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Monday, November 30, 2015 Devotion

core devo

“Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house.  Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow.”  (Isaiah 44:13-14)

We use what the Lord has created and make for ourselves what we desire.  We may plant a seed, but it is what the Lord does that causes it to grow.  Look behind what is all around and see the hand of the Lord in life, in creation, in the reality of existence.  We do not do these things, but use what the Lord is doing.  Be not unbelieving, but believing and see the Lord’s hand in all of life.

I am guilty Lord of thinking that I am creating something when what I am doing is simply using what You have provided.  Guide me into learning to see things as they are and Your hand upon all things.  Guide me to be thankful for all that You are doing and know that Your plans are coming to fruition.  Guide me, O Lord, that I would hold fast to the truth You reveal and is evident all around me.

Lord, You have created me for Your purposes.  Guide me, I pray, to live according to Your Word and do those things which are pleasing in Your sight.  Help me understand and see that Your hand is on everything and that there is nothing I can do which will not include what You have already created.  Thank You Lord for making me aware of all that You have done and for all that You do.  Amen.

Sunday, November 29, 2015 Devotion

core devo

Sunday, November 29, 2015 Devotion

“Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame.  The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. ”  (Isaiah 44:11-12)

No matter the person, their strength eventually leaves them and they are helpless.  No matter the craftsmanship, it pales in comparison to what the Lord has created.  In vain do men toil when they toil apart from the purpose and power of the Lord.  Turn to the Lord and away from the vain calling of men that You may know the truth that the Lord alone is God and there is no other.

Lord, it may seem the same on the outside, but the attitude of the heart on the inside makes an eternal difference.  Bend my heart to look to You alone as my guide and stay.  Help all of the efforts I make in life be efforts of doing those things which are pleasing to You.  Help me see that in You alone is there hope and a future and that apart from You, there is nothing but vanity which amounts to nothing.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for calling me into Your eternal purpose through grace.  Guide me today and every day to not chase after this world’s empty and vain promises, but to walk in the Way You have called me to live that I may abide in Your Word and Your Word may abide in me, teaching me to become like You.  Help me every step of the way so that I do not falter, but live simply in the truth of Your Word.  Amen.

Saturday, November 28, 2015 Devotion

core devo

“Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.  Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit?  Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame.”  (Isaiah 44:9-10)

What is it that man has built, using what God has created, that will impress the Lord?  What can we fashion that the Lord is not able to accomplish without us?  In vain do men toil against the Lord, creating their own gods and chasing after what is false.  In the end, they will be put to shame.  There is nothing we are able to accomplish apart from the Lord that will not end in vanity.

Lord, help me to see that I may build things, do things and live life, but if I do these things apart from You, they will amount to nothing.  Guide me to see that a life lived in Your presence and purpose is the only life worth living.  Guide me to understand this simple thing so that I will not be caught up in the vanity of this world.  Help me be fashioned by You for a life that is well lived.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for modeling for us the life into which You are calling us.  You did not accumulate things, but gathered around yourself people who would walk with You in the heavenly way.  Guide my thoughts and actions this day to reflect what is right and fitting as one who seeks after You in everything.  May my heart be malleable in Your hands this day, being shaped as a heart like yours.  Amen.

Friday, November 27, 2015 Devotion

core devo

“‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation.  And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place.  ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?  And you are My witnesses.  Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock?  I know of none.’”  (Isaiah 44:7-8)

To whom shall we go?  Shall we trust in rulers of this age who lie, deceive, distort and manipulate?   Shall we trust in the bullies who tell us what to think and what to do?  Shall we believe the skeptics and scoffers and trust their lying words?  Only the Lord is trustworthy, for this is His creation and He knows the plans He has made.  Do not be persuaded by this world, but transformed by the very Word of God.

Lord, I have fallen for the deceitful words of those who hate You.  Grant to be discernment that I would clearly see that You alone have the Words of eternal life.  There is no god besides You who is the Living God.  Guide me into wisdom that I might know and trust in Your never-failing Word which sustains all those who trust in You.  You are the rock of salvation and the hope of every generation.

Lord Jesus, You said that the church would be built upon the solid rock of the salvation You have purchased for us from Calvary.  Help me see clearly that this is the only way to the joy You offer and that only through You and what You have done is there hope and a future.  Guide me this day Lord Jesus that I would walk in the truth of Your Word with You leading the way.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 Devotion

core devo

“For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.”  (Isaiah 44:3-4)

From every tribe, tongue and nation, the Lord calls those who will come to Him through grace and by faith.  All are invited, but only those who come to faith and believe enter into the process of being conformed to the image of a child of the Heavenly Father.  Many are called, but few are chosen.  Those who believe are the one’s who receive the gift of discipleship, being enabled to follow Christ.

Lord, transform my heart to be a willing participant in all that You have planned from the beginning.  Guide me ever deeper into the mystery of the faith that I would hold fast to this life You have given me through grace, and to live according to Your never changing Word which calls me out of the depravity of sin and into the glorious light of the company of saints.

Lead on, O King Eternal, that I may forever follow You.  Lead me each day through the trials, knowing fully Your Word is true.  Help me in every circumstance that I would follow You.  Keep me close to Your promise in all I say and do.  Help me this day, O Savior, to love as You have loved and guide me Gentle Spirit to live for the Father above.  Thank You for the privilege You have given me in faith.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Devotion

core devo

 

“But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen: thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; and you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”  (Isaiah 44:1-2)

Made and formed you from the womb is what the Lord says.  He continues to shape all who are in Him.  He is working all things together as a part of the shaping process.  The Lord uses any and all means to shape those who follow in His grace to fit into His eternal kingdom.  Do not fear, but rejoice in the work of the Lord in your life.

Lord, You are using everything that exists for the sake of creating what You have always intended.  Help me to see that in this life You have given me, I am being continuously reshaped, molded and conformed to the image of Christ.  Guide my heart to willingly and joyfully live into this life for which You have created me that I may truly be a faithful disciple.

Lord Jesus, You are the model and the example of the life into which I have been called.  You have enabled me to walk in this life of a disciple through Your grace.  Help me to embrace all that You have planned for me that I would not fear, but willingly go into the full life as Your follower knowing that You have prepared all things ahead of time to conform me into the image of the Father’s heavenly child.  Amen.

Monday, November 23, 2015 Devotion

core devo

“Your first forefather sinned, and your spokesmen have transgressed against Me.  “So I will pollute the princes of the sanctuary, and I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement.”  (Isaiah 43:27-28)

Do not think that because we have a lineage of some kind that this will protect us from the reality of sin in our lives.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  There is not one who is righteous.  Do not lean on the acts of mere mortals, but turn to the living God, who alone is able to save those who turn to Him.  He is God and He is accomplishing His will, saving those who come to Him.

Lord, I appeal to my tradition, to the words of mortals who have spoken along the way.  Guide me away from leaning on mere mortal understanding to embrace the mysteries You reveal through Your Word.  Help me know that in You alone is there hope and a future and that only through what You have done may I discover the rich life You offer to all who come to you by faith through grace.

Lord Jesus, You have come to lead the way for as many as would follow You out of the bondage to sin and death and into the freedom from death that only You can provide.  Walk me out of this present death and into the light You have come to reveal that in Your presence I may live now and forever.  May I be directed this day by the Holy Spirit to walk as a child of the light.  Amen.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 Devotion

core devo

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.  Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; state your cause, that you may be proved right.”  (Isaiah 43:25-26)

The Lord gives the opportunity for all who would come to Him to become His partner.  No, we are neither worthy, nor equal to the task, but He invites to come and argue together the case.  We have no ability other than to fall firmly and forever upon His mercy that we might live knowing that He alone is God, righteous and worthy of all of our honor and praise.  He will accomplish what He purposes.

Lord, help me see clearly that You have called for me to come to You just as I am without one plea.  Grant that I would hold fast to this simple truth that You alone are God and that from of old, You have laid out the plan by which all may be saved.  That plan includes me submitting to You wholly and without any just cause on my part, knowing that only through what You have done may anyone receive Your mercy.

Lord Jesus, without You it would be hopeless.  Guide me, I pray to see clearly that I am in Your arms of mercy and need what only You can provide.  Guide me to be the kind of person You will make me to be, knowing that only in You is there hope and a future.  Keep me from straying from You that I may live in Your direction and do those things which honor You in Trinity now and forever.  Amen.

Lutheran Core Voice Archives

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Lutheran Core Voice Archives listed by lead story:

Raising Up Pastors Where Orthodoxy is Challenged 5.2017

Praying to the Lord of the Harvest 4.2017

Call to Prayer for Pastoral Summit  3.2017

I Gave My Life for Thee  2.2017

Forming Pastors and Your Congregation   1.2017

Summit On Pastoral Formation   6.2016:

ELCA Churchwide Assembly Report   5-2016:

Who Will Preach at Your Preacher’s Funeral?   4.2016

The Righteousness of Christ    3.2016

Suffering in the Church with Christ     2.2016

Take The Message Of Epiphany    1.2016

Who Actually Is Doing The Bullying    7.2015

A Lutheran Encuentro     6.2015

Life after SCOTUS, Lutheran CORE Responds   5.2015

Celebrating the Ministry of Paull Spring    4.2015

Bound Conscience Update   3.2015

Dennis Nelson Leads CORE into the Future  2.2015

How is that Bound Conscience Thing Working?     1.2015

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Saturday, November 21, 2015 Devotion

core devo

“You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices.  I have not burdened you with offerings, nor wearied you with incense.  “You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; rather you have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities.”  (Isaiah 43:23-24)

The Lord has always laid before the people a few simple things to teach them discipleship, but they offer nothing to the Lord but their rebellion, grief and anger.  It seems that only in adversity to people lift their eyes to the Lord and then, only to curse Him for their situation.  It ought not be this way with You, knowing that the Lord is the Almighty and His Word will come to pass just as He has spoken it.

Lord, You have called to the people of every generation to come and worship You.  Help me be one who responds to Your call knowing that only in You, in season and out of season, will I find the hope that my soul longs for.  Guide me into the never-failing truth of Your promises to live according to Your Word through all that I am that I may be pleasing to You as one of Your own.

Lord Jesus, You came to model the godly life and teach us the way of faithfulness.  Help me, I pray, to live according to Your never-failing truth and live through the Word which You have given.  May I be guided by the Holy Spirit today in the revealed truth to be a faithful disciple, doing those things which are pleasing in the Father’s sight.  Help me this day I pray to do all You would have me do.  Amen.