Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, September 22, 2019 - 15th Sunday after Pentecost

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
Luke 16:1-13

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, September 22, 2019 - 15th Sunday after Pentecost
[Ordinary 24, Proper 19]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

God is Our Balm
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1; Psalm 79:1-9; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13

Opening Prayer


Come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to Him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.
For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.
He holds in His hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to Him, for He made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship & bow down.
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
for He is our God.
We are the people He watches over,
the flock under His care.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Sometimes God we take ourselves so seriously—our opinions, our emotions, our needs, our entitlements—that we fail to notice our effect on others. And we do not make connections between our limitless wants and the resources left for others. We do this without knowing it. Bring our awareness to Justice for all—to the common good, to your universality of blessings. Remind us you love all.

Assurance of Pardon
The God of salvation, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth, offers forgiveness to each of us through the Redeemer sent in human form. We are grateful that over and over we are given the chance to begin again and that nothing we have done can separate us from God’s love.


First Reading
Jeremiah 8:18—9:1
The Prophet Mourns for the People
8:18 My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
     my heart is sick.
19 Hark, the cry of my poor people
     from far and wide in the land:
   “Is the Lord not in Zion?
     Is her King not in her?”
   (“Why have they provoked me to anger with their
     images, with their foreign idols?”)
20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
     and we are not saved.”
21 For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
     I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
     Is there no physician there?
   Why then has the health of my poor people
     not been restored?
9:1  O that my head were a spring of water,
     and my eyes a fountain of tears,
   so that I might weep day and night
     for the slain of my poor people!

Psalm 79:1-9 Deus, venerunt
1  O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance;
   they have profaned your holy temple; *
   they have made Jerusalem a heap of rubble.

2  They have given the bodies of your servants as food
   for the birds of the air, *
   and the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts
   of the field.

3  They have shed their blood like water on
   every side of Jerusalem, *
   and there was no one to bury them.

4  We have become a reproach to our neighbors, *
   an object of scorn and derision to those around us.

5  How long will you be angry, O Lord? *
   will your fury blaze like fire for ever?

6  Pour out your wrath upon the heathen
   who have not known you *
   and upon the kingdoms that have not called
   upon your Name.

7  For they have devoured Jacob *
   and made his dwelling a ruin.

8  Remember not our past sins;
   let your compassion be swift to meet us; *
   for we have been brought very low.

9  Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your Name; *
   deliver us and forgive us our sins,
   for your Name's sake.


Second Reading
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Instructions concerning Prayer
2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For

   there is one God;
     there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
   Christ Jesus, himself human,
6    who gave himself a ransom for all

—this was attested at the right time. 7 For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


The Gospel
Luke 16:1-13
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
16:1 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2 So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3 Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ 7 Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ 8 And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

10 “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13 No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer


In the name of the Father and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God of love and mercy,
You call us to be your people,
You gift us with Your abundant grace.
Make us a holy people, 
radiating the fullness of your love.
Form us into a community of people who care,
expressing Your compassion.
Remind us day after day of our baptismal call
to serve with joy and courage.
Teach us how to grow in wisdom and grace
and joy in Your presence.
Through Jesus and Your Spirit,
we make this prayer. Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
Jesus said, “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” What’s Jesus teaching us in the story of the dishonest manage? How do we use earthly wealth to gain friends? How can we be faithful with what God has entrusted to us?

“What's It Mean to Be Shrewd?” The Sermon for SUNDAY, September 22, 2019 - 15th Sunday after Pentecost


Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 16th chapter of Luke, beginning with the 1st verse.

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

All mighty God, we thank you for your word and the way that you in it revealed to us who you are and what you've done for us in Christ. Now as we open that word we pray that your spirit may be present, that all thoughts of worry or distraction may be removed and that the Spirit will allow us to hear your voice. And so, oh God, fill us with your spirit through the reading and proclamation of your word this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.


“What's It Mean to Be Shrewd?”

Do you know any shrewd characters? It all depends on our understanding of the word “shrewd”. That word seems to cause red flags to come up in our minds. Perhaps we equate shrewdness with dishonesty. We might think a businessman is shrewd if he cheated his company out of millions of dollars, when that’s not being shrewd, that’s being a cheat.

Jesus actually says that shrewdness is a commendable quality. He teaches this to us with a parable. In this account Jesus answers this question: WHAT’S IT MEAN TO BE SHREWD? In God’s kingdom shrewdness means that we: 1) Consider the Outcome. It also means that we are to 2) Be Creative.


Consider the Outcome

In this parable we encounter two main characters: the dishonest manager and his master. Both of these men had one thing in common – they both appreciated shrewdness. To be shrewd means to consider the bottom line. We’re told what the bottom line was for this servant: “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’” There’s the bottom line. The rich employer had found out his employee was cheating him, so he called him to prepare his final financial account and then announced that he would be fired that same day. The manager knew his job was finished. He had to do something. But what?

“‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’”

This man considered the outcome. He knew the bottom line. He’d be fired. Now, the bottom line was his own doing; the result of being a cheat. He was obviously not faithful with the position his master had given him. Notice how this man handled his situation, though. He didn’t waste any time. He assessed the circumstance, considering everything carefully, and then he acted. He thought of a plan that would help him to expand his options, his bottom line.

What’s surprising is that the employer commends his dishonest, yet, shrewd worker. His cheating, deceitful ways were not commendable. What was admirable was how this wily fellow considered the outcome. He was shrewd enough to know that he had to be one step ahead. If he was going to get caught, at least he was going to have his “bases covered.”

In the same way Jesus tells his followers to have their “bases covered.” “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.” How shrewd are we? Do we consider the outcome? I believe we Christians get so frustrated because we see so much potential work that could be done, but then we look at ourselves and see nothing but limitations. Sometimes we’re tempted to look around and say, “this is as good as it’s going to get”, and we leave the bases uncovered.

We don’t always take the outcome into consideration. There are two reasons for this. We are either tempted to think we are inappropriate or that we are inaccessible. Sometimes we’re tempted to think that God can’t possibly use our talents or abilities, or we might think that we’re just the wrong choice. “God can’t possibly use me. I can’t serve God’s church in that way. There’s bound to be someone more qualified!” so we think. Then there’s the temptation to think we are too inaccessible to God. It’s as if we tell God that we’d love to serve him, but all our assets are tied up. We tend to become so selfish with things that don’t even belong to us. Our lives—our wealth, health, possessions, time, talents and abilities—are gifts on loan from God. Still we are so greedy with these things because we’re so concerned about our bottom line, our goals and agendas. Then we’re tempted to be the ones who are the dishonest, unfaithful cheats.

Consider the outcome. There was a time when we faced a bleak future and when all the bases were wide-open. As sinners born into this world, we were looking at an eternity of destruction, and that was as good as it was going to get. That was the bottom line. Yet, God considered that outcome and it broke his heart. He could not stand to see us suffer for all of eternity. God was shrewd. He considered the bottom line and then took action. He sent his Son to cancel the debt of sin. Christ shed his own blood to pay the outstanding balance sin had left on our account. And Christ Jesus rose from the grave proving that the transaction had been made. The debt had been canceled. That account still stands clear to this day. Christ’s forgiveness is still credited to us. His love still governs our cheating, dishonest hearts. His faithfulness cancels out our sinful feelings of inadequacy or stinginess. He frees us from our own sinful limitations and inspires us to serve him with the strength and ability he provides. Our Savior shows us how he first considered the outcome for us, and then he calls us to consider this outcome in light of others. He covered all the bases. Now, that’s shrewd.


Be Creative

The result is the bottom line has been changed. In fact, God has given us a new bottom line, an eternally positive outcome. What’s the bottom line? Jesus tells us: “I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.” The business of God’s kingdom has been entrusted to us. When you think about it, that’s a great privilege. Christ Jesus considers us faithful and he entrusts his kingdom to us for which he shed his blood. To invest our wealth into God’s kingdom means that we believe it is worthwhile. It means we believe the message of grace God’s kingdom—the church—proclaims. We believe this message has the power to change hearts and lives. And then we are told to use whatever gifts the Lord has provided to ensure that this message is shared with others. As God’s friends in Christ we are able to make friends for Christ.

“Be passionate! Be creative!” Jesus says. People who are preoccupied with this world are very shrewd when it comes to business matters. They are passionate about their earthly future, and they act to provide for it. We need to have the same creative passion for our eternal future.

Jesus gives two examples of creative shrewdness. The rich master in the parable tells the dishonest manager to prepare a final report, and so, the manager uses this time to his advantage. He calls in several of his master’s clients and discusses each of their accounts. He tells them that since they have been such good customers he is offering them a refund that will be credited to their accounts. They sign the papers, shake hands, and leave thinking the manager is a wonderful man.

Later that afternoon, the account manager brings his ledgers to his master’s office. The boss takes one look at the books and says, “You’re fired, but before you go, let me tell you, you’re a dirty, rotten scoundrel, but a shrewd one. I must admire the way you used my money to buy yourself some favor with my top clients.” This was a creative approach. Even though the man was dishonest, he was shrewd. And that’s the way it is with the world. Christ says we are to be creative with things that are above and beyond this world. Be creative with the opportunities to share your faith.

Our prayers are an example of this creativity. Time spent praying for others is time spent making a friend for Christ, but let’s be creative. Don’t limit your prayers as if to say, “Dear Lord, for my spouse, children, parents, sister and brother, for these five I pray and no other.” We can pray for all people in all walks of life. Pray for our government leaders. Pray for your neighbors. Pray that God would guide his Church so that the gospel can be freely proclaimed.

We can be creative in our use of time. Time spent helping out around the church property is time well spent making a friend for Christ. Time spent talking with someone who has a heavy heart or is in the hospital is time well spent. Time spent providing flowers for the altar or snacks for fellowship is time well spent. It is a chance to make a friend for Christ.

The offerings we give are gifts well given. They are used to make friends for Christ by promoting the gospel ministry. Musical talents can be used to make friends for Christ. Business savvy, communication, administrative, or organizational skills can be used to make friends for Christ. Imagine what we could do with a little creative shrewdness. Imagine laying up lasting treasures in heaven, to help people who have never experienced the love of Christ. We don’t have to imagine for that is a reality. We are striving to consider the outcome. The bottom line is every single soul with whom we come in contact. The gospel has made us into shrewd people willing to consider the outcome and to creatively pursue it. Let’s continue to be in the Word and worship our Lord, so that we grow in our faith and don’t lose the Gospel’s shrewd passion and creativity in our lives.

Now, Al Copeland, Bill Gates, and Malcolm Forbes are all examples of shrewd businessmen. They’re not afraid to spend time, energy, or money to accomplish their goals. “Oh! They’ve got it to spend though,” we might argue. True. But so do we. We may have what seem to be limited resources—time, energy, or money—at our disposal, but these are from God. And we have one thing none of those entrepreneurs do—a sure thing. Heaven, our goal, is already ours.

Act shrewdly! Whatever we spend of ourselves to proclaim this truth, God will repay. Use what belongs to our master to benefit others. Use the life that he gave you to help others. In doing so you will lose your life, which is not really yours, and, yet, you’ll gain it! How shrewd!

Father, make me wise in the way I use the many blessings you have lavished upon me. Make me a conduit of your blessings. Help me find ways to put your resources entrusted to me to work in building your Kingdom and blessing those you would bless. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ

Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)® Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Sermon contributed by Rev. Edward Frey.
Christian shrewdness means to use earthly treasures to build heavenly friendships.

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, September 22, 2019


The Daily Prayer
for SUNDAY, September 22, 2019

Dom Helder Camara, a twentieth-century bishop in Brazil, said, “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint, but when I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a Communist.”

Lord, your good news brings healing to our bodies, minds, and spirits. Teach us the necessity and power of asking the right questions, and help us live the answers as living members of that new social order which is your body. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, September 22, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?version=NIV&search=Romans%2015:7

Romans 15:7 (NIV) Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Read all of Romans 15

Listen to Romans 15

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Domingo 22 de Septiembre de 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/09/22

Espera tu bendición

La bendición de Jehová es la que enriquece, y no añade tristeza con ella.

Cada día que pasa puedo ser testigo de cómo mi amado Dios tiene muchas bendiciones separadas para nosotros. Lo que sucede es que a menudo colocamos nuestras expectativas y sueños en otras personas que quizá no nos ayuden a llevarlos a cabo. No se trata de que sean malas personas, sino que no son el canal de bendición que Él tiene para nosotros.

¿Cuántas veces te han ilusionado, te han prometido ayuda, y a la hora de la verdad nada de nada? Es verdad que se siente frustración y que hasta decimos: «No vuelvo a confiar en nadie».

Hay cosas que tú y yo debemos tener como una fórmula de vida y es que debemos aprender a identificar las cosas que vienen de parte de Dios, así como las personas que son canal de bendición.

Siempre debemos pedirle al Señor que nos guíe y nos muestre las cosas con claridad, a fin de que no nos confundan y, mucho menos, que nos engañen.

Es preferible que esperes tu bendición y saber que viene con la aprobación del cielo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Cada día que pasa puedo ser testigo de cómo mi amado Dios tiene muchas bendiciones separadas para nosotros.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, September 22, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/09/22
DEALING WITH DIFFERENCES

“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
~ Luke 9:49-50 (NIV)

The disciples complained to the Lord Jesus that some other men who were not of their group were ministering in Jesus’ name. The disciples had forbidden them to continue, but Jesus rebuked them. The Lord had to deal with Peter very specifically through a vision and a dramatic experience before he could say, I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right (Acts 10: 34,35).

The Apostle Paul enlarged on this idea in Romans 14. He summarized his teaching when he said, Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?” (Romans 14:4). You then, why do you judge your brother?…for we will all stand before God’s judgment seat” (Romans 14:10).

We must be very careful about rejecting someone simply because they do not serve the Lord the same way we do. If we quietly go about the work the Lord has given us, we need not be overly concerned about how others feel led to serve Him.

In Eritrea, Helen Berhane experienced differences among believers even in the horrible conditions of the shipping container prison. She writes in her book, Song of the Nightingale:

It was an incredible experience to share my imprisonment with others who were also imprisoned for their faith. However, with Christians from six different denominations in one container, we often found that we disagreed. For example, there was one lady who was a traditional Orthodox Christian; a very strong believer. If I told a joke as part of my Bible teachings she disapproved, so she actually began to pray and worship alone, and even eat alone. I found it amazing that even in a container she would not socialize with Christians she perceived to be too worldly! Other people argued over how we prayed. Some people preferred to pray silently, while others would pray out loud, and in such a small space it was easy to see why this was a problem.

I had to remind them, “We are not in our churches now. In our own church halls we can do as we please, but here we must tolerate each other’s differences. If we keep fighting they may send us to the underground prisons in the mountains, so we must be thankful for our freedom to worship together here, and not argue about the ways we used to worship when we were free.”[1]

RESPONSE: Today I will be very careful about rejecting someone simply because they do not serve the Lord the same way I do.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be humble in dealing with believers who see things differently than I.

1. Helen Berhane, Song of the Nightingale (Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), pp. 49-50.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
We must be very careful about rejecting someone simply because they do not serve the Lord the same way we do.

LHM Daily Devotions - September 22, 2019 - Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190922

"Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us"

Sep. 22, 2019

"Lord of glory, You have bought us, With Your lifeblood as the price, Never grudging for the lost ones, That tremendous sacrifice; And with that have freely given, Blessings countless as the sand, To the unthankful and the evil, With Your own unsparing hand.

"Wondrous honor You have given, To our humblest charity, In Your own mysterious sentence, 'You have done it all to Me,' Can it be, O gracious Master, That You deign for alms to sue, Saying by Your poor and needy, 'Give as I have giv'n to you'?"

We are rightly awed by news reports of people who give their lives to save others. Members of the Armed Forces, first responders, perhaps parents or family members, or sometimes even strangers, die so that others might live. Even the apostle Paul wonders about such rare sacrifices: "For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die" (Romans 5:7). The psalmist also considers the cost of a life. He is concerned, not with an earthly tragedy, but with the threat of eternal danger: "Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice that he should live on forever" (Psalm 49:7-9a).

The psalmist, of course, knows the cost of a life and who alone can pay that price. "God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol" (Psalm 49:15a). The apostle Paul also knows, and writes, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). The hymn echoes these answers in astonished praise: "Lord of glory, You have brought us with Your lifeblood as the price." Jesus shed His innocent blood to save us, but He never expected us to somehow become "good" or worthy before He died on the cross for us. While we were still sinners, "the lost ones" of the hymn, Christ died for us. Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself for the sins of the world, and now He continues to pour out "blessings countless as the sand" on all people, even "the unthankful"—and we sometimes find ourselves in that category—"and the evil."

Having redeemed us through His death and resurrection, Jesus now gives us the "wondrous honor" of being the beneficiaries of His countless blessings. As members of His body, the church, we are His eyes and hands and feet in the world. He, the Lord of glory, gave Himself for us. We now give our lives in service to Him, for in giving to others we are serving the Lord of glory. In response to what we have done for others, Jesus will say on the Last Day, "You have done it all to Me."

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, forgive us when we give our attention only to meeting our own needs. By the power of Your Spirit, lead us to give ourselves in service to others as You gave Yourself to serve and to save the lost. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • What is it about "heroes" that empowers our actions? Do you think this term is used properly today?
  • How does the death and resurrection of Jesus satisfy God's holy wrath against the sins of the world?
  • Have you ever seen a courageous act take place? What was it and who performed it?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Lord of Glory, You Have Brought Us." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What is it about "heroes" that empowers our actions?

Unser Täglich Brot - Im Wissen wachsen

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2019/09/22/im-wissen-wachsen/

Im Wissen wachsen

Lesung: Philipper 4,10-13 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Prediger 10-12; Galater 1

Ich vermag alles durch den, der mich mächtig macht. Philipper 4,13

„Du wirst Austauschstudent!“ Ich war 17 Jahre alt und begeistert zu hören, dass ich in Deutschland studieren würde. Bis zu meiner Abreise waren es aber nur 3 Monate und ich hatte noch nie Deutschunterricht gehabt.

Die Tage, die folgten, waren vollgestopft—ich lernte stundenlang und schrieb sogar Worte auf meine Hände, um sie auswendig zu lernen.

Monate später saß ich in einem Klassenzimmer in Deutschland, entmutigt, weil ich die Sprache nicht groß verstand. Eines Tages gab mir ein Lehrer einen weisen Rat: „Eine Sprache zu lernen ist, als würde man eine Sanddüne erklimmen. Manchmal fühlt es sich an, als würde man nie ankommen. Aber mach einfach weiter und du wirst es schaffen.“

Manchmal, wenn ich über diese Worte nachdenke, überlege ich, was es bedeutet, als Nachfolger Christi zu wachsen. Der Apostel Paulus sagte: „Ich habe gelernt, mir genügen zu lassen, wie’s mir auch geht.“ Selbst für Paulus kam persönlicher Friede nicht über Nacht. Es war etwas, was er lernen musste. Paulus teilt das Geheimnis dieses Fortschritts: „Ich vermag alles durch den, der mich mächtig macht“ (Philipper 4,12-13).

Das Leben hat seine Herausforderungen. Aber wenn wir uns dem Einen zuwenden, der „die Welt überwunden hat“ (Johannes 16,33), entdecken wir nicht nur, wie treu er ist uns hindurch zu helfen, sondern auch, dass nichts wichtiger ist, als die Nähe zu ihm. Er gibt uns seinen Frieden, hilft uns zu vertrauen und gibt uns die Kraft, dranzubleiben, wenn wir mit ihm gehen.
Wie willst du dich heute auf Jesus konzentrieren? Wie kannst du andere dazu ermutigen, sich ihm zu nähern?
Danke für den Frieden, den du schenkst, wenn ich mich dir zuwende, Jesus. Hilf mir, dir heute ganz nahe zu bleiben.


© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Eine Sprache zu lernen ist, als würde man eine Sanddüne erklimmen. Manchmal fühlt es sich an, als würde man nie ankommen. Aber mach einfach weiter und du wirst es schaffen.