Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
Today the Daily Devotion is doing something it hasn't done before: it's giving you "the rest of the story."
Yesterday we shared how the Lord, who loves the unlovable, used a series of events to transform a grade-school teacher. By God's grace both she, and a student, were changed when a theoretical faith became a living, active thing.
Today, I would like to share the rest of that teacher's story. After the boy left her class and went to a middle-school, his teacher didn't hear from him for a number of years. Then, one day, she received a letter which read, "Dear Teacher, I wanted you to be the first to know. I am going to be graduating second in my high school class. Love, your student."
Four years later, she received another note. This one, unlike the previous hand-written letter, had been produced on a computer. Still, the message was much the same. It read: "Dear Teacher, they just told me I am graduating first in my class. University was not easy, but I liked it."
The third letter was written on a rich, heavy paper. Still, the paper quality did not change the simple theme of what was shared. That letter read, "Dear Teacher, as of today you can call me 'Doctor.' How about that? I also wanted to let you know, I'm getting married next month, on the 27th, to be exact. I want you to come and sit where my mom would be if she were still alive. Since dad died I think of you as family."
Wearing the last drops of fragrance taken from an old, cheap bottle of perfume, the teacher went.
At the wedding she thanked God for the love of Christ, which she had been privileged to first share with a sad and sorrowful student so many years before. Together the old teacher and the young doctor rejoiced in a Savior whose love for the seemingly unlovable can transform lives.
Now there are those who say this story has been made up, that life never works out that way. Let me assure you that the Christian life can and often does work that way. Not always, but often.
As proof of the change God can perform, I point to ... you. Think for a moment. How would your life, your language, your actions be different if you had never been called to faith in the Savior? There is little doubt you would be more selfish and self-centered, more hurtful and horrible to those who are around you.
But you have been called by the Gospel and been brought to faith in the Redeemer. With sins forgiven, you and your life have been transformed. The first part of the teacher's story -- your part of the teacher's story -- has already taken place.
Now it is time for the second part of that story to be put into action. That's the part where a Christian, filled with the love of Jesus Christ, reaches out to others in the Savior's Name. We share the Savior's light with those who are in darkness, His presence with those who are alone, His peace with those who are troubled, His strength with those who are weak.
Then, having tried to love as Christ loved us, we give thanks for the transformation the Holy Spirit will try to bring about.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have loved me who once was unlovable. Now may I gratefully reflect what I have received with all those around me. This I ask in the Name of Jesus, my Savior. Amen.
Join our Fight against Ebola in West Africa. Click here!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries