Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Devotions for 2011

If our dear Lord gives us life and breath and stamina for the remainder of the year, it looks like the "To Live with Christ" by Bo Giertz is going to be Martin's and my devotional book this year.  We've read it in bits and pieces  before while being faithful with the "Treasury of Daily Prayer" over the last two years. It is time to go through it day by day.

"To Live with Christ" is pretty deep and I find that I should read the devotion several times.  So, I think there will be a little notebook to go with it and the Bible readings will be done also; but from what version? The Lutheran Study Bible ESV is so thick, I rarely have it handy.   Plus we've been reading ESV for several years now.  Well, maybe we should stick with ESV and keep the Lutheran Study Bible handy.

There is a plan.

On top of that we read Myrtle's Snippets;  she is a good friend and does a great job.
If we need another devotion at the other end of the day, I tend to read Martin from "365 days with Luther.  Faith alone", which is my favorite.

I'll type out for you yesterday's devotion from the Giertz, so you can see.

Tuesday after the Sunday in the new year.
John 1:43-51

Come and see. John 1:46

We read here how Jesus called His disciples.  He did not ask them what they believed or investigate how they lived.  He never had to ask about these things.  He knew the answers from the beginning, whether it was righteous men like Nathanael or God's problem children like the Samaritan woman.  Neither faith nor deeds were of importance.  Jesus had come to help.  He came to the sick who needed a healer.  That is why He always began by saying, "Follow Me."  That meant the same thing as "Come and see."  Who is Jesus?  What does He desire, and what is He capable of?  You can learn these things only from experience.  There's no sense in sitting around wondering what is possible or probable.  What can you compare it to?  Someone like Jesus comes only once.  He can't be compared to anything we have known before. 

Phillip understood this.  When Nathanael wondered if anything good could come from the notorious city of Nazareth, Phillip simply answered, "Come and see."  There is no better answer even today, when people come with objections and theories that explain and excuse why they don't have time for Jesus.

The command to come and see pertains to all disciples and throughout life.  There's always something new to discover.  When Nathanael was impressed and surprised at Jesus' knowledge about him, Jesus said, "You will see greater things than these"  (John 1:50).  This statement remains true all through life.  We will never learn everything.  There is always something new to discover.  There is only one thing we need to see (and it is necessary):  we have to come to see, to constantly return to the gospel and to Jesus Himself, to listen to the Word and speak with God in prayer.  We will never cease being astonished over everything that is still to be discovered.  And the biggest surprise is yet to come, when we can see Him as He is.

My Lord and Master, I thank You because You let me come and see with my own eyes.  Here I come now, Lord.  Open my eyes and my heart so I can see.  there were so many who saw You and still missed seeing You.  Give me an open heart that can receive You and eyes that can see You.  Let me follow You so I see with my own eyes and hear all the voices and experience what happened and become one of them who walks with You.

Giertz does not put an Amen at the end of the prayer, because it is our cue to add our own prayer.

May the Lord bless yours and our devotional life this year, as can't fail to happen when we stay in God's word.

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