Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, June 28, 2020 — 4th Sunday After Pentecost

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, June 28, 2020 — 4th Sunday After Pentecost
[Ordinary 13, Proper 8]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Rewards of Welcome
Jeremiah 28:5-9; Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18; Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42

Opening Prayer
Lord of hope, when the dark clouds assail, you ask us to bear the light of your love and truth. When fears seem to immobilize us, you give us courage and strength to bear your witness. We thank you for your call to us. We praise you for your sustaining love for us. We honor you with our lives and our service to you; for it is in Christ’s Name, we offer this prayer. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Patient God, each and every day you offer to us new hope and special blessings. From the rising of the sun to its descent, the light of your love pours on your creation. We love all these things, but we want to hold onto each of your blessings just for ourselves. Teach us to share openly and willingly with others. Forgive our selfishness and turn it to selflessness in service to you. Clear our minds and spirits from sadness to a sense of joy and adventure; for we offer this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Words of Assurance
Hear the good news! God has again blessed our lives with hope and joy. Be at peace, dear ones, for God is with us. Amen.

The Collect
(from the Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of the Day
O God, you direct our lives by your grace, and your words of justice and mercy reshape the world. Mold us into a people who welcome your word and serve one another, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

First Reading
Test of a true prophet
28:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord. 6 He said, “Amen! May the Lord do so! May the Lord fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the Lord’s house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon. 7 Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: 8 From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.”

I sing of your love
1  I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
     with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
     through all generations.
2  I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
     that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
3  You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
     I have sworn to David my servant,
4  ‘I will establish your line forever
     and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
     who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
     they celebrate your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength,
     and by your favor you exalt our horn.
18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,
     our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Second Reading
No longer under law but under grace
6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel Acclamation
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

The Gospel
Welcome Christ in those Christ sends
10:40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Here end the Readings

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Holy Communion

A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
Many churches around the world are working hard to adapt to online worship, and one challenge is how our members can celebrate communion from home. Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present.

O God, in Jesus Christ you taught us that, if we are intent on saving ourselves, we cannot save others. Crucify us unto self that we might glorify you and become the channels of your life and love unto others.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, June 28, 2020 — 4th Sunday After Pentecost
Rewards of Welcome
Jeremiah 28:5-9; Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18; Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42

“Showing God’s Love through Simple Acts of Kindness”

Today, our gospel message comes to us from the 10th chapter of Matthew, beginning with the 40th verse, “Welcome Christ in those Christ sends.”

“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:40-42)

Father, You sent your Word to bring us truth and your Spirit to make us holy. Through them, we come to know the mystery of your life. Help us worship you, one God in three persons, And reveal yourself in the depths of our being, by proclaiming and living our faith in you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

“Showing God’s Love through Simple Acts of Kindness”

Many of you may have heard of the term “servant evangelism.” This term is nothing less than showing the love of God through our own caring and loving actions toward others. Sometimes it’s the simplest acts of kindness that have the most lasting effects. Sometimes ordinary things impact people in extraordinary ways. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Jesus’ message to us.

In Matthew 10:42, Jesus speaks of sharing a cup of water. He isn’t speaking of just sharing a drink with someone. He’s talking about sharing ourselves, the practicality of living a Christian life, a life full of relationships, both with God and with our fellow men and women. He’s talking about the humble act of giving a piece of ourselves to others. He’s talking about sharing in practical ways and not just in abstract terms. It’s this type of service that I’d like to examine today.

Sometimes thinking outside of the box to help someone else can grant the greatest rewards. Sometimes, caring for others is more important than caring for ourselves. Today’s message is about sharing with and caring for our fellow men and women.

The simplest of acts can have impacts far beyond our wildest dreams. Take, for example, this story of a humble hotel clerk.

In the city of Philadelphia, there was a little third-class hotel. Into it one night, there came two tired elderly people. They went up to the night clerk, and the husband pleadingly said, “Mister, please don’t tell us you don’t have a room. My wife and I have been all over the city, looking for a place to stay. We didn’t know about the big conventions that are here. The hotels at which we usually stay are all full. We’re dead tired, and it’s after midnight. Please, don’t tell us you don’t have a place where we can sleep.”

The clerk looked at them a long moment and then answered, “Well, I don’t have a single room except my own. I work at night and sleep in the daytime. It’s not as nice as the other rooms, but it’s clean, and I’ll be happy for you to be my guests for tonight.”

The wife said, “God bless you, young man.”

The next morning at the breakfast table, the couple sent the waiter to tell the night clerk they wanted to see him on a very important business. The night clerk went in, recognized the two people, sat down at the table, and said he hoped they had had a good night’s sleep. They thanked him most sincerely. Then the husband astounded the clerk with this statement, “You’re too fine a hotel man to stay in a hotel like this. How would you like for me to build a big, beautiful, luxurious hotel in the city of New York and make you the general manager?”

Waldorf–Astoria Hotel (1893–1929)
The clerk didn’t know what to say. He thought there might be something wrong with their minds. He finally stammered, “It sounds wonderful.” His guest then introduced himself. “I’m John Jacob Astor.” So, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was built. Four years later, the hotel was the largest in the world and boasted unprecedented standards of service. The night clerk became the best-known hotel man in the world. A humble act of service let to this unforeseen act of grandeur.

The point of this story is not that you will be rewarded for doing good deeds, but that simple deeds can produce larger results than we expect. Simple acts can show the love of God through our actions. One clerk chose to show a simple act of kindness to strangers by sharing his room with this tired couple. He touched them in ways he could not have foreseen. His simple act of kindness touched the fabric of this couple and greatly impacted how they looked at this young man.

These extraordinary situations don’t come along every day. But, every day, there is a situation that a simple act of kindness can help with. Sometimes, a simple act becomes contagious and more people share their own love with their fellow men.

Shortly after the first edition of the Miami Herald had gone to press on Sunday night, December 29, 1946, Timothy Sullivan answered the telephone on the city desk. “Please help me,” a woman’s voice pleaded. “My husband is bleeding to death.”

Sullivan got the entire story. The man’s name was Rudy Kovarik, from Dearborn, Michigan. They were on vacation, but he was sick and in the Biscayne Hospital. The AB-negative blood he needed was not available at the hospital or other sources. Without a transfusion, the doctors thought he might not live until morning.

What could the city editor do? A man was dying. A woman’s heart was breaking. Then he got an idea—WCBS, fourteen blocks away, where it was almost time for Walter Winchell to go on air in a nationwide broadcast. The operator at the radio station refused to let him talk to Winchell, but, after some insistence and pleading, she put an assistant of Winchell on the phone. He took a memo of the situation, and Sullivan sat back to wait.

Soon the telephones began to go mad. The Herald office, the police station, the hospital were all swamped with calls from all over the nation. People as far away as New York City began to board planes for Miami, the corridors of the Biscayne Hospital were crowded, and traffic jammed the nearby streets as would-be donors tried to get to the hospital.

The actual donor was a tourist from New York who heard the broadcast on his car radio, checked his Army dog tags for blood type, and drove two blocks to the hospital. In a few minutes, his life-giving blood was flowing into the veins of the stricken man. A few weeks later, a healthy-looking man walked up to the Herald’s city desk to thank Timothy Sullivan.

Timothy Sullivan would’ve never thought he would be responsible for saving a life that night. He had no idea that someone would call and ask him for help. After all, he had no means to ask for assistance. But, he knew someone who could get the word out. He thought outside the box. This simple call for help spread like wildfire. That’s how God’s love can both be shown in a simple act and spread rapidly across the globe. By starting with one person, a few can be touched, then a community, then a city, then a nation, and even a world. Through our simple acts of kindness, we can show God’s love to a great many people.

These situations, where people are looking for help, are upon us nearly every day. But sometimes, help is part of our everyday routine. Sometimes an act of kindness is also a labor of love. These ordinary events can also produce extraordinary results.

The Rev. Alan Redpath tells of a lady of his acquaintance who has a little motto over her kitchen sink that reads as follows: “Divine service is conducted here three times daily.” This is the type of industry Christ honors. Cooking three meals a day is also a simple act of kindness. It’s another way to show God’s love through us.

You see, there are opportunities all around us to show God’s love through us. These acts don’t need to be complicated. These acts don’t have to be extraordinary. These acts can be the normal, everyday event, just like the look of meals from this kitchen sign. No matter how simple or complex, no matter how ordinary or unique, we always have the opportunity to show Christ’s love through simple acts of kindness.

This simple service is not based on who we are, but who Jesus is through us. God loves us in so many ways. He feeds us, clothes us, provides for our physical needs. He also gives us strength when times are tough and comforts us when we experience loss. He’s there when we succeed and when we fail. He shows this unprecedented love through the sacrifice of his Son for us. His grace, our reward.

But sometimes it might be hard to reflect that love that He has for us. Sometimes we might find it difficult to smile, let alone serve. Sometimes, what we do might seem inadequate at times, especially when compared to the sacrifices He made for us.

The challenge is that sometimes we try to love under our own power, and the power to share Jesus in practical ways comes from Christ. Paul knew this. Even when imprisoned, he knew and experienced the power of Christ at work. That’s why he tells the Philippians and us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” We can show God’s love for us through our actions. We can serve by accepting that Jesus served us first.

This service and sacrifice led to our salvation. But it is not by my power or any action I perform. It is by the service of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for me. We get into heaven not by what we do, but by what Christ has done for us. The power of the life we live in love toward God and others flows out of God working in our hearts. Jesus the night before he dies prays for this to happen in our lives when he prays in John 17:21, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

So what can we learn about sharing a cup of cold water? Let the love that God has for you and me reflect in your actions. You are important, and God showed just how important you are with this tremendous sacrifice. Jesus was a servant, and we can reflect that in our own actions.

The Miracle of San Diego” by Murillo

In the Louvre, in Paris, there is a famous painting by Murillo. It is entitled “The Miracle of San Diego”. A door opens, and two noblemen and a priest enter a kitchen. They are amazed to find that all the kitchen-maids are angels. One is handling a water-pot, another a rack of meat, a third a basket of vegetables, a fourth is tending the fire. The message of the picture is that no labor is common unless we make it so. In fact, Jesus Christ Himself toiled in a workshop. Every act is important because they all reflect that love that is in us.

Jesus was a carpenter. He faced the ordinary trials of life in the market, in the town, on the roads, and in the temple. He tackled each of ordinary situations in extraordinary ways because all of his actions showed the love of God. He used the usual situations of daily living to show the unusual caring nature of our heavenly Father.

Just as our heavenly Father first loved us and demonstrated service through His Son Jesus, we too can show that love in simple acts of kindness. Accept freely the act of grace that God has bestowed upon you and freely share it with those around you.

Let us pray: Almighty God, help me notice more small things that I can do to bless others and serve them as I would serve the Lord himself. In the name of the Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.

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Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Sermon contributed by Scott Jensen.
Show the love of God through your life. Simple acts of kindness can lead to greater things never imagined.

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, June 28, 2020
The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, June 28, 2020

Irenaeus of Lyon (130—200)

The first systematic theologian of the church, Irenaeus lived in a time when Christianity was young and fragile. He was appointed bishop of Lyon and combated the dualistic notion that matter and spirit are entirely separate, with matter being wholly corrupt. Irenaeus insisted that there is nothing inherently corrupt in creation but that humans lost their “likeness to God” through the distortion of sin. That likeness was restored, Irenaeus proclaimed, through Christ, the “second Adam” who corrected the story of the first Adam. In a time when so much of Christianity has been reduced to disembodied doctrine and otherworldly sentiment, Irenaeus’ voice rings out like a prophet’s.

Irenaeus of Lyon wrote, “For the glory of God is the human person fully alive; and life consists in beholding God. For if the vision of God which is made by means of the creation, gives life to all the living in the earth, much more does the revelation of the Father, which comes through the Word, give life to those who see God.”

Taking on our flesh, you have made flesh holy, Lord. Help us die to our selfish ways and our faithless habits that we might know the fullness of your new creation in our communities as it is in your resurrected body. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, June 28, 2020

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Read all of 2 Peter 3

Listen to 2 Peter 3

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Domingo 28 de junio de 2020

Déjate sorprender

Con amor eterno te he amado; por tanto, te prolongué mi misericordia.

Si Dios es el Creador de mundo, si es el que nos creó, nos separó y escogió como sus hijos, nos dejó un libro lleno de promesas que hablan cosas maravillosas y positivas, no nos dejemos vender otras falsas ideas.

Cuanto más dudas de su poder, más difíciles se pueden volver tus situaciones.

Recuerda que esto de no temerles a las circunstancias no es de un día para otro. Se trata de un fruto que es producto de estar conectados con Dios. Entonces, poco a poco, aprendemos a confiar en Él, de manera que cuando lleguen los problemas, no tendremos miedo ni terror.

Por el contrario, sabremos que aunque la situación es fuerte, Dios es más poderoso que cualquier mala noticia o problema.

Dios es tu ayudador y te ama.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Cuanto más dudas de su poder, más difíciles se pueden volver tus situaciones.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, June 28, 2020

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Today’s devotional comes from a Bible study prepared by a church leader in North Korea encouraging his fellow believers to “pray as a warrior.” It is fascinating to see how our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea regard prayer. He begins in Colossians 4:12-13:

What can we learn from this? That Epaphras wrestled in prayer. He prayed as a warrior. The word “wrestling” in the text means “battling, fighting.” We, too, must pray as warriors. I must do so. In the past, I often went to the mountains and prayed all night…God uses this prayer to open doors. It is not for nothing that Paul tells us at the beginning of chapter four that we must be watchful and thankful and must keep praying. Then…God opens doors to proclaim the mystery of Christ.

What does “praying as a warrior” entail?

1. Discovering God's will - Just like Paul, we must take our strategies from the Lord God. Paul wrestled in prayer in order to discover the will of God. This meant that God was able to lead him…When we make plans, we must pray according to His will. The Spirit knows what Satan is intending. God will reveal it to us and warn us if there is any danger.

2. Concentrated prayer - We must pray in a concentrated way, and for a long time…while I was praying in a concentrated way, a sentence came to my mind: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” I did not know this text. When I spoke to a friend about it, he told me that it is in the Bible, in Philippians 4:13. There was much sin in my life. I had to pray long and often in order to break down the barriers between God and me. This, too, is praying as a warrior.

3. Prayer of sacrifice - The prayer of a warrior is also the prayer of sacrifice. Praying is the most important thing you do in a day. Whatever you do each day, begin everything with prayer. Prayer is the shortest way, not the longest! By sacrificing yourself and applying yourself to praying as a warrior, God will open the hearts of people and breakthrough their thinking…this type of prayer helps us to conquer evil with good. This is why we pray that Kim Jong-Il will become a Christian. And even more, that he will combat the evil in our society.

Epaphras remained faithful to Jesus Christ until the end. He was a prayer warrior. In this, he followed our Lord Himself…How can we manage without this prayer?

RESPONSE: Today I will pray like a warrior…especially remembering Christians in North Korea.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the example of Epaphras in the hard work of wrestling in prayer.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - June 28, 2020 - "I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table"

June 28, 2020

♫ "Unworthy though I am, O Savior, Because I have a sinful heart, Yet Thou Thy lamb wilt banish never, For Thou my faithful Shepherd art: Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood Be for my soul the highest good!

"What higher gift can we inherit? It is faith's bond and solid base; It is the strength of heart and spirit, The covenant of hope and grace. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood Be for my soul the highest good!" ♫

"What higher gift can we inherit?"

Scripture tells us of the fear and awe of those who were confronted by God's divine majesty. When God appeared to Moses in a bush that burned but was not consumed, Moses "hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God" (Exodus 3:6b). Seeing the God of Israel in His temple, the prophet Isaiah cried out in despair over his sin. At Jesus' transfiguration, three disciples saw the Lord transformed in glory and, upon hearing the Father's voice from heaven, fell face down to the ground in terror.

Yet Holy Scripture also depicts the presence of God in gentle, welcoming ways. At times God spoke to Moses "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus 33:11b). Isaiah relayed God's tender words to Israel, "Comfort, comfort My people" (Isaiah 40:1a), telling them that God would come among them as a shepherd and carry the lambs close to His heart. God took on human flesh and came among us as a little baby, cradled in His mother's arms. Jesus grew to live and work among His people, placing gentle, healing hands on the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf.

In Holy Communion, Christ welcomes us to His table, where we hear the words of His promise and His Presence: "This is My body ... this is My blood" (see Matthew 26:26-28). So, as we come to the Lord's table, do we fall down in awe-struck reverence in the presence of our Savior or do we happily come into the gentle, comforting arms of the Shepherd, confident that He will not banish His lambs? Both responses have their place. We come to Holy Communion in repentant humility and awe, knowing that we are sinful, unworthy guests at the table. Yet we also come with holy joy, as lambs eager to be embraced by the faithful Shepherd who laid down His life to save us. As welcome guests, we receive "for our highest good" Jesus' body given for us and His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins.

"What higher gift can we inherit?" This gift of Christ Himself, the majesty of His presence, the gift received in, with, and under familiar, earthly elements of bread and wine, "is the strength of heart and spirit." In this gift we see and taste and remember the "covenant of hope and grace," the new covenant spelled out and fulfilled in Jesus' blood: "I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:34).

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, even though we are unworthy guests, You welcome us into Your Presence and nourish us with Your body and blood. May this gift be for our souls the highest good! Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What is it you most fear about God?

2. When was the last time you took Holy Communion?

3. Do you talk about the Lord's Supper much when you share your faith with others? Do you feel comfortable doing so?
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What is it you most fear about God?

Unser Täglich Brot - Die Hoffnung der Erlösung

Die Hoffnung der Erlösung

Lesung: Apostelgeschichte 9,1-4.10-18 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Hiob 11-13; Apostelgeschichte 9,1-21

Und jeder, der den Namen des Herrn anruft, wird gerettet werden.

Die Erlösung für diesen Mann schien unmöglich zu sein. Seine Straftaten beinhalteten acht Schießereien mit sechs Toten und nahezu 1.500 Brandstiftungen in den 1970ern. Er hinterließ sogar Briefe an seinen Tatorten, um die Polizei zu verhöhnen. Er wurde schließlich verhaftet und erhielt für jeden Mord eine Verurteilung zu 25 Jahren Haft.

Und doch streckte sich Gott nach diesem Mann aus. Heute glaubt er an Jesus Christus und verbringt täglich Zeit mit der Bibel. Er hat sein tiefes Bedauern gegenüber den Familien seiner Opfer zum Ausdruck gebracht und betet beständig für sie. Auch wenn er seit mehr als 40 Jahren in Haft ist, findet dieser Mann, für den Erlösung aussichtslos gewesen zu sein schien, seine Hoffnung in Gott und sagt: „Meine Freiheit findet sich in einem Wort: Jesus.“

Die Bibel erzählt uns von einer anderen scheinbar unmöglichen Bekehrung. Ehe er den auferstandenen Christus auf dem Weg nach Damaskus traf, wütete Saulus (der später zum Apostel Paulus wurde) gegen die Anhänger des Herrn (Apostelgeschichte 9,1). Aber Jesus veränderte das Leben und das Herz des Paulus (V. 17-18), und dieser wurde einer der größten Zeugen für Jesus in der Geschichte. Der Mann, der einst den Tod von Christen plante, widmete sein Leben, um die Hoffnung des Evangeliums weiterzugeben.

Erlösung ist immer ein Wunderwerk Gottes. Manche Geschichten sind dramatischer als andere, aber die zugrunde liegende Wahrheit bleibt die gleiche: Niemand von uns verdient Gottes Vergebung, aber Jesus ist ein mächtiger Retter! „Er kann für immer alle retten, die durch ihn zu Gott kommen“ (Hebräer 7,25).
Kennst du jemanden, der eine „harte Nuss“ für Erlösung zu sein scheint? Für Gott ist nichts zu schwer! Bring diesen Menschen heute zu Gott im Gebet.
Danke, Jesus, dass du uns so sehr liebst, dass du gestorben bist, um uns in eine Beziehung mit dir zu bringen.

© 2020 Unser Täglich Brot
Die Erlösung für diesen Mann schien unmöglich zu sein. Seine Straftaten beinhalteten acht Schießereien mit sechs Toten und nahezu 1.500 Brandstiftungen in den 1970ern.