Friday, March 4, 2016

Devotion 3.4.16

March 4              “Bane and Blessing, Pain and Pleasure by the Cross Are Sanctified”

(Lutheran Service Book 427, 4) 

In the 1800’s C.F.W. Walther, the first president of the LCMS, taught future pastors, “In your sermons you like to treat subjects like these: “The blessed state of a Christian,” and the like.  Well, do not forget that the blessedness of Christians does not consist in pleasant feelings, but in their assurance that in spite of the bitterest feelings imaginable they are accepted with God and in their dying hour will be received into heaven.  That is indeed great blessedness.”   
CTRL: Control your emotions. ALT: Get alternate priorities from the Word of God. DEL: Let the Spirit delete regret through repentance.  
Walther again: “It is proper that in your sermons you depict the happy moments which occasionally come to Christians when they are given a foretaste of their future bliss. If the description of such moments of bliss is given in a proper manner, it produces neither anguish and grief nor doubt regarding one’s being in the faith, but a heartfelt longing for an experience such as the preacher is describing” (Law and Gospel, 312) 
CTRL+ALT+DEL: Lord, through faith in Jesus let me rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. Amen. (1 Peter 1:8)

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