Bible Readings and Devotion for December 2, 3 and 4, 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 December 2, 3 and 4, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Central to our understanding of God’s Word is that we can see both Law and Gospel in every book of the Bible. Words, verses, chapters, etc. contain something of each.
The law of God tells us what to do. It confronts us with our sin. It accuses us of messing things up. It drives us toward the Good News.
The Gospel comforts us. It shows us what God has done for us in Jesus. It reminds us of the life-giving promises of the Lord. It lifts us up. It announces forgiveness of sin.
We can look at a passage or statement in scripture to see if it is showing us Law or showing us Gospel. Sometimes this can happen in the same verse or sentence. One of the most prominent examples of Law and Gospel in the same verse is Romans 6:23, which reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The first part is pure Law: “For the wages of sin is death…” The law points out our sin. Sin brings death.
The second part if pure Gospel: “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Gospel brings life and hope and connection with the Lord.
In today’s devotion we look at Revelation 10:9-10. That passages reads, “So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.”
This passage teaches in an interesting way that we encounter both Law and Gospel in God’s Word. As noted in The Lutheran Study Bible from Concordia we read, “Prophetic messages invariably contain Law and Gospel, threat and promise, judgment and grace. Thus, as John internalized this Word of God, it is both bitter and sweet.” (Page 2215)
As we encounter the Word of God in our life with Christ remember to ponder how a passage brings us either Law or Gospel. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to help you discern between the two. We will grow more in our faith as we gain a better understanding of the distinction between Law and Gospel.
Here is a link to the text of a sermon by Martin Luther. It is in translation into English. It presents the message of Law and Gospel.
Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, which you have given us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen