Blog (Page 178)

Blog (Page 178)

Daily Devotions: August 20, 2018

August 19, 2018 John 6:54-58…“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” vs. 56 It’s no wonder that our favorite name for the Sacrament of the Altar is Holy Communion. John’s graphic description of eating and drinking flesh and blood makes it abundantly clear that, in this meal, Jesus becomes incarnate in us. As the bread and wine are absorbed into the flesh of our body, Christ himself comes to abide in…

Daily Devotions: August 19, 2018

August 20, 2018 Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-15…“Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” vs. 15 The sequence of events in Israel’s early history is not particularly clear, but we do know that sometime after their time…

Daily Devotions: August 18, 2018

August 18, 2018 John 6:51-53…“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” vs. 52 As John tells this story, it’s pretty obvious that he has Holy Communion in mind. For him, the story of the feeding of the 5,000 was a prelude to the meal that would later become crucial for the life of believers. Even early on there were questions about what was happening as the bread and the wine…

Daily Devotions: August 17, 2018

August 17, 2018 Ephesians 5:18-20…“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts…” vss. 18-19 Passages like this provide a window into the life of an early Christian community, and give a glimpse of those practices that brought strength and joy to believers. Evidently their culture, like ours, offered options for those…

Daily Devotions: August 16, 2018

August 16, 2018 Ephesians 5:15-17…“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” vs. 15-16 We regularly see and hear television and radio pundits talking about our dangerous times and implying that profound evil is at hand. Paul had the same perspective about the city of Ephesus over 2000 years ago. He advised that followers of Jesus should live with care, not as unwise people…

Daily Devotions: August 15, 2018

August 15, 2018 Psalm 34:12-14…“Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” vss. 12-14 Evidently those who were living in Jerusalem 2500 years ago had the same dreams and desires as people have today. They loved life and wanted to enjoy it as long as they could. Like us, they looked for advice and…

Daily Devotions: August 14, 2018

August 14, 2018 Psalm 34:9-11…“O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.” vs. 9 Sometimes parents will ask their children to distinguish between wants and needs in making purchasing decisions. It not an easy thing for a young person to figure out, particularly when they’ve been bombarded by clever marketing appeals on television and social media. They’re regularly tricked into believing that because they want something they actually need it. Of course,…

Daily Devotions: August 13, 2018

August 13, 2018 Proverbs 9:1-6…‘“You that are simple, turn in here!’ To those without sense she says, ‘Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.’” vss. 4-5 A large section of the book of Proverbs is devoted to pointing out the differences between wisdom and folly. Here Wisdom (always portrayed as a woman) is throwing a party and she sends out a special invitation to those who are simple and without sense. It’s not that…

Daily Devotions: August 12, 2018

August 12, 2018 John 6:45-51…“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.” vss. 48-49 In the first century there had been a struggle between those Jews who had embraced Jesus as messiah and those who clung to the old traditions. Ultimately, that conflict led to a split and the separation of church and synagogue. As John writes his gospel, he wants his readers to know that in Jesus they will find…

Daily Devotions: August 11, 2018

August 11, 2018 John 6:35, 41-44…“They were saying, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’” As far as the people in the crowd were concerned, Jesus had human origins. They knew his father and mother. For him to say that he had come down from heaven was too much to swallow. Even if he did claim to be the bread of life.…

Daily Devotions: August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018 Ephesians 4:29-5:2…“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” vs. 29 Paul’s picture of Christian community seems almost Utopian, almost too good to be true. We’ve grown so accustomed to coarse, bullying and degrading talk, that we are hard-pressed to imagine a world in which each word is carefully weighed and gracefully used.…

Daily Devotions: August 9, 2018

August 9, 2018 Ephesians 4:25-28…“Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.” vs. 28 There’s something delightfully naive about this verse from Ephesians. Usually the writers of scripture come down hard on sinners; thieves are given warnings to change behavior or face harsh consequences. But here there are no threats or condemnation, just a heartfelt admonition for thieves to stop stealing and…