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Friday, May 30, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 29

1 Peter 4:7-11 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
We can view our lives in one of two ways. Either we can view our lives as our possession or we can view our lives as a gift from God. If we view our lives in the first way, we will live our lives focused on our own well-being. Our jobs, family members, friends, even God will be viewed as a means to an end: my happiness. If I am not happy, then I will need to manipulate or remove those people who stand in my way. The irony here is that seeking such happiness makes us miserable.

But things change if we view our lives as a gift from God. The reality is that we don’t exist for our own sakes. Your very existence in this world is an act of God’s grace! All we have and are come from God purely out of “fatherly, divine mercy and goodness” (The Small Catechism). The people He has surrounded you with are not a means to your happiness, but God’s children you are to love. God gives you work, not merely to make money, but so you can help sustain His creation. He has given you talents and abilities, not to show off and gain fame for yourself, but to bless others and glorify His name.

Because you belong to Jesus, the Father is pleased with what you do in this life. As you live as stewards of His varied grace, His smiles are upon you for Christ’s sake! Serving God and others with our lives may not always bring mere happiness, but there will we find true joy!

+PRAYER+
Father, help me to use the gifts and talents you have given me for your glory and for the sake of my neighbors. Forgive my selfish pursuits. Thank you for creating me and giving me all things. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email