Romans 12:14-19, 21 - Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. ... Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The story for today's Daily Devotion could have read this way: Ray Rhinehart's mother collected dolls. As the years passed by, the collection grew. When Rhinehart's mom passed away, he surveyed the collection which was close to becoming a small town. Not knowing what to do with all these plastic people, Rhinehart elected to pass it on to the Discovery Shop, a store run by the American Cancer Society.
Yes, the story could have ended with Rhinehart dropping off his mother's doll collection. Amazingly, that's not the way the story went in real life. What really happened is this: Rhinehart dropped off the doll collection, but the people at the Discovery Shop didn't have time to really look at it until about a month later. What they found surprised them. It surprised them so much they called up Rhinehart and said, "We think you need to come back to the store."
Rhinehart went and when he did, he was given an envelope -- an envelope which had been packed away with the dolls -- an envelope which held $36,000 in cash.
Now the article never says if any of the folks at the Discovery Shop who found the cash were Christians. Even so, I'm willing to guess some are.
* Do I say that because I think only Christians are honest? Nope, I don't think that.
* Do I say that because I believe Christians can't be thieves? Nope, I would never say that.
The truth is Christians are sinners, and every kind of sin can be found in our ranks.
That being said, I am convinced a high percentage of believers are committed to living a life which is different than that of the average unbelieving Joe or Jane. Touched by the Savior's love, moved by His sacrifice, desiring to do that which honors Him, believers have been changed by the Holy Spirit.
That is why in Jesus' day when publicans like Zacchaeus were brought to faith, they said things like "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold" (Luke 19:8b).
Zacchaeus, like millions of others since him, found out that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). And the new person who comes in Christ doesn't keep $36,000 which isn't his.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I regret and repent of all those sins I have committed. Grant that in my new, forgiven life I may do those things which bring honor to Jesus my Savior and Lord. In the Savior's Name, I ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one carried by Sunny Skyz on June 27, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.sunnyskyz.com/good-news/2874/Man-Donates-Mother-039-s-Doll-Collection-To-Thrift-Shop-Then-Gets-An-Unexpected-Call
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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