When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what can I do for you before I am taken from you.” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” Elis...ha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more.
2 Kings 2:9-12
Lord God, I praise you that you always make sure that the work of proclaiming your good news goes on. Bless your good news proclaimers so that many more may come to believe in you. Amen.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Lord Jesus, through faith in you, I am free. Forgive me for all the times I have sought my sense of worth in anything other than you. Refresh me in your Spirit. Amen.
Jesus Defeats the Devil
These are the readings for the First Sunday in Lent.
In Lent we see Jesus go to the cross to suffer and die for us. Today’s lessons show... that when God tests us and the devil tempts us (every day!), Jesus is our holiness before God. He is also our strength and our example. Jesus says we do not live on bread alone. We live on God’s promises. They come to us in holy baptism, in Holy Communion, and straight from the Biblethe book in which every word is from the mouth of God.
Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
I can be certain of his presence in my life because he said, “I am... with you always.” This tells me there is never a time when I am alone. He is always there to guide me with his Word. He is always there to comfort me with his love. He is always there to encourage me with his promises.
The third time [Jesus] said to [Peter], “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “...Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
God’s total knowledge is not a threat, it’s a blessing. God knows all about you, so you will never be lost in the sea of humanity. God knows your weaknesses and troubles, and promises to help you with them. He knows all the little details of your life and more than that, he uses what he knows for your eternal good.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.”
Jesus, the Son of Go...d, gave his holy life on the cross to forgive us and rose again to make heaven our eternal home. God does what is impossible for us to do by ourselves. Through faith in Jesus, he makes sinners into saints. He brings us from death to life. He changes us from being his enemies to being his sons and daughters.
“Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man? Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired man waiting eager...ly for his wages, so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me. When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss till dawn. My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.
Jesus is your Redeemer who lives. He died and rose again for you. Because of him and what he has done, you always have hope. No matter what you may suffer, keep your eyes focused on him, knowing that your living Redeemer loves you and will never leave you. Nothing can separate you from him and soon you will see him yourself. How our hearts long within us!
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I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:23
Lord Jesus, you have washed me clean in your blood. Brin...g me to repentance for all the times I have allowed the priorities of this world to steal my time in the Gospel. Give me zeal to reclaim it. Amen.
Jesus Reveals his Future Glory
These are the readings for Transfiguration Sunday.
Scripture only records one time when Jesus showed his divine glory. That was o...n a hilltop in northern Israel. On the Mount of Transfiguration Peter, James, and John got a firsthand (and terrifying) look at Jesus’ perfect glory. Why did Jesus do this? He did it, among many reasons, to give his disciples a glimpse at what the future holds for all believers. They were about to enter a difficult time as disciples. They would see their Messiah crucified. But future glory would follow, by God’s grace.
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
When Jesus came into this world ...it was not to be a physician, a financial planner, or a life skills coach. He came to preach and his message is what I need to hear. He came to tell me my sins are forgiven and that heaven is mine.
This is truly good news. It is this message which relieves the burden of my guilt and sin. It is this message which rescues me from the hopelessness of death and the power of the devil. It is this message which gives me an unshakable hope and a never-failing peace.
To You Who Bring Small Children to Church
There you are sitting in worship or Bible study. Your child, or toddler, is restless. Perhaps they’re even a little bo...isterous. You try to silence them, and nothing. You try to pacify them with food or toys, and nothing. Eventually, you resort to the last thing you wanted to do: you pick them up, and before a watching audience, you make the march out of the auditorium. All the while, you’re a little embarrassed. Maybe you’re a little frustrated too. You might even think to yourself, “There’s no point in coming to church. I get nothing out of it because I have to constantly care for my kid.”
I want you — you mothers and/or fathers — to know just how encouraging you are to so many. The little elderly woman who often fills alone beams with a smile at the sight of you wrestling with your little one. She’s been there before. She knows how hard it can be, but she smiles because to hear that brings back precious memories. To see young parents and their small children brighten her day, and she may have just received bad news this week about her health, but seeing the vitality of young ones removes — if but for a moment — her fears.
The older man who always seems to be grouchy notices you too. He’s always talking about how children in this day have no respect or sense of good. But, he sees you — a young family — in church, and you don’t miss any gathering. Like clockwork, he can depend on the sight of you and your young family. You give him hope that maybe the church isn’t doomed after all, because there are still young parents who love God enough to bring their restless children to worship.
Bring your children to church. If you don’t hear crying, the church is dying. As hard as it might be for you as a parent who’s half-asleep, keep on doing what you’re doing. You are an encouragement, and you’re starting off your children’s lives as you should.
Copied: (Author Unknown)