Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church
Staten Island, NY

Bethany Blog

Bethany Blog

Check out Sunday's Messages and Devotionals from Pastor Paul Couch!

Summer Reading - July 18

Deuteronomy 18 & Romans 2

How has God convicted me of sin in these readings?

How tempting it is to be a Christian only outwardly, but not inwardly.  How tempting it is to say that God is my portion, but complain that I don’t have this or that.  How tempting it is to preach to others what the law says with no reflection on myself and my own failings.  This word convicts me that I so easily have the appearance of the Christian, but often fall short in my heart.  This last week I was serving at a camp.  I was preaching how others should rest in Christ as they serve.  Now being back from that, I am keenly aware of how emptied I am from my service.  It is plain to me that I was serving not out of Christ, but out of myself.  I am a broken sinner, failing to hear God’s word for my own heart first.

How has God comforted me with grace in these readings?

I am comforted by these words: “God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.”  My notions are wrong.  I think so easily that God can only get my attention if He bangs me over the head.  But His word shows how gloriously, I am misguided.  Praise God that I am wrong!  Praise God that I think incorrectly when I think this.  For the Lord has promised to be my portion: “The Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.”  (Deuteronomy 18:2).  Thank you God for not treating me as my sins deserve, and not coming after me with vengeance, but with kindness.  Thank you for sending Jesus to me that I might have eternal life in Him.

Where do I see Jesus in these readings?

Jesus is my high priest.  He is worthy of my offering.  And through Him I receive the inheritance that the priests are to receive, the Lord Himself.  He is the great prophet who was to rise up like Moses.  He has come to me and spoken His word of truth.  He does not speak on His own accord, but only what He heard from the Father.  Christ is the circumciser of my heart.  Only He has the ability to do it.  And He did by the shedding of His blood that I might receive forgiveness for sins.  Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

How is God calling me to respond to His word today?

He is calling me to take the plank out of my own eye today.  To not dwell on the speck of dirt in my brother’s eye, but to see my own failure, that He might heal me and make me a true teacher before His throne.  May His law uncover my sin and His gospel cover me with His righteousness today!