September 21, 2008
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23
What makes the difference?
Why does one person turn out good, and another bad?
In 1865, two events occurred which touch American lives even today. In 1865, General William Booth founded the Salvation Army. Because of that action, legions of people who had no hope have a future and give thanks to the Lord Jesus Who died to set them free.
In that same year, 1865, a distant cousin of General Booth, a fellow by the name of John Wilkes assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
Unlike his cousin, the name John Wilkes Booth has become one of the most despised names in American history.
Now, my question is this: "What made the difference between these two men." Having read something about each of them, I have come to a single conclusion: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Savior touched and transformed one; the other ran his life on his own.
Most of us know someone who has been trying to take and keep control of his life. Some have tried to pull themselves up by their boot straps and gotten a hernia for their trouble.
If you know such a person, please, in a gentle way, point him to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Let him know that when he follows the Savior his life will be given new meaning and hope.
Pray that the Spirit may touch these hearts and lives. Ask the Lord Jesus Christ give each of these people the name "Christian."
No matter the year in which you live, "Christian" is a name which carries a wonderful blessing of peace and hope.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for Your sacrifice, Your forgiveness, Your salvation and Your transforming power. I ask that the Holy Spirit may touch all those around me with the joy which comes in You. In Your Name, Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries