3 Devotions based on this upcoming Sunday’s (13th After Pentecost) Scripture Readings
Pentecost 13-Old Testament
TEXT: Jeremiah 15:15-21
TITLE: Lord, Make Me A Wall
“I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze” Jeremiah 15:20a
A young Pastor was once called to Alaska to minister among the Eskimo people. After his first sermon, he was elated as all the people warmly welcomed him and he felt his first sermon went well. The next day he found himself next to the church helping his Eskimo parishioners build an underground retaining wall for a septic tank. Hardly glamorous work! And because of the hard, tundra ground every shovel full was an effort. The Pastor frustratingly said to himself, “What am I doing here?” A few minutes later, one of his parishioners working next to him said, “Pastor, your words yesterday make my work a joy today!” “Really, what words?” the Pastor asked. “Whatever you do, in all things we do it for the Lord and His Glory,” said the parishioner. The Pastor smiled and nodded then quietly prayed a prayer asking God for forgiveness.
Walls! Not septic tank walls but spiritual walls; walls of inner strength and fortitude! Jeremiah needed such a wall. He was feeling weak and inadequate for the task the Lord had given him. Thus, the Lord spoke to him those words above. Those words are for you and me as well. God promises to give us the necessary strength we need to fulfill whatever purposes He has us. We too are made good walls through Christ!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Your constant presence and for the strength you give me, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: Romans 12:9-21
TITLE: Rebuilding Burned Bridges
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with one another.” Rom. 12:18
Bill and Sam were long-time friends; one married the other divorced. They had teen-age daughters, Gayle and Sarah, who were also good friends. One day, Sam brought home his girlfriend, Trixie, and introduced her to his daughter. Later that day, Trixie was moved in and Sarah was devastated. “He never brought us up that way!” Sarah lamented to Gayle. “I’ve talked to him about it but he just won’t listen,” she said. “I wonder if we could talk to your Dad. He respects your Dad and he’ll listen to him,” said Sarah. Bill listened to Sarah’s story then went to talk to Sam. Sam got furious! “Who do you think you are judging me?” Bill replied, “Sam, I’m not judging you. You’re my friend.” “WERE friends!” Sam shouted back angrily as he stomped off in a huff.
“If it’s possible!” Sometimes it’s not! “As long as it depends on you.” When the ball is in our court and it seems we’re the only one to rebuild burned bridges, we build. “If not possible,” either way, we go to God for mercy, guidance, and help. God’s promised to
hear and answer all prayers in Jesus Name. We can rest assured God will answer in His time and perfect Will. With God, all things are possible!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thy good and perfect will be done, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: Matthew 16:13-21
TITLE: What Good Is It?
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul.”
Not long ago, a number of professional football players ‘came out’ in regard to their use of steroids. They said their hope was to be bigger, faster, and stronger. They also hoped this would make them better players, make more money, and be idolized by the public. Now, because of their current health problems related to their steroid use, they claim it wasn’t worth it. They now hoped their poor health and testimony would serve as a warning to others that it’s just not worth it.
There’s another problem far worse! The forfeiture of one’s soul; a life guaranteed to be spent eternally weeping, wailing, and gnashing of one’s teeth! What good is it to be the biggest farmer in the county, or a star of stage and screen, or a great fisherman, winner of every tournament? And, in all these cases you forfeit your own soul? The answer is obvious-absolutely no good at all! It wouldn’t be worth it! None of the above activities are sinful unless they become more important than God. The Bible says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added.” What good it is to have faith in Jesus! The Bible’s right, we have blessings ‘added’ to our lives apart from the greatest blessing; our relationship with Jesus!
Dear Heavenly Father, help me fix my eyes on Jesus, in His Name, Amen.