Devotion - September 19, 2014
Hymn of the Week
O Lord, let this your little flock,
Your name alone confessing,
Continue in your loving care,
True unity possessing.
Your sacraments, O Lord,
And your saving Word
To us e’er pure retain.
Grant that they may remain
Our only strength and comfort.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 536, verses 2)
Lord Jesus Christ, the Church’s Head
God’s Church has always been his “little flock.” Her smallness is due to the fact that she confesses God’s name. God’s name is more than just his titles. God’s name is everything the Holy Spirit revealed about himself in the Bible.
The vast number of unbelievers can accept a wide variety of worldviews, but they cannot tolerate God’s saving wisdom. In fact, they are so violently opposed to the truth of God’s grace in Jesus Christ, that, if they could, they would storm the gates of heaven and topple God from his throne. But since this is not possible, they feel obligated to rid the world of all who believe in him.
Cain killed his brother for no other reason than that Abel offered a sacrifice with faith in the coming Savior. Noah’s family-of-eight was harassed because, unlike the rest of mankind, it embraced the righteousness that would come through the promised Messiah. King David and his tiny band of men hid from the army of King Saul simply because David’s words and life reflected his Spirit-given faith in his Savior.
We know well the happy outcome of their faith and way of life. Like a bride waiting to walk down the aisle, they paid no attention to those who disparaged them. The bride of Christ only has eyes for her Groom. And he graciously took her to himself–forever!
Until he takes us to heaven, he promises, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
Where does Jesus’ quaking little flock find forgiveness of sins, life and eternal salvation? In his Word. In the Bible we learn that the full punishment for our sins was paid with the blood of Jesus. His Word commands us to apply water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In the same breath it promises to “make disciples of all nations” in that unusual way (Matthew 28:18-20). Our Savior’s Word commands us to take and eat bread and wine. In these same words Jesus promises that, with the bread and wine, we received his true body and blood, given and poured out for us for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; 1 Corinthians 11). Such comfort is as foolish to unconverted reason as Jesus’ death on a cross. But like the cross, we recognize it as the wisdom of God for the salvation of all who believe.
Until the day of his return, Christ’s little flock prays:
Your sacraments, O Lord, And your saving Word To us e’er pure retain.
Grant that they may remain Our only strength and comfort. Amen.
From September through December 2014, the Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday are based on the Word of God expressed in a Christian Hymn selected each week. All devotions in this series are located here.
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