kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Not your performer

...rather: your Lord.

Verse for the week:  Behold, the kingdom of God is among you.  Luke 17.21

Prayer for the week: “Lord, you have promised to grant what we pray in the name of your Son. Teach us to pray aright and to laud and praise you with all your saints in the fullness of life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 152). 

Bible reading for the day:  John 6.24-35 (note: The story picks up the day after Jesus has miraculously fed 5,000 people. Jesus consistently wants to move them and us from being fans of a celebrity… to faith in him. If this is to happen, then the Father will have to grant faith.)

24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for our daily bread, but thanks even more the true food that endures: Jesus Christ.  Repent me and your church of just seeking our fill of the loaves… seeking a Jesus who pleases us, who performs for us.  Give us wise ears that tune out all the temporary calories so deliciously proffered by the Devil, the world, and our sinful selves…and then fill those ears with the only one who truly satisfies: the bread of life, Jesus Christ our Lord; in his name I pray. Amen.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…
What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is surely done without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done also among us.
How is this done?
God's will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011).

Benediction:  The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.  Phil 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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