August 20 2014
TDP: Wednesday after Easter;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2009-04-15;
'For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? ... It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31, ESV)
God's judgment is indeed fearful. Those who die without faith in Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sinners face the "worse punishment" than death. Hell is the destination for those who reject Jesus. God's Word here speaks to us when we think that our sins are small and unimportant. Jesus died on the cross, suffering hell for all sin. When we reject Jesus acting as if His death means nothing, we face God's outrage. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for sinners. His death sets us free from sin, death and hell. Our lives should reflect God's perfect gift of Jesus. We are dead to sin we should no longer live in it. Daily we Christians live in the promise of our Baptism. We are buried with Christ and raised again to new life.
Let us pray: Baptized into Your name most holy, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I claim a place, though weak and lowly, Among Your saints, Your chosen host. Buried with Christ and dead to sin, Your Spirit now shall live within. (LSB 590) Amen.
Devo ID: 123
August 19 2014
TDP: Tuesday after Easter;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2009-04-14;
'And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:11-14, ESV)
Over and over again the animals were dragged into the temple and slaughtered. It was an unending supply of payment. But you can't pay for human sin with the blood of bulls and goats. Human sin requires human death. The wages of sin is death, says St. Paul. One sacrifice for sin made all other sacrifices obsolete. Jesus Christ was crucified, dead and buried. He willingly offered himself as the once-for-all sacrifice. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for sinful people, because he is human, only without sin. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for sin because he is God. His death is a God-sized death for sin. It is enough for the sin of all people for all time. He is the one time single offering for sin. Jesus is your sacrifice for sin. He went to the cross for you. He has paid the wages of sin for you.
Let us pray: Thy death alone, not mine, O Christ, Has paid the ransom due; Ten thousand deaths like mine Would have been all too few. To whom save Thee, Who canst alone For sin atone, Lord, shall I flee? (LSB 565:4) Amen.
Devo ID: 122
August 16 2014
TDP: Monday after Easter;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2009-04-13;
'For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you." And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:19-22, ESV)
Yuck! Forgiveness is bloody business. God really had Moses make the picture clear. The animal is slaughtered. The blood is captured in a bowl and then sprinkled on everything... even people. What a mess. What an ugly picture. The problem is the law. The blood sprinkled everywhere was a warning. "If you don't do this law, blood will be spilt." The blood sprinkled everywhere was also a promise. We don't keep the law and blood is spilt. But it isn't you and I that pay the price it is Jesus. His blood is spilt on the cross. He dies the perfect sacrifice for all human sin. "the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7b).
Let us pray: Wash me and take away each stain; let nothing of my sin remain. For cleansing, though it be through pain, Christ crucified, I come. (LSB 560:3) Amen.
Devo ID: 121
August 8 2014
TDP: Thursday - Lent 5;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2009-04-02;
'And they brought [Jesus] to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. (Mark 15:22-27, ESV)
Crucifixion is a horrible form of execution. The Romans were exceedingly efficient. The main reason for nailing someone to a cross is deterrent. A naked person on a cross says, "If you do what he did this is what you get." Myrrh was given as a drug to make the victim easier to deal with. It dulled the senses and made them a bit more docile. Jesus refuses. He doesn't have to be convinced. He goes to the cross willingly. He doesn't want the pain dulled. He suffers the full brunt of it, and even more. This whole reason Jesus was born was for this crucifixion, this punishment. And Jesus death on the cross is a deterrent to. Jesus is God's sacrifice in place of you. His horrible death is punishment for your sin. Because of Jesus willing sacrifice your sins are forgiven.
Let us pray: Thou hast suffered great affliction And hast borne it patiently, Even death by crucifixion, Fully to atone for me; Thou didst choose to be tormented That my doom should be prevented. Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, Dearest Jesus, unto Thee. Amen. (LSB 420:6) Public domain
Devo ID: 114
August 7 2014
TDP: Tuesday - Lent 5;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2009-03-31;
'And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." And the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. (Mark 14:60-64, ESV)
Make no mistake about it. The church killed Jesus because he said he was God. You can almost see the hopeful look in Jesus eyes as the Chief Priest asks him, "Are you God, in the flesh?" "Yes! I AM!" Jesus says it clearly using words that they can't miss. They should rejoice, and fall at his feet and beg forgiveness. Instead, they condemn him to death for "blasphemy" that is, "claiming to be God." There is no middle ground to stand on. Either Jesus is God as he said, or he is crazy as a loon. The proof of what Jesus says stands clearly on his resurrection. He was killed. Crucified dead and buried and after three days dead, He came alive again a fully human, living breathing person. Everything Jesus said and did hinges on his walking out of his tomb alive. If he did that, than everything else he said and did is true. Jesus did rise from the dead. He did suffer and die on the cross. And your sins are forgiven.
Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, thank you for the forgiveness of sins you have won for me on the cross. Amen.
Devo ID: 113
August 6 2014
TDP: Monday - Lent 5;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2009-03-30;
'And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch." And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." (Mark 14:32-36, ESV)
When Jesus prays in the Garden, he is fully aware of what is about to happen. He is facing unspeakable pain. The betrayal of his friends. The cruel undeserved beating from the Roman guards. The nails piercing his flesh. The naked public display of his beaten, bloody, dead body. While the disciples sleep, Jesus does what any person would do... he prays. "God! Please take this cup from me." But he also does what you and I cannot do. "I leave this in your hands completely." Jesus has complete trust in God, the Father. Jesus is focused on something more important to him than the suffering he is about to face. You. He willingly goes to the cross, suffering and death, so that you can have forgiveness. Only the life, death and resurrection of Jesus can do that.
Let us pray: Thou hast suffered great affliction And hast borne it patiently, Even death by crucifixion, Fully to atone for me; Thou didst choose to be tormented That my doom should be prevented. Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, Dearest Jesus, unto Thee. (LSB 420:6) Amen.
Devo ID: 112
August 4 2014
TDP: Thursday - Lent 3;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2009-03-19;
'And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:24-27, ESV)
Jesus isn't against being rich. He's just encountered a rich young man who wanted to buy his way into heaven by keeping the commandments. Jesus pushes him to the wall. "Sell everything and follow me!" He can't do it. It is too much to ask. Jesus tells him he has to be perfect. The disciples are amazed. The ridiculous picture of a camel trying to squeeze through a needle makes the point. It's not just hard to earn your way to heaven it's impossible. "Then who can be saved?" If that good rich guy can't do it who can? "No body!" is Jesus answer. You can't save yourself, God has to save you. That's why Jesus came. He came to do what you can't do for yourself. He earned your forgiveness by his life and death and resurrection.
Let us pray: Jesus Savior, help me to give up trying to save myself and trust in you alone. Amen.
Devo ID: 110
August 1 2014
TDP: Wednesday - Lent 3;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2009-03-18;
'And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away." And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mark 10:2-9, ESV)
Well pastor, if you want to stir up trouble just talk about divorce. But it is hard to avoid what Jesus says here. Divorce is against God's will. And yet, God had Moses allow it because of "hardness of heart." That's just another way of saying "sin." God hates divorce. He made marriage between a man and a woman to be permanent. They "cleave" together, in sickness and, health, rich and poor, better and worse. Sin destroys everything even the wonderful gift of marriage. We participate in that sin when we don't do everything to prevent it. Where do we start? With the forgiveness Jesus won for us on the cross. His forgiveness applied to hurting people starts the process of reconciliation.
Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, help us to do what we can to prevent divorce. Amen.
Devo ID: 109
July 31 2014
TDP: Tuesday - Lent 3;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2009-03-17;
'And they came to Capernaum. And when [Jesus] was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me." (Mark 9:33-37, ESV)
Can't you see yourself arguing about your worth? "At least I'm better than those hypocrites who go to church on Sunday, and sit in the bar all Saturday night!" We are always about comparing ourselves to others. The idea is to make ourselves first. Jesus says the way to be first is to serve. He uses a child as an example. Children are helpless. They have to be fed, clothed and cleaned. To serve a child is to be a true servant and to truly put another person's needs above your own. This is what our Savior did. He served us when we were helpless. Our sin makes us that way. We can't make ourselves clean. Instead, Jesus dies on the cross to give us forgiveness. Jesus became last and least to serve us helpless sinners. When we serve others, we show what Jesus did for us.
Let us pray: Gracious Jesus, help me to serve others as you have served me. Amen.
Devo ID: 108
July 30 2014
TDP: Monday-Lent 3;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2009-03-16;
'They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And [Jesus] did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise." But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. (Mark 9:30-32, ESV)
You can't blame the disciples for misunderstanding. After all we do the same thing. We read God's Word looking for "10 things that will make my marriage better" Or "Seven biblical principals for financial management." We want to look for everything in scripture except what Jesus says is there. The bible is about the death of Jesus for the forgiveness of human sin. The disciples who walked and lived with Jesus couldn't understand the cross because they were sinful people like you and me. When they looked at Jesus they had hopes and dreams of power and glory. They couldn't see that Jesus' purpose wasn't to reform earthly kingdoms. He came to die. It is only in Jesus death that we truly see who God is. He gives forgiveness through Jesus.
Let us pray: Gracious heavenly Father, You sent Jesus to bring me forgiveness. Help me to see Him in your Word. Amen.
Devo ID: 107