February 10, 2015

Mark 9_49

Mark 9:42-50

“For everyone will be salted with fire.”

What can salt do? Preserve. What can fire do? Destroy.

Is Jesus saying we will be preserved by that which destroys us? When isn’t he saying that? One chapter earlier, at the center of Mark’s Gospel, he says: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will find it.”

Lutheran pastor, Richard Wurmbrand, who founded Voice of the Martyrs after having been imprisoned and tortured for eight and a half years in Romania, once said he could almost wish he were back in his cell. Why? Because his faith had never been so strong as when he was suffering on account of it.

God preserves the faith of his church with the salt of persecution. “Do not be surprised,” says Peter, “at the fiery ordeal…” When all else has been burned away, when we have nothing but God, faith at last is mighty.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, whatever I must endure, preserve my faith. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Gary Blobaum, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Sumter, SC.

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