"A Bad Deal"
October 29, 2008
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? Matthew 16:26
Some things in life are a bad deal.
That's what Jesus was saying in the text for today's Daily Devotion. He wanted His followers to know that if you mange to accumulate all the goods of this earth but lose your soul in the process, you've made a bad deal.
That's the thought that occurred to me when, last week, I read the CNN article about the epidemic of copper thievery in the U.S. The story told of how someone had stolen copper wire worth $100 from a children's athletic field in Gwinnett, Georgia.
Their theft will cost $8,500 to repair. It also caused all of Gwinnett's nighttime soccer games to be temporarily played in nearby Tucker, Georgia.
That worked fairly well until someone, perhaps the same someone, stole the copper wire from Tucker's soccer fields.
An isolated incident? Not hardly. Recent copper thefts made it impossible for cancer patients to receive radiation treatment in a clinic in Vista, California, and only a few weeks ago, copper crooks left an entire neighborhood in Ohio without power.
Police say most of the thefts are drug related. Jesus said, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?"
The answer to Jesus' question is obvious: such a person gains nothing and loses everything. He's gotten himself involved in "a bad deal."
Even so, the news is filled with people who are sacrificing their souls for their involvement in bad deals. Drugs, gambling, pornography, power, greed, and an assortment of other passing pleasures all promise much.
They promise much, but they fail to deliver. They are bad deals.
In contrast to the world's bad deals, Jesus' people have been given the blessed task of sharing the Savior's story of salvation with a sinful and dying world.
Understand, we're not talking about a good deal here; we're talking about God's gracious gift who comes to us in a Bethlehem manger, on a Jerusalem cross, and from a borrowed-and-empty tomb.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your gift of forgiveness, peace, and heaven, I give thanks. May I and all Your redeemed call people away from the bad deals of life to Your blood-bought salvation. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries