July 27, 2013
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Years ago, in the time between the World Wars, there was a very special Christian school in England.
Staffed by teachers from around the world, the students were blessed to find out how others lived. One year an instructor shared his experiences when he worked in India as a private tutor. The children were especially moved when they heard about the children who were part of India's "untouchable" caste. In less time than it takes to tell, the children decided to reach out to those untouchables at Christmastime.
This they did through an annual giving of Christmas toys to a village, which had many untouchable children. The girls of the village always received a doll, and the boys received an appropriate toy made for boys. The generous gesture greatly pleased both groups of children.
Then one year a medical missionary helped distribute those gifts. During the course of his visit he told the children about another place where the boys and girls had never heard about Jesus or the salvation He won for the world. The doctor suggested that maybe the untouchable children would like to give them some of their old toys. That would give him, he explained, the opportunity to talk about God's great gift -- Jesus.
The children liked the idea.
A week later the doctor returned to collect the gifts. He was shocked by what happened. One by one the children filed by and gave the doctor a doll or toy. Amazingly, the children gave their new toys, not the old ones. When the doctor asked, "Why?" a little girl spoke for the rest when she said, "Doctor, think what Jesus did for us. He gave us His best, can we do anything less?"
The girl had it right. Jesus always gave His best.
From the moment He was born, past the day on the cross when He gave up the ghost, Jesus always did everything that was necessary to save us -- and He did it right. When Satan tempted Him in the wilderness and encouraged the Savior to cut corners, Jesus declined and gave His best.
When He was challenged at His trials, Jesus did not defend Himself; He did not lash out. He did not demand retribution and vengeance upon those who were persecuting Him. No, Jesus gave His best and was taken to the cross without complaint.
Jesus always gave His best and in so doing won forgiveness and salvation for us. Now He encourages all those who have been saved to respond with a grateful heart.
And how should we respond? The answer is simple: we do what Jesus did.
We give Him our best.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in thanksgiving for all the Savior has done for me, may I give Him my best. Help me avoid Satan's suggestions to cut back and respond to Your love with leftovers. This I ask in the Name of my crucified and risen Lord. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries