Author Archives: Sola Publishing News and Feedback [Devotions Category]

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Romans 1:16

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

John 20:21 records Christ sending out his disciples as equals, without any distinction. When he says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you,” he declares that he sends his disciples individually, in the same way he had been sent. Therefore, he grants no one primacy or lordship over the rest.

Pulling It Together

No Christian is to have power over others, let alone more or less power. As the Word was sent into the world, we are sent into the world with the Word. The Word is the power of ordination—not the office. A pastor or bishop is powerless without the Word, despite the office.

Prayer: Here I am, Lord; send me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

Not everyone likes bread sticks. They are fine for appetizers, but it’s nice to have some selection. Add in some onion rings, BBQ wings, cheese curds, veggies…and then you’ve got something! Faith Apptizers is a sampler platter of Biblical Christianity. With an assortment of styles and topics, offering both a challenge and a chuckle, it intends to awaken your days with faith. These 286 devotions are arranged Biblically, from Genesis to Revelation. Like the good God behind our good book, they will work both the mind and heart, sometimes comforting the afflicted and sometimes afflicting the comfortable. Open up and taste one; then pass ’em around.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Romans 1:16

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

John 20:21 records Christ sending out his disciples as equals, without any distinction. When he says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you,” he declares that he sends his disciples individually, in the same way he had been sent. Therefore, he grants no one primacy or lordship over the rest.

Pulling It Together

No Christian is to have power over others, let alone more or less power. As the Word was sent into the world, we are sent into the world with the Word. The Word is the power of ordination—not the office. A pastor or bishop is powerless without the Word, despite the office.

Prayer: Here I am, Lord; send me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

Not everyone likes bread sticks. They are fine for appetizers, but it’s nice to have some selection. Add in some onion rings, BBQ wings, cheese curds, veggies…and then you’ve got something! Faith Apptizers is a sampler platter of Biblical Christianity. With an assortment of styles and topics, offering both a challenge and a chuckle, it intends to awaken your days with faith. These 286 devotions are arranged Biblically, from Genesis to Revelation. Like the good God behind our good book, they will work both the mind and heart, sometimes comforting the afflicted and sometimes afflicting the comfortable. Open up and taste one; then pass ’em around.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Matthew 18:1–4

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Jesus teaches the same thing in a parable because of a similar dispute about the kingdom. Christ placed a little child in their midst (Matt 18:2), demonstrating that as a child neither takes nor seeks preeminence, there is to be no superiority among ministers.

Pulling It Together

There are orders in the Church of Christ, but not levels of superiority. A pastor who will not listen is a pastor to whom no one will listen. A bishop who lords the office over others will displease the Lord. On the other hand, Christians who serve others may discover God calling them to greater responsibilities. Any office in the Church is always an office of service—not primacy. The greatest among us must be a servant (Matt 23:11).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, make me of some use in your kingdom. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

If you are a pastor or Council member, it is budget preparation time for the upcoming year. Please consider adding Sola Publishing to your benevolence. You may also securely donate as an individual by clicking the blue donate button above. 

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Matthew 28:18–20

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

In Luke 22:25, Christ expressly prohibits lordship among the apostles. This was the very question the disciples were disputing when Christ spoke of His passion: who should be their leader and, as it were, the vicar of the departed Christ. Christ rebuked this error and taught the apostles that there should not be lordship or superiority among them, but that the apostles should be sent forth as equals in the common ministry of the Gospel. Accordingly, he said, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:25–26). The antithesis here shows that lordship is not permitted.

Pulling It Together

This is not to say that Christianity is supposed to me some form of democracy. It is not, for we do have a supreme leader, a head over us all. Christ is far above all names throughout time and even in the age to come (Eph 1:21). He is the head of the Church, both now and forever. He needs and desires no vicarious substitute in his supposed absence, for he is not gone (Matt 28:20). Let us serve under his rule, as though he were in our midst—as he surely is.

Prayer: Help me live under your authority, Lord, and therefore bear witness to you in my vocation, that place where you have sent me into the world. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

In Saints I Have Known and Buried, Christopher Miller offers a rich resource of materials to help families navigate this difficult time by helping them create meaningful tributes to honor their loved ones’ rich legacies and to name their precious memories. Filled with sample eulogies, sermons, and prayers, this unique resource enables families to further their own healing by developing an effective and meaningful tribute that recognizes their loved ones’ special qualities and virtues.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Matthew 28:18–20

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

In Luke 22:25, Christ expressly prohibits lordship among the apostles. This was the very question the disciples were disputing when Christ spoke of His passion: who should be their leader and, as it were, the vicar of the departed Christ. Christ rebuked this error and taught the apostles that there should not be lordship or superiority among them, but that the apostles should be sent forth as equals in the common ministry of the Gospel. Accordingly, he said, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:25–26). The antithesis here shows that lordship is not permitted.

Pulling It Together

This is not to say that Christianity is supposed to me some form of democracy. It is not, for we do have a supreme leader, a head over us all. Christ is far above all names throughout time and even in the age to come (Eph 1:21). He is the head of the Church, both now and forever. He needs and desires no vicarious substitute in his supposed absence, for he is not gone (Matt 28:20). Let us serve under his rule, as though he were in our midst—as he surely is.

Prayer: Help me live under your authority, Lord, and therefore bear witness to you in my vocation, that place where you have sent me into the world. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

In Saints I Have Known and Buried, Christopher Miller offers a rich resource of materials to help families navigate this difficult time by helping them create meaningful tributes to honor their loved ones’ rich legacies and to name their precious memories. Filled with sample eulogies, sermons, and prayers, this unique resource enables families to further their own healing by developing an effective and meaningful tribute that recognizes their loved ones’ special qualities and virtues.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Psalm 119:105

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Therefore, let us primarily show from the Gospel that the Roman bishop is not by divine right above other bishops and pastors.

Pulling It Together

If we wish to demonstrate that the pope—or anyone else, for that matter—cannot claim rule and power whatsoever over bishops, pastors, or laity either, then we had better have some authority behind our statement. There is no authority greater than divine authority. Lutherans regard the Holy Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, as being the very word of God. Scriptures carry the full weight of God’s authority, requiring our trust and acceptance. We walk in darkness without it; as it is breathed out by God himself (2 Tim 3:16), it is the supreme rule over all of life. Everything else, all books, traditions, and teachings, are subordinate. This is the substance behind that famous saying of the Lutheran Reformation: sola Scriptura. 

Prayer: Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to the light of your Word. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) includes a hundreds of selections of music for use in worship, drawing primarily upon texts and music in the public domain, along with biblical texts set to familiar tunes. SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children’s bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Luke 22:24–27

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Now, in order that our case may be understood, we will first define what they mean by saying the pope is above all bishops by divine right. They mean that he is universal, or as they say, an ecumenical bishop. In other words, all bishops and pastors throughout the world should seek ordination and confirmation from him, who they say has the right of electing, ordaining, confirming, and deposing all bishops. Besides this, he claims the authority to make laws concerning acts of worship, changing the Sacraments, and doctrine. He wants his articles, decrees, and laws considered equal to divine laws, so binding consciences that those who neglect his laws, even without public offense, sin mortally. Still more horrible, he asserts that it is necessary to believe all these things in order to be saved.

Pulling It Together

It is bad enough that one Christian would claim to rule over others, since there are teachings of Jesus that say otherwise (Matt 20:16; 23:11; Luke 9:46–48; 22:24–27), let alone the example of his own servant leadership. What is worse is that such a person would claim such divine privilege that anyone who would dare to disagree with his declarations and demands, though they go against Scripture, is damned. May we be bound to no person. Let us instead, be bound to the Word of God.

Prayer: Make me of service to your Church, Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) also includes bulletin templates. There are word processing templates for both communion and non-communion services. There are also templates for Sola, LBW, and Reclaim service settings. SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children’s bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

Acts 4:12

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 1

First, the bishop of Rome claims that he is, by divine right, over all bishops and pastors. He adds secondly, that by divine right he has both swords, that is, the authority of bestowing kingdoms. Thirdly, he declares that believing this is necessary for salvation. For these reasons, the Roman bishop calls himself the vicar of Christ on earth. We hold these three articles to be false, godless, tyrannical, and destructive to the Church.

Pulling It Together

Theologians gathered at Smalcald in 1537, to construct their response to the pope’s convening of a council. This paper, “The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope,” is the result of their gathering. If you looked carefully at the names of those who subscribed to The Smalcald Articles, you may have noticed that Melanchthon was vacillating on the first point of this treatise. These theologians did not waver. The pope was afforded no such authority over the pastors and preachers of the Reformation, let alone conceded rule over both Church and State. Still, it was the third point that would have made their theological skin truly crawl.

 There is only one name under heaven by which people are saved to eternal life: Christ alone. It is no wonder solus Christus was a primary doctrine of the Reformation. Christ alone died for our sins and raised us from the dead. We are forgiven and saved from death and the devil by Christ alone (solo Christo). He alone is the way to the Father (John 14:6). Believe in him and no other. Any other belief, any other teaching, is heresy of the worst kind.

Prayer: I believe in your Son, Father, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, forever one God. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) includes a limited selection of music for use in worship, drawing primarily upon texts and music in the public domain, along with biblical texts set to familiar tunes. SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children’s bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

2 Thessalonians 2:13–15

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Lastly, there remains the pope’s bag of tricks that contains foolish and childish articles, such as the sanctification of churches, the baptism of bells, the baptism of altar stones, and inviting sponsors to these rites who would make donations towards them. Such baptizing is a reproach and mockery of Holy Baptism, so it should not be tolerated. Additionally, there are the blessings of candles, palm branches, cakes, oats, spices, etc. These cannot be considered consecrations, but are sheer mockery and fraud. We commend these numberless deceptions for adoration to their god and to themselves until they are weary of them. We will have nothing to do with them.

Pulling It Together

The Word of God united with faith makes things holy. Human rituals, especially when devised to make money, have nothing to do with consecration. Baptism, for example, was instituted by God to join us to Christ’s death and resurrection, and is to be received by faith in God’s promises. Other washings are not merely lesser, they hold no significance at all and are a parody of God’s intentions. They remove the focus from what God does, to what people do. Let us be content with what God has ordained and subscribe to his Word alone.

What follows are the names of all those who subscribed to Martin Luther’s Smalcald Articles, keeping to the Reformation teaching of Sola Scriptura: that the Holy Scriptures are the only trustworthy rule of faith and practice.

1. Dr. Martin Luther subscribed.
2. Dr. Justus Jonas, Rector, subscribed with his own hand.
3. Dr. John Bugenhagen, Pomeranus, subscribed.
4. Dr. Caspar Creutziger subscribed.
5. Niclas Ambsdorf of Magdeburg subscribed.
6. George Spalatin of Altenburg subscribed.
7. I, Philip Melanchthon, also regard the above articles as right and Christian. But regarding the pope I hold that, if he would allow the Gospel, his superiority over the bishops which he has otherwise, is conceded to him by human right also by us, for the sake of peace and general unity of those Christians who are also under him, and may be under him hereafter.
8. John Agricola of Eisleben subscribed.
9. Gabriel Didymus subscribed.
10. I, Dr. Urban Rhegius, Superintendent of the churches in the Duchy of Lueneburg, subscribe in my own name and in the name of my brethren, and of the Church of Hannover.
11. I, Stephen Agricola, Minister at Hof, subscribe.
12. Also I, John Draconites, Professor and Minister at Marburg, subscribe.
13. I, Conrad Figenbotz, for the glory of God subscribe that I have thus believed, and am still preaching and firmly believing as above.
14. I, Andrew Osiander of Nuernberg, subscribe.
15. I, Magister Veit Dieterich, Minister at Nuernberg, subscribe.
16. I, Erhard Schnepf, Preacher at Stuttgart, subscribe.
17. Conrad Oetinger, Preacher of Duke Ulrich at Pforzheim.
18. Simon Schnevveis, Pastor of the Church at Crailsheim.
19. I, John Schlainhauffen, Pastor of the Church at Koethen, subscribe.
20. The Reverend Magister George Helt of Forchheim.
21. The Reverend Magister Adam of Fulda, Preacher in Hesse.
22. The Reverend Magister Anthony Corvinus, Preacher in Hesse.
23. I, Doctor John Bugenhagen, Pomeranus, again subscribe in the name of Magister John Brentz, as on departing from Smalcald he directed me orally and by a letter, which I have shown to those brethren who have subscribed.
24. I, Dionysius Melander, subscribe to the Confession, the Apology, and the Concordia on the subject of the Eucharist.
25. Paul Rhodius, Superintendent of Stettin.
26. Gerard Oeniken, Superintendent of the Church at Minden.
27. I, Brixius Northanus, Minister of the Church of Christ which is at Soest, subscribe to the Articles of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, and confess that hitherto I have thus believed and taught, and by the Spirit of Christ I shall continue thus to believe and teach.
28. Michael Coelius, Preacher at Mansfeld, subscribed.
29. The Reverend Magister Peter Geltner, Preacher at Frankfort, subscribed.
30. Wendal Faber, Pastor of Seeburg in Mansfeld.
31. I, John Aepinus, subscribe.
32. Likewise, I, John Amsterdam of Bremen.
33. I, Frederick Myconius, Pastor of the Church at Gotha in Thuringia, subscribe in my own name and in that of Justus Menius of Eisenach
34. I, Doctor John Lang, Preacher of the Church at Erfurt, subscribe with my own hand in my own name, and in that of my other coworkers in the Gospel, namely:
35. The Reverend Licentiate Ludwig Platz of Melsungen.
36. The Reverend Magister Sigismund Kirchner.
37. The Reverend Wolfgang Kismetter.
38. The Reverend Melchior Weitmann.
39. The Reverend John Tall.
40. The Reverend John Kilian.
41. The Reverend Nicholas Faber.
42. The Reverend Andrew Menser.
43. And I, Egidius Mechler, have subscribed with my own hand.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for the gift of your Word. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

The Sola Online Worship Resource (SOWeR) also includes bulletin templates. There are word processing templates for both communion and non-communion services. There are also templates for Sola, LBW, and Reclaim service settings. SOWeR is a lectionary-based web resource for Scripture lessons, lectionary inserts, children’s bulletins, devotionals, text studies, prayers, hymn-planning, and much more! Join the hundreds of congregations who have discovered how simple, flexible, and useful SOWeR is for worship planning and sermon preparation. This brochure will answer more questions about SOWeR. Call 1-888-887-9840 to order a yearly subscription. 

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today’s lesson. 

1 Timothy 1:18–19

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

These are the articles on which I must and will stand, God willing, until my death. I do not know how to change or to concede anything in them. If anyone wants to compromise anything, it will be done at the peril of conscience.

Pulling It Together

Rely on the Word of God. Human traditions will compromise Scripture and cause you to stumble in your conscience. Worse, they will leave you with a sense of angst, wondering if you have done enough to warrant God’s reward. Take your stand on his word instead of your works. By doing so, you will arrive at the far shores of heaven by the swelling sail of Christ, instead of shipwrecked under your own power.

Prayer: Help me to stand with you, Lord Jesus, no matter the pitch of life. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with “Subscribe” as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with “Unsubscribe” as your subject.

The Upper Room is a six-part drama and sermon series for use during the weeks of Lent, in midweek or Sunday morning services. The stories in this series seek to focus our hearts and minds on the last days of Jesus, drawing us into a greater spiritual maturity that recognizes the blessings and responsibilities of this life of faith, as we walk with our Lord on the path to the cross.

Scripture texts are assigned for each of the weeks, along with a brief sermon reflection based on the theme. A sample order of service is provided.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions