July 17, 2011
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26
Let me tell you a story that comes from India, somewhere around the 1850s.
The location was the home of the British Governor-General who had invited the important folks of the British community to join him in celebrating the Queen's birthday.
While the adults were preoccupied with talk of matters political, the children were free to wander the grounds and play. Every once in a while one of the little ones would interrupt the adults with a question, an argument which needed to be settled, or a scraped knee which had to be comforted. That's why nobody paid much attention when a three-year-old wandered in with a prize in his hand.
Nobody paid much attention until someone noticed the child was holding a small, poisonous snake: a Russell's viper. The child's father, with as calm a voice as he could muster, said, "John, put that down right this minute."
Now John might have thought his father was just trying to spoil his fun. He could have run away clutching his treasure. He could have debated or negotiated his father's request. If he had pursued any of those alternatives, in all probability, he would have died.
Instead, John did as his loving father had asked. He set the snake down, and he lived.
It hardly needs to be said that the little boy is an excellent example for all of humanity. Like him, we also ought to listen to our loving Father as He speaks to us in Holy Writ, as He lays out the path for our salvation.
When our Father commands, "Leave this sin alone," we ought to take note. When He says, "This is My beloved Son, listen to Him," we ought to pay attention (see Matthew 17:5). When Jesus says, "Believe on Me and you will never die," we ought to be thankful and put all our hope of salvation in His nail-pierced hands.
As you are reading this Daily Devotion, I give thanks that this is what you are doing. If so, I invite you to join me in praying for all those who think God is just trying to spoil their fun, who prefer their own will over His, who are still clutching the deadly viper of disobedience and disbelief.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for loving me enough to send Your Son to be my salvation, I am most grateful. May I be given a new heart that is in harmony with Your will. Please listen as I especially pray for those who are close to me and who refuse to listen. May they learn to trust You and Your good intentions before it is too late. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries