The Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost is Luke 14:25–35, where Jesus speaks of the cost of discipleship. Our devotional reading comes from Meditations on the Gospels: According to His Word.
Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.
The Christian life is not a short burst, a sudden decision to follow Christ, and then it is done. No, it is a long process of hard work and constant battle. Like Nehemiah’s builders, Christians must live with the trowel in one hand and the sword in the other (Nehemiah 4:17). And a beginning is worth nothing unless it leads to a successful end. God is not served with a tower of Babel, a landmark of a failed builder. It is easy to understand the derision of the world when there are so many ruins, so many half-finished towers in the Church. How can the world respect Christianity when there is so much obvious half-heartedness! But the Lord has set His Church in the midst of a godless world for a purpose, “That they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Christians are to be the salt that preserves the world from total decay, the light to lead others along the right way. The Christian who fails to do that is not only no blessing to the world, but is also a curse because he causes the enemies of the lord to blaspheme (Romans 2:23–24).
What if, after counting the cost and estimating our strength, we find that we lack the requirements for discipleship? Does Jesus say we should just quit or not begin at all? Oh, no! When His disciples asked despairingly, “Who then can be saved?” He answered, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). God wants the tower built. God wants the battle fought. And He can and will give all that is needed to do both to the successful end. Jesus, in His love, assures us that we cannot depend on our own strength but can go to that eternal source for all we need to make and keep us His true disciples.
Devotional reading is adapted from Meditations on the Gospels: According to His Word, page 557–58 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Scripture: ESV®.
Hymn of the Day
Hymn of the Day is "How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord" from A Thousand Voices: 7 Hymn Tune Preludes, Volume 4 by Jeffrey Blersch © 2018, Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.