3 Devotions based on upcoming Sundy’s (8th Sunday after Pentecost) Scripture Readings
8th Sunday After Pentecost-Old Testament
TEXT: Deuteronomy 7:6-9
“The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession.” Deuteronomy 7:6
I remember the time I answered an ad in the newspaper, “Puppies for sale.” Five black lab pups which outwardly, they all looked the same! My son and I watched the pups wrestle and play, still no distinguishing differences except this one pup always chose to be on the bottom during their scrapping together. Ike (as he came known to be) had a distinguishable trait of subservience; dog humility! On the one hand, we are humble and ashamed with our tail between our legs because of our sins. I often wonder how the other dogs turned out. But as for our new dog, we like Ike!
God chose Israel from all the nations to be His chosen people. If numbers and power was to be a reason for choice, Israel was by comparison, small. Still, God chose them. God is awesome in showing His power in weakness. The Bible says, “God is not a respecter of persons” meaning He loves us all the same. Jesus died, not just for Israel, but for the whole world. On the other hand, those who believe in Jesus are members of the ‘new Israel’ and are also chosen by God. Not because of their righteousness but because of His grace! There’s a special joy and peace knowing we’re chosen. We’re chosen because God loves us and chosen to fulfill a responsibility; to share God’s love and saving message with those yet chosen.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for choosing us, and grant us wisdom and words through Your Spirit to make disciples of all nations, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: Romans 8:28-39
TITLE: Blessed Assurance
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31b
That question can be understood a couple of ways. On the one hand, God says in His Word, “They hate you because they hate Me.” That’s from the sin in all of us! Unbelievers hate God/Jesus so they will hate us. We can think of many. For example; the devil, unbelievers, agnostics, atheists, radical anti-Christian groups and religions (just to mention a few), and although only some may admit it, they hate God. Why? One possible reason is they see God as harsh and a ‘rules-maker!’’; which rubs against their will which seeks to do their own thing. Hence, they are against Him. On the other hand in understanding this question; since Satan and his evil angels have already been defeated at Calvary, and there are no other gods, and the even less powerful-man can’t come close to competing with Him, then the answer is no one!…or nothing, nothing! Over the centuries, there are those who’ve tried, but always to no avail.
Just as nothing in all creation can separate us from the love God has for us in Christ Jesus our Lord, so nothing can be against us. These two great pillars of truth and promise are central pillars to our faith. They’re important especially when times get tough. For example, when someone’s lost their job, or a loved one, or they themselves are sick or have some great physical challenge; they have the blessed assurance that nothing
can defeat God; the very same God that dwells within us. This makes His Word true-“we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessed assurance we always have in You. Help us to share it with others, in Jesus Name, Amen.
8th Sunday After Pentecost-Gospel
TEXT: Matthew 13:44-52
TITLE: Our Priceless Treasure
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44
Have you ever said, “I’ve just got to have that!”? Whether it be a ring, or a house, or boat, or a chocolate fudge sundae! On the one hand it seems at that moment we can’t live without it. That’s because our impossible-to-fulfill-desire caused by sin in us! On the other hand, so it is with the kingdom of God. We need God and His kingdom and they’re something we truly can’t live without!
Historians note the practice of hiding treasure in ancient days was much more frequent due to wars and changes of rulers. Hence, a key point in this parable has always focused on the ‘finding’ of the treasure (kingdom of God). The field is without question, God’s Word and another equally key point is the securing ownership of the kingdom of God (the treasure). It’s in His Word we find this wonderful treasure and coupled by God’s gracious gift of faith; we now securely have ownership of God’s kingdom. That ownership includes our faith and all the rights and privileges of being a child of God in this world and the one to come. That one promises ownership of a ‘mansion’ God has prepared for us in His heavenly kingdom. What a priceless treasure!
Dear Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for our greatest treasure, faith in Your Son-Jesus! Help us to share Him with others, in His Name, Amen.