For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
In yesterday's devotion we spoke about how someone put an anonymous cashier's check into a Salvation Army bell-ringer's kettle.
The act served as a reminder of the great gift we have received in Jesus.
Today, out of St. Albert in Alberta, Canada, there is another story -- a story which also begins with the Salvation Army.
It seems two men who said they were Salvation Army volunteers have stolen more than 100 toys from a drop-off point at a Wal-Mart in that city. Karen Diaper, speaking for the Salvation Army, said, "If this was an intentional theft; we are saddened ...."
Did Karen say the Salvation Army was saddened by the news? I think it's all the children -- children who were going to receive a present this Christmas -- who will be sad.
When I heard that story, I thought how low can a person go? Apparently, the answer to that question is a lot lower than I thought.
Folks, if you've been listening these last few weeks, you've heard a lot of people put forth a lot of explanations as to "the true meaning of Christmas." Some of the ones I've heard have said, "It's family." Others have said, "It's friendship." A few have even said, "Christmas is all about the invincible spirit of hope within the human heart."
Boy, are these guys wrong!
The real reason for Christmas is God saw a world filled with hopeless sinners and He decided to do something to save them.
That's why Jesus was born. Because the Lord wanted to save sinners like me, like you, like two guys who would deliberately steal Christmas presents from children who didn't have any.
Now I give thanks to the Lord that the Holy Spirit has saved us, that He has worked a transformation within our hearts. Now I'd like you to join me in praying for two fellas in Canada, who are sitting on a pile of toys that don't belong to them.
Let's ask the Lord to bring those two to repentance and enlightenment to all the others who really need to see what Christmas is all about.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You came into this world to change us, to offer Yourself as the ransom which brings about our salvation. This Christmas, when people look into Your manger, may they see the real purpose of Christmas: God's Son has come to save us from our sins. May they see and be transformed. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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