Isaiah 46:1-13; Ephesians 6:10-24; Mark 5:1-20
How often we fall prey to our frailties due to misconceptions of personal power. I once placed second in a national Ju-Jutsu tournament and was rather full of myself. Soon to be black belt, I lorded this over my fellow students until my instructor asked me to spar with him. I could not lay a strike on him and finally, he sent me flying into the wall. He said, “Don’t overreach and think too highly of yourself and you won’t be horizontal as often.”
We sinners, redeemed by God’s grace, are also vulnerable to the sin of pride. But we are forgiven and transformed over time by the Holy Spirit into the image of Jesus. The apostles and prophets remind us to strive against our vices by sticking to the basics of spiritual warfare. Prayer, songs of praise, acts of love for our neighbour, clinging to the Word, and remembering his gifts in Christ.
As my instructor reminded me, stick the basics and you can’t go wrong. Practice spiritual warfare by relying on Christ’s mercy and love, praying in thankfulness for those around you, doing acts of love, and humbly remembering who we are: great sinners redeemed by a greater Saviour.
Prayer: Father, in heaven, look not upon our sins, but look upon the robe of righteousness your Son has placed over us in your gift of baptism, and forgive us by your bountiful grace and mercy. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Phillip Gagnon, pastor of St. Albert Lutheran Church, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada.