#DailyDevotion You Want The Truth? You Can’t Handle It.

#DailyDevotion You Want The Truth? You Can’t Handle It.

Job 384Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you understand. 5Who determined its measurements – you surely know! Or who stretched a measuring line over it? 6On what were the sockets of its pillars placed; who laid its cornerstone, 7while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8Who shut in the sea with doors when it broke through and came out of the womb, 9when I made the clouds its garment and dark clouds its baby clothes; 10when I prescribed its shoreline, and set up bars and doors, 11and said, ‘You may come this far but no farther, here your surging waves will stop?’

I’m not sure why those who made the lectionary leave out the first three verses of chapter thrirty eight but here there are: Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm: 2 “Who is this that obscures My purpose by talking without understanding? 3 Prepare yourself like a man: I will ask you, and you show Me.

We need to know that the LORD is finally giving answer to Job and his friends to the question of suffering. However, the LORD doesn’t give the answer that they are wanting. Instead his response is much like the old Jewish joke, a pupil asks a Rabbi, “Rabbi, why do Rabbis always answer a question with a question.” The Rabbi thinks about it a minute and then says, “Why shouldn’t a Rabbit answer a question with a question?” So the LORD here answers their questions with some questions of his own. The first set of questions the LORD has concerns Job and his friends knowledge, particularly knowledge of creation.  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you understand.” Of course the answer is, I wasn’t even born yet. Well if you weren’t even born then you wouldn’t understand the answer to your questions even if I gave them.

The questions of who determined how big creation is and who stretched a measuring line over it, well I think that’s pretty easy to answer. Who determined where the sea would be and who keeps it at bay also are pretty easy answers, at least I think it is. Maybe my answer is wrong or perhaps just incomplete. The most obvious answer is the LORD, the God of creation. If these questions here are easy to answer, then why ask them? The answer to these questions go to the first question. Yes, the LORD GOD created all things. We spend billions of dollars every year looking into and exploring creation. Every question concerning creation always leads to more questions. We may think we have a great understanding of things with quantum physics and yet that too will be surpassed by something else. The thing is the LORD whose mind brought about creation with all its depth, breadth and width is too great for our understanding.

Which brings us to the question of Jesus, sin and its solution. Why did God allow us to sin? Why does God send his Son to die for our sin? Why make that the solution? Why doesn’t everyone believe and get saved? God has left us with this answer and it doesn’t answer all our questions, He loves us and doesn’t want all humanity to die and suffer all eternity in hell. He has loved you and brought you this message of salvation so you may believe and be saved, Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who has taken away the sin of the world by paying the price for our sin, which is death. That’s what you need to know, believe and trust.

Heavenly Father, your thoughts are higher than our thoughts and your ways higher than our ways. Grant us faith to believe what you have taught us about your Son so we may at least understand your great love for us in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

#DailyDevotion Jesus, the LORD, Is The Prophet Foretold By Moses

#DailyDevotion Jesus, the LORD, Is The Prophet Foretold By Moses

Matt. 1415In the evening the disciples came to Him. “This is a deserted place,” they said, “and it’s late. Send the crowds away to the villages to buy themselves some food.” 16“They don’t need to go away,” Jesus answered them. “You give them something to eat.” 17 “All we have here are five loaves and two fish,” they told Him. 18“Let Me have them,” He said. 19He ordered the people to sit down on the grass. Then taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He blessed them. Breaking the loaves, He gave them to the disciples, and they gave them to the people. 20All of them ate and had enough. They picked up the pieces that were left — twelve baskets full. 21Some 5,000 men had eaten, not counting women and children.

Now Jesus being the Mercies of David, whose compassion went out to the crowds when he saw them even in the midst of his own grief and healed them now sees them late in the evening and his bowels of mercy and compassion goes out to them again. It is late and the people have not had anything to eat. The disciples realize this and tell Jesus to send the crowds away so they can buy food to eat.

Jesus though, being the LORD who spoke through Isaiah, shows us the Mercies of David, who calls out to his people, “Oh, come to the water, all you who are thirsty! You who have no money, come, buy and eat.  Come and buy grain without money, and wine and milk that costs nothing.” tells his disciples to give the people something to eat. The disciples are a little flabbergasted as they only have five loaves of bread and two fish. Now I believe Jesus wants them to recognize their need before fulfilling it.

Jesus shows forth that he is the LORD who feeds Israel. He is the One who used Moses to feed his people in the wilderness. Now he is the One who is greater than Moses, who is the Prophet Moses foretold who would be like him. Jesus has the crowds sit down or rather to recline on the grass. Such is the position to eat at a festal meal. Jesus is giving them and us a foretaste of the feasts of the kingdom of God. It foreshadows the covenantal meal he would prepare for us in the upper room which we are still partaking today of his body and blood with the bread and the wine. Jesus’ sits as the head of his people, blessing the bread, breaking it and giving it to the people to eat.

The food being blessed by Jesus and distributed by the disciples ends up feeding the 5000 men, not including women and children, so maybe closer to 15,000 plus people. There were twelve baskets left over for the disciples. When the Israelites ate in the wilderness they were not to pick up more than they needed for the day except on the sixth day for preparation for the Sabbath rest. Jesus is preparing his disciples for a day of rest as he is the Sabbath, the rest of God. Jesus reveals to his disciples he is the One Moses foretold who is like him but greater than him. He is the LORD who provides for his people. He provides us for daily bread. He provides us with bread of Life—his body and blood. He provides with the festal meal at his wedding banquet on the Last Day. Trust he is the one whom the LORD has sent and you will partake of his feasts on the in the world to come.

Heavenly Father, you provided manna in the wilderness for Israel and Jesus, your Son, provided bread for the crowds, but more than that he provided for all who trust in him a rich banquet at the consummation of the ages for all who trust in him. Grant us faith to make us partakers of this feast so we may be filled with joy forever more. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Bowels Of Mercy Of God

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Bowels Of Mercy Of God

Matt. 1413When Jesus heard about John, He left in a boat and went to a deserted place to be alone. The people heard of it and followed Him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus stepped out of the boat, He saw a big crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed their sick.

What did Jesus hear about John? Earlier in this chapter we get the account of how Herod had put to death Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist by the schemes of his wife. You can imagine hearing about how a close relative was murdered by the local government would make you feel. Jesus being fully human no doubt was grieving deeply in his heart. He needed some time to get away by himself. When Jesus goes to be by himself he is usually spending that time in prayer.

His time alone was short lived though. As soon as the crowds heard Jesus had left they followed him on foot from the towns to find him. When he landed he found himself surrounded by a big crowd. Jesus, even in the middle of his own grief for the loss of his cousin felt sorry for them and healed their sick.

Jesus’ innards latterly and figuratively were stirred with compassion in his innermost being for these people. Jesus often has this reaction to the crowds that he meets. He sees them as sheep without a shepherd and as sheep whose shepherds abuse them. The stirring of his innards is not only according to his human nature but also to his divine being. Indeed, Jesus being born for the mission of dying upon the cross demonstrates the Father’s compassion towards all humanity.

So great, Jesus feels compassion for the people. Well that compassion translates into action when it comes to Jesus and the Father. Jesus moved by compassion in the midst of his own grief heals their sick. Because of his human nature this really wears upon Jesus as we can see elsewhere that after a period of healing the crowds that are brought to him he has to rest and get away for a while.

Isaiah spoke of what Jesus endured during these times in chapter 534 “Surely He has taken on Himself our suffering and carried our sorrows, but we observed that God had stricken, smitten, and afflicted Him. And certainly He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our sins; By His punishment, we were saved and by His wounds we were healed.” While I don’t think we can even imagine experiencing what Jesus was going through as he healed people Isaiah reveals to us he was taking upon himself our suffering and grief. What we feel in the midst of the suffering our diseases and troubles Jesus also felt in his flesh. Ultimately, those healings were born in his body in Pilate’s court as the Roman soldiers took a whip to Jesus’ back. Those stripes bring us healing now and finally at the resurrection of all flesh.

Such is the compassion, the inner stirrings of Jesus’ innards, his bowels of mercies towards you when he sees you suffering. But for the joy set before him, your salvation to eternal life, Jesus endured these things for you so you may find ultimate healing in his wounds on the day of judgment and may be found whole and holy.

Heavenly Father, may the bowels of your mercies be directed toward us in the midst of our suffering and grief that we may find relief and rest in the wounds of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, both now and in eternity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The True Israel Is The One Whose God Is Jesus Christ

#DailyDevotion The True Israel Is The One Whose God Is Jesus Christ

Romans 96It doesn’t mean God failed to do what He said. 7Not all who are descended from Israel are the real Israel, 8and not all who are descended from Abraham are for that reason his real children. No, “Isaac’s children will be called your descendants.” This means children born in a natural way are not God’s children. Only the children he had because God promised them are counted his descendants. 9God promised: “I will come back at the right time, and Sarah will have a son.” 10The same thing happened to Rebekah. She was going to bear children for our ancestor Isaac. 11They had not been born yet nor done anything good or bad. Even then — in order that God may carry out His purpose according to His choice, which doesn’t depend on anything we do but on Him Who calls us — 12she was told: “The older will serve the younger.” 13And so the Bible says: “I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.”

Some pretty harsh words here from St. Paul. God did not fail to save all of Israel. No, for Israel is not just a matter of dna. Israel is a matter of faith. Certainly, throughout time many from every tribe of Israel trusted in the LORD their God. Yet also as St. Paul says, “Not all who are descended from Israel are the real Israel, and not all who are descended from Abraham are for that reason his real children.” I’m sure it must break Abraham’s heart that many of his descendents did not follow in the faith he was given by the LORD Jesus Christ. But as the LORD Jesus said, “God can call up children of Abraham from these stones.”

Paul reasons that Abraham’s true children are children according to the promise as “Isaac’s children will be called your descendants.” Children born in a natural way are not Abraham’s children nor as Paul equates them, God’s children. Jesus tells in John 3, “You must be born of the water and the Spirit. You must be born from above.” Only those who have the faith of Abraham are counted as his sons, as his children. It depends on God’s choice.

Paul demonstrates this with Esau and Jacob. The LORD Jesus had chosen Jacob, even though he was the younger of the two to carry on the covenant the LORD Jesus had made with Abraham. Before Jacob or Esau did anything good or bad, the LORD made his choice for Jacob. Now it appears Jacob and his mom didn’t fully trust in the LORD’s choice and tried to manipulate the blessing. Jacob would learn his lesson and learn to trust in the LORD’s promise.

Now in Christ Jesus the LORD God, the Father, has chosen you. He has given you the promise of the New Heavens and the New Earth in Jesus Christ. He has given you birth from above through the water the Spirit/Word. Having received the promise of forgiveness of sins, life and light you have been made Abraham’s descendents, God’s children. You have been grafted into Israel in Christ Jesus. You and all who put their faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ are all Israel whom the LORD our God has saved.

Heavenly Father, you promised Abraham descendents as numerous as the stars in the sky and fulfilled that according to the flesh when the Israelites left Egypt. You have also fulfilled this by given him spiritual descendents who have the same faith as him. Continually keep us in this faith as his children and your children in your eternal kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion There Is One Who Is Cursed For Us

#DailyDevotion There Is One Who Is Cursed For Us

Romans 9 I’m telling the truth in Christ; I’m not lying, as my conscience assures me by the Holy Spirit, 2when I say I have a great sorrow and continuous pain in my heart. 3I could wish myself cut off from Christ and damned for my fellow Jews, my own flesh and blood. 4They are the people of Israel. They were made God’s family. They have the glory, the covenant, the Law, the worship, and the promises. 5They have the ancestors, and from them according to His body came Christ, Who is God over everything, blessed forever. Amen.

Paul is pretty serious here. He’s making oaths. He’s telling us the truthfulness of what he is about to say. He even invokes the Holy Spirit’s name and witness. What is it that he is testifying to? The great sorrow and continuous pain in his heart. Seriously, what could cause such pain and sorrow in his heart? The Jewish people were not being converted to the faith of Jesus Christ. Paul by this time had been let down the wall in Antioch where he was converted for fear of the Jews. He had been driven from one city to the next throughout Asia Minor by his fellow Jews for preaching Jesus is the Christ. He was stoned to what the Jews thought was death. He was imprisoned, put on trial by his fellow Jews because of his preaching Jesus is the Christ. Sure, there were plenty of Jews who were converted but there were many who rejected Jesus their Messiah.

Paul amazing says he wishes that he could be cut off from Christ and damned for his fellow Jews, his own flesh and blood. That’s pretty serious. He is dead serious. We can see how serious he is by his oaths. Would you be able to say the same that thing, tell God you wanted to be cut off from his life so others may enter into eternal life? Moses said something similar during the golden calf incident, Ex. 3232“And now will You forgive their sin? If not, please wipe me from the scroll You have written.” What so moves them to say such a thing? Well verses four and five seem to be the motivation. It is on account of God’s action towards them in the past. They were made God’s family, they have “the glory, the covenant, the Law, the worship, and the promises.” Despite their sinfulness these were things that belonged to them even if they rejected it.

But Paul could not substitute himself for Israel anymore than Moses could.  There is one who could though. “Christ, Who is God over everything, blessed forever.” Israel did not keep the Law and they were cursed for it. Galatians 313“Christ paid the price to free us from the curse of the Law when He was cursed for us (it is written: “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)” Jesus Christ was cut off from Israel on the cross. Christ was cursed for them.  Even more so, Jesus Christ was cut off from the living and cursed for the world. Jesus was cut off and cursed for you. He did this, God made Man did this so that you would be made God’s family, God’s Israel, and inherit eternal life at the end of the age.

Heavenly Father, you cut off your Son and made him a curse so that we may be grafted into Israel and be blessed with them. Continually give us faith in Christ Jesus who is God over everything blessed forever so we may enter into his kingdom now and at the end of the age. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Mercies Of David

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Mercies Of David

Isaiah 554Once I made him a witness to the nations, a prince and a commander of the nations. 5So now you will call a nation you don’t know, and a nation that doesn’t know you will run to you on account of the LORD your God and the Holy One of Israel, for He has honored you.”

Who is him? The mercies of David. Jesus Christ is the mercies of David. The Father has made him a witness to the nations. He witnesses to the Father’s will toward Israel and humankind. The Father’s will toward us is mercy, kindness, love, patience and forgiveness. As John witnesses in his epistle, “This is love, not that we loved God but he loved us sending his son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Jesus has revealed himself as our Savior and Redeemer and he has revealed to us the Father.

Jesus, the mercies of David, is a prince and commander of nations. Seated at the right hand of God he is Eph. 121“above all rulers, authorities, powers, lords, and any name that can be mentioned, not only in this world but also in the next.” Phil. 27“He emptied Himself, made Himself a slave, became like other human beings, 8and was seen to have the ways of a man. He became obedient and humbled Himself until He died, yes, died on a cross. 9That is why God also exalted Him up on high and gave Him the name above every other name 10that at the name of JESUS everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth should kneel, lland everyone should confess, “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!” and so glorify God the Father.”

Now not just Jews, not just Israelis, but nations David didn’t know, the Mercies of David, Jesus Christ calls to be his own. He calls us with his good news call that the Father will accept them on account of his sacrifice for them.  Indeed we have run to Jesus because in him we know the Father’s good will toward us.

We have the Trinity mentioned here namely, the Mercies of David, the LORD your God and the Holy One of Israel. Both the Father and the Holy Spirit honors the son, Jesus Christ, the Mercies of David, for the work he did on the cross and his victory over death and the grave. They honor him with a people from every nation, tribe, race and tongue. From every nation the Holy Spirit through the Good News of Jesus and the Sacraments makes for Jesus a holy people, a royal priesthood to his praise and glory.

Jesus indeed offers to you the water of life for free. He’s offering you the feast of everlasting life without cost to you. Come LORD Jesus be our guest and let these gifts to us be blessed.

Merciful and Almighty God and Father, so be revealed to us in your Son Jesus Christ that we may be called by him and run to him to be his holy people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Are You Ready To Party?

#DailyDevotion Are You Ready To Party?

Isaiah 55“Oh, come to the water, all you who are thirsty! You who have no money, come, buy and eat.  Come and buy grain without money, and wine and milk that costs nothing. 2Why are you spending money for what isn’t bread and your earnings for what doesn’t satisfy? If you will only listen to Me, you will eat good things and enjoy rich food. 3Hear and come to Me. Listen and you will live! I will make an everlasting covenant with you —the mercies faithfully promised to David!

The LORD pleads with his people here to put their trust in him. In Isaiah’s day the northern tribes had rebelled against the LORD and worshipped other gods. Because of this the LORD had sent the Assyrians to wipe them out. The southern tribes were running pretty closely behind them. But it would be another century plus some before he sent the Babylonians to discipline the southern tribes. Yet in the midst of judgment we have these words of comfort and peace. We see an invitation to a banquet feast. In the wilderness and the surrounding deserts of Palestine there is an invitation to receive water. He bids them to buy it without money. How does one even do that?

In John 410“If you knew what God is giving,” Jesus answered her, “and Who it is that says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Again he says, 14 “But the water I’ll give him will be in him a spring of water bubbling up to everlasting life.” In Rev. 21 Jesus says, 6“To anyone who is thirsty I will give water, without cost, from the spring of the water of life.” This water of life that Jesus freely gives is the Holy Spirit who gives us life, new life in our hearts and Spirit. Jesus affirms this in John 7 37“’If you’re thirsty, come to Me and drink. 38If you believe in Me, streams of living water will flow from you, as the Bible has said.’ 39By this He meant the Spirit, Whom those who believed in Him were to receive.”

In preparation of the feast to come Jesus demonstrates what he is talking about in Isaiah in John 6, 11“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to the people who were sitting down, and in the same way as much of the fish as they wanted.” Here he feeds the people without costs multiplying the fish and the bread. On the Last Day, we will be ushered into the wedding feast of the Lamb, our LORD Jesus Christ. Until that day, he gives us his body and blood in his supper as a foretaste of the feast to come. These waters, this feast, comes at no cost to us. It is based on the mercies of the LORD’s servant David. That is, the mercies here are bought for us by David’s son, God’s Son, Jesus Christ with his innocent suffering, death and resurrection.

How will we participate in this grand feast? The LORD says, listen to him, hear him, come to him. Don’t ignore this invitation. The Father has cut a covenant with the world with Jesus as the sacrifice. Listen to Jesus. Trust what he says. Hear him! Understand the invitation given to you. Come to Jesus. He will in no wise turn you away. He came to make satisfaction for your sin so you may approach the Father without fear.

Heavenly Father, you have called us to listen, hear and come to you that we may participate in the wedding feast of your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us you Holy Spirit that we may indeed do these things and enter your everlasting feast. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Are You Student Of The Bible?

#DailyDevotion Are You Student Of The Bible?

Matt. 1351“Did you understand all this?” “Yes,” they answered. 52“And so every Bible student trained for the kingdom of heaven,” He told them, “is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new things and old.”

In chapter thirteen Jesus tells three parables and the disciples ask him to explain one of them. He tells another three parables and Jesus ask his disciples if they understood all this. This text is their response. They say, “Yes.” Well do they really? Perhaps. I believe Jesus gave them and us a hermeneutical (a way to interpret) tool in explaining the parable of the weeds and the wheat. So they are to use the way Jesus interpreted that parable with interpreting the other parables in this chapter. What might that be? God is the actor in the parables. He works under the radar. He is letting things be for now. There is a judgment at the end. He delivers his people.

Jesus’ response to their yes with, “And so every Bible student trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new things and old.” So what does this mean? Is the bible student the disciples? Is it Jesus? Is it the disciples in Jesus? How are students trained for the kingdom of heaven?

Certainly we are trained for the kingdom of heaven. We are trained by hearing the word taught by Jesus.  We are trained through trials and tribulations. Jesus was taught directly by the Father. He gives to us what the Father revealed to him. He disciples us.

What is this bringing out of his storeroom things new and old? On the one hand, everything Jesus teaches us if from the Torah, the covenant between God and Israel. He teaches us the meaning of that and teaches us the writings and the prophets. Such is what we see when he gives us the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain. On the other hand, Jesus reveals new things to in particular when he explains how all these things are fulfilled in him. He is the manifestation of the reign and rule of heaven. He reveals to us that the kingdom of heaven brings in not only the Jews or Israelites but people of every tongue, tribe, race and nation. He reveals to us he does and accomplished the work of salvation.

As those student who have been trained in Jesus’ word, we too bring out these things to the nations, the things old, the Old Testament and the things new, the New Testament which tells us how Jesus has fulfilled the Old and established the New. We get this rule of faith to which we judge our understanding of the Scriptures: Jesus is the LORD of Israel in the flesh who has accomplished the salvation for the world by fulfilling as that was told of him in the Old Testament. If you interpretation of the parable goes against that, you’re wrong. If it brings that out to be seen, you’re probably on the right track.

Heavenly Father, as those who are being trained as disciples of the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may understand your teaching, be made your disciples and we witnesses of your great love for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.