Devotions based on upcoming 3 scripture readings for 6th week of Easter

EASTER 6-1st Lesson                                                                 

TEXT: Acts 17:16-31

TITLE: “Chip Off the Old Block”

 

As some of your own poets say, ‘We are His offspring.’” Acts 17:28

 

We’ve often heard the expressions; “He’s a chip off the old block,” or “Like father like son!” The Bible says we have been created in the ‘image of God.” An image to the Athenians meant a block of stone or something made by human hands. Paul instead says, “We are His offspring” or in other words, ‘Like Father like Son’ of the living God. The Bible says, “No one has seen God.” Yet, we have seen God by His Word and through Jesus Christ. God is spirit, God is love. So it is with us as well. We possess free will, reason, faith, and all God’s spiritual gifts-more Godly chips! However, when it comes to sin, we have a problem for the image breaks down. Since God is sinless, the chip off the old block takes on an image of its own!

 

On the one hand, we are all chip’s off God’s own block being His sinless children He made perfect then redeemed us through Jesus on the cross because on the other hand we were sinners! Paul’s message to the Athenians in the fewest words possible was, “Repent,” for “There is a day coming when He will judge the world with justice.” Yet, our God is personal; He loves and forgives. Paul also spoke of the resurrection and because He lives, we too shall live. Why? Because that chip off the old block image has been perfectly restored through

the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. The Bible also says, “We’re being transformed into His image.” That’s how and its now! We’re chips off the old block!

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for making me Your own. Help me in making others Your own as well, in Jesus Name, Amen.  

 

 

EASTER 6-Epistle

1 Peter 3:13-22

TITLE: Good Suffering

 

“It is better, if it is God’s Will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Pet.3:17

 

Inquiring minds want to know, “When is suffering ever good?” A serviceman is severely wounded while serving our country or, a person mocked and put down by peers or friends for taking a Christian stand on an issue or, as an elderly person, having to deal with the problems and pain of old age by simply living from day to day.! There are a million scenarios of common everyday Christians who quietly suffer for good. On the one hand, our suffering is painful and it hurts because we are all sinners and we even deserve far worse…the everlasting flames of hell! On the other hand, Jesus suffered for us on the cross so we wouldn’t have to ever experience hell! Now our suffering is intended for our good; to teach and test us, and have us rely on God for His help!

 

God knows the pain of that torn flesh of the serviceman. God knows shame and hurt of being mocked, and God knows what it’s like not to be able to do the things you used to do, and the pain and stiffness in your joints and what faded beauty and strength mean to an elderly person. God knows! And because He knows, He didn’t say He’d automatically take the suffering away from us, but He did promise He would see us through. Our suffering is good because even if it’s only Jesus who knows. It’s good because it’s a type of shared suffering with Christ, whose suffering meant good for us all. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, may Your peace and strength sustain us amidst our suffering; not ‘if’ it happens but ‘when, ’it happens, and may I share this suffering ‘wisdom’ with others that they may suffer in ‘faith,’ in Jesus Name, Amen
 

EASTER 6-Gospel                                                             

TEXT: John 14:15-21

TITLE: No More Orphans

 

I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.”  John 14:18

 

One of the saddest feelings for anyone is the feeling of being alone and unloved. That feeling often goes handed in hand with orphans. The story of Little Orphan Annie is an exception. In the early 30’s, the Little Orphan Annie story was featured on radio. The following are a few lyrics of a song which introduced the program:

“Who’s that little chatter box,

The one with the pretty auburn locks,

Always wears a sunny smile, Now wouldn’t it be worth a while,

If you could be-

Like Lil’ Orphan Annie?”

 

On the one hand, we all deserve to be left alone and separated from God for our sins! On the other hand, Jesus died for those sins and brought us in a close relationship with Him and His Father! It would be nice to ‘always’ wear a sunny smile, but we don’t; and God knows every reason why we don’t. Little Orphan Annie’s frown changed to a smile when she come to be the child of Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks. We have always been God’s children. Though most of us may not be orphans, we still have feelings of being alone, uncared for, unloved; God knows. Jesus anticipates these times and feelings for both the disciples and us in speaking the words of our text. In our lowest times of loneliness He comes to us. His promise is He’s always with us. We find Him in His Word and Sacrament as well as in our hearts of faith-His gift. With Jesus, there’s no such thing as orphans!

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for making me one of Your children for all eternity, help me in keeping unbelievers as orphans from You, in Jesus Name, Amen.