Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Next Day

Author Max Lucado once put it like this in envisioning what Jesus might say to this man: "What costs far more than you can pay? You don't need a system, you need a Savior. You don't need a resume, you need a redeemer ... God does not save us because of what we've done. Only a puny god could be bought with tithes. Only a temperamental god could be satisfied by our sacrifices. Only a heartless god would sell salvation to the highest bidders. Only a great God does for his children what they can't do for themselves." (Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God, by Max Lucado)

Like the rich man, our wealth can't place us at the table of God. But the banquet has already been prepared for us. We simply need to sit at the table.

God, we give thanks for your constant goodness. We thank you that in the face of our failure, you grant forgiveness. Give us the faith to respond to your goodness by sharing your love with others. Amen.

Charles Axness
First Lutheran Church, Fremont, Neb.
Master of Divinity , 1993

Mark 10:17-31 (NRSV)

17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

19 You know the commandments: 'You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'"

20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth."

21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"

24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?"

27 Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible."

28 Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and followed you."

29 Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news,

30 "who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age--houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life.

31 "But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."

This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alum from the graduating class of 1993.