Week of August 19, 2018
Connecting Sunday to Monday
(For the week of Pentecost 13 – Starting Sunday August 19th)
First Reading (Proverbs 9:1-10)
- It is hard to have open and honest conversations with people. Many tend to know their opinions before going into a discussion. This is not a bad thing; but we must also learn to be good listeners as well. How can we expect someone to listen to us when we are unwilling to listen to them? We must remain open minded when we read or hear something new. We can see the new information and look at it critically. That doesn’t mean to immediately bash or praise the information if it agrees with our worldview or not. It means to examine it, examine the way the information is gathered, and to take time to look at and consider the validity of the information. Fools refuse to be corrected, wise people appreciate correction. God has graced us all with ears to listen, brains to think, and His Word to reference.
- “Solomon’s introduction reminds us of the difference between true wisdom and the wisdom of the world. True wisdom is from the Lord, a message that is foolishness to those who reject it but God’s very power to us who are being saved.” (ESV page 999)
Second Reading (Ephesians 5:6-21)
- It is important to read God’s Word so we can discern what would be pleasing to Him. We need to study God’s Word to see what would be pleasing in God’s sight. A good work is anything a child of God says or does in faith for the glory of God and for the benefit of his or her neighbor. When we study God’s Word, we learn more about our Savior and Heavenly Father. As earthly children learn to act how their parents by listening and imitating them; we also learn to act as forgiven children of God when we listen and imitate our Heavenly Father.
- We are filled with God’s Holy Spirit in our baptism. In baptism, we have also received the forgiveness of sins and life. We have been washed clean of our sins and have been claimed by Christ. We are part of God’s family. All those who have been baptized are members of God’s family. The Holy Spirit continues to sanctify us, make us holy, each and every day. This will be ongoing until we reach heaven. With the Holy Spirit’s help we will live as forgiven sinners and also forgive others.
The Holy Gospel (John 6:51-69)
- People were following Jesus until he shared these hard teachings with them. Have you been afraid to try and answer tough questions that your friends and family have? If people walked away from Jesus, how much more likely are they to walk away from you? Jesus knew these people would walk away, yet he still taught them. We sometimes try to sugarcoat some of our teachings. We do a disservice to the world when we don’t speak God’s Word in truth and love. There are ways to share God’s Word in kind ways; but remember, when you’re afraid to share God’s Word, remember how many walked away from their Lord and Savior who followed Him.
- Some denominations believe in predestination. God has already predetermined who is going to heaven and who is going to hell, no matter what you do. This is cruel. God wants all people to be saved! Yet, He does not force salvation on people. All have been chosen for salvation; yet some reject this free gift. It can be hard to understand, yet we see it happen in these verse. Yet, believers echo Peter’s words, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”