Matthew 5:16 - (Jesus said) "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
The son of an English ship's captain had been confirmed on a Palm Sunday morning.
That evening, the father and son sat in the captain's quarters and reviewed the events of the day. Wishing to underscore and deepen the conviction of his son's confirmation vows, the father said, "My boy, light this candle. Go out onto the deck, and return to me with the candle still burning."
"But, Father," the boy replied, "if I go up on the deck, the wind will surely blow out the flame."
At the continued urging of his father, the son did as he was told.
With much shielding and maneuvering, the lad succeeded in keeping the flame burning. With a sense of accomplishment, he returned the burning candle to his father.
It was only then the father explained: "My son, your faith is like this candle. You were confirmed today. Your faith is small and frail right now. From here on out, you will be going into a big, tempting world. Without attending to your faith, the world can quickly snuff it out. And it will most certainly succeed ... if you don't take pains to shield it."
The father gave good advice. Most people don't put much thought into their confirmation or, more importantly, their Baptism.
They often view the promises and covenants which were made as things which happened a long time ago, things which really have no meaning for today. People feel that way because they have received adoption into the family of faith by God's grace and not by their own works.
That's an important thing for us to remember.
Even though we didn't have anything to do with the benefits and blessings which Baptism brings, those blessings are still real. In Baptism the Father comes to us; in Baptism the forgiveness Christ won upon the cross is given to us. In Baptism we are adopted into the family of faith, and in Baptism we have the assurance—no matter what happens to us—that our salvation is secure.
Truly, such blessings are worth protecting and shielding.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, I thank You for adopting me through the cross of Christ. Help me to remember my Baptism each day, so I may be given strength to stand against the gale-force winds of life. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Stephen Klinck, former director of Lutheran Hour Ministers—Canada.
1. Is yours a flickering faith, or does it burn hot and bright?
2. Do you think shining our faith strengthens our faith? Is there a connection between sharing our faith and our faith becoming stronger?
3. Did you receive a special confirmation verse? Which one is it?
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