John 3:16a - For God so loved the world ...
As of this writing, the men's record for running the mile is 3 minutes, 43 and 13/100 seconds.
I only looked that up because while we were apart from each other during Lent, Roger Bannister passed away at the age of 88. He, for those of you who might not remember, was the first man to run a mile under four minutes -- ever.
Bannister set the record by posting an impossible time of 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds. It was a record which remained unbroken for a grand total of 46 days. Of course, since Bannister's unattainable time was logged into the record books, a whole host of runners have sailed past his mark without nary a "by your leave."
He did what many said and believed was impossible.
My sports fan friends tell me that there is any number of records which are "impossible." When I asked them for a list, they quickly came up with more than 25. "Narrow it down" I said, "so I can use it in a devotion. That took a while, but all five of them agreed on these four:
1. 110 career shutouts pitched by Walter Johnson
2. Richard Petty's 200 NASCAR wins
3. Ty Cobb's .366 lifetime batting career record
4. Georgia Tech's one-sided 1916 football victory over Cumberland. Final score: 222 to 0
With their list in hand I was ready to leave the discussion. That was when one of them asked me, "What do sports records have to do with a Daily Devotion?"
"Not a thing," I replied, "other than our Lord has set a record which can never, ever be broken."
"And where can we read about this record?" they wanted to know.
"The first six words of John 3:16," I told them. "For God so loved the world." That truly is a record for the ages.
That passage says God loves absolutely everybody. That's everybody. In that list is last month's serial-bomber. It includes Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan, and every sick and twisted individual who has walked the earth.
As you can tell from my language I don't love everybody. I don't even like everybody.
But the Lord is different, and His ability to love exceeds mine by an immeasurable number. Consider, Jesus loved the people who placed Him on the cross, the repentant thief who hung next to Him, and the unrepentant thief who was on the other side.
Oh, I almost forgot, Jesus loves me ... and you.
He loved us with a love which calls us to faith in Him, who gave His life so we would not perish but have life everlasting. And that, my friends, is a record which can never be broken.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, many things come and go. I pray Your Word, Your plan of salvation, and our Savior may always be appreciated. Let Your Word stand, and let the Savior's sacrifice be received by the lost, I ask this in the Savior's Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Steve Jordall for One News Now on March 16, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Today's Bible Readings: Joshua 1-3 Luke 9:1-17
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