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Archive for February 13th, 2018

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.—2 Corinthians 7: 10 

…when a fornicator, a drug addict, a  drunkard begins to sorrow because he has wasted the glory days of his youth, when he has ruined his body and has become prematurely senile—that is a sorrow of this world. When a vain person is plunged into sorrow over his sins because he has lost some of his prestige, his good looks lost and then botoxed, when a thief sorrows over his thieving because he has landed in jail—all of that is worldly sorrow. As it is written, worldly sorrow or grief produces death.

However, when a person grieves over his sins because he sees hell before him, where he will be punished for having insulted the most holy God—that is godly sorrow, provided that it has not been produced by imagination through a person’s own effort. God alone can produce genuine godly sorrow. May God grant us all such sorrow!

(Quote adapted from Law and Gospel by C.F.W. Walther)

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Let us pray:   

Triune God, whose very Name is holy, teach us to be faithful hearers and learners of Your Word , fervent in the Spirit as Apollos was, that we may teach it correctly against those who have been led astray into false and error and that we might follow the example of Aquila and Priscilla for the good the Church You established here and entrusted into our humble care;  for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Aquila and his wife Priscilla (Prisca), Jewish contemporaries of St. Paul, traveled widely. Because of  persecution in Rome, they went to Corinth where they met the apostle Paul, who joined them in their trade of tentmaking (Acts 18:1-3). They, in turn, joined him in his mission of proclaiming the Christian Gospel. The couple later traveled with Paul from Corinth to Ephesus (Acts 18:18), where the two of them established a home that served as hospitality headquarters for new converts to Christianity. Apollos was one of their numerous Jewish pupils in the faith. An eloquent man, Apollos “spoke with burning enthusiasm and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus” (Acts 18:25). He later traveled from Corinth to the province of Achaia, where he “showed by the Scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus” (Acts 18:28). Aquila, Priscilla, and Apollos are all remembered and honored for their great missionary zeal. (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Please note that the Roman persecution and exile of the Jews was the historical cause by which Paul met this faithful couple in the Lord:

And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. Acts 18:2

The three of them met in Corinth where the Apostle evangelized.  The author of Acts, Luke, tells us that the three of them met because of their vocation, “tent makers by trade” (This means they were leather workers and as Paul was a trained Pharisee, it was customary for a Pharisee to have a trade).  It just so happened that by Claudius’ edict this godly couple met Paul and they were all tentmakers and Christians? Was it a historical accident that Paul met this Christian husband and wife and Apollos? We do not know in this concrete event in the Church’s history from the Bible per se, but we do know that the Lord is,

“…making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1)

and

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

The Lord brings about His plan in ways that to the human eye are hidden but He is working to bring us His salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.  As C. S. Lewis pointed out about friendship:

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” ― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

And with missionaries and evangelists and pastors and layman, not to reveal merely the beauties of others, but  to reveal the beauty of the Lord and His salvation and His way for faith to everlasting life in His Name.

This day is especially good to remember to always pray for all businessmen, tradesmen, day-laborers and to  pray for the Church’s mission and her missionaries in daily life that the Lord’s salvation be brought to those with ears to hear: “the poor in spirit”.

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