COME AND EAT
Date: 4/16/2014 08:24 - Subscribe


Read Exodus 24:1-11.

TEXT: The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who
seek Him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live
forever (Psalm 22:26).

Whenever God's people were in distress in Old Testament
times, they would pray for help. When the Lord delivered
them they brought a sacrifice called a "peace offering."
In every other offering the whole animal was burnt on the
altar. But this sacrifice was unique because the
worshipper was given a portion of the sacrifice to eat.
This food was God's pledge and promise He had forgiven
the sinner and was now in full fellowship.

Tomorrow night Christians gather to celebrate how God
delivered us from the affliction of sin, death, hell and Satan
by sacrificing His Son Jesus Christ, the great Passover
Lamb. And like the peace offering of old, God gives us
some of that precious sacrifice for us to eat and drink in
His presence. He shares the very body and blood of Jesus
Christ given and shed for our salvation.

When we eat and drink this great Supper, we are forgiven
all our sins, delivered from death and hell, and united in
fellowship with God our Father and Jesus Christ our
victorious King. We are also united together with all God's
children in heaven and on earth: the great assembly in
which Jesus our Lord proclaims His Father's goodness and
love.

Even in the midst of our troubles in this life Christ invites us
to come into His presence and seek His help and
deliverance, and eat the very sacrifice that won God's
mercy and forgiveness.

THE PRAYER:

Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what afflictions I face, You are
with me. Strengthen me in the company of my Christian
brothers and sisters that we may honor You for Your great
deliverance. Amen.

(Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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THE SOURCE OF OUR PRAISE
Date: 4/15/2014 08:28 - Subscribe


Read Psalm 111.

TEXT: From You comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform before those who fear Him
(Psalm 22:25).

Jesus our victorious King accomplished so many great things
in this last week of His life. He cleansed the temple, healed
the sick, drove out demons, and taught the people. He rooted
out the false teaching of the priests and Sadducees, and
exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and experts in the
Law. He took our guilt and sin upon Himself and won our
complete and free forgiveness through His suffering, death
and resurrection.

Today He gathers us together in local congregations, uniting
us in His whole Christian church in heaven and on earth. We
declare His saving deeds and give Him our honor and praise.
Jesus turns those praises to His Father. The Father is the
Source of Jesus' praises. It was His mercy that led Him to
plan our salvation through Jesus. He was faithful to His
promises, good to undeserving sinners, and clearly showed
His love for His fallen human creatures.

In His great love for His Father, Jesus performs His vows-
first in offering Himself up for our sins, and now in distributing
the benefits of that sacrifice to us through His Word. Likewise,
He uses God-fearing pastors and Christians who faithfully
share what Christ has done for us. He uses Baptism in which
He washes away our sins, adopts us into His family, and
seals us with His Holy Spirit. And He uses Holy Communion
in which He gives us His own body and blood to assure us of
the full and complete forgiveness of all of our sins.

THE PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your loving-kindness
toward all of us Your creatures, and for giving Your Son Jesus
Christ to win our salvation. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

(Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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LOOKING AWAY?
Date: 4/14/2014 08:47 - Subscribe


Read Psalm 9.

TEXT: For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction
of the afflicted, and He has not hidden His face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to Him (Psalm 22:24).

Jesus, our conquering King, goes on to give all glory and
credit to His Father for the great deliverance He won on
the cross. Jesus was the afflicted One, rejected by His
people, His priests, the Roman governor and soldiers.
Yet despite the shame and humility, the blood and gore,
the pain and agony, the Father did not despise Him as the
Jewish leaders taunted Him. The Father did not abhor, or
utterly detest Jesus' terrible afflictions. The Father did not
forsake Jesus forever, but heard His bitter cry, "My God,
My God, why have You forsaken Me?" The Father accepted
His sacrifice, delivered Him from hell, and gently brought His
Son's soul to paradise, even as loving hands took His body
down from the cross, wrapped it for burial, and gently laid it
in the unused tomb.

We too are often afflicted in life. We wonder how God
responds to seeing us in pain, fear, doubt, agony. Does He
despise us as weak and insignificant? Does He abhor us,
wanting nothing to do with creatures so helpless and
unclean? Does He hide His face and stop His ears from our
pain and suffering?

No, our gracious Father is always with us to look upon us in
need, to hear our groans and pleas, and to deliver us from all
troubles, from all enemies, and from death and hell. It was
that great love which moved Him to send His only begotten
Son as our victorious Savior. That is why we fear Him, praise
Him, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him.

THE PRAYER:

'Heavenly Father, through Your Son Jesus
Christ, You always watch us, hear our prayers, and deliver us
from all trials. Receive our thanks and praise for Jesus' sake.
Amen.

(Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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PRAISE OUR CONQUERING KING
Date: 4/13/2014 08:24 - Subscribe


Read Matthew 21:1-11.

TEXT: You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you offspring of
Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you offspring
of Israel! (Psalm 22:23).

On this first day of Holy Week we recall the multitude of Jews
welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem. This week it is fitting to
consider Jesus Christ the mighty Victor, coming to battle and
soundly defeat sin, Satan, death and hell through His horrific
suffering described so vividly in the first part of Psalm 22.
Today's verse describes four things we are to do as we gather
to receive our conquering King: "fear the Lord," "praise Him,"
"glorify Him," and "stand in awe of Him."

"Fear God." Through Jesus' sufferings on the cross, we learn
the severity of God's wrath at our sins. True fear of God includes
taking that wrath seriously and confessing that we rightly
deserve to fall under His wrath.

"Praise Him." We praise our Lord Jesus for His willingness to
go to the cross, to drink the full cup of God's wrath in our place,
and to win our salvation by His suffering and death.

"Glorify Him." We glorify Him by telling others what He has
done, and by letting Him transform our thinking, our attitudes,
and our goals for this life, so we walk in His holy ways.

"Stand in Awe of Him." Jesus deserves our awe and wonder
because He took on our enemies all by Himself, and won
complete forgiveness and salvation for each of us.

In the context of this part of Psalm 22, Jesus takes all our
praise and directs it to His Father, who delivered Him from the
power of Satan on the cross, and from the grip of the tomb on
Easter morning.

THE PRAYER:

Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for coming as our great Victor to
conquer sin and death for us and to open wide our heavenly
home. Amen.

(Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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TIME TO PROCLAIM
Date: 4/12/2014 05:28 - Subscribe


Read Psalm 40.

TEXT: I will tell of Your Name to my brothers; in the
midst of the congregation I will praise You
(Psalm 22:22).

In the moment before His death Jesus loudly
proclaimed "It is finished," showing He had
completed His Father's plan to save all people. We
return to the final section of Psalm 22 where Jesus
predicts His resurrection, and what will come after.

After being delivered from death and hell by His
faithful Father, Jesus appeared to His brothers the
apostles, and revealed God's gracious plan of
salvation. Through their words in the New Testament
He continues to declare the Lord's Name to all
believers. He gathers us together into a great
worshiping assembly. And there in the midst of that
congregation Jesus praises the Father who was the
Source of God's plan of salvation.

Three times each year the whole nation of Israel
gathered together in Jerusalem to worship God,
recall His promises, and call upon Him for help in the
future. The first was the great Feast of Passover, when
Israel recalled God's deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
This was the very feast in which God's Passover Lamb,
Jesus Christ, carried the sins of the world and delivered
His people from slavery to sin, death and hell.

The second great feast followed 50 days after Easter.
At Pentecost the nation gathered again to thank God for
the harvest. At this feast Christ declared His great
salvation through His apostles in Jerusalem and the
Christian church was born. Each time we gather to
worship in local congregations Jesus is there with us,
proclaiming His Father's great love in sending His Son.
On the Last Day He will gather His scattered believers
from around the world into His eternal kingdom.

THE PRAYER:

Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for declaring the Father's
love to us. Give us faith to remain in that love forever. Amen.

(Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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