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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Kidnapped"

January 12, 2007

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Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

It is early Wednesday night. St. Louis’ news stations are broadcasting an “Amber Alert.” Somehow, 13-year-old William “Ben” Ownby from Beaufort, Missouri, disappeared in the few hundred yards between his house and the place where the school bus dropped him off.

Our hearts reach out to parents, family, and friends who are shocked that this mighty malevolence has, so unexpectedly, come crashing into their lives. We hurt for those who wrongly feel they failed to protect this child for whom they would gladly lay down their lives. Our minds fear for Ben as we think of the loneliness, the terror, the terrible things which might happen.

Tonight, tens of thousands are searching for a white truck seen speeding away. Now, with the sharing of this devotion, I ask that the prayers of tens of thousands be lifted to the Lord for the safe return of this child. (Rest assured, I will keep you informed when Ben’s situation is resolved.)

Having asked for your prayers in regard to Ben, I would now like to request them for the millions of other children who have been stolen from those who love them. Yes, I said millions.

This Sunday, as you go to church, see the children playing in your neighborhood, children whom Satan has managed to separate from the Savior who loves them; children who have no family of faith to support them. Look at them and realize, there is no “Amber Alert” being issued on their behalf; there are no rescue teams being sent out to recover them; there is no public outcry, and the media will never mention their names.

Even so, their souls are in jeopardy. At Christmas they hear about Santa but not the Savior. On Valentine’s Day they are told about physical love, but never Christ’s heaven-sent love. Without the resurrection, their Easter is nothing more than chocolate bunnies and a hunt for brightly colored eggs.

Will you not pray for these children whom Satan has so silently stolen away from the Savior? Will you not ask the Father to send His Holy Spirit upon those parents who are consumed by their child’s earthly future, but remain unconcerned about their little one’s eternal hope? Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Hearing the warning of the Savior, will you not join with me in praying:

Dear Jesus, You once lifted the little children into Your arms and blessed them. We pray today for the children of the world and ask that You will, once again, bestow a similar blessing. We ask that their bodies be kept safe and their souls be brought to and kept safe in the love of the Savior. Teach the guardians of these children wisdom to be concerned about body and soul. May all the world’s children believe in the Savior who loves them best of all. In Your name. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Job 8-10    Matthew 9:1-17

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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