Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daily Devotions from the Heidelberg Catechism: Thursday, January 6

Thursday

My Father Watches Over Me

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

Q. 1 What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own, but belong---body and soul, in life and in death---to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.

He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

2) Scripture

Matthew 1o:28-31: And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Comment

Another blessing that is part of the comfort we enjoy as those who belong to Jesus Christ is that God is now our heavenly Father. The God who is wise enough, powerful enough, and good enough to create and sustain this beautifully intricate universe, is the believer’s Father through Jesus Christ.

Human fathers are far from perfect. But God our Father has no imperfections at all! By his wisdom and power he created the heavens and the earth. His work of creation is clearly good. “You are good and do good” (Ps. 119:68).

We learn in verse 29 that through his power and will, the Father knows, directs, and cares for little sparrows. How much more will he direct and care for his children who belong to him through faith in Jesus Christ, his beloved Son!

Having the king of the universe as our Father is an amazing privilege! As the king of his created world, our Father rules over all events, even things as small as the death of a tiny sparrow. Our Father also knows all things, even things as unimportant as the number of hairs on your head!

If God is this powerful, wise, and good, and if he is our Father, then surely we can trust him. We can trust his gospel word. We can trust him to watch over our lives. We can trust that whatever circumstances come into our lives, he has sent these circumstances and allowed them to come for a good reason. We may not always know his good reason, but we can trust him, for he loves his children and gave his beloved Son for us in love.

Discussion: How do we see God’s greatness in Matthew 10:29? What name found in both the highlighted portion of the catechism, and in Matthew 10:29, gives us reason to trust our God?

Prayer Starter: In your prayer, praise God for his greatness, in terms of his power, rule, wisdom, and goodness. Praise him that he is your Father because you belong to Christ by faith in his gospel.


Only One Comfort

To the Tune: EVENTIDE (Abide with Me http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/PsH/442 or http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/UMH/700).  Based on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Words: Bill Weber, 2010.

v. 1
There’s just one comfort in life and in death,
that I belong to Jesus, not myself.
The Lord completely paid for all my sins,
freed me from slav’ry, blesses me in Him.

v. 2
The Lord cares for me in a tender way,
watches my life and leads me all my days.
My Father works out all things for my good,
bless’d in His Son and filled with gratitude.

v. 3
O Jesus, Lord, my Savior and my Song,
how bless’d in You I am to now belong.
You send Your Spirit, plant Your life in me,
and in Your Word may I Your glory see.

v. 4
There are three things believers need to know:
How great my sin is, misery also.
How I am set free from iniquity.
How I should thank God who has set me free.

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