Today’s readings: Isaiah 66:1-6; 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Luke 12:32-48
Paul says: “I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day.” What does this look like in our lives?
Keeping the faith sometimes means defending and safeguarding doctrine. More often, and on an individual basis, it means that one continues trusting God for all things. The Catechism says: “We should fear, love, and trust God above all things.” Throughout life, no matter what comes our way, we are to trust God, not only with this life but also for the life to come. We are able to trust him because our Father has already demonstrated his great love for us (John 3:16).
Though we are to reverently fear God, we do not fear seeing God face to face (1 Cor 13:12). Therefore, we “confidently console ourselves with his grace and await a future life, expecting to approach Christ in the resurrection” (Luther). When we keep the faith, we fully expect to encounter God in death and on the day of judgment. Christians do so without terror, gladly drawing near to God, longing for that great Day.
Prayer: Lord, preserve me in faith until that Day. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC, and Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Advance, NC.