August 20, 2008
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within and defile the man. Mark 7:21-23 (KJV)
Can't we all just get along?
Good question. Tough answer.
As you know, the Olympic Games are in full swing. As you also know, this event is supposed to be a time of peace, harmony, fellowship, encouragement, and a whole lot of positive and wonderful things which most people like to think accurately describe humanity.
As the song says, "It ain't necessarily so."
With threats having come in from terrorist organizations, China has increased police protection and tightened security check points. It has published pamphlets giving directions to tourists on how they should behave and trained tens of thousands of volunteers on what they should and shouldn't do in the presence of guests.
In preparation for the festival, China has confined political demonstrations to a few designated locations and then only with state permission. It has decided not to allow statements about religion, the display of flags from countries which are not participating in the Olympics, and large signs cheering for one country or another.
It seems that just getting along just doesn't come naturally to us. Indeed, we have to work pretty hard just to get along even for a few days.
This is one of the reasons why our heavenly Father sent His Son into this world. Yes, Jesus came to save us from sin, death, and devil, but He also came to save us from ourselves, from that evil which resides in us.
"What evil?" you ask. Jesus gives a partial list in the text of today's Daily Devotion. Jesus tells us our hearts contain evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, envy, blasphemy, and pride.
These are all sins from which we cannot save ourselves.
This is precisely why Jesus came to be one of us. If we were to be saved, if the price of our punishment was to be paid, someone had to live a perfect life.
That someone was the Savior. He alone has borne our sins and carried our sorrows. Now, because of what He has done, believers are forgiven and saved. Because of Jesus' perfect life we will, eventually, be taken to a place where we won't have to work hard to "get along."
In heaven, there shall be perfect peace, perfect praise, and perfect harmony as we come together in thanks to our perfect Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, receive my thanks for living Your life so I might have eternal life in Your perfect paradise. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries