Isaiah 63:7 - I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them according to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love.
Not long ago, a man invited his manager to his house for dinner. As people of success can sometimes be, the manager liked to brag and talk about himself, a lot. The little boy of the household, never having seen a person act quite like this, stared at his father's boss for almost the entire meal. Finally, the manager stopped and asked, "Young man, why do you keep looking at me like that?" The little boy shyly said, "My daddy says you are a self-made man." The manager was pleased to hear someone else had recognized what he had long known about himself. He admitted that yes it was so; he was, indeed, a self-made man. Then the little boy asked, "Sir, I was wondering, if you are a self-made man, why did you make yourself like this?"
Why, indeed? Why are we as individuals the way we are? Humans everywhere want to live in peace and harmony; yet homes and households are torn by dissension and wracked by division. Why do we do the things we do, day after day, year after year? Why, after centuries of human struggle and striving for improvement, is every new year ushered in with a dollop of hope and a mountain of fearful uncertainty? Why is this the way it is? The answer is simple: because we are sinful.
Because we are sinful, because we cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, we need a Savior. Only Jesus, the sinless Son of God, can bring true and lasting change to our self-sated hearts. Our hope is not within us where fickleness and deceiving self-perception lie. It alone is in Jesus. Those who have Jesus Christ as their Savior—who have seen Calvary's cross and the empty tomb of the resurrection—rejoice that they have a God who can break through their sinful and callous hearts and can conquer the darkness inside us.
In Jesus, our lives are made new. We can meet each dawn with the presence of the Savior. Pain and problems will come, but with the help of the Redeemer, who has carried all our worries and woes on His broad shoulders, we can emerge victorious. So, come what may, like the psalmist, we say, "I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD."
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You give us all good things. Open my eyes to all of Your blessings today and fill my heart with thanksgiving. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "A Kind of God," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Ken Klaus, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. What's your normal reaction when you encounter someone who's "full of himself"?
2. Why does God continue to give us good gifts even when we're so undeserving?
3. What's a recent blessing from God you may not have noticed before?
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