Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Julie Leach was at a McDonald's restaurant when she found out she had won $310 million in Michigan's Powerball jackpot. Of course, since Leach had to pay taxes on that money, and she wanted to take the cash in a lump sum, her winnings were reduced to a paltry $140 million.
The first thing Leach did was go back to the fiberglass company which had employed her for 22 years. Describing her position as a "nasty, dirty job," she turned in her resignation. She added, "I quit automatically. I was done ... I don't want to work there no more."
When asked about her plans for the future, Leach shared she is going to pay off some debts, travel, buy a bunch of land for the three children and 11 grandchildren. She concluded, "I'm going to take care of my kids. I don't want them to work the way I had to work and deal with the things I had to deal with in life. I want to make it a good life for them and take care of them."
Now this Daily Devotion could get involved in a discussion about gambling and playing the lottery. I pray you will forgive me if I concentrate instead on the topic of winning.
Each of us who have been called to faith in the crucified and ever-living Savior is a winner. Without any investment on our part we have been given the news that our sins are forgiven, we have a new eternal home and every day of our life the Redeemer will be with us.
Yes, we are winners -- the biggest winners of all time. The question is what should be our reaction to this blessed gift God has given? I think Leach gives us some answers.
1. Leach quit her old, nasty, dirty way of life. So, too Christians who have been given a new heart should rejoice that they have a new life and they don't have to go back to the dark, the evil, the desperate ways of their past.
2. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, our debts have been paid and we have been given a place in heaven. In that respect we are already ahead of Leach. But we would do well to follow her lead when it comes to her family. Do you remember what she said? She said she didn't want them to live the life she had. She wanted them to have good lives.
Should Christian parents do anything less for their children? Think about it. It's a wonderful thing if you leave your children and grandchildren personal mementos and memories. It may even be good if they receive a few dollars from your estate. But there is no gift that will make their lives better than knowing Jesus Christ.
Their Savior will be with them long after the money has been spent and houses have decayed to rubble. The Savior will be a blessing through all the days, years and decades which the Lord may bestow upon them.
The Savior, when passed down to those closest to us, will make them winners too.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have sent Your Son to live, suffer, die and rise for me. Because of His successful work, I have become a winner. May I share the risen Redeemer with others. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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