Thursday, August 15, 2013

Daily Devotional Thought--From the New Testament

Collect of the Week (Proper 14-C)
Almighty and merciful God, it is by Your grace that we live as Your people who offer acceptable service. Grant that we may walk by faith, and not by sight, in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Matthew 26:36-46 (Today’s Bible Story for the Family)
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray."  37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  38 Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch1 with me."  39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."  40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour?  41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."  42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."  43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.  44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.  45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Sleep and take your rest later on.1 See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

Catechism: The First & Second Commandments
What is the First Commandment?
            You shall have no other gods.
What does this mean?
            We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

What is the Second Commandment?
            You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
What does this mean?
            We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

In the name of T Jesus.

Prayer has been called the voice of faith.  In the Large Catechism, when commenting on the Second Commandment, Luther expresses a similar notion.  He writes, “The first things that spring from the heart and show themselves are words” (364:50).  So the words you speak reflect the faith in your heart.

If you have no other gods, and you fear, love, and trust in the one true God above all else, then it follows that you will call upon His name in every trouble.  When great tribulation comes your way, and you are overwhelmed, faith knows from whom your help will come, and so your pray.  When fear rises up in your heart, faith is certain of God’s promises, and pleads for the LORD to remind you of them.  When tragedy strikes, faith believes the Father is still who He says He is, and so you call upon His name, your pray, praise, and give thanks.

As the Father’s Son, Jesus teaches us how to keep these commandments.  Jesus never wavers from a trust in His Father’s will, and so, when He was in great anguish in the garden of gethsemane, He did what faith does—He prayed.  And not only once; Jesus prayed continually.  Three times he called upon the name of His Father, and three times He trusted in the Father’s will: “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Baptized into Christ, made members of the flock of faith, and knowing that we are children of the heavenly Father not only assures us of being heirs of the kingdom, but it gives us confidence to call upon the name of our Father in any and every trouble.  With faith that is certain that He is our true Father; that we are His true children; that Jesus is our brother; we have a name to call upon, and we are invited to call upon it with all boldness and confidence.  And in so doing, your prayers will be the voice of your certain, and confident faith.  In the name of T Jesus. Amen.

Hear us, Father, when we pray,
      Through Your Son and in Your Spirit.
By Your Spirit’s Word convey
      All that we through Christ inherit,
That as baptized heirs we may

      Truly pray (LSB, #773).

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