Matthew 16:26 - (Jesus said) "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?"
Last week my vehicle was in the shop for an oil change.
With nothing else to do, I wandered around the dealer's showroom. Although generally not a truck kind of guy, I had to sit in one of the top-of-the-line vehicles. It was impressive! It had every bell and whistle an average person might want.
Then I looked at the price tag: more than $65,000. That was way beyond my price range.
Nowadays there are a lot of things in our budget that can be pretty expensive. I've talked to more than one family who cringe every time it has to go to the grocery store to stock up on a month's supplies.
This takes me to a new Toronto food store called Feed It Forward. The food stocking the shelves and bins of Feed It Forward has been donated by large grocery stores that no longer can sell the products. That food generally falls into three categories:
1. food which might be misshapen or bruised but is still very much edible;
2. food too close to the expiration date;
3. food the company doesn't have room to store.
Now what makes Feed It Forward unique is this: people pay what they can. And, if a family has no money, they can still fill up their basket, but they are asked to limit what they take to one day's supply. Those who do have some cash also have the opportunity to pay for the groceries of someone else.
It seems like a good idea for everybody.
Food goes into people's homes rather than the landfill; the donor stores get great publicity, and their people feel like they're helping others and, last but not least, the people who are strapped for cash get to feel good about themselves because they're paying for the food they are putting on the table. And people get to pay what they are able or what the food is worth to them.
In the 16th chapter of Matthew, the Savior asked, "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" It was the Savior's way of asking, "What is your soul worth to you?"
Please note that at the beginning of His question Jesus supplies part of the answer for which He is looking. He wants you to realize that your soul is worth more than all the stuff in the entire world. Indeed, if you had to redeem your soul from sin, death, and devil, if you had to pay the ransom they demanded, you wouldn't be able to do the job.
No, you've got nothing to give for your soul's salvation. You don't, but Jesus did.
On Calvary's cross God's sinless Son carried our sins and gave His life, so we might live forever. It was a wondrous gift. Jesus paid what God felt we were worth. Thanks be to God!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we could never accumulate enough, pay enough, to redeem our souls. We were helpless until the Savior arrived and did for us all that we could not do. For His life, death, and resurrection, I praise His Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by McKinley Corbley for Good News Network on June 19, 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: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/worlds-first-pay-what-you-can-grocery-store-it-saves-food-destined-for-trash/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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