And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!" Revelation 14:13
The words of the text above, especially about their works following them, could easily describe the life of Sir George Nicholas Winton. They could, except for the fact, at the age of 105, Sir Winton is very much alive.
With some 100 guests in attendance, British citizen Sir Winton recently celebrated his milestone birthday at the Czech Embassy in London. It was a tear-filled event. I say it was tear-filled because most of the folks in attendance were there because Sir Winton had saved their lives.
Let me explain: in December of 1938, Hampstead stockbroker, George Winton, cancelled a vacation and went to Prague to see what had happened to the folks who had fled the Nazi invasion of the Sudetenland. In short order he recognized the danger, and without any permission or official backing, he organized eight evacuations of Jewish children. He advertised in papers for foster homes; he got immigration papers for the children, and persuaded the Germans to let the children leave the city.
All this Sir Winton did in three weeks. That was the most time he could take off from his job.
For 50 years what he had done was overshadowed by other, seemingly more important news. But, as the Scripture says, "their deeds follow them." Eventually, Sir Winton's list of saved children came to light, and the world realized he had saved 669 children. Today those rescued children, having grown into gray-haired adults, proudly call themselves "Nicky's children."
Now the point of this devotion is simple: those people are alive because one man decided to do the right thing, at the right time. He brushed away excuses for inaction with his motto: "If it's not impossible, then it can be done."
Believers in the Savior ought to be doing the same.
You see, all around us there are men, women and children who are destined for death. Of course, their death will be eternal and in hell, not in a Nazi concentration camp.
We who have been rescued by the Redeemer have the news, the information, the story of salvation, which can change that. Like Sir Winton, we need to do the right thing at the right time. We need to share that story with the lost. And if your reaction is "Not everyone will believe or want to hear how Jesus has lived, died and risen to give them eternal life," I would reply, "You are absolutely right." On the other hand, George Winton did not save all the Jewish children, but he saved some ... and some is better than none.
If you doubt me, ask Nicky's children.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You tell us that our works follow us. Today we pray You will give us the courage to share the story of salvation with the lost. By the Holy Spirit's power, may they hear and be brought to the safety and life that comes only in the Savior. In His Name we pray. Amen.
All too often the job of reaching others is left to others. That can be unfortunate. After all, there are times when YOU may be the best person to reach someone who is lost or wandering. If you have always wanted to know how to do such a sharing of the Savior, you may want to attend Lutheran Hour Ministries' SENT Outreach Conference, which is July 24-27 in Detroit. For more information, visit www.lhm.org/conference.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries