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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 Sixth Sunday of Easter A

The Sixth Sunday of Easter A

With these words, Jesus reveals that no sinner can love him.  I am quite confident that you know sinners, just as I know sinners, who are very capable of an outward, external obedience to the commands of Jesus… indeed, even obedient to the Law of Moses.  But you know as well as I do that external obedience is simply not enough.  There must also be an obedience from the heart.  That obedience trips us up and makes liars of us when we say, “I love you, Jesus.”  The evil and defiling contents of our sinner’s heart (Mt. 7:21-23) put the lie to whatever claims we might make to loving Jesus and demonstrating that love by our external obedience to his command.  Thanks be to God that our eternal life does not depend upon our fickle, failing, and false love for Jesus.  No, that eternal life of ours depends upon Jesus’ love for us and his love is true, constant, and enduring.  Jesus is faithful in his love for us while we are unfaithful in our love for him.  The promise is always this: “Because I live, you also will live” (vs. 19).

Prayers from one who is always trying to pass his love of Jesus off as an authentic love…

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  So give to me the love of Jesus that I have the certainty of his promise:  “I live, therefore you will live also.”  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Keep me honest in my confession and humble in my claims so that I do not assert myself as more than a condemned sinner for whom Jesus has died.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  I may be a condemned sinner in this old and passing-away creation, yet Jesus Christ has loved me into a certain faith. I trust that in the New Creation, I will be a beloved child of God and have the run of his household.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Grant that I prove trustworthy in my vocations and callings given me in this creation broken as it is by sin.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Grant that my neighbors benefit from the trustworthy exercise of my vocation while they receive what they need for life in this world and the next.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Keep the Institute of Lutheran Theology in the love of Jesus, too.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Hold me in the love of Jesus all the days of my baptism until what I now hold in faith is mine by sight in the New Creation.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.  Amen

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