GOOD SAMARITANS
Date: 8/13/2015 08:23 - Subscribe


Now by chance a priest was going down the road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. Luke 10:31-33
Some people enjoy Jesus' parable about the Good Samaritan. There are others who might find the Lord's story is a bit too close for comfort.
You see, we are incredibly blessed people. We are blessed because we have a Savior who taught us how to love. Even though the world didn't want Him and didn't accept Him, Jesus came into this world to rescue us. Here He gave His life so that all who are brought to Holy Spirit-given faith are cleansed of their sins and granted a place in the Father's family of life.
In response to the Savior's loving sacrifice, believers are given the opportunity to love their neighbors, which includes the folks who live next door and little old ladies in burning cars and teenagers who had an accident.
As the Bible says, "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
PRAYER:
Dear Lord, help me honor You by being a Good Samaritan rather than a bad spectator. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.

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HOPE FOR THE FORGOTTEN
Date: 8/09/2015 08:56 - Subscribe


Verse

Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though
your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall become
like wool.
Isaiah 1:18

Voice

Every time God forgives us, God is saying that God's
own rules do not matter as much as the relationship
that God wants to create with us.
Richard Rohr

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, that you never abandon us to our
hopelessness. There is always room at your table for
those who feel forgotten, or who have been cast out.
Train us in such hospitality. Amen.
Common Prayer

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UNDESERVED
Date: 8/04/2015 05:36 - Subscribe


... By grace you have been saved -- and raised us up with
Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in
Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show
the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward
us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved
through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift
of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we
should walk in them. Ephesians 2:5b-10

Thornton Fractional North High School is located in
Chicago.

As is true for most high schools, Thornton recently had
its commencement service. As you might expect,
Thornton's graduation was a time of excitement and joy.
There was a blend of emotions. For the students there
was an eagerness to get to the future, an eagerness that
was balanced out by a sadness at saying farewell to old
friends and pleasant memories.

This year Thornton's commencement had another dimension.
Most certainly the students were thrilled at moving on, but
they were also mourning for one of their classmates: football
quarterback, 18-year-old Aaron Dunigan. On the previous
Saturday, Dunigan, riding in a car as a front-seat passenger,
had been killed in a head-on collision.

Understandably, his absence was on everyone's mind.

Dunigan's football coach said, "If you are looking for a way to
honor Aaron, do it by going out and living life to the fullest,
taking advantage of your opportunities, and not sitting on the
sidelines, and watching life pass you by."

Other similar comments were made in this moving ceremony.
But the most emotional part of the graduation came during the
awarding of the diplomas. When Dunigan's name was called,
his mother, dressed in Aaron's cap and gown, ascended the
platform and received her son's graduation certificate.

I suppose some might object to her getting a certificate she
hadn't earned.

Some might, but I'm not one of them. You shouldn't be either.
We shouldn't object because we have also been beneficiaries
of the work of someone else. On Judgment Day, the day we
graduate from this world and enter the next, those who have
Jesus as their Savior, will be declared "innocent and free from
sin."

We will graduate with perfect grades not because of our own
abilities and hard work. On our own we had flunked out. On our
own, we were losers. But on that day we will graduate with
highest honors and move into heaven because of the life, death
and resurrection of our Savior.

We will receive something we hadn't earned.

And will there be any objectors to that? You bet. The devil is
going to howl and carry on, but he can't change what has happened.

Because of Jesus we are saved.

THE PRAYER:

Dear Lord, I give thanks that even though I have failed miserably at
keeping the Commandments, You still sent Your Son to save me.
May I always give thanks He accomplished all that I never could.
Further, may I share this good news with others who are still in
danger of flunking out. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.

Pastor Klaus
(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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A CLEAN HEART
Date: 7/31/2015 07:24 - Subscribe


Scripture:

"But the things that come out of the mouth come from
the heart, and these make a man unclean"
(Matthew 15: 1cool.gif.

Reflection:

Brushing one's teeth and gargling with mouthwash may
be as close as many people ever come to getting clean
on the inside. But brushing and gargling do not come
close to reaching the heart of the problem. Instead
Jesus prescribes is the "heart washing"--the cleansing
work of the Holy Spirit.(Titus 3:5).

And a clean heart is the only cleanliness that can truly
lead to godliness!

Prayer:

Oh Lord, may I always experience the cleansing work of
the Holy Spirit. May my heart be cleansed in your sight.
Amen

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LIVING AND DYING
Date: 7/25/2015 08:27 - Subscribe


The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that
Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom
I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in
me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect
patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for
eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:15-16

For what would you be ready to die? If a person answers that
question about dying, he will also find what should be his
priorities for living.

I remember a story a brother pastor told me many years ago. It
was from a time before cars were equipped with air bags, seat
belts, and child seats were still decades away. He had been
driving home when he came upon an accident. The first thing he
saw was a little girl, about five years old, covered in blood.

The blood on the child was not hers.

The blood had come from her mother. Amazingly, the little girl
had hardly been scratched. What had happened was this: the
mother and daughter had been traveling down a two-lane gravel
road when their car was hit by a drunk driver who had veered into
their lane.

In the last moment before the cars collided, when avoidance
maneuvers were no longer going to work, that mother had thrown
herself across her daughter. When the vehicles slammed together,
it was the mother's body that slammed into the car's dashboard;
it was the mother's head which smashed into the windshield.

That mother's instinctual love had made her willing to give her all,
even her life, to save her daughter.

Loving sacrifice had shown itself in that mother who threw herself
between her daughter and the disaster of a car wreck. In this
selfless act she is not alone. When mothers look at their children,
they see the future. They see possibilities; they see dreams; they
see a chance to change the world for the better. And because of
what they see in their children, many mothers would be ready to
die for them.

But would they die for someone else's child?

That number, while not inconsequential, is a smaller one. It would
be smaller still if the life that needed saving belonged to a child who
was the neighborhood bully -- a child who had frequently picked on
and beat up a mother's own children. Yes, the number of moms
ready to sacrifice for such a child would diminish in such
circumstances.

Here it should be noted that Jesus Christ, God's innocent Son,
came into this world to give His life to save sinners.

* In so doing, Jesus gave His life to rescue the worst of us, and not
just the best.

* He came to redeem the ungrateful, as well as those who were
naturally appreciative.

* He came for those who had spent most of their lifetime rejecting
and mocking Him, as well as those who can never remember a time
when Jesus hadn't been their Savior.

In other words, no matter who you are, no matter what your
circumstance or situation, Jesus came to forgive your sins, save
your soul, and offer you eternal life.

THE PRAYER:

Dear Lord, I make no claim to being the best person this world has
produced. My sins are many, and I am unable to change the smallest
of them. Today I give thanks You were willing to live and die to save
me. In Your Name. Amen.

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran HourĀ®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

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