Bible Readings and Devotion for October 18 and 19, 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 18, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Many years ago, I was conversing with one of my brothers about faith and following the way of Jesus. My core takeaway from that conversation was this from my brother, “The best way we can show our love for God is to serve others.” At the time I was a bit put off by this. At that point in my faith experience I had been very much about loving and honoring God. What happened with others was less of a concern. My brother’s statement got me thinking and got me to invest more in study of God Holy Word.
One of the passages of scripture which helped me understand his point was this from today’s readings: “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” Galatians 5:14. Paul writes this in the context of how we treat one another.
This is presented as contrast to self-indulgence. A godly community not continue well if each person is in it for himself or herself. When we receive the love and forgiveness of God in Jesus, we are entering into our transition into the life God intends for each of us. This is a life of repentance and change.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Paul writes, “For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.” This is a good description of Repentance. Our repentance, our God inspired turning from sin to live for God along, is the God given avenue to living out the Law of God. As Paul teaches, For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” I am always thankful that my brother got me thinking. I believe it was another powerful gift from the Lord who was helping me grow closer to God and closer to my neighbors in need.
God, our creator, by your holy prophet Jeremiah you taught your ancient people to seek the welfare of the cities in which they lived. We commend our neighborhood to your care, that it might be kept free from social strife and decay. Give us strength of purpose and concern for others, that we may create here a community of justice and peace where your will may be done; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.