July 9, 2007Email to a FriendPrint
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand. John 10:28-30
At the top of the 1,000-foot mountainous peaks of Meteora, Greece, monasteries were built hundreds of years ago. Because of their impossible location, these monasteries became places of solitude, safety, and security. Up until the last century, goods, and the most rare of individuals—visitors—had to be winched up in a basket hand-powered by the monks. Those who made the ascent found the ride a terrifying experience. One of these tourists, recording his adventure, admitted to getting nervous about halfway up the cliff. That’s when he noticed that the rope seemed old and frayed. Thinking he might relieve his fear, at least somewhat, he asked one of the brothers riding with him, “How often do you change the rope?" Without a moment’s hesitation, the reply came back, "Whenever it breaks!" The traveler’s fear didn’t disappear.
All of us reading this devotion understand fear, don’t we? The devoted dad, the loving mom, the successful salesman, the brilliant banker, the faithful farmer, the diligent doctor, every person, at every age, in every occupation, in almost every situation, has experienced fear. There is nothing that seems to be unconditionally secure, unreservedly safe, unalterably solid. Peel away our fake facades and bold bravados and you will see cringing, cowering children who on the inside are shouting, “I'm scared to death.”
If that describes your outlook on life, hear the words of Jesus: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” You can trust those words to be true. So you could be free of fear, Jesus sacrificed Himself. Although He was innocent, He allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross. He did not curse those who crucified Him; instead He forgave them, as He has all of us, for our sins. He died so that you might live free from fear. You can trust Him.
Please, do not think for a moment that Jesus' compassion and care have been weakened by the passing of centuries. I have seen Him comfort parents who have lost children, bring peace to widows and widowers, and bring hope to those with terminal illnesses. Believe His words to be true. No one, nothing, can take believers from the security of His nail-pierced hands.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on May 2, 2004
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I know that Your compassion and care have not been weakened by the passing of centuries. I believe that Your words are true today and forever. No one, nothing, can take me and other believers from the security of Your nail-pierced hands. In Your Name, Amen.