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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Next Day

Well-meaning people who want good for us in the afterlife might ask if we have made proper preparations. They may wonder when it was that we made a firm decision for Jesus. They might ask us for particulars about how our salvation was accomplished and how certain we are. They seek, knowingly or not, to trouble our hearts that we might seek to soothe that discomfort through their forms and frames for salvation.

What if we told them that Jesus is the one who has made preparation for us for this life and eternity? That Jesus made a firm decision for us regardless of our wavering and fickle commitment to him? That our salvation was assured on a Friday afternoon when God was perched between two thieves? Our comfort comes from the sure and certain work Jesus has done to save us. Jesus has made us his own. Jesus has prepared a place for us and Jesus will take us to that place. When we allow God to grow trust in us about these certainties, our troubled hearts are put to rest.

God, we acknowledge with Augustine that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee. Give our hearts rest. Amen.

Karl Hester, '01
Pastor, Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran, Salem, Ore.

John 14:1-14 (NRSV)

1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.
4 And you know the way to the place where I am going."
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father'?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.
12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.