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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Improving The Savior?"

January 28, 2012

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This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:11-12

One afternoon a little boy decided he would help his father.

He had heard his dad say that "the car was low on gas." Well, this little boy knew how to fill the tank. It wasn't complicated. The boy had watched his father do it a hundred times.

With confidence, the boy removed the gas cap, got the garden hose -- it was just like the hose at the pump -- and squeezed the hose nozzle. (It, too, looked like the nozzle at the gasoline station.)

Next, the boy proceeded to fill the gas tank with water. With a smile, he waited for his dad to start the car, to see the gauge that now read "FULL," to thank him for his kindly efforts.

You know what happened. Dad tried to start the car. It sputtered and died. And dad didn't say, "thank you."

It occurs to me that when people, organizations, churches and pastors try to improve on the simple message of salvation that is ours through the sacrificial death of God's Son, when they try to remake, remodel and recycle the Savior, when they try to fill their souls with anything other than the Lord's great love -- no matter how good their intentions might be -- they are creating a disaster.

• Far better for us to forget our attempts at improving the Lord's plan of salvation, which gives life to the lost.

• Far better to let the Lord implement His complete, total and excellent plan of redemption, which is ours through Jesus' life, death and new life.

• Far better for us to set aside our upgrades and let the Lord, who first had pity on sinners in the Garden of Eden, implement His generous plan of salvation that is ours through faith in our Substitute, Jesus.

Anything we can do, anything we can add, will only confuse, corrupt and complicate the Savior's simple message. There is only one way to be saved, only one way that bestows forgiveness and eternal life. There is only one plan and that plan is defined by Scripture this way: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord all around me I see organizations and individuals rewriting, reinterpreting and reinventing Your plan of salvation. It is as if they have judged You and found what Jesus did to be wanting. I pray they may see the error of what they are doing. May I also be given the wisdom and insight to spiritually discern Your truth from humankind's inventions. This I ask in my Savior's Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

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

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 27-28    Matthew 18:21-35

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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