Then he (the jailer) brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." And they spoke the Word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. Acts 16:30-33
In the last few feet of the race, Julius Njogu passed Shadrack Kiptoo to win second in Kenya's Nairobi International Marathon. The prize Njogu received for second place was $7,000.
Maybe I ought to say, "The prize Njogu isn't going to receive is $7,000."
It's true. Njogu isn't going to get the money. That's because he is a fraud. The judges noticed that, after having run 26.2 miles, he wasn't breathing hard and he wasn't sweating. Further investigation discovered Njogu had hidden himself with some spectators about a mile from the finish line. After the leader of the race had passed, Njogu stepped out of the crowd and joined in.
Wow! I thought that's pretty sad. I'm glad that's the only time such a thing has occurred.
Well, I was wrong. It has happened before. It happened earlier this year at the St. Louis Marathon when it appeared Kendall Schler was the first woman to pass the finish line.
The truth is Schler slipped out onto the race course after the final checkpoint. According to the way the race is run in St. Louis, no less than seven checkpoints should have recorded Schler's time when she passed by. None of those checkpoints saw hide nor hair of her.
Now Schler has lost her first prize as well as the esteem and admiration of her fellow runners. Others who had once respected her for her accomplishments have changed their minds. That's not entirely surprising since the St. Louis officials have decided Schler's third-place finish last year was also bogus.
So, what should Njogu and Schler do now that they have been disgraced?
There are many answers to that question. The one I like best comes from a man who also had been caught up in sin. The apostle Paul had once been involved in the persecution and execution of Christians. But he had had a come to Jesus moment on the road to Damascus. Paul repented of his former actions and was brought to faith in the Savior. From then on, he shared the Savior's story of salvation. You can hear that message given to the suicidal jailer at Philippi.
Paul said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved."
That was true back then and it's true now. Marathon officials may never forgive Njogu or Schler, but the Lord can. With Holy Spirit-given faith these two, like hundreds of millions of others can be forgiven, restored and granted eternal life with their Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, this world is composed of sinners like Julius and Kendall and me. I give thanks You love all of us and wish to save us. Send Your Holy Spirit upon this world so those who are lost in their sins today might be rescued. And for those like me who have been saved, accept my deepest gratitude and praise. 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
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"