Ezekiel 36:When God “I”, We can be Certain

(38 verses, 4:09 to read)

LISTEN & READ

What I am about to Read

  • When God “I”, we can be certain.

MARK & LEARN 

  • 1-15: In an interesting prophecy, the land itself is promised that the enemies that abused it will suffer justice.  The whole creation groans under sin (Romans 8:19-24), not just those made in the image of God.  The new creation will be bring joy for all creation.  The promised return to the land Abraham was promised harkens back to Eden and looks forward to the new heaven and new earth after the resurrection of all the dead.
  • 16-21: Lest the house of Israel forget why they were exiled, the Lord reminds them that they too were defiling the land.  How?  Through idolatry and immorality.  They were given God’s name, and they profaned it.  They were His people, yet turned away from His hand.
  • 22-38: In one of the most important and beautiful portions of Ezekiel, count how many times God says “I.”  Meditate on these verses and be reminded of the wonderful promises Jesus gives in Baptism.

MEDITATE

  • God promises for the sake of His own name, “I myself will: gather you (24), sprinkle you clean from idolatry (25), give you a new heart and remove your heart of stone (26), put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes (27), cause you to dwell with your fathers in the faith and be My people and I will be will be your God (28), and help you fight against your own sinful flesh by knowing how how ‘not good’ sin is (31).”
  • Cool!
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/ or if reading on facebook, check out the blog: https://rightlydividedbible.wordpress.com/
Christopher Stout, Pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC & Abundant Life Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC

Psalm 114: Remember that Time When…

(8 verses, :35 to read)

LISTEN & READ

What I am about to  READ

  • This Psalm answers the question one might raise by praying the previous Psalm, Psalm 113, “Why praise the Lord?”  Answer: Because of His redemption of us and His dwelling with us.

MARK

  • 1-2: Call for praise because of the Lord’s redemption and dwelling.  The rest of the Psalm finishes this phrase, “Remember that time when…., well that God is still among us with His promises and redemption.”
  • Remember that time when….
    • vs. 3 & 5- the Red Sea opened up to begin our exodus (Exodus 14:21) the Jordan River split to end our exodus (Joshua 3:13, 16).
    • vs. 4, 6 & 7 – Mount Sinai quaked as the Lord gave His law (Exodus 19:18).
    • vs. 8 – the Lord through Moses gave water through a rock (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11)

LEARN 

  • vs. 1 is an interesting, yet consistent, description of life in exile.  In Egypt, Israel was surrounded by a people of different language, different confession of faith, different morals and values, different hopes, etc.  What a lonely and segregated life that would be, at times.  What a gift it would be to hear your language, confession of faith, values, and the gift of hearing the same language of redemption, dwelling, love and hope.
  • This Psalm points to Christ who commanded the water several times during the time of His humble service between His birth and death and at whose death on a mountain (and on a hill [vs. 4 & 6] far, stood the old rugged cross…), the earth trembled and shook (vs. 7).

MEDITATE

  •   1 Peter (1:1-2) gives us a wonderful text to help us meditate on the curse of being an exile in the world, yet still having the same promises and blessings of many throughout the world.  “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:May grace and peace be multiplied to you (ya’ll).”
  • Yes, we are exiles.  Yes, it can be lonely and segregating at times when we sound and act so strange to our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends.  To these curses, our Lord gives us the gift of gathering us together through His Word.  A Word that proclaims we are elect in Christ, we have been foreknown by God the Father (how much more are we known in our sufferings!), made holy together by the blood of Jesus with all Christians of past and present, and are never a singular “you.”  You + Jesus + His Church = ya’ll.
 Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/ or if reading on facebook, check out the blog: https://rightlydividedbible.wordpress.com/
Christopher Stout, Pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC & Abundant Life Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC

1 John 5 – Spirit, Water, and Blood

Reposted from Pastor Ross

(15 verses, 1:45 to read)

READ and LISTEN

What I am about to READ
John describes the Christian life as one of victory over the world, but a victory that is only secured by faith in Jesus Christ.  John encourages our faith by testifying to Jesus, he who comes by “water and the blood.”

MARK and LEARN

The one who loves God keeps the commandments of God.  This is a blessed thing to do and love the commandments of God. Lest anyone should doubt that the Christian life should be one of love and good works to the neighbor, John testifies plainly that everyone who has been born of God loves also those who have been born of God.  This is accomplished however not by sheer will, or adhering to the teaching of Moses, but by faith in the Son of God who released from all sin, the power that overcomes the world, our faith (vs. 5).

This faith is accomplished through Jesus, he who came “by water and the blood.” Probably meaning the baptism in the Jordan and his cross and passion.  These are the places where Jesus came and stood as the perfect substitution for us, standing in our place where we would have only failed.  John also testifies in his Gospel to the blood and water that poured from the dead body of Jesus on the cross, suggesting the two primary sacraments, to which the Spirit agrees and testifies to the total redemptive work of Jesus.

Through these means God “gave us eternal life” (vs. 11) which is apprehended through faith in the Son.  John writes here, as he does in his Gospel, that we may believe in the name of Jesus and have life in his name.

MEDITATE

Lord Jesus, by your baptism in the Jordan and your bloody baptism on the cross you have secured salvation for the world.  Help me to never lose the image of your perfect life, death and resurrection on my behalf.  Build in me a faith and trust that does not waver, but ever holds fast to your blessed word and Holy Sacraments.  For the sake of your holy wounds O Jesus, Amen.

Peace,

Pr. Ross

Ezekiel 35: A Prophecy Against Mount Seir

(15 verses,  2:17 to read)

LISTEN and READ

What I am about to READ

  • The Lord sends Ezekiel to proclaim the wrath of God against Mount Seir

MARK

  • vv. 1-9:  Mount Seir going to receive the wrath of God
  • vv. 10-15:  The reason why…

LEARN

  • This chapter is pretty straight forward.  God continues to proclaim His wrath and judgments against the enemies of His people.  He has gone through and numbered many of them already.  Occasionally He even returns and proclaims another (or continued) prophecy against a particular nation.  This He does with Mount Seir (see Ezekiel 25:12-14)
  • Mount Seir is the name used for the people of Edom.  Edom lies Southeast of Canaan.  And the two nations have been at odds with each other for centuries.  We can even see the beginning of this perpetual enmity if we turn to Genesis and read about Jacob and Esau.  (Esau left his father’s land and went to inhabit Edom once Jacob had stolen his birthright.)
  • God knows the centuries of bloodshed and hatred that have been shared by these two peoples.  And He knows that Edom (Mount Seir) is waiting in the wings to pick the flesh from the bones of Israel and Judah once God has finished His work upon them.
    • God chastises His people for their good and for their benefit; always to bring them back through repentance.  And although the Lord uses Babylon to accomplish this, He will not let any other nation come in and pillage His chosen people.  Edom desires to do this, but instead, they will be the ones who are laid to waste.

MEDITATE

  • Prayer: Gracious God, you chasten your children through Your good and gracious Law.  All this is for our good, for our benefit; a gift from You to turn us to repentance.  May we ever acknowledge Your killing work of the Law so that we might know and receive Your savior work of the Gospel.  Protect us from the hands of our enemies so that we might live in peace and security.  Grant us a true repentance, that we might live as Your children in Your grace and mercy.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Rev. Eli Lietzau, pastor
Faith in Christ Lutheran, ABQ, NM

1 John 4: Test False Prophets and Love One Another

LISTEN | READ

(21 verses, 3:25 to read)

What I am about to READ:

We are called to test false spirits and to love our neighbors.

MARK & LEARN

1: Here John calls upon all Christians to keep testing “the spirits.” The “spirits” are the false prophets, the same “many antichrists” spoken of in 2:18, that have gone out into the world. These false prophets (“pseudo-prophets”) pretend that their source is the Holy Spirit, but are betrayed by their poisonous teachings against Jesus Christ.

2-3: We are called to keep testing for the source of the man’s confession. We’re not called to examine his heart – whether or not a so-called prophet is a nice guy or makes us feel good about ourselves. We must examine what comes out of his mouth! This is the test: does he confess Jesus Christ, who has come in the flesh?

4-6: With the gentle touch of a father speaking to his dear children John reminds his readers that the source and object of their faith is God, who’s “greater than he who is in the world.” The world is the devil’s domain. False prophets are from the world; from the devil’s domain. They speak the world’s language, and the world loves them for it! But those who are from God, who know (believe) God and hear His word “know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

7-21: In this section John expounds upon the “new commandment” that runs throughout his letter. Love one another! John makes it clear that God is the source of all love, and this love is shown in action. God’s love was made manifest in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the perfectly sufficient, appeasing sacrifice for our sins (vv. 9-10). Even though we did not love Him, He loved and continues to love us. In response to God’s love for us, we now love one another (v. 19). Our love for one another is not conditional; “whoever loves God must also love his brother” (v. 21).

MEDITATE

Our love for one another is evidence of our faith; evidence that we abide in God and He abides in us (v. 12). But, if we were to look only at our love we’d see a love that falls woefully short of its mark. So, we must look to the source of our love: God. We know that we abide in Him and He in us – not because we love – but because He has given us the Holy Spirit (v. 13)! Once again, the source of all love, God Himself is acting upon us. He loves. He sends His Son. He gives us the Holy Spirit. We who are loved, forgiven, and given the Holy Spirit cannot help but love God and one another.

DISCUSS

Although John is certainly writing against ALL false teachers, he very likely had a false prophet named Cerinthus (and his followers) in mind when he wrote this letter. Cerinthus and his followers formed a Gnostic sect that taught that Jesus was just a man given special “knowledge” and “abilities.” Cerinthus is a prime example of a spirit who fails the test. Can you think of any false prophets today that wouldn’t pass the test described in 1 John 4:1-6? If so, why? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.

Psalm 113: In Praise of God’s Mercy

(9 verses, :40 to read)

LISTEN | READ

What I am about to READ

This Psalm shows the absolute uniqueness of the One, True God through His mercy towards sinners.

MARK

1-3: Praise and blessing to the Name of the true God

4-9: The almighty Lord deigns to be with mankind in mercy

LEARN

As the mercies of the Lord never cease, neither do the praises of His chosen people. The immeasurable greatness of the gift of God in Christ Jesus, the one who raises the poor, lifts the needy, and restores the joy of the barren in the forgiveness of sins is the subject of the Psalm. 

MEDITATE

We pray: 

Dear Father in heaven, Your mercies are new every morning and never cease. Grant that we always receive your mercy by faith until you send Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, to bring us to be with you in the true life with the Holy Spirit forevermore. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

– Pastor Weslie Odom

Psalm 112: A Psalm of Christ

(10 verses, 1:06 to read)

LISTEN and READ

What I am about to READ

  • Psalm 112 describes the righteous man, Christ Jesus.

MARK

  • Psalm 112 is the continuation of the acrostic poem that began in Psalm 111.

LEARN

  • This Psalm sets Christ before our eyes by describing THE Righteous man, who fears, loves (v. 1), and trusts (vv. 7-8) in God above all things. This brings to mind Luther’s statement that the Psalter is an exposition of the 1st Commandment.
  • Christ alone delights in the commands of His Father and shows by actively obeying the Law of God in every way [v. 1 (Hebrews 4:15)].
  • Christ’s passive obedience (His suffering and death for us sinners) is the source of the righteousness that abounds in His house (v. 5).
  • As result of this abundant righteousness, Christ’s offspring are mighty in the land (v. 2), for these are the ones who were poor and received the righteousness of Christ (v. 9).
  • This Psalm also describes the Christian’s life in Christ, too. We are joined with Christ and His righteousness in Holy Baptism, and these things become our possession. God loves our works done out of love and trust in Him, for these are works done in faith in Christ.

MEDITATE

  • Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach us to cling to Christ, that we may fear, love, and trust in You alone. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

Learn more about Trinity:
On the Web: http://www.trinityvallonia.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TrinityVallonia
Twitter: @TrinityVallonia
Find our sermon podcasts through iTunes (Search “Trinity Vallonia”)
or at http://trinityvallonia.podbean.com/