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Showing posts with label Apostle's Creed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apostle's Creed. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2024

I Just Don’t Know… But I Believe – 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 17 - Purity 1290

I Just Don’t Know… But I Believe – 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 17 - Purity 1290

Purity 1290 03/04/2024 Purity 1290 Podcast

Purity 1290 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a view of unknown beach on the shores of an unknown body of water at an unknown time of day comes to us from an unknown FB who shared this scene from somewhere on or around March 19, 2021. If this photo is yours and you’d like to fill in the blanks of all the unknowns and receive proper photo credit give us a heads up and I will update the blog after the fact.  

Well, It’s Monday and I share this simple yet beautiful yet barren scene this morning because I have been plagued with thoughts concerning an ongoing problem in my life that I just don’t know about and today I am contemplating having a conversation I don’t want to have because depending on how it turns out it may lead to having to do some things in the near future that I don’t want to do. But I can’t move forward without knowing, and I can’t just ignore the situation either.  My life is actually pretty great right now but there is this one situation that is stealing my peace and as much as I trust the Lord, this situation involves someone who is far removed from Him, and my continued prayers on their behalf have done nothing to change that, and I can’t trust that they are working on resolving their own problems.  So instead of praying for them, I’m going to talk to them and I don’t like it.   But before diving into the unknown to try to figure out what the future holds, I am going to draw close to the Lord with today’s message because I need His strength and His truth to guide me. I need it every day and some days more than others. So…

It’s the seventeenth day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough of Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 17

Thus far we have heard the first part of Christian teaching, and in it we have seen all that God wishes us to do and not to do. The Creed properly follows, which sets forth all that we must expect and receive from God, in short, it teaches us to know him perfectly. It is given in order to help us do what the Ten Commandments require of us. For, as we said above, they are set so high that all human ability is far too puny and weak to keep them. Therefore it is just as necessary to learn this part as it is the other so that we may know where and how to obtain the power to do this. If we were able by our own strength to keep the Ten Commandments as they ought to be kept, we would need nothing else, neither the Creed nor the Lord's Prayer.

Biblical Wisdom

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

 

Questions to Ponder

·       How does the focus on the Apostles’ Creed follow from the Ten Commandments?

Well, It follows that if we respect the Ten Commandments, the first commandment – to have no other gods before us – would cause us to proclaim the truth about what we believe to be the one true God.  The Apostle’s Creed declares our belief in the One True, trinitarian God, that is revealed in the Bible and that empowers our faith.

·       What is Luther's logic for putting the Creed after the Ten Commandments in the Catechism?

I can’t know for sure but I believe that Luther’s logic for putting the Creed after the Ten Commandments could be for two reasons: 

1.     The Creed spells out the Truth of the One God that we worship in the First (and all ) of the Ten Commandments.

2.    The Law came before God the Son was revealed to be Jesus, so chronologically it makes sense – progressive revelation. 

3.    The Creed spells out how we will receive the power to live a life of obedience

 

·       Teaching what Jesus has commanded us is part of Jesus' Great Commission to his followers. What exactly is it that we are supposed to teach? (See Matthew 22: 36-40 and John 13:24-35). How is this teaching to be done?

Matthew 22:36-40 (NKJV)
36  "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
37  Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
38  This is the first and great commandment.
39  And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
40  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

John 13:31-35 (NKJV)
31  So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him.
32  If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.
33  Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you cannot come,' so now I say to you.
34  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

While these two passages focus on Jesus’ two great commandments – to Love God and to love people,  as His disciples we are to pass along all that we have learned from Jesus. This would include his respect for all Holy Scripture, The Old Testament and the New Testament in the Bible – the contents there of and to apply its wisdom of God’s Word to our lives. This would also include teaching the spiritual disciplines that Jesus did – praying, reading scripture, preaching, evangelizing, and teaching others to follow His ways.  We should teach with both words and actions. 

Psalm Fragment

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. Psalm 63: 5-7.

Journal Reflections

·       Write about how it feels to change the focus of your meditations from what God would have you do to the nature of God.

When I shift the focus to God’s nature from what He would have me do, I find rest because when I focus on the love and goodness of God as well as His righteousness and holiness,  I am comforted that I am following a good teacher and a loving Father and His commands are not burdensome when I perform them because of the love I have for Him.

·       Say the Apostles’ creed aloud and reflect on what strikes you as you say it. Write about what in the Creed is easy for you to believe and what is difficult to believe. Explain.

The Apostle’s Creed

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 Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.

Before coming to Christ, I suppose I found most of the Creed to be difficult to believe but now I know it all to be true and although it is hard to imagine what life everlasting will be like, I know from my experiences with the Lord that He is good, loving, and trustworthy. He may call us to do hard things but He calls us to the best life and to become the best “me” – the person He created me to be – so I believe it all and I rejoice.  

·       Read Psalm 63: 1-3. Do you hunger as the psalmist does to know God better? Meditate on this hunger. In what ways is this 40-day journey with Martin Luther helping to satisfy your longing?

Psalm 63:1-3 (NKJV)
1  O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
2  So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.
3  Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.

Yes, I do hunger to know God better. This 40 Day Journey is helping me satisfy this longing by causing me to remember the fundamental truths of our faith that transcend the problems of this world. My faith – my relationship with God- gives me peace and there is nothing that can take that away from me because nothing can separate me from His love.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that you will come to understand better any difficulties you may have with the Creed during the next few days.

Lord, I pray that you will give me a better understanding of the mysteries of our faith that are contained in the Creed and to know the path before me for the next few weeks in the next few days. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer For Today

Gracious God, open my mind and heart, my body and soul, to the knowledge of you and your great salvation so that I may live more fully and deeply in your love and grace.

Amen

 

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.)

 

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

 

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV)
11  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Today’s verses fall under the fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

4. Paul learned contentment even in the most difficult circumstances of life.

Today’s verses put Philippians 4:13 in its proper context. The verse that tells us we can do all things means that we can be content regardless of the circumstances. With God we can do a lot, we can do the impossible, but it doesn’t mean we won’t suffer and it doesn’t mean we will get everything we ask for in life. Our Heavenly Father knows best and works all things together for good, but some of those things that are worked out for good can be pretty bad.  We can and will suffer pain and loss in life and thus we are to draw close to God and remember the hope of our salvation to help us to be content in those tough times.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: LUKE 6

“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that
to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”
– Luke 6:32

For the perfect example of the principle enshrined in this verse read John 3:16; 14:23; Romans 5:18; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 4:10.

God loved a world that was at enmity with Him. When He sent His beloved Son, the world did not receive Him; even “His own did not receive Him. (John 1:11). God commended His love toward us (as individuals), “in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). So the apostle John says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us” (1 John 4:10). Notice also Galatians 2:20. God also has a special love for His own children. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). God's children, though, are called to obey Him, and in so doing they demonstrate their love. God loves the unlovely and unloving, and so must I.

Help me to have compassion for and embrace
those who do not love me, for Your Name's sake. Amen.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship