John 10:28-30 - [Jesus said] "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are One."
At the top of the thousand-foot mountain peaks of Meteora, Greece, monasteries were built hundreds of years ago. Because of their impossible location, these monasteries became places of safety and solitude. Up until the last century, supplies, and the most determined of travelers, had to be winched up in a basket hand powered by the monks. Those who made the ascent found the ride a terrifying experience. One of these tourists, recording his adventure, admitted to getting nervous about halfway up the cliff. That's when he noticed that the rope seemed old and frayed. Thinking he might relieve his fear, at least somewhat, he asked one of the brothers riding with him, "How often do you change the rope?" Without a moment's hesitation, the reply came back, "Whenever it breaks!" The traveler's fears did not disappear.
All of us understand fear, don't we? The devoted dad, the loving mom, the enterprising salesman, the dedicated professor, the life-saving physician—every person, at every age, in every occupation, in almost every situation, has experienced fear. And this shouldn't surprise us, really. Remove our masks and false bravado and you will see people on the inside who are frightened in many ways, fearful of a future that is unknown.
If that describes your outlook on life, here are the words of Jesus: "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand." You can trust those words to be true. So you can be free of fear, Jesus sacrificed Himself. Though He was innocent, He allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross. He did not curse those who crucified Him. Instead, He forgave them, as He has all of us, for our sins. He died so that you might live fearlessly. You can trust Him.
Please, do not think for a moment that Jesus' compassion and care have been weakened by the passing of centuries. I have seen Him comfort parents who have lost their children, bring peace to widows and widowers, and give hope to those with terminal illnesses. Believe His words to be true. No one—not a thing in this world—can take believers from the security of His nail-pierced hands.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, though we often fear, You would have us not. Teach us to trust in Jesus. Amen.
From "Absolutely," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Kenneth Klaus, Speaker Emeritus for The Lutheran Hour
1. What's the scariest thing you've ever done? Would you ever do it again? Why?
2. What does it mean to you that because we belong to Jesus no one can snatch us from the Father's hand?
3. How is the love and compassion you show others a reflection of God's love for them?
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