Devotions

December 4th - Honor God for His Goodness

1 Samuel 2 1. Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in Your deliverance. 2. "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God. Luke 1 46. And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord 47. and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48. for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49. for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is His name. Large Catechism. III. 45-46: In this [first] petition, we pray for exactly what God demands in the Second Commandment... So this point is easy and clear if only the language is understood: to hallow [in this context] means the same as to praise, magnify, and honor both in Word and Deed. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p.339

December 3rd - Right Standing in God's Sight

Jeremiah 23:5-6 5. "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness. John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?'' Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.'' Formula of Concord. Ep. III. 1: Christ alone is our Righteousness [i.e., "right standing" in the sight of God], Who is true God and man, because in Him the divine and the human natures are personally united with each other (Jer 23:5; 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21). Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006 . p.338.

December 2nd - Testify to The True Light

Malachi 4:5-6 5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.'' John 1:4-9 4. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through Him all men might believe. 8. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. Formula of Concord. SD. V. I: The distinction between the Law and the Gospel is a particularly brilliant light. It serves the purpose of rightly dividing God's Word [2 Tim 2:15] and properly explaining and understanding the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles. [Eph.2:20] Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p.337. 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

December 1st - The King of Glory brings forgiveness

Psalm 24:9-10 9. Lift up your heads, O you gates! And lift them up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10. Who is He, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty-- He is the King of glory. Matthew 3:1-3 1. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2. and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3. This is He who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.'" Augsburg Confession. XII. 3-5: Now, strictly speaking, repentance consists of two parts. One part is contrition, that is, terrors striking the conscience through the knowledge of sin. The other part is faith, which is born of the Gospel or the Absolution [Rom 10:17] and believes that, for Christ's sake, sins are forgiven. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p.336.

November 30th - Sure Salvation

Zephaniah 3:15 15. The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more. Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. Smalcald Articles. III. III. 37-38: A person who confesses that everything in him is nothing but sin includes all sins, excludes none, forgets none. Neither can the satisfaction [won by Christ] be uncertain, because it is not our uncertain, sinful work. Rather, it is the suffering and blood of the innocent Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world [John 1:29]. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p.335. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!]

November 27th - His comforting providence

Isaiah 66:13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.'' Luke 8:47-48 47. Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. 48. Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." Small Catechism. Seventh Petition: But deliver us from evil. What does this mean? We pray in this petition as the sum of all, that our Father in heaven would deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor, and finally, when our last hour shall come, we pray that He would grant us a blessed end and graciously take us from this vale of tears to Himself into heaven. (Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p. 332.)

November 25th - God's Name Speaks of Our Salvation!

Jeremiah 33:16 16. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS! Revelation 3:12 12. "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the Name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new Name. Formula of Concord. Epitome. III. 1: It is unanimously confessed in our churches, in accordance with God's Word and the meaning of the Augsburg Confession, that we poor sinners are justified [declared: "Not Guilty!"] before God and saved alone by grace [undeserved love], through faith in Christ. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p. 330. [Ephesians 2:8-9 8. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9. not by works, so that no one can boast. ]

November 24th - Sanctify The LORD in your hearts

Sanctify The LORD God in your hearts. 1 PETER 3:15 Luther: How does St. Peter mean that we should sanctify God? How can we sanctify Him? Must not He sanctify us? Answer: We pray likewise in the Lord's Prayer, 'Hallowed be Thy Name', that we may sanctify His Name, although He sanctifies it Himself. Therefore, it comes to pass as follows: you should sanctify Him in your hearts, which means that, whatsoever our Lord God may send us, be it pleasant or unpleasant, shame or honor, good fortune or bad fortune, I should not only regard it as good, but also holy, and say, 'This is a precious, holy thing, and I am not worthy that it should touch me.' If in such things I give praise to God regarding such works as good, holy, and precious, I sanctify The Lord in my heart. Exposition of 1 Peter, 1523. W.A. 12. 358. (Day by Day We Magnify Thee, Daily Readings for the Entire Year, Selected from the Writings of Martin Luther. Fortress Press, 1984. p.280)

November 23rd - God alone gives new life - Alive from the Dead!

Isaiah 63:15-16 15 O LORD, Look down from heaven, and see from Your habitation, holy and glorious. Where are Your zeal and Your strength, the yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me? Are they restrained? 16 But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Your name. Romans 7:24-25 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Formula of Concord. SD. II. 11: A person who is physically dead cannot from his own powers prepare or make himself come back to life again. So the person who is spiritually dead in sins [Eph.2:1] cannot by his own strength make or apply himself to acquire spiritual and heavenly righteousness and life. This is true unless he is delivered and brought to life by God's Son from the death of sin. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p.328. [1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.] [Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.]

November 20th - Providence

Psalms 145:15-16 15. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season. 16. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. Matthew 7:9-11 9. "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10. "Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Large Catechism. III. 72: If God did not cause food to grow and if He did not bless and preserve it in the field, we could never take bread from the oven or have any to set upon the table. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p. 325.

November 19th - Christ is our glory

Isaiah 60:19 19. "The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Colossians 1:12-13 12. giving thanks to the Father Who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, Smalcald Articles. II. I. 1-4: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Rom. 4:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid upon Him the iniquities of us all (Isa 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works or merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Rom 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law, or merit. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p.324. [Revelation 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.]

November 18th - Christ is our holiness

Exodus 19:6 `And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.'' Revelation 5:9-10 9. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10. and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.'' Smalcald Articles. III. XII. 3: For the children pray, "I believe in one holy Christian Church." This holiness does not come from albs, tonsures [shaving the scalp of clerics, monks, etc.], long gowns, and other ceremonies they made up without Holy Scripture, but from God's Word and true faith. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p. 323. [1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.]

November 17th - Bride of Christ: the Holy Christian Church

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Revelation 1:5-6 5. ...and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6. and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Apology [Defense] of the Augsburg Confession. VII-VIII (IV). 5: The Church is not only the fellowship of outward objects and rites, as other governments, but at its core, it is a fellowship of faith and of the Holy Spirit in hearts. Yet this fellowship has outward marks so that it can be recognized. These marks are the pure doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments in accordance with the Gospel of Christ. This Church is called Christ's body, which Christ renews, sanctifies, and governs by His Spirit. Treasures Old & New - Daily readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. John C. Jeske. NPH 2006. p.322. [Revelation 7:13-14 13. Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" 14. I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.]