St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church & School
This Week's Worship Video
LAST SUNDAY OF END TIME: CHRIST THE KING
Even as we anticipate his glorious return, we celebrate Christ's rule as king--both his rule over the universe for our good and his rule in our hearts that saves us. We celebrate Jesus as the victorious king.
This world is full of imperfect rulers and leaders, and a lot of bad things continue to happen, but don't let that fool you into thinking anything other than the truth: Jesus rules all. Even looking at Jesus in his most important work as our king, when he took our place in the battle and allowed himself to be crucified, could make a person wonder what kind of king Jesus is. He looked defeated. But, again, looks can be deceiving. His resurrection proves that Jesus is the king we need. To him be all honor, glory, dominion, and power forever!
Daily Devotion - Tuesday, November 24, 2020
There's a difference between doing your job and getting a paycheck. It's the difference between the maximum and the minimum, between excelling and just getting by, between being appreciated and being tolerated.
As a parent, I've been proud and thankful to hear from various people who have employed each one of my children how much they appreciate their work ethic. Most recently, there was a phone call to the boss of one of my daughter's, asking him if my daughter was the kind of person who might steal from others. The woman calling worked for my daughter's new employer, but this was still during the vetting process, before she was hired. When she asked the question, my daughter's boss laughed out loud. His response was, "She's the kind of person that, if she found a bag full of money, she'd dust for fingerprints to make sure she got it to the rightful owner."
Our Lord commanded his people Israel to "diligently" keep his commands or, as another translation puts it, to "be very conscientious." Because Jesus kept the law of God not just diligently but perfectly, we are free from the need to obey in order to earn heaven. Heaven is ours by faith in the Savior. It's for this reason, because of God's great love for us, that we are moved to take to heart this encouragement. By faith in God, we want to be diligent, to be conscientious, about doing the right thing. This means that we want to follow God's will laid out for us in his moral law--the 10 Commandments. This is good for us, good for others, and it glorifies God.
Are we lacking in diligence? It's always easier to be diligent about the things that we enjoy. It also easier to be conscientious about things that benefit us more than others. But God drowns this selfishness by showing us how sinful it is, how harmful it is to us and others, and how it defies and dishonors him. Then, the powerful gospel of Jesus' forgiveness gives us new life. It gives us a pure heart and an unwavering spirit (Psalm 51:10). And then, in this blessed renewal, we find joy in God's commands. "How blessed is a man who fears the Lord. In his commands he delights greatly" (Psalm 112:1).
In all the good we do, our Lord encourages us to work at it with all our heart because, in reality, we are always working for the Lord who loves us and has rescued forever (Colossians 3:23). Be diligent to follow God's will today! In Christ, you want to be his conscientious follower. In him, you will be!