The Son of God, Jesus Christ, showed to us and proved to us what life is about when He was born in a manger rather than a palace, when He ate with sinners rather than with the self-righteous, when He remained silent rather than demanding His rights, when He gave up His life rather than saving it. Learning what this means will change your attitude toward WHAT MAKES A PERSON RICH.
Sometimes good things can distract us from better things... There was a woman who loved Jesus and invited Him into her home. But as she busied herself with good things – pouring herself into preparing the best for Jesus – she was distracted from something better. Jesus spoke to her heart’s need as He does to yours and mine: "You are worried and upset about many things, but ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED." Of her sister who had been eagerly listening to Him teach, Jesus said, "She has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)
Family, friends, getting an education, a career, volunteering, recreation – these are all good things, blessings from God. But we can easily let them crowd out what is better. Only God’s Word brings the blessings of the forgiveness of our sins, salvation from death and hell, and eternal life through faith in Jesus. Enjoy the good things in life with thanksgiving, mindful that they are all fleeting joys. But treasure God’s Word as the ONE THING NEEDED. And of that one thing, Jesus says to you: 'It will not be taken away from you.'
Do you know the joy of finding something precious that you had lost? GOD’S LOVE FOR THE LOST is seen in His great joy in finding the lost. Jesus shows us this with a few parables. A man loses one sheep out of a hundred and goes after the lost sheep until he finds it; a woman loses one coin out of ten and searches carefully until she finds it. Both parables end in joyful celebration over finding that single one that was once lost. "In the same way," Jesus says, "there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:1-10)
Now the question changes. Do you know the joy of being sought and found by God? We are by nature lost and helpless in sin, no more able to 'find God' then a lost sheep can find its way into the flock or a lost coin can jump back into a purse. But GOD’S LOVE FOR THE LOST reaches from the heights of heaven to the depths of the earth; He sent His Son to seek and to save what was lost. Even now He seeks you – YOU. He calls out to you with the good news of forgiveness and eternal life to rescue you from your lost condition.
Come and see GOD’S LOVE FOR THE LOST. …A celebration awaits!
"WHAT MUST I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?" An expert in God’s law once asked Jesus this question. The answer is simple: Love God without fail and love your neighbor without exception. "Do this and you will live," Jesus says. If it’s so easy to answer, you’d think it would be easy to live. But an honest evaluation of just this past week reveals that we have not loved God or our fellow man perfectly.
The man wanted to justify himself (as we often do) and followed up by asking, "And who is my neighbor?" (Surely Jesus can’t mean to love those who offend me or to love others when it’s inconvenient, can He?) Then Jesus told a parable that many know but perhaps not many know why He told it. The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) reveals the kind of perfect love God expects. Have we lived that kind of love without fail and without exception? Do you see that we cannot get to heaven by what we do?
But look to the One who told the parable of the Good Samaritan. He took pity on us when we were dead in our sins. Without fail and without exception, He took our sins to His cross to give us His forgiveness and eternal life with Him. Jesus’ generous love now leads us to ask, "How can I thank you, precious Savior, for giving me eternal life?" The answer is simple: We strive to love God and our fellow man as we rest in His forgiveness.
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.