Higher Things – Devotion of the Week from BJS

There are many devotional sources around the web that will deliver to your inbox a new short piece to help you in your daily or weekly devotionals, or just get your day started in the right frame of mind. We at BJS use several of these ourselves, and wanted to bring some of them to your attention. We will be posting a devotional from different sources we are aware of. If you receive or know of a good Lutheran devotion, please contact us and we’ll look at it and make it available to our readership.

Higher Things is pleased to provide free daily devotions, called “Reflections,” for youth and their families. These Reflections are centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are based upon each day’s texts from the weekly readings in the one year lectionary and from Luther’s Small Catechism.

Below is today’s Higher Things Reflection. Listen to it here while reading it below. To view this on the web, letting you subscribe to it daily, visit Higher Things Reflections. Higher Things also prepares a Weekly Hour-long Radio Program on Pirate Christian Radio.

[podcast]http://higherthings.org/imgs/reflections/2009-05-04.mp3[/podcast]


Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, May 4th.

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 40:25-31

Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 9:1-24, Luke 9:18-36

They who wait for the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles… (Isaiah 40:31)

Have you ever run a Marathon? It is a race 26 miles long named for the battle in which the Greeks defeated the first Persian invasion in the fifth century before Christ. The runner brought the news to Athens running 26 miles, proclaimed the Greek victory, and then fell over dead! A generation later, Socrates compared himself to a runner finally overtaken by Death, who is slow, but outlasts everyone who tries to outrun him.

Isaiah’s point in today’s reading is not only that God is almighty compared to men, but that God empowers the weak. God is not just inexhaustible Himself, but He strengthens the exhausted. Martin Luther’s great insight was that God’s righteousness is not merely that which makes Him righteous, but that by which He makes us righteous, also.

This has great significance to how we live our lives. If we try to go the distance on our own, we shall end up like the first Marathon runner–dead! But if we wait for the Lord, He will renew our strength. Worship, rightly understood, is waiting on the Lord. We listen to His Word and His Spirit is poured into us. We recall that in baptism we were joined to Christ, the source of righteousness, life, and strength. We receive the Holy Communion, and receive the very Body and Blood of the Savior who endured all things for us. As St. Paul said, “I can do [endure] all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Which is easier to endure, victory or defeat? We think of strength as demonstrated in victory, but the greatest victories are those which are “snatched out of the jaws of defeat.” Christ’s strength was demonstrated, not by out running death, but by allowing it to “take Him down.” His victory in the Resurrection is all the more glorious. This glorious victory is promised to those who wait, in confidence, on the Lord. They will mount up on eagles’ wings in angels’ realms.

Blessed, oh, blessed are they forever Whose help is from the Lord Most high, Whom from salvation can nothing sever, And who in hope to Christ draw nigh. To all who trust in him, our Lord Will aid and counsel now afford. Alleluia, alleluia! (LSB 797, v.3)


To view this on the web, letting you subscribe to it daily, visit Higher Things Reflections. The RSS feed is available here. Higher Things also prepares a Weekly Hour-long Radio Program on Pirate Christian Radio.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Higher Things – Devotion of the Week from BJS — 1 Comment

  1. Isaiah 40:31 is a very “popular” verse in Christian circles, perhaps from the use of the eagle. Several years ago, when our son was preparing to receive his rank of Eagle in Boy Scouts, I learned much about this regal symbol and how it is viewed. It is, of course, one of many symbols that our country uses as a picture of strength and might. However, I believe that this is not always the picture that God paints for us in His Word. The eagle is not necessarily a picture of us, but a picture of God Himself. The eagle will take its young fledglings when it is time for flying lessons and carry them: “how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4). The eagle also uses its powerful wings to soar, using the wind currents to help it rise to amazing heights (as compared to water fowl that “flap” furiously for power). And then there is the picture of an eagle as it uses its wings to protect its young: “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4).
    Yes, we can do mighty things by the power of the almighty God; He empowers us! But He also provides a place of rest and restoration where we can go when we discover (many times throughout our lives) that we cannot “do it ourselves.” Praise God for His constant loving provision for all of our needs!

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