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Growing In Faith Together

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A Daily devotion written for the families of Divine Shepherd

A devotional formed around Luther’s Small Catechism

Each day when you begin you may make the sign of the Holy Cross and say:

In the Name of +Jesus+ amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Plate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Next meditate on the reading for the day and the discussion questions.

Inspiration of Scripture.      2nd Timothy 3:10-17

Memory work: vs 16-17

All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Family Questions. 

  1. What does persecutions and persecuted mean from vs 11 and 12? 

 

  1. Why do we need to be in God’s Word every day?  vs 12.

 

  1. Why does St. Paul use the word continue in vs. 14? 

Law and Gospel                                      John 1:1-18

Memory Work: vs. 17-18

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

Family Questions.

  1. Who is the Word from vs. 1 (hint, its who John the Baptist preached about)?

 

  1. Vs 17.   What is the purpose of God’s Law? LSC (Luther’s Small Catechism) Q 10 & 11

 

  1. Vs 17.  What is the purpose of God’s Gospel? 

 

  1. All Scripture point to __________?   

Law and Gospel                             Romans 3:9-24

Memory work:   Vs 22b - 24

No One Is Righteous

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
11     no one understands;   no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14     “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 

  1. What does it mean to be under the law?  vs 19

 

  1. How does Jesus justify us? 

 

Vocabulary for the week.  Please define these words. 

Scripture

Justified

Righteousness

Redemption


The Second Commandment

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

Memory Work Isaiah 9:vs 6

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:1-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

For to Us a Child Is Born

9 [a] But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.[b] 2 [c] The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder, and his name shall be called[e] Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

  1. List all these Names of God.
    1. Exodus 3:14
    2. Jeremiah 23:6
    3. Matthew 1:21
    4. Matthew 18:20
    5. Matthew 28:19
    6. John 1:1
       
  2. Who is the light verse 2 talks about?
     
  3. Why is Jesus called the Prince of Peace?
     
  4. What kind of peace does Jesus give to us?

 

Psalm 50

Memory work, vs. 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

1. What does it mean to call upon the Lord?

 

2. How do we misuse God’s name? LSC Q 27

 

3. What is the difference between “cursing” and “swearing”? LSC q 28-29

 

Memory work. Luke 23: 42-43

42 And he (the thief) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

1. Why was one thief saved and the other not?

 

2. The second thief said to Jesus “Remember me when you come into your kingdom”. What was he asking Jesus?

 

3. What was Jesus answer to Him?

 

4. What does Jesus answer mean to this man?

 

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Memory work: Genesis 2:2-3
2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
Genesis 1:24-31- Genesis 2: 1-3

 

1. When God originally created, He rested on the 7th day of the week. What day is that?


2. Why do we now worship on Sunday? LSC q 37

 

3. What does Sabbath mean? LSC q 35


4. God does not require a specific day to worship but He does require that we worship together. What does Hebrews 10:25 tell us to do?

 

5. Why did God rest on the seventh day?

 

6. What does it mean to Sabbath (Rest) in Jesus?

 

Memory Work Mathew 11: vs.28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[g] 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

1. Jesus says come to me and I will give you rest. What kind of rest is He talking about?

 

2. What does it mean to rest in Jesus?

 

3. Do we keep the Sabbath, rest on the Sabbath, by not working on that day or does the commandment direct us to another kind of rest?

 

Acts 2: 42-47

Memory work Acts vs. 42

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[d] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.


1. What are the apostles teaching?


2. What is the fellowship they devoted themselves to?


3. What is the breaking of Bread?


4. Why did they pray?


5. Where do all of these things come together?


6. What does it mean to hold God’s Word Sacred?


7. What does it mean to Gladly hear it?


8. What does it mean to learn God’s Word?

 

The Lutheran Reformation

was a world-changing event on may levels. For us, what Dr. Luther began by nailing the 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, resulted in clearly seeing our salvation as a gift completely given and accomplished by God for us. It is a common misunderstanding in and out of Christianity that I must do something to be saved. That is not true God does it all. He give the gift of Baptism to give us faith to believe that Jesus atoned, paid for our sins, on the cross. You dear child of God are save by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, guided by the scriptures alone.

 

Romans 10:5-21

One of the best descriptions of what worship is was written by Professor Norman Nagel from Concordia Seminary St. Louis. Dr. Nagel writes this.

Our Lord speaks, and we listen. His Word bestows what is says. Faith that is born from what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise, enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God”. LW Introduction p.6

Worship does not start with us. It is a response. Where does Romans 10:17 tell us our faith and worship originate?

Romans 10:9

“ because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.

This verse is often misunderstood. Many think we are saved because we confessed. We are saved by Christ alone through faith alone and that causes us to confess.

What would the result be if we got this backwards?

What does it mean that with the heart one believes and is justified?

Read 1st Timothy 4:1-8

Dr. Nagel continues.

“The rhythm of our worship is from Him to us, and then from us back to Him. He gives His gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Our Lord give us His body to eat and His blood to drink. Finally, His blessing moves us out into our calling, where His gifts have their fruition. How best to do this we may learn from His Word and from the way His Words has prompted His worship through the centuries”. LW Introduction, p 6.

Is Worship of God commanded in God’s Word?

What does God say about that in the 3rd Commandment?

What does Martin Luther say about that in the What does this mean for the Third commandment?

What does the writer to the Hebrews say about that in 10:25?

What does St. Luke say about the importance of Worship in Acts 2:42?

God gives His good gifts to us in many places, but especially in Worship. What gift does God give us at the beginning of the Worship Service in the section called Confession and Absolution?

See.1st John 1:8-9

What gift does He give to us in the Service of the Word?

1st Timothy 4: 1-5

What gift does He give to us in the Service of the Sacrament?

See. 1st Corinthians 11:23-25

From Dr. Nagel.

“Saying back to Him what He has said to us, we repeat what is most true and sure. Most true and sure is His name, which He put upon us with the water of our Baptism. We are His. This we acknowledge at the beginning of the Divine Service. Where His name is, there is He. Before Him we acknowledge that we are sinners, and we plead for forgiveness. His forgiveness is given us, and we, freed and forgive, acclaim Him as our great and gracious God as we apply to ourselves the words He has used to make Himself know to us”. LW Introduction, p 6.

Read Titus 3: 1-11

God gives divine, good and lifesaving gifts. We receive them as unworthy servants. Our response is a life of worship.

Vs. 5

”He saves us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own ___________."

What does that mean?

How does God show us His Mercy?

What is St. Paul talking about when He says,

“by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly.”

Dr. Nagel says

“Where His Name is there is He”

In which places of the worship service do we hear God’s Name? (It might be helpful to use the hymnal and look through Divine Service 1 for help)

Check out these verses for help. Matthew 28: 19b [18:20] John 1:12; Philippians 1:6 Mark 10:47; Matthew 26: 26-28Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22: 19-20; 1st Corinthians 11:23-24; Numbers 6:24-26

Acts 2:37-47

When you think of Worship, what direction is the worship focused?

Is it us giving to God or God giving to us?

A better term for what happens when God’s people gather around His good gifts is The Divine Service. Let’s take the words apart.

What does Divine mean?

What does service indicate?

The direction of Worship is always God given to us and we, in turn, give praise, thanksgiving back to Him. When you watch the pastor of Sunday morning the direction he faces tells us what is going on in worship. When the pastor faces the altar, it is called a sacrificial position. The pastor is like one of the congregation. When the pastor faces the congregation, his position is called sacramental. He is giving God’s gifts to God’s people.

At Divine Shepherd which direction does the pastor face for the Invocation Confession Absolution Kyrie Hymn of Praise Reading of God’s Word Where is the Holy Gospel read from?

Preaching of God’s Word Prayers of the Church Offertory Service of the Sacrament Benediction What direction does the pastor face for the majority of the Divine Service?

What conclusion can we draw from this?

Read Isaiah 55; John 1:1-5; Isaiah vs. 10-11

What is the purpose of God’s Word preached and Studied?

See also 1st Timothy 2:4

What does it mean to “seek the Lord while He may be found?”

How do we seek the Lord?

When people are seeking career advice or guidance on making life decisions, they often look for answers and guidance from God.

Where do people look when they want God to “speak to them”?

Hebrews 1:1-3 directs us to the place where God promises to guide us.

Hebrews 1: 2 God speaks to us through His _________!

That should not surprise us because John 1: 1 speaks of the eternal nature of Jesus, only St. John calls Jesus something else.

“In the beginning was the __________ and the ________ was with God, and the _________ was God. Jesus is the ________ of God!"

When we are seeking hope, healing, direction and comfort we will find it in the __________ of God!

Numbers 6: 22-26

What does the term Benediction mean?

What does “Peace” mean?

We receive the Benediction at the end of the Divine Service. Where did that Peace of God that we are promised first originate?

Genesis 3:15

John 19:17-37

Acts 2 38-39

1st Corinthians 11: 23-26

When we look at what happens in the Divine Service, we begin to clearly see God’s great desire is to give us His good Gifts!

In the Invocation we are reminded of God’s Name put upon us in the waters of Holy Baptism for the __________ of our sins. In Confession and Absolution, we tell God that we have lived as if we were God. We have sinned in thought word and deed.

In the Absolution the pastor pronounces the Gift of the ___________ of all our sins, because of Jesus death and resurrection.

In the Service of the Word we hear God’s word read to us and preached into our ears. The law of the sermon shows us our sin. The Gospel which always involves Jesus is preached to us so we know we are __________ for all our sins.

In the Service of the Sacrament we receive Jesus in with and under the bread and wine for the __________ of all our sins!

The Gift of God’s Word, [Jesus] to each of us is for the _________ of our sins so we may have God’s promise of His Peace, now and into eternity!

The Ninth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor's house.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor's inheritance or house or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it.


1st Timothy 6:8 and 6:10 

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

The Close of the Commandments

What does God say about all of these commandments?

He says, "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments" (Exodus 20:5-6).

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who break these commandments. Therefore, we should fear His wrath and not do anything against them. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. Therefore, we should also love and trust in Him and gladly do what He commands

Deuteronomy 30:1-10

1. Why is God making these threats and promises?
Answer the question and give 2 examples

2. How do God’s threats and promises shape the way I view Him and His actions?
Answer the question and give 2 examples

3. How do God’s threats and promises shape the way I make close friendships?
Answer the question and give 2 examples

4. How do God’s threats and promises shape the way I relate to my family?
Answer the question and give 2 examples

Isaiah 42: 1-10

1. Who is Isaiah talking about in this reading?

2. Isaiah writes “a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice”. What promise is made in these verses for you?

3. Vs. 8 What “glory” do we give to others, that should be only to our Lord? What do we call that when we worship other gods?

Judges 2:11-15

You might need to check your Bibles concordance or do a web search to answer the following questions.

1. Who were the Baals that Israel was worshiping?
What does Baals worship or the worship of any false god have to do with the close of the commandments?

2. Who were the Ashtaroth gods Israel was worshiping? What did Israel offer as sacrifices to the Ashtaroth gods?


3. What does it mean that God “gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them?”

Deuteronomy 7:1-16

1. List the 7 Nations that Israel had to drive from the land the Lord was giving them?

2. Why did God want these other nations removed from the land that He was giving to Israel?

3. Vs. 12 What will be the result for Issarel when they listen to the rules and keep them?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Romans 6:1-14

In vs. 3 St. Paul writes “we were baptized into His death”.

1. What does St. Paul go on to say are the benefits of that for each of us?

1.

2.

3.

2. Vs. “3 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness.

3. What is an instrument for unrighteousness?

4. Give 3 examples of how we may put ourselves in a position to be used as instruments for unrighteousness.

Romans 6: 15-23

We are always slaves to something. St. Paul reminds us either we are slaves to sin or we are slaves to God.

1. What can we expect will be the result of being a slave to God and His righteousness?

2. If we keep living selfish lives and lives as slaves to unrighteousness.

3. What can we expect will be the outcome?


When you are finished, say a prayer for yourself and others. Pray the Lord’s Prayer and or Luther’s Morning or Evening prayer. 

Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;  and lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

 Luther’s Morning Prayer 

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Luther’s Evening Prayer  

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

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