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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Fringe Benefits"

December 6, 2010

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But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

Twenty-five-year-old Matthew Stojakovich died in an auto accident, an accident where he was a passenger.

His mourning father confesses, "I was just an absolute mess. My whole world just came crashing down. I loved my son dearly and had a lot of questions about faith. I never got angry at God as much as I just (asked), 'God, why?'"

A great many others were asking the same questions.

Now, before I go any further, I must admit only those who have been in that father's shoes can begin to understand the pain he is experiencing. On the other hand, we all will readily recognize the greatness of his loss.

His is a great loss, but it is not an overwhelming loss.

It is not overwhelming because Jesus Christ lived in Matthew's heart, even as he continues to reside with the Father.

Indeed, Matthew's father says it was his church ministering in Jesus' Name that got him through the tough times. He remembers how they sat, they talked, they prayed, they sent cards, they made phone calls and they were regularly there with love, concern and support.

In God's compassionate people, this father discovered something recently reported by a new Gallup-Healthways study. That report said those who have a solid, practicing faith have the highest rates of well-being when it comes to their emotional and physical health.

That's just some pretty fancy talk that says God's people are happier and have a better approach to life than any other group that has been measured.

In short, because of Jesus' sacrifice and His glorious victory, we don't just have a wonderful retirement account set up for us when we die. With His ongoing presence in every aspect of our lives, we are confident He is taking care of us right here, right now.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we know that death will come. For those of us who are left behind, there is the comfort of a reunion in heaven. For this we give thanks. But we also are gladdened by the confidence You are with us as we live in this world. May that gratitude be something I share with those who are shaky. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

The source for this devotion has been submitted to me by Mr. Ian Adnams, director of Communication for Lutheran Church - Canada.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Ezra 3-4    1 John 5

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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