April 10 Saved By Faith and a Scarlet Cord

image courtesy of reverendmom

image courtesy of reverendmom

Deuteronomy 34:1-Joshua 2:24;  Luke 13:22-14:6;  Psalm 79:1-13;  Proverbs 12:26

“Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent out two spies from Shittim.  ” Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.”  So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

The king of Jericho was told, “Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.”  So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them….

* * * * *

“Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.   We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites…how you completely destroyed them.  When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”

Joshua 2:1-12, select verses

* * * * *

A declaration of faith

from the mouth of a harlot

shows the power of God

to change a heart,

save a soul,

save many souls

from death.

One woman

who heard the same news as her

countrymen,

who should have feared for her life

because of who and what she was

confessed before God

and the spies

“Your God is God

in heaven above and

the earth below.”

God had revealed himself to her

through the mighty deeds

He had performed

and she believed!

* * * * *

God saves all who hear His Word

and believes

and confesses

that He is Lord

of Heaven and Earth.

The scarlet cord of Jesus’ blood

shed on the Cross

marks us as saved ones

for those who believe.

Death and destruction

will pass us by.

* * * * *

Rahab got a new life

walked by faith

and is recorded in Jesus’

family tree.

* * * * *

“By faith, Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she welcomed the spies in peace.”  Hebrews 11:31

“…and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse; and to Jesse was born David the king.”  Matthew 1:5

Lord God, thank you for preserving the story of Rahab the prostitute, the story of her faith in You and how that faith brought her new life.  Your word is meant for all people–people just like Rahab.  Your word brings life!  Please help us to share the Good News with those who need to hear.  Thank you for taking away the scarlet sins of our lives and for making us new in Christ Jesus, our Lord whose Resurrection from the dead we continue to celebrate and rejoice!  Amen.

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April 7 Remember Easter!

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Deuteronomy 31:1-32:27;  Luke 12:8-34;  Psalm 78:32-55;  Proverbs 12:21-23

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!

* * * * *

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

* * * * *

“Consider how the lilies grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the filed, which is here to day and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

* * * * *

“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink;  do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

Luke 12:22-31

* * * * *

Jesus, you bought the kingdom for us

with your own precious blood

We remember Easter

and we give you

thanks!

It’s another new week

and lest we begin to worry and fret

about bills and such

let us remember Easter

and give you thanks!

Lord God, we give you thanks and praise for the Easter news that spreads through us –“He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Allelujah!”  News that feeds our souls and clothes us the white robes of righteousness.   We are dressed.  We are fed.  We are loved.  Thank you, Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 14 A Story To Tell

Image by Joshua Lenon

Image by Joshua Lenon

Exodus 37:1-38:31;  Matthew 28:1-20;  Psalm 34:11-22;  Proverbs 9:9-10

“And behold there was a great earthquake for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came down and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightening and his clothing was white as snow.  And for fear of him, the guards trembled and became like dead men.

* * * * *

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.  Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.  See, I have told you!”

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell the disciples.

* * * * *

“While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.  And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell the people, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while you were asleep…so they took the money and did as they were directed.  And this is the story that has been spread among the Jews to this age.”

Matthew 28:2-15

* * * * *

A story of truth

a story of lies

both are told

today

but one brings joy

and life

and peace,

the other leads back

to the father of lies.

Which story do you hear?

Which story do you trust?

Which story do you tell?

* * * * *

God continues to tell His story of the

Good News of Jesus Christ

spoken by those who believe

in Him.

“Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always,

to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

“Jesus lives!  The victory’s won;

Death no longer can apall me;

Jesus lives!  Death’s reign is done!

From the grave will Christ recall me.

Brighter scenes will then commence;

This shall be my confidence!”

~ Christian Gellert, 1715-1769

Lord God, thank you for being my confidence, for being the story of my life!  Grant that I freely share your story of life and salvation with those who need to hear.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

January 29 All Things Are Possible

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Exodus 7:25-9:35;  Matthew 19:13-30;  Psalm 24:1-10;  Proverbs 6:1-5

“And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again, I tell you, 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.

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:23-26

* * * * *

Yes!

With all God all things are possible.

Like turning hearts of stone

into hearts aflame,

aglow

with the Spirit

who makes all things new.

* * * *
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

* * * *

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  Romans 10:17

Lord God, thank you for piercing my heart with your living word which worked faith in a heart once dead to your goodness and grace.  I pray that the same power of your Word  work wonders in the hearts of those who are yet in darkness.  Bless the lips of those who speak Your Word and faithfully proclaim your truth.  May the ears hearing your words receive them and not turn away from your Gift of Grace in Jesus Christ who won for them the forgiveness of all their sins.  I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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October 15 To The Missioned, Pray

Image by Brandon Johnson

Image by Brandon Johnson


Jeremiah 26:1-27:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance…never tire of doing what is right.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5,13

Pray. Pray. Pray.
Missionaries around the world covet prayers from their brothers and sisters in Christ.
That’s you. That’s me.
Let’s pray.

O most Holy God and Lord, be with your messengers of Good News, wherever they may be found. Protect them from the Evil One and from evil men who would seek to do them harm. Confound any plots to ‘silence’ them. May the Good News of Salvation be received, nurtured and matured in those who hear that Jesus loves them and gave up his life for them. Let us not grow weary in our prayer-offering on behalf of unsaved souls, both near and far. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

August 13 Comfort and Joy!

Image by Zach Fonville

Image by Zach Fonville

Nehemiah 5:14-7:60;  1 Corinthians 8:1-13;  Psalm 33:1-11; Proverbs 21:8-10

“Sing joyfully to the Lord

Praise the Lord with the harp

Sing to him a new song

Shout for joy!

For the word of the Lord is right

and true;

he is faithful in all he does.

The Lord loves righteousness

and justice;

the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Image by Zach Fonville

Image by Zach Fonville

By the word of the Lord were the

heavens made,

their starry host by the breath

of his mouth.

He gathers the waters of the sea

into jars;

Let all the earth fear the Lord;

let all the people of the world

revere him.

For he spoke, and it came to be;

he commanded and it stood firm.

The Lord foils the plans of the nations;

he thwarts the purposes

of the peoples.

Image by Zach Fonville

Image by Zach Fonville

But the plans of the Lord stand

firm forever,

the purposes of his heart

through all generations.”

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 33

 

Comfort and joy,

celebrate today

the faithfulness of our God.

In the beginning he promised

to save fallen mankind

and he did!

I am alive today

fully alive,

mind, body, spirit

because of His

love and faithfulness.

Thank and praise you,

Jesus

for being the answer,

the key

that opened the

door to Heaven.

Your perfect life,

fit the Father’s demand

and then you gave your life

for me.

Thank and praise

your Holy Name!

We are your creation.

You have set us in

our places

to proclaim the Good News

that you desire all

people  come to

faith.

You will never stop

looking for the lost ones.

Oh, what Comfort

and joy!

                                                                

 

 

April 12 Open Wide

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Image by Bigstockphoto/Wiz Data

Joshua 5:1-7:15;  Luke 15:1-32;  Psalm 81:1-16;  Proverbs 13:1

“You shall have no foreign god among you;  you shall not bow down to an alien god,

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.  Open wide your mouth and I

will fill it.”  Psalm 81:9-10

I read those verses this morning and have been thinking about them throughout the day.  The first image that came to my mind was of the baby cardinals that I was privileged to watch being fed by their parents.  Their mouths-open wide- were filled with the good things their mom and dad brought to them.  The babies grew quickly–a good indication that their food was ‘cardinal’ specific.  They didn’t have to do a thing but eat, sleep and grow.

Our spiritual mouths are open wide.  We want to be fed.  We want to be full. Our Heavenly Father feeds us with the Bread of Life–His Son Jesus Christ whose Body and Blood were broken for us,for our sin.

The table is set.  We are invited.  The meal is prepared.

It’s faith specific nutrition just for us–complete with grace, love, forgiveness, peace.

This is the feast of victory for our God.

Alleluia!

Lord God,  You have nurtured my faith life through the preaching and teaching of the Good News.  You have fed me and strengthened me through the Lord’s Supper.  Thank you for feeding your people–sending food specific for our souls.  Bless our worship tomorrow as you continue to feed us with your life-giving Word.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

February 14 Be A Valentine

Image

Image by Sandara Lee

Exodus 37:1-38:31;  Matthew 28:1-20;  Psalm 34:11-22;  Proverbs 9:9-10

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

“A physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius, Valentine became one of the noted martyrs of the third century.  The commemoration of his death, which occurred in A.D. 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the Early Church of the West.  Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, Valentine left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer written on an irregularly shaped piece of paper.  This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that are now the highlight of Valentine’s Day in many nations.”  –Treasury of Daily Prayer, pg. 1209

Lord God, you send us out into the world to share the Good News.  You send us out as Valentines bringing encouragement and Words of Life to those who are living in darkness.  Thank you for granting us everlasting encouragement and life through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior–our true Valentine.  We praise your Holy Name!  Amen.

October 10 Missionary Joy

Image

Image by Megan Watson

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-3:13;  Psalm 80:1-9;  Proverbs 25:1-5

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.  May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”  1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

Missionaries labor long and hard for the sake of the Gospel.  When they leave the people they have been living and working with they long to know how they are doing, how and if they are growing in the faith.  They wonder if God’s Word will continue to be part of their lives.  They leave in faith, entrusting those souls to the One who claimed them as His own.

St. Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians reflects missionary joy.  He had gotten word that they were standing strong in their faith amidst great opposition.  And he encourages them to keep on loving and believing.

Pray for missionaries around the globe that are praying the same prayer for those whom they are reaching with the Good News of Jesus Christ–that they may remain faithful and strong in their calling as God’s mouthpieces.

Lord God, just as St. Paul took to the streets with the message of salvation through Jesus, please be with missionaries who are giving up their very lives for the same Gospel.  Strengthen them, protect them, and bless their work in your name.  Give us a missionary’s heart for the lost and equip us with your Word and Spirit to share the Good News.  Thank you for your patience with this world….that you are giving us more time to get your Word out to those who need to hear.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

 

May 23 Good News!

2 Samuel 2:12:12-3:39;  John 13:1-30;  Psalm 119:1-16;  Proverbs 15:29-30

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”  Proverb 15:29-30

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Good News–You are not alone!

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

Good News–Your sins are gone!

“If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteouness.”  1 John 1:9

“So far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”  Psalm 103:12

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Good News–You are provided for!

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”  Romans 8:32

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Good News–You are loved!

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights nor depths, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8: 38-39

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We have God’s Word on that!

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flowers of grass.  The grass withers, and the flower falls but the word of the Lord remains forever.  And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”  1 Peter 1:24-25

That’s Good News!

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Lord God, you give us something more than happiness.  You give us joy that lifts up our hearts.  You gave us your son, Jesus, who because He was lifted up on the cross for our sins,  lifts us up out of the mire and all that weighs us down.  You lighten our hearts and put smiles on our faces.  Thank you!

We pray today especially for the people in our nation who have been inflicted with pain caused by disasters–we pray that you will give them hope and assurance that they are not alone.  Bless the many volunteers who are responding to their needs with joyful servant hearts–that their love and compassion for their fellow man will ease the pain.  Amid the rubble, let Your Good News shine.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen