kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Who's works? Who's wisdom?

Verse for the week:  “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” I Corinthians 1.27

Prayer:  “Almighty and merciful God, for your mercy’s sake, keep far from us all that opposes you, that, unhindered in body and soul, we may serve you with hearts set free; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirche, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.216). 

Bible reading for the day:  Psalm 111 (note: Psalm 111 is an acrostic, each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet)
 1 Praise the LORD.
       I will extol the LORD with all my heart
       in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
 2 Great are the works of the LORD;
       they are pondered by all who delight in them.
 3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
       and his righteousness endures forever.
 4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
       the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
 5 He provides food for those who fear him;
       he remembers his covenant forever.
 6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
       giving them the lands of other nations.
 7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
       all his precepts are trustworthy.
 8 They are steadfast for ever and ever,
       done in faithfulness and uprightness.
 9 He provided redemption for his people;
       he ordained his covenant forever—
       holy and awesome is his name.
 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
       all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
       To him belongs eternal praise.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for teaching me the beginning of wisdom…and for completing your wisdom on the cross.  Repent me and your church of the arrogance and deafness that gets all caught up with our works & wisdom and forgets yours.  You are the one who is steadfast, faithful and upright; take hold on us daily with this truth that we may indeed praise you with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth…
What does this mean?
I believe that God has created me and all that exists, that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, my eyes and ears, my reason and all my senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all my property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of my life. He protects me from all danger and guards and keeps me from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. 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  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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