September 29, 2015
(The Lord said) "And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." Psalm 50:15
Most of the time pastors are trying to get people into their church.
Recently, Pastor John D. Johnson III of Corinth Missionary Baptist Church showed himself to be the exception to that rule. Pastor Johnson was occupied in a conference room, and other members of his congregation were in other locations. While Pastor Johnson was working, Rasheed Abdul Aziz came in and announced he was a "man of Islam."
Mr. Aziz also shared that demons were chasing him, and his god had authorized him to kill Christians and Jews. Now you may not know, but most of The Lutheran Hour speakers have received death threats over the years. After a while, we generally come to believe that most of these threats are "all blow and no show."
If Pastor Johnson had any thought of dismissing Mr. Aziz, he put that notion aside when he spotted the gun in Aziz's pocket. Using training received at another job, Pastor Johnson calmed Mr. Aziz and then made an excuse to leave the room for a moment. That moment he used to warn the others. He said, "We got a problem. Get everybody out."
The people, including Pastor Johnson, made a quick and calm retreat.
Later on, Mr. Aziz was found by the police with the gun still in his pocket. They arrested him and charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
As I read that story, it occurred to me that if Mr. Aziz had fired upon Pastor Johnson and the members of his church, it would have been picked up by every news service. Indeed, it would have been splashed all over the evening news and the front page of every newspaper.
But when a Christian pastor does and says the right thing and people are all delivered by God's hand, not much is said.
It is right and proper for God's people to praise Him for His ongoing preservation and for having delivered us of evil. The psalmist is quite correct when he tells us the Lord's people are to call upon Him during evil times. And the psalmist is also correct when he adds after God has delivered you, then remember and glorify Him.
Sadly, but not so strangely, we're good at calling on the Lord for help, but we're pretty sad when it comes to thanking Him for services rendered. Yes, we should glorify the Lord for all of our earthly deliverances and, most of all, for our spiritual rescue.
Through the work of Jesus Christ, because of His life, suffering, death and resurrection, people of faith acknowledge He has saved them from sin's consequences and the Law's charges. That Jesus has done what we could not is a joy, which needs to be acknowledged.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I have no doubt that this day You have saved me many times without my knowledge. I thank You for that. Keep me always aware of the rescue, which has been done for me by Your Son. In His Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries