Archive for March, 2018

Reading Ramblings – April 1, 2018

March 25, 2018

Reading Ramblings

Date: Easter Sunday ~ April 1, 2018

Texts: Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8

Context: He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! This has been the joyful Easter mantra for the people of God for 2000 years, and we raise it again this morning. The tomb is empty. Many good men and women have died and are fondly remembered or completely lost to memory. But only one prophesied not only his death but his miraculous resurrection from the dead after three days. Only one person has prophesied such a bold and miraculous thing and had it come true. The Christian faith is anchored in this assertion, that the fulfillment of Jesus’ prediction of his death and resurrection is a validation of all that Jesus said and did, most importantly that He is no less than the divine Son of God who comes to die in so that we might receive forgiveness and reconciliation to God the Father (John 3:16). Christianity is the only religion in the world that anchors its truth claims in a historical and geographical event. Only Christianity offers four testimonies to the truth of this momentous event. And only Christianity invites others to believe not simply the testimony of one or two people, but the affirmations of literally hundreds of witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6). It is possible that every religion in the world is wrong and a lie. It is possible that one religion is true and all the others are false. It is not possible that every religion (or even more than one) can be true. For those who search, begin with Christianity for the strongest evidence. If that evidence isn’t enough, look through whatever other religions you like in whatever order you choose because you will never receive more concrete reason for faith and belief than in the Gospel texts that attest to the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead.

Isaiah 25:6-9 – What beautiful, tangible verses of hope. The Lord will provide through his strength and power (the imagery of a mountain). He will provide for our temporal needs of the body through a glorious banquet of his created blessings in food and drink. He will provide for our greatest existential struggle – the issue of death that haunts us every day of our lives. He will provide for our emotional well being by healing our hurts and drying our tears and removing the guilt we carry for all the things we have done or said or thought but shouldn’t have (or conversely, should have but didn’t!). And He will provide for our greatest theological need – reconciliation with himself, the vindication of those who placed their hope and confidence in him. These are the promises of our God. He will tend to all of our needs. He has already begun this through the victory of his Son made human, Jesus, in his victory over temptation and sin and Satan and death itself. It truly is finished, and all that remains is the unveiling of the new reality the empty tomb of Jesus has inaugurated.

Psalm 16 – What begins as a psalm pleading for the Lord’s protection and salvation (v.1) ends as a psalm of praise and thanksgiving not only for what God may yet do but for what God has done and is doing even now (vs.10-11). Certainly life is hard and we are often beset with challenges of all forms and types. God does not promise us a life free from these challenges but rather promises to be with us in the midst of them and ultimately to grant us deliverance from them and victory over them. As such, we endure in hope and joy knowing that the best is yet to come, and whether our temporary situation improves or not does not in any way limit or negate God’s promises in eternity. We are led then at times to laugh in the face of adversity and in the face of those who seek to harm us. Their power is so fragile and fleeting and ultimately insubstantial! What joy the people of God should have at all times. Not necessariy giddy, goofy, silly happiness, but joy. The deep abiding peace of knowing that whatever this is, this too shall pass.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11 – Paul does a masterful job at summarizing the core of the Gospel and at the same time encouraging his readers and hearers to validate his message for themselves. Paul is not creating some pleasant story – he is faithfully conveying what he received (v.3) – and that from Christ himself! First off, there is a purpose in Christ’s death beyond what the Jewish and Roman leadership intended. His death was not accidental but rather intentional – less an execution than a sacrifice through which our sins are forgiven. He did die, He was buried, and He did rise again from the dead on the third day. He then appeared to many people – his followers and inner circle, but also to hundreds of others – as many as 500 in one event (15:6). And those people are still around and can confirm what Paul asserts. Do we think that nobody did this? That nobody had the sense or skepticism to inquire further? Rather, I assume that many did, and found out that what Paul claims is what others claimed – Jesus died and then was alive again, and that they saw him with their own eyes and heard him with their own ears. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Mark 16:1-8 – While the rest of Mark 16 is strongly suspect as a later addition, the first eight verses are acknowledged as reliable in the oldest manuscripts we have. Mark is sometimes criticized for his brevity regarding the resurrection, but this is unfair critique. First of all, Mark’s entire gospel has been very concise and to the point. Secondly, Mark is writing to and for people who are already well aware that Jesus rose from the dead. That’s why they’re interested in the rest of his life. The resurrection is the lead-off to why someone would want to know more about this itinerant rabbi, and that holds true today as it did in the middle of the first century, just a short time after the events Mark describes.

I spend a lot of time talking with people and answering (some) of their questions about the Christian faith and the Bible. There are many things we would like to know. Some things can be known and others can’t. But ultimately, the one thing we must come to grips with is the assertion that a man who claimed to be divine and dying on our behalf not only died, but came back to life again as he said he would. No matter what else we do or don’t know, this central claim stands 2000 years later and this is really the only question we have to resolve in our minds. Is this true? Is this true for me? If not, on what grounds do we reject these historical testimonies? On our assumption that such things can’t be true? And on what basis do we rest our assumption that such things can’t be true?

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

YFA – March 25, 2018

March 25, 2018
A Weekly Devotional Resource
  • Sunday – Reflect On This Morning’s Sermon & Service
  • Monday – Old Testament –  Isaiah 25:6-9
    • Who is doing all the actions in these verses?
    • What is our response to be (v.9)?
  • Tuesday – Epistle – 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
    • Where did Paul get his gospel (v.3; Galatians 2:2)?
    • What are the items of first importance, according to Paul (vs.3-4)?
  • Wednesday – Gospel – Mark 16:1-8
    • Who is the young man in v.5 (Matthew 28:5)?
    • Why do you think the women were afraid?
  • Thursday – Psalm – Psalm 16
    • What is our beautiful inheritance even in times of trouble (v.6)?
    • What is our ultimate hope in Christ (v.10)?
  • Friday – Luther’s Small Catechism – The Lord’s Prayer 2nd Petition
    • What do you think is the purpose of the 2nd petition?
    • What specific reason do you have to pray this petition?
  • Saturday – Hymn – Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
    • Why is this our triumphant holy day (v.1)?
    • When does Jesus’ kingship begin (v.3)?



Reading Ramblings – March 25, 2018

March 18, 2018

Reading Ramblings

Date: Palm Sunday – March 25, 2018

Texts: Zechariah 9:9-12; Psalm 118:19-29; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47

Context: The sixth Sunday in Lent is the beginning of Holy Week and is commonly referred to as Palm Sunday, though it has gone by many different names in different languages and places and times. The celebration likely has it’s roots in Jerusalem, and passing references to what might be the earliest incarnations of this day are found as early as the late 4th century. The tone is celebratory, as it should be every Sunday even in the season of Lent, a mini-reflection of Easter Sunday, but the tone is heightened. For a brief moment, our Lord receives the praise and adulation which He will enjoy through all eternity. Even in the midst of sin-streaked creation, broken and confused and frightened friends and family, Jesus receives the bitter-sweet and fickle welcome of God’s creation. It is both beautiful and tragic. But we need to be careful not to let the tragic elements overwhelm the reality beneath them. Jesus is no victim – not in the sense that we understand this. Jesus comes willingly, obediently, and intentionally. He comes not to be the victim, but to be the sacrificial offering through which the power of Satan and sin and death are ultimately undone. That this is even necessary is the tragic aspect.

Zechariah 9:9-12 – This chapter follows a chapter that predicts the peace and prosperity of God’s people. It’s beautiful, but the problem is that God’s people have enemies, and it isn’t until these enemies are dealt with that the peace and blessing of God can be enjoyed properly. So Zechariah 9 opens with oracles of judgment against the enemies of God’s people. These are characterized by geographical areas and by extension the rulers and powers that are centered there: DamascusTyre, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, Philistia. Familiar enemies of God’s people, continued thorns in the side of God’s land and people of Israel. But at verse 9 we meet the reason why these enemies will be destroyed – the King of God’s people has come! Who is the right king of God’s people? God himself, as He established himself in the Exodus. In 1 Samuel 8:7 God makes it clear that He has been his people’s king, but in asking for a human king they reject his authority and in such a rejection will follow all the calamity and strife that will fill much of the rest of the Old Testament. So the king celebrated in Zechariah 9 can only be a divine king, God himself. And it is God who will destroy the enemies of God’s people, and this will need to be not just empires and kings and regions and cities, but the very source of strife and struggle in creation – Satan, sin, and death. Only then can God’s people truly live in hope and joy, in peace and prosperity.

Psalm 118:19-29 – This is a jubilant song of praise and confidence in the Lord’s provision and victory. The verses particularly assigned for today are the words of a conquering king entering into his victorious city. The words might be heard as just the words of the conquering king entering his royal city, giving thanks to God for deliverance and salvation (v. 21). But it also makes sense as a dialogue between the king and his people, as they acknowledge the miraculous salvation God has accomplished through an unlikely or overlooked resource (v.22). It is the nature of this victory that is glorifying to God – He accomplishes it in a way nobody expected or would have looked for. What God accomplishes in his victory is then extended to his people. They inherit the blessings of his victory over all those who opposed and stood against him. The psalm ends as it begins, in thanksgiving and praise to a victorious God, and is hauntingly appropriate to be quoted by the people welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday, who likely had dim if any understanding of just how appropriate this psalm was for that day and that king!

Philippians 2:5-11 – The welcome Jesus received that first Palm Sunday might have been enough to make even the most level-headed of us a bit drunk or giddy on the euphoria. Who could blame Jesus if He had gotten caught up in the adulation? Had welcomed and encouraged it, had urged the people on to higher and greater praise? Had formed and guided the swell of praise and excitement into a tool to sweep him into Jerusalem with the promise of political or religious power? But Jesus remains calm amidst the praise. He does not condemn it but He does not encourage it. It sweeps around and past him and He remains centered and calm in the midst of it. It is not for this that He has come, and He knows that his true glory will arrive in the least likely and most undesirable of means – through his total humiliation and defeat, his physical and psychological and emotional abuse that will culminate in hanging naked to die in full view of everyone. The praise is fleeting. His eye is on the real victory and celebration that will come with the tomb is broken open and He walks out free and alive and victorious. It is this we should keep in mind and model our lives after. Going viral or reaching the heights of public office or corporate success is not our goal. Our goal is the victory that will come in the least desirable or admirable of ways – through the death of our bodies in one manner or another. A death that reduces us to nothing in the eyes of the world, but in faith in Jesus Christ leads us to the highest glories and honors and victories in him.

Mark 14:1-15:47 – I like the tradition of reading the entire account of Holy Week on Palm Sunday. It provides an overview, a context for everything that will follow. The various services during the week will highlight specific moments – a dinner here, death, burial, resurrection. Moments brought out in bright relief like specific aspects of the landscape at night illuminated by lightning. But the Palm Sunday reading is a survey of the entire landscape in mid-afternoon. We see things in relationship to each other, in proportion. It is part of the blessing of hindsight that we can see things like this, caught up momentarily in the emotions of sacrifice and loss but always in the light of the empty tomb on Easter morning.

YFA – March 18, 2018

March 18, 2018
A Weekly Devotional Resource
  • Sunday – Reflect on Today’s Service & Sermon
  • Monday – Old Testament Lesson – Zechariah 9:9-12
    • Who is the king referred to in v.9, based on v.10?
    • Why is this passage read on Palm Sunday?
  • Tuesday – Epistle Lesson – Philippians 2:5-11
    • What mind is it that you strive to have based on vs.5-7?
    • How is it possible for you to have this mind (v.5)?
  • Wednesday – Gospel Lesson – Mark 14:1-15:47
    • How long a Bible passage can you read before losing focus?
    • Why were people plotting to kill Jesus (vs.1-2)?
  • Thursday – Psalm – Psalm 118:19-29
    • Who do you think the speaker is in this section?
    • How will you rejoice and be glad in this day (v.24)?
  • Friday – Luther’s Small Catechism – The Lord’s Prayer 1st Petition
    • How will you hallow  God’s name today?
    • Why does Luther link hallowing with obedience?
  • Saturday – Hymn – All Glory, Laud and Honor
    • How does Jesus come in the Lord’s name (v.1)?
    • How do you feel knowing you are worshiping with the angels (v.2)?

Grinding Back Into Gear

March 15, 2018

At some point I have to listen to my own sermons and apply Scripture to myself.  Zinzendorf’s mantra keeps running through my head.  Preach the Gospel.  Die.  Be Forgotten.  This is what I’m called to do, blessed to do, challenged to do.  And there have certainly been more challenges this year than I’ve had in a while!  As such, I haven’t felt much like sharing here, and it didn’t seem to be something helpful for myself.  However, I’d like to think that in some small ways, this blog helps me to share the Gospel.  Helps me to think through the application of God’s grace in my life and the world around me and find my place in the midst of all of that.  Perhaps it’s even helpful at times to others.   And if so, it’s time to shake off the debris and get back to the work at hand.

That means I need to finish my project regarding alcohol and Scripture, among other things.  And I need to get back to being myself to the best of my ability, knowing that I can’t speak to everyone, so I’ll continue to speak to those who will listen and pray the Holy Spirit’s blessing and guidance towards that end.

Soli Deo Gloria. 


Reading Ramblings – March 18, 2018

March 11, 2018

Reading Ramblings

Date: Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 18, 2018

Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 119:9-16; Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:32-45

Context: As we draw closer to the end of Lent, our thoughts begin to direct themselves to the sacrifice of Jesus through which our sins are forgiven and the power of the Law to condemn us is broken. Something new comes into place to replace the temporary program of sacrifices that God instituted with his creation. A final sacrifice is necessary to end all further sacrifices and to make good all sacrifices that came before. This will make possible a new state of things between God and his creation, a new state worked in individual hearts. In that arrangement the typical things we struggle for in life – respect, power, prestige – mean nothing. The need to constantly assert ourselves for our own benefit is replaced by the ability to receive the highest honor possible – being fully and completely ourselves, free of sin and death – by receiving the gift of God in his Son. Jesus’ unique nature as truly human and truly divine makes this uniquely possible. His sacrifice can be conveyed perfectly to us, achieving in us the perfect results impossible under any other high priest or with any other sacrificial offering.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 – A new day is anticipate, one in which God’s Word won’t need to be taught, but rather will be known and recognized in the individual heart. This covenant will be unlike the one at Mt. Sinai, which God’s people had to be repeatedly reminded of and called back to. This covenant will be characterized not by the requirements of the law but rather by forgiveness and grace. The former covenant could be broken – and was. But this covenant will not be, as it consists ultimately not of perfect obedience but perfect forgiveness from God.

Psalm 119:9-16 – The great acrostic psalm takes up the theme of God’s word in each stanza. Beth is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each of the lines in this stanza start with a word that begins with the letter beth. Certainly it isn’t only the young man that should be concerned with guarding his way, but here David uses his own experience as an exhortation to others. There are many forms and sources of alleged wisdom in our world, but only one of them is truly and completely reliable – the wisdom that comes from God and specifically the wisdom provided in his Word. These are the reliable precepts we may trust, against which every other source of wisdom should be tested.

Hebrews 5:1-10 – Hebrews works to flesh out the role of Jesus to humanity, and takes on subjects such as his authority compared to angels as well as his function as the great and final High Priest. Earthly high priests are limited in their efficaciousness by their own mortality and their own sinfulness. Their sacrifices can never be fully pure or holy. The office of High Priest is a human office to which in theory no person should aspire towards for their own personal pride or vanity, though of course by the time this letter is written in the mid-late first century, there were plenty of examples in Jewish history of people doing exactly this. Jesus, however, is called perfectly by God the Father into this role, a role He could carry out perfectly because of his perfect obedience. Therefore when Jesus is called upon not simply to offer a sacrifice but to be the sacrifice, his sacrifice is pure and perfect and holy, and that pureness and perfection and holiness is credited to those who believe and follow him. The final reference to Melchizedek, a shadowy figure from Genesis 14:17-24, is a source of endless fascination and speculation. Is Jesus actually Melchizedek, or more accurately, is Melchizedek actually a prefigurement of Jesus? Paul’s language here is ambiguous and doesn’t clearly assert this as a divinely-revealed truth.

Mark 10:32-45 – Jesus comes not to fulfill our ideas about glory and power. Jesus foretells his death for the third and final time in Mark’s account, and this immediately gives rise not to pious meditation on the suffering servant of God, but rather on speculation as to how Jesus’ victory and honor will be shared amongst his inner circle. This certainly sounds crass and selfish, though of course it mirrors much of our own desire for power and recognition, and much of our understanding of the life of faith. Our obedience and faith will be rewarded with and in eternal life with our Creator God. But it will not consist in the relative lording over one another of our particular level of faith. It will not be a reward to distinguish us and our obedience but rather a reward that first and foremost honors God who makes it possible. The only distinction in heaven will be the glory of God the Son due to his full and perfect obedience to God the Father’s plan of salvation, a plan that calls for his own sacrificial death. James and John cannot share in this plan – they cannot drink the same cup that is prepared for Jesus. It isn’t purely a matter of faithfulness or willingness but the reality of their sinfulness that makes this impossible.

YFA – March 11, 2018

March 11, 2018
A Weekly Devotional Resource
  • Sunday – Meditate on this morning’s service & sermon
  • Monday – Old Testament – Jeremiah 31:31-34
    • How is this new covenant created (Luke 22)?
    • How has God written his Law on our hearts?
  • Tuesday – Epistle – Hebrews 5:1-10
    • How does the role of priest/pastor differ from Jesus’ role today?
    • What was the ultimate nature of the Son’s obedience (v.8)?
  • Wednesday – Gospel – Mark 10:32-45
    • How complete is Jesus’ prediction of his betrayal and death?
    • Why do you think the other disciples are indignant (v.41)?
  • Thursday – Psalm 119:9-16
    • How do you store up God’s Word in your heart (v.11)?
    • How do you meditate on God’s precepts (v.15)?
  • Friday – Luther’s Small Catechism – The Lord’s Prayer Introduction
    • Who is this prayer addressed to?
    • What does it mean to say that God is in heaven?
  • Saturday – (LSB #436) – Go to Dark Gethsemane
    • How is Gethsemane a source of strength against temptation (v.1)?
    • What are we called to experience as his followers (v.2)?



Reading Ramblings – March 11, 2018

March 4, 2018

Reading Ramblings

Date: Fourth Sunday in Lent – March 11, 2018

Text: Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 107:1-9; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21

Context: Past the halfway mark in Lent, it’s easy to start thinking ahead to Easter. But we need to take our time. Give ourselves time to immerse ourselves in the waiting, the anticipation, and the reflection that should stem from what comes ahead. But this requires remembering why the events of Holy Week came to pass. Not just the victorious empty tomb, but the cross and the burial beforehand. The death of Jesus is not a tragic accident but rather wrapped into a divine plan to rescue creation from sin and death and our ancient enemy, Satan. This is not something we can accomplish on our own, but rather must trust solely in God’s gracious goodness for our reconciliation, just as the snake-afflicted Israelites had to trust to a rather strange sculpture in the center of camp to save them from the venomous bites. The life, death, resurrection, ascension, and promised return of the Son of God all have a purpose – the salvation of creation and the glory of God.

Numbers 21:4-9 – Impatience and ingratitude are hallmarks of people, and certainly when in a group feelings of discontent can quickly bubble into dangerous situations. Quickly forgotten are the children murdered by the Egyptians, or the horrible demands made of the Israelites in order to work them to death. Now they are no longer amazed by the miraculous appearance of manna every morning. They weary of wandering. God’s reaction is swift. If they prefer death in Egypt, He can certainly oblige them without all the hassle of journeying back to Egypt. Venomous snakes infiltrate the Israelite camp, and those who complained against the goodness of God now wail in the midst of divine judgment. But in the midst of this the people recognize their fault and repent, and God forgives them and offers them life and mercy instead of the death they were demanding in their stupidity so recently. God’s righteousness requires that evil be punished for what it is, but God’s mercy insists that where there is repentance, punishment should not be given. What happens on a small scale in the middle of the desert 3400 years ago or so is played out on the cosmic stage 2000 years ago with the death and resurrection of the Son of God.

Psalm 107:1-9 – Hundreds of years later, the psalmist captures what the appropriate response of God’s people should have been to rescue from slavery and genocide and miraculous sustenance in the wilderness! The author may have this period of history in mind, and it certainly is right to praise God for his goodness to his people in the past. Yet we are also called to offer praise here and now for his continued presence and work in our lives and in his creation. Perhaps it is more often than not easier to look backwards to see God’s grace than to see it here and now. It is easier when the unpleasantness or discomfort of the moment passes to paint God’s work in a glowing haze, obscuring the fuller picture of our sinful responses in the moment. We are called by God’s goodness to his people in the past to expect and look for his goodness to us today, creating a chain of praises to God that extend throughout creation history.

Ephesians 2:1-10 – What are our complaints against God? How has He failed us? In what way has He deprived us of any good thing? God has answered our most primal need – addressing not the material wants and needs that occupy so much of our time and energy, but rather our deepest spiritual and existential crises – our brokenness and separation from God resulting in death. So deep is our brokenness that we put off these issues, this disjunct at the center of our being and our existence, content to be distracted and misled by the prince of the power of the air – insubstantial but convincing all the same. In our foolish distractions we continue in the wrath of God. It is from this that we have been saved, for this that we are to give God thanks and praise. It is these deepest issues that are at the center of our new life in Christ and to God’s glorious praise. While we still deal with the reality of sin and death in our world, we do so in the assurance and hope that these are transitory things, and that all things are, in fact, being remade new in Christ. We couldn’t accomplish this. We were dead in our sin, unable to save ourselves. We can only receive what God is doing through Jesus Christ in awe and gratitude and praise, as well as in transformed lives where we are now truly able to love one another in meaningful and holy ways.

John 3:14-21 – Jesus meets at night with Nicodemus, a pharisee and likely a member of the Sanhedrin – the Jewish religious authority that still was granted nominal authority under the Romans to attend to matters of doctrine and practice of the Jewish faith. Nicodemus is mentioned several times in John’s gospel but not in the other gospels. The fact that he meets Jesus at night may not be so much an effort to be covert as it is a demonstration of Jesus’ popularity – it was difficult to get any one-on-one time with Jesus during the day, when He was the object of the admiration and curiosity and delight of the crowds He healed and taught. Today’s reading picks up with Jesus drawing the parallel between what God does for his people in Numbers 21 and what God will do through his chosen suffering servant, the Son of Man.

The Old Testament is history, to be sure. But as God works throughout all of history, He is able to weave in and through it patterns and themes that repeat. And in terms of Biblical history, those patterns and the specific events anticipate the coming of the Son of God who would suffer and die for creation. We read the Bible for history – family history at that! – but also to help guide us as we continue to watch and wait for God’s fulfillment of his promise to us in Christ’s return. This prompts Jesus’ response to Nicodemus’ incredulity. If Nicodemus knew his Scripture as more than history, he would not be so perplexed by the person and work of Jesus.

Towards this end Jesus clarifies – as the serpent in Numbers 21, Jesus is not sent as a punishment but rather as a rescue. He is grace, not the Law. The Law is already here and does it’s work of convicting us and pointing us towards death, just as surely as the serpents did. Jesus comes only as grace, the alternative to the death we are already headed towards. The serpent’s venom has done it’s work and it only remains as to whether we will accept the free grace of God in repentance of our sin that kills us, or whether we will in bitter rage cling to our sin and reject God’s grace, preferring death and eternal separation to admitting our error.

This is the real possibility of sin – that we prefer our sin to God’s clarifying and redeeming light. That we prefer what we think ourselves to be rather than what God declares we can be. God will not force our love. He will allow us to continue our darkened path, rejecting his light and salvation. But this is merely an affirmation of the state we are already in, rather than a new judgment.

YFA – March 4, 2018

March 4, 2018

A Weekly Devotional Resource


  • Sunday – Reflect on Today’s Service & Sermon
  • Monday – Old Testament –  Numbers 21:4-9
    • Are the serpents the real cause of death?  Why or why not?
    • Why is looking at the bronze serpent required?
  • Tuesday –  Epistle – Ephesians 2:1-10
    • What does Paul attribute the source of death to?
    • What is God’s purpose in all of this (v.7)?
  • Wednesday – Gospel – John 3:14-21
    • Now do you think the serpents were the root cause of death?
    • Is Jesus good news or bad news for a dying and sinful world?
  • Thursday – Psalm – Psalm 107:1-9
    • Who alone is fit to give God praise (v.2)?
    • How will you give thanks to God today for his mercy and love?
  • Friday – Luther’s Small Catechism – Apostle’s Creed – Third Article
    • Amid church divisions, what does one holy Christian Church mean?
    • What does Luther claim the Church exists to do?
  • Saturday – (LSB#437) Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
    • Where is God’s grace and pity in the death of Christ (v.2)?
    • Why might we hide our blushing face at the cross (v.4)?