Five times I received ... forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; (I have been) in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers. 2 Corinthians 11 (excerpts)
Traveling out west, I had the opportunity to visit with a bus driver.
He told me about his job interview, although I imagine he embellished the story for dramatic effect. According to his story, since the job called for the future driver to deal with some winding mountain roads, each applicant was asked, "How close can you drive to the edge of the road?"
The first applicant said, "If I keep good hold of the wheel, I imagine I can get within 6 inches."
The second, trying to brag of his prowess, topped the first fellow by shrinking the distance to a mere four inches.
The man who got the job, the man to whom I was talking, said, "I don't know, because I keep as far away from the edge as I possibly can."
That sensible kind of attitude seems to be in the minority. Most people like to drive as close to the edge of life's temptations as they possibly can. They want to live life on the edge, even if it means putting their lives and souls in danger.
Which is why we need a Savior. We need a Savior who will yank us back from going over the edge and straight to hell. To rescue us from danger both temporal and eternal is why Jesus was born, lived, suffered, died, and rose.
Now, as His forgiven family members, He encourages us to keep a safe distance from sin and the devil's temptations. Of course, you might reply, "That's kind of boring!"
You think so? Then read through the list of Paul's boring life above. Talk to Peter, James, John, and any of the millions of Jesus' disciples who have found following the Christ is filled with the unexpected. Look to the saints of the church and you will find none of them ever said their lives, in Jesus, were uninteresting.
You won't either. I promise.
And so does the Lord.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for giving Your life so that I might be yanked back from deadly dangers, I thank You. Now, empowered by the Holy Spirit, may my life be lived to the full, glorifying You. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries