Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 19, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12-19 (NKJV)
4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
In this final text for our meditations from Saint Peter’s first epistle we see a contrast presented. On the one hand we hear about what is to be avoided by Christians, for we are told none of us should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a meddler. Instead, disciples of Christ should only suffer for doing good and for pursuing the will of God in daily life. In fact, Christians should glory in any suffering that comes upon them because of the name of Jesus Christ and their being true disciples of His.
We, like many of the apostles and early disciples, should rejoice that we are so blessed as to suffer for the sake of the name “Christian”. Our text opens with a revelation that the disciples of Jesus should never be surprised by fiery trials, for their Lord suffered thusly during His earthly sojourn. It then concludes with the observation that, if judgment begins in God’s grace-filled Church, what will be the outcome for those poor wretches who are outside of this grace-filled fellowship? For if those who love God and strive after His will and Word suffer in spite of being righteous through faith, what horrible outcome of judgment must await the ungodly sinner who is unwashed by the cleansing flood of Christ’s blood, issued forth from His Word and Sacraments? May God bring such sinners to faith in Christ’s Gospel with us!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, multiply Your mercy on us that, with You as our Lord and Redeemer, we may be founded on the solid Rock, and thus pass through things temporal in such a way that we lose not the things eternal. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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