Numbers 13:1-3, 21-30; Romans 2:25-3:8; Matthew 18:21-35
Religion comes from the Spirit of God and as such, is a matter of the heart. True religion is not mere outward display and keeping of rituals. Such is the religion of true faith through which God displays his power instead of ours. Note the spies of Israel after they came back from their intelligence mission in Canaan. They reported giants in the land. According to them, everything was super-sized. The real issue then became the size of their faith.
Do we have the faith to do what God says? Our Gospel Reading reminds us of the faith-sized challenge Jesus gave us to perfectly forgive others as God forgives us. (Matt 18:35; Matt 6:12) Yet there is another mission in Matthew that also ties in with our Old and New Testament Readings. In the closing words of this Gospel is another challenge to take the land. (Matt 29:19-20) Do we stand like Caleb and Joshua, hearts filled with trust in God’s faithfulness to overcome the world? (1 John 5:4) Or are we like the other ten spies whose religion was so outward that it thought nothing of the power of God?
Prayer: Lord, help us know you as almighty and thereby live in faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman,
Pastor of Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Asheboro, NC.