Peace In Our Time

May 28, 2018

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:25-27

The words of a loved one can cause anxiety. Let’s say someone close to you says something like, “I am leaving soon. I am going to suffer, and I am going to die. Here are some specific things I want you to do.” Do you think you might have a little anxiety?

Jesus said those things to his disciples. He told them he was leaving. He told them he was going to suffer and die. And he told them that they would have a very specific job, repeating the things that he had told them. The disciples had anxiety; their hearts were troubled.

But Jesus did not just cause anxiety. He also relieved it. He told the disciples that after he was gone, the Holy Spirit would prompt them to remember what he told them—with no mistakes. After the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, the disciples would be able to preach and teach and write the New Testament of the Bible confidently, knowing that the Holy Spirit was making sure that every word was correct.

Jesus also relieved anxiety by telling his disciples that his suffering and death would bring peace and confidence. He would not remain dead. He would rise from the dead, proving that everything he said was true, and showing that God continues to be in charge of this world.

God’s love for you in Christ Jesus gives you peace and takes away fear. You can also speak words that take away anxiety for your loved ones. Because of the peace you have in Jesus, you are able to speak words of forgiveness to them. Because you know that the Bible is true, you can speak the truth to them in love.

When your heart is troubled, when you feel anxious, Jesus promises you peace.

Prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Amen.

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The Holy Trinity

May 27, 2018

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Don’t Worry, Your Place is Booked!

May 21, 2018

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” – John 14:2-3

Imagine that you are planning on going camping with some friends, when they call a couple of days before the trip and say, “Hey, we got off work a day early, so we will go and get a couple of good sites. If you want to bring your tent by, we will set it up for you, start a fire, and have dinner waiting for you when you get there.” They would never do such a thing, if they didn’t think you were coming to join them.

When Jesus promised that he was going to prepare a place for his disciples, he knew what lay ahead of them. He knew their faith would be severely tested, because soon he would be taken from them. Judas would leave only to come back with a detachment of soldiers to arrest him in the garden. Then Jesus would be detained and put on trial where he was mocked, spit upon, and beaten. After being crucified and buried, it would seem like Jesus had left them forever. But then, after three days he rose from the dead and appeared to them on many occasions. He was back! Until…forty days later he visibly ascended into heaven.

Sometimes we feel so alone, don’t we? Sure, we might have friends and family all around, but what about Jesus? He doesn’t always seem so close as we struggle to understand all the hate and violence in the world around us. He doesn’t always seem so near when we find ourselves falling into the same temptations that so easily lead us astray. Where has he gone?

He has gone to prepare a place for those who repent and trust in him. And this isn’t just some wishy-washy-pie-in-the-sky promise. Jesus is doing something for you right now. He left his disciples the first time to give himself as the once and for all sacrifice for sin. Now he has left to prepare a place for you in heaven. Why would he ever do such a thing, if he didn’t think that you were coming to join him?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, when we feel all alone, help us to listen to your promises and be assured that one day we will go to be with you in the place you have prepared for us. Amen.


Pentecost

May 20, 2018

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Stay Put!

May 14, 2018

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” – John 15:9

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak, but he is strong.” The words of this song are simple, yet they are profound. Think about it, Jesus loves me! And not only does Jesus love me, God the Father also loves me. As a result, my life is blessed richly and daily with everything I need. What more could I desire than knowing God the Father preserves and protects me from every danger? Now, couple this with Jesus’ unselfish and self-sacrificing love, I should be able to live every day rejoicing in the love which is mine. But do I?

Every day I can be certain of the love my Lord and Savior has for me. Still, every day I am tempted to question his love. I am distracted by things that the world offers. My attention is drawn to all the things I do not have. The world wants me to cut my ties with the Lord and pursue its empty pleasures and fleeting treasures. The devil also joins with the world to form an unholy alliance. He fills my heart with discontent and greed. He seeks to deceive me into believing God is withholding something from me. Worse yet, he looks to make me believe that God is punishing me by not giving me my heart’s desire.

The only way I can combat the world’s influence and the devil’s deceptions is to focus my attention solely on the words and work of my Savior. Jesus exhorts me to “remain in his love.” He, then, strengthens and encourages me to do just that. Through his precious life given into death, through his resounding victory over the devil, and through his never-failing promises I can remain in him and in his love.

Yes, Jesus loves me, and I want to remain in his love.

Prayer: O precious Savior, forgive me for not seeing your great love and making it my most priceless possession. Strengthen my faith to hold on to you and to every gracious gift you have secured for me. Amen.


Mother’s Day

May 13, 2018

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Divine Service II, Page 158, Lutheran Worship

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Ascension Day

May 10, 2018

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