Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 36:22-28
“You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:28)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There are advantages when you belong to something. Belonging to something often means that there are perks. If you’re really fortunate, you get rewarded with free stuff just for belonging. You do belong to something, or rather, to someone: God. And when you belong to God, there are some great perks that go with it. You have God’s Name placed on you, marking you as part of Him. You receive the free Gift of the forgiveness of your sins. Let’s not forget the Gift of everlasting life that you receive by belonging to God. The best part of this: All of it is freely given to you, no punch card required!
When you belong to God, everything is freely given to you. That’s the promise God gave when He made us His people and He our God. The only thing necessary on your part is faith, and even that is given to you by the Holy Spirit. All of this is yours as a free gift.
This is what God had done in the very beginning with Adam and Eve. They were God’s people and He their God. They lived together in perfect harmony. Through man’s fall into sin, all of that went away. Track throughout the Old Testament how many times God’s people walked away from Him, believing in false idols and rejecting God. While the people strayed from God, He never strayed from them. He would remain faithful to them despite the fact that they were unfaithful to Him.
That’s the great difference between man and God. Man is faithful today but faithless tomorrow. We are easily tempted by the bright and shiny things of this world. We can and do easily forget that we belong to God. Fortunately for us, God does not lose faith in us and forget us. God can’t forget us because He made a promise to us, to be our God, and that’s not a promise that God takes likely. In fact, God doesn’t take any of His promises lightly. Every promise made is a promise kept. You are His people and He is your God, now and forevermore. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, keep Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; and because of our frailty we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 14)
-Rev. Jared Tucher is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farmers Retreat, IN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dewberry, IN.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.