Monday, April 28, 2014
What would happen if your lights went out? How would your life change if you no longer had electricity? Considering how dependent we all are on the energy passing through air and wires into our homes, what would happen if it all stopped? Would we know how to live? Would we have enough basic needs such as food and water even for two weeks?
Jesus' death on calvary's cross put the disciples' lights out. They already knew how to live without the electrical power we take for granted each day, but His death took away their daily Light of life. The death of the One who gave them purpose for each day nearly destroyed their world of hope.
Consider what life would be like if God no longer was there to help us. Skeptics, agnostics and atheists like to repeat empty phrases such as, "God is dead," or "There is no God." What if that were true? Would we even be able to exist? Thanks be to God He is not dead, but lives to give us life.
We store just about everything electronically. Without it we'd have no communication system, no banking system and we would have to change the way we heat our homes or power our businesses. Governments would have to change, as well as hospitals, factories and educational institutions.
We don't think twice as we flip a switch for heat, news or entertainment. Most churches wouldn't even know their membership and most would have to change the way they worship. Virtually every part of our earthly life involves some kind of electrical impulse. Let's face it, we are hooked on electricity!
While electricity is a means through which we receive earthly blessings, more importantly Jesus gives us the means for receiving eternal blessings. Through His Holy Word, Holy Communion and Baptism, we receive the Bread of Life, are washed of our sins and have the power to live each day. Jesus made this plain when He said, "I am the Light of the World; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
We praise God this Easter season that God gave the world back its Light in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even if, God forbid, our lights would go out due to some massive electromagnetic disaster, you and I would still have the Light of the World in Jesus Christ. God created electricity when He created light. When we trust our Lord Jesus for salvation each day, He will make sure we have what is needed for eternal life.
It's still good, though, to have a readiness plan in case your lights did go out!
Rev. Robert L. Tasler
Monday, April 21, 2014
I wish you all a blessed Easter time and hope you experienced some joy being in the presence of our Risen Lord and His people during the extended weekend just past.
Have you ever been the one in the middle, the person "in between?" Perhaps it was in a family quarrel, or a work dispute, or even trying to keep two people from physically fighting each other. Whatever the case, being the one in the middle can be uncomfortable and even dangerous.
This past Good Friday Christians recalled that Jesus died on the cross, the Holy One between two thieves. On Calvary He was also the One between God and humanity, suffering and dying to bring people back to God. That was where Jesus intended to be. From the time of His incarnation, He was destined to be the "Man in the Middle," the One who would bring peace and reconciliation between God and people.
Two thieves were crucified with Him on Good Friday, but only one saw the "Man in the Middle." Most thieves see things around them, their surroundings, who has seen them and what is taking place. Both of those thieves knew they belonged there on Calvary, But only one realized the "Man in the Middle," shouldn't have been here.
Despite his hopeless condition, the observant thief doesn’t want to die alone. He rebuked the other thief and reached out to Jesus, the One who really does belong there. Jesus offers him eternal life because of his faith, and He does the same to all who realize they need forgiveness and seek Jesus in faith.
Jesus came to earth to be the "Man in the Middle," the Mediator between God and people. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, "There is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and people, the man Christ Jesus." A mediator goes between two faction to resolution and peace, and no one has done it better than Jesus. "He was put to death for our sins, but raised again for our justification." (Romans 4:25)
Sin separates people from God, but Jesus' resurrection brings us back to together again. The resurrection of Jesus is proof He is God's Son and has done all necessary to restore people to God through the forgiveness of sins. He is risen indeed!
Maybe being the middle is exactly where God wants you to be.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
God's little surprises help us know He really does care. Terry had enjoyed the non-profit organization's "Silent Auction," but when it came time to pick up her purchase, she found she'd bid on a wrong item. Instead of getting the chess set she wanted, she'd spent $60 on a set of ceramic Christmas bells. Who needed those! She was further irritated when she was told there was nothing that could be done to change her mistake.
The next day, however, as Terry examined her "mistake," she saw there was one small delicate hand-made Christmas bell for each year starting from the 1970's, a complete set. Each one was signed by the designer and in it's original box. Online research revealed that her "mistake" was worth over $1000! Later that day in the newspaper, she found the chess set she'd wanted on sale for $15! God's little surprises help us know He really does care.
Five weeks ago I wrote of having a water pipe break in our finished basement and how I reacted with my usual anger and stress. I am happy to report the leaky mess has become a surprise blessing. Besides the cracked waterline, a leaky sewer line was also discovered and repaired, so with fresh paint and new carpet, our former damp, musty basement is now dry and fresh. Instead of a just being a huge mess, the lower half of our house will be refinished and in better condition, courtesy of our insurance company.
Last winter I'd planned to have my suits and sport coats cleaned, and this past Sunday morning I attended worship wearing a freshly dry-cleaned jacket, a small but enjoyable result of our basement "disaster." God's little surprises help us know He really does care.
The Bible says, "Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) The next time something seemingly bad happens, look for God's little surprises in it, and then remind yourself that He really does care for you.
It is April 15. What will its blessing will be?
Monday, April 7, 2014
(From DAILY WORD FROM JESUS, devotions based on Jesus' Words from St. Matthew - www.bobtasler.com)
Matthew 10:19-20 - “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
Polls tell us there is almost universal fear about public speaking. Nearly everyone is frightened of standing before a group and delivering a message. Pastors and professors prepare detailed manuscripts so they won’t forget. Politicians and actors memorize line or use teleprompters.
Jesus tells us not to worry about all that. He says when we are called on to share our faith, He will give us the words to say. But we can still be prepared. Even if we don’t have it memorized, we need to think about what we say, and we need to pray for the right words to say.
Few of us will be required to stand before the wealthy and powerful of the world to defend our faith in Jesus. But nearly all of us at some time will stand before friends or fellow workers and be asked, “Why do you go to church?” “Do you really believe in God?” Or, “How can you handle that problem so well?” That’s when Jesus’ Daily Word helps us.
When we defend or share our faith, the Holy Spirit will give us words to say. God will speak through us, so we need not be afraid. We may be uneasy, or concerned someone will take offense at what we say, but God will speak through us, and His message will have its good effect.
God said through the prophet Isaiah, “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and water the earth, so it shall be with My Word. It shall accomplish the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11) God’s Word is powerful and will change people in amazing ways.
If you are called on today to tell what Jesus means to you or defend your faith, don’t worry. Just do it! Through your words, God will accomplish His purposes.
Lord, give me words to speak when others ask. Amen