Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 23, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Philippians 3:12-16 (NKJV)
3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Regarding our justification, there is nothing left to be accomplished. We who are united with Christ have already attained the forgiveness of sins; we are declared righteous by God on account of the righteousness which is from God by faith (Phil. 3:9).
However, our sanctification or holiness of living is incomplete. None of us has attained perfection or sinlessness. For the duration of this life we will continue to struggle against our sinful nature. Only on the Last Day will our bodies be sanctified from sin, when God transforms our lowly body and conforms it to Jesus’ glorious body (Phil. 3:21).
Until then, we press on, being conformed to Christ’s death and resurrection (Phil. 3:10, Rom. 6:5). Every day, we put to death our sinful nature by confessing our sins, and rise with Christ by laying hold of His merits. When we walk according to this pattern, we will surely receive the prize of eternal life which God has won for us.
Collect: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit, that being ever mindful of the end of all things, and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here, and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for A Day of General or Special Thanksgiving
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, Whose mercies are new unto us every morning, and Who, though we have in no wise deserved Thy goodness, dost abundantly provide for all our wants of body and soul: Give us, we pray Thee, Thy Holy Spirit, that we may heartily acknowledge Thy merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Thy benefits, and serve Thee in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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