May 9, 2008
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Every January 6th, in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Project JOEL organizes a celebration for the Epiphany of our Lord for all the children of the city. A big feast is held and children play, sing, and learn the meaning of the Lord's Epiphany through biblical teachings.
It is rewarding to see the children's joy at receiving a small toy and a New Testament. They never ask how much the gifts cost; they just receive them with pleasure and thankfulness. This gracious attitude is often alien to adults who put a dollar amount on everything-clothes, food, home, health, and entertainments.
This sort of price-tag mentality is deceptive-as if the more you own, the better person you are. Abundant possessions, while certainly a blessing, are not a safeguard. It is all just stuff. And if that stuff creates the bogus assumption that somehow, someway, money makes a person intrinsically more valuable and, as a result, righteous, then be careful.
Money can't buy righteousness-no matter how many gold bricks, Swiss bank accounts, or paper bags stuffed with cash a man might have.
Ours is a problem money can't fix.
But ours is a problem that has a solution: Jesus Christ. His redemptive work, while of unspeakable worth, is freely offered and cannot be purchased. How odd that something of such immeasurable value can't be bought-can't be worked for-can't be earned. Instead, just like Cuban children receiving a gift undeserved, our hearts should leap for joy with our good fortune. Because God valued us so much, He laid our sins on His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus' triumph over death, we have the gift of eternal life.
And, best of all, it is totally free.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to pay for my sins. He is the best present I could ever have. Help me to grow in faith and enjoy the blessings You have prepared for me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Biography of Author:
Yamilka Hernandez Guzman works in the Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN) office in Cuba. She serves the Lutheran Church as a deaconess, Bible school teacher, and singer. She also works with advisory and orientation workshops in coordination with Project JOEL activities.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.