Daily Devotional Materials
Week of the
Seventh Sunday after Trinity
– Wednesday –
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. – Isaiah 55:10-11.
Where on earth is this one holy Christian Church, this congregation and people of God, to be found? Wherever and only where the Gospel of Christ is proclaimed; for according to God’s promise His Word never fails to bring forth fruit. See God’s own promise at the head of this lesson. If you know of any place where the Word of God is preached, where people gather to hear the Gospel of Christ, then you may and should be altogether certain: here is the Church, here are believers, here is a part of Christendom, here are some who belong to God’s people. For though many among those who hear and read the Word of God be hypocrites and ungodly, yet the Word of God never returns void to God; there must be at least a few who believe the Gospel, a few who are converted, and who will be kept steadfast in their faith by means of this Word. God has promised it, and you must believe it. So if you belong to a congregation in which the true Gospel is proclaimed, you should say: I am among people in whose midst there are children of God, in whose midst God begets children and nourishes them to eternal life. And though you observe much weakness and many abuses there, and though conditions be such as to make you think that there are but very few true believers in that place, you must believe God’s promise and say: There surely are children of God in this place. And instead of complaining and grumbling, or even withdrawing and fleeing, you should rather be active, and do your utmost to cure the weakness and to correct every abuse.
PRAYER. – I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast brought me where Thy Word is proclaimed pure and unadulterated, and the Sacraments are rightly administered, hence, where there is a communion of such as are Thy children through faith in Jesus Christ. Let me always remain Thy dear child. Grant me grace to be watchful on my part, and strengthen those who are on the point of losing their faith. Amen.
O Christ, our true and only Light,
Enlighten those who sit in night;
Let those afar now hear Thy voice,
And in Thy fold with us rejoice.
Fill with the radiance of Thy grace
The souls now lost in error’s maze,
And all whom in their secret minds
Some dark delusion haunts and blinds.
Hymn 475, 1. 2. (ELHB)
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
2 Samuel 12:1-23
12:1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? 19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
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