November 19, 2011
(Jesus said) "... Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10b
It's been about 25 years since I heard the story of an argument, which took place between two motorcycle enthusiasts.
One of the men was a proud owner of a big, deep-throated, fat-tired, wonderfully decked out, American-made cycle. If I were allowed to include names in a Daily Devotion I would say he owned a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, but I'm not allowed to do that and the cycle's name must remain in shadow.
The other cyclist was an equally proud owner of a brightly colored, high-pitched, very fast, foreign-made vehicle. Each of the owners enthusiastically touted the merits of his ride. Finally, to bring the conversation to a close, the second cyclist -- confident of the speed and acceleration of his rocket -- challenged the American-made cycle owner to a race. His words were "Enough talk. You set the rules. You name the course."
The challenge was accepted.
The owner of the American-made cycle said, "You've got it. The race will be a short one -- just down to the end of the block and the winner is the rider that can do the distance in the slowest time without his foot touching the ground. You can go first." The challenger, a great rider, went slowly. Then, when he was done, the rider of the Harley, got mounted and began his run. His fat-tired, low-slung bike allowed him to move at a walking pace.
As he crept along, the rider kept his eyes fixed on the corner and his mind fixed on winning the race. His bike was capable of high speeds, but that day he ran, and he won the race.
The point of the parable is this: most of us are not going to live flashy lives, acclaimed in the news media and followed by the paparazzi. Most of us are going to do our work, raise our families, go to church and depart, with some friends and family sorry to see us leave.
If that is true for you, I pray you may realize that we who follow the Savior, who have been washed in His blood and cleansed of our sins, are only asked to finish the race and do so faithfully.
Our text reminds us: it is the ones who are faithful unto death that the Lord will give the crown of life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, no matter the ups or downs of my life, may I be faithful unto death. This I ask in the Name of Him whose blood has won the crown of life. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries