Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 1, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Romans 8:24-39 (NKJV)
8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We, as Christians, wait with perseverance for our final home, our entry into Heaven. We long to see our salvation brought to completion, our bodies and this world made new in glory. We wait patiently, praying for the second advent of Christ. But often in other things we are not sure how to pray.
Sometimes we don’t know exactly how to pray, or what to pray, but we know our current situation isn’t right and we long for a different reality. Even when our prayers are not perfect, the Spirit brings perfect petitions before the Father. Paul says, “the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Pentecostals will often twist this passage to support their speaking in tongues, but this has nothing to do with ecstatic speech. The same term is used in John 11:33 and 38 where it says that Jesus “groaned in the spirit and was troubled.” Clearly in the context of those verses, Jesus was not speaking in tongues.
But with the help of the Holy Ghost we persevere through the trials of this life, and in the end we are the victors. As St. Paul says, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” So, not only should we daily remind ourselves of the return of our Lord, but we should also remind ourselves of who we really are. We may be the losers in this world, but we are the winners, the victors, in Christ.
We pray: Lord, teach us to have a right understanding of who we are that we might always glorify You. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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