Devotion and Readings for September 15

John the Baptist Francesco Granacci

Bible Readings and Devotion for September 15, 2020

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

Luke 7:24-35   

2 Corinthians 1:15 – 2:2

Psalms 39-41

Job 22

Devotion for September 15, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

Our sinful human reality convinces us to put up barriers to what God is calling us to do. Often there are unhelpful excuses or diversions from committing to follow the way

It is like a student avoiding doing his or her math homework. 

The student might say, “It is too hard.” 

The parent replies, “Ok. I can help you with this.”

The student says, “But you don’t know it the way the teacher wants us to do it.”

The parent says, “I can arrange for you to meet with your teacher to get help.  Maybe he can meet you during homeroom or right after school.”

The student says, “I have too much to do in homeroom.  If I stay after, I will miss the bus.”

This could go on and on.

In our reading from Luke we have a scene which is quite similar to what I note above.  Here is what Jesus says in verses 33 and 34 of Luke chapter 7:  “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’”

Various individuals were avoiding making a commitment to follow the calling of God through John the Baptist and later through Jesus.  They did not want to make a personal stand to say that John was God’s great, final prophet, or that Jesus God the Son, the Messiah of the Lord.  Regarding John, they complained that he was too careful and disciplined about food and drink, so he must be possessed by a demon.  Jesus took a different approach, for he reached out in love to those who were struggling at the edges of life.  He even ate meals with them and drank wine with his meals, as did everybody else.  Then they complained that Jesus was a glutton and drunkard who kept bad company.

There were other times when people pointed to secondary and, ultimately, false excuses for not receiving God’s offer of love, forgiveness, and new life in Jesus. 

Today is the day to stop making excuses.  It is the day to live now as a faithful follower of Jesus.  It is the time to turn from sin to live for God alone.  It is the time to heed the call of Jesus.

Prayer

A prayer of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and prominent theologian, AD 354 – 430

O loving God, to turn away from you is to fall, to turn toward you is to rise, and to stand before you is to abide forever. Grant us, dear God, in all our duties your help; in all our uncertainties your guidance; in all our dangers your protection; and in all our sorrows your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

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