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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Lasting Letters"

September 6, 2005

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Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45

A well-known author has stated, "When an old person dies, it is like a library burning." Much valuable knowledge is lost, except for what the deceased may have recorded or transmitted orally.

However, misconceived "wisdom" is not worth saving. After the three friends of afflicted Job had cited his wrongdoing as cause of his suffering, he replied, "Wisdom will die with you" (Job 12:2). Much of what they said was beside the point and should be buried.

It is different when people speak the wisdom of God. When they pass away, as all of them will, their truth abides. In His love God saw to it that Old Testament teachings given to Moses, the psalmists, and prophets, as well as the teachings given to the New Testament evangelists and apostles, were preserved in Holy Scripture. All was written for our learning so that, in Saint Paul's words, "we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).

Saint John was an apostle who lived to ripe old age. He may have reached age 90 or beyond. When the Lord finally did call him home, John had left a small library of writings: the fourth Gospel, three epistles, and Revelation. Reduced to one sentence, Saint John's testimony was that Jesus Christ "is the true God and eternal life," as stated at the close of his first epistle (1 John 5:20). Our salvation rests in Jesus Christ alone, the Son of God crucified for our sins and raised again from the dead.

Our passing away in old age need not resemble the burning of a library. Even if we leave no books--no biographies or diaries--those near and dear to us will be our living libraries. They will be to us what the Corinthians were to Saint Paul, "our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody" (2 Corinthians 3:2). These are lasting letters, living libraries, Christ's continuing witnesses in this world.

PPRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for revealing the Gospel of Christ to me, and for preserving it through all generations. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 24-26    2 Corinthians 11:1-15

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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