Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 19, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 13:1-9 (NKJV)
13:1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
One word which is grossly misused by the people of the world is the word “deserve”. Someone says, “I worked for this, therefore I deserve it.” Answer: you do not deserve it, but God, out of grace, gave it to you through earthly means. Someone says, “They got what they deserved.” Answer: they actually deserved worse, and so do you.
The truth is, no one deserves any good and everyone deserves damnation. In this life God does not give us what we deserve, according to Psalm 103: “He has not dealt with us according to our sins” (v. 10). The only ones who get what they deserve are the unbelievers at the final Judgment. But, until then, even unbelievers enjoy the undeserved things of creation and God’s undeserved patience as He waits for them to repent.
God has not revealed why disasters happen to some and not to others. But He has revealed that what they “deserve” has nothing to do with it. The best proof of this is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He, only, was without sin, yet He suffered the damnation men deserved to give men the life He deserves. Now He labors patiently with all men, preparing their hearts through the Word to receive faith and live.
Prayer: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit, that being ever mindful of the end of all things, and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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