November 8, 2009
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Did you ever think your life might be easier if you were somebody different, somebody else?
If so, you might learn a lesson from an experiment conducted by a 19-year-old college student. What he tried to do was find out how people would react to him if he lived and acted like the most remarkable of saints: Francis of Assisi.
Like St. Francis, the college student went begging for food; he washed with melted snow; he dressed in a simple brown robe, talked to the animals, and the like.
What he discovered was this: people whispered behind his back, they called the police, and they stared at him as if he were a nut -- pretty much the same way St. Francis' contemporaries had treated him in the 11th century.
The animals weren't much better. "I tried to talk to some birds," said the student. "They flew away."
No matter how desirable or advantageous we might think it would be to be like somebody else, we don't have the ability to make ourselves into somebody different.
We have to be ourselves with all our sins and shortcomings. But that's not any kind of revelation, is it? What might be surprising is this: in spite of our sins and shortcomings, the Lord still loves us and wants to save us.
That's why Jesus was born into this world. It is why He lived for us, why He resisted temptations to sin, why He sacrificed Himself for us. It is why He rose on the third day.
Now, all who believe in Him find that they have indeed become somebody different. In Jesus, they are forgiven and saved.
And that's a person worth being.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, for loving me as a sinner, I thank You. For giving Yourself so I might be changed and saved, You have my eternal gratitude. May I, this day, reflect Your grace to others who don't know how You can transform them. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries