Devotional Word for Monday, August 31, 2020
For the next several devotional thoughts, I thought it would be good to take a look at the Heidelberg Catechism. For those who do not know, the Heidelberg Catechism was written during the Reformation as a way to summarize the Scriptures. We are able to use the document which is a bunch of questions and answers as a way to understand what the Scriptures say and how our understanding fits within the history of the Church. Some might wonder what a bunch of questions written more than 450 years ago. Join with me and let’s look at the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism. It says, “What is your only comfort, in life and in death?”
The peculiarities of 2020 have been enumerated many times by people far more articulate than me. We all recognize that the this most recent season of life has been difficult. However, if we are honest, this is not the only season of life that has been difficult. Throughout history wars, famines, and pestilence have brought about difficult times and circumstances. Beyond calamities, we all live in a fallen and sinful world. We are sinners and we are subject to the sinful actions of others. All of this means that this world can often be a difficult place full of pain, discomfort, and trouble.
In all of the difficulties of life, is there any comfort? The Heidelberg Catechism question and answer number 1 says yes. It says our only comfort in both life and death is the Lord Jesus. Listen to the answer.
That I belong – body and soul, in life and in death – not to myself but to my faithful savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of His own blood has fully paid for all my sings and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil, that He protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit His purposes for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.
What is our comfort? Our comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ who has fully paid for all our sins by laying down His life. As a result of the Lord Jesus, I am fully freed from the dominion of the devil. I am also protected. That does not mean that nothing bad will happen to me. It DOES mean that all things work together for God’s purposes for my salvation. Even more God’s Spirit works within me to make me wholeheartedly willing and able to live for Jesus from now on. What wonderful news. Can you think of anything better? I cannot.
Now in 2020 and indeed at all times in life and death may we remember that we belong to Jesus. As we remember that we belong to Jesus and that Jesus has died for us. May we all be comforted. Let us pray.