'faith' Tagged Posts

'faith' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.” vss. 3-4 Psalm 71:1-14 The psalmist had a strong desire for peace and tranquility in his life, and so do we. Our dream is to have meaningful work, loving families, good friends, retire early, and then live contentedly and happily…

Daily Devotions

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” vss. 20-21 Romans 4:17-25 Paul’s extravagant description of Abraham’s faith stretches our credulity a bit, but there’s no doubt that he believed Abraham was the founder of the Judeo-Christian faith community. From his perspective salvation history began with the faith of Abraham and continued…

Daily Devotions

Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.” vss. 30-31 Psalm 22:27-31 Sometimes when we see the mess that the world is in and the increasing number of people who have abandoned traditional religious forms, it’s easy to begin to think that believers are like the dinosaurs and about to go extinct. Indeed science has brought new knowledge and things once…

Daily Devotions

Is not this the fast that I choose: to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them…? vss. 6a-7 Isaiah 58:1-12 The prophet imagines a conversation between God and Israelites who are wondering why their prayers aren’t being heard when they have been so faithful in making their temple sacrifices and keeping their ritual fasts. In the prophet’s estimation, God has a different agenda for them–they’ve…

Daily Devotions

Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.” vs. 8 Mark 9:7-9 Most people have a variety of spiritual and religious experiences as they search for a unitary expression of faith, one that will stand the test of time and withstand the doubts that stalk them. There are days that our faith is strong, buttressed by internal certainties rising from what we perceive to be divine encounters. On those days there’s a…

Daily Devotions

Luke 2:22-40 “There was also a prophet, Anna–of a great age… She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer…At that moment she came, and began to speak about the child.” vss. 36-38 When Mary and Jesus brought the baby Jesus to the temple for the rites of purification they were accosted by two elderly prophets, Simeon and Anna, both of whom were temple regulars. Now it’s not unusual for old people to hang around places of…

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:15-17 “I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” vss. 15-16 The reputation of the congregation at Ephesus had spread among the little house churches that sprang up all over the eastern Mediterranean as apostles had proclaimed the good news of Jesus. According to the writer of this letter two…

Daily Devotions

Romans 3:24-28 … “For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” vs. 28  Martin Luther spent decades trying to gain assurance of salvation by bringing his stubborn, subversive flesh into line with the works of the law. Since he couldn’t do it he was forever wracked with guilt, and greatly damaged his health in the process. But when in the course of studying the book of Romans he realized that justification…

Daily Devotions

Matthew 14:28-33 … “But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” vs. 30 Our liberal, literal minds are often challenged by the miracle stories in the gospels and we struggle to find satisfactory explanations. Most days we have an easier time with the healings–after all that’s one of the things Jesus did, and many people through history have been known as healers. But walking on water is a…

Daily Devotions: August 6, 2020

August 6, 2020 Romans 10:5-11 … “For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” vs. 10  Paul contrasts the righteousness that comes from the law with the righteousness that comes from faith in his treatise to the Romans. For him it was an important distinction. He wanted the people to know that justification, being made right with God, was a gift, and not something that was earned through…

Daily Devotions: June 6, 2020

June 6, 2020 Matthew 28:16-17 … “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” vss. 16-17 Right at the end of his Gospel, after his long account of Jesus’ teaching and ministry, having reported the resurrection and an angel visitation, Matthew says that some of the eleven had doubts. While he doesn’t mention what the doubts were, he does imply that the…

Daily Devotions: May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020 Acts. 17:22-25 … “For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” vs.23 The people Paul encountered in Athens were proud, sophisticated, and tolerant of a variety of religious views. They had a long history of debate and philosophical conversation and loved to hear scholarly presentations…