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

the Spirit and the water and the blood...

these three agree...


Verse for the week: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession of faith.  Hebrews 4.14

Prayer of the week: “Eternal God, you commit to us the swift and solemn trust of life; since we know not what the day may bring forth, but only that the hour for serving you is always present, may we wake to the instant claims of your holy will, not waiting for tomorrow, but yielding today.  Consecrate with your presence the way our feet may go, and the humblest work will shine, and the roughest place be made plain.  Lift us above unrighteous anger and mistrust, into faith, and hope, and charity, by a simple and steadfast reliance on your sure will.  In all things draw us to the mind of Christ, that your lost image may be traced again, and you may own us as at one with him and you, to the glory of your great name.  Amen.” (James Martineau, Home Prayers, London: Longmans, Green, 1891)

Bible reading for the day: I John 5.6-13
6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for giving your full testimony in the flesh in Jesus and for giving me ears to hear it.  Repent me and your whole church of making a liar out of you by not believing you.  Each day, through your word, our baptism, and your Supper, work in us faith in Jesus alone…because then we have true life now & forever…and THAT is something to tell about.  Guide then our testimony, Lord; I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Hymn:  follow this link to a beloved hymn that connects with today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64oo7z7tjsw

“I believe in the Holy Spirit…”
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers. At the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!  (from “The Small Catechism,” by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction: The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
                        The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
                        From this time on and forevermore.  Ps 121.7-8

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


**The T.R.I.P. 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:                                                                                        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.