January 1, 2011
... choose this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15b
Last summer, I had a chance to go to the local outdoor swimming pool with some of my grandchildren.
I remember coming out of the locker room feeling just a little bit embarrassed. No, it was not because of my less-than-exemplary physique. Like St. Paul, I've learned to be content in whatever situation I find myself.
No, this embarrassment was based on comparing myself with the deep, dark tans of so many of the people there.
In contrast to them, my lily whiteness was downright gleaming. The only comfort I found was in the words of the neighborhood dermatologist who warned that "Today's deeply tanned beauties are tomorrow's wrinkled prunes."
Isn't that weird, I thought to myself. Tanning used to be cool, but now it's not. The same was once true about cigarettes ... or drinking alcohol.
There are all kinds of things which used to be acceptable and admirable, but which are now condemned. As we begin 2011, it's enough to make a person wonder if there is anything that is safe.
There is an answer to that question.
It is always safe to follow the Lord. It doesn't make any difference whether you look at Him at the beginning of your life, or look back after years of devotion, God can be trusted. From the beginning of time, through the life, death and resurrection of His Son and, even, right now, the Lord has shown His ongoing guidance and protection.
In truth, there aren't any surprises for those who trust in Him for their love and day-to-day joy. I pray that joy upon each of our listeners today.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Gracious Father, in this New Year, keep our eyes and hearts focused on You. Indeed, may each day bring a deepening of my trust in Your faithfulness. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries