Romans 8:37 - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Well, you know what they say: "They say, 'You can't win them all.'"
Well, I say if the "they" in that previous statement are the folks running the McDonald's Monopoly prize contest, "they" are wrong.
The reality of the situation says you not only can't win them all, you can't win any of them.
I suppose that last is an exaggeration. If you played the McDonald's Monopoly contest from 1990 to 2001, you could win an order of fries, an ice cream cone, a Big Mac, or a filet of fish. But if you expected to win any awards much bigger than these simple prizes, you would have a very long wait.
Indeed, you would have a forever kind of wait.
That's because McDonald's head of security, a fellow by the name of Jerome Jacobson (aka "Uncle Jerry"), stole all the lucrative prize pieces during those years.
Uncle Jacobson's thieving ways began in 1989 when he managed to get a $25,000 game piece and pass it along to his step-brother. Uncle Jerry didn't get caught, and he figured he had the green light and could proceed without much fear of getting caught.
It was a plan which really worked.
Uncle Jerry collected the prize pieces, turned them over to a confederate who would claim the prize, and turn over a percentage of his winnings to Uncle Jerry. Everybody was a winner, and nobody lost except for the McDonald's Corporation and anyone else who played the game during those years.
Oh, there's one more fact I forgot to share: over the years the Uncle Jerry cartel managed to collect over $24 million in cash and prizes.
Eventually, they were caught, and Uncle Jerry testified against everybody else. For a decade of stealing, Uncle Jerry received a reduced 37-month jail sentence.
Now I would love to tell you this is the only time some slickster has managed to steal away all the good gifts the Lord has intended for His people. Sadly, I can't say that. Consider how
* the serpent stole away the perfection of the Garden of Eden;
* doubt stopped the children of Israel from entering the promised land;
* Judas was seduced into betraying his master and losing both hope and heaven.
All these thought that the devil -- and not the Lord -- had the inside track on the truth. When the time came for them to trust God or Satan, they chose to trust the devil's lies rather that the Lord's Gospel truth.
This is why, as souls who have been rescued by the Redeemer, we do our best to point the skeptical and wandering to the blessings which come in knowing and believing in the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We want them to know that because the Christ has won, they can also be winners ... every time.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit to touch human hearts, so they may see that Satan wishes to steal from them forgiveness, hope, and salvation. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by John Johnson for Newser on July 31, 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: http://www.newser.com/story/262643/he-rigged-a-mcdonalds-contest-made-a-fortune.html
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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