God’s Pledge

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Wednesday: God’s pledge.

Wednesday’s readings: Psalm 51, Psalm 103, Psalm 130, Ezekiel 36:16-38

1 Peter 3:21 – Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not as the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God).

Wednesday’s prayer:

Lord Jesus, there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t recall and remember the sins of my past. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t regret something I’ve done. On top of all this, Lord Jesus, as I look further back into my life I remember things things from long ago. My conscience keeps me awake at night because of what I’ve done. I wonder how my sin has crushed other people. I wonder how my sin has hurt them. I regret and repent again of those sins, dear Jesus, and it crushes me again. My conscience has good memory of all the things that I’ve done against you and other people. But Lord Jesus, you don’t! You don’t have a record of any of my since because my baptism washed my conscience clean of all the things that I’ve done against you and others. This is your promise and pledge to me at my baptism. There and then you promised me that my conscience was clean. Lord God, shut my conscience up with my baptism. Help me to hold on to the promise you made to me at my baptism that no sin now condemns me. Amen.

My baptism is a pledge and a promise from God that my conscience is clean. There is nothing that Satan can hold against me. There is nothing that anyone can bring against me. My conscience is clear and clean. God says so.

God saves through water

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Tuesday: God saves through water.

Tuesday’s readings: Galatians 3:26-29, Ephesians 5:25-27, Romans 6:1-11, Titus 3:4-8

1 Peter 3:20-21 – In it a few – that is, eight people – were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you.

Tuesday’s prayer:

Lord Jesus, I wonder what Noah and his family were thinking when God closed the doors of the ark and the waters started raining down. I wonder what they thought when their once boat, planted right in the middle of a plain started to rock back and forth as the waters raised them up above the destruction of the flood. God was saving them through that water. He was lifting them above the destruction of the flood. He was preserving them by his grace and mercy. Jesus, I don’t think often enough about the saving grace of my own baptismal flood. Though I deserved to sink down beneath your angry frown, though I deserved to be flooded beneath the cup of your wrath, my baptismal flood lifted me above your anger and your wrath. My baptism lifted me up and saved me from the judgment that should have been mine. You saved me there in my baptism. O Spirit, remind me daily about the salvation that is mine through baptism. Remind me every day that my baptism is a life-saving buoy that was given to me once, many years ago. It is still something to which I can cling every day and not drown beneath your judgment. Help me to treasure it and hold it every day of my life. Amen.

God’s Salvation

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Monday: God’s salvation.

Monday’s readings: Genesis 6-9

1 Peter 3:20 – When God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared. In it a few – that is, eight people were saved through water.

Monday’s prayer:

Lord God, your patience with the wickedness of this world blows me away. I see it all around me. The wicked and the unbelieving seem to get away with it. The injustice on our streets. The perversion online and behind closed doors. The creeping immorality of our society that even gets legalized. If it makes me sickened and sad, I can not imagine how you about it from your heavenly throne. And yet, you are so patient with this world and all the people in it, even me. You give us day after day to repent and to turn back to you, just like you did in the days of Noah. You give us life and breath, day after day. You give us all a time of grace. You give it to each person: the pedophile and the rapist, the murderer and the racist, the slanderer and those who think evil thoughts about other people. I pray, Lord Jesus, keep leading me to repentance. But more than that O Spirit, lead more and more people in this world – yes, all of them! – to repentance and faith so that they might be saved from judgment and destruction. You saved Noah and his family. And you desire the same for me and for all. Lord God, I pray, work through your Spirit and through your Word to bring faith and life to this dying world. Bring about a revival in our day. O Spirit, come, and save us all. Amen.

Victory Won and Proclaimed

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Saturday: Victory won and proclaimed.

Saturday’s readings: Psalm 16-18

1 Peter 3:18-19 – He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit, in which he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison.

Lord Jesus, hell didn’t stand a chance. Satan didn’t stand a chance. The demons of darkness didn’t stand a chance. Oh, they thought they did. Satan laughed when Eve ate that fruit, and then God spoke of his downfall. Hell smirked when the world of Noah’s day was so evil, and then God saved Noah and his family through water. Satan must have danced a jig on your grave Jesus, but he didn’t stand a chance. Yes, Lord Jesus, you were put to death in the body and it must have seemed to everyone that all was lost. But it wasn’t! Your Spirit came and made you alive and then all hell knew – they had lost! You won victory over sin, over death, over hell and then you went to hell. There and then you let them know that they had lost. Yes, Lord Jesus, hell didn’t stand a chance. Satan didn’t have a chance. There are no sins now that can condemn me. There is no death that can scare me. Satan cannot taunt me because you, Lord Jesus, have won and have overcome. You hold the keys of death and hell. You lock the devil and his demons there. And you keep me close to you now and forever. Help me revel in your victory tomorrow as we remember how you rode into Jerusalem acclaimed as the king you really are. Amen.

Once for All

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Friday: Christ suffered once for all.

Friday’s readings: Psalm 22-28

1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteousness, that he might bring you to God.

Lord Jesus, such freedom and joy is mine. You suffered for all my sins, all of them. All of the sins of this week, all of the sins of my past, even for all the sins of my future. You suffered for all of my sins just once. And you did it all righteously and innocently. You didn’t deserve a single lick that you got from your enemies. You didn’t deserve a single stroke of the justice that your Father doled out to you. And yet you suffered all of that for me. You suffered all of that so that you might bring me to God. You have opened the way for me into God’s presence so that I might see him, live with him, and come to him. This next week, dearest Jesus, as I see you make your way into Jerusalem to suffer for all of our sins, help me to see what you’re doing. You’re going into Jerusalem to take away my sins. You’re going there not die for all of my sins. You’re going to there to bring me to God. Lord Jesus, thank you for this your deepest passion. It is my salvation. It is my entry into God’s presence. Amen.