Blog (Page 203)

Blog (Page 203)

Daily Devotions: October 9, 2017

Isaiah 25:1-5 “For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.” vs. 4 When we look at our history, it’s a wonder that the poor have ever survived the ravages of the rich and the powerful! Again and again they have been the victims, always the first to die in wars and the last to get relief in times of disaster.…

Daily Devotions: October 8, 2017

Matthew 21:42-46 “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.” vs. 43 Sometimes we get the notion that we are indispensable, that if we don’t do the work that we have been given, it just isn’t going to be done. But that’s not how it works in the kingdom of God. Jesus is pretty plain about that! He bluntly tells the religious…

Daily Devotions: October 7, 2017

Matthew 21:33-41 “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.” vs. 33 After entering Jerusalem on his final journey Jesus tells the gathered crowd a new parable that made use of an old metaphor for the land of Israel. It’s a story about tenants who forget that they are stewards while…

Daily Devotions: October 6, 2017

Philippians 3:8-14 “in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.” vss. 8b-9 So what do we have to do to gain Christ and be found in him? That question has plagued and divided Christians for centuries. According to some there are a whole sequence of steps for believers to…

Daily Devotions: October 5, 2017

Philippians 3: 4b-7 “If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more:” vs. 4b Paul had a ton of reasons to be confident in the presence of God. He was a well-educated Jew, a proud member of the tribe of Benjamin, and had been zealous for the law. He called himself blameless…he’d done everything right in his life! Some people are like that. They’re intelligent, genetically gifted, and have consistently made good decisions in the…

Daily Devotions: October 4, 2017

Isaiah 5:5-7 “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!” vs. 7 Isaiah had been called to proclaim the truth to the people of Judah and the message he was given was not a pleasant one. They could no longer bask in their presumed role as God’s chosen ones and enjoy the benefits of their…

Daily Devotions: October 3, 2017

Psalm 80:7-15 “The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.” vs. 13 When Pope Leo X finally moved against Martin Luther in 1520, he issued the bull Exsurge Domini in which he quoted this verse from Psalm 80 as support for his condemnation of Luther’s teachings. According to his understanding the Church was the vineyard of the Lord, established by Jesus and given over to the successors of Peter for safekeeping.…

Daily Devotions: October 2, 2017

Isaiah 5:1-4 “What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?” vs. 4 Isaiah believed that the Lord had great love and high expectations for Israel. The love had been vividly demonstrated in the release from the bondage of Egypt and the gift of a productive new land. But Israel had failed to follow through…rather than being a light for…

Daily Devotions: October 1, 2017

Matthew 21:28-32 “‘Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.’” vs. 31 Jesus wants his followers to know that the kingdom of God is full of surprises, and that sometimes outsiders have a better grasp of the gospel than insiders. That same truth is regularly played out in our own…

Daily Devotions: September 30, 2017

Matthew 21:23-27 “When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’” vs. 23 The question of authority was huge for the chief priests and the elders and they had a right to grill Jesus about his credentials. He was speaking boldly about the kingdom of God and they were wondering whether his…

Daily Devotions: September 29, 2017

Philippians 2:9-13 “Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” vs. 12  Much has been made of the phrase, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” and theologians have had a field day trying to figure out just what this means. Is Paul tossing out grace and telling the good folks at Philippi that salvation…

Daily Devotions: September 28, 2017

Philippians 2:1-8 “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,” vs. 5 Paul’s deepest desire is that the faith community in Philippi be of one mind and in full accord…but even more than that, he wants their one mind to be the mind of Christ Jesus. It’s an amazing vision…and one that we struggle to live up to. But just imagine what it would be like if that aspiration became a reality! It would mean that…