Home > Reading > The Daily Lectionary – August 16, 2016


Judges 13:1–15; Acts 5:27–42; John 3:22–36

Is it the vows of the Nazirite (Num 6:1–8), the similar considerations of Samson’s mother, or vows of devotion we might undertake that make a person right with God? Is it your acts of holiness that must increase, or is it “Christ in you” which must grow? The latter is your only “hope of glory” (ibid.). Holiness comes from heaven, as does every other good and perfect gift, as John and James teach (John 3:27; James 1:17). So, if an angel of God tells you to consecrate yourself for a time in some specific way, be sure to do so. But do not count on this or any other religious work to justify you with God.

What determines a reconciled God is not what we do but who we believe. When the Israelites “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord,” they had turned from believing in him to worship the gods of Canaan. This is when God gave them over to the Philistines for a generation. If you want God’s favor, have faith in Jesus—not your holy actions, commanded or not—for whoever believes in him has forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Prayer: Help me to trust in you alone, Lord, for holiness and salvation. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC.

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