Monday of the 18th Week after Trinity


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Higher Things Daily Reflections

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 10:12-21
Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 20:1-20; Matthew 15:21-39

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. (Deuteronomy 10:17)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” No big deal, right? Look at all the great stuff God has done for you. You owe Him. Honestly, you owe Him more than He asks. He hasn’t just saved ancestors. He hasn’t just given you all you have in this life. He sacrificed His Son to save you. Repent. Repent, because it isn’t God who would use His good works as leverage to extract something from you. It’s you who use your works as leverage to demand from God. It’s you who thinks your good deeds require recompense from your neighbor. God did not send His Son to die as a guilt trip.

And more, it wouldn’t have even worked. We are indebted to God. That’s not in question. But it’s like handing a 4-year-old a bill for room and board. They can’t pay it. You can’t, either. God doesn’t want you to. He is not partial and takes no bribes. He just loves sinners. Even you, who can’t hear His promises without thinking about leverage and paybacks. For even this, Jesus has died for you. You are forgiven. Not because you’ll ever earn it, but because God loves you.

He loves us so much that He wants to see orphans and widows and sojourners cared for even though they can’t pay. He gives it all as a gift. That which He requires of you? He fulfills it for you in the person of His Son. He works it through you for the good of your neighbor. The Law demands more than we could ever give. But God provides everything the Law demands. That way your works aren’t your praise. Your God is. He is the one who has accomplished all for sinners. Jesus paid everything for you. You owe nothing. Rejoice in Him who made you free. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Harrison Goodman

The royal banners forward go; The cross shows forth redemption’s flow, Where He, by whom our flesh was made, Our ransom in His flesh has paid: (The Royal Banners Forward Go, LSB 455:1)

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