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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"We Must Appear"

April 29, 2007

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For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Do you know where the expression “facing the music” comes from? The story begins in medieval Japan with a man who wanted the prestige that came from being a performer in the Imperial orchestra. But there was a minor glitch: He couldn’t play an instrument. Yet he knew what he wanted and pulled every possible string to accomplish his purposes. Against his better judgment, the orchestra’s conductor consented to let the man into the ensemble. He gave him a flute, sat him in the most inconspicuous seat, and instructed him to try and fit in. With each musical number, our man dutifully raised his instrument, puckered his lips, moved his fingers, and pretended to blow. He went through the motions, but not a tweet ever escaped his flute.

This deception might have continued indefinitely, undetected, had it not been for the appointment of a new conductor. This man’s first act was to tell his musicians that each of them would have to audition. One by one the players auditioned and were restored to their positions. Eventually all finished, except for the fake flutist. Frantic with worry, he claimed to be sick. The doctor pronounced him “fit as a fiddle.” Finally the time came for the audition. The flutist, unable to face the music, lost his position, his salary, his home, his future.

Now, there are a number of ways people prepare to face Judgment Day’s music. Some gamble there is no God. They believe somehow, in some way, everything created itself. Without God, they hold to the theory that the universe is the product of accidents. Others think, “God is so good that He will never condemn sin. And, if He does, I’m okay, because I lead a pretty good life.” To that I can only reply, the Bible is consistent in saying the Lord is coming and all of us will have to appear before Jesus the Judge. Will you be ready to face the music?

You can be ready. Through God-given faith in Jesus’ cleansing blood, sinful souls can become prepared to face the music. Yes, you can try to run. But the day will come when you won’t be able to run anymore. On that day, your Savior will want to know, “Do you believe?” If the answer is “yes,” you have life eternal. If your answer is anything else … well, you will just have to face the music.

Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on July 6, 2003

THE PRAYER: Gracious Lord, may the power of your Holy Spirit guide and direct me to serve you in your Kingdom today. I rejoice knowledge that I am cleansed by Your blood and ready to face the music. Amen.




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Today's Bible Readings: 1 Samuel 17-18    Luke 20:27-47

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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