Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13-14
I lose things.
I lose my car keys; I lose my glasses; I lose things. Maybe you do, too.
Of course, most of our losses aren't on the scale of the Russian Orthodox Church. Last week it was reported that they had, in the village of Komarov, lost an entire church building.
That's right; an Orthodox priest by the name of Vitaly told how the two-story Church of the Resurrection, last seen in July, was no longer there.
In truth, the church wasn't exactly "lost." Church leaders knew exactly where the facility had gone.
Sound mysterious? Not really. The church, which had been abandoned under communism, was scheduled for restoration and reactivation. Before that could happen, the people of Komarov dismantled their structure. They took the church apart and sold the bricks to a local businessman for about four cents each.
Sadly, on a spiritual level, that kind of thing happens all the time. Entire countries whose citizenry once followed the Savior have seen their Church, its doctrines, and the salvation message it proclaimed - get taken apart.
Some countries have been lost because of a military takeover; some have disappeared because the Savior's story was compromised and denied. Either way, the church and the souls who should have known the Savior have been lost.
This is why this devotion encourages our listeners to pay heed to St. Paul's words, which were written to Timothy. Encouraging his young friend, Paul said: "Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you."
If we do as Paul encourages, our Church, our Lord, and our faith can never be lost. Even if our church facility was to be torn down or burned up, we would still have faith, fellowship, and, most importantly, we would have our crucified and ever-living Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, send Your Spirit upon me so I may never lose You. Keep me in the faith, granting me a repentant heart, a joyful spirit, and an ever-growing trust in You. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries