October 28 Makeover

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Photo by Jessica Deaton

Jeremiah 5:54-52:34;  Titus 3:1-15;  Psalm 100:1-5;  Proverbs 26:18-19

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.”  Titus 3:3-6

Before and after pictures of makeovers intrigue us, whether they capture hair, backyards or kitchens.  “Before” pictures display obvious need for improvement and some sort of challenge to overcome.  “After” pictures capture the results of  effort, expertise and time.

St. Paul encouraged his co-worker, Titus, to remind the believers in his care of their “before and after” condition–that being made a child of God through Baptism was their ultimate makeover.

Christ living in us transforms our self-centered lives.  Knowing our sins are forgiven rearranges our spiritual landscape and makes it beautiful in God’s sight.  And spiritual gifts given to us equip us for “every good work”.

Today, remember that you are a miraculous, grace-filled makeover!

Lord God, we thank you for transforming our sin-stained lives through the saving work of your Son, Jesus Christ.  Thank you for loving and caring for us enough to not leave us in our “before” condition.  Thank you for giving us the “after” picture through the gift of faith.  Help us to live our lives in such a winsome way that your name may be praised and that others may be drawn to your Truth.  We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Know that the Lord is God.

It is He who made us,

and we are His.

We are his people,

the sheep of His pasture…

For the Lord is good

and His love endures forever,

His faithfulness through

all generations.”

Psalm 100: 3,5

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October 27 His Very Own

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Photo by Tim Pirfalt

Jeremiah 51:1-54;  Titus 2:1-15;  Psalm 99:1-9;  Proverbs 26:17

 

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions,

and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of

our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us

to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself

a people that are his very own,

eager to do what is good.”

Titus 2:11-14

In our church today we celebrated the Reformation that began in 1517 with the German monk, Martin Luther.  Luther learned that there was nothing he could do to purify himself to make himself acceptable in God’s eyes.  He learned from Scripture that it was by faith alone in Jesus Christ who gave his life on the Cross for him that made him pleasing to the Father in Heaven.   Luther realized that Jesus had made him his very own–and whatever good he desired to do it was out of gratitude for what Christ had done for him–not works to earn God’s favor, but works to give glorious thanks to God the Father.   As Christ’s very own we celebrate as Luther celebrated–we are saved by grace!  God’s gracious favor rests upon us by faith.  Let us serve and do good with thankful hearts!

Lord God, you are our Mighty Fortress.  Just as you gave assurance to Martin Luther that faith in your Son Jesus Christ delivered him from sin, death and the devil, may we live our lives assured of the same.  Thank you, not only for Martin Luther, but for all the faithful ministers of Your Word since him who have remained faithful to sound teaching.  Continue to bless our churches with the clear proclamation of the Gospel.   For Jesus’ sake, we pray, Amen.

“The Lord reigns,

let the nations tremble,

he sits enthroned between the cherubim,

let the earth shake.

Great is the Lord in Zion;

he is exalted over all the nations.

Let them praise your great and awesome name–

he is holy.”

Psalm 99:1-3