"Constancy in Faith and Love"
September 30, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
After waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Hebrews 6:15
People who visit Onondaga Cave in Missouri are told that its temperature is constant: Summer and winter, day and night, it is 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Elsewhere the world is given to ups and downs. As the hymn writer states, "Change and decay in all around I see."
People are given to inconstancy, even people who are Christians. Faith can weaken, and the fervency of love can subside. We are to expect this as the end of the world approaches. Jesus said, "At that time many will turn away from the faith ... Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10, 12). This tendency prevailed from the beginning of Christianity. Through Saint John, the Lord said He held this against the church in Ephesus: "You have forsaken your first love" (Revelation 2:4). The church in Laodicea had attained a constancy of sorts, but it, too, was displeasing to God: "You are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold" (Revelation 3:16).
In contrast to the fluctuations of human love and loyalty stands the permanence of the saving grace of God. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews reminds his readers how God, faithful and true, had kept His promise to Abraham to give him a son and through him the greater Seed, the Messiah. As though the promise were not in itself sufficient, God confirmed it with an oath. At the fullness of time God fulfilled His promise by causing His Son to be born of a woman. Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, is truly the woman's offspring of Genesis 3:15. He became our great High Priest when He entered the Holy of Holies to offer up Himself on the cross for our sins, then entering the Holy Place of heaven to intercede for us.
God's constant love in Christ, as attested in His steadfast, immovable Word, confirms us in our faith and love. We are both encouraged and enabled to do what Saint Paul bids us: "My dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you:" (1 Corinthians 15:58). Our Christian response to God's love is: "Oh, may my love to Thee, Pure, warm, and changeless be, A living fire."
PRAYER: O Holy Spirit give me a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, my Savior, and increase my love for Him. 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 www.cph.org.)