Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Morning Prayer - Reading 38 - Sampson Part 1


Sampson Part 1 
Judges 13-14 
(Selective Verses)


13 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.3 And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him. 

14 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”

4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

5 Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson's eyes.

8 After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. 9 He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion.

10 His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do. 11 As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12 And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, 

14 And he said to them,

Out of the eater came something to eat.
Out of the strong came something sweet.”

And in three days they could not solve the riddle.

15 On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, “Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?16 And Samson's wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?17 She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. 18 And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,

What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?

And he said to them,

If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have found out my riddle.”

19 And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. 20 And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

Footnotes:
Judges 14:15 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew seventh

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Morning Prayer - Reading 37 - Gideon


Gideon 
Judges 6-7 
(Selected Verses)


6 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.

12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?

2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

4 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” 6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. 7 And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.8 So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!21 Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled. 22 When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled...

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Proper 24 Series B



Proper 24 Series B 
Ecclesiastes 5:10–20 
Hebrews 4:1–13 (14–16)
Mark 10:23–31

By the Voluntary Poverty of Christ, We Enter the Kingdom of God

Collect for Proper 24O God, the protector of all who trust in You, have mercy on us that with You as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. 

To love and trust in earthly wealth is vanity. For nothing of this earth will last forever, nor can any of it grant eternal life (Ecclesiastes 5:10). But the one who trusts in God is “occupied with joy in his heart” and is able to sleep in peace, “whether he eats little or much,” because he knows that the “days of his life” are “the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:12, 18–20). The person who trusts in riches cannot sleep, because he “shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand” (Ecclesiastes 5:15). Therefore, it is difficult, “for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 20:23). Indeed, it is impossible for man, yet “all things are possible with God” (Mark 20:27). Thus, the Rich Man, Jesus Christ, has made Himself poor and has gone through “the eye of a needle,” through death and the grave, “to enter the kingdom of God” on our behalf (Mark 20:24–25). He is the “great high priest who has passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14), so that we may now enter His Sabbath rest by faith in His forgiveness (Hebrews 4:3–9). 

Mark 10:23-31
Jesus predicts His trial, execution, and resurrection for the third time, while walking boldly to His death. Jesus goes to die the sinners' death, accepting the Law's penalty in our place. Faith looks to Christ crucified and risen and says, "for me!" Luther - "Who is this "me?" It is I, an accursed and damned sinner, who was so beloved by the Son of God that He gave Himself for me." (AE 26:176)

-Sunday's Gospel is a continuation of last week's. After the rich young man went away sorrowful, Jesus takes the opportunity to educate His disciples in the barrier that great wealth poses to one's salvation. The temptation is to trust in the riches, rather than the rest of them. 

In fact, it is impossible, not only for the wealthy, but for anyone to earn His salvation by any means, even good works. Who can be saved? They ask, Who, indeed? None can, if he relies on himself. It is only by God's grace that anyone can be saved, yet all things are possible with God.

Mark 10:23 
Καὶ περιβλεψάμενος ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ• Πῶς δυσκόλως οἱ τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελεύσονται
 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

-Difficult it is for those having wealth to enter into the kingdom of God. It's difficult...but they get in. 

Mark 10:24
οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτοῖς• Τέκνα, πῶς δύσκολόν [a]ἐστιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν• 
 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is[a] to enter the kingdom of God! 

-The disciples marveled at this word, children how difficult it is to enter into the kingdom.  Jesus no longer speaks of wealth but the kingdom.

- Some manuscripts add for those who trust in riches

Mark 10:25
εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ [b]τῆς τρυμαλιᾶς τῆς ῥαφίδος [c]διελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 

-Easier it is for the camel through the eye of the needle to enter than for a rich man to enter the kingdom.  

-C.S Lewis reminds us, the camel has to die! “All things (e.g. a camel's journey through A needle's eye) are possible, it's true. But picture how the camel feels, squeezed out. In one long bloody thread, from tail to snout.” – C.S. Lewis, Poems  

Mark 10:26
οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες πρὸς [d]ἑαυτούς• Καὶ τίς δύναται σωθῆναι;  
And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,[b] “Then who can be saved?”

-They were exceedingly astonished, so who then shall be saved?  The center of the text finds the biggest animal and the smallest opening.

- Some manuscripts add, “and said to one another” 

A way to divide the text as follows, "the gaze of Jesus," "difficult," and "amazed."

Mark 10:27
[e]ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει• Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον ἀλλ’ οὐ παρὰ θεῷ, πάντα γὰρ [f]δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ
 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 

-Looking/gazing at them Jesus says, with man yes, but not with God all things are possible. 

Mark 10:28
Ἤρξατο [g]λέγειν ὁ Πέτρος αὐτῷ• Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν πάντα καὶ [h]ἠκολουθήκαμέν σοι.  
Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.

-Peter began to say, right here and now, The verbs are in the perfect tense, “we have left everything!” 

Mark 10:29
 [i]ἔφη ὁ Ἰησοῦς• Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐδείς ἐστιν ὃς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίαν ἢ ἀδελφοὺς ἢ ἀδελφὰς ἢ [j]μητέρα ἢ πατέρα ἢ τέκνα ἢ ἀγροὺς ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ καὶ ἕνεκεν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,  
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,

-Those who have released homes, brothers, etc. 

Mark 10:30
ἐὰν μὴ λάβῃ ἑκατονταπλασίονα νῦν ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τούτῳ οἰκίας καὶ ἀδελφοὺς καὶ ἀδελφὰς καὶ [k]μητέρας καὶ τέκνα καὶ ἀγροὺς μετὰ διωγμῶν, καὶ ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ ζωὴν αἰώνιον 
who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 

-Will he not receive 100 times in this life, these things and persecutions and, in the coming age, eternal life. 

Mark 10:31
πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι καὶ [l]οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” 

-Many who are first will be last and those last will be first.

Sources:
English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

LCMS Study notes
Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing, St. Louis 


Proper 23 reflection and study


 


Reflections from Proper 23
Mark 10: 17-22
October 14, 2018

Jesus is the one and only God by whom we inherit eternal life. 


Collect for Proper 23Lord Jesus Christ, whose grace always precedes and follows us, help us to forsake all trust in earthly gain and to find in Your our heavenly treasure; for You live and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.” Amen

For your information, the “journey” spoken of here is bringing Jesus ever closer to Jerusalem. 

Questions 

1. How does this man approach Jesus? What does his manner show? Why does Jesus reject his language? 

2. Why does Jesus recite most of the Ten Commandments to this man? What is his response? Do you believe him? 

Notice how Jesus recites the commandments. “Do not murder.” (Commandment #5) “Do not commit adultery.” (Commandment #6) “Do not steal.” (Commandment #7) “Do not bear false witness.” (Commandment #8) Then Jesus continues. “Do not defraud…Honor your father and mother.” Jesus repeats commandment #7 and addresses commandment #4.

Now read Mark 7:10-12 - "Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’  But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,” 

The religious leadership of Jesus’ day were guilty of setting aside God’s Word in favor of their own man-made traditions. They claimed great devotion to the Lord in all of their “outward” rituals, but they were “inwardly” corrupt.

The only reason this man had acquired his wealth was because he had swindled his parents. And worse. He presents himself as pious, above board.

3. How does Jesus feel about this man? Why? 

4. What does this man lack, in Jesus’ view? What does Jesus ask him to do to get it? What is the effect of this order on the man, and why? 

5. Why does Jesus think it’s especially hard for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom? Do you agree? How does this apply to us?

C.S. Lewis reminds us, the camel has to die! The biggest animal passing through the smallest hole.

All things, (e.g. a camel’s journey through a needle’s eye) are possible, it’s true. But picture how the camel feels, squeezed out. In one long, bloody, thread, from tail to snout.” From his work ‘Parables’   

6. Why are the disciples astounded? Why does this make them wonder who can be saved, since Jesus is only talking about the rich here? 

7. Who can be saved? How? Do you see yourself in this number?

8. Someone once depicted the Christian’s journey in the poem “footprints in the sand.” Some would prefer a poem entitled “Donkey tracks and skid marks.” 

Prayer to resist the love of money: "Almighty God, heavenly Father, You have called us to be Your children and heirs of Your gracious promises in Christ Jesus. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may forsake all covetous desires and the inordinate love of riches. Deliver us from the pursuit of passing things that we may seek the kingdom of Your Son and trust in His righteousness and so find blessedness and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord." Amen.

Sources
http://goodshepherdnewton.org/wp-content/uploads/B-pdf-Proper-18-Last-Pentecost-RCL-2018.pdf

Lutheran Service Book © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

www.AGNUSDAY.com

For next week Mark 10:12-31

Time in the Word Pentecost 22 - Proper 24



Time in the Word:
Preparation for next week, the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost

By the Voluntary Poverty of Christ, 
We Enter the Kingdom of God

To love and trust in earthly wealth is vanity. For nothing of this earth will last forever, nor can any of it grant eternal life (Eccl. 5:10). But the one who trusts in God is “occupied with joy in his heart” and is able to sleep in peace, “whether he eats little or much,” because he knows that the “days of his life” are “the gift of God” (Eccl. 5:12, 18–20). The person who trusts in riches cannot sleep, because he “shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand” (Eccl. 5:15). Therefore, it is difficult “for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 20:23). Indeed, it is impossible for man, and yet, “All things are possible with God” (Mark 20:27). Thus, the Rich Man, Jesus Christ, has made Himself poor and has gone through “the eye of a needle,” through death and the grave, “to enter the kingdom of God” on our behalf (Mark 20:24–25). He is the “great High Priest who has passed through the heavens” (Heb 4:14), so that we may now enter His Sabbath rest by faith in His forgiveness (Heb. 4:3–9).

Collect for Pentecost 22Lord, we pray that Your grace may always precede and follow us that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord

Prayer for deliverance from the love of money: Almighty God, heavenly Father, You have called us to be Your children and heirs of Your gracious promises in Christ Jesus. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may forsake all covetous desires and the inordinate love of riches. Deliver us from the pursuit of passing things that we may seek the kingdom of Your Son and trust in His righteousness and so find blessedness and peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns...

Prayer for the proper use of wealth: Almighty God, all that we possess is from Your loving hand. Give us grace that we may honor You with all we own, always remembering the account we must one day give to Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns...

This Week’s Morning Prayer Readings

Read and review the following Bible stories for each day… 
Mon., October 15-- Gideon – Judges 2-7 - selective verses
Tues. October 16– Samson – Part 1 –Judges 13-14 - selective verses
Wed. October 17– Chapel Day
Thurs. October 18- Samson – Part 1 – Judges 15-16 - selective verses
Fri. –October 19-  Ruth - selective verses
From the Small Catechism – 2nd Article & Meaning

Time in the Word
15–20 October 2018

Monday, 15 October 2018Psalm 34:1–4; Antiphon, Psalm 34:18—The strange circumstances of this psalm are found in 1 Sam 21:10–15. David, in a moment of weakness of faith, had sought protection from Saul in a foreign king, rather than trusting in the LORD. When he realized his sin, he faked insanity and then wrote this psalm which proclaims the truth that true deliverance is to be found only in the LORD. Neither riches nor earthly power can deliver us from our circumstances, only the LORD.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018Psalm 119:9–16—Psalm 119, the longest of the psalms, is a hymn of praise to the Word of God. This portion sings of the blessings of storing up God’s Word in our hearts. Oftentimes our children think it drudgery to memorize scripture passages; it is not until many years later that they recognize the blessing of knowing these nuggets of truth. We should all treasure the Word of God and delight in it as much as all riches.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018Ecclesiastes 5:10–20—Many years ago, a reporter asked billionaire John D. Rockefeller, “How much is enough?” His famous reply: “Just a little bit more.” This passage from King Solomon, who possessed wealth of wisdom that surpassed his great wealth of riches, shows the futility of such thinking. Riches can be a blessing, but if they are allowed to control a person, they become a curse. Trusting in money more than in the One who provides the material blessings is idolatry.

Thursday, 18 October 2018Hebrews 4:1–13—This portion of our reading through the book of Hebrews contains an exhortation and a warning. 

We are exhorted to seek the true rest of the Lord, while warned not to make the mistake of the rebellious people of Israel, who hardened their hearts against the Lord, and did not enter into His rest.

Friday, 19 October 2018Mark 10:23–31—Sunday’s Gospel is a continuation of last week’s. After the rich young man went away sorrowful, Jesus takes the opportunity to educate His disciples in the barrier that great wealth poses to one’s salvation. The temptation is to trust in the riches, rather than the rest. In fact, it is impossible, not only for the wealthy, but for anyone to earn His salvation by any means, even good works. Who can be saved? they ask. Who, indeed? No can, if he relies on himself. It is only by God’s grace that anyone can be saved, for all things are possible with God.

Jesus predicts His trial, execution, and resurrection for the third time, while walking boldly to His death. Jesus goes to die the sinners' death, accepting the Law's penalty in our place. Faith looks to Christ crucified and risen and says, "for me!" Luther - "Who is this "me?" It is I, an accursed and damned sinner, who was so beloved by the Son of God that He gave Himself for me." (AE 26:176)

Saturday, 20 October 2018—Sunday’s hymn of the day is Jesus, Priceless Treasure (LSB #743). It is a great hymn of faith, trusting in Jesus in spite of all trials and tribulations, sadness and trouble. Written in 1641, it soon made its way into most hymnals, being paired with a strong melody, one of the finest German Lutheran chorales.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © Higher Things
Lectionary summary on first page from LCMS Commission on Worship



Saturday, October 13, 2018

Pentecost 21 - Proper 23




Pentecost 21 – Proper 23
October 14, 2018
Mark 10:17-22
Christ Jesus is the one and only God by whom we inherit eternal life.
The quest – for life



This past week a question was asked by a friend on facebook. "Could you live your life based on faith in the generosity of others, or would you consider that too shameful an existence?

This man. Could not wait to taste real life. He ran up to Jesus. Kneeling. He begged Jesus to give him life. He wanted “eternal life”. He had life in the sense of its existence, but he wanted something more. – He desired excellence not existence.

Today, people are more interested in a quality of life. They seek a standard of health, comfort, and happiness. Which is to be experienced. It observes life satisfaction, including everything from physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, safety, security, to freedom, religious beliefs, and the environment.

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey on the state of global happiness. It ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels. Reflecting growing global interest in using happiness and substantial well-being as an indicator of the quality of human development. The World Happiness Report indicates that some regions have in recent years have been experiencing “a progressive inequality” of happiness. The report concludes, “Without life, there is no happiness to be realized.[1]  

The tragedy of this story is that the young man turned down the opportunity to experience the life Jesus offers. – The price was simply too high.

Jesus teaches His disciples that not even people with the greatest worldly means can enter the kingdom of God on their own merit. We cannot justify ourselves, we receive salvation (inherit eternal life) solely by grace through faith in Jesus. Just like a little child (Vv. 13-16)

We need to understand, that “no one is good except God alone.” The life that you are called to live is found neither in your “great possessions,” nor in your good works. Both are a lie. Let go of “all that you have.”  Follow Him, even unto death, and “you will have treasure in heaven.”

Enlighten our minds, we pray, O God, by the Spirit who proceeds from You that, as Your Son has promised, we may be led into all truth.

How do you then get real life?

1. Some claim real life comes by earning it? The young man was off in his thinking from the very start, when he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Inheriting eternal life is not a matter of our doing. It is received as gift.  It is the gift of grace.

This rich young man.  Comes to Jesus respectfully but not reverently.  He takes a knee in front of his life coach.  "Kneeling" in this case, is not worship. He has nothing to give in reverent repentance. He approaches Jesus as an equal.  Thinking they are both "good."

Jesus tried to show this man that he could not earn his salvation, by directing him to the commandments. Yet, the young man persisted in his self-righteousness by proclaiming that he had kept them all from his youth.  I've guarded them.ἐφυλαξάμην he argues. He confused moral goodness - a reward for obeying the commands - with righteousness…which is all Christ’s doing.

This man sensed that keeping the commandments wasn’t enough for a spiritually satisfying life. He was right. Jesus told him to literally. Sell everything. And follow Him.

That made the young man sad. Just as any financial loss might sadden and angered us.  You know how the game is played. You simply follow the rules. This man was an expert at following the rules. He felt that he could receive real life by obeying the laws of God. He was only fooling himself. For there is only one person who has lived the perfect life. That was the man to whom this young man was speaking. The man Jesus Christ. He is the only person to follow the law of God perfectly.

In painful loss we look for deliverance. We look for something more than a spiritualized religious lesson for our souls. We need a flesh and blood deliverer. His name is Jesus Christ.

2. So, you can’t find real life by earning it. In that case, then do the next best thing. Buy it? The young man had the wealth to buy it. – If it could be bought. This man was a rich man with many resources.   If he had wanted it. He got it. And as we know. In this world. Those who “have it” have it good!

Or, so they think. For some the mark of success is never having to ask how much does it cost. And yet, there are some things which go beyond being able to pay for it.

The man walked away sorrowful. Because of his wealth. Which he may have gotten illegally. Illegitimately. Dishonestly. Still, Jesus looked on him with love and compassion. (ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν)

As a wayward sheep. Jesus looks at the man “as a little one.” He directs the man to the First Commandment. By asking him to give up all he had. This young man loved the things of the world. More than the things of God. And so he went away sorrowful. Because, as Jesus would point out to him, in the secrecy of his life, he had only gained his wealth by defraud and deceit.

This man. Do not be fooled by him. He did not acquire his wealth because of his brain or brawn.  He was a con man. Placing his own family at risk. He had taken advantage of his own family. He was a cheat. Fleecing his own parents.

Notice how Jesus recites the commandments. “Do not murder.” (Commandment #5) “Do not commit adultery.” (Commandment #6) “Do not steal.” (Commandment #7)Do not bear false witness.” (Commandment #8) Then Jesus continues. “Do not defraud…Honor your father and mother.” Jesus repeats commandment #7 And addresses commandment #4.

The only reason this man had acquired his wealth was because he had swindled his parents. And worse. He presents himself as pious, above board. He paints a picture of himself as a compliant and subservient child. Submissive. Respectful. A model citizen. All the while he was acquiring his wealth at the expense of his parents. He had everything. They gained nothing. He lived in luxury. They were in poverty.[2]

Confidently, he simply ignored his sin. Because he was convinced that God was blessing him. Because of his wealth. Yet, despite his actions, and his demeanor. Jesus looked on him with love and compassion.

Consider your worse sin. Known only in the secrecy of you own heart. What would happen? If it were known to men? Jesus knows it! Just as He knew all about this spoiled, rich son. Who despised his parents and took advantage of them. Yet Jesus offers mercy and grace. To you. Despite your guilt and shame. This man walked away sorrowful. Do not do the same!       

3. Could this life be taught? This man called Jesus a “good teacher.” Hoping Jesus would teach him how to get eternal life.  He approaches Jesus as an equal.  Thinking they are both "good." The children are welcomed he reasoned. So, why not me? They are, after all, children…but he reasoned, “I contribute. I have value. I make a difference.” He valued his effort.

Jesus refused to be his guru. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answers. “No one is good but God alone.” (v.19) If this young man calls Jesus “good.” And only God is good. Then did the young man accept the notion that Jesus was God?  Why are you calling me good? No one is good except God...”Jesus points to the one thing the man lacks...To be in the presence of God. Is to be in the need of confession and faith. You're not good. But God is. All morality centers around Christ. YET HERE – There is no evidence of contrition.

How can any person enter the Kingdom of God? Not on his own merits. With man it is impossible. But all things are possible with God.

Only God is good. Human are not. The way to God is not to discover from another his secret for a good life. In order to earn God’s favor. Rather it is to come in faith to Christ. Who alone can bestow eternal life.

4. Real life comes by receiving it as a gift. Eternal life is “inherited” as a gift from the One to whom we are fully committed. Jesus did not want anything standing in the way of this bond. This union with Christ. Instead of following Jesus. This man chooses to stay with his wealth. He walked away sad and bitter. NOT because he was a wealthy man. But because it was his riches. Which he had given first priority in his life.

What is your destiny? What is God’s desire of you? His desire is to give you life, liberty and peace. Freedom. Security. Happiness. And joy. He gives you all these things freely. –It was all bought and paid for by His own Son’s blood.

Sadly. By the world’s standards. We are valued by our salary. Our position. Our home. Our education. Our status in the community. Jesus came neither to impress you. Nor to be impressed by you. He came to save you. He took your sins as His. Suffered and died in your place. He received the punishment you deserve. So you won't ever have to bear your sin alone.

Jesus looking into him. Loved him. ἠγάπησενOne thing you lack all you have sell it, and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven.  Then come, follow me.” We have nothing without Jesus Christ. To know Him is to know all. To have Him is to have all.  They who know Jesus confess their sins. Despair of their own works. And trust in Him and His righteousness for salvation. Believing the Word which says, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son, has life.” (1 John 5:11-12).

All Jesus asks of you is your life. He asks that you simply trust Him. And no one else. By following Jesus you gain everything. It’s as simple as that.  With this one thing. A connection. A union with Christ. You have everything. Having everything. But that one thing. Leads to nothing.

Jesus makes all the difference in the world. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but to forfeit his own soul? – Mark 8:36 Today trust Jesus. Follow Him! Obey Him! He is the one thing which makes everything else is secondary.
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Words-1,790
Passive Sentences-3%
Readability-81.5%
Reading Level- 3.6



[1] "Health and Happiness". The Lancet. 387: 1251. 26 March 2016.
[2] See Mark 7:10-12 The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were guilty of setting aside God’s Word in favor of their own man-made traditions. They claimed great devotion to the Lord in all of their “outward” rituals, but they were “inwardly” corrupt.

Image © 2018 www.AGNUSDAY.org 


Friday, October 12, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 36 - 1st Conquest


First Conquest 
Joshua 6 
(Selective Verses)

6 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”

15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. 17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction.Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 

 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father's household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Footnotes:
Joshua 6:5 Hebrew under itself; also verse 20
Joshua 6:17 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verses 18, 21

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 35 - Entrance into Cannan


Entrance into Cannan 
Deuteronomy 34 - Joshua 3 
(Selective Verses)

34 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo,4 And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” 5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. 8 And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.

9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, 2Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.  5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."


7 The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8 And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 14 So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest),

17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.

Footnotes:
Joshua 3:4 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
Joshua 3:11 Hebrew the ark of the covenant, the Lord of all the earth

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 34 - The Spies

The Spies 
Number 13-14 
(Selective Verses)

13 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.” 17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country,21 So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-hamath.28 However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there.

30 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height."

14 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 33 - The Golden Calf

Golden Calf 
Exodus 32 
(Selective Verses)

32 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.2 So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”

15 Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.19 And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.

Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Proper 23 Series B



Proper 23 Series "B"
Amos 5:6–7, 10–15
Hebrews 3:12–19
Mark 10:17–22

Christ Jesus Is the One and Only Good by Whom You Inherit Eternal Life

The Lord is the Author and Giver of life, as well as a consuming fire of judgment against all “who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate” (Amos 5:12). “Seek the Lord and live,” therefore, by hating what is evil, loving what is good and doing what is just and right, according to His Word. “And so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you” (Amos 5:6, 14–15). 

Understand that “no one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). The life that you are called to live is found neither in your “great possessions,” nor in your good works, but only in Christ Jesus. Let go of “all that you have” and follow Him, even unto death, and “you will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21–22). Do not harden your heart against His voice, nor turn away from Him, lest you “fall away from the living God.” Rather, hear and heed His call, cling to His Word and “exhort one another every day,” that you may remain steadfast in Christ and “firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:12–15). 

Mark 10:17-22

A question: Did this man hear what Jesus said about marriage and children?

Children connection "All these I have kept since childhood."  Also, Jesus concludes the commandments with the 4th Commandment. 

Jesus teaches His disciples that not even people with the greatest worldly means can enter the kingdom of God on their own merit; We cannot justify ourselves, we receive salvation (inherit eternal life) solely by grace through faith in Jesus. Just like a little child (Vv. 13-16) 

-The rich young man was off in his thinking from the very start, when he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Inheriting eternal life is not a matter of our doing; it is a gift of grace. Jesus tried to show the man that he could not earn his salvation, by directing him to the commandments. Yet, the young man persisted in his self-righteousness by proclaiming that he had kept them all from his youth.

Still, Jesus looked on him with love and compassion, as a wayward sheep. He directs the man to the First Commandment, by asking him to give up all he had. This young man loved the things of the world more than the things of God, and so he went away sorrowful.

How can any person enter the Kingdom of God? Not on his own merits, for with man it is impossible…but all things are possible with God.

Mark 10:17
Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν προσδραμὼν εἷς καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν• Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ, τί ποιήσω ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω; 
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

- As he was going out one was running along the way, kneeling, he questioned Him, “what must I do to inherit eternal salvation”. He comes to Jesus respectively not reverently.  He takes a knee in front of his life coach.  "Kneeling" is not worshipful. He has nothing to give in reverent repentance. He approaches Jesus as an equal.  Thinking they are both "good." 

The children are welcomed why not me? They are children but I can contribute.

Mark 10:18
ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν; οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ θεός. 
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 

- Why are you calling me good? No one is good except God...he points to the one thing the man lacks...to be in the presence of God is to be in the need of confession and faith...you're not good but God is...all morality evolves around Christ...YET HERE - no evidence of contrition.

Mark 10:19
 τὰς ἐντολὰς οἶδας• Μὴ [a]φονεύσῃς, Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς, Μὴ κλέψῃς, Μὴ ψευδομαρτυρήσῃς, Μὴ ἀποστερήσῃς, Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα.
You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 

- The commandments, you know...is 4 at the end connected to 9/10? Connected to Corbin gifts...

Do not defraud is not listed in the commandments...is this the dagger? 


Mark 10:20
 ὁ δὲ [b]ἔφη αὐτῷ• Διδάσκαλε, ταῦτα πάντα ἐφυλαξάμην ἐκ νεότητός μου.
And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.

- Look at the Gk ‘ἐκ νεότητός μου” I've done this since I became of age, apart from the children. “I've guarded them.” ἐφυλαξάμην Confused moral goodness with righteousness.  The man is listening.

Mark 10:21
 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Ἕν [c]σε ὑστερεῖ• ὕπαγε ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον καὶ δὸς [d]τοῖς πτωχοῖς, καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει [e]μοι.
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

- Jesus looking into him loved him, all you have sell it, and you will have treasures in heaven.  Jesus looks at the man as a little one...is this Mark? 

After He loves him Jesus preaches the law again. Is this Jesus' "cut off your arm" command to this rich man?

Mark 10:22
ὁ δὲ στυγνάσας ἐπὶ τῷ λόγῳ ἀπῆλθεν λυπούμενος, ἦν γὰρ ἔχων κτήματα πολλά.
Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
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Words -1,000
Readability – 70%
Reading Level – 7.0


Time in the Word - Pentecost 21 - Proper 23




Time in the Word
8–13 October 2018
Preparation for next week, the 21st  Sunday after Pentecost

This Week’s Morning Prayer Readings

Read and review the following Bible stories for each day… 
Mon., October 8- The Golden Calf–Exodus 32- selective verses
Tues. October 9–The Spies –Number 13-14-selective verses
Wed. October 10– Chapel Day
Thurs. October 11-Entrance into Cana-Duet.34-Joshua 3 selective verses
Fri. –October 12-1st Conquest-Joshua 6- selective verses
From the Small Catechism – 1st Article & Meaning

Prayer to resist the love of money: Almighty God, heavenly Father, You have called us to be Your children and heirs of Your gracious promises in Christ Jesus. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may forsake all covetous desires and the inordinate love of riches. Deliver us from the pursuit of passing things that we may seek the kingdom of Your Son and trust in His righteousness and so find blessedness and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the proper use of wealth: Almighty God, all that we possess is from Your loving hand. Give us grace that we may honor You with all we own, always remembering the account we must one day give to Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for grace to love and serve God: O God, through the grace of Your Holy Spirit You pour the gifts of love into the hearts of Your faithful people. Grant Your servants health both of mind and body that they may love You with their whole heart and with their whole strength perform those things that are pleasing to You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for agriculture: Almighty God, You bless the earth to make it fruitful, bringing forth in abundance whatever is needed for the support of our lives. Prosper the work of farmers and all those who labor to bring food to our table. Grant them seasonable weather that they may gather in the fruits of the earth in abundance and proclaim Your goodness with thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The theme for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost is The Root of Evil. You will sometimes hear a person say ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ Usually it is said in a judgmental tone, used to condemn another. But such a one doesn’t quote Scripture correctly, for the Bible does not say that money is the root of all evil, but ‘the love of money is the root of all evil.’ (1 Timothy 6:10)
All of next Sunday’s readings exhort us not to depart from the Lord, but to remain faithful to Him. Oftentimes, not only the cares of this world, but the things of this world divert our attention from the Lord. 

The sin of the rich young man in next Sunday’s Gospel reading was not that he had great riches, but that those riches were the most important thing to him. A Christian who is wealthy need not be ashamed of his wealth, for it is a gift from God, but he must not let his wealth rule him. He must realize that he is but a steward of the gifts God gives, and must use those gifts in a manner pleasing to God.


Monday, 8 October 2018Psalm 112:3–6; Antiphon, Psalm 112:1—Sunday’s Introit tells of the blessedness of the man who fears the Lord and delights in His commandments. This man delights especially in the First Commandment, You shall have no other gods. He fears, loves, and trusts in God above all things, especially earthly things. Thus, he is truly wealthy, for he possesses wealth that is far greater than material things; he has the righteousness of God that comes by faith.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018Psalm 90:12–17Psalm 90 is a psalm written by Moses, and is a great comfort in times of sadness. It starts out with a confession that the Lord abides with us always: Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Verses 12–17 are a prayer for the continuation of God’s favor, and the wish that He would carry out His work of salvation and bless His people’s undertakings to that end.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018Amos 5:6–7, 10–15—The prophet Amos lamented over the Israelites, who had turned their back on the Lord. Here the Lord exhorts the people through His prophet: Seek the Lord and live. He judges them for delighting in material things—houses of hewn stone and pleasant vineyards—but taking advantage of the poor and afflicting the righteous. Again they are exhorted, Seek good and not evil, that you may live.

Thursday, 11 October 2018Hebrews 3:12–19—This portion of our reading through the book of Hebrews also contains an exhortation, that the hearers not be like the Israelites of old, who rebelled against God. No person, on his own, can fully withstand temptation. But God has given us His Word and Sacraments to keep us strong in the faith, and He also provides what our Confessions call the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren (SA III, IV). Therefore, we Christians exhort one another, that none of us may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Friday, 12 October 2018Mark 10:17–22—The rich young man was off in his thinking from the very start, when he asked, What must I do to inherit eternal life? Inheriting eternal life is not a matter of our doing; it is a gift of grace. Jesus tried to show the man that he could not earn his salvation, by directing him to the commandments. Yet, the young man persisted in his self-righteousness by proclaiming that he had kept them all from his youth.

Still, Jesus looked on him with love and compassion, as a wayward sheep. He directs the man to the First Commandment, by asking him to give up all he had. This young man loved the things of the world more than the things of God, and so he went away sorrowful. 
How can any person enter the Kingdom of God? Not on his own merits, for with man it is impossible…but all things are possible with God.

Saturday, 13 October 2015—Sunday’s hymn of the day, Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower (LSB 694) is a hymn of resolute determination to love God above all things, not of our own selves, but prayerfully asking, Permit me nevermore to stray (v. 4).



Collect for Pentecost 21Enlighten our minds, O God, by the Spirit who proceeds from You, that, as Your Son has promised, we my be led into all truth. .

Collect for Proper 23Lord Jesus Christ, whose grace always precedes and follows us, help us to forsake all trust in earthly gain and to find in Your our heavenly treasure; for You live and reigns with the Father rand the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen
  
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.