December 9, 2009
But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
If the news in these Daily Devotions doesn't seem as fresh as usual, it's because Pastor Klaus prepared these devotions before he left for Europe. He is in Germany until early next week conducting a seminar with Lutheran military chaplains stationed overseas. He asks your prayers for all who attend and even more prayers for those who cannot.
Perspective is how you look at life. For example, some people are optimists and see the glass of water as half full; others are pessimists and see the glass of water as half empty. Which are you?
Not so long ago I heard a speaker apply that logic to the story of Goliath. The speaker said the Israelite soldiers were a bunch of pessimists. Looking at the giant they thought he's so big nobody is going to ever knock him down.
Then the speaker said, "David was an optimist. When he gazed upon Goliath, he commented to himself, 'He's so big, I can't miss him. I'll bring him down.'"
It was a beautiful lecture, a wonderful message which had only one, small defect: it was based on a flawed premise.
The speaker had it all wrong. David didn't look at Goliath and think he could match the monster in a show of strength. David wasn't making his calculations of success because he had deliberated on Goliath's surface area.
David did what he did because he was following the Lord's will.
Any person who reads the Bible needs to realize the heroes of faith -- those great men and women of Scripture -- are not great because of some inborn insight or because of some innate ability.
Noah wasn't spared because he was a wonderful ship builder. Jonah didn't survive because he had some unique talent at training big fish. Moses didn't survive and succeed because he had some magical formula that allowed him to manipulate the waters of the Red Sea.
These all managed to make it through the obstacles they faced because they knew those things that were impossible for humans would be child's play for God.
And that reality, my friends, includes our forgiveness and salvation. We are too weak, too incapable of destroying the giants of sin, death, and devil. What we needed was the hand of God, the nail-pierced hands of the Savior to do that which we could not.
What we need is what we have been given in Jesus. It is in His Name that we rejoice.
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, for coming into this world and destroying those forces that would drag us to hell, we are grateful. Now, when we are confronted by the giants of evil, may we turn to You who has done so much and has promised to do so much more. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries