Our Lord paid a serious price for our redemption from sin. When we think of the extreme suffering He endured to purchase our freedom from sin’s penalty, our hearts should overflow with love for Him. When we realize that He did it all for us and not for himself, it should be easy to come to worship, to participate in ministry, to not gossip, to turn the other cheek, to put others first and to give according to how we’ve been blessed financially.

There are many voices in the world calling for our attention, but the only voice that should dominate our hearing is the voice of Christ. Our jobs, hobbies and even our families should never have priority over the things of the kingdom.

I heard a story about an orphaned boy who was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.

Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the boy’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.

Lake Ida, many voices are calling for our attention. Your friends want your attention, you family wants your attention, your activities want your attention, your job also wants your attention. But also among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and devotion.