kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, October 3, 2022

Your daily death & resurrection

Verse for the week: But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.” II Timothy 2.19

Prayer for the week: “Almighty and merciful God, fulfill in us your promises and grant that when that day shall come we may sit down with all the redeemed at the heavenly feast and praise you in eternal light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 219). 

Bible reading for the day: II Timothy 2.8-13

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

Prayer (based on TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for all that Paul endured for my sake... thank you most of all for what Christ endured for our sake!  It’s too easy for me to be faithless Lord; in a heartbeat I can forget Jesus and think only of myself.  Dear Lord, you are the faithful one so deliver me: my old self was put to death when you baptized me but he is a good swimmer… so drown him again today… that I may speak your unbound Word for the sake of the elect. I ask this through the Word himself, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k1WhFtVp0o

“What does baptism mean for daily life?”

It means that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily sorrow for sin and repentance and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

Saint Paul says in Romans, “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 ESV). (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction: And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you this day. To him be the power forever and ever.  Amen.   (1 Pet 5:10) 


 *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. 


Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Good Deposit

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 for the week: “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 Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.216).  

Bible reading for the day: II Timothy 1.1-14 (In later half of the first century, a mature Paul writes to his beloved apprentice Timothy, and to us.) 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for the good deposit, the heritage of faith in Christ, passed to me from my parents and grandparents, and through your church laying hands on me and praying for me. Thank you, Lord… without this gift of faith I would be marooned in death and darkness. According to your purpose and grace then, fan this gift of faith for me and my congregation. Give us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control; in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PF6osB4ud8

“I believe in the Holy Spirit…”

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot, by my own understanding or effort, believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and kept me in true faith.
In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps is united with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.
In this Christian church, day after day he fully forgives my sins and the sins of all believers. On the last day he will raise me and all the dead and give me and all believer in Christ eternal life.
This is most certainly true. (from “The Small Catechism” by Martin Luther)

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

 

*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. 

 


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

You don't need more faith...

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 for the week: “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 Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.216).  

Bible reading for the day: Luke 17.1-7 (Jesus is getting very near Jerusalem, where he will take head on the cross, the sin of the world. His training program – if we can even call it that – for the apostles is almost over.) 

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for enduring, indeed, for swallowing up our foolish questions. In this lost and tempting world, we don’t need more faith; we simply need to take you at your word… and rebuke and forgive sin aplenty every day. Make it so among us, Lord, make it so. In your name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vleM7mPzdgk  

What is the “office of the keys”?

It is that authority which Christ gave to his church to forgive the sins of those who repent and to declare to those who do no repent that their sins are not forgiven.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said to his disciples: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20.23.  And, “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18.18.  (from “The Small Catechism” by Martin Luther)

 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

 *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. 

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Waiting for God

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 for the week: “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 Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.216).  

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
    to batter him,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
    They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse.     Selah
 
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
 
8Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah
 
Those of low estate are but a breath;
    those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
    those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
 
11 Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12     and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
    according to his work.
    twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12     and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
    according to his work.
 
Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Once, O God, you have spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to you and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. Speak now and render unto even me, O Lord, your steadfast love through Jesus Christ… that in the midst of a deceived and arrogant culture, I may wait for you with calm diligence… in the name of your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkMapZB8qMk

I believe in Jesus Christ…”

What does this mean for us?

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


*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. 

 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Matters of appropriate conduct

Verse for the week: The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. I John 4.21

Prayer for the week: “Dear Father in heaven, into your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the old evil foe may have no power over me; through Jesus Christ, your dear Son. Amen.” (excerpt from Martin Luther’s morning prayer)

Bible reading for the day: I Timothy 3.1-13 (In later half of the first century, a mature Paul writes to his beloved apprentice Timothy, and to us.)

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
 
Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Prayer (based on TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, to serve as an overseer or servant in your church is indeed a noble, humbling task. Thank you for requiring appropriate faith and conduct from our leaders. When we fall short – as we all do – forgive us and teach us wise stewardship of the mystery of faith… that your church may be delivered from the snares of the devil and enjoy good standing in the neighborhood. I ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MimsQtU-ccQ

“Lead us not into temptation…”

What does this mean?  God tempts no one to sin, but we ask in this prayer that our heavenly Father would watch over us and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful self may not deceive us and draw us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins. And we pray that even though we are so tempted, we may still win the final victory.  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction:  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21) 

 

*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. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Getting us off the couch of ourselves

Verse for the week: The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. I John 4.21

Prayer for the week: “Dear Father in heaven, into your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the old evil foe may have no power over me; through Jesus Christ, your dear Son. Amen.” (excerpt from Martin Luther’s morning prayer)

Bible reading for the day: Amos 6.1-7 (Amos’ ministry dates from the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BC). Amos preaches to the northern kingdom of Israel, though Amos himself is from Tekoa, a small town in the southern kingdom of Judah. A herdsman and arborist, Amos was called by God from the care of flocks and sycamore trees in Judah to proclaim God’s word of judgment and forgiveness to Israel.)

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
    and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
    to whom the house of Israel comes!
Pass over to Calneh, and see,
    and from there go to Hamath the great;
    then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
    Or is their territory greater than your territory,
O you who put far away the day of disaster
    and bring near the seat of violence?

“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
    and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
    and calves from the midst of the stall,
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
    and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
who drink wine in bowls
    and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
    but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile,
    and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away.”

Prayer (based on TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, in Christ you have given yourself to be for us and against our sin; thank you. Our culture has become so pride-filled: singing idle songs, drinking too much wine… stretching out on the couch of ourselves… to the ruin of our nation. While we wait for Christ’s return, teach me and your whole church how to be clear, humble, wise witnesses to your kingdom rather than our own. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2bhHosLHmI

“Lead us not into temptation…”

What does this mean?  God tempts no one to sin, but we ask in this prayer that our heavenly Father would watch over us and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful self may not deceive us and draw us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins. And we pray that even though we are so tempted, we may still win the final victory.  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction:  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21) 

 

*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

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Who shall I praise?

Verse for the week: The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. I John 4.21

Prayer for the week: “Dear Father in heaven, into your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the old evil foe may have no power over me; through Jesus Christ, your dear Son. Amen.” (excerpt from Martin Luther’s morning prayer)

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
 Put not your trust in princes,
    in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
    on that very day his plans perish.
 
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
    who executes justice for the oppressed,
    who gives food to the hungry.
    whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
    who executes justice for the oppressed,
    who gives food to the hungry.
 
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
    the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
    but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
 
10 The Lord will reign forever,
    your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!
    your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Prayer (based on TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, in Christ your kingdom indeed comes for me; in him, you who made heaven and earth execute justice and forgiveness for sinners like us. Thank you! Deliver me and your whole church from putting our trust in princes and potentates of this world: their breath departs and their plans perish. I will praise you, O Lord, as long as I live… O my soul, praise the Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCnQNwQG5GI

“Thy kingdom come…”

What does this mean?  The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come also to us.

When does this happen?  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 on earth now and in heaven forever. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction:  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21) 


*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.