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 17

Exodus 17 & Luke 17


How has God convicted me of sin in these readings?

It seems so ridiculous to me that Israel is grumbling again.  Did they not just get manna after they complained about not having food?  Now it is water.  Why don’t they get it?  I wish this was just Israel’s problem!  It is mine too.  I complain about the weather, the skills of other drivers, the things I lack.  God has been so faithful a provider for me over my entire life, but I still raise my voice with complaints.  And there are times when others hear me.  Times where I tempt people to sin with me as I complain about my sad situation.  Jesus please have mercy on me your unworthy servant!

How has God comforted me with grace in these readings?

I am reminded by God’s word today that He continues His faithfulness to me in spite of my sin and failings.  He provides for me in the midst of my complaining just like He did for Israel.  He shows kindness to me even when I fail to thank Him for it just like He did for the 10 lepers (9 actually because one goes back to thank Jesus!).  He humbles me when I think I’m working hard for Him by serving me.  Jesus Christ does what He says none of us would do.  As the Master of the house He was willing to humble Himself and serve me.  And not just food.  But to serve me eternal life as He was willing to suffer and be rejected by this generation.  Jesus has been long suffering with me.  I believe this and it has made me well.

Where do I see Jesus in these readings?

Jesus tells the Pharisees that the kingdom of God is in their midst.  It’s Him.  He is the kingdom because He is the King.  And He has always been the King and He has always been in our midst.  This is not new.  The rock that Moses hit to bring water, that was prototype for Jesus.  As the Apostle Paul says, “And all drank the same spiritual drink.  For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).  Jesus is the center of all of History.  Whether it be the history of the nation of Israel or my own personal history, Jesus is the center.  He is everything we need!

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

As God called Aaron and Hur to stand by Moses and help him when his arms became weary, God is calling me to encourage those who are wearied from their long journeys.I’m being called today to speak words of encouragement to people I come across who need to be reminded of the goodness and grace of Christ toward them.May that be fulfilled even in those who read this today!