Monday, April 23, 2018

Day of Praise

Tues, 04/24/18, Easter Day #24, "Day of Praise"

Matthew 4:10 - "Then Jesus said to him, 'Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."'"

Years ago, I remember meeting with an 88 year old church member at her request to plan her funeral. To be 88, she looked  healthy as the proverbial horse. You might ask, then, why did she want to plan her funeral? Very simply, she wanted to plan her funeral when she was healthy so that her family didn't need to do it later when she died. That answered why she wanted to plan her funeral. 

But the better question was "How?" How did this 88 year old, thin, short lady plan her funeral? It would be easy to say "courageously." But it was more than courage; she actually planned it with confidence. In fact, she said so many things about Christ's constant presence with her and about her confidence in Christ's sovereign power that she seemed to be looking death and the devil in the eye and saying, "I'm not afraid of you! Just be gone, Satan. I'm walkin' in the victory and power of Jesus."

As should we all!

It's said that, 500 years ago in Germany, Martin Luther was in his study and felt a presence behind him. Remaining seated at his desk, Luther turned around and literally saw the devil. Luther looked at the Ol' Boy and said, "Oh! It's just you." Then he turned back to his desk and went back to work.

An 88 year old woman in this day and age, Martin Luther 500 years ago, and Jesus in today's Bible verse, all, in essence, saying, "I'm not afraid of you! Just be gone, Satan. I'm walkin' in the victory and power of God."

So what about you and me today? It's first thing in the morning, so there are many things in front of us, and unless Jesus comes again beforehand, some day in front of us is death. Will we face the things in front of us with the confidence in Christ displayed by an 88 year old lady?

And I'll tell ya; I don't care if you think I'm even more crazy than you already do. I have a matter in my life right now where I know that someone is lurking behind me in the shadows. Luther used to say something like this, "Pinch yourself real good. If it hurts, then you're in the world and you probably have something creeping up behind you too." Will we, like Luther, turn and look at the Ol' Boy and say, "Oh! It's just you," and then turn and get back to our day?

Friends, the devil was defeated before he ever got started. The Almighty and Living God is the Lord!

So let's get after our day and flick Satan away, the God in Christ that we worship is Lord!

Praise God!

Pastor Chris 
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson

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