Devotions for the week of Pentecost 12

Invocation

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Psalmody 
Psalm 33:12–22 (ESV)

Blessed is the nation whose God | is the LORD*
The people whom he has chosen as his | heritage!

The LORD looks down from | heaven*
He sees all the | children of man

From where he sits enthroned | he looks out*
On all the inhabitants | of the earth,

He who fashions the hearts | of them all*
And observes | all their deeds.

The king is not saved by his great | army*
A warrior is not delivered by | his great strength.

The war horse is a false hope for | salvation*
And by its great might it cannot | rescue.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who | fear him*
On those who hope in his | steadfast love

That he may deliver their | soul from death*
and keep them alive in | famine.

Our soul waits | for the LORD*
He is our help | and our shield.

For our heart is | glad in him*
Because we trust in his | holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be | upon us*
even as we | hope in you.

Collect

Almighty and merciful God, it is by Your grace that we live as Your people who offer acceptable service. Grant that we may walk by faith, and not by sight, in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings for Pentecost XII (Proper XIV)
Genesis 15:1-6; Hebrews 11:1-16; Luke 12:22-40

Short Meditation From Sunday’s Sermon

It can be said that men love their possessions, but that is really not a realistic way of putting it.  Love, is a positive verb.  For in fact most of us do not love our possessions because we are greedy to have too much and to show off for our neighbors.  Some of us sin in that way, but many of us sin in a different way.  We love our possessions because of the seeming power of wealth to keep the evils of poverty away.  We worry about food and clothing not because we want wealth, but because we don’t want poverty.  So we serve and fear poverty by putting our trust in wealth to keep poverty off.

We say it all the time without realizing it.  With close friends, lest we look greedy we’ll say, “I’m not asking for a mansion or a new yacht, I just want financial security.”  That’s a nice way of saying I don’t want to be poor.  And every time we speak this way we are showing what our sinful hearts really believe:  wealth secures us, wealth comforts us, or in other words to say it more bluntly, wealth saves us.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” That’s the Gospel promise that speaks to your worry. Your Father’s good pleasure is to give you the kingdom and you are the treasure of that kingdom. You are more valuable to him than anything in this creation; more than birds, grass, and more than the sum total of your possessions.  You have God’s Word on it, thanks to Jesus. His poverty saved you!  Though He was rich in the wealth of heaven, he despised it all, bore your sin and suffered the greatest poverty so you could be made wealthy in him.  He received your spiritual poverty when He cried “Father, why have you forsaken me?”  He takes your pauper’s rags and gives you his kingly robe of righteousness.  His death and life has purchased what you cannot afford.  Eternal life with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You have His Word on it. He clothes you in Baptism; He feeds you in His Supper. You have the kingdom. You trust Him with the big stuff; your eternal life. Why not also trust Him with the small stuff of this life?

Daily Readings

Meditations on God’s Word

Sunday and Monday:  David reproved Abner for his failure to protect King Saul while in fact, David himself, protected the king by sparing his life.  It’s David’s mercy that brought Saul to repentance.  He saw that David is a righteous and godly man that he would not take vengeance even on someone who so vehemently attacked him.  David asks Saul again and again, “What have I done?”  He knows that he had not sinned against Saul.  David’s greater Son, Jesus of Nazareth, can ask the same question of us all.  He was innocent of all sin and came only to instill life and assure us of God’s forgiveness and grace.  He would not only spare our lives for eternity, but lay down His life in our place upon the cross.  One of the reproaches from the Good Friday tenebrae liturgy says:

Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. What more could have been done for My vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? My people, is this how you thank your God? O My people.

We know that Saul later turned out to be a sour grape.  Our lesson calls us to repentance for all our injustice, but unlike Saul who would later attack David again, the Holy Spirit calls us to the repentant prayer of the liturgy:

Holy Lord God, holy and mighty God, holy and most merciful Redeemer; God eternal, keep us steadfast in the true faith. O Lord, have mercy.

Tuesday:  “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.”  1 Cor. 7:17.  Suggested Reading:  “The Doctrine of Vocation:  How God Hides Himself in Human Work” by Gene Edward Veith

Wednesday:  Sermon – Do You Have the Time? by Rev. Eric M. Estes

Readings for Next Sunday St. Mary Mother of Our Lord (Observed)

Psa. 45:10-17; Isa. 61:7-11; Gal. 4:4-7; Luke 1:39-55

Daily Reading from the Book of Concord

The Apostle’s Creed may be confessed.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed by Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for others and ourselves:

      • Sunday: For the joy of the resurrection among us; for the blessings of faith nourished by the Word and the Sacraments.
      • Monday: For faith to live in faith in the promises of Baptism; for one’s vocation and daily work; for the unemployed; for the salvation of our neighbors; for schools, colleges, and seminaries; for good government and peace.
      • Tuesday: For protection against temptation and evil; for those suffering from addiction and those who are despairing; the tortured and oppressed; for those who battle thoughts of self-harm or suicide; for our struggles with sin.
      • Wednesday: For marriage and family; for the raising of children in knowledge of the Word of God; for parents who raise children alone; for our communities and neighborhoods.
      • Thursday: For the Church and her pastors; for teachers, deaconesses, and other church workers; for missionaries and for all who serve the Church; for LCMS President Rev. Matthew Harrison; for LCMS FL-GA District President Rev. Greg Walton; for proper and fruitful use of the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood.
      • Friday: For the preaching of the cross of Jesus; for the spread of His knowledge throughout the world; for the persecuted Church and the oppressed; for the sick and dying.
      • Saturday: For faithfulness to the end of life; for the renewal of those struggling in faith or have fallen away; for receptive hearts and minds to God’s Word on the Lord’s Day; for pastors, musicians and all those who prepare to administer and receive Christ’s Word and Sacraments.

LUTHER’S MORNING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

-or-

LUTHER’S EVENING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

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