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30 DAYS of Stewardship

Follow along as we read a new devotion every day for thirty days, teaching us about stewardship—managing the gifts that God has entrusted to us. 

 

30 DAYS of Stewardship

Follow along as we read a new devotion every day for thirty days, teaching us about stewardship—managing the gifts that God has entrusted to us. 

 

30 Days of Stewardship Devotions

Daily Devotions scheduled for Monday, October 26 – Tuesday, November 24th

 
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
  Oct 26 Oct 27 Oct 28 Oct 29 Oct 30 Oct 31
Nov 1 Nov 2 Nov 3 Nov 4 Nov 5 Nov 6 Nov 7
Nov 8 Nov 9 Nov 10 Nov 11 Nov 12 Nov 13 Nov 14
Nov 15 Nov 16 Nov 17 Nov 18 Nov 19 Nov 20 Nov 21
Nov 22 Nov 23 Nov 24        
 
Day 1:  Monday, October 26
 
Read Ephesians 2:1-10
Psalm 16
 
A Child of God
 
But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11
 
A Christian is a child of God. By calling ourselves His children we acknowledge God to
be our Father who cares for, provides, and protects His children. Of course, the
greatest demonstration of such dealing is in the sending of His only begotten Son
into the world to be our Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil.
When we were baptized, God the Holy Spirit, working through water and the Word,
brought us into God's kingdom. In our baptism we find our identity as children of the
heavenly Father. In our baptism we see demonstrated the extravagant love of God
for us. He takes us, born in sin and under the wrath of God, and makes us to be His
own. How great is His love! How powerful His ways!
What a continual comfort and encouragement it is to be baptized in Christ, to know
that someone cares for us so much and loves us so much as to make us His own
dear children! And as children we are also heirs of the Father, heirs of the free gift of
eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus. Such future hope makes life on this earth
bearable as we look forward to life with God in eternity.
Holy Spirit, in Baptism You worked a great work in me. Thank You that I am a child of
God. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
 
1 Peter 4:12-19
Psalm 134
 
A Christian Is ...
 
And in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Acts 11:26
 
The most common term used to describe believers in Christ is "Christian." But what
do we mean when we say, "I'm a Christian"?
To our surprise, the New Testament uses the term only three times. By far the most
common term used to describe a believer was "disciple." When the term "Christian"
was used in the New Testament, it was applied to the disciples of Jesus by outsiders,
and usually in a mocking sense. For sure that's not how we use the term at the
present time.
The reformer Martin Luther developed this delightful definition of a Christian: "A
Christian is a child of the Holy Spirit, an heir of eternal life, a companion to the holy
angels, a ruler of the world and a partaker of God's divine nature. He is a wonder of
the world, a terror of Satan, an ornament of the church, a desirable object of heaven
with a heart full of fire, with eyes full of tears, with a mouth full of supplications and
with hands full of good works."
That's what we are! Quite a status—and all because of God's love for us in Jesus
Christ! He lived, suffered, died, and rose for us. It is God who makes us Christians.
Father, thank You for calling us into Your kingdom. Increase our faith in Jesus Christ,
our Savior. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Revelation 21:1-8
Psalm 4
 
A Desirable Object of Heaven
 
Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be
His people, and God Himself will be with them. Revelation 21:3
 
A Christian is a desirable object of heaven. It wasn't always that way. The Bible tells
us that sin closed the gate to heaven. But that same Bible tells us about a God in
Christ who loved us so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for the sins of the
whole world through His death on the cross for our salvation.
Salvation means all that. God miraculously intervened in our lives to rescue us from a
desperate situation which, humanly speaking, was impossible for us to escape. God
intervened in the person of His Son Jesus. The Son took human form. He obeyed the
Law perfectly. He suffered and died on the cross. He rose from the dead. He
ascended victoriously into heaven, having completed His task of saving mankind. It
was all done for us and our salvation. Because of that, the gate into heaven has been
opened for us. We are the desirable objects of heaven. One day it will be our home.
Heaven means being with God in the place prepared for God's redeemed.
As we go through this life, it is important to live it in light of the life that one day will
be ours with God in heaven.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the free gift of heaven. Help us to live now in light of that
great future. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Hebrews 12:1-11
Psalm 6
 
A Heart Full of Fire
 
Jesus Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for
Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:14
 
A Christian has a heart full of fire. When fire is used as an image in the Bible, it
usually refers to the judgment of God. This is especially true in the writings of the Old
Testament prophets. But we also use the word in a much different way. We talk
about getting fired up for a task, a football game, or a campaign. We mean getting
excited and putting all our energies into completing the task in the best way possible.
That's how it ought to be in the life of the Christian. St. Paul says we should be
"zealous for good deeds." That's getting on fire for the Lord. And that fire is centered
in the heart, where God in Christ brought about a mighty change when He convinced
us through the Gospel that Jesus gave Himself on the cross to buy us back from sin
and its consequences.
Jesus Christ redeemed us; but He also made us a new creation. Now we are His own
and serve Him as people "who are zealous for good deeds." It's not optional. We're
not called to sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by. We are the Lord's people,
and He calls us to serve Him with hearts full of fire.
Jesus, my Redeemer, make me a good worker in my church and community. To this
end set my heart on fire. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Hebrews 7:23-28
Psalm 51
 
A Living Sacrifice
 
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as
a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Romans 12:1
 
God wants all of me, not just my finances. He calls me to present my body to Him as
a living sacrifice. In the Old Testament all the animals offered to the Lord were killed.
Even the greatest sacrifice of all, God's Son Jesus Christ, was slain. But not so with
us. We present our bodies as living sacrifices. The only place where we follow the Old
Testament sacrificial system of killing the offering is that our old sinful self must die.
That needs to happen daily as we recall our baptism. And as the old must die, so the
new man comes forth from the waters of baptism equipped and empowered to offer
his body as a living sacrifice to God.
This approach to life pleases God and is acceptable to Him. It is worship in the full
sense of the word. It's stewardship. And why? Paul makes his appeal to such living
"by the mercies of God." That's shorthand for the creative and transforming power of
the Gospel. The Good News of God's love in Christ turns us from self to service, from
death to a life in which God's stewards present their bodies to Him as living
sacrifices.
Lord, into Your hands I commend myself my body and soul and all things. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Matthew 6:5—13
Psalm 19
 
A Mouth Full of Supplications
 
Pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
 
A Christian should have a mouth full of supplications and thanksgivings. All of us
must admit that we don't spend as much time as we ought in prayer. It's so easy for
us to get so busy with life that we forget one of our lifelines—prayer.
God not only commands us to pray but also gives the promise that He will hear and
answer our prayers: "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you
shall glorify Me" (Ps. 50:15). In addition to that, there are our own and our neighbors'
needs. These should prompt us to pray, as well as the desire to show gratitude for
the blessings received from the bountiful hand of God.
Our God is generous, yes, extravagant in dealing with us. In addition to physical and
material blessings, consider the spiritual blessings we receive freely from Him:
forgiveness of sins, new life, eternal life, membership in God's kingdom. All these are
given because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A part of our prayer life
should consist of thanking God for such blessings, in addition to making our requests
to the Lord. Whatever our lot in life, we as Christians are called on to pray, praise,
and give thanks.
Lord Jesus, our Mediator, give answer to our prayers according to Your good and
gracious will. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org
 
 
 
Read 1 John 4:13-21
Psalm 128
 
A Partaker of Christ
 
If we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with
Him in a resurrection like His. Romans 6:5
 
Christians are implanted into Christ, their Savior. How can that be? Paul tells us it
happened at our baptism. In baptism we are united with Christ in His death and
resurrection—like Siamese twins, grown together.
The action is God's. By the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, made ours in our
baptism, continuing in willful sin is impossible. Christ's death and resurrection thrusts
us into a new life, the dead-to-sin-alive-to-Christ life, which makes us partakers of His
divine holiness.
A real death took place, which destroyed our old sinful self. And a real life is taking
place, which opens a future for us in which we may live as Christ now lives. It all
happened in our baptism.
There is for us a new status. We're forgiven in Christ. We're freed from sin in Christ.
We're enabled by the power of the Spirit working through Word and Sacrament to
walk in newness of life, to live in holiness. As we daily remember our baptism, Paul
tells us: "Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." That gives
our life new character, direction, and purpose.
Lord Jesus, keep us ever mindful of our baptism and the new status You have given
us. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Genesis 1:26-31
Psalm 8
 
A Ruler of the World
 
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have
dominion ... over all the earth." Genesis 1:26
 
A Christian is a ruler of the world. Many of us may not think of it that way, but it is
true. God, by the power of His Word, called things into existence. And the crown jewel
of it all was the creation of man. Because of that position, man was given dominion
over the earth and all in it. Children of God, you are rulers of the world!
Nevertheless, we ought never forget whose world it is. It belongs to God. And we
ought never forget whose we are. We belong to God. It's much like twice-baked
potatoes. There is no doubt they are baked. And there is no doubt we are God's possession.
We're His by virtue of creation. And we're His by virtue of redemption.
But why does God do all that for us? Who are we? Why does He care so much for us?
That's God's nature. The prophet Micah asks: 'Who is a God like Thee?" There is
none! He reminds us: "He [God] delights in steadfast love." The cross of Christ is the
prime expression of God's love for us. At the cross we view His love "in that while we
were yet sinners Christ died for us." And in addition He gives us dominion over all the
earth. Rule well, Christian!
Help us, Lord Jesus, to be good managers and rulers. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Ephesians 6:10-20
Psalm 45
 
A Terror of Satan

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
 
A Christian is a terror of Satan, even as Satan wants to be a terror to us. Someone
once said: "Where God builds His church, the devil builds a chapel next door." Ever
since the fall in the Garden of Eden the battle has been fought between God and
Satan. The battle goes on between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.
The devil is real and is our enemy.
Yet, despite all his power, a greater power prevails—the power of Jesus Christ.
Through His death on the cross for us and all people, Satan has been defeated. But
that doesn't mean we are to take him lightly. He still battles against us, the children
of God. But, through faith, Christ's victory over the devil is also ours. Satan is a
defeated enemy.
Nevertheless, because the devil still battles us, we as Christians can aptly be
described as a terror of Satan. We fight him daily. Our fight is, however, not alone.
With Jesus Christ on our side, victory is assured. St. Paul reminds us that Christ
disarmed the principalities and powers, triumphing over them in the cross. Be a
terror of Satan as you fight him daily, girded with the armor of God!
Lord Jesus, help us to fight the good fight of faith. We ask that Your power be made
perfect in us. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org. 
 
 
 
Read Isaiah 44:24-28
Psalm 139
 
A Wonder of the World
 
 

I praise Thee, for Thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are Thy works! Psalm

 

139:14
 
A Christian is a wonder of the world. Compare yourself to the rest of God's creation.
It's amazing! What a wonder our bodies are! There is no doubt about it. They are
carefully crafted by the all-knowing mind and powerful hand of God. In 24 hours your
heart beats 103,689 times and your blood travels 168 million miles. In addition to
that, you breathe 23,040 times, inhale 438 cubic feet of air, move 750 muscles, and
exercise 7 million brain cells. The body's entire structure is a miracle of precision
engineering and production.
"Wonderful are Thy works," O Lord! It is surely evidenced in my body.
But far greater than all that is the fact that God not only created me as a wonder of
the world but also redeemed me, who because of sin was a lost and condemned
creature. While I was yet a sinner Jesus Christ died for me. Through faith in Christ I
have forgiveness, salvation, and new life. That too makes me a wonder of the world—
and a wonder of the world to come, where I will live with Him forever in heaven. We
speak of the seven wonders of the world. Let's add an eighth wonder—the Christian,
created and redeemed by the Lord.
Thank You, Lord, for creating and redeeming me. Help me to honor my body as the
temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Psalm 31
 
An Awesome Task from an Awesome God
 
As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s
varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10
 
The church exists in order that we, its members, may carry out the Great
Commission: “Make disciples of all nations.” Have you ever considered how
awesome a task that is – making disciples of all nations? It’s not just our family, our
community, or our country, but all nations. That translates into bringing the Good
News to approximately 4.5 billion people scattered throughout the world and
speaking thousands of different languages. And it means bringing the Good News to
those of our own family.
But for such a task God gives the awesome power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He
gives us the power of the Gospel and the promise that His Word will not return void.
God gives us resources for the task at hand. And in addition to that, the Lord gives
each of us at least one spiritual gift to be used in carrying out the Great Commission.
Our Lord challenges us as good stewards to use our gifts to make disciples of all
nations. Awesome task, but also awesome help from an awesome God, whose Son
died that we might live, paying the price that we might have forgiveness. The
awesomeness of God's power translates into saving love.
Lord Jesus, use me and my gifts in serving others. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9
Psalm 111
 
An Heir of Eternal Life
 
He saved us ... so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs in hope
of eternal life. Titus 3:5, 7
 
A Christian is an heir of eternal life. In Baptism all the blessings of the cross and
resurrection of Jesus Christ are ours. We have forgiveness, membership in God's
kingdom, new life. And included in that list is this: God in His infinite love and mercy
makes us heirs of eternal life.
Because of that, life takes on new meaning for the Christian. As heirs of God we
realize that all we have comes from the hand of a gracious and benevolent God. It's
not up to us. He did it all. He gives all. We are heirs.
And then consider what we inherit—not tangible things that decay and pass away,
here today and gone tomorrow. We're heirs of eternal life, life with God. Death for the
redeemed of the Lord is not the end. It's the beginning of life, eternal life.
This makes life now more tolerable. Because our faith is rooted in the cross and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, we know the future is safeguarded for us. Knowing this,
we can go through our earthly life, even if it brings suffering and loss, assured that
one day suffering will be gone and we will be found with God. God is good. In Christ
He makes us heirs of eternal life.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly. Give me fullness of life in You and in the end life
eternal. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Matthew 5:13-16
Psalm 115
 
An Ornament of the Church
 
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
 
A Christian is an ornament of the church. In the church all the people are important
and needed. St. Paul says that all of us are parts of a body, the church, with Christ
Jesus being the Head. You may be a finger, a heart, or a lung. Regardless of what
part of the body of Christ you are, all parts are vital to the efficient functioning of the
church.
All too often, when we think of the church, we think of a building. Not so, says Paul!
Not so, says Luther in his definition of Christians! The church is people. More
specifically, the church is the people of God gathered together around Word and Sacrament.
We're ornaments of the church. We reflect the beauty of the church
established by God Himself.
In His love and mercy for us God brought the church into being by virtue of the death
and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. In bringing us to faith through the. Gospel,
He made us members of the church. It was His action, not ours. It was His love, not
ours. As members of the church all of us are called to let our light so shine that
others may see our good works and give glory to God. Be a good reflector of Jesus
Christ, an ornament of the church!
Dear Lord, Your love for us brought us into the church. Equip us to serve others.
Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Matthew 28:1-20
Psalm 10
 
Changed and Commissioned
 
...that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
 
By being joined to Christ, we are chosen and changed. We are changed and
commissioned. We were nobodies but have become somebodies. Prior to the words
of the above text, the apostle proclaims that we are "a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people." All that God intended His people Israel
to be He now passes on to us. We have a new status. It is ours because God sent His
Son to be born of Mary and to be placed under the Law in order to redeem us.
In addition to our new status in Christ, we have been given a new assignment: to
declare the wonderful deeds of Christ and say how He brought us out of the
darkness of sin and death into the light of forgiveness and life. That's what the
Christian life is all about — proclaiming Christ in word and action.
To be better witnesses, sharing Christ with others, Peter also gives us this practical
advice: "Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account
for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." It's all part of the
stewardship life.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for taking me out of the darkness of sin and putting me
into the light of forgiveness. Give me courage and ability to tell others of that Good
News. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Daniel 6:16-24
Psalm 103
 
A Companion to the Holy Angels
 
Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His word, hearkening to the
voice of His word! Psalm 103:20
 
A Christian is a companion to the holy angels. Angels do many things in service to
God. The psalmist, in this great psalm that calls on God's people to bless Him, tells
us that angels do the work of the Lord and listen to and obey His Word. Daniel
experienced this when the Lord sent angels to do His will and spare his life when
King Darius had ordered him thrown into the den of lions.
As Christians, redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ and given new life in Him,
we join the invisible angel messengers of the Lord in serving the Lord and blessing
His name. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and the Good News of the Gospel, we are
called into our Lord's ministry to do His work and obey His Word. The angels are
models for us, showing how we should continually listen to God's Word and do His
will.
What an awesome responsibility, but also what a glorious privilege — to do the work
of the Lord! He who spared not His only-begotten Son will give us all things needed to
carry out our Christian tasks in thought, word, and deed. Companions to the angels!
It sounds nice! It is! It's a great life being a Christian!
Lord Jesus, at the cross and empty tomb You made me Yours. Assist me in doing Your
work. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Psalm 44
 
Eyes Full of Tears
 
Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the
testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3
 
A Christian often has eyes full of tears. C. S. Lewis said: "God whispers to us in our
pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to
rouse a deaf world." God doesn't promise us that all of life will be comfortable, rosy,
and free from trials, fears, and pain. Such things will come into our lives. James says:
When you meet various trials," not if!
What God's Word does for us is give us a different outlook on trials when they do
come into our lives. Trials are good, not bad. Trials are positive, not negative. Why?
They produce steadfastness and make us complete. Rather than ask, "Why me?"
when trials come, ask, "What can I learn?" and "How is God testing my faith?"
Paul made it through his trials with God's help, and so can we by turning to Jesus
Christ in times of tears and trials. He went before us. He endured suffering and even
death on the cross for our salvation. As His tears were turned into joy on Easter, so
can our tears be turned into joy because of what He did for us. Tears are bearable
when we know; that God transforms them into good for us.
Lord Jesus, help us to meet various trials with faith rooted in Your redeeming and
sustaining love. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Luke 12:22-31
Psalm 35
 
Faithful and Wise Stewards
 
Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required. Luke 12:48
 
The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be Prepared.” It’s a good one for more
than Boy Scouts. In a way it summarizes one of the major messages of Jesus. He
said: "You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not
expect.” Repeatedly the Bible warns us of the Lord's second coming to judge the
world. Be prepared for it, for you do not know when it will occur!
In the meantime Jesus calls on His disciples to be faithful and wise stewards, to be
good managers of what the Lord has entrusted to them—time, talents, abilities,
money, the Gospel! That means getting our priorities straight, rolling up our sleeves
and getting to work, and getting the right attitude about life.
Our model, of course, is Jesus. His priority was to do all that needed to be done to
secure our salvation. He was God's Servant for us from His birth to His death. And
what an attitude He had! He "came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life
as a ransom..." He's our model, and He's our power. Because He did it all, we are
empowered to be faithful and wise stewards until He comes again. He gives us so
much, thank God! To whom much is given, of him much is required—service.
Lord God, help us to be faithful and wise stewards. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
From Rags to Riches
 
You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your
sake He became poor. 2 Corinthians 8:9
 
William Wrigley Jr. started selling soap at age 29 and through a chain of events built
the Wrigley chewing gum empire. Rags to riches! Most of us can cite rages-to-riches
stories. Someone poor and about to give up spends his last savings and years later is
a millionaire.
When we hear those stories, we often respond by wishing something similar would
happen to us.
Well, there is good news for you. It has happened, and it's the greatest rags-to-riches
story. It has to do with what Jesus Christ did for you. He was rich, yet He abandoned
all the richness of heaven, took human form, and became poor. And He did it so that
we, who were poor in sin, might become rich. Because He became poor, we have forgiveness,
fellowship with God, salvation, and new life that stretches into eternity.
It’s the greatest rags-to-riches story! Jesus went from riches to rags that we might go
from rags to riches. Paul tells of that in the midst of discussing the stewardship of
our treasures. He reminds us that the rags-to-riches Good News motivates us to give
cheerfully and generously.
Lord Jesus, thank You for your inexpressible gift. In gratefulness we open our hearts
and hands to the needy. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Ephesians 5:15-20
Psalm 90
 
God’s Unique Resource
 
My times are in Thy hand. Psalm 31:15
 
Time is a unique resource given us by God. In sharp contrast to money, all of us get
the same amount of time each day. Unlike money or other goods, we can’t take time
and store it up for the future and, while saving it, draw interest. Time is unique. We
already have all we are going to get today – no more, no less.
Because of that, the stewardship of time has to do with managing ourselves with
respect to time. Time always ticks by at 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour,
24 hours a day, and 365 days a year. It’s not a renewable resource. The important
thing is how we use time. We are called to use it wisely as a precious resource from
God. We are His. And that includes time.
As stewards, redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, we do three things: First, we
acknowledge Christ as the Lord of our time and decide how best to use it for the glory
of God; second, we don’t become so absorbed in making a living that we have no
time for the making of a life; third, we organize our time with the understanding that
we are always responsible to Him for the way we use it.
We draw power from Jesus Christ, who in the fullness of time used the time allotted
Him to live, suffer, and die for our salvation.
Dear Lord Jesus, make me a good steward of my time. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Psalm 30
 
Growing in the Grace of Giving
 
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up,
as he may prosper. 1 Corinthians 16:2
 
Christian giving must flow from our understanding of what God has done for us in
Jesus Christ. He died. He rose again. God's people are called to respond to that love
and mercy. And one way we respond is through generous, proportionate giving of our
financial resources.
Concerning giving, Paul gives us direction. Give regularly—"on the first day of every
week." Everyone should give—"each of you" (that includes children and young people
as well as parents and grown-ups.) And give a proportion to the Lord from what He
gives you—"as he may prosper." Nowhere does God demand that we determine today
what total amounts in dollars we will give in future years. What He does ask is that
we determine now what proportionate part of what He gives us we will return to Him
as our response to His love and in acknowledgment of His ownership of all things.
What will it be? Give as you prosper; that is, a percentage of what the Lord gives you.
None of us know what He will give us, but we can and should determine how much of
what He gives we will return to Him as our thankoffering. We let the cross and empty
tomb move us in that decision.
Dear Lord Jesus, help me grow in grace of giving. Keep me mindful that You have given
Yourself for me. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read James 2:14-26
Psalm 146
 
Hands Full of Good Works
 
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27
 
Christians, wherever they are, have hands full of good works. At Philippi Paul used
the prison for his pulpit. From that pulpit he wrote to a persecuted church and said:
"Rejoice!" How can that be? Paul says that where faith and the working creativity of
the Holy Spirit are, there are also joy and good works flowing out of the Good News
concerning our Savior Jesus Christ.
"Let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ," the apostle writes. This
verse is the theme for the whole practical section of Paul's words to the Philippians.
The Gospel is the filter through which the Christian should view all things. Later in
the same letter St. Paul says: "I press on . . . because Christ Jesus has made me His
own."
Therein lies the power for God's people to have hands full of good works. It's the
Good News that God in Christ has made me His own in Baptism. That power of the
Gospel thrusts me into life with a whole new outlook. That same Gospel also enables
me to a degree to live a life worthy of the Gospel. That life is one characterized by
good works. God's people are called to walk in them. When we stand before God on
Judgment Day, may our hands be full of them!
Lord Jesus, I'm created in You for good works. Assist me to walk in them day by day.
Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
Psalm 49
 
How to Use Time
 
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive
mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
 
“I just don’t have enough time.” All of us either say it or think it often. Life really
seems that way. We often think: If only we could add another day to each week,
everything would be solved and things would slow down somewhat. Well, we’re only
kidding ourselves. Anyway, even if we weren’t, there is no way we can make an eightday
week. But we can be better stewards of the time God gives us.
The Book of Hebrews tells us that the precondition for the proper stewardship of time
is that we “draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find
grace to help in time of need.” We live in faith and prayer. In so doing we become
God’s hands and live in His time. This results in grasping the opportunities inherent
in time that God places before us.
It was in time, at the right opportunity, that God gave the unspeakably rich gift of His
Son into death for our salvation. This great act of love and mercy prompts us to use
time with its opportunities in the service of the Gospel. God’s great act empowers us
to be good stewards of God’s time.
Thank You, Jesus, for coming to be our Savior in the fullness of time and for
redeeming us in due time. Amen
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Psalm 130
 
Love Is the Key
 
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his
ability. Matthew 25:15
 
Christ’s parable of the talents pictures an owner entrusting his property and business
to others. Each one was given talent(s) and was expected to use them wisely. Two
did, but one didn’t. Fear blocked the one.
God works that way with us. He gives to all. Yet every gift imposes its claim on the
recipient of the gift. Christ summons us to ministry, to serve Him by using the talents
He gives us. Yet all too often fear impedes us. Of this roadblock John says: “There is
no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
Love is the key. It opens up opportunities for us to become good stewards. From
God’s Word we come to know love, because we see it in the cross. God’s love for us
meant the cross, for God did what was needed to save the sinners He loves. The
cross is the measure of His love.
To view this love is to be affected by it. Love begets love. Christian love means love
for others. We show love by using the talents and abilities given us by our Master. It
is our response to God's love for us in Christ. There is no other system that works
better than the way of Christian love.
Lord Jesus, remove our fears and replace them with love. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Romans 12:1-8
Psalm 40
 
Not Spectators Only
 
His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some
pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the
body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12
 
A coach was asked what role spectator sports played in the physical fitness of a
nation. He responded: "None. What you have at a game is 22 football players
exercising but needing rest, and 55,000 spectators resting but needing exercise.
All too often that accurately describes how it is in the church. A few people do the
work while the rest watch and express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. St. Paul
says it ought not be that way in the church, the body of Christ! There are no spectators.
All of us are called to be participants. God the Holy Spirit gives us gifts so that
we might use them to carry out our ministry as a part of the church.
Using our God-given gifts properly is what the stewardship life is all about. It is not
optional. All God's people are stewards by virtue of their baptism. And all God's
people have gifts to be used to build up the body of Christ. God brought us into the
church. Christ suffered and died that we sinners might have forgiveness and
fellowship with God. He brings the redeemed into His fellowship, the church, but not
to be spectators! God calls us to participate, to use our gifts for His purposes.
Holy Spirit, thank You for Your gifts to me. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Colossians 1:24-29
Psalm 34
 
Stewards of the Gospel
 
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries
of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1
 
When we think of stewardship, we usually don't think of stewardship of the Gospel.
Usually we think of the "three T’s”—time, talent, and treasure. But what about the
Gospel, the Good News of what God has done with our sin through Jesus Christ? Paul
put it this way: "Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of
knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." The Gospel—the Good News of salvation, forgiveness,
and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ—cannot be surpassed by any earthly
possession. Thank God for the Gospel!
But what are we doing with this gift from God? Paul tells us to be stewards of the
mysteries of God, that is, of the means of grace (the Gospel and the sacraments)
that bring Christ to us. You and I are called to take the Gospel mystery, revealed to us
in the God-man Jesus Christ, and share it with others. It's what we call evangelism.
As stewards of the mysteries of God we are entrusted with the Gospel, that we might
share with others what we have seen and heard concerning Jesus Christ. Where? At
home, at work, at play. We look for opportunities to be good stewards of that
priceless treasure. Him we proclaim. It's part of stewardship.
Lord Jesus, make me a goof steward of the Gospel, making know to others what is
revealed there of God’s love. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Genesis 2:4-9
Psalm 63
 
Stewardship and the Father
 
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell
therein. Psalm 24:1
 
Christian stewardship is built on a Father-child relationship, because what God gives
us to care for as stewards comes to us from His fatherly goodness. God the Father
created all things and placed us over His creation. That signifies this relationship:
The Creator-Father places us, His children, over our Father’s house here on earth. All
of us stand in a direct and personal relation to God by virtue of our existence, for we
were created to be stewards or managers of God. Therefore all we possess is ours as
a gift from the hands of our Creator. And whatever we do in all of life is our response
to God’s dealings with us.
After explaining what we have received from God the Father, Luther in the Small
Catechism – in the First Article of the Creed – states: “…for all which it is my duty to
thank and praise, to serve and obey Him.” That’s stewardship! It’s responding to the
goodness and mercy of the Father in creation. And it’s more. The stewardship life
also has to do with responding to the goodness and mercy of God in Jesus Christ. He
shed His blood for us on the cross. That makes us spiritual children of God. Once
again, we are in a Father-child relationship – children serving our heavenly Father.
Creator-Father, thank You for creating and redeeming us. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 John 4:7-19
Psalm 145
 
Stewardship and the Son
 
Jesus is Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:3
 
The person who is bound in sin cannot be a good steward. He wanders away from
God and serves himself and becomes selfish in relation to his neighbor. He becomes
a slave to created things. He serves creatures rather than the Creator. Such a
practice is called idolatry, not stewardship.
But Jesus changed all that. He appeared in order to take away sin by paying the oncefor-
all price of sin by His death on the cross. He appeared in order to destroy the
works of the devil. And when, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we confess Jesus
to be the Son of God and our Savior, God abides in us and we in God. The result: We
confess in word and deed that Jesus is the Lord.
When Jesus is Lord, good stewardship takes place in our lives; He is Lord; we are His
servants. He is Lord; we live drawing strength and direction from Him. He is Lord; we
respond to His love and mercy for us.
That’s the power for living the stewardship life. John in his first epistle says: “We love,
because He first loved us.” Christ sets us free from sin. When we are forgiven in
Christ, God gives us new life and enables us to enthrone Jesus as Lord and thereby
turn from serving self to serving others, to the Glory of God.
Lord Jesus, help Your stewards in enthroning You and in serving You in Your kingdom.
Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read John 14:15-31
Psalm 13
 
Stewardship and the Spirit
 
Jesus saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him.
Matthew 3:16
 
Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan was His first step toward the cross, where He
paid the price for the sins of all people. At His baptism the Spirit descended on Jesus
“like a dove.” At His baptism and throughout His public ministry Jesus was led by the
Spirit. Jesus’ work is always seen in close relationship to the work of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, perhaps somewhat vague and unknown to us, nevertheless plays a
key role in the stewardship life. We too are called to be led by the Spirit. A person can
be a good steward of God’s possessions only if he is an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
He shapes our lives. He directs our plans. We are sanctified by the Spirit. Luther says
the Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies, and preserves. He brings us to faith in
Christ and keeps us there.
The steward looks on himself as God’s instrument, as the saw and ax in the hand of
the Craftsman, the clay in the hand of the Potter, the tool in the hand of the Master.
Having released us from self by the liberating message of the Gospel, the Spirit
continues to work in us, empowering us to be about the Lord’s business in all we do.
That’s stewardship, Spirit-style.
Holy Spirit, lead us in living as good stewards of the manifold gifts and graces You
impart. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Luke 10:25-37
Psalm 48
 
Stewardship Is…
 
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Colossians 3:17
 
A theologian once presented a paper on the meaning of stewardship, and in order
to communicate how all-encompassing a term it is, he used this passage to define
stewardship: "whatever you do."
That's acceptable, for the Biblical term "stewardship" embraces what we do with all of
life and life's resources. All too often we confine the word "stewardship" to money.
That indeed is a part of stewardship, as it was in the life of the Good Samaritan. But
that is only one facet. Stewardship is like a precious God-given diamond with many
facets—time, talents, gifts, life, treasure, the Gospel, It has to do with what we do with
all of life.
God calls us into a special relationship—to be stewards of what belongs to Him. It is
only because of the ministry of the great Steward, Jesus Christ, that we have such a
privileged status. Jesus used all the resources available to Him—His holy life, given
into death—to redeem us and give us the position of being His stewards.
Stewardship is more than money. It has to do with whatever we do with all God gives
us. The motivation? His love for us in Christ Jesus, the great Steward.
Great Steward, Jesus, we praise You for making us managers of what belongs to
You. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Philippians 4:8-13
Psalm 123
 
Temples of the Holy Spirit
 
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you
have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19
 
How would you react if someone suggested that, in order to generate more income
for the church, the sanctuary be turned into a nightclub during the week? The altar
would make a good bar. Move the pews around and you'd have a nice dance floor.
Use the elevated chancel area for the band. Just think of the revenue you'd bring in!
For sure you would get opposition to such a proposal. Many would say, "You can't do
that! This is God's house! Such activity would be misuse of the church!" And all of us
would agree that such a proposal is preposterous.
But what about the body? How do you take care of it? Do you both use and abuse it?
Paul says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. And just as we get upset
about the misuse of God's temple, the church, so also we ought to be very concerned
about the abuse of our bodies. They are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are not our
own. It is not our life or body to do with as we please. We belong to God. We were
bought with a price — the innocent suffering and death of God's Son Jesus Christ. He
ransomed us. He bought us back. We are His. Therefore glorify God in your body!
Lord Jesus, help me use my body to Your glory. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org

 

 

30 Days of Stewardship Devotions

Daily Devotions scheduled for Monday, October 26 – Tuesday, November 24th

 
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
  Oct 26 Oct 27 Oct 28 Oct 29 Oct 30 Oct 31
Nov 1 Nov 2 Nov 3 Nov 4 Nov 5 Nov 6 Nov 7
Nov 8 Nov 9 Nov 10 Nov 11 Nov 12 Nov 13 Nov 14
Nov 15 Nov 16 Nov 17 Nov 18 Nov 19 Nov 20 Nov 21
Nov 22 Nov 23 Nov 24        
 
Day 1:  Monday, October 26
 
Read Ephesians 2:1-10
Psalm 16
 
A Child of God
 
But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11
 
A Christian is a child of God. By calling ourselves His children we acknowledge God to
be our Father who cares for, provides, and protects His children. Of course, the
greatest demonstration of such dealing is in the sending of His only begotten Son
into the world to be our Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil.
When we were baptized, God the Holy Spirit, working through water and the Word,
brought us into God's kingdom. In our baptism we find our identity as children of the
heavenly Father. In our baptism we see demonstrated the extravagant love of God
for us. He takes us, born in sin and under the wrath of God, and makes us to be His
own. How great is His love! How powerful His ways!
What a continual comfort and encouragement it is to be baptized in Christ, to know
that someone cares for us so much and loves us so much as to make us His own
dear children! And as children we are also heirs of the Father, heirs of the free gift of
eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus. Such future hope makes life on this earth
bearable as we look forward to life with God in eternity.
Holy Spirit, in Baptism You worked a great work in me. Thank You that I am a child of
God. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
 
1 Peter 4:12-19
Psalm 134
 
A Christian Is ...
 
And in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Acts 11:26
 
The most common term used to describe believers in Christ is "Christian." But what
do we mean when we say, "I'm a Christian"?
To our surprise, the New Testament uses the term only three times. By far the most
common term used to describe a believer was "disciple." When the term "Christian"
was used in the New Testament, it was applied to the disciples of Jesus by outsiders,
and usually in a mocking sense. For sure that's not how we use the term at the
present time.
The reformer Martin Luther developed this delightful definition of a Christian: "A
Christian is a child of the Holy Spirit, an heir of eternal life, a companion to the holy
angels, a ruler of the world and a partaker of God's divine nature. He is a wonder of
the world, a terror of Satan, an ornament of the church, a desirable object of heaven
with a heart full of fire, with eyes full of tears, with a mouth full of supplications and
with hands full of good works."
That's what we are! Quite a status—and all because of God's love for us in Jesus
Christ! He lived, suffered, died, and rose for us. It is God who makes us Christians.
Father, thank You for calling us into Your kingdom. Increase our faith in Jesus Christ,
our Savior. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Revelation 21:1-8
Psalm 4
 
A Desirable Object of Heaven
 
Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be
His people, and God Himself will be with them. Revelation 21:3
 
A Christian is a desirable object of heaven. It wasn't always that way. The Bible tells
us that sin closed the gate to heaven. But that same Bible tells us about a God in
Christ who loved us so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for the sins of the
whole world through His death on the cross for our salvation.
Salvation means all that. God miraculously intervened in our lives to rescue us from a
desperate situation which, humanly speaking, was impossible for us to escape. God
intervened in the person of His Son Jesus. The Son took human form. He obeyed the
Law perfectly. He suffered and died on the cross. He rose from the dead. He
ascended victoriously into heaven, having completed His task of saving mankind. It
was all done for us and our salvation. Because of that, the gate into heaven has been
opened for us. We are the desirable objects of heaven. One day it will be our home.
Heaven means being with God in the place prepared for God's redeemed.
As we go through this life, it is important to live it in light of the life that one day will
be ours with God in heaven.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the free gift of heaven. Help us to live now in light of that
great future. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Hebrews 12:1-11
Psalm 6
 
A Heart Full of Fire
 
Jesus Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for
Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:14
 
A Christian has a heart full of fire. When fire is used as an image in the Bible, it
usually refers to the judgment of God. This is especially true in the writings of the Old
Testament prophets. But we also use the word in a much different way. We talk
about getting fired up for a task, a football game, or a campaign. We mean getting
excited and putting all our energies into completing the task in the best way possible.
That's how it ought to be in the life of the Christian. St. Paul says we should be
"zealous for good deeds." That's getting on fire for the Lord. And that fire is centered
in the heart, where God in Christ brought about a mighty change when He convinced
us through the Gospel that Jesus gave Himself on the cross to buy us back from sin
and its consequences.
Jesus Christ redeemed us; but He also made us a new creation. Now we are His own
and serve Him as people "who are zealous for good deeds." It's not optional. We're
not called to sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by. We are the Lord's people,
and He calls us to serve Him with hearts full of fire.
Jesus, my Redeemer, make me a good worker in my church and community. To this
end set my heart on fire. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Hebrews 7:23-28
Psalm 51
 
A Living Sacrifice
 
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as
a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Romans 12:1
 
God wants all of me, not just my finances. He calls me to present my body to Him as
a living sacrifice. In the Old Testament all the animals offered to the Lord were killed.
Even the greatest sacrifice of all, God's Son Jesus Christ, was slain. But not so with
us. We present our bodies as living sacrifices. The only place where we follow the Old
Testament sacrificial system of killing the offering is that our old sinful self must die.
That needs to happen daily as we recall our baptism. And as the old must die, so the
new man comes forth from the waters of baptism equipped and empowered to offer
his body as a living sacrifice to God.
This approach to life pleases God and is acceptable to Him. It is worship in the full
sense of the word. It's stewardship. And why? Paul makes his appeal to such living
"by the mercies of God." That's shorthand for the creative and transforming power of
the Gospel. The Good News of God's love in Christ turns us from self to service, from
death to a life in which God's stewards present their bodies to Him as living
sacrifices.
Lord, into Your hands I commend myself my body and soul and all things. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Matthew 6:5—13
Psalm 19
 
A Mouth Full of Supplications
 
Pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
 
A Christian should have a mouth full of supplications and thanksgivings. All of us
must admit that we don't spend as much time as we ought in prayer. It's so easy for
us to get so busy with life that we forget one of our lifelines—prayer.
God not only commands us to pray but also gives the promise that He will hear and
answer our prayers: "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you
shall glorify Me" (Ps. 50:15). In addition to that, there are our own and our neighbors'
needs. These should prompt us to pray, as well as the desire to show gratitude for
the blessings received from the bountiful hand of God.
Our God is generous, yes, extravagant in dealing with us. In addition to physical and
material blessings, consider the spiritual blessings we receive freely from Him:
forgiveness of sins, new life, eternal life, membership in God's kingdom. All these are
given because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A part of our prayer life
should consist of thanking God for such blessings, in addition to making our requests
to the Lord. Whatever our lot in life, we as Christians are called on to pray, praise,
and give thanks.
Lord Jesus, our Mediator, give answer to our prayers according to Your good and
gracious will. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org
 
 
 
Read 1 John 4:13-21
Psalm 128
 
A Partaker of Christ
 
If we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with
Him in a resurrection like His. Romans 6:5
 
Christians are implanted into Christ, their Savior. How can that be? Paul tells us it
happened at our baptism. In baptism we are united with Christ in His death and
resurrection—like Siamese twins, grown together.
The action is God's. By the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, made ours in our
baptism, continuing in willful sin is impossible. Christ's death and resurrection thrusts
us into a new life, the dead-to-sin-alive-to-Christ life, which makes us partakers of His
divine holiness.
A real death took place, which destroyed our old sinful self. And a real life is taking
place, which opens a future for us in which we may live as Christ now lives. It all
happened in our baptism.
There is for us a new status. We're forgiven in Christ. We're freed from sin in Christ.
We're enabled by the power of the Spirit working through Word and Sacrament to
walk in newness of life, to live in holiness. As we daily remember our baptism, Paul
tells us: "Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." That gives
our life new character, direction, and purpose.
Lord Jesus, keep us ever mindful of our baptism and the new status You have given
us. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Genesis 1:26-31
Psalm 8
 
A Ruler of the World
 
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have
dominion ... over all the earth." Genesis 1:26
 
A Christian is a ruler of the world. Many of us may not think of it that way, but it is
true. God, by the power of His Word, called things into existence. And the crown jewel
of it all was the creation of man. Because of that position, man was given dominion
over the earth and all in it. Children of God, you are rulers of the world!
Nevertheless, we ought never forget whose world it is. It belongs to God. And we
ought never forget whose we are. We belong to God. It's much like twice-baked
potatoes. There is no doubt they are baked. And there is no doubt we are God's possession.
We're His by virtue of creation. And we're His by virtue of redemption.
But why does God do all that for us? Who are we? Why does He care so much for us?
That's God's nature. The prophet Micah asks: 'Who is a God like Thee?" There is
none! He reminds us: "He [God] delights in steadfast love." The cross of Christ is the
prime expression of God's love for us. At the cross we view His love "in that while we
were yet sinners Christ died for us." And in addition He gives us dominion over all the
earth. Rule well, Christian!
Help us, Lord Jesus, to be good managers and rulers. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Ephesians 6:10-20
Psalm 45
 
A Terror of Satan

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
 
A Christian is a terror of Satan, even as Satan wants to be a terror to us. Someone
once said: "Where God builds His church, the devil builds a chapel next door." Ever
since the fall in the Garden of Eden the battle has been fought between God and
Satan. The battle goes on between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.
The devil is real and is our enemy.
Yet, despite all his power, a greater power prevails—the power of Jesus Christ.
Through His death on the cross for us and all people, Satan has been defeated. But
that doesn't mean we are to take him lightly. He still battles against us, the children
of God. But, through faith, Christ's victory over the devil is also ours. Satan is a
defeated enemy.
Nevertheless, because the devil still battles us, we as Christians can aptly be
described as a terror of Satan. We fight him daily. Our fight is, however, not alone.
With Jesus Christ on our side, victory is assured. St. Paul reminds us that Christ
disarmed the principalities and powers, triumphing over them in the cross. Be a
terror of Satan as you fight him daily, girded with the armor of God!
Lord Jesus, help us to fight the good fight of faith. We ask that Your power be made
perfect in us. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org. 
 
 
 
Read Isaiah 44:24-28
Psalm 139
 
A Wonder of the World
 
 

I praise Thee, for Thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are Thy works! Psalm

 

139:14
 
A Christian is a wonder of the world. Compare yourself to the rest of God's creation.
It's amazing! What a wonder our bodies are! There is no doubt about it. They are
carefully crafted by the all-knowing mind and powerful hand of God. In 24 hours your
heart beats 103,689 times and your blood travels 168 million miles. In addition to
that, you breathe 23,040 times, inhale 438 cubic feet of air, move 750 muscles, and
exercise 7 million brain cells. The body's entire structure is a miracle of precision
engineering and production.
"Wonderful are Thy works," O Lord! It is surely evidenced in my body.
But far greater than all that is the fact that God not only created me as a wonder of
the world but also redeemed me, who because of sin was a lost and condemned
creature. While I was yet a sinner Jesus Christ died for me. Through faith in Christ I
have forgiveness, salvation, and new life. That too makes me a wonder of the world—
and a wonder of the world to come, where I will live with Him forever in heaven. We
speak of the seven wonders of the world. Let's add an eighth wonder—the Christian,
created and redeemed by the Lord.
Thank You, Lord, for creating and redeeming me. Help me to honor my body as the
temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Psalm 31
 
An Awesome Task from an Awesome God
 
As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s
varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10
 
The church exists in order that we, its members, may carry out the Great
Commission: “Make disciples of all nations.” Have you ever considered how
awesome a task that is – making disciples of all nations? It’s not just our family, our
community, or our country, but all nations. That translates into bringing the Good
News to approximately 4.5 billion people scattered throughout the world and
speaking thousands of different languages. And it means bringing the Good News to
those of our own family.
But for such a task God gives the awesome power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He
gives us the power of the Gospel and the promise that His Word will not return void.
God gives us resources for the task at hand. And in addition to that, the Lord gives
each of us at least one spiritual gift to be used in carrying out the Great Commission.
Our Lord challenges us as good stewards to use our gifts to make disciples of all
nations. Awesome task, but also awesome help from an awesome God, whose Son
died that we might live, paying the price that we might have forgiveness. The
awesomeness of God's power translates into saving love.
Lord Jesus, use me and my gifts in serving others. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9
Psalm 111
 
An Heir of Eternal Life
 
He saved us ... so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs in hope
of eternal life. Titus 3:5, 7
 
A Christian is an heir of eternal life. In Baptism all the blessings of the cross and
resurrection of Jesus Christ are ours. We have forgiveness, membership in God's
kingdom, new life. And included in that list is this: God in His infinite love and mercy
makes us heirs of eternal life.
Because of that, life takes on new meaning for the Christian. As heirs of God we
realize that all we have comes from the hand of a gracious and benevolent God. It's
not up to us. He did it all. He gives all. We are heirs.
And then consider what we inherit—not tangible things that decay and pass away,
here today and gone tomorrow. We're heirs of eternal life, life with God. Death for the
redeemed of the Lord is not the end. It's the beginning of life, eternal life.
This makes life now more tolerable. Because our faith is rooted in the cross and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, we know the future is safeguarded for us. Knowing this,
we can go through our earthly life, even if it brings suffering and loss, assured that
one day suffering will be gone and we will be found with God. God is good. In Christ
He makes us heirs of eternal life.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly. Give me fullness of life in You and in the end life
eternal. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Matthew 5:13-16
Psalm 115
 
An Ornament of the Church
 
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
 
A Christian is an ornament of the church. In the church all the people are important
and needed. St. Paul says that all of us are parts of a body, the church, with Christ
Jesus being the Head. You may be a finger, a heart, or a lung. Regardless of what
part of the body of Christ you are, all parts are vital to the efficient functioning of the
church.
All too often, when we think of the church, we think of a building. Not so, says Paul!
Not so, says Luther in his definition of Christians! The church is people. More
specifically, the church is the people of God gathered together around Word and Sacrament.
We're ornaments of the church. We reflect the beauty of the church
established by God Himself.
In His love and mercy for us God brought the church into being by virtue of the death
and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. In bringing us to faith through the. Gospel,
He made us members of the church. It was His action, not ours. It was His love, not
ours. As members of the church all of us are called to let our light so shine that
others may see our good works and give glory to God. Be a good reflector of Jesus
Christ, an ornament of the church!
Dear Lord, Your love for us brought us into the church. Equip us to serve others.
Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Matthew 28:1-20
Psalm 10
 
Changed and Commissioned
 
...that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
 
By being joined to Christ, we are chosen and changed. We are changed and
commissioned. We were nobodies but have become somebodies. Prior to the words
of the above text, the apostle proclaims that we are "a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people." All that God intended His people Israel
to be He now passes on to us. We have a new status. It is ours because God sent His
Son to be born of Mary and to be placed under the Law in order to redeem us.
In addition to our new status in Christ, we have been given a new assignment: to
declare the wonderful deeds of Christ and say how He brought us out of the
darkness of sin and death into the light of forgiveness and life. That's what the
Christian life is all about — proclaiming Christ in word and action.
To be better witnesses, sharing Christ with others, Peter also gives us this practical
advice: "Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account
for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." It's all part of the
stewardship life.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for taking me out of the darkness of sin and putting me
into the light of forgiveness. Give me courage and ability to tell others of that Good
News. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Daniel 6:16-24
Psalm 103
 
A Companion to the Holy Angels
 
Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His word, hearkening to the
voice of His word! Psalm 103:20
 
A Christian is a companion to the holy angels. Angels do many things in service to
God. The psalmist, in this great psalm that calls on God's people to bless Him, tells
us that angels do the work of the Lord and listen to and obey His Word. Daniel
experienced this when the Lord sent angels to do His will and spare his life when
King Darius had ordered him thrown into the den of lions.
As Christians, redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ and given new life in Him,
we join the invisible angel messengers of the Lord in serving the Lord and blessing
His name. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and the Good News of the Gospel, we are
called into our Lord's ministry to do His work and obey His Word. The angels are
models for us, showing how we should continually listen to God's Word and do His
will.
What an awesome responsibility, but also what a glorious privilege — to do the work
of the Lord! He who spared not His only-begotten Son will give us all things needed to
carry out our Christian tasks in thought, word, and deed. Companions to the angels!
It sounds nice! It is! It's a great life being a Christian!
Lord Jesus, at the cross and empty tomb You made me Yours. Assist me in doing Your
work. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Psalm 44
 
Eyes Full of Tears
 
Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the
testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3
 
A Christian often has eyes full of tears. C. S. Lewis said: "God whispers to us in our
pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to
rouse a deaf world." God doesn't promise us that all of life will be comfortable, rosy,
and free from trials, fears, and pain. Such things will come into our lives. James says:
When you meet various trials," not if!
What God's Word does for us is give us a different outlook on trials when they do
come into our lives. Trials are good, not bad. Trials are positive, not negative. Why?
They produce steadfastness and make us complete. Rather than ask, "Why me?"
when trials come, ask, "What can I learn?" and "How is God testing my faith?"
Paul made it through his trials with God's help, and so can we by turning to Jesus
Christ in times of tears and trials. He went before us. He endured suffering and even
death on the cross for our salvation. As His tears were turned into joy on Easter, so
can our tears be turned into joy because of what He did for us. Tears are bearable
when we know; that God transforms them into good for us.
Lord Jesus, help us to meet various trials with faith rooted in Your redeeming and
sustaining love. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Luke 12:22-31
Psalm 35
 
Faithful and Wise Stewards
 
Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required. Luke 12:48
 
The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be Prepared.” It’s a good one for more
than Boy Scouts. In a way it summarizes one of the major messages of Jesus. He
said: "You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not
expect.” Repeatedly the Bible warns us of the Lord's second coming to judge the
world. Be prepared for it, for you do not know when it will occur!
In the meantime Jesus calls on His disciples to be faithful and wise stewards, to be
good managers of what the Lord has entrusted to them—time, talents, abilities,
money, the Gospel! That means getting our priorities straight, rolling up our sleeves
and getting to work, and getting the right attitude about life.
Our model, of course, is Jesus. His priority was to do all that needed to be done to
secure our salvation. He was God's Servant for us from His birth to His death. And
what an attitude He had! He "came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life
as a ransom..." He's our model, and He's our power. Because He did it all, we are
empowered to be faithful and wise stewards until He comes again. He gives us so
much, thank God! To whom much is given, of him much is required—service.
Lord God, help us to be faithful and wise stewards. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
From Rags to Riches
 
You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your
sake He became poor. 2 Corinthians 8:9
 
William Wrigley Jr. started selling soap at age 29 and through a chain of events built
the Wrigley chewing gum empire. Rags to riches! Most of us can cite rages-to-riches
stories. Someone poor and about to give up spends his last savings and years later is
a millionaire.
When we hear those stories, we often respond by wishing something similar would
happen to us.
Well, there is good news for you. It has happened, and it's the greatest rags-to-riches
story. It has to do with what Jesus Christ did for you. He was rich, yet He abandoned
all the richness of heaven, took human form, and became poor. And He did it so that
we, who were poor in sin, might become rich. Because He became poor, we have forgiveness,
fellowship with God, salvation, and new life that stretches into eternity.
It’s the greatest rags-to-riches story! Jesus went from riches to rags that we might go
from rags to riches. Paul tells of that in the midst of discussing the stewardship of
our treasures. He reminds us that the rags-to-riches Good News motivates us to give
cheerfully and generously.
Lord Jesus, thank You for your inexpressible gift. In gratefulness we open our hearts
and hands to the needy. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Ephesians 5:15-20
Psalm 90
 
God’s Unique Resource
 
My times are in Thy hand. Psalm 31:15
 
Time is a unique resource given us by God. In sharp contrast to money, all of us get
the same amount of time each day. Unlike money or other goods, we can’t take time
and store it up for the future and, while saving it, draw interest. Time is unique. We
already have all we are going to get today – no more, no less.
Because of that, the stewardship of time has to do with managing ourselves with
respect to time. Time always ticks by at 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour,
24 hours a day, and 365 days a year. It’s not a renewable resource. The important
thing is how we use time. We are called to use it wisely as a precious resource from
God. We are His. And that includes time.
As stewards, redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, we do three things: First, we
acknowledge Christ as the Lord of our time and decide how best to use it for the glory
of God; second, we don’t become so absorbed in making a living that we have no
time for the making of a life; third, we organize our time with the understanding that
we are always responsible to Him for the way we use it.
We draw power from Jesus Christ, who in the fullness of time used the time allotted
Him to live, suffer, and die for our salvation.
Dear Lord Jesus, make me a good steward of my time. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Psalm 30
 
Growing in the Grace of Giving
 
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up,
as he may prosper. 1 Corinthians 16:2
 
Christian giving must flow from our understanding of what God has done for us in
Jesus Christ. He died. He rose again. God's people are called to respond to that love
and mercy. And one way we respond is through generous, proportionate giving of our
financial resources.
Concerning giving, Paul gives us direction. Give regularly—"on the first day of every
week." Everyone should give—"each of you" (that includes children and young people
as well as parents and grown-ups.) And give a proportion to the Lord from what He
gives you—"as he may prosper." Nowhere does God demand that we determine today
what total amounts in dollars we will give in future years. What He does ask is that
we determine now what proportionate part of what He gives us we will return to Him
as our response to His love and in acknowledgment of His ownership of all things.
What will it be? Give as you prosper; that is, a percentage of what the Lord gives you.
None of us know what He will give us, but we can and should determine how much of
what He gives we will return to Him as our thankoffering. We let the cross and empty
tomb move us in that decision.
Dear Lord Jesus, help me grow in grace of giving. Keep me mindful that You have given
Yourself for me. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read James 2:14-26
Psalm 146
 
Hands Full of Good Works
 
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27
 
Christians, wherever they are, have hands full of good works. At Philippi Paul used
the prison for his pulpit. From that pulpit he wrote to a persecuted church and said:
"Rejoice!" How can that be? Paul says that where faith and the working creativity of
the Holy Spirit are, there are also joy and good works flowing out of the Good News
concerning our Savior Jesus Christ.
"Let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ," the apostle writes. This
verse is the theme for the whole practical section of Paul's words to the Philippians.
The Gospel is the filter through which the Christian should view all things. Later in
the same letter St. Paul says: "I press on . . . because Christ Jesus has made me His
own."
Therein lies the power for God's people to have hands full of good works. It's the
Good News that God in Christ has made me His own in Baptism. That power of the
Gospel thrusts me into life with a whole new outlook. That same Gospel also enables
me to a degree to live a life worthy of the Gospel. That life is one characterized by
good works. God's people are called to walk in them. When we stand before God on
Judgment Day, may our hands be full of them!
Lord Jesus, I'm created in You for good works. Assist me to walk in them day by day.
Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
Psalm 49
 
How to Use Time
 
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive
mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
 
“I just don’t have enough time.” All of us either say it or think it often. Life really
seems that way. We often think: If only we could add another day to each week,
everything would be solved and things would slow down somewhat. Well, we’re only
kidding ourselves. Anyway, even if we weren’t, there is no way we can make an eightday
week. But we can be better stewards of the time God gives us.
The Book of Hebrews tells us that the precondition for the proper stewardship of time
is that we “draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find
grace to help in time of need.” We live in faith and prayer. In so doing we become
God’s hands and live in His time. This results in grasping the opportunities inherent
in time that God places before us.
It was in time, at the right opportunity, that God gave the unspeakably rich gift of His
Son into death for our salvation. This great act of love and mercy prompts us to use
time with its opportunities in the service of the Gospel. God’s great act empowers us
to be good stewards of God’s time.
Thank You, Jesus, for coming to be our Savior in the fullness of time and for
redeeming us in due time. Amen
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Psalm 130
 
Love Is the Key
 
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his
ability. Matthew 25:15
 
Christ’s parable of the talents pictures an owner entrusting his property and business
to others. Each one was given talent(s) and was expected to use them wisely. Two
did, but one didn’t. Fear blocked the one.
God works that way with us. He gives to all. Yet every gift imposes its claim on the
recipient of the gift. Christ summons us to ministry, to serve Him by using the talents
He gives us. Yet all too often fear impedes us. Of this roadblock John says: “There is
no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
Love is the key. It opens up opportunities for us to become good stewards. From
God’s Word we come to know love, because we see it in the cross. God’s love for us
meant the cross, for God did what was needed to save the sinners He loves. The
cross is the measure of His love.
To view this love is to be affected by it. Love begets love. Christian love means love
for others. We show love by using the talents and abilities given us by our Master. It
is our response to God's love for us in Christ. There is no other system that works
better than the way of Christian love.
Lord Jesus, remove our fears and replace them with love. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Romans 12:1-8
Psalm 40
 
Not Spectators Only
 
His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some
pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the
body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12
 
A coach was asked what role spectator sports played in the physical fitness of a
nation. He responded: "None. What you have at a game is 22 football players
exercising but needing rest, and 55,000 spectators resting but needing exercise.
All too often that accurately describes how it is in the church. A few people do the
work while the rest watch and express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. St. Paul
says it ought not be that way in the church, the body of Christ! There are no spectators.
All of us are called to be participants. God the Holy Spirit gives us gifts so that
we might use them to carry out our ministry as a part of the church.
Using our God-given gifts properly is what the stewardship life is all about. It is not
optional. All God's people are stewards by virtue of their baptism. And all God's
people have gifts to be used to build up the body of Christ. God brought us into the
church. Christ suffered and died that we sinners might have forgiveness and
fellowship with God. He brings the redeemed into His fellowship, the church, but not
to be spectators! God calls us to participate, to use our gifts for His purposes.
Holy Spirit, thank You for Your gifts to me. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Colossians 1:24-29
Psalm 34
 
Stewards of the Gospel
 
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries
of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1
 
When we think of stewardship, we usually don't think of stewardship of the Gospel.
Usually we think of the "three T’s”—time, talent, and treasure. But what about the
Gospel, the Good News of what God has done with our sin through Jesus Christ? Paul
put it this way: "Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of
knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." The Gospel—the Good News of salvation, forgiveness,
and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ—cannot be surpassed by any earthly
possession. Thank God for the Gospel!
But what are we doing with this gift from God? Paul tells us to be stewards of the
mysteries of God, that is, of the means of grace (the Gospel and the sacraments)
that bring Christ to us. You and I are called to take the Gospel mystery, revealed to us
in the God-man Jesus Christ, and share it with others. It's what we call evangelism.
As stewards of the mysteries of God we are entrusted with the Gospel, that we might
share with others what we have seen and heard concerning Jesus Christ. Where? At
home, at work, at play. We look for opportunities to be good stewards of that
priceless treasure. Him we proclaim. It's part of stewardship.
Lord Jesus, make me a goof steward of the Gospel, making know to others what is
revealed there of God’s love. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Genesis 2:4-9
Psalm 63
 
Stewardship and the Father
 
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell
therein. Psalm 24:1
 
Christian stewardship is built on a Father-child relationship, because what God gives
us to care for as stewards comes to us from His fatherly goodness. God the Father
created all things and placed us over His creation. That signifies this relationship:
The Creator-Father places us, His children, over our Father’s house here on earth. All
of us stand in a direct and personal relation to God by virtue of our existence, for we
were created to be stewards or managers of God. Therefore all we possess is ours as
a gift from the hands of our Creator. And whatever we do in all of life is our response
to God’s dealings with us.
After explaining what we have received from God the Father, Luther in the Small
Catechism – in the First Article of the Creed – states: “…for all which it is my duty to
thank and praise, to serve and obey Him.” That’s stewardship! It’s responding to the
goodness and mercy of the Father in creation. And it’s more. The stewardship life
also has to do with responding to the goodness and mercy of God in Jesus Christ. He
shed His blood for us on the cross. That makes us spiritual children of God. Once
again, we are in a Father-child relationship – children serving our heavenly Father.
Creator-Father, thank You for creating and redeeming us. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read 1 John 4:7-19
Psalm 145
 
Stewardship and the Son
 
Jesus is Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:3
 
The person who is bound in sin cannot be a good steward. He wanders away from
God and serves himself and becomes selfish in relation to his neighbor. He becomes
a slave to created things. He serves creatures rather than the Creator. Such a
practice is called idolatry, not stewardship.
But Jesus changed all that. He appeared in order to take away sin by paying the oncefor-
all price of sin by His death on the cross. He appeared in order to destroy the
works of the devil. And when, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we confess Jesus
to be the Son of God and our Savior, God abides in us and we in God. The result: We
confess in word and deed that Jesus is the Lord.
When Jesus is Lord, good stewardship takes place in our lives; He is Lord; we are His
servants. He is Lord; we live drawing strength and direction from Him. He is Lord; we
respond to His love and mercy for us.
That’s the power for living the stewardship life. John in his first epistle says: “We love,
because He first loved us.” Christ sets us free from sin. When we are forgiven in
Christ, God gives us new life and enables us to enthrone Jesus as Lord and thereby
turn from serving self to serving others, to the Glory of God.
Lord Jesus, help Your stewards in enthroning You and in serving You in Your kingdom.
Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read John 14:15-31
Psalm 13
 
Stewardship and the Spirit
 
Jesus saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him.
Matthew 3:16
 
Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan was His first step toward the cross, where He
paid the price for the sins of all people. At His baptism the Spirit descended on Jesus
“like a dove.” At His baptism and throughout His public ministry Jesus was led by the
Spirit. Jesus’ work is always seen in close relationship to the work of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, perhaps somewhat vague and unknown to us, nevertheless plays a
key role in the stewardship life. We too are called to be led by the Spirit. A person can
be a good steward of God’s possessions only if he is an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
He shapes our lives. He directs our plans. We are sanctified by the Spirit. Luther says
the Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies, and preserves. He brings us to faith in
Christ and keeps us there.
The steward looks on himself as God’s instrument, as the saw and ax in the hand of
the Craftsman, the clay in the hand of the Potter, the tool in the hand of the Master.
Having released us from self by the liberating message of the Gospel, the Spirit
continues to work in us, empowering us to be about the Lord’s business in all we do.
That’s stewardship, Spirit-style.
Holy Spirit, lead us in living as good stewards of the manifold gifts and graces You
impart. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Luke 10:25-37
Psalm 48
 
Stewardship Is…
 
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Colossians 3:17
 
A theologian once presented a paper on the meaning of stewardship, and in order
to communicate how all-encompassing a term it is, he used this passage to define
stewardship: "whatever you do."
That's acceptable, for the Biblical term "stewardship" embraces what we do with all of
life and life's resources. All too often we confine the word "stewardship" to money.
That indeed is a part of stewardship, as it was in the life of the Good Samaritan. But
that is only one facet. Stewardship is like a precious God-given diamond with many
facets—time, talents, gifts, life, treasure, the Gospel, It has to do with what we do with
all of life.
God calls us into a special relationship—to be stewards of what belongs to Him. It is
only because of the ministry of the great Steward, Jesus Christ, that we have such a
privileged status. Jesus used all the resources available to Him—His holy life, given
into death—to redeem us and give us the position of being His stewards.
Stewardship is more than money. It has to do with whatever we do with all God gives
us. The motivation? His love for us in Christ Jesus, the great Steward.
Great Steward, Jesus, we praise You for making us managers of what belongs to
You. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.
 
 
 
Read Philippians 4:8-13
Psalm 123
 
Temples of the Holy Spirit
 
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you
have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19
 
How would you react if someone suggested that, in order to generate more income
for the church, the sanctuary be turned into a nightclub during the week? The altar
would make a good bar. Move the pews around and you'd have a nice dance floor.
Use the elevated chancel area for the band. Just think of the revenue you'd bring in!
For sure you would get opposition to such a proposal. Many would say, "You can't do
that! This is God's house! Such activity would be misuse of the church!" And all of us
would agree that such a proposal is preposterous.
But what about the body? How do you take care of it? Do you both use and abuse it?
Paul says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. And just as we get upset
about the misuse of God's temple, the church, so also we ought to be very concerned
about the abuse of our bodies. They are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are not our
own. It is not our life or body to do with as we please. We belong to God. We were
bought with a price — the innocent suffering and death of God's Son Jesus Christ. He
ransomed us. He bought us back. We are His. Therefore glorify God in your body!
Lord Jesus, help me use my body to Your glory. Amen.
 
From July – September 1986 issue of Portals of Prayer® © 1986 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. To order a subscription to Portals of Prayer®, please
contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org

 

 

 






 






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