kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, December 7, 2015

Why Your Citizenship Matters

Invitatory: “Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me.” Malachi 3.1

Prayer for the 2nd week of Advent: “Lord Jesus, our Light and our Salvation, you alone are the one who was to come to save us.  We thank you for your coming and for your will to perform in us again your saving work.  Rule us by your Holy Spirit, that henceforth we may wait for none other and put our trust in nothing in heaven or earth except you alone, our Lord.  Amen.” (Martin Moller, Thesaurus precationum, 1603; text in Gerhard Molwitz, Lutherisches Gebetbuch, p.41.)

Bible reading for the day: Philippians 3.20; 4.4-7
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…                                    
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for the true citizenship that is ours through Christ Jesus. If ever there is reason to rejoice and set off fireworks, this is it!  As we yet live in this world, repent me and your church of emigrating back to its kingdom, where the self reigns as king or queen.  Grant us such trust in our Savior and his sovereignty that prayer may replace our worry and we find ourselves guarded in Christ.  In his name I ask this, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic hymn that connects with today’s conversation with our Lord:

I believe in Jesus Christ...
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 (c)Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011) 

Benediction: “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4.7

*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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