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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Differences"

July 19, 2007

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For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Everybody knows there are differences between deodorants, toothpaste, and dishwashing liquid. What has always amazed me is that many of those same people believe all religions and all denominations are the same.

Apparently, the Vatican does not agree. Last week, the “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” came out with a 16-page document that said Orthodox churches suffer from a “wound” since they don’t recognize the primacy of the Pope. The paper also said the “wound is still more profound” in Protestant denominations.

The story, filed by Reuters and carried on CNN, made a lot of people very angry. For the life of me, I don’t see why. Think about it. If the Pope of the Catholic Church doesn’t believe the doctrines of his church are right, then why should he, or anyone else, be Catholic. The same could be said about Lutherans, Baptists, Hindus, or Mormons.

There is simply no point in having a church if you don’t believe that church is teaching the truth.
This, of course, leads to the question, “Is truth just a matter of opinion?” Some people want to know, “How can I know which denomination and which faith system has the truth?” Other people, like Pontius Pilate, maintain, “There is simply no way of ever knowing, of ever being sure that what you believe is right.”

If you, or someone you know, holds either of those opinions, there is something this devotion wants you to consider. Of all the world’s “holy books,” the Bible is unique. It is unique because it is founded in history, not in imagination. It is unique because it makes prophecies (impossible prophecies), and then shows how God has fulfilled them. It is unique because it tells of how God’s Son became one of us to do what we could not do for ourselves. It is unique because it says salvation is not earned but given.

Because the Bible is unique and true, then those who hold to Scripture can be sure they have been given God’s own truth. Their trust can be given, or withheld, from a religion, a denomination, or a congregation in direction proportion to its faithfulness to the truth of God’s Word.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks that You are THE Way, THE Life, and THE truth. Grant that I may always hear Your voice and place my trust in Your suffering, death and resurrection. In Your Name I pray it, Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Kings 22-23    Galatians 6

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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