“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
While coming home today I was listening to a preacher with a Scottish accent on the radio talking about Jesus and when he was finished I turned it off and was thinking about what commandments there were from Jesus that I could recall; love one another, pray for your enemies, repent, believe that Jesus is in the Father, take up your cross and follow Me, go and make disciples and finally; pray always. Those of you with sharper recall than me will certainly tell me a few more but these seven seemed to align well with what Paul wrote in verse 14; “do everything in love”. I read what the last word that Luther spoke when asked if he still held to Christ and all the doctrine that Luther had preached he responded with a loud “Yah”; I love that reply. It kind of reminded me of Peter’s reply when Jesus asked him if he loved him; “yes Lord, you know that I do”. When we are asked about our faith and reason for the hope we have may we, like this Haitian child give a firm, courageous answer; “Yes I am saved because of what Jesus Christ did for me on the Cross…and He came as a ransom for all.” We don’t need to speak like Peter, Paul or Luther but just let the Holy Spirit use us just as we are…just as we were created. I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘Just as I am, without one plea’ that were written by Charlotte Elliott in 1836.
“Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me and that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am; Thy love unknown has broken every barrier down. Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay