June 22, 2015
... let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1b-2
The North Adams Police Department in Massachusetts has a Facebook page.
Its page is used to inform the public about dangerous weather conditions, dangerous criminals who are at large, and worrisome situations, which have been encountered and dealt with. Recently, the Department went public and said it didn't want "anyone going all Davy Crockett."
It was a term I had never encountered before.
In a desire to keep Daily Devotioners informed and educated I did some non-exhaustive research on what the North Adams Police meant. They told me they did not advise anybody to go "chasing after bears while drunk and armed with nothing more than a dull hatchet."
That sounded like sage advice. But it didn't give the complete answer.
Why didn't they say, "Don't go chasing after bears while drunk and armed with nothing more than a Swiss Army knife"? I imagine you can guess the answer. It seems an unnamed citizen in the North Adams jurisdiction had been arrested and taken into custody because he had been chasing bears armed with nothing more than a dull hatchet.
To stop the idea from becoming popular, the North Adams Police had posted their notice.
To which you are saying, "Police shouldn't have to tell people something that basic." I agree. But just because something is really simple and really logical doesn't mean people don't need to be warned. The North Adams Police Department understands that, and so does God.
God understands and He wants us to understand what a good Christian is supposed to be. That is why Scripture is peppered with passages like the one above. So nobody can be confused, so nobody can say, "I didn't understand," so nobody can come to Judgment Day uninformed -- very simply -- the Lord tells us what to do, what to believe, and how to live.
Look at the passage above and you will find two important directives:
1. Lay aside sin or anything else that stops you from living the Christian life
2. follow Jesus, who gave His life as the necessary sacrifice to save us from our sins.
Using different words, but having the same idea in mind, St. Paul wrote, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Because Jesus has done all the work of bringing salvation to a sinful world, the Lord's directives to the world is simple: repent, be redeemed, be recycled, be saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive us when we try to make salvation more difficult than it has to be. Because of Jesus we are saved. With a repentant heart may the world embrace Your wonderful truth. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries