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The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

The First Sunday in Lent, February 18, 2024

The First Sunday in Lent, February 18, 2024

The temptations confronting Jesus all concerned temptations to power:  the power to feed himself; the power to demand God’s protection; and the power to rule over temporal kingdoms.  We call those who feed themselves and others “breadwinners.”  Breadwinners often have little patience and little tolerance for those who will not or cannot feed themselves and their families.  To “tempt God,” as Jesus puts it, by demanding of God his protection even in self-induced situations is presuming upon God.  Presuming upon God likens back to that two-year-old we all once were… that toddler, looking mother in the eye as she says, “No,” and then said toddler grabbing a fistful of cake anyway.  That’s presumption.  Ruling over temporal kingdoms comes in packages large and small… as small as a family unit or as large as a worldwide dominion.  It is the power to control… to have things your way… to silence others in their disagreement with you.  Power and the temptation to grasp after it is as old as human history… history that began in a Garden with a tree and a serpent’s whisper, “You shall be like Gods…”

Prayers from those whose blackened hearts hide their coveting of power and its use.  They await a revelation from the Word of God…

Heavenly Father, your power is made perfect in weakness, hold me in the weakness of dependency upon you for my daily bread.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your power is made perfect in weakness, hold me in the weakness of having only a promise from you to sustain my life… you who does not lie.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your power is made perfect in weakness, hold me in the weakness of being ruled over rather than being the ruler.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your power is made perfect in weakness, grant to me neighbors who do not take advantage of my weakness but come to my defense and join me in my weakness.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your power is made perfect in weakness, grant that I refrain from exploiting my neighbor’s weakness but rather aid them in times of trouble.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your power is made perfect in weakness, grant the Institute of Lutheran Theology the power of your Word… your Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your power is made perfect in weakness, grant me to stand steadfast in the weakness you would work upon me that I would stand and wait with patience.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

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