December 6 2013
TDP: December 5;
Original Broadcast: Friday; 2008-12-05;
2 Peter 2:1-3;
'But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3, ESV)
The Apostle Peter gives warning about false teachers in the church. It is fair warning both to them and to us. There are few things more dangerous. St. Peter says it will always be a threat, but God promises judgment for those responsible. In the mean time we need to watch. We can look for what Peter says is the telltale sign. They deny, the Master, Jesus Christ. Like in the days of Peter, today's false teachers are subtle. They make everything in the church seem more important the forgiveness of sins won by Jesus' death on the cross. Watch out! Hold your preachers accountable to preach Christ crucified to you.
Let us pray: Dearest Master, Jesus, give us faithful preachers to point us to your cross for our forgiveness. Amen.
Devo ID: 45
December 5 2013
TDP: December 4;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2008-12-04;
2 Peter 1:16-21;
'For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-21, ESV)
Peter saw the majesty of Jesus Christ. He saw it in his daily activity, as he healed and preached. He saw it when Jesus glowed like the sun and God spoke out of a cloud. He saw it when Jesus hung dying on the cross. And he saw it when Jesus was raised again to life. Jesus is the one who makes the bible much more than "cleverly devised myths." It is the account of God's salvation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the promise of sins forgiven and eternal life to all who believe. God stands behind each and every word. You can trust it as true.
Let us pray: Lord keep us steadfast in Your Word; Curb those who by deceit or sword Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son And bring to naught all He has done. Amen.
Devo ID: 44
December 4 2013
TDP: December 3;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2008-12-03;
1 Peter 5:6-11;
'Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11, ESV)
Satan does exist. He is real. Saint Peter's picture is frightening, the lion on the prowl. How do we resist the teeth of this lion? It would be impossible for us if it were not for Jesus Christ. Peter says, cast all your anxieties on Him. Suffering will come. It comes, in fact, to all believers everywhere. But Satan has lost his teeth. Jesus has defeated him. Satan's real threat is permanent suffering. But Jesus has canceled that. Jesus suffered the eternal suffering of hell on the cross. The forgiveness of the cross means that Satan can't threaten you with that. All he can do is temporary, and only what God allows. "Humble yourself" and "Cast all your anxieties on Him." God's promise to you is that your suffering will end. Whatever suffering He allows Satan to inflict will only make your faith stronger.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, I give my anxieties to you. Protect me from Satan. Amen.
Devo ID: 43
December 3 2013
TDP: December 2;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2008-12-02;
1 Peter 4:7-11;
'The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies-in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:7-11, ESV)
Saint Peter says love covers a multitude of sins. But he doesn't leave us to guess about what that means. He says, serve each other without grumbling. How easy it is to complain when we are called upon to serve. We remember when our service was taken for granted or rejected. How often people take advantage of us when we offer to serve! Serving without grumbling is the sure sign of true love. It covers a multitude of sin. Peter doesn't tell us to serve only those who deserve help. He doesn't say serve only when we are recognized for our service. He says to serve as if the end of everything is at hand. We are to serve as if there is no tomorrow. We are to give ourselves completely in service. That's how Jesus is in the picture. He serves that way. He gives everything. He loves completely. His death on the cross is true love that covers all our sins. In response to Jesus we service without complaint, showing His love to everyone we serve.
Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, lead me to serve completely as you do. Amen.
Devo ID: 42
December 2 2013
TDP: December 1;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2008-12-01;
'Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, "Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test." And he said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:10-14, ESV)
King Ahaz thinks he's being wise, he's not. He is surrounded by enemies. God says they won't win. Pick any sign and God will show he is faithful. Ahaz says no. God gives one anyway. The name Immanuel means "God with us." He will be with the foolish king. The enemies of God's people won't succeed. But God is always more faithful than we can imagine. "God with us," is also the name of God's son who comes to take away the sin of the world. God's promise to Ahaz is his promise to us. God comes personally, in human flesh, to be our Savior. God born in a manger. God walking our roads. God eating our food. God living our life and yes, dying our death. Sin is so serious that only "God with us" can fix it. Jesus Christ is God with us. His life death and resurrection bring us forgiveness of our sin.
Let us pray: Come, Thou long expected Jesus, Born to set thy people free; From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee; Israel's strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art, Dear desire of every nation, Joy of ev'ry longing heart. Amen. (LSB 338,1)
Devo ID: 41
November 29 2013
TDP: November 28;
Original Broadcast: Friday; 2008-11-28;
1 Peter 1:13-19;
'Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:13-19, ESV)
Once again God tells us not to sin. It isn't easy to do, but God calls us to act like his children. You've heard this at home, Dad says, "show them who's son you are." Be holy as your Father is holy. Don't sin. But we fall short. We act according to our own desires. We think we belong to ourselves. Sin leaves no room for good and no room for God. God judges sin fairly with punishment. But we can be different. God is our Father. We were purchased for him by Jesus Christ. He gave his holy and precious blood for us. His death is worth more than any treasure. We are God's not our own. So, be prepared, live every day a child of God, remembering Jesus and his cross and death for you.
Let us pray: Help us to do this dear Father in Heaven. Amen.
Devo ID: 40
November 28 2013
TDP: November 27;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2008-11-27;
'Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; ... "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18, ESV)
Red is the color that everyone notices. In the old days barns were painted red because it was the cheapest color to make. But as you went around the country-side the farm places were easy to find. The first thing you learn in a car is "Red means stop." Red is the color of warning and danger. Wild animals avoid it. Red is the color of blood and death. God tells us red is the color of sin. This passage is a warning then. Sin is noticeable. Sin is dangerous. Sin is easy to find. Stop sinning, God says. Wash yourselves clean! I see into your heart. I know your sin. Sin is dangerous. With God, sin deserves death and punishment. But with God there is always a promise, too. Though your sins are obvious, you will be clean. They are red but they will be made white. God is always talking his plan to take care of sin in Jesus. Sin is death and bloodshed, crimson and scarlet. The danger of death surrounds it. The red blood of Jesus changes everything. Sin is made white like snow and wool. Jesus death on the cross gets the red out. Jesus death takes your sin away. Life is better without it.
Let us pray: Thank you Jesus for removing sin from me. Amen.
Devo ID: 39
November 27 2013
TDP: November 26;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2008-11-26;
'Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him (Revelation 22:1-3, ESV)
It sounds like a wonderful place; a bright shining river flowing down through the middle of a beautiful city. Each bank of the river is lined with a row of beautiful crosses... Wait did I hear that right? I thought the river was lined with trees not crosses? Trees that have a never ending supply of fruit and leaves that heal all kinds of diseases? How can a cross do that? It can if it is Jesus' cross. Sinful generation after sinful generation have looked upon the cross and seen the forgiveness of sin won there by Jesus. Sin sick soul after sin sick soul has crawled to the foot of the cross for healing. The curse of sin is eternal death, eternal separation from God. Jesus promises to raise the dead just as he is raised and that removes the curse of death forever. What the cross of Jesus, the Tree of Life offers in entrance into the beautiful eternal city. There is a beauty in the bloody cross that can only be seen with the eyes of faith.
Let us pray: Jesus, I will ponder now On Your holy passion; With Your Spirit me endow For such meditation. Grant that I in love and faith May the image cherish Of Your suff'ring, pain, and death That I may not perish. Amen.
Devo ID: 38
November 26 2013
TDP: November 25;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2008-11-25;
'And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day-and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:22-27, ESV)
How about that? A city with no lights. John is describing what an eternity with God will be like. He's using pictures we can understand for things we can't. There will be no temple or lights. These are not needed because God himself will be there providing everything. Since God is there there is nothing "detestable and false." But that's a picture we really don't understand. Our world is filled with those kinds of things and we ourselves are the worst of the lot. We want to think that we are naturally good but "detestable and false" is a better description. Read the news and you'll see it clearly. We are by nature sinful and unclean. Are we left out of the city? Not if our names are written in the Lamb's book of life. That is the record of all those who have faith in Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He takes away your sin, so you can be in God's presence forever.
Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, take my sin away, make me clean. Amen.
Devo ID: 37
November 25 2013
TDP: November 24;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2008-11-24;
'And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." ... And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (Revelation 21:3-6, ESV)
Wouldn't it be nice to have all things new? That old car, bald tires and all, new, pristine, with that fresh from the factory smell. And not the kind that comes from the "new car scent" air freshener. And even more important a new body, without aches and pains, surgery scares and arthritis. But, cars run down. Things and people wear out. Time marches on. People stop working and die. All things new? It's just a dream, right? Not according to "the one who sits on the throne." He says he is making all things new. He promises that death itself will be no more. That's exactly why God became a human being in Jesus. He came to deal with death. Jesus died on the cross, but he also came alive again. God says "It is done!" That new life is yours when you believe that Jesus did it all for you for the forgiveness of your sin. And it doesn't cost you anything.
Let us pray: Gracious Heavenly Father, make me new through the forgiveness of my sin. Amen.
Devo ID: 36