Grace Life

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

in which you formerly walked according

to the course of this world,

according to the prince of the power of the air,

of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

Among them we too all formerly live

in the lusts of our flesh,

indulging the desires of our flesh and of the mind,

and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

But God, being rich in mercy,

because of His great love with which He loved us,

even when we were dead in our transgressions,

made us alive together with Christ

(by grace you have been saved),

and raised up with Him,

and seated with Him

in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the ages to come

He might show the surpassing riches

of His grace in kindness

toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves,

it is the gift of God.”

Ephesians 2: 1-8

Lord God, thank you for making us alive through Christ Jesus our Lord!  Amen.

August 20 True Love

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Esther 8:1-10:3;  1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13;  Psalm 1-11;  Proverbs 21:23-24

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.   Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Lord God, you are love.  Thank you for being patient with us and kind.  Thank you for not lording over us the fact that you ARE Lord of Lord and King of Kings!  Thank you for your never-ending mercy, for forgetting our sins as soon as they are forgiven.  Thank you for your faithful protection, for never betraying our trust, for giving us hope, for never giving up on us.  That you for your forever presence in our life through faith.  Thank you for Jesus who walked the way of true love–all the way to the Cross.  In His name we pray, Amen.

July 18 Lend A Hand

Photo by Aaron Watt

Photo by Aaron Watt

1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34; Romans 4:13-5:5;  Psalm 14:1-7;  Proverbs 19:17

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.”  Proverbs 19:17

 

Many ways of being kind,

many kinds of poor.

Lord, let me see

the ways to reach

those

who need more

love,

forgiveness,

peace,

healing,

deliverance

which you

abundantly give.

Let me lend as though

lending to You

not counting the cost

as you have freely

done for me.

You lent your blood,

your sweat,

your life

to cover all

my sin.

The Father sees

not me, but you

and bids me

enter in.

I can never repay you for this

immeasurable

gift,

but may I live my life

by faith

as a little child

to lend my hand,

my smile,

a warm embrace,

an encouraging word

in Your dear name,

Amen

January 28 Surely

Image

Image by Kevin Carden

Exodus 5:22-7:24;  Matthew 18:23-19:12;  Psalm 23:1-6;  Proverbs 5:22-23

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence

of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil,

my cup overflows.

Surely,

goodness and mercy will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.”

Psalm 23: 1-6

Surely.

He who calls me by my name and writes my name in the Book of Life–

Surely.

He who walks beside me on life’s path–

Surely.

He who provides me with daily bread–

Surely.

He who tends to my bruised and damaged soul–

Surely.

He who defends me to the end–

Will open the door to Heaven and let His sheep come in.

Lord God, thank you for being my Shepherd; for your love and mercy that follows on my heels; for giving more than I could ever imagine: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control all wrapped up in your Son Jesus Christ.  Thank you for never leaving me during the dark times, when shadows obscure my path.  I have felt your rod and staff nudging me–through Word and Sacrament–to stay near to you, to keep following your lead until I reach your home in Heaven.  In my Shepherd’s name I pray, Amen