Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)

I always emphasize to my students that Jesus is the way; karate is a hobby. I support this position by giving a youth sermon during each martial arts class. In fact, all of the devotionals that I have submitted started out as illustrations to youth. I am always looking for new material.

A few days ago, the story of the "Count of Monte Cristo" came to mind. I decided to contrast two films: the "Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Passion of The Christ". In both cases, a man was betrayed by a friend and suffered brutality. Monte Cristo escaped and took revenge. Christ died for the salvation of His tormentors. Revenge may be sweet, but forgiveness is divine.

I was looking up the correct spelling of "Monte Cristo", and imagine my surprise to find that the same man, Jim Caviezel, starred in both films. It became crystal clear that it was not I writing the illustration. There are no coincidences with God, and He never wastes.

Prayer: Father, we are grateful for Your love, Your forgiveness, and the way You make Your presence known. Amen.

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Ken Bakewell <>
Russell, Pennsylvania, USA

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