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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries


April 7, 2011

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We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

My memory isn't what it used to be, but isn't there an expression about a woman scorned having a lot of fury?

Apparently, that doesn't change with the passing of time. At least that's the story 53-year-old Dwight Bettner tells.

About half a year ago Bettner rented a home. As part of his neighborly duties, he rolled out his neighbor's trash and did small favors for her. Apparently, she thought his kindness was more of a personal interest kind of thing.

Recently, Bettner's neighbor stopped by and before she left, she asked for a kiss. Bettner politely declined and said it would be better if she just went home.

Bettner's neighbor left.

Then she took out her automatic pistol and fired four shots at his home. (Actually, she was aiming at his car, but she hit his home.) Bettner narrowly missed being hit.

The neighbor was carted off to jail. Bettner's 93-year-old, gun-toting neighbor was taken off to jail.

When I read that story carried by Reuters, I was thankful.

First I was thankful I have good neighbors. Second, I was thankful the Lord doesn't work that way when I reject Him.

Now I'm not talking about rejecting His gift of faith, which comes through the Savior's bloody sacrifice made on Calvary.

No, I'm talking more about the opportunities the Lord gives me that I refuse. Maybe it's a chance to witness or a chance to support someone or a chance to defend someone's reputation. When those go by me unrecognized or unused, the Lord doesn't grab His lightning bolts and start lobbing them at me. He doesn't punish me for my fear or laziness.

He just keeps loving me, forgiving me and desiring that I do better next time.

This is something I am going to try to do better the next time the Lord sends an opportunity my way. Won't you join me?

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, accept my words of appreciation for the gentle way You handle my shortcomings. Grant me the grace to make use of all the opportunities to serve You that are sent my way. This I ask in the Name of my Suffering Servant Jesus. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Joshua 4-6    Luke 9:18-36

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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