Connect With Us Connect With Us

Read the October newsletter!

  • September 30, 2013 - 2:08 pm
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

Here’s what you can find in the October issue of the CORE Connection–

+On presiding bishops, popes, and new directions

+Connect with the call at ClergyConnect

+Regional events train for discipleship and mission

+MissionConnect: Holy Trinity NALC and Nifas Silk Mekane Yesus

+Bishop Spring to coordinate NALC theological education

+Social media and the Gospel

+In Pursuit of the Great Commission: The art of congregational singing

+Upcoming events

 

Monday, September 30, 2013, Devotion

“Just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:” (Romans 4:6)

David who was clearly a sinner was also a man after God’s own heart.  Why?  Because he trusted and believed in the Lord’s promises.  He did not earn what God gave, but freely took on the mantel of righteousness, just as Abraham did, just as the prophets of old did.  We are given the opportunity to put on the cloak of Jesus and live in Him and He in us, just as Scripture teaches.

Lord, I have spent too much time trying to figure things out, rather than simply living into the righteousness You offer.  Help me simply accept the faith You give and live according to Your will.  Remove the obstacles that I would live for Your kingdom and no longer play the sinful games that think I can do something to either please, or appease You apart from Your grace which enables me to do both.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for leading us into eternal life.  Help me today to live that live, doing what I do because of what You have done and for no other reason.  Let me not think in terms of gaining something, but rather live my life this day with an attitude of doing what I do because I have already gained what You have given me.  My I be pleasing to You this day.  Amen. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013, Devotion

“But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:5)

Too many people scramble, thinking that they must work for salvation.  Yes, we work it through with fear and trembling, but working it through is not the same as working.  The righteousness You give is a free gift, granted from the cross that all who believe would be given this righteousness.  The credit is given by God, but taken on by the one who believes.

Help me, dear Lord, to see that this righteousness You give is like a garment that is put on.  Purchased, made by You, it is something You gave me and something I wear.  Help me to wear the garment of righteousness knowing that it will seep into me and become a part of me.  Help me to learn to live as You lived Jesus, being a willing and obedient child of the Father.

Lord Jesus, without You and what You have done, I am nothing and have no hope.  Help me wear You today that I may live into the promises You give.  May I be faithful and remember all that You have taught me, putting into practice what You command.  Guide my feet and my lips that they move in the right direction and speak the right words.  Amen.

Saturday, September 28, 2013, Devotion

“Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.”  (Romans 4:4)

When we think of ourselves as servants, we think in terms of being hired.  We then think we earn our keep.  When we come to the cross, we come with nothing and without cost, we are given grace which is the only thing that overcomes sin.  We are due nothing, but if we live in grace, He is due our love and devotion.  It is God alone who is due, although we are credited.

Lord, help me see that I cannot earn what You give.  Help me understand that doing good is important only because it is pleasing to You.  Grant that I would have a change of heart where I do not live in the truth that You have revealed.  I need Your grace which You purchased and You alone provide.  Give me a heart that willingly submits to Your will, knowing in You alone is there life.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for purchasing with Your own blood that which I could never afford.  In gratitude this day for what You have done, help me live by grace and be gracious to others.  Guide my thoughts and deeds that they may be pleasing to You, knowing that they are a response to what You have first done for me.  May my life this day be dedicated to You.  Amen.

Friday, September 27, 2013, Devotion

“For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  (Romans 4:3)

It is in being credited with righteousness for Christ’s sake that we obtain righteousness.  It is not by merit, nor through any action we do, but through what God has first done.  This simple principle is the essence of the faith.  We are saved by what God does.  Therefore, we are to live a life in response to what God has first done for us.

Lord, grant that I may have eyes to see clearly the truth that You have revealed for the ages.  Keep me from the silly games that have been played throughout this age of sin, that I may live into the faith You give by grace.  Clear my mind to see that what You have accomplished from the cross is exactly what You say is accomplished, namely, the forgiveness of sin and the salvation for all who believe.

Lord Jesus, from the cross You save me.  Keep me moving through the cross that I may live by grace through faith into the life into which You are calling me.  May my life be directed into the upward call that You have given me, knowing that in You alone will I find the hope and future that You promise.  Grant me belief and remove all unbelief that I may stand in the righteousness of Christ all the days of this life.  Amen. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013, Devotion

“For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.”  (Romans 4:2)

Abraham may have been willing to do what God gave Him to do, but how does that compensate for all the things He was unwilling to do?  What God did was compensate for Him by paying the price Abraham could not pay.  From the cross we are forgiven.  Where is boasting, except in what God has done?  The same is true for each one of us.  The Lord makes salvation possible.

Lord, help me see that what I do is always a response to what You have first done.  Grant that I would live into the life You have called me and stop trying to prove anything.  I need not prove anything to You who already knows everything.  Grant that I would live humbly, but boldly in the grace You have given me, knowing that what You have done is all that is needed.

Thank You Lord Jesus for paying the price no one can afford.  Grant today that I would live wholly in Your grace, knowing that in You alone is there hope.  May my life this day be acceptable to You, my Lord and my Savior, serving as You direct and to the Father’s glory.  In all I do this day, guide my feet and my lips to be where You would have me be and say the things You would have me say.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013, Devotion

“What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?”  (Romans 4:1)

Was it what Abraham did, or what He believed that God reckoned unto him as righteousness?  We think that we can compete with God in doing what needs to be done, much like a small child wanting to help the parent out with something.  We should see that it is what God does for Abraham and not the other way around that accounts for the righteousness that is declared.

Lord, help me to see clearly that it is what You have done alone that matters in accounting for the faith I have.  Without You, I could not have faith.  Help me to be faithful to the call You have given me, knowing that in You alone will I find what I seek.  Keep me from false ideas and notions, that I would pursue the truth You have revealed and live in the grace You give.

Thank You Lord Jesus for being patient with all who sin and err in matters of faith.  Help me to truly live by faith this day, knowing that in You alone will I find the answers that will guide my life.  Help me today to be faithful to the calling You give, living graciously and in the righteousness that You have given me from the cross.  May I be a faithful witness this day of Your never-failing love and righteousness.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013, Devotion

“Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.”  (Romans 3:31)

The goodness of God never changes.  Freed from the recompense of the law simply means that the laws demand of justice is fulfilled by Christ.  We then are set free to learn to practice what it commands, namely the godly order of things.  A person of faith now lives the law because it is good, not out of terror because of the condemnation it demands.  The true law is then established in the obedient disciples.

Lord, help me not play the devilish game of being good to be approved.  Yet, also help me see that Your law is good and that I need to learn obedience.  Help me, I pray, to live into the goodness of Your law, knowing that in Your alone will I find peace and joy.  Help me, I pray, to love your statutes and learn to meditate upon them.

Guide me today to be aware of Your Law, Lord, knowing that in obeying Your law, I will find the right order of things.  Help me keep the balance knowing that I cannot fulfill Your law, but that You must fulfill it and live wholly dependant upon You.  May I be gracious and obedient this day, demonstrating the balance You bring through salvation.  Amen.

Monday, September 23, 2013, Devotion

“Since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”  (Romans 3:30)

The One True God is God of all.  Throughout history, peoples has thought of their gods as their own, but the Lord God is the One over all.  What He will do is what He will do.  We are to listen to what He has said and not become absorbed in the ways of thinking that sinful humans do.  We are to know His Word and learn from Him and then share what we have learned.

Lord, I do think arrogantly.  Help me think with the mind of Christ, humble and gentle.  Guide me into Your Word and from there into understanding.  Help me overcome the obstacle of myself and see things through Your eyes.  Help me, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to begin the journey of gaining wisdom, that I may live according to Your Word.

Guide me this Day, O Lord, that I would see things through Your eyes.  Grant to me a willingness to speak what You would have me speak and do the things You would have me do.  May I be used by You to share with all others the truth You have spoken in Your Gospel.  May I not be concerned with exactly what You are doing, times, or seasons, but simply focus on being faithful. Amen.

Sunday, September 22, 2013, Devotion

“Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also” (Romans 3:29)

The Lord God created everyone.  The Gospel is for everyone.  We sometimes become arrogant and then think that only some are included in what is offered.  We are reminded that all have fallen short of God’s glory and that the Father has given His Son because He desires that none would perish.  We are called to expand out thinking and realize that the God of all desires to have all people in His fold.

Lord, I know there are sinners, of which I am chief, but I also get into the tug-of-war with myself where I want to think in terms of those who are versus those who are not.  Help me realize that all of us are in Your hands and that You are the One who knows.  Keep me from being egotistical, but also from being timid when it comes to speaking the truth that You have already revealed that I may simply share the Gospel.

Thank You Lord for reaching out to the whole world that You have created.  Grant today that I would see everyone I meet in a new light, that no matter how they behave, I would see that You love them as much as You love me.  Guide my thinking that I would be firm in the Gospel, but loose with the truth of its story.  May I be Your instrument this day.  Amen.