Daily Lenten Devotion Wednesday, March 20th

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 – Psalm 5; Jeremiah 25:30-38; Romans 10:14-21 and John 10:1-18

Romans 10:14-21 – 4But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.

John 10:1-18 – 11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. … 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

A question I get asked often is; “Does God save those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ?” I believe God can and does.

Our reading from Romans says; “And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard?” … “As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” There are some in the world who may never hear of Jesus Christ, yet I believe God still reveals himself to them. God was first revealed to me through nature. I sensed God’s handiwork in all of creation. If this was all I had ever experienced and known and I had faith in this one who created everything. I believe God would save me, because I believed in what I had been shown. So I do believe, God saves those who believe in him, even if they never hear the Good News of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Yet, for us who have heard of Jesus, and believe; the blessing is that we can seek to listen unto him who is the full revelation of God’s love given unto us. It is he who laid down his life for us. It is he that shows us the Father’s love for us. It is he that is the way, the truth and the life. So, for us, believing and trusting in him has the added benefit of being able to fully experience God’s love offered to all.

One of my things is that when I die and arrive in God’s heavenly kingdom, I’ll probably be surprised by who is there and who isn’t. I don’t know if we’ll sense who isn’t, for the fullness of God’s love in heaven, may erase their memory from our spiritual minds. Don’t know exactly, but at least this is where I’m at today.

My dad once asked me; “Dennis, when I get to heaven will I have to see my relatives whom I really didn’t like?” (He had a aunt that had been very mean to most everyone in the family, especially his dad.) I responded; “Dad here are two things I believe about heaven. When we get there, we’ll be totally transformed – the bad will pass away and the good will be fully refined in Christ. Secondly, heaven is a really big place, so maybe you’ll never see them if they are there.” BTW – one day I was in Windsor, MO where my grandmother (dad’s mom) and this aunt are buried. The funeral home director told my second cousin and me. “She was the meanest person, I’ve ever met.” Ouch!

O God, use me to share your Good News given in and through Christ with others today. Help me share your love, grace and peace given us in and through Christ. Amen.

Psalm 5 – 7   But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house,
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in awe of you.
8   Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.

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