June 26, 2011
(John said) "Anyone who has two shirts should share them with one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same." Luke 3:11
Summer is upon us but, if you don't mind, I'd like to tell you a story from last December.
Back then I had the rare opportunity of visiting with a department store Santa. I asked him if he had heard anything interesting in the last few days.
He laughed and, yes, his belly shook "like a bowlful of jelly." Then Santa shared with me the story of a boy who had given Santa his order.
The lad said, "I would like two toy trucks, and I want two teddy bears, two remote-control cars and two video games."
"Well," Santa replied, "that's a big order to fill. Why do you want two of everything?"
The boy, as if he knew the question was coming, had his answer at the ready. He said, "I need two of everything, so I can share."
You might expect an answer like that from a little boy.
But what is the excuse we adults have? From what I've seen, adults have some pretty tall orders when it comes to the things they want. And, no matter how much they have, they want more. According to some, when John D. Rockefeller was asked, "How many millions of dollars does a man need?" he replied, "One more than he has."
That may be true. Many folks want a lot, and they don't want to share what they have. That's the greed factor, which touches most of our lives. There is only one way I know of to get rid of it, and that's to go to the Lord and say, "Lord, be merciful to me a greedy sinner."
Then, knowing -- because of Jesus -- God is merciful, we need to say, "Thank You, Lord, for all You have given."
Having seen the Savior share His life and live His life for others, we ought to have that prayer on our lips all year long ...
and especially whenever that greed factor gets out of hand.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us to appreciate all You have given us. For blessings spiritual and physical, all unearned by us, we give thanks. Now may we share our Savior and our abundance with others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries