Daily Reading: March 6th


#DailyDevotion Are You Going To Be In The Ark On The Day Of Judgment?

Lent Day 5 Monday

Read Gen 6:1—7:5

Gen 6:5-9  The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  (6)  And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.  (7)  So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”  (8)  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.  (9)  These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

 

It’s unfortunate I guess that nothing changed after the flood.  Jesus said, Mat 15:19  “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”  The natural man since the fall intends only evil continually.  Jesus tells us what we want to do.  Because this was the case before the flood, God decided to wipe out most of mankind.  I guess it finally got too much for God and his patience had finally worn out with them.  It grieved God’s heart that he had made us.  Not only mankind but even all the birds and land animals He is going to wipe out.

 

But God is also merciful towards His creation.  One man finds favor with the Lord and that man is Noah.  God describes him as “a righteous man, blameless in his generation.”  What made Noah righteous and blameless? Faith.  Among all the people on earth only Noah that we know of, had faith in God.  We don’t know about his wife, kids or daughters in law.  But Noah had faith.

 

The Bible says, Heb 11:6-7  “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  (7)  By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”  The world was condemned because they did not believe his preaching.

 

The Lord has told us the end is coming again, this time with fire.  The ark that God has sent to save us is His Church.  Jesus is the new Noah.  He has preached and he continues to preach salvation to all who are changed in their minds and believe in His name or His works will be saved.  These people are those who are blameless and righteous in God’s sight.

 

Lord God, heavenly Father, grant us ears to hear the Noahs you send to us that we may repent, believe the gospel and escape the coming fire. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Daily Reading: March 5th


#DailyDevotion God Is Merciful Even To Murderers

1st  Sunday in Lent

Gen 4:1–26

Gen 4:1  Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”

 

Gen 4:15  Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.

 

In the Hebrew it is apparent that Eve believed the threat God made to the serpent. The literal reading of the text reads, “I have given birth to a man, the Lord.” She believed Cain was the promised seed who would crush the head of the serpent. Unfortunately this would not be the case, though she certainly still thought this at the birth of Able naming him  worthless. There was no need for another male child. Eve understood a seed from her womb would be the Messiah who is also her Creator.

 

Now a woman’s seed would be the Messiah. It would be without the help of a male. Isaiah prophesied he would be born of a virgin. Indeed the Messiah has been born of a Virgin, the Woman’s seed. Her name is Mary. His name is Jesus. Jesus means ‘the Lord saves.’ That is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus on the cross was struck by the serpent at the hand of the Romans and the Jews. But in that act, Jesus crushed the head of the serpent. He took the devil’s power away to accuse us before God and to compel us to sin.  By his resurrection Jesus defeated death and the one who has the power over death, the devil. Now all who put their faith in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary, the Son of God, possess eternal life.

 

But what about Cain? Cain was worried he would be killed by others for killing his brother. The Lord assures him this will not happen. He places a mark on Cain so he would not be attacked. Just what was that mark? Many believe it was a Tau, a Hebrew letter which resembles a cross. When we baptize people, we place the mark of the cross upon the heart and head  of the baptized to mark them as one who has been redeemed by the crucified one. Cain received a mark of life which is a sign of death. Was he repentant? I think so, which is why God showed this mercy to him. What have you done that perhaps you fear reprisals from your fellow man? What have you done that perhaps you fear the judgment of God?

 

God does not want to punish you. He does not want you to die eternally. He has provided a Seed of a Woman to redeem you, to ransom you, to atone for your sins, your guilt and your shame. Place your trust in God’s promise that he has done this for you and you too shall receive the mark of the one crucified, Jesus Christ. Then you will no longer fear death or the devil. He cannot permanently harm you. You will have eternal life and will have gained immortality.

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you for providing for us one who has had victory over sin, death and the devil. Grant us faith always to trust in this one, Jesus Christ, that we may not live in fear but in faith your goodness, mercy and kindness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: March 4th


#DailyDevotion It’s Not The Magnitude Of Who We Hurt But The Who We Sin Against That Matters

4th day of Lent Saturday

Read Gen 3:1–24

Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  (14)  The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.  (15)  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

 

First we ought to note how the devil works.  He tries to get us to doubt God’s word and he does it by quoting God’s word.  We of course don’t want to sound like dolts and so we try to reason with him, or our hearts or the person we’re talking with.  You will lose if you engage beyond what God said.  It is probably better to do what Jesus did and simply say, “Get behind me Satan!” And then move on.

 

Now look at the seriousness of what sin does.  It doesn’t matter what sin, of how much you think it doesn’t really hurt you or hurt your neighbor.  You are not the one to judge whether not something forbidden or commanded by God is serious or not.  What did Adam and Eve do—on the surface?  They ate a piece of fruit!  THAT’S IT!?  All this misery and death and the world is because they ate a piece of fruit?

 

Well no.  But that is what the devil, the world and your sinful heart would want you to believe.  No what brought this misery upon creation was that they DISOBEYED God and didn’t TRUST Him.  You see all sin is not trusting God at his word and disobeying him.  THAT is a big thing because your sinning against a BIG guy.  You see, I could punch you and not much would come of it.  I punch the POTUS and I land in the jail.  What’s the difference? The president is more important than you.  God is the most important of all.  It doesn’t matter how small the offense you think it is.  It is against God.  That’s all that matters.  The other thing we ought to note is the blame game.  Adam blamed the woman and God. The woman blamed the snake and the snake didn’t have leg to stand on.  Take responsibility for your own sins.

 

There is good news here.  God promises to send a savior born of the Woman’s seed.  That Woman is Mary and that Savior is Jesus.  By his death at the hand of Satan, he defeats Satan by quashing his head.  Trust this and God will cover you not with animal skins but the righteousness of Jesus.

 

Lord God, heavenly Father give us such faith in Jesus that we listen, trust and obey and ignore Satan, death and our hearts.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Daily Reading: March 3rd


#DailyDevotion Marriage Is A Gift From God

3rd day of Lent Friday

Read Gen 2:4–25

Gen 2:16-24  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,  (17)  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  (18)  Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

 

We have two major things happening in this section of Genesis and the creation account.  First is the set up of man’s ultimate fall.  We really don’t know why God decided to place in the garden two trees of which the man could choose to eat and forbidding him to eat one of them.  So it is of no use speculating why.  What we do know is all God wanted Adam to do was not eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil.  We note God didn’t say he couldn’t chop it down.  He didn’t say he could build a tree house in it.  Nor did God say he couldn’t have a food fight with the fruit.  He simply could not eat the fruit.

 

There is then the grave threat that if he did eat it, on that day he would die.  Now we read this and knowing the rest of the account know Adam does eat it and he lives another 900 years.  What gives?  Just this, God doesn’t view death like us.  The death he is referring to is the removal of his life, his spirit, his soul dies on that day.

 

The second major part is the creation of woman.  Like in this whole account of the creation of man in chapter 2 it is a very personal and hands on creation of mankind.  Just as God creates man from the dust of the earth and breathes his life into man, now he takes a rib out of man and forms from it woman, a suitable helper.  God had brought all the animals to the man first to see what he would name them.  There was no suitable helper among them, not even the dog.  Even a six-pack of beer isn’t suitable for the man.

 

So God takes a part of man from him and actually makes something or rather someone suitable for the man.  Adam upon receiving this wonderful gift from God names her-demonstrating his superior position (but not in a sinful way but in an order of creation way) and calls her woman because she was taken from man.  While I do not know every language of mankind it is interesting to note of all the languages I do know, every word for woman contains the name for man.

 

Man really appreciates and glories in this gift that he breaks forth into poetry. And we receive this principle here for marriage we in our culture need to take to heart.  A marriage is between a man and a woman.  Secondly, when you are married you become one flesh even as God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit yet one God.  What this means is you are to stick to your spouse and defend your spouse even above your own originating family.  Parents, family and friends are not to come between a married couple and married couples shouldn’t let them interfere in the marriage.

 

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of creation and for the gift of marriage.  Help all married couples honor their marriage bed and keep all single people chaste until such time as you joined them to another. In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.

Daily Reading: 2nd Day of Lent


#DailyDevotion Need A Rest? Trust In Jesus.

2nd day of Lent Thursday

Read 1:20—2:3

Gen 1:31-2:3  And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  (2:1)  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  (2)  And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.  (3)  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

 

When God had finished creating everything he declared it very good. Every day when he ended his work, it was good, but the whole thing together is very good. Kind of makes you wonder what happened sometimes doesn’t it. Believe it or not, it is still very good for St. Paul writes, 1Ti 4:4-5 “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,  (5)  for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” God is not the author of evil. In fact evil has no existence of its own. It is an accident. It is like a dent on the car. My fender can exist without a dent, but the dent, unfortunately, cannot exist without my fender…and too often it does exist.

 

Now God rested from his work. It was the seventh day. Now does God need a rest? No. this rest is for our sakes. It is written, Heb 3:11 “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.'” It has been noted there is not an end to the Sabbath day in Genesis two. God’s rest is eternal. He intends for humanity to enter that rest. Hebrews tells us, Heb 4:1 “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.”  And again, Heb 4:7  “… he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

 

We enter that rest in repentance of our lack of faith and trust in God. We confess that we have either set ourselves up as God sometimes or look to created things to play that part and have sinned against God. Even more so we look to Jesus who was tempted for our sake yet overcame the tempter. Jesus’ victory is our victory. So we look to Jesus as the one who atones for our sins and as the one who victorious over temptation as well.

 

God has a rest planned for you. Even now, with faith in Christ, we already begin to rest from our works and rest in the works of Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Heavenly Father, grant unto us such repentance and faith in your Son Jesus Christ that we may rest from our works and enter into your rest today and for eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Reading: March 1st


#DailyDevotion Faith Believes God Made Creation For Us

Ash Wednesday

Read Gen 1:1–19

Gen 1:1-2  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  (2)  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

 

There’s a lot of tension at times between Christians and Scientist. Well that’s not true entirely. There is tension between Scientist who believe science has all the answers and possesses the only way to any and all sorts of knowledge and Christians who don’t understand that science, true science, only explains what it sees and can observe now and use those facts to postulate backwards in time as to how we got how we are.

 

Now creation, that is, faith in what God’s word has to say about it I believe happened just as God describes it in chapter one of Genesis. God created a world, a universe with all its parts and he created it complete. Since that is the case, I don’t believe it is the case that he is being deceitful. It isn’t his intent to deceive. But he created it will all the laws of the universe so we can observe nature and project it forwards and know what we can expect. It just so happens, if you can project forwards, you can project backwards as well. Except when you project backwards with the completeness we have today, you are going to get an old universe.

 

That aside, it does take faith to believe God created the heavens and the earth. As it is written, Heb 11:3 “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” As an article of faith, we can never prove scientifically God did it. Logically we can prove God made the universe though.

 

Creation is a good thing. It is created for us! God didn’t need it. Yet the three persons of the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were intimately involved with making this creation for us. Imagine the mind of God and power of God who is able to create this universe and everything in it. In today’s reading we get light, the heavens, dry ground, vegetation and lights in the heavens. How wonderful and marvelous it all is. And yet today we are called to repent. Paul writes, Rom 1:21 “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” At times we forget God made all this for us. We forget the Word, Jesus, created and arraigned all this. We oppose at times the Holy Spirit and do not honor God or give thanks to him for this creation. We turn to created things instead of God for every good. This day, let us return to God with penitent hearts, confessing our idolatry of worldly goods and ask for forgiveness for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

 

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise for all of creation. Help us always to recognize and believe all you have made for us. Give us a spirit of devotion that looks only to you for all good things and recognizes you as the giver of every good gift. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: February 28th


#DailyDevotion Faith In Christ Is Most Necessary In The Darkest Times

February 28th

Read Job 31:1–12, 33–40

Job 31:1-12  “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?  (2)  What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high?  (3)  Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity?  (4)  Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?  (5)  “If I have walked with falsehood and my foot has hastened to deceit;  (6)  (Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!)  (7)  if my step has turned aside from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes, and if any spot has stuck to my hands,  (8)  then let me sow, and another eat, and let what grows for me be rooted out.  (9)  “If my heart has been enticed toward a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door,  (10)  then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down on her.  (11)  For that would be a heinous crime; that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;  (12)  for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase.

 

Job’s final words are a plea to his innocence.  He lays out all of his good works and professes his abstinence from evil works.  Not that Job hasn’t confessed that he has sinned, but he did offer atoning sacrifices for those sins on a regular basis and not only for his sins but for those of his children as well.  He curses himself here if he indeed has sinned willfully against the poor, the widow and the like who are the apple of God’s eye.

 

He is really left at a loss.  He has been brought low, yes he has even been brought down to nothing.  We can remember the words of St. Paul, 2Co 12:7-10  “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  (8)  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  (9)  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  (10)  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

As the old saying goes, “It is darkest before the dawn.”  Job and we need to remember in the darkest times that Jesus’ grace is sufficient for us.  Jesus’ power is made complete in our weakness.  It is there when we are nothing that Jesus does his greatest work on us.  For it is there we are left with nothing but his word and promises.  There our faith is called to be exercised and lived.   Many trust in Christ when everything is well or when we see a light at the end of the tunnel.  We are called to trust in his promises when we enter the tunnel and have nothing but bleakest and darkest of times.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may continue to trust in your promises when everything seems as if it is total loss.  Amen.

Daily Readings: February 27th


#DailyDevotion When You Hope For Death

February 27th

Read Job 30:16–31

Job 30:24-31  “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help?  (25)  Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy?  (26)  But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came.  (27)  My inward parts are in turmoil and never still; days of affliction come to meet me.  (28)  I go about darkened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.  (29)  I am a brother of jackals and a companion of ostriches.  (30)  My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat.  (31)  My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.

 

When we go back to the beginning of Job we see that he really was a good man.  We often think the rich must be doing something wrong to accumulate great wealth but that is not always the case.  The Lord makes one man rich and another poor.  He made Job rich.  Now he made Job poor and miserable.  During his good days Job was actually an outstanding fellow and he makes that clear here, “Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy?”  Job did what he should have done and yet now he is in misery.

 

What great trouble Job was in.  He not only lost worldly wealth and children but on top of that his health had taken a turn for the worse.  He was covered in sores and his inward parts even were in turmoil and never still.  His life now was hardly worth living in the eyes of many people.  Job certainly felt that way and he expressed it clearly.

 

He has cried out to God the Lord for help and it looks like he’s not getting any.  At best he has had a visit from friends which hasn’t done Job a whole lot of good.  In fact, Job is probably feeling even more miserable.  So what now?  Are you experiencing what Job experienced?  Do you have a love one who is undergoing what Job is undergoing?  I could point you out to the end of Job where everything works out for Job.  But the fact of the matter is many saints undergo what Job has undergone, some even to the point of martyrdom.  They suffer their whole lives and never get relief until they close their eyes in death.  You may be one of these people.

 

Mat 6:25  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, … Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? …33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Each day has its own trouble and we are not to think only about this life.  Our hearts and minds need to be on heavenly things.  Our hope is not in the things of this world but in heaven. (Col. 1:5)  Our treasure is being kept safe there for us by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Christ, while for us in this world is mainly for us in the world to come. So we do not fear what this age may do to us.  It is transitory but the life to come is eternal in Jesus Christ.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, in the midst of trials and agonies of this life, give us your Word that we might not give up hope even and especially when everything of this world is hopeless and there is no chance of things getting better but instead receive strength to live in with the promise of the resurrections.  Amen.

Daily Reading: February 26th


#DailyDevotion We Only Get Justice In This Life On The Cross Of Christ.

February 26th

Read Job 21:1–21

Job 21:1-9  Then Job answered and said:  (2)  “Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort.  (3)  Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.  (4)  As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient?  (5)  Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth.  (6)  When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh.  (7)  Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?  (8)  Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes.  (9)  Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them.

 

Having his heart pierced by his friends who demand that Job should repent.  He must have done something wrong.  This doesn’t happen to the innocent. Job returns the volley with his own salvo from his experience in life.  It is much like the complaints of the ungodly in Malachi chapter 3.

 

Experience shows the ungodly wicked sinners do seem to get away with murder and theft.  The punishment for their iniquities neither falls on them or their children.  In contrast, everything seems to go wrong for those who try to follow God.  We do see some of the wicked fall occasionally and very publicly.  It is not often enough to deter them from their ways.  We too, like Job and the ungodly in Malachi raise our fist to heaven and shout it isn’t fair.

 

Job fixes his complaint squarely on the One in charge.  His complaint isn’t against any man.  He is impatient with the Almighty.  He wants justice and he wants it now.  Job doesn’t realize that we shouldn’t be asking God to give us justice.  We need mercy.  There is no one who is righteous and doesn’t sin, no not one.

 

But we do have an advocate with the Father, who stands in the gap and pleads our case for us, Jesus Christ, the righteous One.  God’s justice is found only in Jesus in this life.  There as we look at the cross we can see what we deserve and what those who we might call evil or wicked deserve.  It’s all the same. The darkness that covered the noon day sun is the darkness we deserve from the Creator of heaven and earth.  It is the darkness of the Father turning his back on his only begotten son that we might have mercy, love, kindness and eternal life in this life and the life to come.  But for now, that is hidden in Christ.  We don’t always experience it in our lives just as the unbelievers do not experience the wrath of God in their lives here and now.  His mercy is to them and to us now but at the resurrection everything will be revealed.  We may be impatient but God’s patience with us brings us to eternal life.

 

Lord Jesus help us to live by faith in your Word because what we see is not the reality that you are.  Amen.