TITLE: Do Good, Get Good
DATE: January 26, 2019
TEXT: Hebrews 13:16 – ESV - 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
It should have been a simple day, a day like any other for James Smith and the three inmates on the roadside cleanup crew he was supervising. The three were serving time at the prison in Bladen County, North Carolina. They were involved in a program which allowed them to put in community service hours and have their jail time reduced.
It should have been a simple day; indeed it was a regular day until James began to stumble. Eventually he fell into a ditch. The three inmates under his supervision didn’t immediately know the seriousness of his condition. They ran to his side and quickly found…
James didn’t have the ability to answer any questions which were put before him.
It should have been a simple day, but for the three inmates, things had suddenly become complicated.
On the one hand, they could take the weapon of their supervisor and hit the road. It they had any kind of luck at all they would be able to put considerable mileage between their overseer and themselves before anyone noticed they were gone.
Or… they could do the right thing… you know, “The Golden Rule”, the “Good Samaritan” thing.
The fact ‘that I’m writing about these three men gives you a pretty good clue as to what they did.
Yes, it’s true, the inmates stayed…and in short order:
As their guard was still in the hospital recovering, the three inmates received the Sheriff Department’s Life-Saving Award. As part of the presentation, the Sheriff, Jim McViker, said, “It goes to show, if you treat people right, they’ll return the favor and treat you right, and that’s exactly what [these men] have done here.”
Now, before I go any further in this Devo I need to tell you, I agree with the Sheriff, and I’m very glad these inmates did the right thing; I am glad they got their Guard to safety… and I’m glad that their good-deed-doing may well show up again, you know, after they have been released and are on the streets looking for a job and trying to fit in with society.
But, you need to know, Sheriff McViker was wrong. People don’t always return what they have received. As proof of what I’m saying, I hold out the Savior.. He was born in Bethlehem to save the world, but Herod tried to kill Him. He healed people of their diseases and restored a few back to life. He taught people what it really means to have faith and He called people away from going-through-the-motions religion.
But that’s not all.
He fed their bodies and their souls. He pointed people to a different way of living, and a blessed hope after they died. It was all good…and for Jesus goodness He was beaten whipped, struck, crowned with thorns, nailed to a coss and murdered. Jesus gave His best, His all and humankind murdered Him.
No, we humans don’t always do the right thing… thankfully the risen, ever-living Savor continues to love; continues to show His grace and continues to call and save once lost and sinful souls.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks that the forces of evil could not stop You from completing the Father’s plan to save sinners. May I do all I can to avoid sin and invite others to see the Savior in Whose Name I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by The GoodNewsNetwork on January 5, 2019 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/instead-of-running-these-inmates-rush-to-aid-their-supervisor-who-collapsed-from-stroke-along-a-roadside/#.XDTk5NfAXlM.email
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html