Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, September 2, 2017

Paul and Jewish Leaders in Rome
Opening Sentence
Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite."
~ Isaiah 57:15

Morning Prayer
I  will kindle my fire this morning in the presence of the holy angels of heaven; Without malice, without jealousy, without envy, without fear; without terror of any one under the sun, but the Holy Son of God to shield me.

God, kindle thou in my heart within a flame of love to my neighbor, to my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all; To the brave, to the coward, to the man in the street, O Son of the loveliest Mary, from the lowliest thing that lives to the Name that is highest of all. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.

Confession of Sin

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 1 Kings 7:51-8:21
Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the LORD was finished. Solomon brought in the things that his father David had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.

[Dedication of the Temple] Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. All the people of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the festival in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests carried the ark. So they brought up the ark of the LORD, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside; they are there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone that Moses had placed there at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, when they came out of the land of Egypt. And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. I have built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever."

[Solomon’s Speech] Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. He said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David, saying, 'Since the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from any of the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.' My father David had it in mind to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, 'You did well to consider building a house for my name; nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.' Now the LORD has upheld the promise that he made; for I have risen in the place of my father David; I sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. There I have provided a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 28:17-31
[Paul and Jewish Leaders in Rome] Three days later he called together the local leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, "Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. When they had examined me, the Romans wanted to release me, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to the emperor-- even though I had no charge to bring against my nation. For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is for the sake of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain." They replied, "We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken anything evil about you. But we would like to hear from you what you think, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against."

[Paul Preaches in Rome] After they had set a day to meet with him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter 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. Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe. So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: "The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, 'Go to this people and say, You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn-- and I would heal them.' Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen." He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 14:43-52
[The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus] Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard." So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled." All of them deserted him and fled. A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 20 Exaudiat te Dominus
1   May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble, the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2   Send you help from his holy place and strengthen you out of Zion;
3   Remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice;
4   Grant you your heart's desire and prosper all your plans.
5   We will shout for joy at your victory and triumph in the Name of our God; may the LORD grant all your requests.
6   Now I know that the LORD gives victory to his anointed; he will answer him out of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of his right hand.
7   Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will call upon the Name of the LORD our God.
8   They collapse and fall down, but we will arise and stand upright.
9   O LORD, give victory to the king and answer us when we call.

Psalm 21 Domine, in virtute tua
1   The king rejoices in your strength, O LORD; how greatly he exults in your victory!
2   You have given him his heart's desire; you have not denied him the request of his lips.
3   For you meet him with blessings of prosperity, and set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
4   He asked you for life, and you gave it to him: length of days, for ever and ever.
5   His honor is great, because of your victory; splendor and majesty have you bestowed upon him.
6   For you will give him everlasting felicity and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.
7   For the king puts his trust in the LORD; because of the loving-kindness of the Most High, he will not fall.
8   Your hand will lay hold upon all your enemies; your right hand will seize all those who hate you.
9   You will make them like a fiery furnace at the time of your appearing, O LORD;
10   You will swallow them up in your wrath, and fire shall consume them.
11   You will destroy their offspring from the land and their descendants from among the peoples of the earth.
12   Though they intend evil against you and devise wicked schemes, yet they shall not prevail.
13   For you will put them to flight and aim your arrows at them.
14   Be exalted, O LORD, in your might; we will sing and praise your power.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 110 Dixit Dominus
1   The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."
2   The LORD will send the scepter of your power out of Zion, saying, "Rule over your enemies round about you.
3   Princely state has been yours from the day of your birth; in the beauty of holiness have I begotten you, like dew from the womb of the morning."
4   The LORD has sworn and he will not recant: "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."
5   The Lord who is at your right hand will smite kings in the day of his wrath; he will rule over the nations.
6   He will heap high the corpses; he will smash heads over the wide earth.
7   He will drink from the brook beside the road; therefore he will lift high his head.

Psalm 116 Dilexi, quoniam
1   I love the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my supplication, because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him.
2   The cords of death entangled me; the grip of the grave took hold of me; I came to grief and sorrow.
3   Then I called upon the Name of the LORD: "O LORD, I pray you, save my life."
4   Gracious is the LORD and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
5   The LORD watches over the innocent; I was brought very low, and he helped me.
6   Turn again to your rest, O my soul. for the LORD has treated you well.
7   For you have rescued my life from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
8   I will walk in the presence of the LORD in the land of the living.
9   I believed, even when I said, "I have been brought very low." In my distress I said, "No one can be trusted."
10   How shall I repay the LORD for all the good things he has done for me?
11   I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the LORD.
12   I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
13   Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his servants.
14   O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant and the child of your handmaid; you have freed me from my bonds.
15   I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the Name of the LORD.
16   I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
17   In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

Psalm 117 Laudate Dominum
1   Praise the LORD, all you nations; laud him, all you peoples.
2   For his loving-kindness toward us is great, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures for ever. Hallelujah!

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.

Prayer of the Day
Blessed Lord Jesus, I need you now because I am filled with stress and anxiety. But you have promised that if I read and remember your Word, and come to you in prayer, your Holy Spirit will come to me. I lay my burdens on you, precious Christ, as you have promised to take them. Please carry them for me so that I don't have to, for they overwhelm me. Replace my fears with your humble and gentle yoke, so that I will find rest for my soul today. Let me feel your love.

I accept the peace of mind and quietness of heart, which you offer to all men as a gift. My praise and thanks that it is possible for me to lie down this evening in peace, and find the rest of sleep, by your gift. For with you, I have faith that I dwell in perfect safety. What should I fear, when you have promised to be with me for all time? I pray that I can find your perfect peace, by your Word and your promise, this day and every day, until I see you face to face. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our “Saturday Oldie” this week features a
pop-sounding gospel song from a 14-year-
old Aretha Franklin.
Are You Sure
Aretha Franklin

Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!

Closing Prayer
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages. Amen.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, 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. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

Prayer of the Day for SATURDAY, September 2, 2017

Blessed Lord Jesus, I need you now because I am filled with stress and anxiety. But you have promised that if I read and remember your Word, and come to you in prayer, your Holy Spirit will come to me. I lay my burdens on you, precious Christ, as you have promised to take them. Please carry them for me so that I don't have to, for they overwhelm me. Replace my fears with your humble and gentle yoke, so that I will find rest for my soul today. Let me feel your love.

I accept the peace of mind and quietness of heart, which you offer to all men as a gift. My praise and thanks that it is possible for me to lie down this evening in peace, and find the rest of sleep, by your gift. For with you, I have faith that I dwell in perfect safety. What should I fear, when you have promised to be with me for all time? I pray that I can find your perfect peace, by your Word and your promise, this day and every day, until I see you face to face. Amen.

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, September 2, 2017

Psalm 119:64 (NIV) The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.

Read all of Psalm 119

Listen to Psalm 119

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

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - In _____ We Trust

If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear…If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die.

Nebuchadnezzar left a governor in Judah to rule over the remaining people. Rebels in Israel assassinated the governor and invited the wrath of Babylon once again. The remnant sought Jeremiah’s counsel, inquiring as to whether they should stay in Jerusalem and risk Nebuchadnezzar’s armies, or flee to Egypt and seek Pharaoh’s protection. Jeremiah prayerfully considered the matter and received a word from the Lord.

Predictably, the people refused to believe Jeremiah and determined to flee to the land of their forefathers’ oppressors.

We often face the temptation to flee back to Egypt. “Egypt”, in both its literal and allegorical forms, represented a false security, a shallow and deceptive ally. “Jerusalem” represented a place of faith and trust in the living God. Almost as soon as the Israelites escaped their captivity in Egypt many hundreds of years before Jeremiah, they began to lament the uncertainty of their new situation, and craved an oppression that was, if nothing else, predictable. There was a form of security, no doubt. But it was joyless, powerless, and without any hope beyond survival. For all its uncertainty, the Promised Land represented a new, if difficult to imagine hope and future.

Today we face a similar temptation to rely on worldly things that never quite deliver on their promises of peace and happiness, yet offer an illusion of security. Like the people of Jeremiah’s time, we must listen and trust and remain in the Promised Land, or we will also forfeit a bright future for a false hope.
Lord, may I ever trust in you, and not in the things of this world. Amen.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Devotion by Stephen J. Peterson.
Today we face a temptation to rely on worldly things that never quite deliver on their promises of peace and happiness, yet offer an illusion of security.

Un Dia a la Vez - Disfruta la vida

¡Despierten, arpa y lira! ¡Haré despertar al nuevo día! [...] No [...] pongan su esperanza en las riquezas [...] sino en Dios, que nos provee de todo en abundancia para que lo disfrutemos.

Creo que nunca sobrarán este tipo de libros llamados de inspiración o motivación, ya que necesitamos escuchar a cada momento cosas como estas. Todo se debe a que nada nos resulta suficiente para ser felices. Por cualquier asunto, por pequeño que sea, dejamos que se dañe nuestro día y nos preocupamos.

Dios hizo la vida para disfrutarla. La hizo para el deleite tuyo y mío. Los planes originales del Creador eran que viviéramos en el paraíso. Y no fue así por nuestra recordada Eva.

La mujer se dejó convencer por la serpiente y terminó haciendo lo que le prohibió Dios. Luego está Adán que, en vez de pararse firme y decir no, también cayó en la tentación y le falló a su Creador. A partir de allí comenzó el pecado.

Sin embargo, Dios en su amor nos ha permitido conocerle. Ha perdonado nuestros pecados y nos da el mejor regalo de todos: La vida eterna en su presencia.

Seamos conscientes de esto y no permitamos que las pequeñas cosas acaben con nuestra alegría.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - RECONCILIATION IN THE MIDST OF PAIN

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

The first of September is a memorial day for the people of Beslan in North Ossetia as they remember the awful events of September first 2004. More than one thousand children and adults were taken hostage in School Number One and two days later more than three hundred and thirty of them were killed in the violence.

Memorial services are held and memories of the nightmare overwhelm everyone in town. Beslan’s cemetery is unique; it has the youngest average age in the world (7-12 years old). The sight of so many graves of children deeply affects any visitor. One said, “People who do not live in Beslan have often forgotten the tragedy already, but as soon as you enter the city, you cannot escape the atmosphere of grief and deep mourning that is still enveloping the city.”

When the tragedy occurred at School Number One, almost every family in Beslan was affected. A peculiarity in Ossetia is that nearly everybody is related to one another, so the catastrophe has affected many people in a personal way. Even those who were watching television during the event suffered diseases, heart attacks and strokes.

Pastor Taimuraz Totiev and his wife Ria had their five children at school; only the eldest daughter, Madina, survived the attack. Their four other children, Larissa, Luba, Albina and Boris, were buried on September 7, 2004.

The pastor’s brother, Sergey Totiev, also had children at the school. Sergey and his wife Bela buried two of their children on the same day: Dzerassa (15) and Anna (9). Their son Azamat lost his sight in one of his eyes and is having surgery to save his other eye.

Both men are pastors of the Beslan Baptist Church. At the children’s funeral Sergey spoke of forgiveness and advised people not to seek revenge, but to serve as peacemakers. His exact words were: “Yes, we have an irreplaceable loss, but we cannot take revenge. As Christians, the Bible teaches us that we must forgive. Vengeance is in God’s hands.” According to a Christian worker in the area, a demonic plan was broken when those words were spoken!

Since that time they have been doing everything they can think of to minister to families of the victims. Other churches and ministries have also taken up the enormous task of counseling and helping the survivors and the bereaved. Others decided to reach out to Chechen people (nationality of the neighboring terrorists) and are finding ways to minister God’s love to them.

RESPONSE: Today I commit to being a messenger of God’s reconciliation through Christ—even to those who may cause harm to me or my family.

PRAYER: Pray for the church to be an instrument of reconciliation and restoration in this volatile area of Central Asia.

NIV Devotionals for Couples - Conquering Fears in Marriage

Hebrews 11:1—12:3

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
~ Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

It’s scary to tell someone, “I love you.” It’s even more frightening to ask, “Will you marry me?”

Still even more terrifying is the answer: “Yes.”

Think about the weak-in-the-knees words “I do” and what can follow them: buying a house, having children, moving the family to a different state, taking a new job . . . The list of intimidating, heart-pounding, fear-provoking aspects of marriage go on and on.

Responsibility really hit me when Kelli and I started having children. I thought, “Now, not only is my life inextricably linked to my wife’s, and not only do I carry the responsibility of owning property, but now I am responsible for the well-being, provision and growth of other little human beings.” What a scary thought!

It seems that in every new stage in life, the stakes get higher.

When you stop and think about it, though, all of the Christian life takes tremendous courage as we commit our lives to God and join others who are called to be God’s people. Though we cannot see God, we can be confident of God’s goodness, God’s power, God’s presence and God’s wisdom. And yet we still must take that fearful first step of trust.

As Christians, we trust the unseen and base all our decisions about love and marriage on God’s invisible reality and the promises he has made. To live the Christian life and to make choices (not only for me, but for my entire family) based on a God we can’t see is tough. But the Bible tells us that this is the only wise choice to make.

As we look to Scripture for guidance, we can draw comfort and courage from heroes of faith such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and Rahab—people Kierkegaard called the unsurpassed “Knights of Faith.” After commending these and a few other Old Testament believers specifically (see Hebrews 11:4–31), the writer of Hebrews affirmed the many others who had faith to conquer kingdoms, administer justice, shut the mouths of lions and rout foreign armies (see Hebrews 11:32–38). These heroes weren’t lauded because they were strong in themselves, but because they trusted God. They were weak as they considered the tasks ahead of them, but when they trusted God, he turned their weakness into strength.

Likewise we are to trust God as we face the risky and intimidating aspects of married life. For as Hebrews 12:1 assures us, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and therefore we have the strength and courage to throw off everything that hinders us and move forward in love, confidence and trust. This is the unseen reality that makes sense of our choice to step forward into marriage despite our fears.

David and Kelli Trujillo

Let’s Talk
  • What are the toughest choices or biggest risks we’ve ever had to take in our lives? In our marriage?
  • What is our vision for our life together? What fears do we have? What hopes do we have?
  • How can we help each other live like heroes of faith as we face fears and risks in the years to come?

LHM Daily Devotion - September 2, 2017 "Sin and Shame"

Here's a quote for you: "We have fallen on evil times and the world has...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Sin and Shame"

September 2, 2017

... But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Here's a quote for you: "We have fallen on evil times and the world has grown very wicked. Governments are corrupt and even children are no longer respectful to their parents."

Would it surprise you to find out that this is not a quote from a modern-day politician who is running for election? Nor does it come from a preacher on a Christian radio broadcast like The Lutheran Hour. No, that quote is taken from a clay tablet which is kept in a Turkish museum: a clay tablet which is more than 4,000 years old.

Truly, we live in a world which is evil.

Drug dealers are not ashamed of the profits they reap from the addiction of little children. The wads of cash they flash justifies their sin. Pornographers, hiding behind freedom of speech, are not ashamed of the smut and sexual sewage they spew forth across the internet. A politician convicted on receiving bribes admits that he may have made some improper choices. A gang member gives a gold-toothed smile to the cameras when he is arrested for having killed an innocent child in a drive-by shooting. He makes it clear that he is not at fault: "That kid is dead because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time."

There is one thing missing from all these news vignettes. That one thing is shame.

Watch the news and you will see a wealth of wrongdoers making excuses for their sinful excesses; you will hear justifications, explanations, clarifications, and rationalizations. What you will not hear, what you will not see is shame. It is not there because ours is the age which elevates evil and immortalizes the immoral. And today I want to know where is the shame?

Where is the shame for a society that prides itself in open-mindedness to everything and everybody other than the Savior? Where is the shame for our sins and shortcomings, our transgressions and our indiscretions?

Where is the shame? Well, folks it's simply not there. It's easy to understand why.

If we admit we are ashamed, we are also compelled to confess that we have sins and shortcomings. If we have sins and shortcomings, then we need to find an escape. And finding an escape on our own is difficult. No, that's not right. It is impossible for us to find an escape from sin and shame.

This is why we so desperately need the Savior.

It is the Christ -- and the Christ alone -- who not only understands our sins and our shame, He has done something about it. To keep His Father's promise first made to our original parents, He entered this world and gave Himself as our ransom. He, who had no reason to be ashamed, carried our sins to the cross and died the death that we deserved.

Because of Him sinful souls are made white, and our sin and shame are removed.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I be given a repentant heart and a spirit which recognizes all You have done to win my forgiveness and salvation. By the Holy Spirit's power, may I rejoice in the joy that comes from being part of the family of faith. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).