One For All
There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
There is one thing that unites Christians. It is there to unite all people of all ages and places. It is God’s love to all in Jesus Christ. Paul writes to the Ephesians, the people he had spent three years earlier in his ministry. It was a congregation in a prominent and prosperous city. He sends Timothy with this letter to bring the people to reunite in the one true faith.
Whether in Ephesus in 60 A.D. or where each one finds himself today, there surfaces a myriad of teachings and beliefs called “religion.” So many things sound good and are pleasing to the ear. It is like what one wants to hear and believe as Paul wrote to Timothy about people who, “…with itching ears…will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…” [2 Timothy 4:3]. Left up to us people alone, pride and preference get in the way of being able to come together about anything let alone the most precious thing one could ever have.
That most precious thing is God and his love for each one in the confidence and joy of eternity with him. So God made it quite simple, “…one Lord, one faith, one baptism…” Through Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of the church [Ephesians 2:20], there is but one saving faith given in His word and in the waters of baptism. In those waters you are given one name, God’s name. You are his adopted child. As his dear child you are an heir to heaven, a co-heir with Jesus Christ [Romans 8:17]. There is no variation in all of this to confuse you. It is one Lord for all. It is one faith for all. It is one baptism for all. It is universal, one for all. It is not which one (of many) do you choose today?
In a life confused by all of the available options (Satan likes to do this to us), God makes it easy and decision-proof. It is because he loves each one enough to give only a simple resolution for our dilemma. “What must I do to be saved?” “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved,” [Acts 16:30-31]. That is the one Lord, one faith, one baptism for all by the One and Only.
Prayer: Lord, we implore You, grant Your people grace to withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds to follow You, the only God; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(Collect for the 17th Sunday after Trinity from Lutheran Service Book ©2006 Concordia Publishing House)
(Devotion by Pastor Richard Mau of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Des Plaines, IL)
Readings for this week include:
Psalm 119:1-2, 5-6. 137. 134 Proverbs 25:6-13 Ephesians 4:1-6 Luke 14:1-11
Immanuel’s prayer list.
*For those who are ill and recovering
*For workers in the fall harvest fields; for safety, a plentiful harvest, and for all to use this harvest to benefit people’s needs throughout the world.
*For political campaigns to be held in truthfulness and to be informative for the populace to conscientiously elect public servants who will lead with compassion for the needs of all people, speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and provide for the defense and welfare of all.
*For many to join Bible Study groups to grow in faith and knowledge in God’s word, and to strengthen each other in the bonds of Christian fellowship.
*For those seeking work to find employment and appropriate wages. For employers to find faithful workers to fill their positions. Thanksgiving for the work that so many are given.
*For Planning the Planting volunteers evaluating and preparing activity in vision for mission and ministry from Immanuel’s home base.
*For New Starts New Believers work throughout the Northern Illinois District that encourages and supports established congregations and new missions alike in new and renewed ministries to bring the Gospel of Jesus to those who have yet to hear and believe.
*For the growing translation work in Nigeria through Lutheran Bible Translators.
*For the LWML and this month’s mission offerings that carry the Gospel to hearers throughout the world.
*For someone to cross your path this week to invite to come and hear God’s love that drives out all fear.
*As we begin daily readings of the new church starts in Acts, that each one can internalize and implement this fevered proclamation of the Gospel from Immanuel and throughout Christianity.
This Week in the Word
|September 30||October 1||October 2||October 3||October 4||October 5||October 6|
|Lamentations 2:8-15||Matthew 28:16-20 Acts 1:6-8||Acts 6:1-7||Acts 8:1-8||Acts 8:9-25||Acts 8:26-40||Acts 9:1-9|
Bible Studies just for you – no pre-requisites – just join in.
Sundays @ 9:15 AM
Mark’s Gospel w/ Tom Sande in Faith Hall Reformation Overview w/ Pastor Mau in Faith Hall
Youth w/ Marilyn Munton in the basement Isaiah w/ Lois Warnke in the Office Meeting Room
Tuesday @ 10 AM – Micah w/Pastor Mau in Faith Hall
Wednesday @ 9:30 AM – John’s Gospel w/ Virginia Amling in the basement kitchen
Thursday @ 9:30 AM – Selected Readings w/ Lois Warnke in Faith Hall