kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Freed bird

Verse for the week:  It was to prove at the present time that God himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3.26

Prayer:  “Almighty God, gracious Lord, pour out your Holy Spirit upon your faithful people.  Keep us steadfast in your word, protect and comfort us in all temptations, defend us against all our enemies, and bestow on the church your saving peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (Lutheran Book of Worship, p.36)

Bible reading for the day:  Romans 3.19-31
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation1 by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for making me right not by my own efforts to be a good Christian but solely through the faith in Jesus Christ that you give me.  Thank you!  Your law reveals that I am right there in the pile with all the other short-fallers, all the other sinners, Lord.  So, daily keep me and your church from boasting; stop our mouths, end our bondage to ourselves… and release us into the sweet flight of freedom that belongs to those who are justified by your grace alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord:

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

1 (pro, before, forward + petere, originally to fly, referring to a bird whose flight is a happy omen)  

*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  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.  

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