(Jesus said) "And you do not have His Word abiding in you, for you do not believe the One whom He has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:38-40
This devotion starts out simply enough: the French family went into the attic of their old house to investigate a leak in the rafters.
There they discovered a painting which measures 56 x 69 inches. The theme of the painting is Judith beheading an Assyrian general. The person who is thought to have done the painting is a 16th century fellow by the name of Caravaggio. Ever hear of him? I hadn't either. That's why I looked him up and found out that Caravaggio was a colorful character whose life was violent and undisciplined. Said to have murdered a man, Caravaggio himself died mysteriously shortly after he turned 38.
Pretty boring? Well, you haven't heard anything yet. Further reading told me that Caravaggio was a leading proponent of the Baroque painting technique known as chiaroscuro. To make your life easier, I looked that up too and found it means the artist used great contrasts between light and shadow in his work.
Now unless I miss my guess, you probably find this all to be pretty uninteresting.
I bet that stops now when I tell you that the painting is a lost masterpiece that disappeared about 100 years after it was painted in the early 1600s. Even more importantly, the painting is worth more than $130 million. Folks, that's a 13 with seven zeroes behind it, and whether it be in French francs or U.S. dollars, that's a lot of money.
And if you are wondering just what this has to do with a Daily Devotion, let me tell you.
Right now, you and I probably know some folks who have an even greater treasure hidden in their homes. It may be in the attic or on a shelf, or buried beneath some old papers in a nightstand. That treasure is the Bible.
Now, don't scoff. Years ago I went to a home and during the conversation, the lady of the house said her Bible was the most precious thing in her life. Later, when I had to look up a Bible passage, I asked to borrow her Scripture.
She looked for 15 minutes and couldn't find it.
Although I am sure you could do better, we all know someone for whom the Bible is an important, albeit neglected, book. If that describes you or someone you know, it is time to dig it out, dust it off, and start reading about the Savior whose life was given so we might be forgiven, rescued and given heaven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I use the Bible which tells the story of Your love and grace for sinful humankind. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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