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:

“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  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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