3 Devotions based on coming Sunday’s (6th Sun. after Pentecost) scripture readings
6th Sunday after Pentecost 6-Old Testament
TEXT: Isaiah 55:10-13
“So is my word that goes out of my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isa.55:11
Gideon’s is an international organization with the sole purpose of spreading the Word of God by printing and distributing Bibles worldwide. The verse above represents a type of
‘Cornerstone’ verse for their organization. They have recorded thousands upon thousands of testimonies of how God’s Word has changed the lives of individual or masses of people. In a sense, this verse is a personal cornerstone for every Christian. On the one hand, one verse from a Gideon’s Bible can change the life of an unbeliever(by God’s grace) to a believer! On the other hand, because of sin, the unbeliever can continue (by his choice) to be an unbeliever.
Most of those testimonies are of people just coming to faith. I’m one of those who was baptized and received the gift of faith as an infant. His Word began its work before I became of an age of accountability or reason. It has directed my life in such a way I had two careers; one a Parks and Recreation Administrator, the other as a Pastor. Currently, I’m disabled due to the effects of throat cancer. However, God’s Word continues to work His purpose in my life just as He does for you, dear reader. God began this good work in us and He promises to carry it out to its completion (Phil.1:3-6). Praise God for our cornerstone-His Word; a Word which never returns to Him without accomplishing its good purposes!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Your Word which is a power unto our salvation. Help me to use it to bring others to You, Amen.
6th Sunday after Pentecost-Epistle
TEXT: Romans 8:12-17
TITLE: Fulfilling Our Obligations
“Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation” Romans.8:12
We live in a world of obligations. On the one hand, we’re obligated to the government to pay taxes. We’re obligated to our employers to work and earn our wage. Children are obligated to obey their parents and parents are obligated to nurture and care for their children. And, we’re obligated to God because of our sins to walk rightly! As children of God, on the other hand we have Christian liberty, we’re under obligation. Simply put, we’re to fulfill our obligation living according to the Spirit. Our text says, “Not to the sinful nature,” but instead to the Holy Spirit who lives in us (vs.11).
On the one hand, we’re obligated to obey His Law, to take care of our physical bodies-His dwelling place, and to fulfill all our temporal obligations therein giving glory to His Name. on the other hand, our obligation comes more out of a desire or willingness to repay God for the debt His Son paid in our stead on the cross. We can never fulfill that obligation. We can only give thank Him for Jesus and His love. He has fulfilled our every obligation by His death and resurrection. Now we repay this obligation by reciprocating our love to Him who first loved us and in our willing obedience to His Word. To His children (believers) this obligation really is no obligation at all! Rather, it’s a joy, privilege, and a blessing.
Father, thank you for Your Spirit within to help me and others daily fulfill our obligations and to follow You, in Jesus Name, Amen.
6th Sunday after Pentecost-Gospel
TEXT: Matthew13:1-9, 18-23
TITLE: Good Dirt
“Then He told them many things in parables saying” Matt.13:3a
Dave Horn is a Christian singer/songwriter who wrote and sang a song entitled, “Good Dirt.” It contains a lyric-“Only God knows how to make you into “Good Dirt!” As Christians, by God’s grace, that is what we are-Good Dirt! Though we are good dirt, there are times we may feel like the other soils. On the one hand, times such as when God’s Word is offered and we’re just too busy or distracted by doing our own thing. (Rocky soil) Or, times when we’re given opportunity to express our faith or witness for Jesus and we shrivel up due to the heat of peer pressure or fear. (Shallow soil) Or, times when we get caught up in the sinful ways of the world and there’s no room to grow in our faith; we’re too busy. (Weed infested soil)
We all can get weak, run down, spiritually, emotionally, and physically drained and of ourselves our soil not only can be, but is worthless. But God is still the farmer! Finally, picture a planted field of amber grain flowing gracefully in the breeze of a warm, sunny day. That’s us as a result of the Farmer’s loving care and nurturance! On the other hand, we’re soil that bears fruit and in abundance! Through Jesus and His Word we’re made ‘Good Dirt!’
Dear Heavenly Father, may you make us fruitful in all we believe, think, do, and say, (Good Dirt!) and help us do the same for unbelievers by Your strength, in Jesus Name, Amen.