Bible Readings and Devotion for October 13, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for October 13, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Years ago, I knew a man named Eugene. He was a faithful participant in his Lutheran church. He was also the brother-in-law of a pastor colleague. These two were part of group of friends who got together every Wednesday for lunch at a local restaurant.
One day at lunch as part of our group conversation, Eugene made a bold statement to the group. He said something like this, “I believe that if you live the Ten Commandments, you will get to go to heaven. I have done that, and I am going to heaven when I die.”
Basically, because he, on his own power, has been good enough, he has earned his way into heavenly glory.
This is often known as “Works Righteousness”. It is when we put ourselves in the place of God and think we can earn God’s favor and essentially give judgment that we are good enough. In reality, my friend was daily breaking the 1st commandment – no other gods.
Our reading today from Galatians chapter 3 speaks to this issue. Paul notes, “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.”” In essence, if we try to present ourselves as ones who have perfectly followed the law, then we will be judged by God by that standard. Nobody has ever truly lived a perfect, sinless life except our Lord Jesus himself. It is simply foolish to set oneself in this situation.
Instead, the book of Galatians points us toward the work of Jesus along with God’s mercy and grace for our lives. When we receive the love, forgiveness, and new life from God in Christ we are no longer under judgment as to whether or not we have lived perfectly. Instead, we rely upon the goodness of God in Jesus. This is intensely more wonderful than the foolish pride of attempting to be good enough on our own power.
A prayer of St. Catherine of Siena
Power of the eternal Father, help me. Wisdom of the Son, enlighten the eye of my understanding. Tender mercy of the Holy Spirit, unite my heart to yourself. Eternal God, restore health to the sick and life to the dead. Give us a voice, your own voice, to cry out to you for mercy for the world. You, light, give us light. You, wisdom, give us wisdom. You, supreme strength, strengthen us. Amen.