2 Corinthians 5:17-19 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Not so long ago, in a general conversation, a man told me about his dog, a dog who had a history.
Early in his life this dog had been beaten and bruised, left unfed for days at a time. Even though he knew the dog's background, the man adopted the mutt anyway.
Instantaneously, that dog's life was transformed.
His new master had a kindly voice rather than sharp shouts. The dog was fed richly and regularly. He was walked in the morning and in the evening. He was patted, petted, and scratched.
That dog was loved.
"Still," the man told me, "it still took years before that dog totally understood."
Yes, there were things in his new life the dog didn't understand. He didn't understand why his new master gave him baths. He didn't understand why his master took him to the vets to be prodded, poked, and pinched.
Eventually, the dog figured things out. As best a dog can, he knew
* that when his master showed up, it was a good thing;
* that when he had an accident, he found he didn't have to cower and cringe;
* that he could go to his new master and be forgiven;
* that when the master allowed something to happen to him that hurt, he could still trust that the master knew what was best.
Because he trusted his master, the dog was content to place his future into the master's hands.
Do I need to explain the comparison?
You, I, and all of humanity, by God's grace, can have a new Master. By Jesus' sacrifice we have been purchased from our abusive masters: sin, death, and devil. By God's love, we have been brought into a new home, God's home, a home where love abounds.
Yes, there may be times when things happen and we don't understand why.
But if we remember all the good the Lord has done for us,
* we will trust Him and know the things He does for us are for our own good.
* when we sin, we know we need not be afraid, the Master forgives the repentant heart.
* and because God loves us, we are able to place our future into God's hands.
Why? Because His love blesses us in the good times and carries us through the bad. Amen.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, not because of anything I have done, but purely out of Your own loving heart, my life has been changed infinitely for the better. Help me, even when I don't fully understand, to gladly pray, "Thy will be done." In Jesus' Name I ask it. 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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