Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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March 23 – Encouraging One Another

“And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue.  Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.’ And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” Acts 18:7-11

Devotional Thought For The Day

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday while waiting in the out-patient lobby at the hospital.  First, two older ladies sat down next to me and carried on a conversation about their Bible class the night before.  Then a couple sat down across from me, and in the course of their conversation began discussing the upcoming weekend and some car troubles they’d been having.  They were figuring out how they were going to get a vehicle so that they and their children could get to church on Sunday.  That was their chief concern.  I was working on memorizing my sermon, but I was rather struck by the thought that this whole little area of the waiting room was inhabited by Christians who were dwelling on the blessings of God’s love for us in Christ Jesus.  In that “church” is not a real prominent part of the culture in the area in which I live, in fact secularism and unbelief seems rather predominant and suffocating most of the time, this was a rather remarkable experience. We, a few little Christians, had invaded and dominated at least one little secular place – if only for a brief time.

I’m certain the apostle Paul had his fears and concerns as he set about the mission of evangelizing the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Corinth was a particularly dark, idolatrous, and wicked place.  Paul had suffered persecution before, and knew that more was coming, yet he received this little reassurance from God: “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.” Some of the people are mentioned – Titius Justus and Crispus. We know there were more, many more. Neither of these men went on to any great prominence – but each “little” Christian is of immense importance to God and to the life of the church.  Though the influence of the church in Corinth, and its existence, probably seemed to be virtually invisible, God saw and knew what was going on in the hearts of His people, and miniscule though it was, it was pleasing to God and of greatest importance to Him.

We sometimes forget that God is always at work in the hearts and minds of His dear people of faith. Though we cannot always see His influence, power, and preeminence, He is always with us, always caring and concerned about this world, His world, and especially concerned for the well-being of His people and the success of the Gospel. We too should remember that there are always “many” of God’s people around us – and God is protecting us, so that even when opposition, malice, and persecution come, those on the side of evil cannot truly harm us. It is as Luther wrote in his great hymn:  “And take they our life, goods, fame, child, and wife; though these all be gone, they yet have nothing won, the kingdom ours remaineth.”

Little people too are quite important. Their names are important, and they are held precious in God’s mind. And even though we are “little” people, our very presence and our quiet witness to Christ can have great impact on others, providing them with great encouragement and strength.  This also is what the fellowship of the church is about – not only our “consuming,” our receiving the goodness and blessings of God’s Word, but the mutual edification, encouragement, and upbuilding of those who have faith, who are God’s people, precious and dear to Him.  Even when we may feel as though “I don’t need to go to church today; my faith is good,” there are others who need our presence, our support, our encouragement – even if it is nothing more than our being there. So “let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but let us exhort one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” [Heb. 10:25] Seeing the presence of God among His people, the invasion of the light into the darkness, is a marvelous thing – and we are so blessed to be a part of it!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, so often I think that I am seeing the big picture, and that by power of observation I can accurately discern what is going on. I do not know the glory and splendor of Your work in the world – and I am in need of Your encouragement, the encouragement of Your people. Thank You for glimpses of the future, of Your victory in the world. Thank You for fellow Christians, Your people, who give me strength and hope. May I also provide encouragement and strength to others who belong to You. Amen.