Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 17, 2022

4:21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” 26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” 30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” 33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.”

– Mark 4:21-34

I often forget what can be accomplished when the people of God work together. It is truly amazing. But when I focus only on myself aside from working alongside my brothers and sisters, I can fall into a melancholy state. Being a person that is often impatient, I want things accomplished quickly, not always seeing the value of waiting or thinking things over as to how things might be affected by other factors. Accordingly, I feel like a failure, blaming myself for things not being where I expect them to be.

The amazing thing though, is that God has a way of taking what we do and having it bear fruit in unexpected ways. Again, He doesn’t call us to success but faithfulness. Success, whatever it will look like will be measured by His standards which are unlike the world’s standards. The little that I do or accomplish in faithfulness will be used by the Spirit to further the Kingdom and I am reminded that I am but a member of a larger body and not to be saddened by the little I think I might have done. By focusing on how slowly or how little I think I may have accomplished I judge myself according to the world’s standards, navel gazing rather than rejoicing in what is.

Rather, I am reminded by the Word, to be faithful in using what gifts I have, wherever I am, to lift up the name of Jesus. God will use that little grain of work for the sake of the Kingdom for His overall purposes and I must look to Him, not to me, for a sense of worth. In using our gifts for the Kingdom, we shine a light to honour the Giver of all good gifts so that others may see how good our Lord is. Find your joy in serving in whichever way presents itself that people may see how the people of God love Him and our neighbour. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,” writes the author (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Find joy in serving the Lord with your gifts and leave the end and the judging in God’s hands, for He will honour your faithfulness. Watch and see what He will do and be amazed!

Prayer: Father in heaven, help us, by Your Spirit, to find our purpose, our meaning, our life in You and not in the world’s ways of determining worth. Bless all those who are engaging in NALC Life-to-Life Discipleship, that their lives would be transformed for the sake of the world You love. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Phillip E. Gagnon STS

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After a challenging year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

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