"What You've Got"
December 8, 2013
... For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forth as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. ... Romans 3:22b-25a
Sometimes people just don't know what they've got.
It was about 20 years ago, a very tired, elderly lady took a bus to her downtown Minneapolis insurance company. Overwhelmed by such a large office she stood for a long minute, and then, with hesitation, she approached the receptionist. Our lady was asked, "How may I help you?"
Without saying a word, she handed over an old insurance policy she took from her purse.
Then, with a lowered voice she explained she no longer had the wherewithal to keep making payments on the policy. She said that anything she received was dedicated to keeping a roof over her head and some food in the fridge. She had just wanted to stop and personally explain that while she was perfectly content with the policy, she just couldn't meet the payments any longer.
Sympathetically, the receptionist directed the lady to someone who could spend some time with her.
The man took a quick look at the half-million-dollar policy and explained that dropping such a large plan was probably not the wisest thing she could do. Then he asked, "Ma'am, this is your husband's policy. How does he feel about it?"
The woman replied, "My husband? He died a little over three years ago."
The company officials kicked into gear. They investigated and found out she was telling the truth: her husband had died. She not only didn't owe them money, they had to refund three years of premiums plus the face value of the plan. It was enough to keep her comfortable the rest of her life.
Amazingly, the lady hadn't known what she had.
In some respects she is like many other people in this world who don't know or don't believe the story of God's Son, our Savior, whose life was dedicated to saving us. Jesus' first, foremost, and always thought was to satisfy the requirements which would buy us back from our enemies and forgive our sins which had destined us to hell.
It was a job He did well and completely.
Now, because of Jesus' third-day resurrection from His borrowed tomb, all of us have been given everything necessary to pay off our debts and live for eternity in paradise. But it doesn't do us any good if we don't know what we've got.
Because they don't know what they've got, too many people keep trying to make payments on their sins and erase their wrongs. Well, it can't be done. They don't have the ability to make those payments.
Their story is even sadder than that of our lady. This is why your church and Lutheran Hour Ministries is doing all they can to let people know what they've got -- to let them know they are, because of Jesus, set for eternal life. It is for those folks that we pray.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it has been 2,000 years since Your Son came into this world for sinners. May I do all I can to share the story of the salvation His sacrifice has won. This I ask in the Name of my Redeemer. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries