Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on September 22, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 (NKJV)
1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. 9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Lutherans are sometimes criticized for not emphasizing good works as much as we could. We focus on the Means of Grace, the preached Gospel, and the Sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism because they strengthen and sustain faith. But how strong can that faith be if we do not also do good works? We know that no work of ours–not prayer, not trying to keep the Law–can save us or atone for even a single one of our countless sins. We trust in the merciful promises of our God, who alone can save us. Jesus alone paid that price by living a perfect life and dying an innocent death on the cross. He paid the price that avails before God.
We trust that the Holy Spirit will show us good works to do, and will give us opportunities to do them. May we be like the Thessalonians, who were known far and wide for their good works; not because we seek to earn God’s favor, but because we are grateful to God for his great mercy, as we await Jesus’ return in glory.
Prayer: Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy Church with Thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by Thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; 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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