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11/25/2010

 Daily Devotions

 Daily Devotions Podcast

 Truth In Real Life

 Truth In Real Life Podcast


God Is a Loving Master

"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." (Romans 6:22)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a slave? Imagine being forced to stand in front of a bunch of rich people who want to buy a slave. You are waiting for someone to buy you so that you can work for them. You are probably watching their faces closely, trying to guess whether they are kind people or mean people. If they look kind, you will probably stand up straight, smile, and try to look your best, hoping to get them to choose you. If only you can look good enough, maybe you will be picked by a nice master instead of a nasty one.

But imagine that before you became a slave, you had been a thief and a liar. In fact, the reason you are now a slave is that the city guards had chased you through the villages because you had stolen something and lied about it. Imagine that, during the chase, you had tripped over a sharp rock with your bare foot and fallen right in a mud puddle. The guards had picked you up and dragged you here to the slave sale, and now you are covered in dripping mud, your hair looks like it was caught in a blender, and your bad foot has you limping. Even if you try to stand up straight and tall, you are pretty sure none of the nice people will want to buy you, looking like this. If a mean master chooses you, you will probably have a miserable life serving him. If no one buys you at all, you will be put to death as punishment for your crimes.

Can you imagine being in that situation? (We’ll find out what happens to you later.)

But, believe it or not, you are a slave too! You may not have to scrub dirt floors or serve grapes to a human master, but every person living is a "slave" to someone or something. Either you are a slave to the world, to your own flesh, and to the devil – or you are a slave to Jesus Christ.

Now some people think that if they serve themselves, they couldn’t possibly be a slave. But each of us is born into bondage (slavery). Without Jesus Christ, we are all born slaves to our own sinful flesh and to the father of lies, Satan himself. Satan is a vicious master. He hates people because God loves them, and Satan hates God. Satan will never again have a chance at freedom from his own slavery to self and sin – so he wants to wreck people by tempting them toward sin and away from God.

Let’s go back to the imaginary story of you as a slave in the market waiting to be bought. You are standing there, a thief and a liar, looking muddy and wounded, deserving death for what you have done. Suddenly, you see the kindest face ever! He looks at you, sees the terrible condition you are in, and you realize he must have heard what you did; he must know what a terrible person you really are. Your hopes fall. You understand that someone as kind as he is would never want you in his household.

You are shocked when this person calls the guards over. He tells them there is only one arrangement that could possibly pay the price for someone like you. He tells them to exchange you for his own son. The surprised guards take his son instead of you. His son is now a slave for sale, under the penalty of death, and they let you go. You go home with your new master, this kind man who traded his son for you. Wouldn't you serve this kind master from the bottom of your heart? Wouldn't you want to do everything you could to please him? Is there anyone or anything in the whole world that you would love more than you love your new master?

This is more of a true story than you might think! Adam sinned and brought all of us into slavery to sin. God sent His Son to pay the price of that sin, which was death and separation from God. When believers are bought with the blood of Christ, they become slaves to God instead of slaves to themselves or the world or the devil.

You must have one master or another, so which one would you rather have? God is the loving Master Who bought you even when you were vile and dirty and undeserving of anything but death. Satan wants us to get what we deserve: eternal death and separation from God. God freely offers us mercy: eternal life and His amazing love.

God loved us enough to purchase our redemption, freeing us from sin and self to serve Him.

My Response:
» Have I been choosing bondage to sin and self instead of serving a loving Master?
» How can I show my love and gratitude toward God for His gift of His Son?






Truth In Real Life

Katie Luther

“I will cling to Christ like a burr on a topcoat.”

Katherina von Bora was born in Germany on January 29, 1499. With a name that would have befitted a queen or a baroness perhaps, Katherina – or “Katie” as she would be called – would become a very important woman at least to one man (her husband Martin Luther), and she would influence her children and many others, creating a God-glorifying ripple effect on Christian history forever.

Katie’s mother died when she was a little girl, and her father quickly remarried, sending five-year-old Katie to live in the Roman Catholic Church. She was raised by the nuns – two of which were her aunts – and it was assumed that surely Katie would grow up to become a nun just like them. So she did! When Katie was 16 years old, she took the vows – or promises – of a nun.

The more Katie studied the Catholic religion, the more she wondered if she could really believe every part of it. Katie actually made plans with some of the other nuns to run away from the church, but she did not feel right about running. Running could bring a punishment of death. So the nuns created another plan.

The German monk Martin Luther was already growing popular for his reformed beliefs – for how he spoke up against the parts of the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings that taught that salvation could be earned by good works or that deliverance and relief from judgment could be bought by purchasing candles or pieces of paper from Roman Catholic Church officials. Martin Luther was instead coming to believe from the Bible that salvation belonged to the Lord, that justified people are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Instead of sinners earning their own way to heaven, Jesus Christ died to save them and to offer grace and mercy by His own perfect life and perfect sacrificial death.

Martin Luther wanted to help monks and nuns who were changing their minds about Roman Catholic teachings. One day, just before Easter, a local fish seller arrived at a Catholic convent to deliver food to the nuns. It had been arranged for the fish seller to hide any nuns who wanted to escape in barrels the back of his fish wagon. This man helped the nuns escape. When they escaped, they went straight to find Martin Luther. He helped each of the nuns find marriages, homes, and jobs – each and every one of them... except Katie.

Martin Luther married Katie himself. She was a godly woman, a wife, a teacher, a nurse, a farmer, and a mother to ten children! She woke up every morning at 4am to get all of her work done and did not rest until it was finished.

Katie was a devoted disciple of Jesus and a diligent worker, among many other things. Do you do your best at what you do? Are you faithful to follow truth and committed to cling to Christ?

1 Thessalonians 4:11 – That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.


Description of God

God that Avengeth - El Nakamoth
Psalm 18:47 "It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me."

 

Question & Answer

QDoes Scripture teach that there is only one God?

AYes. Deu 6:4 -- Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD

 

BIG Christian Word

Sin - (sin)

Sin is an action or attitude that is not pleasing to God. God is righteous and he has given rules and laws to show what displeases him. Our sin nature was inherited by Adam and Eve and it separates us from God. (Romans 3:23) "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 6:23) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."