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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"God's Church Continues"

February 16, 2007

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Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” Acts 7:48-49

Recently in the news, a tornado in central Florida was clocked having winds of 165 miles per hour, killed more than 20 people, and destroyed hundreds of homes and churches.

Lady Lake Church of God was designed to physically stand against winds of 150 miles-per-hour. Their next-door neighbor reported seeing a green-colored glow over the top of the church before it exploded. God’s house, which had served as a shelter against hurricanes, was physically gone.

The day after the disaster, members of the congregation went through the debris, which was once their church. With reverence, they moved dislocated pews, avoided broken glass, and saved what they could. Many of the spectators were convinced that Lady Lake Church of God was done; it was finished.

They would be partially right in making that statement. While it is true the church building of Lady Lake Church of God is gone, God’s people still remain.

When people think of a church, they often are referring to a place of worship, a focal point where the Lord’s people come together. Such buildings are special to us because they are filled with precious memories of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and funerals. When long-time members walk through the doors of their church, they say to themselves, “This is the stained-glass window we gave in memory of mother and here’s the pew where our family sat every Sunday when I was growing up.” Memories make it hard for churches to embrace change.

But when change comes, such as the destruction of Lady Lake Church of God, the Lord’s Holy Spirit brings things back into perspective. He reminds us that the Lord lives in our hearts and not in buildings. That is why the Lord considers the redemption of our souls of prime importance and not the value of our buildings.

The pastors of Lady Lake Church of God admitted, “The building is a total loss, we’ll move forward, we’re going to be fine, we’ll pull together.” Lady Lake Church of God had services on Sunday which proved, “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39. And in my opinion, it’s safe to add to the list, “NOR TORNADOS.”

THE PRAYER: Almighty Father, we pray that You will look with compassion upon those who have suffered and lost much in this tornado. We ask that Your church and members may not become discouraged, but may reflect the light and love of the Savior to all around. In the Savior’s Name. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Exodus 23-24    Matthew 28

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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