#DailyDevotion I’m The Greatest

#DailyDevotion I’m The Greatest

Mark 9:33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them,  “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them,  “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”


After teaching his disciples how the Son of Man didn’t come to be served but rather to serve by his death and resurrection, the disciples had a little discussion about which of them was the greatest. It’s like they didn’t even hear Jesus’ words. Well Mark did report they didn’t understand what he said. Now in this discussion they were having about which one of them was the greatest we can also remember that at the very least nine of the just came away from being unable to cast the demon out from a little child. Also three of them also just came down the mountain with Jesus having witnessed his transfiguration, talking with Moses and Elijah and hearing the very voice of God. My guess it would be Peter, James and John leading the charge as to which of them was the greatest. But when confronted by Jesus they were silent.


So Jesus instructs them and us on being great. “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Jesus had taught them what this meant in his own person earlier. By his betrayal, death and resurrection Jesus showed what it meant to be last and servant of all. You don’t get much last than being crucified on a cross and that was the death Jesus had predicted for himself. In his death Jesus became the Lamb who was sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world. His death justifies all.


To further make his point Jesus puts a child in the midst of them and embraces him. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Now children are pretty much the bottom of the ladder then. They were often even lower than the slaves for they had slaves over them and the children had to listen to them. Not too long ago I remember my grandmother telling me, “Children should be seen and not heard.” Yet Jesus puts a child in their midst, in a place of honor. The one who receives the lowest of the low in Jesus’ name receives Jesus and the one who sent Jesus namely the Father.


“In my name” marks one as a Christian. While of course we should help all people that we can, fellow Christians who have the name of Christ should be first on our list of people we serve. Jesus says, Mat 25:40 “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Paul would later write, Eph 5:21 “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Rom 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” The Christian life is called to be one of service to our fellow Christians. It isn’t about being better than them. It isn’t about seeking to be the greatest among them. It is about being willing to service Christ through them and serving Christ through them. Our service to them is born from Jesus’ service to us. It is love in action proceeding from Christ Jesus’ love for us.


Lord Jesus Christ, you served us by your death. Grant us faith and grace to serve you through serving those who bear your name. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Gospel In A Nutshell

#DailyDevotion The Gospel In A Nutshell

Mark 9:30 [The disciples] went on from there and passed through Galilee. And [Jesus] did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them,  “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Here we see of most importance the main Christian teaching. The whole of scripture is about unpacking what this statement of Jesus means. The disciples didn’t understand it at the time. They were afraid to ask. Jesus would later unpack it for them. Unfortunately, when Jesus does unpack it the gospel writers don’t record it. It would we for the epistle writers and acts to fill out the teachings of Jesus as to what this short statement from Jesus means.


We have this from Luke: Luk 24:44-47 “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  (45)  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  (46)  and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,  (47)  and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”


If you ever wondered why we should focus on the Old Testament more we also have this from Acts: Act 28:23 “When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.”


Paul writes, 1Co 15:3-5 “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.”


So what we see here is that God, the Lord of the Old Testament, became man, became the atoning sacrifice for our sin, he died our death and rose again that in his death and resurrection all mankind may reconciled to God and be raised on the last day even as he has risen from the dead. Now we are called to trust this statement that we might receive the benefit of it namely eternal life. Now we are called to set aside our old way of life given us by Adam and to live a new life in Christ which thinks about the other person and value them as Jesus has valued us. There is so much more packed into Jesus’ statement we have a lifetime to meditate on it, trust it, and live it.


Heavenly Father, open our minds that we may understand all that Jesus has revealed to us in his word that faith may be created in us, strengthened, and renewed every day of our lives that we be living testimonies of his life, death and resurrection. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Not Getting Your Prayers Answered?

#DailyDevotion Not Getting Your Prayers Answered?

James 4: You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.


Well you’ve been wondering why you don’t have stuff or people in your life you want? You’ve been wondering why nothing seems to be going your way and everything seems to be going wrong? Well there might be an answer to that—you haven’t prayed about it. You don’t have because you didn’t ask. Much like the disciples when they could not cast out a demon, Jesus told them this kind can only be cast out by prayer.


Well perhaps you did pray and you have seen no results, what then? James says perhaps because you want to spend what you get on your passions. In other words you’ve been praying selfish, self-centered prayers. Your prayers are unfulfilled because they are not according to God’s revealed will. When we pray selfish prayers we are making ourselves friends with the world and an enemy of God. We may not want to admit to ourselves or to God that our prayers have been purely selfish, but oftentimes they are.


But sometimes we have asked and not for selfish things and our prayers are still not answered. Here then maybe it just isn’t accord to God’s will. God has a plan. We must remember Paul’s words, “God works out everything for good, for those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.” What we are asking for may not fit into God’s overall plan but whatever relief we are looking for God will use it for good. Here the rest of James’ words come into play. “But he gives more grace.” God will give us the grace to deal with what is going on that we are praying about. We must submit our wills to God and humble ourselves under his will. Humble yourself in knowing the Lord our God knows what is best.


So we still draw near to God and humbly present our request to him and God will draw near to you. His presence is all that we need sometimes. We need to know he is with us and for us when the devil has been afflicting us. When we draw near to God humbly offering our petitions and in all humility submitting ourselves to his divine good will, the devil will flee from us and at least for the time we won’t have his continual accusations in our ear, weighing down our hearts. The troubles may still persist but we know our Father in heaven is working on it to our good and to his glory.


Heavenly Father, grant us faith to ask, the Spirit to know your will, and give us humble and contrite hearts that may submit to your will trusting in your promises. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Are You Working With Demonic Or Godly Wisdom?

#DailyDevotion Are You Working With Demonic Or Godly Wisdom?

James 3:13-4:1

13Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.


There probably aren’t too many wise men with understanding in the world today, particularly in politics but also among Christians. Whose works among us look like meekness of wisdom? Where is our good conduct? Yes it is lacking also among us who point this out.


What causes this? Well the wisdom of the world. Back in the seventies there was a best seller, “Looking out for number one.” It may have had some good points but the title points us in a direction other than the way God points us. Looking out for number one, yourself has a sense of wisdom to it but it isn’t godly wisdom. James says this wisdom is demonic. Look at its fruits: bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, vile practices. Such is not the path Christ Jesus has called us to when we called us to be one with him.


What does the wisdom from above look like what are its fruits: pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, merciful, good fruits, impartial and sincere. I have to admit I often fall a little short here, maybe sometimes a lot short. How about you? Particularly think about being gentle, open to reason, merciful, and impartial (well maybe that’s me but you get the drift). Well we obviously aren’t getting what we want and our passions (our perverted desires) are getting the better of us and we commit ourselves to getting our way no matter what. Yet this is not the path Jesus has called us to walk.


Perhaps each day as we interact with people we can ask God to help us with one of these aspects. As you deal with people today ask God to help you to be open to reason. The next day ask him to help you be gentle and so on. When you are disturbed ask yourself if you are being selfish (it’s harder to determine than you think sometimes because you have already convinced yourself of many justifications of why you are doing what you are doing). Jesus sought our good. Jesus was not thinking of himself when he went to the cross but was thinking of you and your good. As we follow him and his cross, he asks us to do the same for the people he has placed among us.


Heavenly Father, far too often our passions wage war within us and we do not think and act with godly wisdom. Forgive us for the sake of Christ Jesus and give us your heavenly wisdom that we may bear the fruits of that wisdom in our interactions with our fellow man that Jesus Christ may receive the glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion You’re So UnChristlike

#DailyDevotion You’re So UnChristlike

Jeremiah 11:18–20

18 The Lord made it known to me and I knew; then you showed me their deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living,   that his name be remembered no more.” 20 But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.


Jeremiah is looking into the future and sees Jesus and his trials against the Pharisees and the Scribes. They would not listen to Jesus or learn from him. No, they saw Jesus as an enemy to their false ways (which he was) but instead of repenting they started seeking ways to kill him. They would set Jesus up with questions hoping he would answer them in a way that would get the death penalty. They would bring him people hoping he would break the Law of Moses and become worthy of death. But each time our Lord outwitted them and showed them what was really on their hearts.


Eventually they would get their wish and bring Jesus for trial, to charge him with breaking the Torah and show him worthy of death. They thought they were running the show, but Jesus only allowed it for our and their salvation. They wished to cut Jesus off from the land of the living, but Jesus is eternal life. They hoped to make his name disappear, now a third of the earth calls upon it for salvation. But at the time Jesus was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. He did not revile them. He did not fight back. His last words on the cross included, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus committed himself into the Father’s hands.


But then Jesus here says something quite unChristlike, at least to our ears. He appeals to the Lord of hosts who judges righteously, that is he test the heart and mind of men, that he would see the vengeance of the Lord of hosts upon them. What do you do with that? Many Christians and a lot of Christian ‘haters’ who charge many Christians for being not very Christ-like will probably be scratching their heads at this. They pick and choose what they like about the bible. Often times they speak from their ignorance of the bible. They don’t know what to do with this. Well to be honest, sometimes we don’t either.


But the truth is this, on the one hand Jesus lays down his life for his enemies. He shows them God’s great love for them but being the atoning sacrifice for their sins by being crucified, the lowest form of criminal punishment. He is despised by them and everyone else receiving in his flesh their shame and guilt so that they may live and he prays for their forgiveness. On the other hand, those who reject his act of mercy, those who will not repent against their rebellion against the Lord’s plan of salvation, those who will not accept him as their king after publication of the good news of his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father, his vengeance remains on them and this prayer is directed against them. So you may receive mercy from Jesus if you accept him as king, but vengeance is upon everyone who dies rejecting him.


Heavenly Father, we pray that we may always look to your Son Jesus Christ as our king. We pray you would turn the hearts of all, but the particularly the Jews that they may accept Jesus as your Messiah and be rescued from the coming wrath of Jesus at his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion You Might Need A New Heart With New Desires

#DailyDevotion You Might Need A New Heart With New Desires

Introit (Ps. 37:5–7; antiphon: Ps. 37:4)

Delight yourself | in the Lord,*

and he will give you the desires | of your heart.

Commit your way | to the Lord;*

trust in him, and | he will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness | as the light,*

and your justice as the | noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently | for him;*

fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil de- | vices!


This is the introit for this Sunday. I think it has some wonderful things about prayer that we often forget about. So often what we call our prayers are nothing more than wishes. Sometimes they are more like the ranting of a four year old in the candy or toy isle because we are not getting what we want, how we want it, when we want it etc.. But pastor it says right there, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”


Indeed it does! So what part don’t you get. Look where it starts: Delight yourself in the Lord. Ah there’s the catch isn’t it. The Lord isn’t a genie or a wishing well. You need to delight yourself in the Lord first. Well that’s another whole barrel of monkeys to deal with.


Well what does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord. Well first you need to be able to take delight in the Lord. To delight in the Lord is to know the Lord. Jesus says, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” And again, “No one comes to me unless the Father draws him.” To know the Lord is to be drawn by the Father to Jesus. It is to know the Father and his will through Jesus. This is going to require a different mind, eyes, ears, affections, heart and desires.


This is something that God wants to give to you. Peter tells us, “God desires all men to repent and to believe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We need to be repentant. We need to recognize our sinfulness as shown by the Law of God, confess our sins, hate them and trust the promise of God that Jesus has won favor for us with God. Having believed God has committed his Son for our salvation, we commit our ways to the Lord. We have gotten a new heart, with new desires. When we are delighting in the Lord and his ways we aren’t operating with our own selfish desires. James says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Selfish, self-centered prayers based on perverse passions will not be answered. They’re not really prayers. John tells us, “If we ask anything according to his will, he will answer us.” To know God’s will, we have to read the Scriptures-correctly. God will reveal his will to you there if come humbly before him. So what has God promised? Pray that. Then trust he has heard your prayer. For Christ’s sake he will act. You may have to wait. The Lord may have to coordinate your prayers with the prayers of others and even his overall plan of salvation of the world. Wait patiently. Don’t fret. Your righteousness will shine. His justice will be done. Be of good courage. In Christ Jesus, God is on your side.


Heavenly Father, grant us a new heart that we may delight in you and in your ways that we may pray rightly, with faith, unselfish prayer according to your will so we may receive the desires of our new hearts in Christ Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Not Getting What You Want From God?

#DailyDevotion Not Getting What You Want From God?

Mark 9:25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it,  “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them,  “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”


Well Jesus, despite the father’s lack of faith, out of mercy, commands the demon to leave the boy and it comes out with a shriek. You might remember the disciples couldn’t do it. Jesus had given them authority to cast demons out, heal the sick, and even raise the dead. They were wondering about this themselves. Now we were never told by what means the disciples were normally casting out demons. Were they just commanding demons, “Hey you! Get out of there!”? Were they following some rites familiar to Jewish exorcists? Well whatever they had been doing, it wasn’t working in this case.


Jesus answers them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Imagine that! The disciples didn’t pray. They had not, in the midst of their failure, ask the Father above to cast out the unclean spirit from the boy. No wonder Jesus accost his disciples with a lack of faith. Faith prays. James reminds us, Jas 4:2-3 “You do not have, because you do not ask.  (3)  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” They couldn’t do it because they didn’t ask.


Jesus has given us some wonderful, marvelous promises concerning prayer. Mat 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you” Joh 14:13-14 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (14)  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Joh 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Joh 15:16 “… but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” Such promises should spur us on to bigger and greater prayers. Has any other God ever made such promises to man?


But you say, “I have prayed! But I didn’t get what I asked for.” Did you pray or did you wish? Your Father in heaven is not a wishing well. Jas 1:6-8 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  (7)  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  (8)  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Was it according to the will of God? 1Jn 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  (15) And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” And if we are not confident that what we ask is according to God’s revealed will, we humbly ask in faith like our Lord Jesus Christ, “not my will but your will be done” trusting He hears us and will do all that is best for us and for his Church.

Heavenly Father, grant us such faith, that we pray according to your will, that you and your Son Jesus Christ are glorified on the day of his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Help My Unbelief!

#DailyDevotion Help My Unbelief!

Mark 9:21 And Jesus asked his father,  “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him,  “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”


First we should note the merciful kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a desperate father who has brought his demon possessed boy to Jesus to have Jesus cast the boy out. Well he first had brought him to the disciples and they could not do it. Never the less he brings the boy directly to Jesus in hopes that maybe he could do something. That maybe comes out in a big “If you can do anything.”


Now Jesus had just reproved the crowd for their faithlessness and in particular his disciples. He actually says something like, “How much longer must I put up with you people!” Not very Christlike of the Christ in our modern thinking, but what do we know. Now the father expresses that same faithlessless with “If you can.” Well Jesus isn’t particularly easy on the guy anymore than the rest. “If you can?! Anything is possible for the one who believes.” So now the father gets a dressing down for his lack of faith.


Now the father cries out, “I believe, help my unbelief!” To be fair, the father brought the boy to Jesus to be healed. There is some sort of faith there so I think the father is being honest. Perhaps his faith has been weakened by the disciples inability to cast out the demon. If Jesus could do something then one at that time would think his disciples could as well and vice versa. Yet the father is desperate for his son. When Jesus says anything is possible for the one who believes that encourages the father’s faith. It puts a fan to the smoldering spark that remains. There is hope for there is possibility. The situation isn’t impossible.


Perhaps Jesus’ words also help guide the man to the woman of faith, the mother of the Israelite nation, Sarah. When Sarah laughed about having a baby at her age, the Lord said to her, “Is anything to marvelous for the Lord?” Another way to say that is nothing is impossible with the Lord. Now the situation for the man is not impossible. It is no longer if you can but if you will. Jesus has mercy on the man and his son and cast out the demon.


Now we have this to see not that God has to answer our prayers the way we want them answered if we could just drum up enough faith but that nothing is impossible with God. It is to increase our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen it. For the big thing is to trust that God in Christ Jesus can and will save and deliver us from sin, the devil and death and not to win this football game. We must despair of ourselves and our ability to save ourselves and trust in the infinite mercy and kindness of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus can and did accomplish your salvation. Praise be to God.


Heavenly Father, ever increase in us faith in your Son Jesus Christ that we may always despair of our own efforts to be saved and rather trust in what your Son has accomplished for us by his death and resurrection. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Just What Are You Doing With Your Lips (Or Keyboard)?

#DailyDevotion Just What Are You Doing With Your Lips (Or Keyboard)?

James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of  unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.


Luther writes in the Large Catechism on the eighth commandment: Third, with respect to that which refers to all of us,—all sins of the tongue, by which we can injure or offend our neighbor, are forbidden in this commandment. For, bearing false witness is nothing less than the action of the lips ; whatever we do, then, to the injury of our neighbor, by an act of our lips, God prohibits ;… And to these especially belongs this most detestable vice of secret detraction or slander, with which Satan has so deeply infected us ; concerning which a great deal might be said. For it is a pernicious and universal vice, that every one prefers hearing evil rather than good about his neighbor. And though we ourselves are so wicked that we cannot suffer any one to circulate an evil report concerning us, we all, however, ardently desire the whole world to applaud us in

the most commending terms, and yet we are unwilling to hear any commendation concerning others.


I am quite certain he is thinking about what James is talking about here unfortunately. For we Christians more often or not are like the people Luther is talking about in this quote. We love to speak ill of others, tearing them down but we will not put up with a single word spoken against us. We will justify our ill spoken words and rip into someone else rightly speaking about our sins.


But that is not what Christ Jesus has called us to do. Jesus says, Mat 5:44-48 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  (45)  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  (46)  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  (47)  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  (48) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Paul writes, Rom 8:34 “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” As Jesus speaks a good word for us we are called to do likewise.


Heavenly Father, forgive us the sins of our lips and give us lips that intercede and bless people that we may be perfect as you are perfect. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.