3 Devotions based on upcoming Sunday (5th-After Pentecost) Scripture Readings
5th Sunday after Pentecost-Old Testament
TEXT: Zechariah 9:9-12
TITLE: Prisoners Set Free
“I will free your prisoners…Return to your fortress O prisoners of hope” Zech. 9:11-12
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Pastor during World War 2 and considered a dissident by the Nazi Regime and thus imprisoned at Buchenwald. He was finally led to the gallows at Flossenburg but in the midst of his hopeless situation and knowing he was about to die, Bonhoeffer confessed that the end of his life on this earth would be the beginning of his new life in heaven. Though behind iron doors, Bonhoeffer believed that he was already a free man through faith in Jesus Christ his Lord.
Not everyone knows what it feels like to be a prisoner, that is, behind bars. On the one hand, we’re all prisoners because of sin. We also live behind the bars of this fallen world apart from what scripture reminds us that- ‘heaven is our home.’ It’s fair to say all prisoners, inside walls or out experience loneliness, a sense of no control sometimes over their life’s circumstances, and even elements of depression and despair. At times, we do too. On the other hand, like Boenhoeffer; we too have been set free of chains of sin with its penalty of eternal death. When thoughts of their release date comes to mind for prisoners, they have one thought in mind-“I can’t wait!” We needn’t wait. We have that freedom and joy even now!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for word of truth and Jesus who has set us free. Help me in setting others free, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: Romans 7:14-25a
TITLE: Saints on Earth
“For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Rom.7:15
“Who’s’ on first, What’s on second, and ‘I don’t know’ is on third!” This classic comedy shtick was from the genius of the late, great Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. It was a funny, fast talking routine that made perfect sense if you knew ‘Who,’ ‘What,’ and ‘I don’t know’ as players and their prospective positions. But if you didn’t, like Costello in the routine, you were lost. If Paul had spoken the words of our text fast, we may have been lost as well. Try saying/reading this fast as you can:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do! For what I want to do, is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I do! Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it!
Whew! On the one hand, Paul had trouble understanding his own sinful condition. There’s a bit of comfort. For us understanding we’re no different than Paul; God’s apostle, for on the other hand, confessing and believing in Jesus Christ, also like Paul, we’re Saints! Though sinners, when wondering if we’re still Saints in God’s eyes, we needn’t say, “I don’t know.” Saints; that’s who and what we are!…No joke!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for making us Saints through Jesus. Help me in doing the same for others, in His Name, Amen.
TEXT: Matthew 11: 25-30
TITLE: The Yoke’s On Us
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and light” Matt.11:29
Boys Town, Omaha Nebraska has a statue of one boy carrying another boy on his shoulders and below it the inscription- “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.” Those words seem to have been inspired by the words of our text. Jesus is calling us to take His yoke and give ours to Him. It’s the mindset of the world to get by doing as little as possible for as much pay or reward as possible. The more burdens they can shake off on others, the better. Rather than feeling guilty, to the world it’s just one big joke. It’s sad, but one day the joke will be on them.
On the one hand for both believers and non, its true sharing a yoke with Jesus we share in His suffering and it’s not always easy, nor did He say it would be. That’s because of sin! Yet on the other hand, the beauty of being yoked with Jesus is He knows our burdens and strength levels and is forever helping and carrying us. The Bible says, “Apart from Me (Jesus) you can do nothing.” Our sins are too heavy for us to bear. Though sinless, Jesus willingly chose to bear our sins on the cross. By faith we recognize, “We don’t have to take His yoke, we want to and get to share it. Praise God, His yoke’s on us!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me strength that I might do Your bidding. Help me do so for the unbeliever as well and give glory to Your Name, in Jesus Name,