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Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Next Day

I do not remember much of my early childhood, but interestingly enough, I do vividly remember a sermon from when I was five years old. The pastor preached on Adam and Eve's temptation, and his captivating sermon illustration was a big bright red apple. The pastor asked, "Can you imagine being tempted with such a delicious apple? The devil will tempt you with things that will be hard to resist, but you need to resist and pray to God for help."

When I hear such questions even now, my first thought is "And how are you doing with that?" We tend to imagine that our sanctity, salvation, and uprightness before God are under our own "control." Thankfully, the apostle Paul gives us the assurance that through Christ's suffering, death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead, God has chosen us, bestowed upon us the gift of salvation, and called us to stand firm in the promise of God's forgiving grace.

God our Father, you have loved us and through grace have given us eternal hope. Comfort our hearts and strengthen us in every good work through the word of promise you have placed within us. Amen.

Horacio Castillo Echeverria, '16
Pastor, Faculty Member at St. Paul Lutheran Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 (NRSV)

1 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters,
2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.
3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.
4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God.
5 Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? ...
13 But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
14 For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope,
17 comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

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