Daily Devotions – September 15 – September 21, 2019
By Dawn Holmgren
Calvary Lutheran Church, Rapid River, MI
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Jesus Heals a Man’s Hand on the Sabbath
Text: Mathew 12:9-13
Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So, he stretched it out and it was completely restored just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
Their Sabbath rules said that people could be helped on the Sabbath only if their lives were in danger. Jesus healed on the Sabbath several times, and none of those healings were in response to emergencies. If Jesus had waited until another day, he would have been submitting to the Pharisees authority showing their rules were equal to God’s law.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, please help us to know God’s will in all things, even on the Sabbath. Amen
Monday, September 16, 2019
Joseph Reassures His Brothers
Text: Genesis 50:15-19
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs, we did to him?” So, they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly. Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?”
Now that Jacob was dead, the brother’s feared revenge from Joseph. Could he really have forgiven them for selling him into slavery? But to their surprise Joseph not only forgave them he offered to take care of them and their families.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for graciously forgiving us even though we don’t deserve it. Amen
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Text: Philippians 1:18-19
But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
Do you have difficulty accepting your station in life? Do you resent where God has placed you? Although education and focused effort may enable us to take a new role or get a new job, often God puts us in a place to serve. God wants you to serve him faithfully and joyfully.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help us to be thankful wherever you place us, on any given day. Help us to be thankful and joyful in all things. Amen
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Text: Genesis 18:32-33
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
God showed Abraham that asking for anything is allowed, with the understanding that God’s answers come from God’s perspective. They are not always in harmony with our expectations, for only he knows the whole story.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help us to be patient as we wait for answers to prayers knowing that your answer is the best possible answer. Amen
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Text: Acts 20:31, 36-38
So be on your guard! Remember for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
Paul’s relationship with these believers is a beautiful example of Christian fellowship. He had cared for them and loved them, even cried over their needs. They responded with love and care for him and sorrow over his leaving. They had prayed together and comforted one another. Like Paul, you can build relationships with other Christians by sharing, caring, sorrowing, rejoicing, and praying with them.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help us to be open to other Christian’s needs and to take the time, when needed, to offer a prayer or comfort or whatever. Amen
Friday, September 20, 2019
Text: Galatians 2:15-16
We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law not one will be justified.
If observing the Jewish laws cannot justify us, why should we still obey the Ten Commandments and other Old Testament laws? We know that Paul was not saying the law is bad, because in another letter he wrote, “the law is holy.” Instead, he is saying that the law can never make us acceptable to God. The law still has an important role to play in the life of a Christian. The law guards us from sin by giving us standards for behavior, convicts of sin, leaving us the opportunity to ask for forgiveness, knowing we can never keep the Ten Commandments perfectly. The law cannot save us. But after we have become Christians, it can guide us to live as God requires.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, even though we know we will never be perfect, give us strength and knowledge of your laws and to ask for forgiveness when needed. Amen
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Text: Ephesians 6: 10-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In the Christian life we battle against rulers and authorities. To withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of his armor. As we do battle against “the powers of this dark world,” fight in the strength of the church, whose power comes from the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, keep us safe with your armor: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Grant all these things and the knowledge to use them well, Lord. Amen