January 18, 2011
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
The highest military award the United States government can give is the Medal of Honor. On that medal is imprinted just one word: VALOR.
Recently, I received an e-mail from a Daily Devotion reader, which took the media to task for not saying anything about last month's death of Captain Ed Freeman, an officer who earned his medal in Vietnam.
Before I wrote this devo, I decided to research Captain Freeman. I was surprised to find the e-mail was wrong. Ed Freeman died on August 20, 2008.
The rest of what the e-mail said about Ed Freeman was 100 percent right.
On November 14, 1965 an ongoing firefight stopped the medevac choppers from running their rescue missions. In spite of the danger, Captain Freeman flew his unarmed helicopter into the battle. Fourteen times Freeman flew in to bring ammunition and water. Fourteen times he flew out with the wounded and others who needed to be evacuated.
Captain Ed Freeman earned that medal which honors VALOR.
This got me to wondering: what did Jesus earn for the sacrifice He made to save us?
After all, didn't Jesus voluntarily enter a war zone where there was no chance He would come out alive?
Didn't He endure the ongoing attacks of sin, the devil and death? In spite of their intense onslaught and the inevitable approach of death, Jesus refused to retreat.
His entire life is a life of VALOR, COURAGE and LOVE. And, as far as I am aware, there is no country that has minted a medal that covers the sacrifices He made to save us.
Of course, Jesus doesn't want any medal. What He wants is for us to "thank and praise, serve and obey Him."
This is most certainly true.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, may I always be grateful to those who have made a great sacrifice for my earthly and my eternal freedom. In the Name of Jesus who gave His life to save mine. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries