Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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March 14 – The Struggle Of God’s Kingdom

“And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.  And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.”  Acts 4:1-3

Devotional Thought For The Day

Scoundrels often appear to be prevailing, much to the chagrin, sorrow, and even suffering of God’s people.  Jesus suffered the rejection of these leaders, and all of the wicked tricks they had pulled in His trial and execution – Jesus, the very Son of God!  They had witnessed His death and burial, even sealing His tomb with a guard of soldiers.  How the disciples must have marveled at His resurrection.  Prior to His arrest and execution they must have known they were on the right side, the side that would prevail.  His suffering and death brought this into question.  His resurrection and ascension rekindled their zeal and their certainty regarding the ascendency and victory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  They boldly took up the mission of Jesus, only to face the continuing animosity, rejection, and persecution of the leading citizens of Jerusalem – who continued to enjoy life, prestige, and prosperity, while opposing the kingdom of God and persecuting His church.  How hard it must have been for the apostles of Christ to continue their ministry, and for people to come to the right conclusions regarding Christ, when the evidence of “success” appeared to be against them.

Their experience was no different than that of the prophets – like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nathan, and numerous others.  They also were opposed by the “establishment,” and appeared to be on the wrong side – weak, subject to persecution, abuse, and martyrdom.  Yet they had the Word of God, and maintained faithfulness to His Word, and in the end that Word always prevails.  So Christ came in accord with their prophecy, and so also Christ’s church is being built [faith is coming by God’s Word – Rom. 10:17; 1 Pet. 1:23] regardless of “appearances.”  Yes, wicked people still inflict great harm on Christians, and on the church itself.  Hypocrites still infiltrate the church and rise to high and prestigious positions – opposing the Word of God and injecting their poison into the hearts and minds of many.  It appears they are “safe” and “secure” – but God knows about them, and His Word will surely prevail, ultimately leaving them in the destruction of His judgment.  It is, however, counter-intuitive, how God has chosen to order the distribution of His salvation and to bless people with faith and true knowledge of God – and we continue to struggle with seeming defeats and losses.  Like the apostles and prophets, we too must continue in zeal and fervor, and certainty of faith, even in the face of what appears to be victory for those opposing God’s Word, grace, salvation, and kingdom.

“The priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees” were able to continue in their privileged lives for another 35 years or so – and then Jerusalem was utterly devastated by the Roman army.  That seems like a long time for justice and just deserts to be administered – but God is kind, patient, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy; so the wicked may appear to prevail for a time, but their judgment always comes, for God’s Word is sure and certain.  It is a privilege that we continue to endure the same kind of opposition and by faith triumph over “appearances to the contrary.”  Our way takes us through the same kinds of inequities and wicked smirking of our enemies – and to the same end as that of the prophets and apostles:  trouble in this life, joy and victory in the kingdom of heaven.  May God grant us the same constancy, courage, and comfort as we remain faithful to God’s Word and the blessedness it brings to all who believe and continue in Christ’s Word.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we are not as patient as You are, and the seeming ascendency and prerogative of the wicked turns our stomachs.  We long for the vindication of Your people, and the rectifying of all wrongs – as You have promised will be done in Your return in glory.  Grant us patience and steadfastness, and faith to continue doing Your bidding and will, looking forward to the end of this age and our reward in heaven.  Amen.