December 2021 A.D.
(a re-run from an eblast I sent in 2017 by request)
If you are like me, when you hear the words home devotions, you start feeling guilty. You reflect on the past–the many times that you were too busy with the cares of this world to hear God’s Word in the home and return thanksgiving to the Lord. Like me, you know that being a Christian is a daily vocation (calling) and that it is NOT only a one-hour Sunday activity–like taking God off the shelf and then putting Him back for the rest of the week. Yes, God wants and invites us to read, hear, and study His Word and pray daily throughout our lives—for our eternal good. Home devotions are not something we do for God—He doesn’t need our prayers for example. No, they are solely and souly for our benefit. And, no matter the frequency, the discipline, and devotion we apply to doing home devotions—under the Law—we will always fail and should feel accused. As to say, what is worse than feeling guilty for failing to do home devotions is feeling pride that you have done them well enough and that you have earned God’s favor thereby. As sinners, we all fall into both camps. We are lazy and don’t feel guilty. We are lazy and do feel guilty for neglecting God’s Word and prayer; other times, we take pride that we have read our Bible, and thanked God we are not like other people. Thankfully, the primary message of God to us is the forgiveness of all our sins for the sake of Jesus.
In our place, Jesus always held God’s Word sacred and gladly heard and learned It. Jesus always prayed, praised, and gave thanks. Jesus kept ALL of God’s Law for us. He then died on the cross for all of our sins—the sins of laziness, the sin of not caring, the sin of being too busy with the wrong priorities and the sin of failing to pray and say thanks. In Baptism, Jesus’ righteousness covers us, and the blood He shed for our sins washes us clean and gives us a good conscience. We have been set free with heaven as our home apart from home devotions.
And, the new man that God has raised in Baptism loves God’s Word and prayer. However, as we know, our old man—that is, the sinful flesh—still clings to us and tries to keep us from doing the things we want to do, like home devotions. This is the life long struggle that we all live until the Lord returns or takes us home. And, it is by His Word alone—Sunday morning and daily—that our Lord sustains our faith and gives us the power from the Gospel to fight the fight and finish the race.
The other aspect of home devotions is that if you were never taught how to do them—you don’t know where to begin. [updated for 2021] In our Sunday morning Bible class back in 2017, I taught how to have home devotions, but I realize not everyone was able to attend. If you like, please schedule a time with me for a home visit to help model home devotions for you and/or your family. I want to do everything I can to help you in your Christian lives, because, as we know, the world is evil and always trying to lead us astray—not to mention the devil and our flesh. Please talk with me to set up these very important visits. They won’t take long—maybe 15min.
May He Who began a good work in you carry it to completion! – Pastor
P.S. Here are some free home devotion resources that are in the newsletter each month:
Home Devotions Resources: Reminder that there are resources on the table in the Narthex. The “Lesson for Lambs” and “Lambs at Pasture” are great resources to use in the home during the week. There is even an answer guide. Also, additional resources are on our website. Home Devotional Resources: https://www.mlchouston.org/about-us/memorial-moments & http://steadfastlutherans.org/2017/02/lambs-at-pasture-daily-devotions-for-the-family/
Here are some other ones you can order:
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