November 29, 2009
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10
I enjoy telling stories and, as a result, many people enjoy telling their stories to me. They usually begin, "Hey, Pastor, have you ever heard the story about _____? If you have, just say so and I'll stop."
Of course, I never stop them. I not only enjoy telling stories, I love listening to them, too.
Recently, I received a story in a letter from a lady who, along with being a full-time mother, also works as a nurse.
Her tale centered on her young son.
Lest you misunderstand, I want you to know something: she loves that boy. She loves him dearly.
Even so, that love was stretched a bit when she discovered her son's red crayon had melted in the clothes dryer.
Her snow-white uniforms, along with all of dad's underwear, had taken on an unacceptably blotchy pink hue.
Junior was called to the laundry. Mom held up dad's pinkest briefs and began her message, which she hoped would end in her son being given a repentant heart. She started, "I would like you to see what your crayon has. . . . "
But just then, junior interrupted and said, "It's okay, mom. Don't worry. I've got another red crayon."
There are a lot of grown-up people who, like that little boy, think the world revolves around them. Things are important only if something touches them.
They watch out for number one.
As I look at the Savior's birth, His life, His suffering, death, and resurrection, I am convinced Jesus never looked out for number one. If He had, our forgiveness would be non-existent and our eternity would have been unbearable.
That's right. Jesus did not look out for Himself. His heart remained focused on the work of His Father and centered on the salvation of our souls. You might say that Jesus watched out for everybody else instead.
And because He did, all who believe on Him are saved and are given a thankful heart.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for sacrificing Yourself so the story of my life might be changed I will eternally be in Your debt. Now may I do all I can so those around me see that we, as Christians, reflect Your grace with others. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries