September 20, 2008
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Death Valley is 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
The U.S. Government says Death Valley is the hottest place in the country, with a temperature once recorded at 134 degrees.
Death Valley may also be one of the driest places. Streams that flow into Death Valley evaporate and only two-and-one-half inches of rain fall on the wasteland each year.
A number of years ago, due to a freak weather pattern, rain fell into the bone-dry earth for nineteen days in a row. Millions of seeds, which had lain dormant for years, burst into bloom. The Valley of Death exploded into beauty, color, and life.
You don't have to be a great Theologian to see this as a wonderful example of the kind of change Jesus brings to the hearts of forgiven sinners.
Like Death Valley, we all know the world is dry and barren. Hatred, anger, prejudice, fear, and worry dry up feelings of care and compassion. Our lives can seem like a desert, filled with emptiness.
Yet, when Jesus, the living Water comes, He brings change. He brings life where once there was death. He gives hope where there once was despair. That which was ugly can be beautiful.
By the power of Jesus and His love, we can be changed.
Now, don't be surprised. If rain can change a desert, why can't the love of God's Son, change a dried-up heart?
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You bring change and life into the most barren of hearts. By the power of Your grace and love, I who once was dead, am given life. Thank You for this wonderful change. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries