Hello Church Devotion Sept. 15, 2013

“O” is for “Offering”

5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'" 8 When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

There are times I see people who are suffering from a terrible pain or grief. They are consumed by the agony of their situation, almost inconsolable in their living out of their days. Many times, they feel totally hopeless and are despondent in their angst. So much, they say, “is not as they would have planned it.” They say: “How can you stand there and not be just as lost as I am experiencing?” They go on explaining that “their life is kaput and broken.” “That there is no purpose left for them anymore”. “That they have nothing left in which to look forward to living for now”. Maybe they have lost their spouse or children; sometimes both.

Aye, the situation can look extremely bleak. But isn’t God still there? Isn’t He still supporting and encouraging us in spite of the way we perceive our situations? God does not take pleasure in our losses and grief’s. He does not laugh at our pains! He has no desire to see His children slip, fall or be hurt in any way. Yet, He allows sin and its consequences to still affect us.

His motivation is not to break us and toss us out into the garbage heap. NO! His goal is to make us understand that we cannot pay the price for our sins in any way, shape, or form. Nothing we do will suffice. It is totally God’s providence. God’s action. God’s work of paying for our sins in His redemptive plan. We remember that don’t we?

God sent His Son, His only begotten Son, to die for the sins of the whole world. One death of the perfect lamb of God sufficed. His offering of His Son’s pure, innocent, blameless body upon the tree of the cross bore the incredible punishment of sin. What an offering it was! And that offering still has power today. My Wednesdaymorning class is studying the book of Leviticus. We have just begun to understand better the blood and sacrificial system that was set up by God to point us to Jesus and His offering for us. One of the key focus points in Leviticus is that “Life is in the Blood”. Blood of the sacrificed lamb at the first Passover put over the doors of the obedient Israel nation allowed life to continue as the last plague destroyed the first born of every thing in Egypt except those who trusted in the lifeblood.

And so for those in the line of pain and suffering today, we hold up Jesus. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We know that in Him, we have a Savior who understands our sorrows, as He has dealt with the sorrows of all mankind. We proclaim the cross of Christ, that paid the price for our redemption. We point and relay that God still loves us. He loves us dearly and will bring purpose out of dead ends. He will give people reason to go on living. He will use each of us to remind those who are hurting that God is for them, not against them.

In the LSB Hymnal, take a look at Hymn 528 Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise,

The glories of my God and King,The triumphs of His grace!

He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin; He sets the pris’ner free.

His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood avails for me.

Look unto Him, ye nations; own Your God, ye fallen race.

Look and be saved through faith alone, Be justified by grace.

See all your sins on Jesus laid; The Lamb of God was slain.

His soul was once an off’ring made For ev’ry soul of man.

Luther’s explanation to the Second Article of the Creed

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father in eternity, and also a true human being, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned human being. He has purchased and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I may belong to him, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally. This is most certainly true.

Prayer: Lord, in the most excellent offering of Your Son Jesus, we can see Your love and determination that we as sinful creatures are of value and high importance to You. Lord, You have loved us and provided us a way to spend eternity with You. Lord, help us to realize this great offering and gift You have provided. May we know Jesus, as the perfect offering for sin, once for all! May we trust in Your promises that our debt for sins has been cancelled. That Your promises of grace and mercy are new every day and that by faith in this offering for sin, we are saved. Keep that faith alive and growing. And let not our own doings, interfere in Your plans for our lives. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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