Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church
Staten Island, NY

Bethany Blog

Bethany Blog

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

Summer Reading - August 1

Deuteronomy 32 & Romans 16

How has God convicted me of sin in these readings?

“You were unmindful of the rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.” (Deuteronomy 32:18)  Is God not worthy of my attention every moment of every day?  Is He not the God of glory who should have my undivided gaze?  The truth is He doesn’t get that from me.  He gets left overs.  I’m often so busy thinking about how to serve Him then God Himself.  I’m often thinking about myself.  “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.” (Romans 16:18) I so easily meditate on my wants and desires more than on the King of kings and Lord of lords.  I am cut to the heart with this word.

How has God comforted me with grace in these readings?

In my weakness through sin, God comes to my rescue.  “For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.” (Deuteronomy 32:36) I have nothing to stand on before Him, nothing to claim before Him that would make me deserving of God’s love.  But God has come to my rescue through His Son Jesus Christ.  He has declared to me his good tidings and love for me.  He has spoken it to me for my benefit: “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ.” (Romans 16:25)  He has given me this word, this goodness so that I might rest in Him and the assurance that He is for me and not against me.  I am Christ’s, to God be glory forever!

Where do I see Jesus in these readings?

Moses died before seeing the people of Israel resting in the promised land.  He died not entering the promised land himself.  When Jesus died, everyone had deserted Him.  When Jesus died, He died with His people still not where they needed to be.  But then Jesus rose again to new life.  His death was not defeat, but the atoning sacrifice for all people everywhere, so that they could be brought back to God and enter His holy presence as His.  His death and resurrection have made it possible for countless people whose names we don’t all know and whose names we don’t all recognize, as we read in Romans 16, to be part of Christ’s eternal land of promise.  My name is written in the book of Life.  Christ has made me part of His story.  This is true for all who believe in Him!

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

God is calling me to meditate on His word.  “Take to heart all the words” (Deuteronomy 32:46).  God is calling me to read the Scripture, to hear the Scripture, to meditate on it, and to memorize it.  May it strengthen me as it says.