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Ash Wednesday Devotion about the Source of Our Righteousness

On this penitential day of Ash Wednesday, we recognize that the consequence of our sin is death, and it is only through our Lord Jesus that we can gain eternal life. Our devotion for today comes from Singing with the Exiles: Daily Devotions for Lent.

Scripture Readings

Joel 2:12–19
Psalm 51
2 Corinthians 5:20b–6:10
Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21

Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.

Devotional Reading

Those who “pursue righteousness” and “seek the LORD” put their lives in God’s hands (Isaiah 51:1). This is far different from those who trust in themselves and their homespun spirituality. These exiles are “far from righteousness” (Isaiah 46:12) and confess the Lord in name only. God wants to give them, and all people, His righteousness. It is not far off. This righteousness will fall like rain from the sky and will never end.

We need these promises as well, for we have no righteousness in and of ourselves. In fact, all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags. Thank God that, in chapter after chapter of Romans, Paul writes about a righteous standing before the Father that is ours by faith. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22). “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life so that we may be declared righteous” (4:25). “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:1).

This free gift is ours because the ultimate revelation of righteousness was written (in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek)—“JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19:19). “He who had no sin became sin for us so that in Him [that is, in Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Thanks be to God!

Devotional reading is adapted from Singing with the Exiles: Daily Devotions for Lent, page 44 © 2014 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Video is of “All Depends on Our Possessing” © 2018 Concordia Publishing House.


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