Devotion 358 – Wednesday of Pentecost 15

Opening Prayer

Teach me, Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth. Amen. (Psa 86:11)

Text: Second Timothy 2:19-22

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Devotion

God’s holy Church, built on Christ the chief Cornerstone, and the doctrine of truth in the Church allows no false teachers to overthrow it. As the devil came to Eve in paradise, his prophets come into the church, mingle with the saints, and disguise who they are. But as the inscription on a seal stands firm, has its special meaning, shows to whom it belongs, and prevents fraud, so this seal stands indelibly on God’s Church: 1) “The Lord knows those who are His,” so that no one can sneak in among them without being known by the Lord. He has already condemned and marked the deceivers. We can be assured they shall neither break down the foundation nor corrupt those who have the seal of the living God on their forehead (Rev 9:4). 2) “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” All the people of the Lord busy themselves in sanctification. None of them can live in lies, pride, fleshly lust, greed, gluttony, arrogance, lust for power, partisan-spirit, or other impurity. This is written to admonish us Christians to examine ourselves and as a testimony to the world.

It must not surprise us that there are vessels of both gold and wood in a great house; for here on earth it cannot be otherwise. In the outward organization of the church there are two kinds of people with many differences within each kind; but our Bible passage isn’t talking about vessels of dishonor. – If you know before God that you walk in the truth, then you are a vessel for honor, you endure the fire of purification and should not avoid it, but suffer evil as a good soldier of Christ. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God.” Be diligent in this. Let it be your full sincerity to stand approved to God. “Remember Jesus Christ” and walk in His footsteps. If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we hold fast, we shall also rule with Him (2Ti 2:3, 8, 11, 12, 15). Keep yourself pure from the vessels of dishonor; do not cultivate spiritual fellowship with the works of the flesh, and the Lord shall sanctify you and use you for honor, to the upbuilding of the Church and for every good work. “Pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Pursue these things! Listen! Pursue them! Not slowly, not lukewarmly, but fervently and eagerly in the Spirit! Pursue these things! Then the Lord shall free you from every evil work and deliver you into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever! Amen.

Hymn

Jesus, help conquer! –nor yield me to terror, –
Infidel science exults in its lore, –
Truth, by wrong colors, confounding with error;
Show to me now Thy own wisdom the more!
Cherish my faith in Thy Word, and its merits!
Teach me to judge, by first trying the spirits!

Jesus, help conquer! While watchful I’m praying,
Shepherd from sleep and from slumbering free,
Thy intercession my courage be staying!
Hast Thou not promised to make it for me?
When too, at night, by fatigue I’m o’ertaken,
Lord, with Thy presence my spirits awaken!

Schröder: Jesu, giv Sejer L 471:5-6 tr. H. Mills;
tune: Store Profet (Jensen’s Koralbog); alternate hymn: Eternal Son of God ELH 68

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