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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"I Don’t Wanna! Do I Hafta?"

February 5, 2007

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Then He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28

It was the birthday tradition of a certain family to let the birthday boy or girl pick the main course for the meal and to say the prayer. Just turning six, Rosalyn had selected turkey for dinner and now she began to pray. She thanked mother for preparing the turkey and dad for his job that provided the money to buy the turkey. The family sat patiently as she thanked the clerk for selling the turkey and the store for stocking the turkey. She thanked the trucker that had brought her turkey to the store. She thanked the farmer that had raised the bird, as well as the feed store that provided the tom with “vittles.” At the end of the lengthy litany, she solemnly asked, “Have I forgotten anyone?” Her two-and-a-half-year-older brother, impatient with the delay to the meal, grunted out: “God.” With icy disregard, the birthday girl announced, “I was just about to get to Him.”

Sadly, that’s the way most people live their lives … never quite getting around to worshiping the Lord or giving thanks for all He has done. We should give thanks for Jesus. Why? Because He gave sinful souls salvation. Since the fall, all of humanity had been condemned because of sin. But Jesus, the suffering Savior, set about to make things right. As the sinless Son of God, He did for us what we could not do. All the laws of God that we break, He kept. Perfectly. Purely. Completely. All the temptations we fall for, He avoided without a stumble or a misstep. All of the sins we carry around, Jesus took to Himself. The greed, the envy, the cruelty, the lust, the hatred that are part of all of us, Jesus carried to the cross.

What is your reaction to what Jesus has done? Martin Luther’s was this: “For all of which it is my duty to thank and praise, to serve and obey Him.” I hope you agree. I hope you don’t avoid God because you think your sins are too great. I hope you haven’t been skipping a time of thanksgiving with the Lord because you are afraid of what someone might say. All of these excuses need to be swept away by the Spirit-given faith that says Jesus came to seek and save the lost—people like you and me. Jesus entered this world to bring healing and hope to the hurting, to us. That’s why we offer Him thanks and praise; that’s why we serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true.

Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on June 22, 2003

THE PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for giving me another year to grow closer to You. I need You, Lord...every hour, minute, and second of the day. Please forgive me when I don’t take the time to recognize You. I offer up my thanks and praise and ask that You guide me as I seek to serve You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 46-48    Matthew 23:1-22

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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