Saturday, April 21, 2018

LHM Devotion - April 21, 2018 - Pinky Has an Advocate, as Do We

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Pinky Has an Advocate, as Do We"

Apr. 21, 2018

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
~ 1 John 2:1 (ESV)

Pinky, the pet pit bull, was on death row.

Pinky sat on death row as for two years the court debated on whether he was a vicious menace to society -- deserving of death -- or just a dog who liked to chase cats. The question arose after an event in 2016 when Pinky -- who was neither fenced in nor leashed -- attacked Rebel, the neighbor's cat.

Even though Rebel's owner didn't want to press charges, and the cat's vet bills had been paid for by insurance, the city of Des Moines said Pinky was "dangerous" and planned to have him "put down." You see, the Des Moines city code says some dog breeds are high risk and therefore subject to arrest and destruction.

To shorten the story, ultimately, the Iowa Court of Appeals, in a split decision, reversed the ruling which said one, Pinky was dangerous and two, he needed to be destroyed. The court also said the Des Moines dangerous animal ordinance was too vague. Speaking for the majority, Judge Tabor said, "It is difficult to imagine how any Des Moines pet owner would know whether an altercation between their pet and another animal would spur the humane officer to declare their pet dangerous."

Pinky's life was spared because of the work of advocate Dianna Helmers who

1. took ownership of Pinky from the family after the case went to court;

2. defended Pinky, paid the bills;

3. convinced the courts that Pinky is a dog who was only doing what dogs do.

The important point in the above paragraph is Pinky had an advocate.

My friends, you and I also have an Advocate. Our Advocate is Jesus Christ who pleads our case against the accusations of the law which, because of our sins, condemn us to eternal death. Please understand, God does not release us from the penalty of damnation because sinning is what people just naturally do. Such an action would undermine the law and be inconsistent with God's justice.

The harsh reality is this: we have broken the Law and punishment must be given. But, God is also merciful and has sent His Son to be our Advocate. Jesus is the Advocate who is our Counsel, our Redeemer, our Hope.

Jesus successfully pleads our case, and we are found "innocent." That is because the Redeemer has, through His life, suffering, death, and burial, paid the price for our transgressions. The Christ's third-day resurrection is proof His sacrifice has been accepted.

In other words, Jesus' atonement for our sins is the action which allows our divine Judge to look at us and declare us innocent. Because of the work of the Christ we are set free -- free to live in God's kingdom, free to live forever with our Advocate.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the Advocate who speaks the word of peace on my behalf, who carried a world of sin upon Himself so that I would belong to You. Your Son, given as the world's Advocate, has made it so all who believe on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Grant that the lost of the world may be brought to a saving faith in our Advocate. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Today's devotion was written by a good friend, the Rev. Eric Zacharias, who serves at Zion Lutheran Church in Cologne, Minnesota. He wrote, "An unusual news item in Des Moines inspired these thoughts, which you might tailor for a devotion. Thanks for all you do. Blessings in our Risen Lord!"
With only the most minor of changes, that devotion is shared. Pastor Klaus

The above devotion was inspired by an article written by Stephen Gruber-Miller. "Court rules in favor of Pinky the dog, says Des Moines ordinance too vague" in the Des Moines Register for 4 April 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written:

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Pinky, the pet pit bull, was on death row...

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