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 3

Exodus 3 & Luke 3

How has God convicted me of sin in these readings?

I have no business being in the presence of the Holy God.  It isn’t just a matter of me taking my shoes off in His presence.  I should not really be there at all.  Much like John the Baptist all I can really testify to is, “the strap of whose sandals I am unworthy to untie.”  It is a hard thing to accept.  My condition, my natural state is completely unworthy to be in God’s presence.  But my soul says, “yes” to this truth.  I know in the core of who I am that I am broken by nature and incapable of anything good.  Today I am confronted with this glaring truth again.  Please God let me bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  Please forgive my sin.

How has God comforted me with grace in these readings?

As unworthy as I am God invites me into His presence.  He has me take off my shoes and speaks to me of who He is and what He will do (and has done!).  He sent His Son Jesus Christ to give me His Holy Spirit and fire.  In Christ I too am like a burning bush, a mere human indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.  Two realities fully present at the same time.  In Christ I have been placed in the long and glorious genealogy of God.  I, who am unworthy, have been made worthy.  Praise be to God!

Where do I see Jesus in these readings?

I read once how the burning bush is a foreshadowing of Christ.  A bush and fire coexist in the same plain, but one is not mixed with the other.  The fire does not consume the bush.  So the bush does not feed the fire.  They both exist in perfect union, but don’t mingle.  That describes Jesus Christ.  He is both God and man in the same person.  Each nature is whole and does not mingle with the other.  They each remain intact as they are in complete purity.  And it is through this God man that we are made holy to enter into the presence of our Holy God.  It is because of this reality that Jesus hears from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

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

God’s word calls me to live a life of repentance.Christ has saved me so that I will no longer live for myself, but for Him who died for me (2 Corinthians 5:15).It is so tempting to just say, “I am only human,” and live a half-hearted life of holiness.But God has met with me.He has come to me in His word.He has come to me through His Son.I can never be the same again.May I live that way today in all the hats I wear: Christian, husband, father, pastor, Son, brother, friend, citizen.To God be the glory!