Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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August 22 – The Lord Your God Is Testing You

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” Deut. 13:1-5

Devotional Thought For The Day

Whew! God sure takes theology and religion seriously! And He certainly urges His people to do the same! I wonder what percentage of seminary students would immediately drop out if these dynamics prevailed within their church body, and were part of the law of the land!  I wonder how many preachers would be immediately endangered if these instructions from God were implemented today. How many people living in America and the world today have been duped and misled by such “prophets” and “dreamers” who have performed and produced such “signs” and “wonders.”  This much is certain, they are still at it, and you do not have to look very hard to find them.  In fact, you can just power up you television and run up and down the channels, or take a quick drive around town. And their followers are all around us urging us to join them.

Perhaps you wonder why God would allow such spiritually destructive nonsense to arise and flourish.  God provides the answer: “For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.”  Perhaps you think this is too hard a test, that the deceivers are too clever. Not so – God’s Word is written at about a seventh grade level, well within the independent learning range of the vast majority of adults. And His Word, the Bible, is abundantly available all around us.  Yes, it does take some time to read and learn His Word, Holy Scripture, His “commandments.”  It also takes effort to “obey” His voice, to heed His Word, and there is a price required of us in “serving” Him and “holding fast” to Him. But it is certainly not impossible for us to “walk after the LORD our God” when He calls us to repentance, and to rejoice in His gift of mercy, forgiveness, love, and salvation in Christ Jesus. This, His Word, has the power in itself to create and produce love for God within us – that we come to love Him with all our heart and soul. And He Himself helps us to turn from sin and to walk in His ways, to follow “after the LORD our God.”

We look with horror upon some of the atrocious violence perpetrated in the past by Christians upon other Christians.  We consider that there is something wrong with being “zealous.” The problem is not with being “zealous” for God’s Word, but rather with those who insist upon the right and freedom to reject and repudiate God’s Word, and who claim the right to mislead and corrupt others. If all were zealous to maintain loyalty and faithfulness to God’s Word the principles in our text would be unnecessary and would lie dormant. Alas, such is not the case, and has not been at any time since these words were first written for our learning and safety.

Even if these dynamics are not taken seriously and applied literally today, the dangers of false prophets and their religions remain all around us, and God will ultimately provide the justice that is lacking today.  “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” [John 3:36] Greater wrath and punishment lies upon those who murder souls by teaching and encouraging such unbelief and rejection of God’s Word.  For us, the “test” remains before us, “whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” and whether “you shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and serve Him and hold fast to Him.” Remember, it is all about knowing His love, His redemption, His gracious mercy – and holding on to the LORD Who has so richly blessed us and held on to us.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, so much pernicious and wicked rejection of Your Word has infiltrated the world and even the “church” that we scarcely know what to do. We know that it is not our duty to take violent actions against others, but help us to recognize Your will in testing us, that we may always remain faithful to You and Your Word. Grant us much greater zeal for Your Word, and humility to submit to it. Amen.