Monday, January 29, 2018

LHM Devotion - January 29, 2018 "God's There"

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"God's There"

Jan. 29, 2018

And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And He called His disciples to Him and said to them ... "she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
~ Mark 12:42-44 (ESV excerpts)

Sometimes I wonder about things the Bible felt no need to talk about.

For example, I wonder if the Sanhedrin managed to kill Lazarus even as they did Jesus. Another one of my wonderings is what happened to the widow who gave all she had? What happened to her?

Some people would say she prospered and lived happily ever after. If you think that, I'm not going to argue. There are certainly a lot of people in the Bible whom God decided to bless because they were faithful. In spite of occasional slips and sins made by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, God still took care of them. God has a wonderful track record of bestowing blessings upon His people. God gives to His people in abundance. How does He say it? Oh, I remember "good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over" (see Luke 6:38).

Still, I think it's dangerous to tell faithful Christians that they are going to have an easy life.

Some of the most faithful Christians I know are brothers and sisters around the world who are persecuted by their governments. As a parish pastor, I've seen numerous committed Christians endure one tragedy after another. Life isn't easy for them. No, I'd feel really uncomfortable making that kind of guarantee.

Is that just my opinion? Not really.

Jesus said, "If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (see Luke 9:23). Jesus promises a cross to His faithful people, and Paul shared some of those crosses when he wrote, "Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure" (see 2 Corinthians 11:20-29).

No, being a Christian doesn't guarantee that you will live a life that is simple, safe, secure, free from shadow, sadness, and sorrow. There's no guarantee for you or for the widow at the temple.

We've come back to that widow, haven't we? Would you like to know the rest of her story -- how things turned out for her? As I've already said, I can't supply the particulars, but there are some things I can say. I know that between the day when she put her mites into the temple's collection box and the day she breathed her last -- if she continued to trust her Lord -- I know the Lord never let her down.

If her life was hard, He was there to help her. If she was sad, He was there for her to lean on. Then, when her story was over, when the last chapter of her life had been written and the book was closed, God took her right past death and brought her to an eternity of happiness she could never have imagined: a place beyond her fondest dreams.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me remember that when it's my time to go, You will be there. Until then, may each day be filled with trust that You love me and can bring me through all the world may throw at me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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Sometimes I wonder about things the Bible felt no need to talk about...

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