Getting into God's Word

Weekly Devotionals

Written by Pastor Tim Swenson

Weekly Readings

September 25: 16th Sunday of Pentecost

The Common Thread

Having been asked what his number one goal in life was, a middle-aged man once said, “To retire. All I want to do is sit on a porch swing and wait for the post office to deliver my retirement check.” Our readings speak to so much more in life, indeed, what is expected of us in the living of our lives. The First Reading warns us away from this lifestyle, as long as God’s people suffer. The psalmist advises us to not place our trust in government to help the oppressed and the poor; their help comes from the Lord. The Second Reading gives a list of qualifications for both bishops and deacons, the latter being those whom God calls to, among other things, meet the needs of the hungry in the Church. The Gospel Reading also teaches about serving—and the ultimate danger that comes from being self-serving. (

Amos 6:1-7

Psalm 146:1-10

1st Timothy 3:1-13

Luke 16:19-31

October 2: 17th Sunday of Pentecost

The Common Thread

We must take our stand in the face of our enemies—sin, death, and the devil—to see what God will say to us. And this is what he says: “The righteous shall live by his faith.” In the face of sin, he alone is our salvation; in the face of death, he is our Rock; in the face of the devil, he is our fortress. So we must always rekindle our faith and trust in him whom we believe. Faith increases as we keep our faith in Christ. (

Habakkuk 1:4-4; 2:1-4

Psalm 62:1-12

2 Timothy 1:1-14

Luke 7:1-10

October 9: 18th Sunday of Pentecost

The Common Thread

It may not look like, or feel like it, but the Lord has visited his people and given them food. He has sent redemption to his people and caused his wondrous works to be remembered in this blessed food: his body, his blood. We have not earned this rescue from otherwise certain death. Indeed, we have been faithless, however much we try to be faithful. Yet God, has been and will remain faithful to his people, to those who believe, those who have faith in his deliverance. Let us remember to praise him and give thanks as best we are able: by receiving his grace through the means he established (Psa 116:12–13). (

Ruth 1:1-19a

Psalm 111:1-10

2 Timothy 2:1-13

Luke 17:11-19

October 16: 19th Sunday of Pentecost

The Common Thread

We usually think of prayer as something that we do. But if we consider Jacob’s wrestling until the break of day as prayer, we see that it was the “man” who wrestled with Jacob. Luther says that this man was none other than the Son of Man. We see then, that God himself initiates prayer and continues the struggle with us until we lift up our eyes and see that our help and deliverance come from the Lord. God wants this same striving with him from us—a life devoted to him and to his word that lasts even longer than a night, that continues both “in season and out of season.” Our wrestling in his word then becomes an unceasing prayer (1 Thes 5:17) of the kind of faith that returns to the mat again and again to encounter God. (

Genesis 32:22-30

Psalm 121:1-8

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Luke 18:1-8