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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Cross is Power "

February 7, 2007

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For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians. 1:18

It seems to me that Nell Hamm must be a real party person. I know Nell was definitely looking forward to celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, Jim. Nell certainly wasn’t going to let anything or anyone upset their celebration that is scheduled to take place next month.

When I use the word anything, I’m not exaggerating.

Let me explain. Last week Jim and Nell were hiking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in California. It was the kind of thing the loving couple liked to do together. It was an idyllic day whose perfection was marred only by the mountain lion that stalked them. The Hamm’s tried to make a strategic retreat. The lion countered with a strategic attack and wrestled Jim to the ground.

Nell wasn’t going to let a little thing like a mountain lion ruin her anniversary. She picked up a heavy branch and started to beat the beast. When that didn’t work, she took her husband’s surprisingly calm suggestion to grab his pen and poke the mountain lion in the eye. The pen bent and was discarded. Nell once again picked up her log and began clouting the lion that was chomping down on her husband’s head.

The lion finally let go of Jim and stopped to stare at this little woman who had the audacity to spoil his meal. Nell stared back and the lion left. Maybe it figured out Nell wasn’t about to let him ruin her 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Although I recognize the seriousness of the confrontation, the idea of one of North America’s top predators staring at a lady with a log in her hand makes me smile.

“Foolishness”, that is what the world scornfully says when it sees Jesus using a piece of wood, a cross, to save humanity from certain damnation and death. The world wants to know, ‘How can one Man expect to do anything against Satan the roaring lion of 1 Peter 5:8?’ The world asks, because the world doesn’t understand the intensity of the Savior’s love; nor can it comprehend how much the Savior wants to celebrate the wedding feast that will never end. So we might be saved, Jesus willingly gave His life. So we might be with Him forever, Jesus died upon the cursed tree. (Galatians 3:13) The result is Satan has been defeated. Yes, a wooden cross may seem a foolish weapon to save us, but believers know Saint Paul was right when he said, “But to us who are being saved it (the cross) is the power of God.”

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, Your cross may seem a poor weapon to defeat Satan and make him release his death grip upon us. Even so, in Your nail-pierced hands, death and devil have been defeated. May I always be grateful for Your love. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Exodus 1-3    Matthew 24:1-28

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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