For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
You have to respect a man like Captain Ivan Castro.
Captain Castro joined the Army 18 years ago. After some time in service, Castro qualified to be a Ranger. After becoming a Ranger, he completed a yearlong training program to join the Special Forces. Castro entered that elite unit as a weapons sergeant; he eventually earned an officer's commission.
For his past alone you have to respect a man like Ivan Castro. For what he's doing today, he also should be respected. In September of 2006, Ivan Castro was struck by a mortar that landed five feet from him. The round sent shrapnel through his body, broke his arm, and shredded his face.
It also blinded him.
You have to respect a man like Ivan Castro. After more than a year of therapy, he returned to duty. This was not sympathy duty, nor was it recruiting duty. It was active duty.
Along with continuing his military career, this year Castro ran the Boston Marathon. He hopes to compete in Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon.
As I read last week's Associated Press article about this courageous and committed hero, I wondered, once this guy sets his mind to do something, is there anything he can't accomplish?
The answer is yes. There are things Ivan Castro can't do. For example, he needs someone to drive him to the gym and not long ago he needed someone to escort him to the front of a company formation where he promoted a supply clerk.
Oh, there's one other thing Ivan Castro can't do. Ivan can't save himself from sin, Satan, or death.
If Ivan is going to be saved - - if any of us are to be rescued from the darkness of sin that surrounds us - - it will happen only because of the redemption given us through the sacrifice, death, and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Ivan's good, but he's not good enough to conquer sin. He's strong, but he's not strong enough to defeat the devil. Ivan's committed, but he - - like all the rest of us - - must depend on Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone if he is to be forgiven, if he is to be saved, if he is to be brought from darkness into the Lord's marvelous light.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for earthly heroes like Ivan Castro. Even more I rejoice in my heroic, one-of-a-kind Savior. May I praise Jesus for the sacrifice He willingly made, so I might be saved. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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