#DailyDevotion Who God Chooses To Be His Own

#DailyDevotion Who God Chooses To Be His Own

1 Cor. 126You see what happened, fellow Christians, when God called you. Not many of you are wise as the world judges, not many in positions of power, not many born of noble parents. 27No, God chose the foolish things in the world to make wise men ashamed. God chose the weak things in the world to make strong men ashamed. 28God chose the lowly things in the world, what it despises, what is nothing, to make what is something nothing 29and to keep anyone from bragging before God.

So where or what were you when God called you? The people of Corinth, they weren’t wise as the world judges. The Christians there whom God called were not in positions of power or born of noble parents. As far as the statistics go, even today, those called by God to belong to Christ’s church are not wise, nor powerful, nor rich or born of noble families. There just aren’t a whole lot of those types of people, though many think they may be or want to be.

So who does God called to belong to his Church in Christ Jesus? God chooses the foolish things in the world to make wise men ashamed. God chooses the weak things in the world to make strong men ashamed. God chooses the lowly things in the world to be his people i.e. those who do not have money, power or prestige. More than that, God chooses those whom the world despises to be his holy people. Paul says then in culmination, God chooses those who are nothing, nothing, to keep anyone from bragging before God. Just as he made creation out of nothing to make this big beautiful creation we see all around us he takes those who are nothing and calls them, gives them his glory and makes them his sons.

So where were you when God chose you? I was a month old. Who knew what I was going to be. Yes, I was born into a nice middle class family but people move pretty quickly from one station and life to another. Again I was a college kid when God called my back to faith after I had left it like those who grew up among the thorns. I wasn’t much to talk about then either. At least it was a pretty lowly place in my life at the time.

I dare say most of us weren’t much when God called us to faith in Jesus. It’s not that God does not called into his Church those who are wise in the world’s eyes, powerful, rich or noble, he does on occasion. God’s grace and mercy, his kindness and love, his wisdom and might is mostly shown in picking those who have none of those things, the bottom of the barrel of the world and making them something, at least in the Church. There in Christ Jesus he gives them his mercy, kindness, love, power, wisdom, righteousness and glory. These things he wants to give to you and will give you as you humble yourself before the Son Jesus Christ and accept his salvation which you confess you do not deserve. Yes, in Christ Jesus God has called you to be his very own sons.

Almighty and All-wise God, you have chosen those who the world despises to show you grace, mercy, kindness, love, wisdom and might. Grant that we may indeed humble ourselves before you and confess all good things we have received from you we have received them in Christ Jesus, your Son our Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion What The LORD Wants You To Do

#DailyDevotion What The LORD Wants You To Do

Micah 66What should I bring when I meet the LORD and bow to God on high? Should I come to Him with burnt offerings with calves a year old? 7Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand streams of olive oil? Should I give my firstborn for my wrong, the child of my body for my sin? 8You were told, O man, what is good and what the LORD wants from you: only to do what is right, love mercy, and live humbly with your God.

The LORD had told the people of Israel to plead their case before him. They were asked to give a reason for their treachery and rebellion against him and against his ways. The LORD presented his cause before them. He reminded them all he had done for them as a people. He saved them from the Egyptians and those nations along the way.

Verses six and seven seem to be their reply. What sort of offerings should they bring to meet the LORD and to worship him?  They offer some suggestions: burnt offerings of year old calves, thousands of rams, rivers of olive oil, or their firstborn as sacrifices. It really seems they know what is required in the Law and are mocking God. For the Law of Moses can still be found and what the LORD requires of them can easily be found. They simply do not want to repent. They do not want to worship the LORD their God.

Many former Christians have the same attitude as these Israelites. You yourself may be on your way to becoming one of them. Somewhere along the way you got the wrong idea of what it means to be a Christian. You have receive some false and bad information about Jesus Christ, God of the Bible and what God’s attitude towards your is and what he wants from you. Satan may be deceiving you into pushing off onto you certain aspects of the things the LORD did righteously in the past that you think are unjust (but your sense of fairness here is actually based on what God has taught, figure that out). He may be deceiving you into thinking the LORD is cruel if he actually sacrificed his son to save you. Maybe, just maybe you just don’t like what God has actually told you what he expects of your as his children.

Whatever the case may be, for you or the Israelites of Micah’s day, the LORD’s reply is this, “only to do what is right, love mercy, and live humbly with your God.” Yes the LORD had told the Israelites what he wanted of them in the Law. Do what is right. Love the LORD your God will all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. The rest of the commandments the LORD gave to Israel explained to them how this was to be done. John and Jesus tells us Christians and everyone else (including the Jews) believe in God’s Son Jesus Christ (trust him) and love your neighbor as yourself.

He tells us to love mercy. That means we should love helping people out especially if they do not deserve it and if they are our enemies. Live humbly before your God. That means believe you cannot save yourself. Trust that God the LORD has saved you through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ. Live your life believing every good thing you have is a gift from your heavenly Father for the sake of Christ Jesus. The gifts he gives to you he wants you to share with those who have none.

Merciful and Loving Father, you have given so much to us in your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us faith, humility and love that we may be merciful and kind to our fellows and live humbly before you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion What’s Your Beef With The LORD?

#DailyDevotion What’s Your Beef With The LORD?

Micah 6 Listen now, to what the LORD is saying: “Get up, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear you. 2Hear the LORD’s case, you mountains, and you enduring foundations of the earth, because the LORD is presenting His case against His people and is arguing with Israel. 3My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me. I took you out of Egypt, freed you from the place where you were slaves; and I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you. 5My people, please remember what Balak king of Moab planned, what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, so that you will know the righteous things the LORD has done.”

It’s a good thing I’m not God the LORD. I don’t think I’d have as much patience with them as he does his people or the world. You know that if we were in charge of things we would have wiped out the whole lot of us and just started afresh. Even with the time the LORD wiped out all flesh, he still kept eight people and had mercy on our race that we would continue.

Here the LORD is being patient with Israel…again and in particularly Judah. Israel and Judah had been rebelling against the LORD and all his ways. They had turned to idols and made sacrifices to them. If they acknowledged the LORD in any way they did it lazily, without intention or thought. They were simply going through the motions without any heart. They did not fear, love and trust in the LORD their God.

Yet here is the LORD trying to make his case to his people to repent, to believe and trust in him. He says, 3“My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me.” Indeed what had the LORD done to them and how did he weary them? The LORD recounts their salvation history, how he had delivered them Egypt and how he conquered the kings they met who opposed them. He gave them a way to live that was just in the commandments, precepts and the like. Yet Israel rebelled against the LORD and did not do what he asked of them.

So too many Christians the LORD is patient with. He is also being patient with the world not wanting any to perish but that all would repent and believe in him, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has come into the world to deliver it, not from the Egyptians but from the power of Satan, the spirits of the air, from our sin and from its consequences. He does so by obeying his Father in heaven in everything he had given Adam to do. He does so by doing everything the LORD had given Israel to do. Finally, he fulfills the sacrifices of the Law and makes atonement for the sin of the world, for your sins and for my sins and for everyone’s sins.

The LORD simply asks us to trust in his son Jesus Christ has done these things for us. He asks us to flee from our sins which are the fruits of unbelief and to live our lives trusting he cares for us and will do for us what is necessary and to give us whatever is necessary to live our lives. We are called as his people to love him and to love one another. Yet like the Israelites we often treat him with contempt and don’t trust him, turning from him to the world and its powers. Feel free to make your case against the Lord your God, Jesus Christ but in doing so you will only condemn yourself. Trust Jesus instead.

Heavenly Father, you have been patient with us sending us your son Jesus Christ to deliver us. Grant us faith to believe in him and live lives worthy of your calling. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Brings Us Good News!

#DailyDevotion Jesus Brings Us Good News!

Matt. 418As He was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, also called Peter, and his brother Andrew (who were fishermen), casting a net into the lake. 19“Come, follow Me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21He went on and saw two other brothers, James, Zebedee’s son, and his brother John. They were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him. 23 Then He went around everywhere in Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people. 24 The news about Him spread all over Syria. And the people brought to Him all who were suffering from various diseases and were in great pain, the demon-possessed, the epileptics, and the paralyzed, and He made them well. 25Large crowds followed Him from Galilee, the Decapolis [Ten-Towns), Jerusalem, Judea, and the other side of the Jordan.

We now see in these verses the “Great Light” being shown in the darkness. First there is Jesus’ call to discipleship. We have the first four disciples Jesus calls, four fishermen who are partners in the fishing business, Simon, Andrew, James and John. When Jesus calls them they immediately leave family and business to follow Jesus. Jesus tells them he is going to make them fisher of men. The call to follow Jesus supersedes all worldly possessions, callings and relationships. When Jesus calls you, your life may never seem the same. People, places and things may have to change depending on what hold they have on you. The first commandment applies to Jesus; you shall have no other gods. If people, places and things get in the way of our relationship, our discipleship to following Jesus, those things must go.

So we see Jesus here at the great crossroads in the north. He is preaching the good news of the kingdom and backing it up with heaver every kind of disease and sickness among the people. The good news of the kingdom is its king is here. That king is Jesus. The Messiah has come. He has come to teach God’s people, to reach out to those who would believe in him through the message of his disciples, to proclaim the greatness of the LORD that there is forgiveness with him. Jesus himself pronounces absolution on sinners and the sick. He backs up that forgiveness, showing he has the authority to pronounce it by healing various diseases, casting out demons, restoring the epileptics and the paralyzed and making them all well.

As it is written Psalm 103 2”My soul, praise the LORD, and don’t forget all the good He does: 3 He forgives all my wrongs, heals all my sicknesses, 4saves my life from being destroyed, crowns me with kindness and mercy, 5and satisfies me with good things as long as I live so that like an eagle my youth is renewed. 6The LORD does what is right and just for all who are oppressed.” Jesus is this LORD. Jesus here comes to the poor and the oppressed. Jesus came to show God’s mercy and kindness by forgiving sins and then healing people. He even gave that authority to this disciples/apostles. While the physical healing he performs may only be perfected on the Last Day when he resurrects all flesh like his resurrection from the grave, he still through his messengers proclaims the forgiveness of sins and gives healing to our hearts and to our minds. He indeed does renew our strength and satisfies us with all good things.

Heavenly Father, you called us out of darkness into your Son’s marvelous light bring us into his kingdom through the forgiveness of our sins. Continually put his words in our lips that we may share this message of salvation to those still hurting. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Kingdom Of God

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Kingdom Of God

Matt. 412When Jesus heard John had been put in prison, He went back to Galilee. 13Leaving Nazareth, He went and made His home in Capernaum by the lake, in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14And so what was said through the prophet Isaiah was to come true: 15 Land of Zebulon and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, across the Jordan Galilee of the Gentiles! 16 The people sitting in the dark will see a great Light. For those sitting in the land of the shadow of death a Light will rise. 17 Then Jesus began to preach. “Repent — the kingdom of heaven is here!”

What the LORD had spoken by the mouth of the prophet had to come to pass. It is God’s Word. The former land of Israel had been run over by the Gentiles. While Jews settled the land of their brothers who were there no longer, the citizens of other countries who had overrun the area were now some of the main occupants. Darkness, spiritual darkness enveloped the land. Even the Jews who had God’s word a veil covered their eyes when Moses was read so they did not understand and many still do not to this day.

The LORD had move his son Jesus Christ to move into this area of Capernaum to fulfill the word of his prophets. Jesus Christ who is the light and life of the world had come to this place of darkness to begin his ministry—teaching the Jews the true meaning of the Law and proclaiming the good news. His teaching indeed was received as light by many, as many as were appointed to eternal salvation.

Jesus’ gospel message is quite simple, “Repent—the kingdom of heaven is here!” Repent! Be sorry for your sins. Be contrite and have a broken spirit over how your words, thoughts and deeds have offended your God and harmed your neighbor. Mourn over your death, the death wrought by your iniquities, your trespasses and your sins. Let the guilt and shame of your sins be manifest in your minds. Turn from your wickedness and hate it. Turn towards God who proclaims the kingdom of heaven is manifest.

Jesus is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is mercy, kindness, forgiveness, love, long-suffering patience towards turned towards you. God’s righteousness, glory and holiness has come to cover your brokenness and claim you as his own. The kingdom of heaven is here to give you by grace, as a gift what is rightfully his own, to save you, to redeem you and to ransom you.

While God’s righteousness, holiness and glory may initially cause us to fall down as dead men, when Jesus gives it to us by his grace it turns us towards the God and Father who made us and loves us. We can repent in joy knowing our Father in heaven is no longer angry with us but is reconciled to us through his son Jesus Christ. Are you going to be reconciled to him today?

Merciful and Loving Father, you sent your son Jesus Christ, the very kingdom of heaven into the darkness to make manifest your light. Grant us faith to repent of our sins and believe the good news we have been invited into your kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ your son our Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion A Crucified Christ Is The Power & Wisdom Of God

#DailyDevotion A Crucified Christ Is The Power & Wisdom Of God

1 Cor. 120 Where is the wise man? Where is the Bible scholar? Where is the debater of our time? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21Since by God’s wisdom the world by its wisdom didn’t get to know God, God decided to use the foolishness of our preaching to save those who believe. 22Now that Jews ask for miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23we preach a crucified Christ. The Jews stumble over Him, the Greeks think He’s something foolish, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, He is Christ, God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25God’s foolishness is wiser than men’s wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than men’s strength.

Well everybody who thinks they are something according to the world’s standards of wisdom and knowledge have been made foolish by God. The world in its wisdom didn’t get to know God. It may believe there is a God. But they make God, on their best day, in their own image and likeness. Certainly as far as their gods character and the like, s/he/it is just like them just stronger, like superheros.

But the true God has revealed himself and his great love for us in that he sends his only begotten Son into the world to become one of us and to sacrifice himself for us. That is the foolishness of our preaching. This is love, not  that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the atoning sacrifice for the world, including those who would not believe in him. This is the message and the wisdom that saves those who will believe.

Some people, like the Jews ask for miraculous signs or they won’t believe. The God they say they worship gave Jesus who healed the sick, made the death hear and the mute speak, and raised the dead, God had him crucified, dead, buried and risen from the dead. Being risen from the dead is the only sign they get and they refuse to believe it despite the empty tomb.  They Greeks look for wisdom. People like this need everything to make sense. Yet God because he is God is far above human wisdom and understanding. They think they only see contradiction and foolishness yet God only gives them a crucified Jew outside of Jerusalem who died for their sins.

Yes, the only message we have is a crucified Christ. Christ the Author of Life and the Lord of Glory dead on a cross is our good news. He has overcome his own self-preservation and placed himself in the mercies and promises of his Father to die on the cross. By this crucifixion he has won for the world forgiveness, eternal life, communion with God, being made heirs and children of God and if that is too little for you even more, more than you can ask or imagine.. This is a stumbling block to those like Jews and foolishness to those like the Greeks.

Yet to those of us who are called, who have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, Jesus is Christ, the power and the wisdom of God. God’s power is greater than man’s strength and his wisdom is greater than man’s wisdom.  For we see the need for our salvation. We see God’s wisdom in providing what we needed. We can see and experience the strength of his resurrection when we come to faith in Jesus for it is his power that makes that faith possible.

Almighty and all wise God and Father, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins on the cross that we might have life and salvation. Grant us your wisdom continually so we may refute the critics and give us your Holy Spirit that we might have to power to persevere in this faith in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion What Kind Of God Crucifies His Son?

#DailyDevotion What Kind Of God Crucifies His Son?

1 Cor. 118The message of the cross is something foolish to those who perish, but it is God’s power to us who are saved. 19The Bible says: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and defeat the intelligence of the intelligent.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the Bible scholar? Where is the debater of our time? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Most of us like crosses. Even the world seems to like crosses. They can be so pretty. We see them as jewelry on scores of people many of whom don’t even know Jesus Christ or anything about him. Yet for the ancient world in Jesus’ time the cross was an object of scorn. It was an instrument of death. Only the worst of the worst and lowliest of people were crucified. Those who were not citizens of Rome and were scorned by the people and their rulers were crucified. Jesus was crucified. He was not a citizen of Rome. He was scorned by the leaders and people of his day. Yet what message did Christians proclaim? Jesus Christ crucified.

Why would God crucify his son? It was a message of madness. A God that was crucified? Who would worship a God like that? Yes we proclaim the Lord of Glory was crucified. The Author of life hung upon a cross ordered by Rome. It makes no sense. And then to say that his crucifixion saves us from our sins, well that is foolishness. The Bible says, “Cursed is anyone hung on a tree.” So if Jesus was hung on a cross he was cursed by God. Indeed, Jesus became a curse for us on that tree. The curse of breaking God’s law is death. Jesus suffered our death for us on the tree of the cross. The curse of sin, our sin, was laid upon Jesus Christ on the cross. Eternal death which is our due Jesus took upon himself there on the cross.

“What kind of Father would do that to his son?”  we often hear from critics of our faith. What kind of Father indeed! A Father who wanted to spare all his children eternal punishment for their sins. God the Father wanted to save us from the Lake of Fire prepared to torture the rebellious angels. It is where we were headed because of our rebellion. A Father who wanted more children to call his own, whose only way to procure us as those children would be to sacrifice his only begotten son from eternity would do that to his son out of love for us.

Indeed not only the Father loved us but the Son as well for he voluntarily signed up for the job. His great love for us and to make us his people sent him to the cross to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. His blood redeemed us and ransomed us from our iniquities, our sins, our trespasses, our guilt and shame, and from death. If he did not die for us upon the cross being pierced through for us, we would still be in our sins and accountable for them. Now through the preaching of the crucified Lord Jesus Christ, faith which believes this counts us righteous before the Father in heaven. Faith that believe this Jesus who was crucified but is also risen from the dead raises us to newness of life and gives us the life of the one crucified. This is foolishness to the world and a stumbling to the Jews who his people according to the flesh. But us who believe, the crucifixion is the wisdom of God and is wiser than all of man’s best thinking.

Heavenly Father we pray you would grant unto us your wisdom that we may receive the salvation won for us by your son Jesus Christ crucified. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Cross Of Christ Makes Glad The Children Of Abraham

#DailyDevotion The Cross Of Christ Makes Glad The Children Of Abraham

Isaiah 93The nation You didn’t make very happy You will multiply. Then they will be glad before You like those who celebrate the harvest or like those who delight in dividing the spoils. 4You will break the yoke that is a burden on them, the rod with which their backs are beaten, and the stick with which the tyrant drives them, as at the time of Midian.

Israel and Judah, one nation the LORD didn’t happy because of their rebellion against him, his rule and his way of life he had given them. Had they only delighted in the LORD and his commandments they would have been much happier. Instead, they hated the LORD and his ways. He put many to death and exile the lot of them never to be seen or heard from again with the exceptions of the Jews. The LORD promised to make multiply them. The LORD made descendents for Abraham by faith through the Gentiles. Like wild olive branches being grafted into a domestic olive tree (Rom. 9) the LORD has provided children for Abraham. Yes, through faith in Jesus the LORD has provided a heritage for Father Abraham. The Jews who believed the good news of Jesus Christ through his preaching and the teaching of his apostles rejoice before God in heaven and on earth below had been made glad and we rejoice with them when they fellow Jews in the flesh are grafted back in to Israel, to Jesus, God’s Israel. Celebrating bringing in the sheaves they have a great delight in the children the LORD has provided for Father Abraham.

Jesus of Nazareth, the LORD’s servant has broken the yoke that is a burden on them, the rod which have beaten their back and the stick of the tyrant that drives them. The Law which none of them has ever been able to keep, Jesus had kept in their place. Not only has he fulfilled all that the LORD had given them he has nailed it to the cross along with its accusations. We now live in the freedom of the Gospel and walk according to the Spirit.

The guilt, the accusations, the shame of not keeping the Law has been taken away and sent away by the blood of Jesus. Nailed to the cross, buried in the tomb, the power of sin through the Law of Moses cannot touch us, ALL OF IT. Jesus has become our sin offering. He is the Lamb of God who has made atonement for the sin of the world. That which the Law and our conscience has weighed down upon us it has been forgiven, sent away. It can no longer accuse us through faith in Jesus’ work on the cross.

The stick of that tyrant the devil has been broken. He used God’s Law against us. He tells us to obey God’s law to stir up the passions in our flesh and then he accuses us before when through the weakness of the flesh we break God’s law. Jesus victory over the devil has broken that stick. The devil, Satan, has been cast out of heaven and is not longer able to accuse us before God day and night. We now have an advocate with God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ. When we break God’s law or our conscience condemns us we only need look at the cross of Jesus and believe the Father no longer counts our trespasses against us. We need only remember the promise attached to our baptism that we are God’s children through Jesus. The voice of Jesus through his pastors who pronounce absolution in his name washes our conscience and makes them clean. The very body and blood of Jesus given us through his pastors’ hands assure us death has no hold of us.

Heavenly Father, you have sent your Son Jesus Christ to get children for Abraham by his death and resurrection. Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may avail of the means of grace when our conscience, the world and the devil accuse us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Who Or What Is In Your God Wallet?

#DailyDevotion Who Or What Is In Your God Wallet?

Isaiah 9:1–2 But the land that is in anguish will not continue in gloom. At first He humbled the country of Zebulun and the country of Naphtali, but in the end He will bring glory to the Road by the Sea, the land beside the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 2The people walking in the dark will see a great light. On those who live in the land of gloom a light will shine.

Isaiah prophesies this in the ninth century B.C.. The Assyrians are on the rise in power in the Mideast. The LORD has raised them up to punish his unfaithful people. When they come to punish the wicked people of God who have exchanged the glory of God for idols of gold, silver, wood and rock, he brings those who worship such things to rule over them and expel them from the land. Coming into the Promised Land they come from the north and hit the northern tribes first, Zebulun and Napthali. Dan is apparently isn’t even on the scene by this time. The rest of Israel will soon fall and Assyria will even come down into rebellious Judah and surround the city of God, Jerusalem.

Yes, those tribes will be humbled and carried off never to be seen from again. They are mixed into the gentiles whose gods they have worshipped having humbled themselves before them. Are there gods you have exchanged the glory of God for? You may say we don’t worship idols of gold, silver, wood and stone! True enough. But what is it to have an idol? Martin Luther would say your god is what you turn to for EVERY GOOD. Do you turn to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for every good? Or do you just turn to him for the forgiveness of your sins? Who are what do you turn to to deliver you from every evil of body, mind and soul? What do you turn to for comfort and strength? Is it to the Living God? If you sin then you most certainly have other gods.

We often turn to alcohol for comfort, strength and to face our fears. We go shopping. We turn to food to make us feel better. We have sex to feel better. We look to political parties and politicians to make our lives better and God forbid anyone say anything negative about them (though we let negative things about our Lord Jesus slide). We find our worth in our spouses, our children, our jobs and work. We turn to our congregations and pastors into idols. All these things are good in and of themselves when used for the purposes for which God created them. But when we turn to them as we should turn to God for every comfort, strength and good we exchange to glory of God for creatures, fall into idolatry and we abuse the good things the Lord our God has created. Sure we may find joy in these things but we dare not use them as God wants us to use him. He will hand us over to serve these things when we abandon him and humble by them.

But the road of Galilee of the Gentiles has seen a great light! He brings his glory there. The people living in gloom, in service to these idols a light has shined upon them. Jesus Christ of Nazareth has come. His teaching delivers us from servitude to dead idols. He brings us the Father of Lights who never leaves us or abandons us. He will provide all our needs of spirit, mind and body. He shows us we need not turn to any creature or creation for every good but that he himself gives us every good. Trust in Jesus. He is your light of your soul. He is your every good. He is the love of God the Father has for you.

Almighty God and Father, you will not share your glory with any other but have made your glory known to us in your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may turn from created things to you for every good and live in your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion We Have Found The Messiah, The Christ!

#DailyDevotion We Have Found The Messiah, The Christ!

John 135The next day, while John was again standing with two of his disciples, 36he saw Jesus passing by. “Look at the Lamb of God!” he said. 37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Jesus turned around and saw them following. “What are you looking for?” He asked them. “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are You staying?” they asked Him. 39“Come and you’ll see,” He told them. So they came and saw where He was staying, and they stayed with Him that day. It was about ten in the morning. 40 One of the two who heard John and then followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” (The Greek word for Him is Christ.) 42He brought him to Jesus.

The day after the Baptist proclaimed Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, he sees Jesus again. Again he proclaims Jesus the Lamb of God. It’s a rather peculiar phrase. One may wonder if it were popular during the intertestamental period. But I think it may have its reference here, Genesis 22:8 “God will provide Himself with a sheep for the burnt offering, my son.” If this is the reference then we can see that this Jesus will be the substitute for humanity. More than that, just as the LORD had asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son (Ishmael doesn’t count as legitimate since he was born of Sarah), The LORD himself offers up his only begotten son (as Jesus is designated in John’s gospel, particularly chapter one) as the Lamb who is substituted not only for Isaac but for the whole world.

This tells us something very important namely, if we are going to be saved from sin, death and the power of the devil then God is going to have to provide the work. If our sins are going to be atoned for, if our guilt is going to be removed from us, if our shame is to be taken away, God himself is going to have to do it. And God, the LORD, does do it in the person of his Son, the Word made flesh. He is the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8) We cannot save ourselves. We cannot contribute to our own salvation. The LORD provides the sacrifice that saves us.

Note what happens when the Baptist points Jesus out. Two of John’s disciples followed Jesus. They were John and Andrew. The message of the good news of Jesus Christ incites faith in those who belong to Jesus, who have been chosen by him before the foundation of the world. They went to where Jesus was staying and stayed with him that day. They would be his first disciples. Then notice what happened, Andrew went and told his brother Simon and said, “We have found the Messiah.” John brought Peter to Jesus.

And so it is with the Church today, people tell other people they have found the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus.  They bring those people to Jesus with their words of good news about what Jesus has done for them. They bring those people to the church i.e. their fellow believers where they hear more about Jesus and what he has done for them. Those who are God’s elect when they hear of Jesus will come with you to Jesus. Those who will reject him will reject you. We can only be like the Baptist and Andrew, behold the Lamb of God, we have found the Messiah, the Christ.

Heavenly Father, when we hear about the salvation you have provided us in Jesus your Son, grant us faith to believe and courage to share the good news, so those appointed to eternal life may be saved through our message of his sacrifice for them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.