Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Daily Devotional Thought--For Wednesday

Collect of the Week (Proper 18-C)
O merciful Lord, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all. Grant us courage and strength to take up the cross and follow Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Matthew 6:33-34 (Congregation at Prayer verse of the Week)
7 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Catechism: The Ninth & Tenth Commandments
What is the Ninth Commandment?
            You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
What does this mean?
            We should fear and love God so that we do scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

What is the Tenth Commandment?
      You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
What does this mean?
      We should fear and love God so that we do not entice or force away our neighbor’s wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty.

In the name of T Jesus.

A heart that covets is a heart that is anxious.  And until that covetous heart has what it is that it covets, anxiety will persist.

On the other hand, a heart that fears, loves, and trusts in God above all things, is a heart that will not be anxious about tomorrow.  And while that heart trusts in the LORD above all things, and for all things, there will be no anxiety.  Where there is faith, there is not anxiety.

And now, I imagine, you are confused.  You are confused because, if you are honest, you know that you have a heart that experiences anxiety over things you desire and don’t yet have.  But at the same time, as a forgiven child of God who knows and trusts the Father’s will, you that you have also experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding, knowing that “sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  So which are you?  Covetous and anxious?  Or full of faith and contentment?

The truth is, you’re both!

Even the Christian experiences both realities occurring in him or her.  According the Law of God, we have to admit that we desire what we don’ have, and that we are often anxious until we get it.  That simply reveals the truth that, while we remain in the flesh, our sinful nature exists and is at work in the desires of our heart.

But…at the very same time, according to the Gospel and the forgiveness, life, and salvation that are freely bestowed upon you in Baptism, the preaching of the Gospel, and even in the giving of the Holy Communion; according to this proclaimed Good News, you are also a new creation; the old has gone, behold, the new has come—now there is faith.  And the faith that exists within you is the part of you that is satisfied and content with what the LORD has given you.  That’s the part of you that can say, without your fingers crossed, and will the full conviction of faith, “I know the LORD will provide all that I need.”

You may recall the man who said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”  This confession is on our lips when we confess, “Lord, I am content with what I have; help me to no longer covet.”  Forgiven sinners, we learn to seek first His kingdom, and to trust that all the things we need will be given unto us. 

In the name of T Jesus.

Lord Jesus, help me speak the truth in all my conversations and testimony. Amen (TLSB, 1588).

Daily Prayer (For Wednesday)
We pray…for marriage and family, that husbands and wives, parents and children live in ordered harmony according to the Word of God; for parents who must raise children alone; for our communities and neighborhoods.

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