August 14, 2013
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17
Most of our Daily Devotion readers will understand when I say there are times when I wanted to be somebody else, and there have also been times when I was incredibly thankful I wasn't.
Right now I'm glad I'm not the person in the New York City school system who is trying to make sure none of the students are ever offended when they take a standardized test. That individual, or group of people, have worked long and hard to guarantee that everybody is happy and content. This they have done by coming up with a list of offensive words which should not appear on a test.
Among those words are
* "dinosaur" -- because you don't want to offend the evolutionists;
* "Halloween" -- because you don't want to upset those who don't like witchcraft;
* "birthday" -- students who are members of the Jehovah's Witnesses don't do birthdays;
* "dancing" -- (with the exception of ballet), because, well, I just don't know why clogging and tap wouldn't be allowed.
Now those are just a few of the words which are to be avoided. There are also entire subjects which are forbidden. Test-writers should not speak of divorce or disease, or wealth or poverty. The powers which be are of the opinion these topics can be offensive or make an individual feel less than adequate.
As far as I can tell, the Lord has no such problem when it comes to dealing with us. For example:
* When it comes to the subject of sin, He says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
* When it comes to being loved by God, Scripture says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son ...." (John 3:16a).
* When the Bible speaks about who of us God wants in heaven, the Bible tells us God "would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4).
* Indeed, as far as the Lord is concerned, there is no Jew or Greek, there is no slave or free, there is no man or woman (see Galatians 3:28).
* Most importantly, when it comes to getting into heaven, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and nobody is passing through the pearly gates except He brings them through (see John 14:6).
You see, my friends, when our gracious and merciful Lord loves He loves all of us, and when He wants to save somebody, everybody is included. And since New York City can't put that kind of "offensive" information on a test ...
I guess you and I are just going to be the ones to tell, well, to tell everybody.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, use me to tell the world about the work of the Savior whose life, death and resurrection show just how all-encompassing Your love is. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries