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  • Shawn Thornton

The Icing on the Cake

Friday - May 8th

Today's Scripture to Read: Galatians 6:7-10

A few weekends ago, I concluded my message with the story of a retired Kansas farmer who sent a medical face mask to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The farmer, Dennis Ruhnke, commended Cuomo for his leadership and asked the governor to give the mask to a doctor or a nurse in the State of New York. Dennis' wife Sharon suffers from several underlying health issues - including having only one lung. Dennis kept 4 of 5 masks he had for Sharon and their family but sent the one that he felt could help someone else to Cuomo. He took a risk to help. He did good and was kind. The governor celebrated Dennis and his kind generosity at a press briefing dealing with COVID-19 back in April.

This week Ruhnke received an honor for which he has waited 50 years. In his final year of college at Kansas State University, Dennis' dad died suddenly. Dennis left school to run the family farm. He was shy just a few credits to graduate. After he retired from farming a few years ago, he looked into completing his degree but learned he had been out of school so long that he would have to start over again. On Tuesday, Ruhnke received his degree from Kansas State's President, Richard Myers. "I've waited half a century to receive my college degree and had pretty much written off any chance of getting it," Ruhnke said.

Some call it karma, while others say it's what happens when you "pay it forward." The Bible teaches us that God built the principle into the universe: "A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7). Some take it as a law that cannot be broken: "Do something good today, and you can sit on your front porch tomorrow waiting for the better thing that will come your way." The Bible isn't suggesting this is a guaranteed quid pro quo leading to overwhelming financial prosperity. As a principle, when we do good and show others kindness, God ensures that we discover satisfaction in doing so. Anything beyond the fulfillment of doing good and being kind becomes the icing on the cake.

Dennis Ruhnke never expected recognition and reward when he sent governor Cuomo that mask. He did what he thought was kind and good. In interviews after news broke of his incredible generosity, Ruhnke never tried to gain attention or acquire anything because of what he did. He did what he thought he should do. He got the icing on the cake with his college degree.


How about you? Are you seeking to do good and be kind to others without any expectation of anything in return? If so, whether or not you get any recognition or any reward, God promises deep satisfaction. Maybe the Lord has revealed a self-serving spirit in you. Confess it, and ask God to give you fresh opportunities to do good and be kind! Our world needs more Dennis Ruhnkes right now!

Doing good and being kind, free of any reward, brings deep satisfaction to the hearts and lives of Christ's followers!

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