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“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”  (1 Chronicles 16:8, NIV)

Today’s scripture is taken from the first words spoken by the priests that served before the ark of the covenant of God.  The ark was the physical representation — a reminder, if you will — of the presence of God.

These words were prescribed by David, and are as good today for us as they were thousands of years ago for the Children of Israel.

First, we are invited to “give praise to the Lord.”  May all that we do speak well of our heavenly Father.

Next, we are to proclaim His name: That is, to “advertise” that God is.  There are many forms of advertising.  Some of it is active, and some of it is passive; but all forms carry a message.  Are we proclaiming His name, or are we hiding our relationship to God as if it is of no consequence to us?

Third, our advertising has the purpose of making known to the nations — that is, those who know not God — what God has done for you.  This is your story, and no one should be able to tell your story as well as you.

Today, let your life be an advertisement for the goodness of God.  – Luther

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“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”  (Jude 1:3, NIV)

In this letter, Jude encourages the disciples of Jesus to “contend for the faith,” because there are individuals and circumstances that would render powerless the Good News — except for the existence of persons willing to make a good stand for the truth.

It is worth noting that Jude says that he would have preferred to write about our common salvation; but that he is, instead, compelled to urge them to stand for our historic faith.  The former topic embraces; the latter topic is fists and elbows.

As disciples of Jesus, it is sometimes necessary to take-up the dirty duty of standing for the whole truth, when half-truths are the fashion of the day.  Yet, even in such uncomfortable circumstances, remember to stand in the strength of the Lord; to maintain a posture of grace and, when possible, good humor.

There is no higher compliment for a disciple of Jesus than he or she be known as a contender for the historical faith on which we stand.  – Luther

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