March 12, 2011
And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2
"What did you give up for Lent?" That was the question which was asked of me a few days ago.
That started me to wondering: Just how many people have a repentant heart which expresses itself in giving up things in thanks to the Savior for His sacrifice which saves them?
Although it's certainly not necessary to give anything up for Lent, I'd still like to share the story of a boy whose father asked him this question: "What are you giving up for Lent?" Indeed, the father went one step further: he suggested the boy ought to give up something which was important to him, something like candy.
When the boy hesitated and asked dad what he was giving up, the father replied, "Both your mother and I are giving up our before-dinner drink."
Surprised, the boy challenged: "But didn't I see you drinking something before dinner?"
"Yes," acknowledged the father. "But that was sherry. We're giving up hard liquor."
The boy thought about dad's reply for a moment and replied, "Dad, since you're giving up hard liquor, I think I ought to give up hard candy."
When I heard that story, I had two thoughts.
First, in regard to the father and son, I suppose giving up something is better than nothing.
Second, in regard to the Savior, I'm glad He didn't live His life looking for a way to minimize His sacrifice.
From start to finish, Jesus was completely committed to making any and every sacrifice necessary to ransom us from the kidnappers of our souls. From His first breath until His last Jesus was willing to pay the price that would rescue us from sin, devil and death.
And if His offering made to save us doesn't lead us to give up something for Lent, it most certainly ought to motivate us to give Him thanks and praise.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You made a great sacrifice to save me. May I always give thanks to You for Your compassion, commitment and caring heart. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries