Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church
Staten Island, NY

Bethany Blog

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Summer Reading - August 29

Malachi 2 & Revelation 20

How has God convicted me of sin in these readings?

It is so easy for me to be consumed with grief over having to deal with the consequences of my sin as opposed to grieving over my sin against God.  In other words, I’m often more sad about being caught than I am about how I have grievously sinned against and dishonored my God.  “And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.” (Malachi 2:13)  This passage bring my tears to account.  As children we have learned to manipulate with our emotions and tears.  We don’t easily grow out of this.  I can recount times of tears before God which were really just a self-focused, self-loving mess of self-worship and really had nothing to do with being dismayed at how I had broken God’s holy law and dishonored Him.  Lord have mercy!

How has God comforted me with grace in these readings?

“My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him.” (Malachi 2:5a) God made a promise to the tribe of Levi who would stand before Him as priests, that He would do good by them.  God reminds them of this that they might repent from the evil that they are doing and receive again those good things.  The Scripture sees us as we actually are: broken, returning to our vomit sinners.  But it constantly comes to us with the good news that God is faithful to His promise and will receive us as we repent and turn back to Him. 

Where do I see Jesus in these readings?

Jesus is the High Priest who did not fail like we have.  He has given the greatest unblemished sacrifice, His own sinless self!  Christ is the King who will throw down death and Satan forever.  He has already won this battle, now we just wait for the final scene!

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

God calls me to repent before Him and to trust Him till the end, one day at a time.

*As this is the last blog for our summer reading, I wanted to make a couple other notes:

1.  For these two months I have not always read everything I planned to each day.  But God has always faithful brought me back to His word.  I am grateful for His patience and steadfast love for me.

2.  I have not always understood all that I have read.  In my weakness this causes me angst because I want to understand everything.  But thanks to the work of Jesus, what I do understand is enough!  “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11

3.  May the reading, study, mediating, and hearing of God’s word stir us in a deeper love and desire for His Word in our lives.  Let’s keep holding fast to God’s Word because, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through the endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4