July 9, 2012
(Jesus said) "For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." John 13:15-16
Most governments put little stock in the value of a penny.
Their opinion is not shared by Faith Hammock, a woman from Indiana who believes in the power of the penny.
Way back in 1997, Hammock found out her goddaughter wanted to go to college. Wishing to provide assistance, she started setting aside her pennies -- a penny here, a penny there. It added up. Recently, Hammock put her 500,000th penny into the pot. For those of you who are mathematically challenged like me, that amounts to $5,000.
And how has Hammock's goddaughter responded? She said, "All this hard work that they've put into me, I had to do something else and show them that I'm a good student and they're doing -- they're investing in me, and they're investing in something good."
Read through that again. Since somebody cares for her, the goddaughter wants to show her appreciation by doing that which is good and right.
Although she was thanking her godmother, that young lady did a pretty good job of defining the Christian life.
If we were to take her words and modify them a bit, all of us might say, "When I look at Jesus' life, His rejection, His unfair trials, His suffering and death -- all the work that He did for me -- I have to show my appreciation by being a good Christian. Jesus invested His life in me, and I want to show my thanks by doing that which is good and right for others."
Which, if I read Jesus' words rightly, is exactly what He has told us He expects. How did He say it ... "I've given you an example ... now do for others as I've done for you."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You didn't save pennies to help us. You sacrificed Yourself to win my forgiveness and salvation. May I give thanks for Your sacrifice by trying to treat others as lovingly as You've treated me. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries