3 Devotions based on Sunday’s (9th after Pentecost) Scripture readings
9th Sunday After Pentecost-Old Testament
TEXT: Isaiah 55:1-5
TITLE: The Best Things in Life Are Free
“Come buy wine and milk, without money and without cost.” Isa.55:1b
Frank Sinatra once sang a song, “The Best Things in Life are Free.” On the one hand, that is true, because everything is His and it’s free including His grace! On the other hand, everything has a price and value, including our very souls. Our soul’s price cost Jesus His life, though it brought us freedom! Frank’s song contains the lyrics:
The moon belongs to everyone; the best things in life are free.
The stars belong to everyone; they gleam there for you and me.
The flowers in spring, the robins that sing,
The sunbeams that shine, they’re yours and mine.
Love can come to anyone; the best things in life are free.
That song actually was written around the period when the stock market crashed, the late-twenties. Time were hard, money was scarce. Our text speaks of a time and place where money and cost will never be an issue. Sounds like a paradise and it is! This paradise is not just hopeful words in a happy song, its real! In the meantime, it’s God who also provides His blessings to us in this life as well. Such things as big houses, yachts, fancy cars along with our basic needs; both can be blessings from God. The Bible does not say wealth or money is sinful, but rather the love of money. Though material things can be blessings, they’re temporal; they never last. The song has it right-the best things in life are free!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for our daily bread-all our spiritual and material blessings. Help us to share them with other, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: Romans 9:1-5 (6-13)
TITLE: A Heart for the Wayward
“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart…for the sake of my brothers.”
The committal service just finished and the Funeral Director placed a single rose from the spray on the casket into the mother’s hand. The people slowly began to shuffle away leaving her alone with her son for a final goodbye. From the river of tears she cried, her cheeks seemed like dried up mountain streams long after the spring rains had left. “I raised him to be a good boy and he always loved Sunday school,” she thought. “Why did he have to get into drugs, abandon his church and me. He never again was that little boy I once knew,” she thought as placed her hand on his casket and began to sob uncontrollably again.
On the one hand, a heart in great sorrow and bitter anguish; a heart much like Paul’s in the text for his strayed Jewish brothers because of sin. There’s nothing sadder than a loved one who’s strayed from His Lord and the fruits of his life display only spoil and rottenness. On the other hand, there is also no greater joy than like the father in Jesus’ parable of prodigal son. The son to whom his father, upon seeing he returned, ran and embraced him with love and compassion. That’s a love that never changes from a Heavenly Father for His children.
Dear Heavenly Father, remember name of someone to whom you’re concerned for their spiritual well being. Draw him unto Yourself, in Jesus Name, Amen.
9th Sunday After Pentecost-Gospel
TEXT: Matthew 14:13-21
TITLE: ‘No Way’ and ‘Yes Way’ Sandwiches
“We have here only five loaves and two fish.” Matt.14:17
Coming home from a meeting one night I asked my wife who was watching a Twins game the score. She replied, “7 to 1, Twins down.” I said, “What are you watching that for, they’re beat!” She said, “No they aren’t, they’ll come back!” I said, “No way!” Sure enough, they came back and won! I had to eat my words. A ‘No way’ sandwich! I can’t help but think the disciples had to eat a ‘no way’ sandwich as well when they considered Jesus feeding the 5000 plus with just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.
There can be situations and problems in our lives that seem insurmountable. We wonder how we’ll overcome them and all we can think is ‘no way!’ It could be someone who lost their job and they’re down to their last dollar, or someone with a disability and thinks their life’s over and there’s no way they can be happy again. Though they may think, ‘no way,’ Jesus is The Way and He’s in the ‘Yes way’ business! Jesus has called us to ‘ask, seek, and knock.’ He promises to answer our prayers; everyone according to His perfect will! We may ask, “What if it takes a miracle?” With God, we know all things are possible. In our hunger to survive each day in a world full of strife we simply go to Jesus and He feeds us…’Yes way sandwiches!’
Dear Heavenly Father, grant me wisdom to believe Your Grace is always sufficient in Jesus Name, Amen.