Devotion: Monday, April 2, 2018

A Biblical, Christ-filled word to bless your lives. 

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from John 19:8-11, where the Bible says,

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.


He is Risen, He is Risen indeed. This past Sunday was Easter Sunday for Christians around the world. The churches celebrate the fact that Jesus death and resurrection changes everything. But, on the Friday before Christ’s resurrection, things looked very much out of control. Pontius Pilate, a local Roman governor actually had the audacity to tell Jesus, the King of Kings, that His life was totally in his hands, his fearfilled-politicking hands.

Sometimes when we read the papers today, we feel like it’s the Wednesday or Thursday, or Friday of Holy Week and we feel like Easter morning still hasn’t come. We see the terrors, the inhumanities, the foolishness of sinful people all around us. We hear the voices of the arrogant like Pilate who enjoy their status of being in control over our lives with virtually no escape, it seems. Personally, if we’re honest, we often feel the same sinful compulsions and infirmities within ourselves as those we lament in society. It would be so easy to despair, wouldn’t it? It would, but we need not. Here’s why!

I was privileged to have a Two-Kingdom “town meeting” with the very honorable Congressman John Shimkus in Champaign, Illinois. And, I love what he said about this… He talked about the comfort in knowing that no matter the successes and struggles on Capitol Hill, it was comforting to know that all things are ultimately “in God’s hands.” It is comforting to know that God is always at work in the world to preserve the world and ultimately save the world. We indeed know that through Law and Gospel, God works to bless and to save. Through the vocations of people, He works to preserve… through the work of Jesus Christ and His Church, He works to save. It’s comforting to know that God as we face the daily challenges in our lives.

But here is even more good news. Our Lord invites us to experience the joy loving others “as He loves us” even now. By Faith, we receive the full blessings of the work of Jesus Christ, His life, death, and resurrection for our eternal salvation. It’s free, it’s full, it’s a gift to be received from a Savior who has done all things well for us. And with that joy of being His, we are invited to serve others as He serves us, to be salt and light to a world that is in darkness without Him. To know that life is secure in His hands, His nail-marked, risen hands, means that we need not fear anything in this world. It also means we get to be a part of the Father’s preserving work as good citizens, parents, entrepreuneurs, business people, elected officials etc. even as we proclaim the uniqueness of the message of Jesus that relies on His work ALONE for us all. God is at work to preserve the world so that all may hear that “the crucified one is risen so that we might live forever with Him.” May that Easter faith sustain you in all you get to do, today and forever.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, Easter makes all the difference in the world. Actually, Easter makes all the difference in my life. Help me to know the power of your death, and the joy of your resurrection in living each day by faith in you for others. In your risen Name I pray, AMEN.