For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17
"Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly grateful for this guy. He gave me hope."
That was a sentence uttered by Mark Ross, a man who was speeding through Ohio. As far as excuses for speeding go, his was a good one. At 3 a.m. he had received a phone call saying his sister had been killed in an auto accident. Understandably, he got into his car, and with a friend behind the wheel, raced off to his distraught mother, who lived in Detroit.
They were still 100 miles from their destination when an Ohio officer, Sgt. Robinson, pulled them over. With all of the negative reports about police, Ross expected the worst. And since he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant asking for him, Ross expected the worst to include some jail time.
Ross explained the situation to the officer. He broke down in tears. Then he waited.
He didn't have to wait long. Officer Robinson didn't arrest him, didn't throw him into the hoosegow. No, Officer Robinson prayed over the dumbfounded Ross. Officer Robinson prayed for Ross and for his grieving family. Then the Officer tried to make plans for Ross to be escorted to Detroit to be with his mother.
Now you can better understand, better appreciate, this devotion's opening line: "Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly grateful for this guy. He gave me hope." I pray you can understand, because those words, with the most minor of changes, might have been heard coming from our lips. How about if those words read, "I dislike anyone in authority pointing out my sins, but I am truly grateful for the Savior. He gave me hope"?
Truly, there was a time in our lives when we were rebellious and resentful toward any and all authority. We wanted to be independent and go our own way. We wanted to be masters of our fate and captains of our souls. We certainly didn't want God inserting Himself into our lives and telling us what to do and how to behave.
But then the Holy Spirit called us by the Gospel. Using the Means of Grace He convicted us of our sin and placed a new heart within us. That new heart saw the Lord in a different way. Rather than being an enemy, God was seen for who He really was: Someone who loved us and had done all that was necessary to save us.
And Jesus? Jesus was the One who had offered His life for ours. Jesus became poor so we might be rich; Jesus left His heavenly home so we might have an eternal home. His perfection was used to cover our imperfections, and He died so we might live forever.
Truly, we ought to say, "I am truly grateful for the Savior. He gave me hope and forgiveness and peace and eternal life."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that each day may be marked by a deeper gratitude and appreciation for the salvation the Savior has won for me. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries