week of Jan 13-19, 2019
Connecting Sunday to Monday
(For the first week Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord – Starting Sunday January 13th)
Old Testament Reading (Isaiah 43:1-7)
- God is always with us. We received the gift of the Holy Spirit in our baptism. It is a wonderful and miraculous gift! God is with us through all times in our life. The Holy Spirit continually works in our lives to sanctify us (make us holy). We continually learn to forgive others, to resist temptation and sin, and to be kind, loving, patient, and etc. with others.
- The fourth verse of LSB 728, How Firm a Foundation states, “When through fiery trials your pathway will lie, My grace, all-sufficient, will be your supply. The flames will not hurt you; I only design Your dross to consume and your gold to refine.” What a great reminder that God’s grace will always be sufficient for us! No matter what happens, God’s grace is with all believers. We can experience the worst things in this world but God’s grace is sufficient to seal our eternity with Him.
Epistle Reading (Romans 6:1-11)
- We are free through our faith in Christ. This means we can do whatever we want. We have the option to keep on sinning or to sin no more. Paul argues that we should not continue in our life of sin because we are one with Christ. We are dead to our sins and alive in Christ. We should earnestly desire to live a life free from sin. What sins need to die in your life today?
- Death has no power or dominion over Jesus. Jesus won victory over sin, death, and the devil for us. Those things no longer have ultimate power over us. It is comforting to know that because Jesus was victorious, we are victorious in Him. Christians do not need to fear death. They also don’t need to fear the death of other Christians. They are with Christ in heaven. We may temporarily mourn here on earth, yet we will celebrate with them one day in heaven.
The Holy Gospel (Luke 3:15-22)
- It’s interesting to see the people wondering if John is really the Christ. John preached the Word of God in the Spirit and likeness of Elijah. This was prophesized about the one who would come before the Savior. Yet, there is no mention of John performing miracles (which was to be a “witness” of the Messiah). Yet people were amazed by the message God had given John to proclaim. John also rightly proclaimed that he was NOT the Messiah. What messages does our world tend to listen to? Do sometimes people hear the right message but draw the wrong conclusions? What happens when they hear the wrong message? How does God continue to work through His Word today?
- The Jewish people did not understand the Trinity. To be fair, do we fully understand the Trinity? The Jewish people had no concept of multiple gods. They believed in ONE God. They were monotheistic. That’s why when Jesus talked about God the Father or the Holy Spirit (or Helper) it was hard for the disciples to understand. Yet moments like in creation or Jesus baptism it clearly shows the presence of the Trinity. Praise God that the Holy Spirit has revealed to us mysteries that were once hidden!