Verse of the Week

Verse of the Week:
"God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:31 ESV)

Saturday, May 05, 2018

May 5 - Take My Life and Let It Be

Listen here.


Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH. Thank you for being with me today.

On Saturdays we look at a hymn for our devotional meditation. This might be a helpful devotional habit because the hymns we sing are expressions of faith and often teach us important lessons. They are, in a sense, God’s Word rearranged and set to music. It is good for us to look closely at what we sing. There are beautiful and inspiring biblical messages contained in the hymns.  

The hymn we will look at today is Take My Life and Let It Be. (You can listen to it here.) In the Lutheran Service Book from Concordia Publishing House it is hymn number 783.

The Hymn:
One of the interesting things about this beautiful hymn is that it is, in the end, the combined work of a father and his daughter. The melody for the hymn in the linked video is known as Patmos, a reference to the island where the Apostle John was exiled. This is the melody that I grew up singing, but the hymn has been set to other tunes. Patmos was composed by the Rev. William Henry Havergal. It was his daughter, Frances Havergal, who wrote the lyrics. Frances Havergal was a prolific hymn writer. Of her, James Davidson writes, “Simply and sweetly she sang the love of God, and His way of salvation. To this end, and for this object, her whole life and all her powers were consecrated. She lives and speaks in every line of her poetry. Her poems are permeated with the fragrance of her passionate love of Jesus.”

Let’s take a look at the lyrics of this hymn.

1 Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

2 Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3 Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only for my King;
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

4 Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect and use
Ev'ry pow'r as Thou shalt choose.

5 Take my will and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

6 Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Notice the way that it takes different parts of our lives and brings them to God. We ask God to consecrate us – to make us holy for His service, set apart to serve His purpose. This holy life is, of course, deeply influenced by God’s love which then makes our earthly possession, which include our bodies, items given into the Lord’s service.

May we sing this hymn as people who have received the love of God in Christ, and, having received God’s love, let His love fill us and pour forth in love for Him and love for all whom God Himself loves.

Prayer:
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee. Amen.

Memory Verse:
This is he who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 Jn. 5:6 ESV)

 Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.

One more thing: If you got something out of this devotional time, would you share it on social media or just tell someone about it? It stands to reason that if this blessed you, it will bless someone else.

Thanks again and God bless you!

Friday, May 04, 2018

May 4 - 1 John 5:1-7


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Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH. Thank you for being with me today.

As we approach the 6th Sunday of Easter, we once again read from 1 John for our epistle lesson. John has focused our attention on love and God’s commandments throughout this letter. He keeps the focus there, making sure that we know that Jesus is the Son of God who overcomes for us, and the evidence for this is found in His death and resurrection – by the water and the blood which point us to the very physical and real body of Jesus.

Let’s read the lesson. The epistle lesson for the 6th Sunday of Easter is ….

The Reading: (1 Jn. 5:1-8 ESV)
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
            6 This is he who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

Comments
The first sentence of this reading says some very important things. First, everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. Belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior that God promised would come for us, is a gift from God. It is like a new birth.

In the natural course of things, we do not choose to be born. Life is a gift that God gives us through the action of our parents. In a similar way, to be born of God is a gift that God gives us through the work of the Holy Spirit as we hear the Gospel and He makes faith in us … He makes us alive in Christ so that we believe … and as we believe in Jesus we come to love the Father, because we have experienced His love through Jesus.

There is a very important implication of loving God, however. If we love God, we also love everyone who has been born of Him. We are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. I fear that we give this more lip service than actual attention. It is easier to just generally wish people well than to love them the way that God speaks of through the apostle John.

Recipients of Gods’ love, however, begin to love. We begin to recognize God’s commandments are fulfilled in love. They are not burdensome because they flow from our love for God and our love for others, and our love, in turn, flows from having been loved by God in Christ. And this is how we overcome the world – by God’s love filling us up and overflowing through us to others. We overcome through faith that Jesus has overcome the world by His death and resurrection, and He gives us the victory as he reigns at God’s right hand.

John wants us to be clear: every matter is established by two or three witnesses. The three witnesses that testify about Jesus as our Savior are the water, the blood, and the Spirit. The water and blood speak to Jesus’ physical body. Some were teaching that the Christ was only a spirit who rested on Jesus, and Jesus’ resurrection was merely the appearance of that spirit. John says, “No, Jesus is the Christ, and His body and blood were given for you.” It is as if he testifies to us, “I was there at the cross. I saw the water and the blood that flowed from His side. I saw Him dead, and three days later I saw Him raised from the dead.” The resurrection is proof of Jesus being our Savior. The Spirit of God testifies to this as well as He creates faith in us to receive the truth that Jesus is the Son of God. This is, in essence, God’s testimony to us that Jesus has done what was necessary to save us from sin.

I do not believe that it is accidental that the Spirit of God delivers Jesus’ salvation through three vehicles – three means of Grace. The first is the Word, through which the Spirit testifies about Jesus, creates and sustains faith, and gives forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. The second, however, is water – connected to and combined with God’s Word – in Holy Baptism which washes our sins away and gives us new birth into the life of faith. And the third is the Lord’s Supper, where the Spirit uses bread and wine to deliver the Word of God to us, Christ’s very body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine to feed our faith and give us forgiveness. The Water, the Blood, and the Spirit testify … your sins are forgiven and you are born of God.

Meditate on this today: The water, the blood, and the Spirit testify that Jesus is the Christ. And even today the Waters of Baptism, the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, and the Spirit of God testify to us that God has loved us, still loves us, and empowers us by His Word and Sacraments to love one another.

Prayers
Lord Jesus, You are the Christ who came and saved us through the water and the blood which flowed when You died for our sins. Thank You for Your love and sacrifice. Thank You for the Waters of Baptism, the Blood of the Lord’s Supper, and the Spirit who testifies in the Word so that we might believe and be born of God into a new life of faith. Forgive us for not loving as we ought to love. Forgive us for not following the Father’s commandments to love Him and to love one another. Strengthen our faith. Fill us with Your Spirit. And help us to live and love as those who are born of God, for that is what we are through faith in You. Amen.

Memory Verse:
This is he who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 Jn. 5:6 ESV)

Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.

Would you do me a favor? If you got something out of this devotional time, would you like and/or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you do social media? That would help me get the word out, and hopefully help these devotions be a blessing to others.


God bless you!



Thursday, May 03, 2018

May 3 - Psalm 98

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Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH. Thank you for being with me today.

Our Gospel reading put us in mind of bearing fruit, which makes us think of the growth of God’s kingdom and more people coming to faith in Jesus. Our reading from Acts demonstrated the spread of the faith beyond the Jews to the Gentiles. Today’s reading rejoices in God’s salvation and calls all of creation to join in celebrating that God saves His people in the sight of all the nations.

The Reading:
Ps. 98 (ESV)
A Psalm.
Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
 2 The LORD has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
 3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
 7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
 8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
 9 before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity. (Ps. 98:1-9 ESV)

Comments:
Each of the first three verses of Psalm 98 speak of God’s salvation. This is the foundation of our worship and praise when we come before God. It is not that we have figured out that God is great or worthy of our praise, nor is it that we have a duty to offer praise and sacrifice to God. It is the fact that God has saved us that draws us to worship Him.

As with last week’s psalm, we are called to praise and worship with musical instruments. Here, however, we are called to make a joyful noise unto the LORD, so there is no excuse for those who are tone deaf to remain silent. Indeed, the whole earth is called to bring its praise and the sounds of nature are understood as giving glory to our Creator.

And, yes, we are reminded that God comes to judge the earth, but even this is set in the context of His salvation as He judges with righteousness and equity. It is because we are saved by God’s mighty power, salvation we have experienced in Jesus’ death and resurrection, that we know that the judgement, too, is part of God’s salvation for us.

Let’s listen to the Psalm once again.

The Reading:
Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
 2 The LORD has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
 3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
 7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
 8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
 9 before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity. (Ps. 98:1-9 ESV)

Prayers:
O God, hasten the day when all will join in worshipping You. Keep us firmly in the salvation Jesus has won for us with His blood, and let that salvation fill us with joy to give us lips to sing your glory, tongues your mercy to proclaim, throats that shout of salvation, mouths that speak Your Holy name so that all may come to know You and join us in praise because they, too, have experienced Your salvation. Amen.

Memory Verse:
This is he who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 Jn. 5:6 ESV)


Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.

Would you do me a favor? If you got something out of this devotional time, would you like and/or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you do social media? That would help me get the word out, and hopefully help these devotions be a blessing to others.


God bless you!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

May 2 - Acts 10:34-11:1


Listen here.

Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH.
Thank you for being with me today.

As we go through the Easter season, the readings continue to record testimony that Jesus was crucified and raised. They also show responses to the message of the gospel. That is the case in this reading, too.

Some context will be helpful. There was a Roman centurion by the name of Cornelius. You can read about him in the first part of Acts 10. We learn that he was, “a devout man who feared God,” as did his whole household. God gave Cornelius a vision of an angel who instructed him to send for the apostle Peter, and even told him where to find him! So, Cornelius sent for Peter, and Peter came. When Peter came, he told Cornelius and all who were there to hear about Jesus. This reading is Peter’s message to Cornelius and his household and the result of them hearing and believing in Jesus.

The Reading: (Acts 10:34-11:1 ESV)
So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
            44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

Comments
This is a very important moment in the life of the church. As with the Ethiopian eunuch, Cornelius was a Gentile – a non-Jewish person who many would have considered outside of God’s love. Worse, he was Roman, and part of the oppressing military occupying Judea. That being said, he was a God fearing man who was generous with his money to support the synagogue and to help the poor in his community, nevertheless, for him and his household to come to faith was shocking to the early church. (You can read all about the controversy this created in Acts 11.) This is why Peter began his address by saying, “I understand that God shows no partiality.” He is beginning to realize that Jesus’ salvation was not just for Jewish people, but for all people.
Notice the common themes that we have discussed through these readings in Acts. Peter identifies himself a witness. He testifies about the cross and God raising Jesus from the dead. He also testified about forgiveness of sins through Jesus. These messages are consistent through the apostles’ ministry.
When Cornelius and his household came to faith God poured His Holy Spirit out on them in a special way. They began to speak in tongues, and some have argued that this is a necessary gift to be a believer. It seems more likely that, because it would have been difficult for the Jewish Christians to accept that salvation had come to the Gentiles, God gave a special sign that salvation was, indeed, for all people, so He gave a powerful testimony to show that He accepted these believers.
When Peter saw what happened, his first thought was of Baptism. He saw them as believers and felt they needed to receive God’s gifts in baptism over and above the special outpouring of the Spirit. He knew that God works through Baptism to create and seal His people in faith and forgiveness, so he commanded that that they be baptized. Then he remained with them – surely to teach them the Christian faith.
It strikes me as I read this how backwards we get things sometimes. We see evangelism, mission, and even Baptism as things we do. But in this passage it is God who arranged for Peter to come to Cornelius. It was God who brought Cornelius and his household to faith. It was God who gave the proof of their conversion by a special outpouring of the Spirit. And it was God who worked through Baptism to make these people into disciples.
Meditate on this today: God is the one who is at work in your life. He is the one who arranged for you to come to faith. He has given you His Holy Spirit. He is also at work in the lives of people around you, and He just might put you in a situation to tell someone about Jesus to bring them to faith. And if He does, don’t worry, He’ll give you what you need to say.

Prayers
O God, You were at work in Cornelius’s life to bring him and his household to faith, and when You brought them to faith You gave powerful testimonies that You were behind all of it and that You welcome all who believe in Jesus. Thank you! Truth be told, many of us come from Gentile backgrounds and we rejoice that You have included us in Your kingdom and made us part of Your people. Forgive us for being fearful of sharing the faith or thinking that the mission of the bringing people to faith is our mission. Please pour Your Holy Spirit out on us and work through us to share the good news of Your forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Memory Verse:
This is he who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 Jn. 5:6 ESV)

Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.

Would you do me a favor? If you got something out of this devotional time, would you like and/or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you do social media? That would help me get the word out, and hopefully help these devotions be a blessing to others.


God bless you!

Devotions for Worship: Acts 10:34-11:1 - audio: https://soundcloud.com/pastor-tritten/may-2-acts-10-34-11-1 - text:  #devotion #devotional #devotions #devos

If you like this please follow by email on Blogger, subscribe on iTunes, or follow on SoundCloud! That way you won't miss a devotion!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

May 1 - John 15:9-17

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Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH.
Thank you for being with me today.

The Gospel reading this week picks up right where last week’s reading ended. Jesus talked about being the vine and we being the branches, and now He expands on those thoughts.

The Gospel lesson for the 6th Sunday of Easter is …

The Reading: (Jn. 15:9-17 ESV)
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
            12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (Jn. 15:9-17 ESV)

Comments
Abide and love. There is something very important in what Jesus is talking about here. When we abide – when we dwell in, live in, - Jesus’ love, we are filled with His love, His forgiveness, and His life giving Spirit. The Christian life really begins here. We receive Jesus’ love, His life, His salvation – and it gives us a new life – the Christian life. It all starts with God loving us.

Then as we abide in God’s love we begin to love others. Not loving as the world loves. The world is desperately confused as to what love is mistaking it for lust, or for passion, or for just being nice. Love connects us to God and to one another. Abide in God’s love means to live in Him – in His grace, as His people – to rest in what HE is doing in our lives, and what He is doing in our lives along with forgiveness and salvation, is changing us to make us able to love – to love Him and to love one another.

So the commandment to love one another as Jesus has loved us, is the continuation of God’s work in us. This isn’t a demand for us to reform, but a command to be what God made us to be – to live the new life Jesus has won for us, which, really, is what we, as God’s people want to do.

Of course, our sinful nature struggles against abiding in God’s love. We want to live in our own power, our own authority. We want to be autonomous and independent – beholden to no one and only to ourselves true. So we will hear Jesus’ words as a command and a warning. The description of love as laying one’s life down for one’s friends challenges and convicts us. It leads us to repentance. Nevertheless, the message is that Jesus chose us. We are branches connected to Jesus the true vine. We are Jesus’ friends. We long to love as we have been loved – and we strive to abide in God’s love always.

Meditate on this: Think of the image of the vine and the branches. Consider how the vine keeps the branches alive so that they bear fruit. Think of yourself connected to Jesus, receiving life from Him, and loving Him and others because His life is in you.

Prayers
Collect of the Day from Lutheran Service Book.
Let us pray. O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Memory Verse:
This is he who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 Jn. 5:6 ESV)

Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.

Would you do me a favor? If you got something out of this devotional time, would you like and/or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you do social media? That would help me get the word out, and hopefully help these devotions be a blessing to others.


God bless you!


Friday, April 27, 2018

April 28 - O Love, How Deep


Listen here.

Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH. Thank you for being with me today.

On Saturdays we look at a hymn for our devotional meditation. This might be a helpful devotional habit because the hymns we sing are expressions of faith and often teach us important lessons. They are, in a sense, God’s Word rearranged and set to music. It is good for us to look closely at what we sing. There are beautiful and inspiring biblical messages contained in the hymns.  

The hymn we will look at today is O Love How Deep. (You can listen to it here.) In the Lutheran Service Book from Concordia Publishing House it is hymn number 544.

The Hymn:
This hymn is attributed to Thomas a Kempis, an important devotional writer of the late 1300’s and early 1400’s. You may be familiar with his book, The Imitation of Christ, which describes a life of piety, obedience to God’s Word, simplicity, humility, and other basic Christian habits.

O Love, How Deep is a meditation on the life of Jesus. It begins by recognizing that it was love that moved God the Father to give the Son, and that same amazing love moved Jesus, the Son of God, to take our mortal form, to dwell among us in ministry, to die for us and to rise again. It is through this love that we know God, and we respond in the last verse with words of praise.

I’ll read the hymn, but I encourage you to take some time and read it. Again it is in the Lutheran Service Book, hymn number 544. I’ve also printed the lyrics on my blog – www.lotrittens.blogspot.com. And you can find the lyrics online by searching, Oh Love, How Deep.

Oh, love, how deep, how broad, how high,
Beyond all thought and fantasy,
That God, the son of God, should take
Our mortal form for mortal’s sake!

He sent no angel to our race,
Of higher or of lower place,
But wore the robe of human frame,
And to this world himself he came.

For us baptized, for us he bore
His holy fast and hungered sore;
For us temptation sharp he knew;
For us the tempter over threw.

For us he prayed; for us he taught;
For us his daily works he wrought,
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not himself but us.

For us by wickedness betrayed,
For us, in crown of thorns arrayed,
He bore the shameful cross and death;
For us he gave his dying breath.

For us he rose from death again;
For us he went on high to reign;
For us he sent his Spirit here
To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

All glory to our Lord and God
For love so deep, so high, so broad;
The Trinity whom we adore
Forever and forevermore.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, all You did in Your earthly life was all for us. Help us to meditate on this beautiful message – for us – when we come to worship. The forgiveness of sins is for us. The Word of God is for us. The sermon is for us. The Lord’s Supper – Your body and blood which gives forgiveness to all who believe – is for us. And, at the end, the benediction, the word that speaks your blessing is for us. Open our hearts and minds to receive all You give us with joy and thanks. Amen.

Memory Verse: John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5 ESV)

Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.


One more thing: If you got something out of this devotional time, would you share it on social media or just tell someone about it? It stands to reason that if this blessed you, it will bless someone else.

Thanks again and God bless you!

Devotions for Worship: Oh Love, How Deep - audio: https://soundcloud.com/pastor-tritten/april-28-o-love-how-deep - text:  #devotion #devotional #devotions #devos

If you like this please follow by email on Blogger, subscribe on iTunes, or follow on SoundCloud! That way you won't miss a devotion!

April 27 - 1 John 4:1-21


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Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH.
Thank you for being with me today.

The Epistle lessons over the Easter season all come from 1 John this year. We will get most of the high points of 1 John, but there are significant parts that we have skipped over to get to where we are. I encourage you to take 15-20 minutes to read the whole book.

I’m going to read this lesson a little differently. John is very clear in what he is saying. You don’t need my explanation. I will simply read it and briefly pause from time to time and repeat parts of the text for emphasis.

The Epistle lesson for the 5th Sunday of Easter is from …. (ESV)

The Reading: 1 John 4:1-21
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
            7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. / 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
            13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (ESV)

Comments
Whoever loves God must also love his brother, because God is love, and God has loved us, so how would we not love one another?

Prayers
The collect for the 5th Sunday of Easter from Creative Worship.

Let us pray. O God, You call Your people away from the spirits of this age, which are not from You and do not confess that Jesus is Lord. Grant us faith to trust that Your indwelling presence in us is greater than any happiness we may try to find apart from abiding in You, in whom alone true joys are found; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns in communion and love with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Memory Verse: John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5 ESV)

Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.

Would you do me a favor? If you got something out of this devotional time, would you like and/or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you do social media? That would help me get the word out, and hopefully help these devotions be a blessing to others.


God bless you!

Devotions for Worship: 1 John 4:1-21 - audio: https://soundcloud.com/pastor-tritten/april-27-1-john-4 - text:  #devotion #devotional #devotions #devos

If you like this please follow by email on Blogger, subscribe on iTunes, or follow on SoundCloud! That way you won't miss a devotion!


Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 26 - Psalm 150


Listen here.

Welcome to Devotions for Worship where we meditate on the appointed Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. I am Pastor Eric Tritten from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hudson, OH. Thank you for being with me today.

Sometimes we find strong connections between the appointed readings in a given week, and sometimes not. The Psalm often has elements related to themes we find in the readings … but not always. This week is a “not always” week. The appointed psalm this week is Psalm 150 – the last psalm in the Psalter. It does not deal with vines and branches, with baptism or evangelism. It is purely a Psalm of Praise. In fact, it is one of the Hallelujah Psalms; a series of five psalms (146-150) which all begin and end with the word, “hallelujah.” We don’t see that word in our English translations because they translate the word “hallelujah” so that we can know it means, “praise the LORD.”

Let’s read the psalm.

The Reading:
Ps. 150 (ESV)
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
 3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD! (Ps. 150:1-6 ESV)

Comments:
I said earlier that this psalm was not really connected to the other readings of the week, but in a sense it is. This psalm calls us to praise the LORD. How else should we respond to God’s love and salvation? After his baptism, the Ethiopian eunuch went on his way rejoicing, and rejoicing is often tied to giving praise to the God who gives us joy through the salvation Jesus has won.

The psalm calls us to praise the LORD, and then it sort of answers a series of questions.

Verse one answers, “Where?” Where should we praise the Lord? Well, we praise Him in His sanctuary. A sanctuary is a holy place, a place set aside for worship. For the psalmist it would be the temple. For us this is church! We come to church and praise the Lord. But this is not something that happens only among us. Praise is happening in the heavens as well, and this brings to mind the images of angels, and archangels, and all the company of heaven gathered around the throne of God praising him day and night … and we praise Him with them.

Verse two answers the question, “Why?” We praise Him for His mighty deeds. Actually, the Hebrew just says to praise Him for His strength or might, however, God has used that strength and might on our behalf. This refers to the power He displays in creation – making all things, sustain it all … even us. His might is seen in His salvation – how He rescued Israel out of slavery in Egypt and protected them as a people and nation, and even more so it the death and resurrection of Jesus who defeated sin and death to restore God’s creation … even us. His excellent greatness shows in the way He continues to preserve and protect His people even today.

The next three verses (3-5) answer the question, “How?” It says to praise the LORD with music, and lists a bunch of musical instruments. In the interest of full disclosure, we should note that these are modern equivalents of the instruments listed which the ancient Israelites would have played, but the point is to impress upon us to bring all kinds of music before the LORD. We should also note that they probably could not tune all these instruments to work together … which means that if they were all played together they were definitely making a “joyful noise unto the Lord!” Praising God is not about talent or skill. It is the cry of joy coming from the heart of God’s people.

The last verse answers the question, “Who?” Who should praise the LORD? “Everything that has breath.” That is a powerful image. In essence, all of creation stands before God and is called to praise him. We have the joy of being able to do so with our whole selves: with our voices in worship, with musical instruments if we play, with our minds, our work, our skills, and our very selves.  

The Reading:
Ps. 150 (ESV)
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
 3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD! (Ps. 150:1-6 ESV)

Prayers:
O LORD, we praise You for Your mighty deeds. You have made us. We are yours. You gave Jesus to save us from sin and death. He has redeemed us and made us into a new creation. Your Spirit dwells within us and He moves us to believe You and to respond to You in praise. Sometimes we place our praise in the wrong places, in nature instead of nature’s God, our intellect, our power, and our ingenuity instead of in You. Please forgive us for Jesus’ sake, and help us join with the angels and archangels and with the creation itself to praise You. Hallelujah! Amen.

Memory Verse: John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5 ESV)

Thank you so much for using Devotions for Worship, I pray that our time together has blessed you and given you something to meditate on – some reminder of God’s grace to rattle around in your brain – for the rest of the day.

I want to remind you to be prayerfully and thoughtfully generous in the giving of alms during this Advent season. Pray that God open your eyes, your heart, and your hand to help others in need.

Another devotional habit we can use to help us meditate on God’s word is memorization.

Would you do me a favor? If you got something out of this devotional time, would you like and/or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you do social media? That would help me get the word out, and hopefully help these devotions be a blessing to others.


God bless you!

Devotions for Worship: Psalm 150 - audio: https://soundcloud.com/pastor-tritten/april-26-psalm-150 - text:  #devotion #devotional #devotions #devos

If you like this please follow by email on Blogger, subscribe on iTunes, or follow on SoundCloud! That way you won't miss a devotion!