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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Bribing God "

July 19, 2017

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Jeremiah 29:11-14a - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD...

Most of us know people who don't like to get on an airplane. For such folks the idea of placing your fate and your future into a large, enclosed metal cylinder seems to be an unreasonable thing to do. Understandably, when such a person gets on a plane, they want to do everything they can to improve the possibilities of landing without any kind of nasty incident.

One such individual is an 80-year-old Chinese lady by the name of Qiu.

Recently, Qiu was scheduled for a trip on a China Southern Airlines flight out of Pudong Airport. Knowing the airport itself has a bad reputation, Qiu decided to offer a prayer for a safe journey. Her prayer was accompanied by a coin offering to assure her thoughts had been noticed by her divinity.

Those coins she threw toward one of the engines of the giant Airbus.

Now I am not an engineer, but I have a general feeling that throwing metal coins into a jet's inner-workings is not a good thing. My feeling was supported by the Airlines who stopped everything as maintenance people investigated Qiu's throw. They found she had tossed seven coins, which were valued at 25 cents. Only one of those coins made it into the engine itself.

Of course, all this investigation took about five hours and cost thousands of dollars. During their lengthy stop, the other passengers were taken off the plane and had to try to stay calm as they waited for their aircraft to be given the all clear.

And Qiu, she was taken away to be questioned. I feel sorry for her.

She was only doing what she believed, what she had been taught, what she hoped would be of some help. Unfortunately, her actions were not a positive thing. That's what St. Paul was saying when he wrote: "No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons" (1 Corinthians 10:20).

As I read that story, I asked myself -- and you: what are the differences between what Qiu believes and the tenets of a Christian? There are a number of separators.

For example,

unlike Qiu who is unsure if her god was listening, Christians know the Lord is far more ready to hear their prayers than they are to say them;

unlike Qiu who felt she had to make an offering to obtain her lord's favor, Christians know that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed them of their sin and restored the bridge between heaven and earth;

unlike Qiu who believed she had to bribe her god to obtain his attention, believers know they have a Savior who is with them always, a Savior who has encouraged His people to call upon Him in the day of trouble (see Psalm 50:15).

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Your grace and love separates You from other gods, gods of human manufacture. May the lost of the world be touched by Your care. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.

The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Steven Jiang for CNN on Wed June 28, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

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

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Kings 22-23    Galatians 6

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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