Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, October 11, 2020 — 19th Sunday After Pentecost

The Daily Readings
SUNDAY, October 11, 2020 — 19th Sunday After Pentecost

Standing in the Gap
Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Philippians 4:1-9;
Matthew 22:1-14
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

These are challenging times. The division and frustration are palpable. The balance is constantly shifting. The lines, consistently blurred. Truths, half truths, lies, mixed messages, confusing headlines…all in the middle of a Nation whose back has been broken. Finding God in the midst of this moment is difficult. As the election draws closer, countless voices will try to sway you one way or the other. Yet your responsibility is simple. Pray earnestly, seek God passionately, listen carefully and vote how He leads you. God’s is sovereign, He always has been. He is faithful and always will be. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens outside of His providence. This is where we find peace in this moment.

Opening Sentences
Today's encouragement to be humble and to focus on good things is especially apt in the heat of a political season. What if politicians, and all of us, would stand firm, but be gentle and thankful, thinking on what is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8)? What if seekers of justice and righteousness would first confess that "we and our ancestors have sinned" (Psalm 106:6), acknowledging the fallibility of people and nations as seen in the incident at Mount Sinai (Exodus 32:1-14)? Scholar Dennis Duling notes that even the harsh allegorical parables in Matthew 21 and 22, while illustrating the rejection of certain leaders, warn the newly included against self-righteous arrogance.

Opening Prayer
Gracious God, when the world's political noise is turned up high, we come not to escape, but to seek wisdom, and to focus on things that are worthy. Dial down the distractions in our minds. Tune our senses to your word and our hearts to your praise. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
God of mercy, in our impatience for answers, we sometimes turn to idols of our own making and forget our covenant with you. Passionate for what is right, we wrong those with whom we differ. Pleased at the invitation to your banquet, we fail to arrive with humility and thanksgiving. Forgive us when our faith is weak and our zeal too strong. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Do not worry; the Lord is near. God hears our prayers with compassion and with abundant, steadfast love. Rejoice, for in the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

First Reading
Exodus 32:1-14
The golden calf

32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord.

6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

11 And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?

12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

While Moses was in the mount, receiving God's law, the people made a tumultuous address to Aaron. This giddy multitude was weary of waiting for the return of Moses. Weariness in waiting betrays to many temptations. The Lord must be waited for till he comes, and waited for though he tarry. Let their readiness to part with their ear-rings to make an idol, shame our niggardliness in the service of the true God. They did not draw back on account of the cost of their idolatry; and shall we grudge the expenses of religion? Aaron produced the shape of an ox or calf, giving it some finish with a graving tool. They offered sacrifice to this idol. Having set up an image before them and so changed God's truth into a lie, their sacrifices were an abomination. Had they not, only a few days before, in this very place, heard the voice of the Lord God speaking to them out of the midst of the fire, Thou shalt not make thyself any graven image? Had they not themselves solemnly entered into a covenant with God, that they would do all he had said to them and would be obedient? Exodus 24:7. Yet before they stirred from the place where this covenant had been solemnly made, they brake an express command, in defiance of an express threatening. It plainly shows that the law was no more able to make holy than it was to justify; by it is the knowledge of sin, but not the cure of sin. Aaron was set apart by the Divine appointment to the office of the priesthood. Still, he, who had once shamed himself so far as to build an altar to a golden calf, must own himself unworthy of the honor of attending at the altar of God, and indebted to free grace alone for it. Thus pride and boasting were silenced.

God says to Moses that the Israelites had corrupted themselves. Sin is the corruption of the sinner, and it is a self-corruption; every man is tempted when he is drawn aside of his own lust. They had turned aside out of the way. Sin is a departing from the way of duty into a by-path. They soon forgot God's works. He sees what they cannot discover, nor is any wickedness of the world hid from him. We could not bear to see the thousandth part of that evil that God sees every day. God expresses the greatness of his just displeasure, after the manner of men who would have the prayer of Moses could save them from ruin; thus he was a type of Christ, by whose mediation alone, God would reconcile the world to himself. Moses pleads God's glory. The glorifying God's name, as it ought to be our first petition, and it is so in the Lord's prayer, so it ought to be our great plea. And God's promises are to be our pleas in prayer; for what he has promised, he can perform. See the power of prayer. In answer to Moses's prayers, God showed his purpose of sparing the people, as he had before seemed determined on their destruction, which changed his purpose's outward discovery called repenting of the evil.

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
God’s favor for the people

1 Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise?

3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

4 Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;

5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.

6 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.

19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.

20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;

22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.

23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.

None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired. And those who depend on the Redeemer's righteousness will endeavor to copy his example, and by word and deed to show forth his praise. God's people have reason to be cheerful people and need not envy the children of men their pleasure or pride. Here begins a confession of sin, for we must acknowledge that the Lord has done right, and we have done wickedly. Often have we set up idols in our hearts, cleaved to some forbidden object; so that if a greater than Moses had not stood to turn away the anger of the Lord, we should have been destroyed.

Second Reading
Philippians 4:1-9
Nothing surpasses knowing Christ

4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The believing hope and prospect of eternal life should make us steady and constant in our Christian course. There is a difference of gifts and graces, yet, being renewed by the same Spirit, we are brethren. To stand fast in the Lord is to stand fast in his strength, and by his grace.

Let believers be of one mind and ready to help each other. As the apostle had found the benefit of their assistance, he knew how comfortable it would be to his fellow-laborers to have the help of others. Let us seek to give assurance that our names are written in the book of life. Joy in God is of great consequence in the Christian life, and Christians need to be again and again called to it. It more than outweighs all causes for sorrow. Let their enemies perceive how moderate they were to outward things, and how they composedly suffered loss and hardships. The day of judgment will soon arrive, with full redemption to believers, and destruction to ungodly men.

There is a care of diligence, which is our duty and agrees with a wise forecast and due concern, but there is a care of fear and distrust, which is sin and folly, and only perplexes and distracts the mind. As a remedy against perplexing care, constant prayer is recommended. Not only stated times for prayer but in everything by prayer. We must join thanksgivings with prayers and supplications; not only seek supplies of good, but for own the mercies we have received. God needs not to be told our wants or desires; he knows them better than we do, but he will have us show that we value the mercy and feel our dependence on him. The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favor, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. Believers are to get and keep a good name, a name for good things with God and good men. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God. The apostle is for an example. His doctrine and life agreed together. The way to have the God of peace with us is to keep close to our duty. All our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God, yet the enjoyment of them depends on our sincere and holy conduct. These are works of God, pertaining to God, and to him only are they to be ascribed, and to no other, neither men, words, nor deeds.

The Gospel
Matthew 22:1-14
The parable of the unwelcome guest

22:1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
The provision made for perishing souls in the gospel is represented by a royal feast made by a king, with eastern liberality, on his son's marriage. Our merciful God has not only provided food but a royal feast for the perishing souls of his rebellious creatures. There is enough and to spare, of everything that can add to our present comfort and everlasting happiness, in the salvation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guests first invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the Old Testament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, the apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ's resurrection, to say to them it has come, and to persuade them to accept the offer. The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by him is not that they cannot, but because they will not. Making light of Christ and the great salvation wrought out by him is the damning sin of the world. They were careless. Multitudes perish for ever through mere carelessness, who show no direct aversion but are careless about their souls. Also, the business and profit of worldly employments hinder many in closing with the Savior. Both farmers and merchants must be diligent, but whatever we have of the world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it comes between Christ and us.

The utter ruin coming upon the Jewish church and nation is here represented. Persecution of Christ's faithful ministers fills up the measure of the guilt of any people. The offer of Christ and salvation to the Gentiles was not expected; it was such a surprise as it would be to wayfaring men to be invited to a royal wedding-feast. The gospel's design is to gather souls to Christ; all the children of God scattered abroad, John 10:16; John 11:52. The case of hypocrites is represented by the guest that had not on a wedding-garment. It concerns all to prepare for the scrutiny, and those only, who put on the Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of mind, who live by faith in Christ, and to whom he is, all in all, have the wedding-garment. The imputed righteousness of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit, are both alike necessary.

No man has the wedding-garment by nature or can form it for himself. When hypocrites are called to account for all their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, the day is coming, and usurpation of gospel privileges. Take him away. Those that walk unworthy of Christianity forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously claimed. Our Savior here passes out of the parable into that which it teaches. Hypocrites go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called to the wedding-feast, that is, to salvation, but few have the wedding-garment, Christ's righteousness, and the sanctification of the Spirit. Let us examine whether we are in the faith and seek to be approved by the King.

Here end the Readings

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostles’ Creed

  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Communion
A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
Many churches around the world are working hard to adapt to online worship, and one challenge is how our members can celebrate communion from home. Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present.

Do what you have learned and received and seen and heard in Christ, and the peace of God will be with you. And may that peace, which passes all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Be Transformed

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

Commentary from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
Today's encouragement to be humble and to focus on good things is especially apt in the heat of a political season. What if politicians, and all of us, would stand firm, but be gentle and thankful, thinking on what is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8)? What if seekers of justice and righteousness would first confess that "we and our ancestors have sinned" (Psalm 106:6), acknowledging the fallibility of people and nations as seen in the incident at Mount Sinai (Exodus 32:1-14)? Scholar Dennis Duling notes that even the harsh allegorical parables in Matthew 21 and 22, while illustrating the rejection of certain leaders, warn the newly included against self-righteous arrogance.
Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

“The Invitation” (Matthew 22:1-14) The Sermon for SUNDAY, October 4, 2020

Today, our gospel message comes to us from Matthew 22:1-14, “The Parable of the Wedding Feast.”

1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen” (ESV).

Heavenly Father, you sent your Son to reveal your will for our lives and redeem us from sin and death. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, inspire us with confidence that you are with us in the midst of the storms of life, bring peace to our troubled souls, and lead your church throughout the ages. Enable us to live as your redeemed saints, that our lives may witness to our faith. This we ask in Christ’s holy name. Amen.

“The Invitation”
By Kevin Ruffcorn


One of the most challenging concepts to grasp in Christianity is that God wants a relationship with us. The depth of faith is not determined by the number of religious activities we are involved in every week. Faith is living each day celebrating God’s love and grace, and trusting that God is guiding us and walking with us through our adventures.

It is easy to become complacent in our faith or ignore the faith element (God part) of our lives.

This parable, “The Parable of the Wedding Feast” addresses these issues.


In the first verse, Jesus sets the stage of the parable by stating that there was a king who wanted to throw a wedding feast for his son. I like the fact that heaven is compared to a party—a feast—a celebration. God wants everyone to participate in the celebration, so God invites everyone to the party.

In the Judeo/Christian tradition, the first people that God invited to the party were the Jews. God invited them through their patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the great leader and lawgiver Moses. But it was not a dynamic, vital relationship that it was meant to be.

  • Like the people in verse 3, the Jews wouldn’t come to the celebration. They were angry at God because God didn’t do what they wanted God to do. Or, they decided to add a little spice to the religious side of their lives and other gods like Baal. (Have you ever noticed that those times we are angry at God, we do not want to worship or celebrate?)

  • The second invitation of the king, in verse 5, was ignored. The people were too busy with their lives. They had farms or businesses to manage. Certainly, that sounds familiar to us.

  • Like the Jews of the Old Testament (verse 6) who killed the prophets, the people in the story harass and kill the king’s messengers. The prophets were calling the people of Israel back into a relationship with God. We aren’t the first people who plug our ears and harden our hearts when we hear something we don’t want to hear.

The party was ready. The food was hot. The king still wanted people to come to his party.


The king decided to invite anyone and every one to his party. In verse 10, the king instructs his slaves to gather all the people they found—both the good and the bad—to the party.

God’s grace is expansive; it is all-encompassing. No one is excluded from God’s grace. The grace that was once assumed to be reserved for the Jews was now available to the Gentiles.

Some people believe they are worthy of attending the celebration to which God has invited them. They have lived as good a life as they needed to live to gain admission to heaven. Some people think of past sins for which they are not able to forgive themselves. They believe that these sins block their entrance to the party.

According to the parable, all of the people were gathered into the party—both the good and the bad. As Christians, we believe that we can come to the party because of what Jesus accomplished in his life, death, and resurrection. The entrance to heaven and the party is not determined by our goodness, but by God’s abundant grace. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

The party has started! It began on the first Easter morning when the women discovered that the tomb was empty.


The celebration is a transforming experience. A person goes from the drudgery of everyday life to the celebration of God’s grace. Such a celebration affects our lives.

In verses 11 and 12, the king notices that one of the guests isn’t wearing a wedding garment. The man refuses to celebrate; he refuses to be transformed. As a result of his refusal, the king has the man thrown out into the nether darkness.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined the term “cheap grace.” This grace is what is practiced by the complacent and the comfortable. They relish the good news that their salvation is free, but they do nothing in response to God’s grace. These people conveniently ignore Jesus’ words, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).


Sometimes we don’t rejoice very well. We don’t clap our hands, sing loud, raise our hands, or dance in the aisles. I guess that’s okay. But we need to celebrate by savoring the life that we have, cultivating an attitude of gratitude, and sharing God’s love and grace with others by our words and actions. Every day God invites us to be guests at the party.


Father, extend that invitation with grace and power through the Spirit to every heart. May there be no foolish excuses that get in the way. Today, may we choose to accept your invitation and take a seat at the table. May there be an embracing of the only way of salvation, the only hope of heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Father, we do commit to you this truth, and we thank You for the great and glorious time of worship of being in Your presence. We pray that the truth that we have learned today may be useful to us, not only in our own lives but as we reach out to others. Like Jesus, may we seek to pull the rug out from under people living with false hope. May we unmistakably and clearly tell people that apart from Christ, there will never be heaven. Use us, Lord, to bear Your truth to those who need to hear as we continue to grow closer and closer to you. We thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Sermon contributed by Kevin Ruffcorn.

The invitation to be guests at God's wedding feast is extended to all.

Prayer of the Day for SUNDAY, October 11, 2020

Prayer of the Day
SUNDAY, October 11, 2020

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3–4 (NIV)

Dear Father in heaven, we love and honor your ways even when they are bitter ways. We long for courage and strength. Lord, help us to believe. Grant faith to the millions surrounded by death, faith that overcomes everything through utmost self-denial. Let your light shine out to bring life to the nations in the midst of all that is happening. Your light shall lead and guide us, and peace will come, a deeper peace than we have ever known. Remember each of us in all our concerns, and grant that the struggles of life may lead us to peace. If hard and bitter ways should be our lot, help us to remain steadfast, never complaining about our burdens even in the most difficult days, for through grief and trouble the way leads to you. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, October 11, 2020

Psalm 62:1
Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
Read all of Psalm 62

Listen to Psalm 62

Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower


Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower

♫♪ "O keep me watchful, then, and humble; Permit me nevermore to stray. Uphold me when my feet would stumble, And keep me on the narrow way. Fill all my nature with Thy light, O Radiance strong and bright!

"Thee will I love, my crown of gladness; Thee will I love, my God and Lord, Amid the darkest depths of sadness, And not for hope of high reward, For Thine own sake, O Light divine, So long as life is mine."♪♫

"Thee will I love, O Light divine, so long as life is mine." Our hymn proclaims our life-long love for the Lord, yet we cannot sustain, or even begin, such devotion by our own efforts. The way that leads to eternal destruction is wide and easy, Jesus said, but "the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life" (Matthew 7:14a). Like hikers making their way along a cliff-side path, we try to keep ourselves in the narrow way, but we often fall to temptation and slip and stumble. We want to follow Jesus, but every day, in our thoughts, words, and actions, we stray from His path.

The prophet Isaiah foretold a day when God's people would see their Teacher with their own eyes. He would no longer hide Himself from their sight, and they would hear Him, too. Isaiah said, "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21). The Holy Spirit, at work in the Word of Jesus our Teacher, guides us in Jesus' steps—steps that during His earthly ministry did not turn right or left from His appointed path.

As His work on earth drew to a close, Jesus "set His face" to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51b). Betrayed and condemned to die, Jesus kept His feet on the narrow way through the streets of Jerusalem. He stumbled beneath the burden of the cross and the terrible weight of the world's sin. He carried our sins, our every weak, stumbling and straying step, in His own body to the cross and suffered the penalty of death that we deserved. His body was placed in a tomb, but on the first Easter morning, the sorrowing steps of a group of women led to His empty tomb. Jesus had risen from the dead!

In Baptism we are united to Jesus' death and resurrection, and our feet are placed on the path of eternal life. We do not walk the narrow way "for hope of high reward." That reward is already ours, guaranteed as our inheritance by God's grace through faith in Jesus. We walk in His way even "amid the darkest depths of sadness," when we cannot clearly see the path at our feet. For His sake and for His glory, we follow Jesus. He upholds us and keeps us "on the narrow way" as we hear His guiding Word, "This is the way, walk in it."

Lord Jesus, when we stumble in sin, forgive us and uphold us. Keep us on the narrow way that leads to eternal life. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower."

Reflection Questions:
1. How does God lift you up when you are stumbling or about to fall?

2. How did Jesus find the strength to press on when He was heading to the cross?

3. How have you grown through the dark or sad times in your life?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Our hymn proclaims our life-long love for the Lord, yet we cannot sustain, or even begin, such devotion by our own efforts.

Standing Strong Through the Storm — I KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

Yesterday we read of the faith of Bahar from Central Asia. Pregnant with her sixth child, she lost her husband, Bahtiyar, to cancer. But the Muslims would not allow her to bury him in the town. She continues her story:

“We were all desperately trying to find a solution. In neighboring Kisul, a plot of land had been given to the Christians to be used as cemetery, so the believers started to dig a grave. Before they had finished, a crowd of people arrived on horseback and in a truck. Three mullahs, many young men, even women and people from the village administration, were shouting and threatening the believers. The atmosphere was grim and the believers had to leave the area to escape a beating.

“We were not able to bury my husband that day. The next day the believers secretly took his body and took it to a completely different place, much farther away from our village and buried him there at a Christian cemetery.

“Bahtiyar’s mother, with her addiction to alcohol, was targeted as the channel to put pressure on the family. She is seventy and not a believer in Christ. The Mullah convinced her that the family was a shame and blemish on the village and that she had to kick her daughter-in-law out of her house. She was very angry and told them to leave. She no longer even wanted to see her own grandchildren.”

During the months that the family were trying to find a solution for their situation, they got a visit from a pastor who lives in the capital city. He had heard about their situation and inquired how they were going to live.

“How? I don’t know! But one thing I know that God will not abandon us! He promised that in His Word and He is true to His Word. I think the pastor was touched by our situation; he started to help us and several other believers as well. They offered us a house in a nearby town. We were thrilled and we moved. Now we have our own place, with a small garden to grow vegetables. There will always be plenty of needs for the kids, but I have seen that God is faithful.

“When my little son was born I was so happy! Even though my husband is no longer with us, we make an effort to stay close as a family. The youngest ones do not realize yet that their dad has died; they think he has gone on a trip. We have not been able to visit the grave as we don’t have a car to go the cemetery.

“I don’t know what the future holds for us, but God is taking care of us. Thank you for praying for us. Pray also for the other families of believers who are still in the village and face hostility every day. Please pray for my mother in law; I would like to see the relationship restored, so that she can enjoy her grandchildren!”

RESPONSE: Though I also do not know what the future holds, I will trust in Him who holds the future!

PRAYER: Continue to pray for Bahar and her family, especially reconciliation with her mother-in-law.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Yesterday we read of the faith of Bahar from Central Asia. Pregnant with her sixth child, she lost her husband, Bahtiyar, to cancer. But the Muslims would not allow her to bury him in the town. Today she continues her story:

John Piper Devotional — We Can Do Nothing
We Can Do Nothing

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Suppose you are totally paralyzed and can do nothing for yourself but talk. And suppose a strong and reliable friend promised to live with you and do whatever you needed done. How could you glorify your friend if a stranger came to see you?

Would you glorify his generosity and strength by trying to get out of bed and carry him? No! You would say, “Friend, please come lift me up, and would you put a pillow behind me so I can look at my guest? And would you please put my glasses on for me?”

And so your visitor would learn from your requests that you are helpless and that your friend is strong and kind. You glorify your friend by needing him and asking him for help and counting on him.

In John 15:5, Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” So we really are paralyzed. Without Christ, we are capable of no good. As Paul says in Romans 7:18, “Nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.”

But according to John 15:5, God intends for us to do something good — namely, bear fruit. So as our strong and reliable friend—“I have called you friends” (John 15:15)—he promises to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.

How then do we glorify him? Jesus gives the answer in John 15:7: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” We pray! We ask God to do for us through Christ what we can’t do for ourselves—bear fruit.

Verse 8 gives the result: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.”

So how is God glorified by prayer? Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that he will provide the help we need.
Suppose you are totally paralyzed and can do nothing for yourself but talk. And suppose a strong and reliable friend promised to live with you and do whatever you needed done. How could you glorify your friend if a stranger came to see you?

Un dia a la Vez — La infidelidad… enemiga del amor
La infidelidad… enemiga del amor

Mis ojos pondré en los fieles de la tierra, para que estén conmigo; el que ande en el camino de la perfección, este me servirá.
Salmo 101:6, RV-60

La infidelidad es enemiga del amor y un cuchillo que corta el alma. Por eso, Dios quiere que enderecemos nuestros caminos.

Es triste que haya personas que tenga ese tipo de experiencia, ya sea por su traición o porque las traicionen.

Dios ve la infidelidad como un pecado y se cataloga por igual tanto en el hombre como en la mujer. Por tradición, el hombre siempre ha sido más infiel, pero la verdad es que hoy en día las mujeres también tienen altos índices en este aspecto. Además, es tan fuerte que hasta son capaces de dejar a un lado a sus hijos y vivir una aventura.

La infidelidad es la peor decisión que podemos tomar. Tiene consecuencias muy dolorosas y te deja un vacío que solo puede llenar Dios con su perdón. No vale la pena arriesgar lo que tienes por unos momentos de placer, pues después la soledad y la culpabilidad serán tus compañeros.

Dios quiere hoy enderezar tu camino y quiere que valores el hombre que te ha dado. Y si no tienes pareja, tampoco tienes derecho al hombre ajeno. En mi caso, el Señor me llevó por un proceso de restauración tan doloroso que aprendí la lección, pero no me salvé de vivir las consecuencias.

Por eso te invito a que rompas hoy con esa relación. Pídele a Dios que te perdone y te dé la oportunidad de una nueva vida.

No siembres en la vida de los demás lo que no quisieras vivir en ti o en tus hijos. La infidelidad te lleva a la muerte espiritual.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
La infidelidad es enemiga del amor y un cuchillo que corta el alma.

Unser Täglich Brot — Was fehlt: Weisheit

Was fehlt: Weisheit

Lesung: 1. Könige 3,5-12 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Jesaja 37-38; Kolosser 3

Schenk deinem Diener ein gehorsames Herz, damit ich dein Volk gut regiere und den Unterschied zwischen Gut und Böse erkenne.

Der zweijährige Kenneth wurde vermisst. Doch innerhalb von drei Minuten nach dem Anruf seiner Mutter bei den Notdiensten fand ihn jemand auf dem Jahrmarkt in der Nähe seines Hauses. Seine Mutter hatte versprochen, dass er später an diesem Tag zu seinem Großvater gehen könne. Aber er war mit seinem Spielzeugtraktor dorthin gefahren und hatte ihn an seinem Lieblingsplatz geparkt. Als der Junge sicher zu Hause war, entfernte sein Vater klugerweise die Batterie des Spielzeugs.

Kenneth war eigentlich ziemlich klug, um dorthin zu gelangen, wo er hinwollte, aber dem Zweijährigen fehlt eine weitere Schlüsselqualität: Weisheit. Und als Erwachsene fehlt sie uns manchmal auch. Salomo, der von seinem Vater David (1. Könige 2) zum König ernannt worden war, gab zu, dass er sich wie ein Kind fühlte. Gott erschien ihm im Traum und sagte: „Was willst du haben? Bitte, und ich werde es dir geben“ (V. 5). Er antwortete: „Aber ich bin im Grunde noch ein Kind, das nicht weiß, was es tun soll … Schenk deinem Diener ein gehorsames Herz, damit ich dein Volk gut regiere und den Unterschied zwischen Gut und Böse erkenne“ (V. 7-9). „Gott schenkte Salomo Weisheit, Einsicht und unermessliche Erkenntnis“ (1. Könige 5,9).

Woher bekommen wir die Weisheit, die wir brauchen? Salomo sagte, dass der Anfang der Weisheit die „Ehrfurcht vor dem Herrn ist“ (Sprüche 9,10). Wir können also beginnen, ihn zu bitten, uns mehr über sich zu zeigen und uns die Weisheit zu schenken, die über unsere eigene hinausgeht.
In welchen Bereichen brauchst du Gottes Weisheit? Was kann dir ein gelehriges Herz schenken?
Ich brauche immer Weisheit, Herr, und ich möchte deinen Wegen folgen. Bitte zeige mir, welchen Weg ich gehen soll.

© 2020 Unser Täglich Brot
Der zweijährige Kenneth wurde vermisst. Doch innerhalb von drei Minuten nach dem Anruf seiner Mutter bei den Notdiensten fand ihn jemand auf dem Jahrmarkt in der Nähe seines Hauses.