Omniscient God, I rejoice this evening that I am forgiven of my wrongdoings. I pray tonight for those who have yet to hear and respond to the good news of salvation. As the day draws to a close along with my eyes, God, let my mind remain open to your gracious acts all around me. In the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Archives: July 11, 2021
Psalm 66:1-5 (NRSV)
Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel
1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.”Selah
5 Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 (NRSV)
The Mission of the Seventy
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.
The Return of the Seventy
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
“Rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20)
Let’s take a moment right now to rejoice. We live in a beautiful world, which God has created. We have been saved by a wonderful God who sent his Son to redeem us. We have the Holy Spirit to draw us close to God and strengthen our faith. And we have Jesus’ invitation to be with him forever – to have our names “written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Let’s look at three signs that will help us make sure that we are heaven bound.
First is the sign of faith. The gospel tells us, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). Be sure to proclaim your faith in Jesus each day. Tell him that you want to follow him. Then do it! Faith is both in the professing of our belief and the following of the belief we profess. It is talking the talk AND walking the walk.
Second is the sign of marks. The marks of a Christian should be obvious to the rest of the world. They include such virtues as kindness, patience, humility, and gentleness. Paul calls them, “fruits fo the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). When people look at you, what do they see? More of what they already see in the rest of the world? Or are these marks visible? Of course, we all fall short in some way or another, but we ought to be able to say that the virtues are growing, and the vices are diminishing. We don’t have to be perfect; we just have to be on the right path.
The final sign is love. Jesus told us, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). He told us that our “neighbors” are not just the people we like, but even our enemies (Luke 10:27-37; Matthew 5:44). So if we are moving forward in the goal of caring for the poor, forgiving those who have hurt us, and treating everyone with kindness, we can count that as another sign.
God truly has a desire for all of us to be in heaven with him. To that end, Jesus has died for us; to that end, he has given us his Spirit. Truly, we serve a loving, generous God. Are we willing to follow him faithfully and obediently in order to inherit the Kingdom?
Jesus, more than anything else, I want to be with you in heaven. Amen.