Pastor Schreiber's Devotions

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"God Had the Answer"—2 Corinthians 5:16–21

It was a man saddened by a wave of violence that rocked America. His question was simple and clear, “Why can’t we all just get along?” I don’t recall the man’s name or remember the circumstances of his question, but his question is one we would do well to consider again.

The reason why we can’t just get along is sin. It ruins relationships, destroys friendships, and otherwise corrupts human relationships. In my lifetime I have seen sin affect and too often destroy families, friendships, and ever churches. It is greed, unjustified anger, impatience, stubbornness, and even idol worship. In response to this dilemma, God, through St. Paul gives us something to consider: in Christ Jesus, God has given Christians a reason and an example of true reconciliation.

Mankind became separated from God and each other by sin. This separation causes much distrust and distress even today!  People start asking, “What will (insert a name here) think?” Often though, indifference, greed, anger, impatience, or human weaknesses will exacerbate the problem. The only real solution is Jesus Christ!

Please consider what St. Paul said in our text. "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us:  we implore you on Christ’s behalf be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

What is this reconciliation? It is more that the “getting along” I mentioned earlier. It is God accepting us—not as perfect human beings—but as His sons and daughters because of what Jesus did in His earthly life. Jesus took our imperfections on Himself and grant His perfection to all who love and truth in Him for forgiveness, life, and salvation!

Politicians and pundits have long tried to give answer to the opening question, but God has the only real answer. It is Jesus Christ! I hope you remember this!

"I Couldn't Help It"—1 Corinthians 10:1–13

“I couldn’t help it! I just had to do it.”

How many times have we heard someone say this or something similar? Kids will say it. Students in school, too. People at work and play will make the same claim; but the fact remains that they did something wrong.

The truth of the matter is that there is something any person could do about “jt.” Our text makes it very clear! In our reading we read: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

That way is nothing and no one less than Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Savior. He faced every temptation known to mankind and overcame it! He did this for us and our salvation. He did this because He wanted to save us from our sin, our sinfulness, from Satan’s powerful enticements, and ultimately from God’s wrath. So, Jesus became the Babe of Bethlehem, lived a sinless life, rejected Satan’s temptations, and finally went to His death on Calvary’s Roman cross. But Jesus didn’t stop there!! He took His life back on Easter morning. And finally, after forty days, He ascended back to His heavenly home, where He now prepares everlasting homes for all who love and trust in Him for full and free forgiveness of all their sins. St. Paul understood this and sought to share the message wherever he went. So, he wrote to the Corinthian Christ-believers, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

We pray: Lord God Almighty, help us to keep mindful of the fact that You are faithful, and may this fact be our comfort in strife and our joy and in good times! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

"Not a New Computer"—Psalm 23

I am trying to learn how to work with a new computer. It has been more difficult than I expected, with a new (to me) operating system and all the little things that should make it better for me than my old computer was.

It’s kind of like that when it comes to our lives in and with God. We believe that we can do it all by ourselves, and we assume that we need no assistance from God (or anyone else), but it we usually don’t work that way. Because of our sinful natures and actions we don’t know or understand the “operating system” God has created for us, and we usually don’t want to abide by it anyway.

We are sinners who have by nature and action chosen to go “our own way” which will lead to our eternal destruction in hellfire and damnation. (The wages of sin IS death, any way we try to look at our lives and conduct.) WE NEED HELP!

That help comes from God, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."

We get that help only in Jesus Christ and the cross-bought salvation Jesus won for us on Calvary’s cross and His now empty tomb. This action of God allows us the privilege of coming to God in repentant faith, looking to Jesus for the forgiveness we so badly need!

This is no test run or godly experiment. It is fact, even though Satan and his minions often try to disprove it or deny it. It is the fact of God’s love for us made flesh and blood in the newborn babe of Bethlehem, on the bloody cross of Calvary, and in the barren tomb of Easter morning. This is what we celebrate and remember in the Lenten season, at Easter, and all the days of our Christian lives!

It surely beats a new computer that we don’t know or understand!