From the Pulpit: Anything but normal
"And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)
I recently read an article about a 27 year old man named Marvin Martinez. He was cleaning leaves out of a gutter when he spotted a lottery ticket labeled, “Win $1,000 a Week for Life.”
Marvin took the ticket home and contacted the New York Lottery. They promised to check it out and, after what seemed like an eternity, Marvin forgot all about the matter. That is, until the New York State Gaming Commission gave him a call. They told Marvin that the unclaimed ticket was his.
That means Marvin could have received $1,000 a week as long as he lived. Rather than gambling on a long life, Marvin decided to take a single payment of $515,642, of course that was after taxes. When reporters asked Marvin what he was going to do with the cash, he said that he was going to send some money home to his family in El Salvador; he was going to buy a house, and he was going to help his mother finish some post-hurricane repairs on her home.
Marvin said one other thing. He said, “I want to keep living a normal life. This won’t change us.”
Somehow, that doesn’t sound right.
How can Marvin’s life be normal? He has received half a million dollars without having invested a single cent. He is able to help family members and purchase a home. He life HAS been changed and it will never again be normal. Marvin has been given a singular gift, a special opportunity.
It has confronted me that there are many spiritual Marvins in this world.
By the Holy Spirit’s power, they have been brought to faith in Jesus Christ, who came into this world to live, suffer, die, and rise for them. Through Jesus’ great offering they have been freed from the Law’s judgment and have been given a special place in heaven. No longer do they have to live in fear of Judgment Day; no longer can their sins accuse them.
Even though they have been singularly blessed by God’s grace, many people, like Marvin, say “This is not going to change me. I’m going to live my life as if nothing has happened.”
Still, it is something worth remembering when you are feeling nobody cares about you and life is passing you by.
It is something to hold on to when you think you are neglected and “if it weren’t for bad news in your life, there would be no news at all.”
At such times, I urge you to recall how God’s only-begotten Son left the high throne of heaven and became one of us. Here he spent every moment of his life doing that which was necessary to rescue you from your sins and make sure you have a forever home in heaven.