September 27, 2009
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57
Human beings taking care of each other is the right thing to do.
Of course, because we are sinners, sometimes our motives are not as pure as they ought to be. That was certainly the case when a little boy returned from school and announced his class was going to be holding a food drive to help the community's poor.
His job, with parental support, was to go around his block and ask people for canned goods, peanut butter, and other non-perishables. Wisely, the boy practiced his skills on his mother. He asked if she had anything to give to those who were hungry.
His mother scanned her pantry shelves and finally said, "You can take this can of sardines. I don't know why I bought them. Nobody in the family likes sardines."
The boy's face clouded over with a mixture of skepticism and discouragement.
Finally, he voiced what was on his heart. He said, "But Mama, that means the poor people are helping us!" Mama had to agree.
That's a story, but, even so, it happens all the time. Too many public officials ask for our vote because they say they're "our friends." Then, after they're put into office; they develop amnesia and forget us.
Salespeople can be respectful, reliable, and almost reverential when they're making a sale. But, there are times when you try to return a product that is faulty or doesn't fit your needs, and you'll see their true colors.
It's a rare day when we find someone - anyone -- whose motives are directed completely to our betterment. If you've been hoping to meet such a person, I know one.
Look into Jesus' Bethlehem manger; see Him on Calvary's cross; kneel before Him risen as did Thomas. If you do that, you will see Jesus who gave Himself completely and totally to the winning of our salvation. Jesus came to give us grace, not to see what He could get.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in a world of takers, help us see Jesus for who He is: the ultimate and gracious Giver. Having received His gifts, may I reflect them to others. In Jesus' Name, I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries