Short Term & Long Term

Matthew 9:2

And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed.  And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

The paralytic and his friends had no doubt heard that Jesus was healing people.  Believing that Jesus would heal him they came to him just for that.  They did not need to laud their faith as Jesus knows everything in their hearts.  Their faith goes back to the Psalms to call upon God in the day of trouble and he will deliver [51:15].  Jesus did deliver.  But his first response was far beyond and different than most there were expecting.  He forgave the man’s sins.  He prefaced that encouraging the man to “take heart,” or to cheer up.  Imagine the mixed feeling that man and his friends had at the first miracle, his sins were forgiven instead of hearing physical healing words they first expected.

Isn’t that one’s greatest concern, the immediate thing?  Jesus’ concern included to heal the man’s paralysis as a few moments later he did get up and walk home.  He healed the immediate concern to prove he could heal the eternal concern.  God always has the long term concern foremost in all he does.   Eternity is the long term concern.  Sin has cut each one out of the eternity in life replaced by an eternity in the death of hell.  Unless there is no sin, each one is crippled, forever.  Jesus took care of the forever crippled part first announcing what does heal the eternal, forgiving sins.

Creation and all that we have is God’s gracious gift to all in the short term.  The greatness of creation and the day-to-day healing and sustenance always point to how great his love is.  But earthly things cannot take away sin.  Jesus, through his life, suffering, death and resurrection has paid the price for the sins of all and gives eternal life to all who trust in that great gift.  It is the long term solution.  So today each one with faith can get up and walk, not just on this earth but in heaven with Christ forever.

Prayer: Almighty and merciful God, of Your bountiful goodness keep from us all things that may hurt us that we, being ready in both body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish whatever You would have us do; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

(Collect for Trinity 19 from Lutheran Service Book, ©2006, Concordia Publishing House)

(Devotion by Pastor Richard Mau of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Des Plaines, IL)

Readings for this week  include:

Psalm 84              Genesis 28:10-17              Ephesians 4:22-28            Mathew 9:1-8

This Weekend @ Immanuel

Saturday

  • Breakfast & Bibles: 8 AM “All the Company of Heaven”

Sunday

  • Divine Service @ 8AM
  • Sunday School & Bible Studies:  9:15 AM
  • Fellowship Service:  10:30 AM
  • Jim Ebert Retirement Fellowship:   11:30 AM

Service Theme: RSVP

Immanuel’s prayer list.

*For those who are ill and recovering:

*For the various boards carrying out the ministries at Immanuel, strengthening each other in faith and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus into the neighborhoods surrounding Immanuel. Jesus’ promise in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

*For many to join Bible Study groups to grow in faith and knowledge in God’s word, and to strengthen each other in the bonds of Christian fellowship.

*For Immanuel’s children and youth to be confident and active witness of saving faith with classmates, fellow team members, family and others they meet.

*For political campaigns to be held in truthfulness and to be informative for the populace to conscientiously elect public servants who will lead with compassion for the needs of all people, speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and provide for the defense and welfare of all.

*For those seeking work to find employment and appropriate wages.  For employers to find faithful workers to fill their positions.  Thanksgiving for the work that so many are given.

*For New Starts New Believers work throughout the Northern Illinois District that encourages and supports established congregations and new missions alike in new and renewed ministries to bring the Gospel of Jesus to those who have yet to hear and believe.

*For the LWML and this month’s mission offerings that carry the Gospel to hearers throughout the world.

*For someone to cross your path this week to invite to come and hear God’s love that drives out all fear.

*As we continue daily readings of the new church starts in Acts, that each one can internalize and implement this fevered proclamation of the Gospel at Immanuel, in our community and throughout Christianity.

This Week in the Word

October 14 October 15 October 16 October 17 October 18 October 19 October 20
Acts 11:1-18 Acts 11:19-30 Acts 12:1-5 Acts 12:6-18 Acts 13:1-12 Acts 13:13-25 Acts 13:26-41

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