(Jesus said) "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12
Many thanks to Frank Kohn, designer and editor at Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod communications for calling this topic to our attention. It is greatly appreciated.
"The church is no good and filled with hypocrites."
In recent years a lot of folks have been saying things like that. They believe it, too. Maybe that's because they've never heard of Grapevine Faith Christian School.
Not so long ago, Grapevine's nine-time state championship team was to play Gainesville State School, a maximum correctional facility for boys 12 to 19. Now I don't want to put those Gainesville boys down. In order to play on the team they have to have served half their sentence, had no nasty incidents and maintain certain academic standards. Still, Gainesville has no cheerleaders, no fans in the stands and none of the bells and whistles that can make a great team even greater.
The game should have been a physical and personal massacre for those Gainesville boys.
It wasn't because Grapevine's coach, Kris Hogan, saw this as a witness opportunity and not just a football game. That's why he sent letters to all the parents. He asked them to sit on the Gainesville side of the field, so the team would have some fans. Next he ran off a roster of the Gainesville boys, so they would be cheered for as individuals. But the coach wasn't done yet. The Grapevine cheerleaders were divided and half of them rooted for the Gainesville group.
Faith beat Gainesville 33 to 14.
But when the uniformed police officers led the Gainesville boys back to their bus, each of them was given a burger, fries and Coke, by the players from the Grapevine Faith team. They were also handed a Bible and an encouraging letter written by a Grapevine player.
Before everybody went their separate ways, the losing Gainesville coach grabbed Coach Hogan by the shoulders. He looked him in the eye and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."
Probably not. But the Lord knows, and now you know.
So what is the purpose of this devotion? To praise Coach Hogan? Naw. These Daily Devotions don't do that. We praise the Lord Jesus whose love motivated Coach Hogan to do what he did.
And I still wouldn't have told the story if I didn't believe there are hundreds, maybe thousands of Coach Hogans reading this devotion, who need a bit of inspiration to try and do the same kind of thing, when the Lord gives them the opportunity.
Don't know if it would work, but it would sure give the critics of Christ and His Church something to think about, wouldn't it?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we love because You first loved us. Today we pray that when the Holy Spirit presents us with opportunities to share the joy of Jesus, we may respond with a glad heart. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"