Lent Day 28

#DailyDevotion God Is Omniscient But In Jesus He Forgets Your Sins

Lent Day 28

Jer. 31:34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”


Now we see the content of this new covenant, the New Testament, the basis upon which the Lord, the God of Israel makes with Israel and with all mankind. It is this, the Lord forgives our iniquity, our sins, our trespasses and remembers them no more. Jesus says as much when he institutes the Lord’s Supper in the Gospel of Matthew, “This is my blood of the New Testament for the forgiveness of sins.”


We really should take note of the whole one sidedness of the New Testament. The Lord through Jeremiah places no restrictions on it; there are no prerequisites for participating or receiving the New Testament than having iniquity. This is why the Gospel, the New Testament is good news. Under the Mosaic Law, there were all sorts of regulations and requirements and the like to be participants and recipients. But the Lord God does it all here.


Our Lord Jesus Christ, without our asking or believing, becomes one of us. He offers his body as a sacrifice for our sins. He pours out his blood as the blood of this covenant. Jesus say, I’m your God and you are my people. I forgive your sins and remember them no more.


This is how we know the Lord, by the forgiveness of our sins and iniquities and that he remembers them no more. There was once a little saintly girl, I believe it was in medieval France who said she saw Jesus and had conversations with Jesus. Well this got back to the bishop who called her in to question her about it. It apparently was causing a stir in the church at the time and causing him some grief. The bishop asked the young girl to do something for him. He asked her the next time she talked with our Lord Jesus to ask him what the bishop confessed in confession. So after a while the girl appeared before the bishop who asked her if she saw Jesus and if she asked Jesus his question. She said yes. So the bishop asked, “Well what did Jesus say?” The little girl replied, “He said he forgot.” I have no doubt this girl saw Jesus.


For when we confess our sins to God, whether privately or with the pastor, the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of Israel removes our sins from us as far as east is from the west. He forgives and unlike us at times, he actually does forget. Though our sins are red as scarlet we are made as white as snow. Though our sins are as crimson, we are made white as wool. He declares us innocent, not guilty, justified because of the blood of the New Testament he shed for us, for all people everywhere.


Gracious Father, we in no way deserve your mercy and kindness, yet in your great love for us you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be the covenant, the testament sacrifice so we may be set free of our sins. Grant us such faith to believe Christ’s sacrifice that we may know you as the Lord who forgives us our sins and remembers them no more. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Lent Day 27

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The New Covenant The Lord Makes With His People

Lent Day 27

Jer. 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


Whereas the old covenant was more two sided, I’m going to be your God and you my people and the people cut a covenant with the Lord, offered up sacrifices and agreed to it, the new covenant is all on the Lord God. In the New Testament which the Lord will now establish with his people he will provide the sacrifice and it’s all on him to carry it out.


Jesus is the Lamb of God through the Lord God will establish a new covenant, a new testament. It is God’s blood, the blood of Son of God, made flesh, which will be offered up on the mountains of Moriah on the cross. It is Jesus’ body and blood which is the sacrifice of the New Testament. So Jesus tells, “This is my body given for you. This is my blood of the New Testament shed for you.” The Lord’s Supper is the sign and seal of the New Testament promised through the prophet Jeremiah.


All who partake of the Lord’s Supper in faith are participating in the New Testament Jeremiah prophesied. Here is the Supper of the Messiah Jesus, the Lord of is Jesus says, “I am your God and you are my people.”


Now the Spirit of the Lord did not fall upon all the Israelites in the first covenant and when it did fall upon the seventy elders, it was short lived. In the New Testament, it is written, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” This in effect occurred at Pentecost and it continues as we preach the Gospel of the New Testament. When we hear the Gospel that Jesus has chosen to be our God and we his people, the Holy Spirit comes and gives us faith to believe this. This is putting the law on our within us and upon our hearts. It is not like the natural law written upon all men’s hearts. When the Lord Jesus writes upon our hearts his law, he puts his Spirit within us, in our hearts. As Jesus told the woman at the well, “There is coming a time when men will worship God in Spirit and in Truth.”


So now with the Spirit within us, we rejoice in the law of God. We even spontaneously begin to carry out God’s law of love in our lives without being told. For we have been freed from the slavery of the fear of death and the slavery to our fallen flesh. The Spirit himself bears his fruit within us in our lives, love, patience, joy, humility, and peace etc.. This is the meaning of the Law being put in within us and written on our hearts. For the Lord Jesus has made his new testament with us. He is our God and we are his people.


Almighty God and Father, we thank you for establishing for us a New Testament by offering up your Son Jesus Christ as the covenant sacrifice. We thank you for your Spirit and claiming us to be your holy people. Continually grant us your Spirit that we may love your law and bear the fruits of the Spirit every day in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

5th Sunday in Lent

#DailyDevotion The Lord Is More Patient, Kind, And Merciful Than Me

5th Sunday in Lent

Jer. 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.


Really? I must say despite the bad rap the Lord gets for being a wrathful God, have you ever seen someone so merciful and patient with people who really want nothing to do with him? Seriously.


Let’s just recount Israel’s past. First there was the whole golden calf incident. The Lord had already given the Ten Commandments and what’s the first thing they do, break the commandment against making graven images and worshipping them. The Lord was ready to start over with Moses but Moses interceded with the Lord despite Israel already breaking the covenant he had made with them.


Then there was the constant grumbling against the Lord by the Israelites in the wilderness against the Lord and his providing for them. They never really trusted the Lord to provide for them. They were never grateful for his provisions. Finally they didn’t trust his promise when he told them to take the Promised Land. Yet, he had mercy on the Israelites by letting their children to take the Promised Land.


Once they were there, they broke the covenant with the Lord and worshipped other gods. He had to send Judges to save them because he handed them over to the people who worshipped the gods they decided to worship instead of him. Once we get to the kings of Israel and Judah, it’s just wholesale rebellion against the Lord. They worship not the Lord or not just the Lord but gods neither they nor their fathers knew. You think that would be enough. Well the Lord did send the northern tribes into exile and oblivion. Who knows where they are now? But we have Judah still.


So it is through Judah, the Lord promises to mercifully fulfill his promises to Abraham. The Lord is going to make a new covenant with Israel. Though the Lord was a faithful husband to Israel she played the whore. But the Lord isn’t willing to let the children of Abraham go. So he promises to make a new covenant. This covenant will be a rather one sided one. It’s all on the Lord. He will come and become one of them. He will be the sacrifice of the covenant. His blood will be the sign of the covenant. Jesus is the Lord who makes this covenant with his body and his blood. But Israel is too small a prize. In this covenant the Lord Jesus Christ claims the world, the whole cosmos as his own. Jesus makes a covenant with you. He’s going to be your God and you are going to be his people.

Heavenly Father, though we do not deserve your grace and mercy, in your Son Jesus Christ you have cut a covenant so we may be your people and you our God. Grant us such faith that we partake of this covenant and enjoy eternally your bountiful goodness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Lent Day 26

#DailyDevotion If The Gospel Isn’t For Everyone, Then It Isn’t Gospel.

Lent Day 26

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.


While many people like verse 16 I prefer verse 17. Too many people have turned verse 16 into law by making believing in that verse to something you have to do instead of a descriptive condition. Instead of God giving you the gift of faith as in Ephesians or something God gives you through the hearing of the Word of Christ, (Roman 10), they get you thinking faith must be something you must gin up in yourselves.


Now verse 17 here is something God can use to give you the gift of faith, a Word of Christ which the Holy Spirit uses to create faith in you. Like the preceding verse we do have the wonderful statement concerning the world. God loved the world. That means everyone and everything in it. God sends his Son into the world to save it, not to condemn it. So unless you’re not of this world, this cosmos, then Jesus here is talking about you. God loves you. God saved you through Jesus.


This is the wonderful all inclusive Gospel. Salvation has been obtained for you because you are part of this world. Paul in 2 Corinthians tells us much of the same thing when he writes, God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. Our doubts can only be erased by such universal coverage of Christ’s saving work. Only when we can point to Jesus and say there in, by and through him alone is the certainty of my salvation can our uncertainties be crushed and be replaced by a certain and abiding hope.


Now don’t not like verse 16. It is a wonderful verse when properly understood. We still have God’s love for the world. As long as we understand faith is a gift from God it can be wonderfully comforting.


Heavenly Father grant unto us such faith that we can be comforted in your primary will towards us in your Son Jesus Christ which is love and not condemnation, so we may overcome all sin and darkness in our hearts and expose ourselves to your marvelous light without fear. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Lent Day 25

#DailyDevotion We See That Which Kills Us On The Cross Of Christ

Lent Day 25

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.


Jesus here, predicts the fulfillment of what the Lord did in Numbers, how he is going to die to save the world. That which is killing us must be crucified. What is killing us? Our sin. When Jesus is lifted up on the cross, he becomes the sin sacrifice so we might become the righteousness of God.


We sin, rebel against the Lord’s will for our lives and that old serpent, the devil, bites us and delivers us unto death. Like the Israelites who have to look up at the bronze serpent to be healed and not die, when we sin we need to look to Christ crucified to healed. This is why Paul would have nothing known among those whom he preached but Christ crucified. Only in Jesus being lifted up on the cross is there salvation.


Yet the Israelites looked to the cross because they believed Moses’ promise. In similar fashion, we look to the cross of Christ because we believe the promise given there. On the cross God has been reconciled to us. There he no longer counts our transgressions against us.  The cross shows us God is no longer angry with us anymore. God is not our enemy.


Like the Israelites who still had the snakes who bit them after Moses made the bronze snake, we still have this sinful flesh. Paul in Romans seven talks about how sin is still in him and causes him to sin. While we are not slaves to sin in Christ anymore, that is according to the new man, the new creation in Christ. This old flesh, wasting away day by day, is utterly sinful. So we cry out with St. Paul, who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to God there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.


So, as we find ourselves in the weakness of flesh, doing that we do not want to do or as the sinful flesh finds its expression in our lives, in faith we look to Jesus lifted up and believe our sins and our sinfulness has been taken care of. We have eternal life, even now, as a present possession. Sin cannot kill us anymore. Eternal death is not for us. Eternal life is ours on the cross. So we do not shy away from the cross or Jesus crucified. We glory in the cross because it is our salvation and our life before God and man.


Heavenly Father, grant us faith to look to Jesus crucified when our sins alarm us that we may have peace and eternal life with you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Lent Day 24

#DailyDevotion Saved, Grace & Faith. What Does This Mean?

Lent Day 24

Eph. 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


We are saved by grace through faith. Saved, we get eternal life as a present possession now and when we cast off these mortal coils and they’re replace with immortal ones. Grace, some say God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Not too bad. It is a gift, a free gift, God’s good favor based on something outside of yourself, namely God’s love for you in Christ Jesus. Faith is an instrument through which you receive God’s grace. It believes and it trust God’s promises. This faith is not of your own doing. It is a gift of God given and wrought by God in us by the Holy Spirit through the word of the good news of Jesus.


So our salvation is not the result of our works or anything in us other than the need to be saved. It is a gift of God. If it is a gift then you may make no claim about it for yourself. You may only boast in how great, merciful, kind and loving God is to provide such a great salvation for you. You can’t claim it’s based on your faith and how great it is. Faith is a gift of God. You can’t claim you’ve earned God’s grace. Grace is a gift of God. You can’t even claim it is something you did by grace. That would negate the gift of God. No, you can only say thank you and give God praise for all his goodness.


Now while we are save by grace through faith as a gift because we are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus, we are saved to be like God in this life. You have been created in Christ Jesus for good works. Good works such as forgiving those who sin against you. To do good to those who hate you and are your enemies. Sacrificing your own wants to provide for someone else’s need. You are called in essence to love your neighbor as yourself.


And you don’t have to go out looking for these good works. They will come to you. God has prepared them beforehand that you should walk in them. Unless you hold yourself up in a hole in a mountain, you will engage your fellowman on a daily basis there God will have good works for you to do. When the opportunity arises for you to do good, remember what God has done for you purely out of his grace and then be gracious like your Father in heaven has been gracious to you. The devil and your flesh, maybe even some friends may try to cause some selfish, self-centered fear in you to not do it for your own sake. Don’t listen. Believe the good news God has given you in Christ Jesus and just do the good given for you to do.


Heavenly Father, we cannot praise you and your Son Jesus Christ enough in this life for all your goodness, kindness, love and graciousness to us. Help us to believe in it by your Spirit that we may show for these characteristics in our own lives toward our fellowman. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Lent Day 23

#DailyDevotion Where Are You Sitting? It Is A Position Of Power And Authority.

Lent Day 23

Eph. 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


Such is our unity with Christ Jesus. In birth Jesus, the Son of God united himself with creation and in particularly humanity. In baptism Jesus united himself with sinful humanity. On the cross we also see Jesus being one with us in the punishment of our sins. Jesus has come into our flesh to be one with us.


Now, through baptism we are united with Christ in every way. We are crucified with Jesus. We are buried with Jesus. We are buried with Jesus. We are even risen to new life in Jesus with the promise of the bodily resurrection on the last day. All that was Christ on this earth we are united to him through baptism. But even more spectacularly, we are raised and seated with him in the heavenly places.


Jesus ascended into heaven to the right hand of God the Father where he intercedes for us continuously. However, he is not alone. You too are with Jesus, right there at the right hand of God ‘in Christ.’ This of all things should impact our prayers and encourage us to pray. We don’t have to wait to be with God. We are with him now in Christ. When we pray, the words go from our lips, unto Christ’s lips into the ears of the Father. Like currently possessing eternal life when we have faith in Christ, this is something that has to be believed.


But it should encourage us to be bold and faithful in our prayers. As Jesus exercises all authority at the right of God the Father through his intercessions, we exercise our rule with him and in him and through him, as his bride through our prayers. Jesus tells us, Joh 14:20 “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” That day is now. Our prayers are Jesus’ prayers. Jesus also promises us, Joh 16:26-27 “In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;  (27)  for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” From your lips through Christ Jesus into the Father’s ears are our prayers through our unity with Jesus Christ.


And if this is not good enough, Paul promises that this being seated with Christ in the heavenly places the Father will show us even more immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness in Christ Jesus on the day of his revelation to the world.


Heavenly Father, ever grant us such faith, that seated with Christ Jesus your Son in the heavenly places, we may be bold to bring our prayers and intercessions to you so the world may glorify you and your Son when it sees how much you loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Lent Day 22

#DailyDevotion Your Creator Is Rich In Mercy. He Is Full Of Grace

Lent Day 22

Eph. 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—


Unfortunately the society we live in does not think of God as being rich in mercy. He is generally considered a wrathful ogre or a live and let live type of guy. But God is rich in mercy. He has a lot of it he wants to spread around. The mere fact he has to have mercy on us is because we don’t deserve it. We deserve the opposite for any and all of our sins and perhaps even more importantly our sinfulness. The mere sinfulness of our being causes us to be dead in trespasses which like a stick up the nose of our Lord God. But God wants to be merciful to you and all people everywhere.


But if we really are that bad why would God have merciful toward us? Because of the great love with which he loved us. We are his creation. More than that, we are his creation made in his image and likeness. He created us to love us. He created us to make our being his holy temple to dwell in and commune with him. So though we were dead in trespasses and sins, he still loved us with his great love.


Being dead, God has made us ‘alive together with Christ.’ Through the forgiveness of sins for Christ’ sake the Holy Spirit makes alive who were once dead.  Adam did die the day he sinned. He has passed this death to all his progeny. Now by the resurrection of Jesus, all who have been given the gift of faith through the preaching of Jesus are made inwardly alive. We were bodily alive, though mortal, but dead inside. Now we possess eternal life. While our outward body is wasting away day by day, inwardly we are being renewed by the eternal life of Jesus Christ.


By grace you have been saved. God’s mercy is a gift to you. It is undeserved, unearned, and not merited by anything you are, think, say or do. God has shown you his good favor. Otherwise it wouldn’t be grace. There are no strings attached. It is based solely on the work of Jesus Christ by his innocent, suffering and death. Will there be changes in us as a result of this grace? Most certainly, but they are signs we have received this grace. They should not be confused with the grace and mercy of God in Christ Jesus. So rejoice, today God has been merciful to you and given you eternal life in Jesus Christ the Lord.


Eteranal God and merciful Father, grant us always this grace that we may be alive in Christ unto death and the resurrection of our bodies on the Last Day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.