#DailyDevotion The Gospel On Which You Stand-Well If You Are A Christian

#DailyDevotion The Gospel On Which You Stand-Well If You Are A Christian

1Co 15:1-5  Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,  (2)  and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  (3)  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  (4)  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,  (5)  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Some of this is actually lost on some Christians and probably most of the world. The Gospelpreached by Paul often gets lost in other societal issues of the day or even worse it is not applied to the issues of the day.

So what is this Gospel that Paul preached to the Corinthians that is so important? He tells them they had received it and stood in it. This Gospelis that by which they are being saved it they hold fast to it. It is the same gospel in you received (if you received it) and stand and are being saved if you hold fast to it. Paul says what is of first importance and that he himself received it also, that Christ dies for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.

Seriously, it your whole life and everything in it isn’t resting upon this foundation then you are not a Christian. I don’t know what you are but Christian isn’t it. The Scriptures proclaim that the Christ would die when the Lord said, “you will strike his heel and he will crush your head.” When the Lord provided a ram in the thickets to stand in the place of Isaac for a sacrifice, Jesus’ death was foretold here. Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and many others including the words from Jesus’ own mouth tell us the Messiah, the Christ must die for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus’ death fulfilled that. You sins, trespasses, iniquity, guilt and shame have been forgiven, covered, atoned for, and removed from you by Jesus Christ dying for your sins.

Not only that, Jesus was buried and Jesus rose from the dead, bodily, on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. It is not enough that Jesus dies. Who knows if our sins are forgiven if Jesus stays buried in the tomb? Paul says Jesus, Rom 4:25 “was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” The resurrection of Jesus is your justification before the Father. In Jesus’ resurrection you are declared not guilty, innocent and righteous. Without the resurrection, Paul would soon tells us we would still be in our sins. But Jesus is raised from the dead and you have been justified. It is written, Psa 16:10 “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” And again, Isa 53:9-10 “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, …  (10)  Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” And again, Hos 6:2 “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.”

So we confess these vital truths of the gospel in the Church’s creed, “he was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day he rose again.” Now this was not without witnesses. This is no myth. We can stand on solid ground based on the witness of two or three people. Here Paul points us to Cephas (Simon Peter) and the twelve. Well that’s even more than three witnesses. Yet they were eyewitnesses to this truth, Christ has died and Christ is risen. He wasn’t just a ghost, spirit or apparition. He told them to touch him and see he is flesh and bone. He ate breakfast with them. He was truly alive and risen from the dead. On these truths you can stand firm in the faith. You can be sure and certain your sins are forgiven. The atonement price for your sins has been paid. The death you deserve for your iniquity Jesus has taken upon himself. Your guilt and shame Jesus bore that on the cross and buried it in the tomb.

Heavenly Father, you sent your son to die for our sins and be raised for our justification. Ever remind us of this gospel that we may stand in it and hold fast until the day you raise us also like out Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Which Path Are You On?

#DailyDevotion Which Path Are You On?

Jeremiah 17:5–8 [Blessed is the man who trusts the Lord]

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.  He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit

It’s like Jeremiah just read Psa 1:1-6  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  (2)  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  (3)  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.  (4)  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  (5)  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;  (6)  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

There are two paths in life. You might think you may be on a third, but if you do, you are deceived, you’re on the wrong path. There are paths of light and darkness, life and death, and faith and misplaced faith. So Jeremiah compares the paths of trust and misplaced trust.

The misplaced trust is when we trust man and the strength of man. We may place our trust in politicians, political parties, nations, our parents, sport celebrities and a host of other people. We think they can solve all our problems and supply us everything we need in life. Of course there are numerous other things we may place our trust in like science and technology or many other things in creation. Never the less when we place our trust in these people, places and things to solve our problem and provide everything we need in life physical, emotional and spiritual, we have a heart that has turned away from the Lord. So Jeremiah calls us shrubs in the desert. We will be unfruitful to the Lord. We will be dried up like chaff and we will perish likewise. The root of our being is not in the root of our being.

But if your trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ, if that is where you look to the solution of your problem today, if he is where you look to supply all your needs in life, then you are like a tree planted by water. The roots of your being will go forth and we watered by the Spirit of our God. You will not whither with life hits will all of its tragedies and problems. You will not grow anxious when things don’t look like they’re going so well. Indeed you will bear the fruit of the Spirit and eternal life. Jesus has said, not to be anxious, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the things in life we worry about our Father in heaven will take care of them

Heb 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” A different object of our love and trust but the same applies. We have a promise from the Lord he will never leave us or forsake us. It matters not what may be going on in our lives. This still rings true. So put your trust in the Lord.

Gracious and merciful Father, you call us to put our trust in our Lord Jesus Christ and not in created things with the promise we will not whither but remain strong and bear fruit in the midst of adversity. Grant to us such faith that our trust would always remain our Lord Jesus who is the water of life now and unto eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion God’s Righteousness Doesn’t Make Sense

#DailyDevotion God’s Righteousness Doesn’t Make Sense

Introit  (Psalm 71:15–18; Antiphon: Psalm 51:14)

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my sal- | vation,*

      and my tongue will sing aloud of your | righteousness.

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation | all the day,*

      for their number is past my | knowledge.

With the mighty deeds of the Lord God | I will come;*

      I will remind them of your righteousness, | yours alone.

O God, from my youth you have | taught me,*

      and I still proclaim your | wondrous deeds.

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not for- | sake me,*

      until I proclaim your might to another generation,

      your power to all | those to come.

Some people probably recoil at the thought of God letting David get away with murder. Sure, David lost his child by Bathsheba and his house would be full of trouble. Two of his sons would die, one because he raped his sister, one of David’s daughters. But David did commit adultery aaannndd he arraigned the death (murder) of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to cover up the adultery. Still our moral hackles should be shouting, Death! Not only death but he deserves eternity in hell!

Yet it that bloodguiltiness David seeks to be delivered of by God. If God would only do this, then he would sing aloud of God’s righteousness. Now wait, you may be saying. What sort of righteousness lets the damned David be delivered from his bloodguiltiness? What sort of righteousness indeed!

But Paul writes, Rom 4:5-8 “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,  (6)  just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:  (7)  ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;  (8)  blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.’” Yes, God is righteous and just and does not let sin go unpunished. Yet here Paul says God considers the ungodly righteous who have faith in him. God even justifies the guilty! How can this make sense. To that Paul says, 2Co 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God takes out his justice, his wrath for our sins upon the sinless one, his only Son Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus becomes our sin offering. What David deserved, what the worst person you can think of in the world deserves, and what you deserve for your sins, Jesus atoned for with the shedding of his blood, his suffering and death.

Knowing this, David rightly proclaims the righteousness of our God. For the righteousness of our God does not condemn us but saves us. With David let us open our lips and proclaim all that the Lord has done. The mighty deed of our Lord Jesus Christ suffering death yet overcoming death by his resurrection should pour forth from our mouths as it did David’s. Let us remind one another of the Lord Jesus Christ’s wondrous deeds of salvation and proclaim it to another generation. The power of Jesus’ death and resurrection to remove from us our bloodguiltiness, our sins, the wrath of God and to make us righteous before the Father we shall rejoice in and make known. If you are offended by the Lord’s righteousness to David, perhaps you don’t have a good appreciation of your own sins yet. I suggest a humble and honest appraisal of yourself with the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount starting in Matthew five. The offense of even our ‘little sins’ stinks to high heaven. Thanks be to God he provides us his righteousness in Christ Jesus.

Almighty God and Father, your righteousness saved your servant David in the midst of his bloodguiltiness. May that same righteousness save us from all our sins that we may become your righteousness on the day of judgment. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Lord Takes Care Of The Spiritual And Then The Physical

#DailyDevotion The Lord Takes Care Of The Spiritual And Then The Physical

Luk 5:4-11  And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  (5)  And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”  (6)  And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.  (7)  They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.  (8)  But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  (9)  For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken,  (10)  and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”  (11)  And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Having taught the people spiritually, Jesus takes to taking care of the fishermen’s physical needs whose boat he had borrowed. I told he tells them to put out into deep water in the daytime when supposedly the best time for fishing with nets is when it is dark in the shallows. Our Father in heaven does want to satisfy our physical needs but not at the expense of our spiritual ones. You might note the first three petitions are spiritual and then we get to daily bread. In Matthew chapter six Jesus says, “seek first the kingdom of God and then all these things will be given unto you.” Yet the world wants to turn God’s ways upside down and have us to fill their physical needs first and then, maybe feed them spiritually.

Peter, having heard Jesus teach, having been moved by the Holy Spirit, says, “at your word I will let down the nets.”Peter knows that’s just not how things work. He and his partners have been fishermen all their lives. Yet, a spark of faith moves Peter to believe Jesus and put forth his nets. Well we all know what happens. Peter catches so many fish they have to call their partners to help them load up the boats. They were filled up so much the boats began to sink. From Jesus’ teaching and now this Peter knows this is no ordinary itinerant rabbi. Someone holy is in his presence.

Sinful men do not and cannot stand in the presence of holiness. Jesus’ holiness was revealed to Peter. Now we don’t know what sort of sinful man Peter was. He was a fisherman (did he lie about the size of his catches?). He was in business (did he cheat on the scales or sell substandard fish?). He was married (did he cheat on his wife or was unkind to her?). Well we are all sinful. We don’t need to speculate. We can just place ourselves in Peter’s place. When confronted with the holiness of God we will either recoil in fear or cover that fear with self-justification. Peter recoils.

Yet Jesus don’t not blast Peter with his holiness. Instead Jesus meets Peter’s fear with grace, mercy, peace, kindness and love. “Don’t be afraid” Jesus tells Peter. Jesus didn’t come to condemn. Certainly Jesus confronts sin and calls people to repent. When people become contrite of this sins, they are met with the name of God, Exo 34:6-7 “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  (7)  keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” We too, when confronted with our own sins and sinfulness and we are terrified by our sins, contrite and broken of spirit should hear the voice of our Savior Jesus Christ, “don’t be afraid.” We don’t need to be afraid because our God in Christ the Lord is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, steadfastness, forgiving iniquity, transgressions and sins. Jesus speaks to you this word of grace.

Gracious Lord and Father, fulfill in our all our spiritual needs and grant us faith to believe you will take care of our bodily needs as your Son Jesus Christ has so promised us and be gracious and merciful to us for the sake of Christ Jesus when we sin so we need not fear your wrath but experience your steadfast love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Continues To Teach Us

#DailyDevotion Jesus Continues To Teach Us

Luk 5:1-3  On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,  (2)  and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.  (3)  Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

Throughout the Psalms, the psalmist prays that the Lord would teach us his ways and instruct us in his wisdom and knowledge. In today’s lesson we see the answer to that prayer. The Lord himself has come down from heaven to teach his people. That Lord is Jesus of Nazareth.

Now Luke does not report what Jesus taught that day. Matthew and Mark (if it is the same incident; they don’t report the catching of fish) have Jesus teaching, “Repent and believe the good news. The kingdom of God is near.” Then Jesus calls the fishermen to follow him. Now Jesus often gathers people and teaches them. He gathered them on the mountain and on the plain. His teaching no doubt included much of what is taught in the sermon on the mount and the sermon on the plain.

In these sermons, Jesus teaches us what God intends his people to be like in blessing. He expounds the true teaching of the Law he had given to Moses. He calls us to be repentant of our sins. He exhorts us to good works. He invites us to believe he is the Messiah, the Son of Man, David’s son, the prophet promised by Moses.

And so today, even as Jesus calls the fishermen to be fisher of men, Jesus still calls men into the ministry. While they may normally preach and teach from pulpits, he may use them to instruct the people anywhere. The teaching they bring to the masses is the teaching they have received from Jesus. Their word is authoritative because their word is not their own but our Lord Jesus Christ’s.

Jesus still teaches us to be repentant, to turn from our sins and our selfish, self-centered ways. He calls us to turn to him for the truth and for salvation. He calls us to trust he is the very Messiah promised from God. He calls us to live in good works which God himself provides for us. Jesus tells us the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Believe the good news. And that is good news because if God’s kingdom is at hand then the devil’s kingdom and power are on its last legs.

Heavenly Father, grant us faith to repent and believe the good news and always provide us with the teaching of your Son through those he sends to instruct us. Give us ear that hear and hearts that believe the message of Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Seek The Gifts Of Service

#DailyDevotion Seek The Gifts Of Service

1 Corinthians 14:12b–20

Strive to excel in building up the church. Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret.  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.  What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.  Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?  For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.  Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 

I wonder how people get so confused concerning spiritual gifts when they read 1 Corinthians. It’s like they completely miss the point of Paul talking about them at all. I guess we all like the fantastic, the special, and the out of the ordinary. But what is Paul’s purpose in mentioning them at all? He says, “Strive to excel in building up the church.”

If there are any special gifts of the Spirit given to any individual, they are not given so that person can say, “Look at me!” They are not given to be lorded over others who have different spirituals given them for the edification of the church. They are not given so people can say, “If you don’t have such and such a gift, i.e. speaking in tongues, you really don’t have faith.” Even the most fantastical of gifts are given to serve other members of the congregation, building them up in the faith and making the congregation stronger.

So Paul previously talked about gifts without love being of no use. Now he is particularly talking about a gift of speaking in tongues which is fairly in vogue today. I have had few experiences in this matter where those ‘speaking in tongues’ actually listened to Paul at this point. They speak when there is no one to interpret. They don’t pray for the gift of interpretation. There are full bore, not in decently or in order towers of Babel at these worship services. Some of them are even faking it. According to Paul’s lesson here, those speaking are not edified. Those listening are not edified. It is contrary to the Spirit of God.

So what should we do? Ask God to give us the ability to speak five intelligible words about Jesus. We should outgrow our childish thinking of ‘look at me’ and ‘how can you serve me’ and instead be mature in our thinking. Instead we should be saying, ‘Look at you! Thanks be to God!” We should be asking “How can I serve my fellow Christians in this place?” This is pleasing to God and certainly a manifestation of the Spirit our Father in heaven is looking for in us.

Paul calls us to be infants in evil but mature in our thinking. Big, gross sins should not mark our lives. Sins that involve contemplation and planning should not be manifest in our lives. But planning on doing good, serving others and the like should be the hallmark of our Christian walk.

Heavenly Father, grant unto us those manifestations of the Spirit that build up your Church, strengthen our fellow believers that your Son Jesus Christ may receive the glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Learn From Israel’s Bad Example

#DailyDevotion Learn From Israel’s Bad Example

Isa 6:9-13  And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’  (10)  Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”  (11)  Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste,  (12)  and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.  (13)  And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.

Perhaps it wasn’t the call that Isaiah anticipated when he said, “Here am I. Send me!” The call of Isaiah was to preach and teach to a people who would not listen to him and would not believe his word. Sure, there was the remnant God preserved for himself who would listen, understand, be repentant and believe. The vast majority of Israel would hear but not understand. Their eyes would be blind to what God was doing. Their hearts would be dull. The Lord did not want them to understand and to repent and be healed.

Now the question might be, “Why not?” It was their punishment for hardening their hearts, making their ears heavy and closing their eyes to what the Lord had already preached to them through Moses and the prophets. They are being made an example for us to what happens to a people who turn a blind eye to God’s word, ignore its teachings and act with impunity to sin even though we know what the Law of God says, even though we know the mercy of God  and spit upon it as though it were nothing.

Isaiah wondered how long this would last. It was going to be a while. The cities would be laid waste and the land would be desolate. The people of God would be removed from the land to distant places. A tenth would remain but even that would be burnt up and only a stump would remain.  The Lord here is prophesying the fall of northern Israel by the Assyrians and then later the fall of Judah by the Babylonians. Yet for the sake of his servant David from whence shall come the seed of the woman promised in Genesis 3:15 and the blessed seed of Abraham in Genesis 18, a holy seed would remain. It was the stump. It would return to Jerusalem and be born in the city of David.

Yet even this promised holy seed, Jesus Christ our Lord would also experience what the prophet Isaiah experienced when he went through the land of Israel preaching. Jesus said, Mat 13:13-15  “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.  (14)  Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.’  (15)  For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”

Yet this hardening of their hearts was necessary for Jesus to fulfill his destiny as our Savior. Because of the hardness of their hearts they would offer Jesus up as the atoning sacrifice for he sin of the world. By his death, Death would Passover us, all who would believe in him. By his resurrection, we receive newness of life, a repentant heart, ears that hear and eyes that see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. There continues to be a partial hardening of the Jewish heart until the fullness of the Gentiles who would hear and believe but the early Church was mostly the Jewish people of Jesus’ day who after his resurrection and ascension were given the gift of repentance and faith.

Gracious Father, continue to give us ears that hear and believe and open the hearts of your people Israel that they too may believe in your Son Jesus Christ unto everlasting life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Holy, Holy, Holy Is The Father, Son and Holy Spirit

#DailyDevotion Holy, Holy, Holy Is The Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Isa 6:1-8  In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  (2)  Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  (3)  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”  (4)  And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.  (5)  And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”  (6)  Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.  (7)  And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”  (8)  And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

I imagine it must have been a terrible sight. You’re kneeling, sitting praying or minding your own business then bam! you have this vision come upon you. Isaiah has a vision of the Lord. We don’t have much a description other high and lifted up and his train filled the temple. It is a scene of sheer glory. Now most likely this is the temple that is above that Isaiah is seeing. It is also highly likely he was in the temple in Jerusalem when he had this vision, Isaiah being a priest. If you remember from Exodus, the tabernacle/temple was a model of what Moses saw on the mountain of the temple above. But instead of cherubim we get a picture of seraphim. Now seraphim were fiery serpents, dragons if you will. Now there are only two but they are singing thricely, “Holy, Holy, Holy”.

Now on the one had this is a great example of the Trinity in the Old Testament. The Father is holy. The Son is Holy. The Holy Spirit is holy. But there are not three holies but one holy, each person of the Trinity holy and Lord. The singing of the three magnifies their holiness. The whole earth is full of their glory of they created everything that is seen and unseen and it testifies to the glory of God. It was an awesome sight to behold and to hear. So much so, Isaiah falls to the ground confessing the sin of the people and his own sin. Not many people get to see God in his glory and live. But the Lord God is gracious and merciful. He sends a seraph to take a coal from the altar to touch the lips of Isaiah. The burning coal atones for Isaiah’s sin. Now Isaiah is prepared for the Lord’s mission. He will go forth and proclaim the testimony of the Lord to the people of Judah and Israel.

Now we sing the song of the seraphim in our church service just before communion. Indeed, the very Lord who was high and lifted up, who train filled the temple is present with us in the service. We have invoked his name, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He have heard the word of the Lord from the pastor’s lips as from the Lord himself. The Lord has been high and lifted up in the temple of our hearts and now he is present upon the altar. It is right to sing him praise.

And as the seraph took tongs and put a coal upon the lips of Isaiah, atoning for his sins, the pastor takes the bread and wine, which has been blessed by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is now the very body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and places it upon our lips. Take and eat, take and drink, the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Go in peace. Serve the Lord. Our sins are atoned for. Our guilt is taken away.

The Lord then sends us into the world as a witness and a testimony of the great love the God of Heaven and of Earth has for us and for all people. We serve him in the various callings he has called us to, to bear witness in word and deed of the great mercy and kindness of our God in Christ Jesus.

Holy, Holy, Holy are you O Lord of Hosts! Give unto us the same mercy you shown your servant Isaiah and ever give us from the altar Christ’ body and blood that our sins may be atoned for and our guilt removed. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Holy One Of Israel, Their King And Redeemer

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Holy One Of Israel, Their King And Redeemer

Luk 4:31-37  And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath,  (32)  and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.  (33)  And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice,  (34)  “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”  (35)  But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.  (36)  And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”  (37)  And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

Jesus taught as one with authority. He did not teach as the Scribes and the Pharisees taught. His pattern of teaching was often, “You have heard it say, but I say to you.” Everyone else quoted other rabbis and authorities, the traditions of the fathers and the like when teaching what the Scriptures meant. Jesus, however, is the Word of God. It is he who spoke to the prophets. Jesus is the one who taught Moses on the mountain and in the tent. He knows exactly what he meant when he spoke through the prophets. Because he is the Word and speaks the Word his word did indeed possess authority.

Now on this particular day Jesus was given the opportunity to show he wasn’t just whistling Dixie. A man in the synagogue was possessed by a demon and he began to accost Jesus. He identifies Jesus for who he is, the Holy One of God. But Jesus will have none of it. He will not accept the testimony of a demon (demons tend to lie) for even the truth from their mouths could be seen as a lie and discredit Jesus. Jesus though rebukes the demon, commands him to be silent and the demon comes out of him. So the people at the synagogue in Capernaum see that Jesus’ word does indeed have authority and power. Jesus’ word didn’t only sound good, authentic and authoritative, it did what is said it would do. Just as when Jesus spoke creation into existence in Genesis one and it was, so he speaks and it is done.

So Jesus is indeed the Holy One of God. Isaiah says, Isa 12:6 “Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” Little did they know the word of Isaiah came to pass, Isa 17:7 “In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel.” As Jesus opened his mouth to teach them this word is fulfilled, Isa 48:17 “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” The prophet speaks again, Isa 43:15 “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” and again, Isa 47:4 “Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.”

So despite the witness of the demon, through Jesus’ word and command, the authority and power of his word, Jesus is the Holy One of Israel. He has taught us his way. He is the Lord, the Creator of Israel and Israel’s King, our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts. We have seen him in our flesh, with our own eyes we have seen him. His word of forgiveness, salvation, redemption and eternal life is true and works what he says it does. If he has said you are forgiven, you are. If he says salvation has come to your house, it has. If he says you have eternal life, you do. And all these things he has spoken to us through those whom he has appointed and given his authority. Those are the apostles and pastors of the Church in whom and through whom he exercises his authority. Thanks be to God.

Heavenly Father, ever and always speak the authoritative word of your Son Jesus Christ, through the pastors Jesus has given us that we be freed from the power of sin, death and the devil and possess within ourselves your salvation and life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.