Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, October 6, 2019 - 17th Sunday after Pentecost

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, October 6, 2019 - 17th Sunday after Pentecost
[Ordinary 27, Proper 22]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

World Communion Sunday
Lamentations 1:1-6; Psalm 37; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10

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)
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

World Communion Prayer of Confession
Lord, on this world communion Sunday, help us examine our hearts so that we may pay proper respect to Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for offering reconciliation to all of humankind, the forgiveness of sins through Christ, our high priest.

Almighty and ever-present God, we confess our sins to you. We are truly sorry for our wrongdoings and shortcomings, for sins of commission and sins of omission. Forgive us, we pray, in Christ's name.

Empower us to serve you fully, to share the resources we have with those who have less, to weep with those who weep, and to laugh with those who laugh. Help us to be good stewards over the earth you have placed in our care; help us to unite in love and concern for one another, not just in our local community, but with brothers and sisters in all the world.

As we draw near to your holy table we thank you, Lord, for providing the Bread of Life for us. As we partake, impart on us your grace and mercy, unite us with Christ, our Lord, and with one another. May your kingdom be established in all the earth. Amen.

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
Lamentations 1:1-6
The Deserted City
1  How lonely sits the city
     that once was full of people!
   How like a widow she has become,
     she that was great among the nations!
   She that was a princess among the provinces
     has become a vassal.

2  She weeps bitterly in the night,
     with tears on her cheeks;
   among all her lovers
     she has no one to comfort her;
   all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
     they have become her enemies.

3  Judah has gone into exile with suffering
     and hard servitude;
   she lives now among the nations,
     and finds no resting place;
   her pursuers have all overtaken her
     in the midst of her distress.

4  The roads to Zion mourn,
     for no one comes to the festivals;
   all her gates are desolate,
     her priests groan;
   her young girls grieve,
     and her lot is bitter.

5  Her foes have become the masters,
     her enemies prosper,
   because the Lord has made her suffer
     for the multitude of her transgressions;
   her children have gone away,
     captives before the foe.

6  From daughter Zion has departed
     all her majesty.
   Her princes have become like stags
     that find no pasture;
   they fled without strength
     before the pursuer.

The Response
Psalm 137 Super flumina
1  By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
   when we remembered you, O Zion.

2  As for our harps, we hung them up *
   on the trees in the midst of that land.

3  For those who led us away captive asked us for a song,
   and our oppressors called for mirth: *
   "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

4  How shall we sing the Lord'S song *
   upon an alien soil.

5  If I forget you, O Jerusalem, *
   let my right hand forget its skill.

6  Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth
   if I do not remember you, *
   if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

7  Remember the day of Jerusalem, O Lord,
   against the people of Edom, *
   who said, "Down with it! down with it!
   even to the ground!"

8  O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, *
   happy the one who pays you back
   for what you have done to us!

9  Happy shall he be who takes your little ones, *
   and dashes them against the rock!

Second Reading
2 Timothy 1:1-14
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

2 To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thanksgiving and Encouragement
3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

8 Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, 12 and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. 13 Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

The Gospel
Luke 17:5-10
17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

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.
World Communion Sunday
Lamentations 1:1-6 (Jerusalem empty and destroyed); Psalm 137 (Weeping by the rivers of Babylon); 2 Timothy 1:1-14 (Guard the treasure entrusted to you); Luke 17:5-10 (Faith the size of a mustard seed)

“Mountain Moving Faith” The Sermon for SUNDAY, October 6, 2019 - 17th Sunday after Pentecost

Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 17th chapter of Luke, beginning with the 5th verse.

17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Luke 17:5-10 (NRSV)

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.

“Mountain Moving Faith”

A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member. Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. Until the church doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary. Unfortunately, the church with its undersized lot had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built.

In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain out of the back yard. Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had “mountain moving faith.” They would hold a prayer session asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to somehow provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the scheduled opening dedication service.

At the appointed time, 24 of the congregation’s 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for nearly three hours. At ten o’clock the pastor said the final “Amen”. “We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” he assured everyone. “God has never let us down before, and I believe he will be faithful this time too.” The next morning as he was working in his study there came a loud knock at his door. When he called “come in”, a rough looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered. “Excuse me, Reverend. I’m from Acme Construction Company over in the next county. We’re building a huge shopping mall. We need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge if we can have it right away. We can’t do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly.”

The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned and there were far more members with “mountain moving faith” on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week! (Author Unknown).

Wow. At first listen, that story sounds like an amazing fulfillment of a saying Jesus liked to use during his ministry. Both Matthew and Mark record him as saying that faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains. Luke, in the Gospel for today, records Jesus as saying, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Either way he chose to say it, the message was the same: With just a little faith great things can be done.

It’s no wonder then, that the disciples said to him, “Increase our faith.” Is it any wonder that the pastor of that small mountain church called for those with “mountain moving faith” to come pray. But the point of Jesus’ illustration does not support such conclusions. His point is that the amount of faith you have doesn’t matter. Lots and lots of faith isn’t necessary, but rather any faith at all, even a tiny bit like a mustard seed is enough. But enough for what? How about enough to move trees or mountains or even human hearts.

The size of faith doesn’t matter because God is the one doing the moving. If it were my faith that moved the mountain, then the bigger the mountain the more faith I would need to move it. The bigger the obstacle the more strength I’d need to climb it. The more serious the sin the more faith I’d need in order to have it forgiven. That kind of thinking kind of makes sense, but that’s not how faith works. In fact, faith doesn’t do the work at all. God is the one doing the work through faith. Think of faith as the key that opens the door to God acting in our lives. If I have a bigger key ring than you do, does it matter? Because we can both open the door with that one little key. And once the door is open to God, he can move the mountains and trees and even our hearts.

So, what Jesus is saying to his disciples, who asked for their faith to be increased, is that even if they would have the smallest amount of faith they could do great things. Great things like what Jesus tells us in the gospel for today.

Things like being especially sensitive to people that are new to the faith and so Jesus says, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” (Luke 17:1-2).

Things like offering Christ-like forgiveness again and again, if necessary, and so Jesus says, “Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.” (Luke 17:3-4).

These things don’t seem like such great things until you have to do them, and the apostles didn’t think they were able. But they were. They already had what they needed, they already had faith, so they just needed to let God move the mountains and the trees and even their own hearts for them.

And so do you. Like the Apostles you also have what is needed, you also have been given the gift of faith by God. Why else would you be here. You are here to read the Word of God and to be nourished by his body and blood because the Holy Spirit created faith in you at your baptism. You are here because that faith even faith as small as a mustard seed has moved you to pray, praise and give thanks to the one who loves you and has given himself over to death for you. You are here because of a faith that trusts only in what God has done to give you eternal life, as Paul reminds us in the 2nd lesson that it is “God who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:8-9).

Faith certainly can accomplish great things and since as I have already said that faith is the reason you are here and faith is the reason you are a child of God, then faith is also the reason that you can do the same things as the apostles. You also can be sensitive to people new to the faith. That means always living your faith. Don’t act righteous and holy on Sundays and the rest of the week you live as the heathens do. What would someone new to Christianity think if they knew you from church but heard you take the Lord’s name in vain? And in the same way what would a new Christian think or any Christian for that matter think if after we hear Jesus tell us to forgive and forgive and forgive, and then after we feel someone has sinned against us we refuse to forgive?

I think all of us have to admit that at one time or another we are guilty of conducting ourselves in an un-Christian manor and more often than not we are guilty of holding grudges and refusing forgiveness. The worse part of this is the fact that what I have mentioned so far is only a small list of how we sin in thought, word, and deed each and every day and because of the things we say and do we are deserving of an eternity spent separated from God in hell.

But praise God that he doesn’t treat us according to what we deserve. Praise God that in spite of our sins he has given us faith—even faith as small as a mustard seed. And God working through the faith he has given us will defeat the devil’s temptations to sin, he will help us overcome the obstacles we face when forgiveness is required. God working in us through faith can move mountains and trees and even our own hearts for his glory. Faith is powerful, because the Christ in whom faith believes is powerful. He defeated death, destroyed the devil and swept away our sins by his mercy. Through faith in Jesus God can even do the impossible: save sinners like you and me.

And so that brings us back to that little mountain church story I told at the beginning. At first it seems to be a good illustration of the mountain moving powers of faith. But in the end it never happened—at least that’s what the resource I got the illustration from says. And I’d tend to agree. According to this text God didn’t need twenty-four people with big faiths to pray. Nor did the pastor’s believing make that contractor show up in his office. Mountains, trees and even human hearts are moved by God through faith so tiny as a mustard seed. In fact, the whole idea of "if you really, really believe, then it will happen" is disproved by this text. But let’s not twist these words in order to convince ourselves that now we don’t need to take this Christianity stuff faith and prayer and study any more seriously than we already do. Realize that since you already possess more than enough of what’s needed to change your life, your heart, your family, your community, even your world, the question ceases to be “Why can’t you?” and is now “Why won’t you?” Mountains, trees and even the stubbornness of our own sinful hearts are moved by God.

Father, thank You that according to Your Word, You have given us all a measure of Your faith—Mountain Moving faith. Hallelujah!

And it was through that same faith that Abraham became the father of many Nations; and it was not because he lived like a saint and did everything right, but because You made something out of Abraham even when he was a nobody because he dared to trust You.

Father, I pray that we will all have that same kind of faith and trust in You—the faith to trust You to do what You said You would do.

Even though things in the natural may seem hopeless right now, help us not to focus on what we can’t do Lord, but on what Your Word said You would do for us.

Help us get a revelation that we must mix our faith with Your Word. You said Your Word is near us even in our mouths and we have been given the power and the authority to speak to our mountains; and Your Word like a hammer will break into pieces the rock of most stubborn resistance. Amen.

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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. Christopher Raiford.

Lots and lots of faith isn’t necessary, but rather any faith at all, even a tiny bit like a mustard seed is enough.

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, October 6, 2019

The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, October 6, 2019

Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977)

Fannie Lou Hamer was born the daughter of sharecroppers in Mississippi, a poor black woman in the poorest region of America at the time. She rose up from obscurity to challenge the principalities and powers of her day. A fiery and eloquent voice for freedom, she helped to guide and inspire the struggle for freedom. In Hamer’s later years, her concerns grew beyond civil rights to include opposition to the Vietnam War and efforts to unite poor people of all shades of skin in a movement to end poverty. She was known for her line, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”

Loving God, even in the midst of the world’s pain and sorrow, we can encounter your joy. Show us that such joy comes when we are caught up in works of mercy and find ourselves unable to distinguish between our blessings and those of our brothers and sisters. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, October 6, 2019

Isaiah 26:4 (NIV) Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Read all of Isaiah 26

Listen to Isaiah 26

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 06 de Octubre de 2019

¿Qué declaras sobre ti?

Dios nos ha entregado sus preciosas y magníficas promesas para que [...] lleguen a tener parte en la naturaleza divina.
2 Pedro 1:4 (NVI)

Durante estos devocionales hemos analizado que las palabras tienen poder y nosotros somos el resultado de lo que hablamos y de lo que comemos en cuanto respecta a la salud.

Dios tiene trazado nuestro futuro, pero a veces no vemos esas cosas. A menudo, esto se debe a que estamos desenfocados o a que NO creemos en nosotros mismos para lograrlo. Es posible que pensemos que el éxito es para otros y cometamos el error más común y determinante en la parte espiritual: Hablamos sin pensar y decimos lo peor de nosotros mismos. Entonces, todo lo que declaramos sobre nuestra vida toma valor debido al poder que tienen las palabras.

Recuerda que el enemigo, Satanás, no quiere que tú triunfes. Al contrario, está interesado en tu fracaso. A mí me costó un tiempo entender este principio y mediante la Biblia comprobé que con nuestras palabras podemos declarar bendición o maldición.

Ahora te pregunto: «¿Qué prefieres?». Es hora de soltar todo tu pasado. Si en otra época te ataste con tus palabras, hoy Dios te da la oportunidad de ser libre y hacer lo opuesto.

A fin de alcanzarlo, empieza a declarar lo siguiente: «Soy un hijo de Dios. Soy un vencedor. Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece. Ninguna arma forjada contra mí prosperará. Soy sano. Soy libre. Soy una nueva criatura».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Dios tiene trazado nuestro futuro, pero a veces no vemos esas cosas. A menudo, esto se debe a que estamos desenfocados o a que NO creemos en nosotros mismos para lograrlo.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, October 6, 2019

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:1-3 (NIV)

In the summer of 2011, Musalaha held an Israeli-Palestinian summer camp attended by seventy Palestinian and Israeli children from Christian families. A visitor shares poignant observations:

For me, after six months in the Land, this camp gave me real hope like nothing else I have experienced. There was hope in the Bible studies, in the competitions, in the craziness and laughter, and in the worship. There was hope as the children were creative with their crafts and reckless in their play. There was hope as they were just being girls and boys – having fun, making friends, getting a break from the pressures of their everyday environment…

When they arrived, many of the children found friends they had met at last year’s camp. A group of two Palestinian and three Israeli girls negotiated to be in the same room. Upon receiving permission, they pulled five bunks together to make one huge bed where they could sleep together…

At the camp I realized that I wasn’t noticing who was Israeli and who was Palestinian. I saw my brothers and sisters from both sides of the conflict demonstrate a love of Christ and each other above their love of sticking with their side. Leaders cared for kids, loving and instructing them regardless of where they came from. We were all there as believers in Jesus, and as should more often be the case, during camp no other identity really mattered.

One day after craft time, a Palestinian boy from the West Bank proudly pulled me aside to show me his pencil case. On it, he had painted an Israeli flag. I am not sure how his parents would feel about it, but it showed me how much more simple this situation is for the children. He loved his new friends and leaders and therefore had fond feelings about the place they are from…

As my coworker Tamara and I reflected on the camp, she said, “Innocence breaks down all this hatred that we have around us. You love the good things that you see in the other side. Like Jesus said, we should be little children.”

For them, the “enemy” will never be faceless, inhuman, or distant. For them, the situation will never be easy or black and white. That is good. With open eyes they can help bring change. They are the hope.

RESPONSE: Today I will look at the problems of our world through child-like eyes and see the challenges as Jesus sees them.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, there is HOPE for even the greatest challenges of our troubled world.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - October 6, 2019 - I Know My Faith Is Founded

"I Know My Faith Is Founded"

Oct. 6, 2019

"I know my faith is founded on Jesus Christ, my God and Lord; And this my faith confessing, unmoved I stand on His sure Word. Our reason cannot fathom the truth of God profound; Who trusts in human wisdom relies on shifting ground. God's Word is all-sufficient, it makes divinely sure; And trusting in its wisdom, my faith shall rest secure."

We never know what might appear in the latest news stories, but it is very likely that the reports will include some sort of conflict—military, political, or personal. We may not even have to look that far; conflicts arise all too easily within our own families, communities, and churches. Apart from the news, new cultural trends arise as popular ideas take root and bring changes to our lives. No matter how hard we try to sort everything out, we feel unprepared and unsettled. It is no wonder that our hymn reminds us, "Who trusts in human wisdom relies on shifting ground."

If we try to build our lives on the shifting ground of human wisdom or ever-changing cultural trends, we will not stand up against the storms and floods of life. In response to an overwhelming storm of guilt, worldly wisdom may suggest, "Don't worry. Everyone else is doing the same thing." In the disasters of personal conflict, human wisdom may advise, "Go ahead, get even. You deserve the satisfaction." In ongoing arguments, our own reasoning may lead us to proclaim our own views angrily and loudly, as we refuse to listen to others. We are more than capable of providing our own shifting ground.

Our hymn speaks of a foundation that is far more secure than anything we can construct. It is the same foundation described by Jesus: "Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock" (Matthew 7:24-25). After hearing various popular ideas concerning His identity, Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered with a rock-solid confession: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:15-16).

In the same confession of faith, we stand unmoved on God's sure Word: the Word that reveals to us what Peter confessed. Jesus is the Christ—the promised Messiah of Israel—and the Son of the living God. It is a confession that human reason "cannot fathom." Even Peter, according to his own wisdom, could not have answered the question, for as Jesus pointed out to him, "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 16:17b). Our faith rests secure in the Father's wisdom as revealed to us in His Word. Rains and floods will come, and winds will blow, but a life of faith built on Jesus, the living Word, will not fall.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we confess that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. When we encounter the shifting ground of worldly wisdom, hold us securely in Your Word. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Do you find it a challenge to keep your eyes on God's Word when there's so much going on in the world around us?
  • Can you recall an example when trusting God in His Word saved you from a real blunder?
  • Do you take any preventative measures to keep yourself unsaturated by the world?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "I Know My Faith Is Founded." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do you find it a challenge to keep your eyes on God's Word when there's so much going on in the world around us?

Unser Täglich Brot - Tue, was geschrieben steht

Tue, was geschrieben steht

Lesung: Jakobus 1,22-25 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Jesaja 26-27; Philipper 2

Glücklich sind alle, die das Wort Gottes hören und danach leben. Lukas 11,28

Richard sollte bei der Hochzeit seines Bruders einer der Platzanweiser sein, aber er erschien nicht. Verständlicherweise waren die Familienangehörigen enttäuscht, einschließlich seiner Schwester Claudia, die bei diesem Anlass die Schriftlesung übernahm. Fehlerlos las sie den bekannten über Liebe aus 1. Korinther 13. Als sie nach der Hochzeit von ihrem Vater gebeten wurde, Richard ein Geburtstagsgeschenk zu bringen, zögerte sie. Sie fand es schwerer, die Worte über Liebe auszuleben als sie zu lesen. Ehe der Abend vorbei war, hatte sie aber ihre Meinung geändert und gab zu: „Ich kann nicht dastehen und aus der Bibel über Liebe lesen, sie aber nicht ausüben.“

Hat dich je die Bibel überführt, dass du etwas gelesen oder gehört hast, aber es dir schwerfiel, dies auch auszuleben? Dann bist du nicht alleine. Es ist leichter Gottes Wort zu lesen und zu hören, als ihm auch zu gehorchen. Darum bringt es Jakobus Herausforderung auf den Punkt: „Aber es reicht nicht, nur auf die Botschaft zu hören – ihr müsst auch danach handeln! Sonst betrügt ihr euch nur selbst“ (Jakobus 1,22). Der Spiegel, den er uns vorhält, bringt uns zum Lächeln, denn wir wissen, was es heißt, etwas an uns selbst zu erkennen, was unserer Aufmerksamkeit bedarf. Aber wir betrügen uns selbst, wenn wir meinen, dass das reine Beobachten ausreicht. Wenn Jakobus uns auffordert, „ständig“ auf Gottes Gesetz zu achten (V. 25), dann ermutigt er uns das zu tun, was Claudia schließlich tat—es auszuleben. Gottes Wort fordert es und verdient nicht weniger als unser Handeln.
Wann hast du in deinem Leben eine Veränderung gemacht, nachdem du intensiv in die Bibel geschaut hast? Wie wurde dein Leben dadurch bereichert?
Herr, hilf mir, besser zu verstehen, was es bedeutet, intensiv in dein Wort zu sehen und das auszuleben, was ich lese.

© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Richard sollte bei der Hochzeit seines Bruders einer der Platzanweiser sein, aber er erschien nicht.