Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thurs., 2/23/17 Devotion (Lk. 9:56a)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 9:56a, where Jesus said this, especially to His disciples James and John:

"For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them."

James and his brother John (who later was known as the "disciple of love") wanted to call down fire on some Samaritans who did not welcome them—("just as Elijah did”—v. 54). But the Messiah reminded them that He came, not "to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

It is a temptation for God's people to desire, not the salvation of sinners, but the destruction of the same. But would we have wanted God to look on we ourselves that way? Undoubtedly not. Let us develop more compassion and patience; and let us remember that Jesus came to call sinners (not righteous people) to repentance, (cf. Lk. 5:32).

[Puritan quote of the day: "God sometimes shows His sovereignty by showing mercy to the chief of sinners, on those who have been murderers, profaners, and blasphemers.” —Jonathan Edwards, in his sermon, "God's Sovereignty in the Salvation of Men"]