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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Clinging to the Christ"

October 19, 2016

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My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8

Some time ago, The Wall Street Journal told the story of a Japanese man, Toshiyuki Sakai, whose employer (Sega Enterprises Ltd.), said his work was below par.

When Sakai refused to accept a severance package of 2.6 million yen -- now don't go all crazy here, that was about $24,000 American -- he was transferred. He was told to take all his personal belongings home, turn in all company property, and report to an office called the "personnel room."

Sakai reported and found a desk, three chairs, an empty locker, and a telephone that wasn't able to call the outside. He was not allowed to bring in any personal belongings, was given no work to occupy his time, no diversions to pass the hours. His instructions were simple: "Report to the office at 8:30 and stay until 5:15. You have 55 minutes for lunch."

Sakai found life with nothing to hold on to a most frustrating experience.

Sure, he could look at the phone, which hardly ever rang; he could gaze at the digital clock, which crawled at a snail's pace. The truth is doing nothing whittled him down. At the end of the day there was no rejoicing, no happiness, because he had no sense of accomplishment, and he had to do it all over again tomorrow.

Sakai started to lose his temper. He slept as little as two hours a night, and could only put ice cream into his touchy stomach. Another worker who also had been sentenced to the personnel room summed it all up: "It's just negative thinking and more negative thinking."

Does that describe your world?

If so, this day, the Holy Spirit comes and says there is more to life than frustration and futility.

The Spirit points us to Jesus and says, "Here, hold on to Him. He is God's Good News of grace."

What are you holding on to? If your answer is anything and, for emphasis, I'll write that word again, anything -- any person other than Jesus -- you're holding on to the wrong thing.

It is far better and far wiser to hold on to Him who has promised never to leave you or forsake you (see Hebrews 13:5). Hold on to Jesus, true Man and true God, who was born one of us so He might resist the evil which corrupts us so completely.

* Hold on to Him who spent His entire life fulfilling God's Law and refusing Satan's temptations.

* Hold on to Him who, with His cry from the cross, brought you back from damnation.

* Hold on to Him who shows in resurrection victory that all who believe on Him will not perish but have life everlasting.

* Hold on to Him who has brought us back to God. Hold on to Him who is God's Good News, bringing hope in birth, forgiveness throughout life, and deliverance from death.
Hold on to Him.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks my life is not empty or futile. My risen Savior has granted me joy not just in the next world, but in this one as well. Grant that I may rejoice evermore. This I ask in the 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: Jeremiah 3-5    Acts 27:1-26

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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