This weeks devotions: Sunday – Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday
Daily Devotional Materials
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
– Thursday –
For the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. – Ephesians 4:12.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has instituted an office in His Church on earth. An office is a service, a ministry, vested with certain powers, a service performed in the name and at the command of some superior person. Such an office, which is to be administered in His name, our Lord and Savior has instituted in His Church on earth. To what purpose? For the edifying of the spiritual body of Christ (His Church), that ever more people may be joined to Christ through faith, and be strengthened in such faith. What, therefore are the functions of this office? To preach the Gospel, to administer the Sacraments, and to forgive or to retain the sins of individual persons. To His disciples Jesus said: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20). And again He said to them: “Peace be unto you! As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.” And when He said this, He breathed on them and said to them: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” (John 20:21-23). This office is called the “Office of the Keys,” according to the saying of Christ: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19). For by means of the Gospel, and the Sacraments connected with it, sins are forgiven. And where sins are forgiven, there heaven is opened. But when in accordance with the Word of Christ the sins of impenitent sinners are retained, then heaven is closed to such a one.
PRAYER. – I thank Thee, Lord Jesus, O Most High, that within Thy Church on earth Thou hast instituted the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments, through which Thou dost increase, strengthen, and preserve Thy beloved Church unto eternal life. Grant me Thy grace, I pray Thee, that I may always seek forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of my faith. And guard me, lest I belong to those whose sins must be retained due to impenitence. Amen.
In these last days of sore distress
Grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness
That pure we keep, till life is spent,
Thy holy Word and Sacrament.
Hymn 292, 2. (TLH)
Weekly Reading Theme: Repentance
15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
PDF Print Edition. – The print editions can be of benefit to those who are receiving the web page based devotions as a convenient means for sharing in the family circle during home devotional reading, for individual bible study time, or for sharing with friends, co-workers etc.The objective of the print edition is to keep its size to one standard size sheet of paper per day in an abbreviated format, it has also been designed with a wide left hand margin for use in a three ring binder if you choose to retain them for the entire year.
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