God has ordained a profound simplicity in the act of proper gratitude. At its core, God-centered thanksgiving focuses our attention on our eternal reward in Christ Jesus. And from that focal point, every good gift we receive this side of heaven, as well as every misfortune we face due to sin, is put into proper perspective.
The Baptized live in God’s heart. This is a Christian’s greatest trust. This creates love and in love His People move towards the Triune-God. If God the Father has given His own Son for all who believe, no one can accuse the saints, no one can condemn us, nothing in all creation can separate us from His immeasurable love .
When speaking in purely physical terms, we innately understand that serious threats require equally serious defenses. But what do we affirm about our adversary, the devil? He “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We would not dare fight a lion with our bare hands! Why then, do we not take the Scripture seriously?
Who has ever had a job he or she didn’t enjoy? Probably each and every one of us. And this should come as no surprise. Under the curse of sin, we are not promised that work will always be something we enjoy, but we are guaranteed to toil by the sweat of our brow.
Our collect for the First Sunday after the Epiphany, where we recognize the Baptism of our Lord, makes this petition of our Father in Heaven: “Grant that all who are baptized into Jesus’ Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior.” We would do well to pray this prayer earnestly, lest we take our Christian journey too lightly.
The Lord has sustained us through a long year, and we have once again arrived at the Nativity of our Lord. Indeed, for this year in particular, in God’s perfect timing, the celebration of the Incarnation could not have come at a more appropriate time. And it is most fitting for God to use His Church to achieve this end...