May 10, 2020 | Stories
Hello Concordia Family,
We are confident that whenever God's truth is read it never returns void. I am grateful that we are still the body of Christ even though we are separated by distance. We pray that this devotion will strengthen you in your faith journey. May God richly bless you this day and all the days to come.
The Text from John 14:1-14
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
God gives us a new heart. And we certainly need one. The Scriptures tell us that the human condition is broken beyond repair. The book of Romans reminds us that we are born as children of wrath and enemies of God. Countless times in the Scriptures we read about people who are examples of God's truth and yet continually sin. Saint Paul indicates in Romans 7 that he knows the things he should be doing and yet he does the opposite. And again, King David in Psalm 51 asks God to create for him a clean heart. Even the redeemed still live in a sin infested world awaiting God's new creation. And just like those Scriptural characters, Christians are saints who live with the reality of sin. We are saints who live with a brokenness of heart.
What does your heart struggle with? Maybe it is a conversation that you need to have with a family or friend around repentance. Maybe it is what you eat or drink? Maybe it is with what you watch on the television or a computer? Maybe it is how you spend finances? Or maybe it is a broken relationship with God?
Sinful hearts don't need a band aid or an oil change. Sinful hearts need to be replaced, completely. And thanks be to God, Jesus does this in our Scripture reading for today. In John 14 Jesus comes to His disciples and wants them to not have their hearts be troubled. Troubled hearts hear the words of Jesus. The One who is preparing a place with many rooms for you and for me. The One gives us a new heart by giving us his own. These familiar words which have been spoken at countless funerals, gravesides, and moments of comfort are told to us again today. But when Jesus speaks these words the first time, He does not indicate that we should speak them only in crisis situations, but in every season of life. His message is relevant for all times and places, why? Because the truth and message of Jesus is intended for Christians who continue to live in a sinful world. Jesus first tells this to His apostles who will continue to suffer many things on his account. Yes, He is pointing them toward a future hope and inheritance, but they have many days yet to go until they reach that glorious reward. This message is for people living in the in between. And it is for us too. Because the hope of His continued work will sustain.
And Jesus speaks these words to us today as well. He tells us that our lives will not necessarily be easy either. We might be mocked, persecuted, and beaten for the sake of the Gospel and yet, our hope is also in the continued and future reward that our Savior is preparing for us. It is not because we could earn it or deserve it. Rather, Jesus is making this for us because of His generous heart that He gives to us.
This weekend our cultural recognizes Mother’s Day. For many in our community it is a time of joyous celebration as moms get pampered and loved. For others it is time of heartache as they wish a child had been given, not been taken, or not living in their current reality. And Mother’s Day is a partial indication of this passage. It speaks of a relationship between a parent and child. It speaks of a hope and a love between people bound together in love. And while these relationships and days are good they pale in comparison to the ultimate relationship we are placed into with our Heavenly Father. A parent who is perfect. A parent who always is kind. Always loving and always forgiving. Why? Because of Jesus. This Son of God who takes the good and bad of every day and fulfills it in His work on our behalf. The one who takes our hearts and doesn't patch them up but does a heart transplant. Through His Holy Law, He speaks truth into our lives and He crushes sinful desires. And through His Holy Gospel He lifts us up to His heavenly mansion.
May God keep us all in this truth both in this life and the one to come. You are loved, you are redeemed, you have a room waiting for you from our Heavenly Father. Don't let your heart be troubled. Believe in Jesus who cares for you!
Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right Spirit within me. Too often we have strayed and not done what you would like. Forgive, strengthen, heal, and renew. Bless me and those who need your divine intervention as we live more fully in the image of Your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Our church family misses seeing everyone face to face. We look forward where everyone will be reunited. In the days to come, if you are looking for help or assistance our church family is ready to help. Please call the church office at 314-822-7772 if you need assistance.
God is good and He loves you. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
Pastors Jacob Schultz and David Meggers