August 5, 2010
(Jesus said) "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10 (KJV)
Florida's 48-year-old George Horn is an exceptional man.
When I say "exceptional," that isn't a compliment.
On June 26th, Horn broke into St. John's Catholic Church. After he gained entrance to the house of worship, he went to the altar and took the crucifix.
This was not an act of devotion.
On the contrary, Horn used the crucifix to pry open a donation box used to receive the offerings of worshippers who wanted to light a candle.
Not content with ripping off the candle cash, Horn also broke into the church's poor boxes.
In the eyes of the law, and in the mind of the Lord, Horn may be guilty of simple breaking, entering, and theft.
Me, I think Horn is exceptional.
Horn is exceptional because he doesn't have any problem with stealing from the poor, or from the Lord, or from anyone else for that matter. He has shown himself to be guilty of a wanton act of desecration and defilement.
Of course, Horn isn't alone. On a regular basis people steal from the Lord.
No, they may not get caught on a video surveillance camera as Horn was. They may not cut themselves and leave behind some blood with a unique DNA fingerprint as he did.
They may not do any of those things, but they still steal from the Lord.
• They steal the devotion due the Creator.
• They steal the thanks the Savior is owed because of His sacrifice, death, and resurrection, which forgives and saves.
• They steal the life of thanksgiving the Lord wishes to bestow upon all who believe.
Yes, many people steal from God. And that's wrong. We who have been redeemed by the Christ need to give thanks and praise; we need to serve and obey our Lord.
And if we do those things, we shall also be exceptional -- but in a good and God-pleasing way.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, there are a number of ways our lives can go. Today I pray that my life may be exceptional. May I give You exceptional thanks and gratitude for the exceptional love we have been shown in Jesus' suffering and sacrifice. May the forgiveness and salvation He has won be a source of exceptional rejoicing. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries