Mar 12, 2017

Devotion for 12 March - Promises, not Explanations

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today -- we continue a Lenten sermon series on Dr. Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation. This is Luther’s attempt to show what was wrong with the church in his time. He called his approach the “Theology of the Cross”. He preached that the cross was the only source of knowledge about who God is and how He saves. Some of the devotion content is from Constable’s notes at www.netbible.org.
Epistle Reading- 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong
Devotion: Promises, not explanations.
Have you heard it said that Christians live on promises and not explanations? Let’s take a look at that: we touched on “Good versus Evil” last week, and wondered philosophically why God lets bad things happen. Well, we cannot second guess God in these things. There are two things always at work in us: our natural weakness and God’s spiritual power.  The cross is the great example of Divine power working through human weakness. The greater we sense our weaknesses the more we will sense God’s awesome power. Our success depends not upon our natural abilities but upon God working through and in us. Human weakness can be a great blessing if we start depending more on God and less on ourselves. That is the message of our Epistle text today. Now then, three things to know about evil happening: 1- evil has existed since the fall of man, 2- God allows evil to happen and we cannot know why, and 3- God’s promised Grace is sufficient to overcome the evil deeds. Sometimes, if the long view is available, it can offer some explanations. 2000 years ago an innocent man suffered a horrible death on the cross -- a terrible tragedy. I can envision the thoughts of the early Christians: “how did God let our rabbi die like this”?  2000 years later we can see part of the “why”, and we can and should believe in Our Savior’s promise of saving Grace.

We pray: “Thank you, risen Lord, for our salvation. Amen”