Reflections: Thursday of the 20th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 55:1-9

Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 3:6-4:2; Matthew 22:1-22

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way,
 and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
 and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
(Isa. 55:6-7)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Seek the Lord while He may be found.  For a time will come when people will seek Him, but won’t be able to find Him.  They will call on Him to save them, and He will not.  This will come on the Last Day, when the door is closed and many who were Christian in name only cry out to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” as if that was the same thing as faith in Christ.  Before that day comes, seek the Lord.  Seek Jesus.  Pursue receiving the means of grace.  Prioritize it.  Drop everything else and come hear your pastor preach the Gospel at the times set for this.

For at this time, the Lord is near.  Now, the Son of God has come close to us, by taking on our human flesh.  Likewise, He has bridged the gap between fallen sinners and the righteous God by shedding His blood as the innocent Savior who dies in place of sinners.  The Lord is near now, but He won’t always be near.  So seek Him where He may be found, when He may be found, where He wants to be found.  That is, seek Him in the means of grace when they are offered.

“Seeking the Lord ” according to Isaiah means that the wicked person must forsake his way, and the unrighteous man must forsake his thoughts.  You cannot truly seek the Lord who rescues you from sin, if you want to remain in your sins.  Yet it is the work of the Holy Spirit alone who creates a clean heart in you.  He applies Jesus’ righteousness to you.  And the Holy Spirit guides you into the path of righteousness by leading you to faith in Christ.  From faith, comes both a converted will that wants to do works, and the strength to do good works that cooperates with the Holy Spirit to bear the fruits of faith.

These works do not save you.  Works never do.  Faith in Christ alone is what saves.  Therefore, seeking the Lord means repentance and faith in Christ.  It is by this that you find God’s compassion and abundant forgiveness as the prophet says today.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Heavenly Father, guide our hearts to trust in Jesus Your Son for our justification, and guide our steps to forsake our sins and thoughts.  Through Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

-Pastor Robert Mayes is Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Beemer and Wisner, NE.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.