kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Your star witness

Guess who testifies on your behalf...

Verse for the week: “I will pour out a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”  Zechariah 12.10

Prayer for the week:  God, our heavenly Father, through your Son you have promised us the Holy Spirit.  Send down upon us that Spirit, that he may teach us to show forth your praise, not only here on earth in weakness, since we know your power and glory only from afar, but also in power and glory on that day when, united with the choir of angels, we shall see you face to face; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  Amen. (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirche,2nd ed. Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948, p.150)

Bible reading for the day: I John 5.6-12
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. For there are three that testify:the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 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.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for your living, true testimony in Jesus Christ and for the life you give us in him. Thank you! We receive the testimony of men; your testimony is greater, proven by Jesus’ baptism, his shed blood, and your Holy Spirit. So, please defend me and my congregation of making a liar out of you by our disbelief. Keep your living word, your true testimony fresh in our ears each hour that we may enjoy the eternal life you intend for us now and at the resurrection of the dead. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

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

“Thy kingdom come...”
What does this mean?
The kingdom of God comes indeed by itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.
How is this done?
God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life now and in eternity. (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  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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