Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, October 27, 2019 - 20th Sunday after Pentecost

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, October 27, 2019 - 20th Sunday after Pentecost
[Ordinary 30, Proper 25]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Prophecy, Dreams and Visions
Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14

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, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Call to Confession

We turn to God in prayer not because we are compelled but because God invites us. We come to God not because of our righteousness but because of God’s grace. In that spirit, we offer this prayer of confession and unburdening.

Loving God, we know that in every generation you call forth prophets to proclaim your word. We give you thanks that you are still speaking even today. Your Spirit inspires the young to see visions of a new creation and elders to dream of a time not yet known. Yet, we confess that we fail to hear your voice when it comes from an unexpected place. Convinced that we are right, we miss the Good News of your reconciling love. Forgive us, God. Restore us with humility and awaken us anew to your presence and your promise. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
The God of creation is a God of mercy. God is quick to forgive and God’s promise of restoration is for all people. Friends believe the Good News of the Gospel In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

First Reading
(The promise to restore Israel)
23 O children of Zion, be glad
     and rejoice in the Lord your God;
   for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
     he has poured down for you abundant rain,
     the early and the later rain, as before.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
     the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 I will repay you for the years
     that the swarming locust has eaten,
   the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
     my great army, which I sent against you.

26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
     and praise the name of the Lord your God,
     who has dealt wondrously with you.
   And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
     and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
   And my people shall never again be put to shame.

God’s Spirit Poured Out
28 Then afterward
     I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
   your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
     your old men shall dream dreams,
     and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female slaves,
     in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

30 I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 32 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

The Psalm
(Your paths overflow with plenty)
Thanksgiving for Earth’s Bounty
To the leader. A Psalm of David. A Song.
1  Praise is due to you,
     O God, in Zion;
   and to you shall vows be performed,
2    O you who answer prayer!
   To you all flesh shall come.
3  When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
     you forgive our transgressions.
4  Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
     to live in your courts.
   We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
     your holy temple.

5  By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
     O God of our salvation;
   you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
     and of the farthest seas.
6  By your strength you established the mountains;
     you are girded with might.
7  You silence the roaring of the seas,
     the roaring of their waves,
     the tumult of the peoples.
8  Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by
         your signs;
   you make the gateways of the morning and the evening
         shout for joy.

9  You visit the earth and water it,
     you greatly enrich it;
   the river of God is full of water;
     you provide the people with grain,
     for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
     settling its ridges,
   softening it with showers,
     and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
     your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
     the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
     the valleys deck themselves with grain,
     they shout and sing together for joy.

Second Reading
(The good fight of faith)
4:6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16 At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel
(A Pharisee and tax collector pray)
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
18:9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

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.
The Sunday Lectionary Readings
Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14
The text from Joel offers the promise of restoration and renewed vision from God. The apocalyptic imagery hints at the promise of a new heaven and a new earth. Similarly, Jesus’ parable calls us to humble recognition of our need for God’s grace.

“Humble Pride” The Sermon for SUNDAY, October 27, 2019 - 20th Sunday after Pentecost

Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 18th chapter of Luke, beginning with the 9th verse.

18:9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:9-14 (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.

“Humble Pride”
by Rev. Richard Burkey

Vince Lombardi was the coach of the Green Bay Packers during their glory years in the 1960s. Lombardi was known for his monstrous ego, unwavering self-confidence and gargantuan pride. Stories about Lombardi abound—some fact, some fiction. One story tells of the occasion when Lombardi was at a championship playoff game. His wife was not able to attend the game. The odds were against the Packers winning the game, but they won the game anyhow. Coach Lombardi was thrilled with his team’s winning effort. When he got home, his wife was already in bed fast asleep. But when his ice-cold feet touched her legs, she said, “God, your feet are cold.” Quick as a flash, Lombardi replied, “When we’re in bed, just call me Vince.”

Pride has been elevated to the level of a virtue in the world of American sports and entertainment. We chuckle about stories of proud people, like Lombardi’s cold feet. But we’re nauseated when we come face to face with an arrogant person who looks down his nose at us like we’re a lower form of life.

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) calls pride a spiritual cancer that eats up the very possibility of love and contentment, and even common sense (Mere Christianity). Pride is 1 of the 7 deadly sins. Pride is a spiritual cancer that damages our souls, harms everyone in its path and breaks God’s heart.

Jesus condemns the sin of pride in the parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector in Luke 18 because he knows what an inaccurate picture such arrogant pride can bring.

Yet at times we have made the mistake of going to far to the other extreme, as if being humble is equated with being humiliated.

True greatness in God’s eyes comes not in exalting ourselves over others. True greatness comes in humbling ourselves as servants of others. Christ exemplified humility in humbling Himself in becoming a man and dying on the cross. Stay proud. As it says through out the Bible, pride goeth before the fall.

Did you know that the word humility comes from the word humus which means soil or dirt? God created us out of the dust of the earth. One day we all return to the dirt once again. We are what we are by the grace of God.

Yet humility is more than just a recognition of a dirt beginning, real humility is a recognition of divine action through our lives. The danger of pride is that we defy ourselves, equating our value with God’s. Humility recognizes that what I am and what I can ultimately be is by the grace of God.

Instead of humiliation or arrogant pride lets look for a better way, one of humble pride that leads to eternal confidence that by God’s grace and God’s will, God has an awesome purpose to fulfill in our lives. Today let’s look at 4 markers of humble pride that leads to eternal confidence in living life each day.

MARKER 1. Be honest in my NEED for God. Someone in our day who has a prideful self-centeredness we say has the disease of Narcissism. The name comes from Greek mythology and refers to a handsome young man name Narcissus who fell in love with himself. Whenever he would come along a pool of clear water, he would look at his reflection for hours admiring the view.

One day he said to himself, “You are handsome, Narcissus! There’s nobody so handsome in the whole world!” He stooped down to kiss his reflection, fell into the water, and drowned.

To people who have fallen into that Narcissistic view of their lives, Luke tells us in, Luke 18:9, Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt.

In this parable, Jesus calls us to humility. The best definition I’ve ever heard of humility is: “Humility is not denying the power you have but admitting that the power comes through and not from you.” If you deny the power you’ve been given, you lie. If you have a fine singing voice, then use it and give glory to God. If you make the best chocolate chip cookies, then make some and bring them to the church office.

The challenge of the parable is not to put ourselves down, but to lift our need for God up. Humble pride calls for an honest appraisal of my need for God because God knows our hearts. Earlier in Luke in, Luke 16:15, So Jesus said to them (the Pharisees), “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Folks, God knows us better than we know ourselves. That’s the scary news. We can fool the rest of the world perhaps, but not God. He knows the real you and me, even the darkest of our dark sides. Now here’s the good news, God loves us no matter what we have done nor matter what we do because of what Jesus has done for us. That’s why the call is to be honest like the tax collector in our need for God.

MARKER 2. FOCUS on God’s mercy, not my achievements. George Washington loved to tell the story of an over-zealous candidate campaigning for office. “Fellow citizens,” said the candidate, “I have fought against the enemy. I have often had no bed but the battlefield, and no canopy but the sky. I have marched over frozen ground ’til every step has been marked by blood.”

This candidate told his story well, until one voter came to the front and asked, “Did you say you’d fought in the war?”

“Yes!” replied the candidate.

“And that you slept on the ground with the sky for your cover.”

“Yes, many a time.”

“And that your feet bled in marching over the frozen ground?”

“That they did,” declared the candidate.

“Well, then I think you have done enough for your country, and you ought to go home and rest. I’ll vote for the other fellow.”

The Pharisee in the parable likes to focus on all his “I do this and I do that” achievements, but Jesus says they are worth nothing. The tax collector has a better focus. Read again what he does in, Luke 18:13, The tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even look up to heaven. But he beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

Paul says in, Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live.  That’s why he sent Christ to make us what we are.”

The incredible purpose God has for our lives comes by His mercy and grace. The ultimate goal is not our achievements but our relationship with God. God empowers us to fulfill this awesome purpose not to earn His love, but to enjoy the love He already has for us. Humble pride doesn’t focus on titles nor achievement, but the awesome and incredible grace of God.

MARKER 3. Instead of comparing with others, SEE others through God’s eyes. Read again the Pharisees prayer in, Luke 18:11, The Pharisee stood up and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.”

C. S. Lewis noted, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.”

Sounds like a good description of the disease Jesus is dealing with in this story. The danger is when my eye is on me, I miss the God above me.

Or as one person put it, “If you are all wrapped up in yourself, your over-dressed.”

Life is not about how I compare with others, but how am I doing in my relationship with God? James has a great solution to help us have humble pride, to see God and to see others through God’s eyes. James says in James 4:10, “Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” (The Message)

When Ronald Regan was President of the United States, he had a sign on his desk that said, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”

Life is not about how I compare with others. God calls us not to compete, but to complete. He calls us to see others as people He sent His Son, Jesus, to live and die for. When you look at others through God’s eyes, you see people to love.

Today I challenge you to take a risk with a dangerous prayer. The prayer is: “Lord, Help Me Be Humble: A Prayer for Humility.”

Merciful Father, Your truth runs counter to our self-exalting world: humble service is the path to kingdom greatness. This truth isn’t weak or foolish as the world would think, but is a blessed and honorable gospel garment donned by those who fear You, the One who exalts the humble and brings down the proud. Oh, that the entire world would live in humility before You and each other!

While I aspire a life of godly humility, the pull of pride seems too strong to overcome. I so often desire to sit on your throne instead of bowing before You as the only true Sovereign and Holy God. I think highly of myself and my accomplishments and forget I am a man made of dust who at best can be called a servant of a great God. I even diminish the offense of pride by holding it lightly; forgetting that pride cast Satan from Your presence and brought the corruption of your creation. Oh, Lord, rescue me from foolish pride and help me learn from Your gentle and humble heart!

Gracious Father, reprogram my soul with your Word to remember the world is all about Jesus and not myself. Help me not think more highly of myself than I ought, but to delight in regarding others as more important. Rescue me from the self-deception of pride by giving me a realistic view of my life, talents, and relationship with you; always looking to the cross which reveals both the wrath I deserve and Your costly grace.

In my battle against pride, keep me from a false humility that fails to recognize Your gracious gifts. Rather, help me steward what you have given me as a faithful servant—a servant ready to wear the garment of humility and serve you in whatever way would most help Your Kingdom and bring praise to Your Name.

Lord, Your Son left the pleasures of heaven for a life of service on earth—and He gave his life for undeserving and ungrateful people. Help me have His attitude, remembering that You oppose the proud and give grace to the humble. You must become greater; I must become less—only then does the glorious reality shine forth that Christ is highly exalted above every name in heaven and on earth.

May my entire being bow before You in loving allegiance, confessing You as Lord over all of my life and all of creation, to the praise of Your glory.


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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. Richard Burkey.
Humility recognizes that what I am and what I can ultimately be is by the grace of God. The result is humble pride leads to eternal confidence.

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, October 27, 2019

The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, October 27, 2019

The ancient Letter to Diognetus records these observations about the early church: “The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor by language, nor by the customs that they observe; for they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. They marry, as do all others; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet they make many rich; they are lacking all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonored, and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are spoken of as evil, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted and repay the insult with honor; they do good, yet are punished as evildoers.”

With each new morning, Lord, we praise you and delight that our lives are in your hand. Your goodness sustains us. Your calling gives us purpose. You victory ensures that our times are in your hands. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, October 27, 2019

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Read all of Hebrews 4

Listen to Hebrews 4

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 27 de Octubre de 2019

Jesús y el divorcio

Por tanto, lo que Dios ha unido, que no lo separe el hombre.
Marcos 10:9 (NVI)

El divorcio es un tema que me causa mucho dolor. En mi caso, me resulta muy triste debido a que he pasado por dos divorcios que me dolieron por varios años. En realidad, esto es traumático en gran medida y lo lamentable es que los más afectados son los niños.

En el primero, no conocía de Dios y no había principios, ni respeto. Incluso, llegué a vivir los primeros pasos de la violencia doméstica. En el segundo, fue más triste aun porque se trataba de una boda cristiana donde el amor no fue suficiente para lidiar con los problemas y nos dejamos llevar por el orgullo.

De estas dos experiencias aprendí que casarse no era cuestión de emoción, sino que es una decisión muy seria. Por lo tanto, Dios debe ser el que nos escoja esa pareja. En la Biblia, Él nos dice que la única ocasión en la que aprueba el divorcio es cuando ha habido adulterio.

Mi consejo es que si no estás en esta situación y solo te empeñas en divorciarte porque crees que todo está perdido, dale una oportunidad a Dios para restaurar tu hogar.

Recuerda, Él tiene la última palabra.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
El divorcio es un tema que me causa mucho dolor.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, October 27, 2019

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Luke 14:33 (NIV)

Johnny Li, a former colleague and current missionary trainer in China shares about his meeting with two young pastors there:

As I entered the house, I surprised to observe the humble existence of these two mighty men of God. They were the leaders of house churches in their provinces, which had grown the past nine years to more than 200,000 Christians. They were both in their late twenties and even though they have been in the ministry since they were nineteen their enthusiasm reflected beautifully.

Everybody knew about the work of the Lord through these faithful servants. I also knew that they both spent several years in prison in extremely harsh conditions, but nothing prepared me for this humble home and modest lifestyle.

There were no furniture items, no ornaments, and no beds in the small house. Their clothes were hanging on the wall due to a lack of cupboards. The only furniture was a table and a chair to sit on. There was a blanket on the ground that was obviously used as the bed. Together we sat down and I started questioning them about their activities and work that was bearing much fruit.

“How often do you travel to neighboring villages?” I asked. “As often as possible,” they replied.

“Where do you obtain your finances to do so?” “We sell what we have,” they replied and supplied me with an explanation to the question about the empty house which I dared not ask. “We sold the chairs and we sold the cupboard,” they continued. “And that supplied much-needed funds for our outreach.”

“What happens when you have nothing more to sell?” One pastor looked sadly down to the ground and answered softly, “We find something else to sell.”

“But what?” I kept on pressuring them. “You have already sold everything and have nothing left to sell. How will you raise money now?” Then came the startling answer. “We sell our blood on the black market. We get about five dollars but the need is so great that we have to do something to tell the people around us about Jesus.”

“How can you do this” I asked. “How can you justify selling your blood to send out missionaries?” Without hesitation they answered, “We have no choice! The need is so great!”

RESPONSE: Today I will not complain about what I lack but think of what I can sacrifice for Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, I reaffirm today my decision to follow You. I give You everything I am and have.

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 27, 2019 - A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"

Oct. 27, 2019

"A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon; He helps us free from ev'ry need that hath us now o'ertaken. The old evil foe now means deadly woe; Deep guile and great might are his dread arms in fight; On earth is not his equal.

"Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us, We tremble not, we fear no ill; they shall not overpow'r us. This world's prince may still scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none. He's judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him."

David challenged the giant Goliath, an enemy far more powerful than the young shepherd boy. We stand in David's sandals, facing, according to the hymn, "the old evil foe," who "means deadly woe." He is armed with "great might" and employs "deep guile," something that has always been a tactic of this foe. He is the one our Lord called "a murderer from the beginning" and "a liar and the father of lies" (see John 8:44).

David knew what we know; we can't face this battle alone. In the words of the shepherd boy, we challenge our foe, "The LORD saves not with sword or spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hand" (1 Samuel 17:47). David's Lord fought for him, and his Champion is our Champion, too. We ask, "Who is this?" "Jesus Christ it is," Martin Luther responds in this hymn, "of Sabaoth Lord." Our Champion—the promised Son of David—is the Lord of Sabaoth, that is, the Lord of the armies of heaven. But the Lord does not fight with sword or spear. Our Champion won by falling in battle, His weapons a cross, nails, and a bloody crown of thorns. Satan tried to destroy Jesus, but it was the devil who fell in defeat in the battle at a place called Golgotha.

Thrashing in his death throes, the evil foe still seeks to tear us from our Champion, but he cannot succeed. "One little word can fell him." Speaking of this battle hymn of the Reformation, Luther explained the meaning of that "one little word" in two ways: the little word is the Name of Jesus, the crucified and risen Lord who defeated Satan at the cross and empty tomb. But, according to Luther, the one little word is also the defiant shout, "Liar!" Satan may try to bring you down, raising doubts, trying to convince you that your sins are too great, that you cannot be forgiven. When the foe employs such "deep guile," Luther tells us to defy Satan to his face: "Devil, you lie!" As surely as the sling-shot stone brought Goliath down, our defiance in the Name of our Lord and Champion will bring the devil down. The Word, Jesus our Champion, remains always by our side in the fight. And in this earthly battle, if all else is taken from us, even our lives, the lying devil cannot win. The victory has already been won and "the kingdom ours remaineth."

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our Champion in the fight, deliver us from evil. Be our strong fortress in every time of trouble. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Have you ever had to deal with a bully? How did that work out for you?
  • What's your conception of the devil and the spirit world? Is Satan and his twisted minions just waiting to trip you up?
  • How do you apply God's Word to your life when you feel assailed by the enemy?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you ever had to deal with a bully?

Unser Täglich Brot - Werde Teil des Straßenteams

Werde Teil des Straßenteams

Lesung: Markus 2,13-17 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Jeremia 12-14; 2. Timotheus 1

Ich bin gekommen, um Sünder zu rufen, nicht Menschen, die sich schon für gut genug halten. Markus 2,17

Mitarbeiter des Gesundheitswesens gehen in einem Teil der Welt auf die Straße, um Obdachlose, die opiatabhängig sind, mit Medizin zu versorgen, um ihre Abhängigkeit zu behandeln. Diese Initiative begann als Reaktion auf die zunehmende Zahl der sich spritzenden Obdachlosen. Normalerweise warten Ärzte darauf, dass die Patienten in eine Klinik kommen. Aber indem die medizinische Versorgung zu den Betroffenen kam, mussten Patienten nicht die Herausforderungen stemmen, Transport zu organisieren oder sich einen Termin zu merken.

Die Bereitschaft des Gesundheitspersonals zu denen zu gehen, die sie brauchten, erinnert mich an die Art und Weise, wie Jesus in unserer Not zu uns gekommen ist. Jesus ging zu denen, die von der religiösen Elite schnell ignoriert wurden: Er saß mit den „Sündern und Steuereintreibern“ (V. 16). Als man ihn fragte, warum er das tat, antwortete er: „Die Gesunden brauchen keinen Arzt – wohl aber die Kranken“ (V. 17). Weiter erklärte er, dass seine Absicht darin lag, Sünder zu rufen, nicht die Menschen, die sich schon für gut genug halten.

Wenn wir erkennen, dass wir alle „krank“ sind und einen Arzt brauchen (Römer 3,10), können wir Jesu Bereitschaft besser verstehen, mit den „Sündern und Steuereintreibern“—ja, uns, zu essen. Aber, wie auch dieses Gesundheitspersonal, ruft uns Jesus in sein „Straßenteam“, um seine rettende Botschaft anderen zu bringen.
Wie hat Jesus dich gefunden? Wem kannst du Jesus als Arzt näherbringen?
Danke Herr, dass du mich gesucht und gefunden hast.

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Wie hat Jesus dich gefunden?