Tuesday, April 14, 2020

LHM Daily Devotions - April 14, 2020 - "Upside-Down Joy"

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200414

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Upside-Down Joy"

Apriil 14, 2020

When (the leaders) had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

There's something annoying about people who are in love. There they sit, staring into space, with a goofy grin on their faces. You can't get them to take anything with the proper seriousness. I know I annoyed my mother and sister no end during the plans for my wedding, because I wouldn't pay proper attention to colors and fabrics and what kind of cake to order—I was mooning over my fiancé!

There was definitely something annoying about the disciples of Jesus after His resurrection. There they stood in the Jewish council, completely ignoring the danger they stood in—danger even to their lives. All they could think about was Jesus. And when a wise man named Gamaliel got the council to let them off with a beating, they were actually happy about it—"rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name."

What name? Why, the Name of Jesus, of course. As the disciples saw it, to suffer for Jesus was a great honor. Even embarrassing public punishment was turned upside down when it was on His account. Like lovestruck fools, they were happy for anything difficult, painful, or unjust that happened to them, as long as it happened on behalf of the One they loved.

Of course, we know that they were no fools. Or if they were, we are the same kind of fool-because we, too, know that it is great joy and honor to suffer for Jesus. "Martyr" and "confessor" are terms of high honor among us, and we listen eagerly to stories of those who have suffered for His Name.

Few of us ever get the opportunity to suffer anything as dramatic as a beating for Jesus; but we all have opportunities to show our love—no, our adoration!—for Him in our daily lives. It may be something as embarrassing as apologizing to somebody because we realize we have wronged them by mistake, and we know Jesus wants us to say something; it may be something as small as returning the extra change a cashier gave us by mistake at the grocery store. Really, anything we do for love of Jesus can be this kind of honor. And the world won't understand, of course. But then, that doesn't matter, does it? We have the Lord we love.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that You are ours, and we are Yours. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. When you feel that you are in love, how do you behave?

2. What is the silliest thing you ever did for love?

3. How has Jesus honored you by allowing you to serve or suffer for His Name?
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
When you feel that you are in love, how do you behave?

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