September 20, 2011
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
This devotion is about two charities: The Salvation Army and Goodwill.
The Salvation Army in San Francisco, California, receives donations; Goodwill in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, also receives donations.
Last week, United Press International told about those charities and the difference between the gifts they had received.
Goodwill in Murfreesboro received a rare tintype reproduction of a picture of General Robert E. Lee. They put the photo up for auction and collected a bit over $23,000.
The Salvation Army in San Francisco also received a gift: a cannon ball, a "live" cannon ball. Several streets were closed, and one building was evacuated as the bomb squad was called to remove and detonate the device.
Did I say this devotion was about two charities? My apologies; this devotion is about three charities. You and I are the third; the human race is the third.
Seeing our sinful situation and our absolute helplessness, the gracious Lord decided to give us a gift -- the gift of His Son. So we might be saved, Jesus was born into this world and did all that was necessary for our salvation. He lived a perfect life and did not sin. Jesus rejected every temptation that was placed in front of Him and He carried our sins to the cross where He died, so we would never die eternally.
For those who are given faith, Jesus is an amazing Gift, the best gift of all. For those who have no faith, Jesus is the equivalent of an unexploded cannon ball. He may be a gift, but He is not a gift they want.
They want to live their lives the way they desire. They want to trust in themselves and not a Savior. And because Jesus is unappreciated and unwanted in such hearts, they do their best to get as far away from Him as possible.
It is for such people we pray.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for the Gift of Your Son may I always be appreciative. But today I pray for those who find themselves threatened or fearful of the gifts of forgiveness, faith and eternal life, which His life, death and resurrection offer. If it be possible, touch them with the Holy Spirit's power so they may see how much You love and wish to save them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries