Devotional for July 8, 2018

Devotional for July 8, 2018 based upon Mark 6: 1-13

If you were to ask people about their favorite hymn, how many do you think would say, “Amazing Grace”? I have a feeling more people would say that hymn than any other hymn. We all identify with the words of John Newton – “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.”

Many times during my years in ministry I officiated at a graveside service where the family arranged for someone to play bagpipes. They always played “Amazing Grace.”

Charles Wesley wrote a hymn about God’s amazing love, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain.” The chorus goes like this – “Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”

Yes, God’s grace and love are amazing. May we never stop being amazed by them.

But did you know that the Bible tells of times when Jesus was amazed? Our Gospel lesson for this coming Sunday is among them. In Mark 6: 5 it says that Jesus could do no deed of power in His hometown of Nazareth, except that He did lay His lands on a few sick people and cure them. And then it says in verse 6, “He was amazed at their unbelief.”

How much better is the situation in Luke 7 when Jesus was on His way to the home of a centurion, who had a slave whom he valued highly who was close to death. The centurion sent some friends to Jesus to tell Jesus that He did not need to actually come to and enter into the centurion’s house. (I have a feeling that the centurion was wanting to be sensitive to Jewish purification laws and did not want Jesus to have to defile Himself by coming into the centurion’s house.) Rather he knew that all Jesus would need to do would be to “speak the word, and let my servant be healed.” (verse 7) The centurion related to this personally by saying that just as people obeyed his orders, so he knew that whatever or whoever was causing his servant’s terminal illness would obey Jesus’ orders. Luke tells us, “When Jesus heard this He was amazed at him and said, ‘Not even in Israel have I found such faith.’” (verse 9)

May we always be amazed by God’s grace and love. May we never get so used to them that we stop being amazed by them. And may Jesus be amazed by our faith rather than by our lack of faith.

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE

Devotion for Tuesday, July 3, 2018

“O Lord, You showed favor to Your land; You restored the captivity of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin.” (Psalm 85:1-2)

Are you worried about times, seasons and events? The Lord who knows all things has told us there are seasons and events and that all of them fulfill His purpose. Come into the Lord and know His goodness is with us each and every day. Amidst even the most difficult time. There are blessings. All sins are covered b y the blood of Christ. Come into His presence and live in the blessing of the Lord.

Lord, You know all things. When the time came for release, the children of Jacob grumbled, but You loved them anyway. When we grumble, You love us anyway. I tend to see things from the moment, but You see them as they are from eternity. Guide me O Lord to know that only in You is there hope. Only in You can I know that no matter what happens here, You have a purpose.

Lord Jesus, You have come as our hope and You have provided for the covering of all sin. Lead me in the way of salvation that I would now and always walk in Your goodness. Help me see that in You my captivity is over. Help me see that though I wander in this age, You are with me and will lead me, providing all that is needed. Lead me in the way You know I need to go. Amen.