Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Today’s readings: Deuteronomy 7:17-26; Titus 3:1-15; John 1:43-51
“…but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing and regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ…” (Titus 3:1-15)
It should be clearly stated here, during the first few days of Lent, that our 40 days of spiritual discipline will not save us or gain us eternal favor in God’s sight. In today’s reading, Paul is laying out clear expectations regarding the life of the Christian, exhorting his readers to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, ready for honest work, not speaking evil, avoiding quarreling and so on. (Read the entire passage cited above.) As followers of Jesus, there are expectations of godly behavior. Disciples are to live increasingly “disciplined” lives.
In the North American Lutheran Church, we are all about the life of discipleship and we have joyfully and hopefully engaged in the commission of our Lord to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” We speak of the expectation that disciples will be regularly reading, hearing and living the Word of God, praying, sharing the faith, and “making disciples.” Yet, some forget that this is not about “saving ourselves,” making ourselves acceptable in God’s sight or proving ourselves “better” Christians than others. We seek to live Christ-like lives as disciples in response to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, even as we practice Lenten disciplines in response to Jesus’ own 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus’ own suffering, self-denial, death and resurrection.
Paul writes, “but when the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, HE SAVED US…”
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you for your goodness and lovingkindness, that through Jesus death and resurrection, you have saved us! Amen.
Lenten Response: Read the entire appointed passage above, Titus 3:1-15, Paul’s list of exhortations, and choose one action to work on today!
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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Video of each day’s devotion is available here. The 2017 Lenten Devotional, based on Year I of the LBW and written by Pastor David Wendel, is available for download/printing in two formats and as a daily text/email message.
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