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Daily Devotions

The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’” vss. 11-12 Luke 18:9-12 While there are literally hundreds of ways in which we can differentiate ourselves from others, there are a couple of categories that transcend even race and skin color. Jesus describes them as the righteous and…

Daily Devotions

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” vss. 1-2 Luke 15:1-6 It’s a funny thing! We know that Jesus preferred the company of sinners and often had meals with them, but we’re often reluctant to really think of ourselves as sinners. Oh, we pay lip service to the notion, and are even a bit proud…

Daily Devotions

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” vs. 13 Isaiah 66:13-14 When we get older and start learning new things in school, it’s not unusual to do an assessment of what we’ve been learning in Sunday School. And sometimes the old familiar stories don’t stand up to our scrutiny. We reject entire portions of scripture as being archaic and unscientific, and decide that we are no longer believers. Usually that…

Daily Devotions

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand…” vs. 1-2a Romans 5:1-2 There are some people who stopped going to worship during COVID times and discovered that they really didn’t miss it. They liked having Sunday mornings free, and found that they could fill their spiritual needs just as well in walks beside still waters and quiet evenings…

Daily Devotions

I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” vs. 26 John 17:24-26 John 3:16 is familiar to Americans, and some even know what it says! It provides the premise behind the entire gospel of John, “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son….” The gospel then continues with a series of signs designed…

Daily Devotions

I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” vss. 20-21 John 17:20-23 John reports that Jesus spent his last evening with his disciples praying for unity, not only in their little group,…

Daily Devotions

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free…” vs. 18                                                   Luke 4:17b-21 When Jesus was handed the scroll of Isaiah he chose to read a portion of chapter 61. It was the scripture that had come to his mind as he had wrestled with ministry…

Daily Devotions

Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” vs. 13 Jeremiah 31:7-14 There was a time when confirmation instruction included long diatribes by pastors about the evils of dance, card-playing, drinking, and movies. Some confirmands got the notion that being a follower of Jesus was a pretty joyless enterprise and couldn’t wait…

Daily Devotions

As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’” vs. 1 Mark 13:1-4 The disciple wasn’t wrong–the temple buildings were impressive. Herod the Great had wanted the structure to rival the temples seen in Rome and he had spared no expense. And even though the buildings have been destroyed, the foundation stones are still visible, and they are massive. For Galilean fishermen this would have been…

Thank You, ALC!

Our heartfelt thanks extends today to the good people of American Lutheran Church, Sun City for their generous support of Spirit in the Desert. We are so grateful for our congregational partners in ministry ~ the team at your favorite retreat center looks forward to serving you someday soon! @AmericanLutheranChurchofSunCity 

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:18-23 “God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places…” vs. 20 Some people point to verses like this to show that the Risen Christ has been elevated to a position in the universe that is beyond our reach or understanding. If that’s what we believe, we’re really on our own in the world now, left to work things out as best…

Daily Devotions: May 31, 2020

May 31, 2020  John 20:21-23 … “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” When John wrote his Gospel he evidently didn’t have access to the stories used by Luke some years before. So he doesn’t include anything about a Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit with tongues as of fire and…
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