Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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January 3 – Revealing Hearts

“And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”  Luke 2:34,35

Devotional Thought For The Day

God has exercised extraordinary wisdom in the way in which He has provided mankind with forgiveness, redemption, and the Way to eternal life, in our dear Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  There is no desire in God for any human being to be excluded from His salvation and to miss out on the blessed renewal in the image of God which occurs when we know and believe the love that God has for us. God has provided us with a beautiful, clear, and winsome demonstration and proclamation of His great love for us, His desire that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth – hoping to entice all people to return to Him in faith and trust, that we might be healed.  However, God will not force such blessedness on anyone, as Jesus Himself acknowledged:  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”  [Luke 13:34]

The condition [fall] of those who reject God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, and love in Christ Jesus is far worse than that of those who are merely ignorant of this great gift of salvation.  It is one thing to be terribly sick or severely injured; it is another to reject a doctor’s advice, medications, and healing – and to instead do things that exacerbate pain and hasten death.  This is the circumstance of all those who turn down God’s gift of salvation and eternal life.  So while God has intended great good for all people in giving us His Son as our Savior [Luke 2:14; John 3:16], Jesus not only “raises” a good many who believe in Him, but He also exacerbates the “fall” of the many who reject Him, because in rejecting Him they have rejected the gracious mercy, love, and kindness of God Himself.  I can’t think of anything worse than a person who refuses the mercy and clemency and love of God by rejecting the Savior He sent.

So Jesus will always remain THE “sign” of God, the sign that represents God in all the world, which human beings will either embrace and rejoice in, OR Jesus will be a “sign” which evokes rejection of God, hatred of God, and utter rebellion against Him – a “sign which shall be spoken against.”  Unbelievers, including also all of those “pious” people who think that their works are commendable enough to God to get them into heaven, who do not cling to Christ alone and trust exclusively in Him, His gracious mercy and forgiveness, these all speak against this sign of God.  Their very “piety” is directed against Christ, and bears witness against Him, against all that He has done for us in His suffering, death, and resurrection.  Though God’s gracious salvation has been provided for them, and they have been invited into God’s kingdom, even pleaded with, by their own stubborn and willful choice they have insisted on staying out – and finding their own “way” into His kingdom or into some other “blessedness.”  But there is only one Way, one Name under heaven by which we must be saved – yet they “are not willing.” [Acts 4:12]

So what a person says about Jesus, whether true and genuine faith is expressed or some form of unbelief, the “thoughts” of that person’s heart are revealed.  What we assert about Jesus does not make it so – He is Who He is, and He has done for us what He has done for us – God’s Word makes all of this very clear, and establishes the facts, the reality.  What we say about Jesus does reveal what is in our heart – whether our heart is with God, through faith in His beloved Son, or against God because we do not desire His full and complete gift of eternal life, do not want to live in His love, and do not want Him as our Savior.  Again, God has supplied everything for us, for our forgiveness, for eternal life, and for a life of growing renewal through exposure to His love in His Word and Sacrament – but in His wisdom He allows human beings to reject Him.  What excuse will there be when it is Jesus, God’s own sign of gracious love, that is rejected and despised?  Lord, have mercy!  But there is great joy and peace that surpasses all understanding for those who receive Jesus by faith – and new life, eternal life, life lived to God forever!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, thanks and praise be to You for all that You have done to bring us full and complete salvation, all that You suffered in our stead and on our behalf.  As You have brought us to faith and eternal life, so strengthen and sustain our faith as You direct our hearts and minds into God’s great love for us.  Touch the hearts of others who are yet to know You, and grant us peace and constancy whenever others around us are revealing the darkness and corruption of their hearts.  Amen.