Connections Online [Sola Devotions series] http://www.solapublishing.com/connections-online/feed.html?series=1 The Online Edition of Connections Magazine en-us Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/connections-online/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1405.html Tue, 10 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Click for larger image

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From the Word: 9 I John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation, and kingdom, and resolute endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”” (Revelation 1:9–11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Petition

Thy kingdom come.

What does this mean?

The kingdom of God comes indeed by itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.

How is this done?

God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life now and in eternity.

Pulling It Together: Being a citizen of the Father’s kingdom does not exempt us from trials and distress while we still have a foot in this world (John 16:33). John was imprisoned on Patmos; each of us may have our own exiles—from family, neighbor, workmates, or society as a whole—but we know our citizenship is in heaven. The old Larry Norman song (“Reader’s Digest”) ends, “I’m only visiting this planet,” prior to his homage to John Benson’s hymn: “This world is not my home; I’m just passing through.” Knowing we are ambassadors here (2 Cor 5:20), only visiting this world, allows us, through the power of the Spirit of Christ within us, to persevere so long as we are stationed here. We are residents in this world, citizens of another, fairer realm. Despite the tribulations of this place, we must listen for the great voice of Christ and be at peace in his presence. For he is with us, even here (Matt 28:20).

Prayer: Open my ears to hear your great voice, Lord. Amen.

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The English Standard Version Pew Bible containing the Old and New Testament is an affordable durable Bible, designed for regular church use. Hardcover black with black print.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/connections-online/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1323.html Mon, 19 Aug 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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From the Word: Therefore, putting away falsehood, each of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are all members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.

Pulling It Together

In the strictest sense, we should not lie to or about our Christian brothers and sisters. No honorable reason denies this charity to all others. We should not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about the neighbor who lives down the street, a workmate, the president, or anyone. We are to think the best of them, pray for them, and when we cannot speak well of them, speak not at all. This is a spiritual exercise that we must practice, for we fail at it, must repent, and try again—and again.   

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, when I break your commandments, and give me the courage and strength to keep them. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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The next issue of Connections is being sent to the printer this week. Subscribe today and you'll get the September/October issue on the Fifth Commandment in the mail at the beginning of September. Connections, a magazine for evangelical Lutheran Christians, provides great food for the soul, being filled with meaty articles as well as lighter spiritual fare. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/connections-online/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1264.html Wed, 01 May 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

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John 4:23

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together: Worship is always the correct attitude. If your conscience, the law, or the devil accuse you of sin, the right response is worship. Do not hide from God, as if you could. Instead, come directly into his presence, confessing and giving thanks. If you take his name in vain or conversely, do not wrongly use his name, call upon his name nonetheless. Do not wait for Sunday, or physically being in a church building. Now is the time for you to come to the Father, doing so in spirit and truth. Every need you have, whether of forgiveness or something else, is an occasion to worship the Father in prayer, praising him and giving thanks for his meeting your every necessity.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your mercy and love. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) is a lectionary-based web resource for worship planning and sermon prep. It includes DOC bulletin templates for communion and non-communion services in LBW and Reclaim settings. 

SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children's bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, graphics, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/connections-online/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a1187.html Mon, 28 Jan 19 00:00:00 -0600

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2 Timothy 3:1–5

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Therefore, let the godly consider the great errors of the pope’s kingdom and his tyranny. Let them first consider that these errors must be rejected and true doctrine embraced for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Then let them also ponder how great a crime it is to support unjust cruelty in killing saints, whose blood God will undoubtedly avenge.

Pulling It Together

Even the power of God is seen most clearly in the true teaching of the First Article. It is observed more clearly in salvation through faith in Christ than in any other way. God accomplishes the salvation of human beings through a word, his own word. It does not happen because of our good works or religious services. It comes through a spoken word of promise: his promise, not ours to be better, but his to be our best. Unless we put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14), clothing ourselves in the living Word, forgiveness, justification, and eternal life will always lay far beyond our reach. Acting religious will never do; pretense of godliness is right up there on Paul’s list with pride and unholiness.

Prayer: Help me keep the company, Lord Jesus, of those who are in fellowship with you. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

The Power of Lent is a series of lenten dramas pairing two characters each week from the story of Jesus' Passion, bearing witness to what they saw, heard, and felt. Each pair of biblical characters reflects upon a similar theme for the week, showing how the same events brought about very different reactions to Jesus and his identity.

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