How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14 (NIV)
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
Watching a two-year-old get dressed is interesting. The child knows he is supposed to put his legs into his pants. Yet, knowing where to begin is a problem. First, he tries putting his foot through the bottom of the pant leg. When that doesn't work, he puts both legs into the same pant leg. After half a dozen attempts, he brings his pants to his mother, holds them up to her, and says, "Help, please!"
The Israelites of the Old Testament weren't much different than that two-year-old. They wanted desperately to please God. They offered sacrifices for their sins, but they had to do it over and over again. Every year they took animals to the temple, watched the priest kill them, and sprinkle their blood over the people and on the altar. For a while, they felt forgiven. But, then they sinned again. They told a lie, got angry, maybe even cheated their neighbor out of some grain by holding their thumb on the scale. Before they knew it, they were feeling spiritually dirty and in need of help.
Jesus' death on the cross was God's answer to mankind's cry of desperation: "Help me, please!" Our conscience tells us we break His standards daily by our sinful thinking and rebellious actions. According to God's perfect Law, we are condemned-hopeless and beyond help. God had another plan in mind for us, however: Jesus, His Son, the sacrifice Lamb.
Jesus kept every one of God's laws perfectly. Having done this, He alone could satisfy God's wrath. God used His Son's death as payment for us. Because of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf, God forgives us our sins, cleanses our conscience, and liberates us from guilt and shame over our sinful thoughts and actions.
The lesson to be learned from children is to give up trying to do things ourselves-especially when it comes to our salvation. He alone has made a way for us. "It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3b).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, teach us to yield our lives and our wills to You. Belief in your Son's atoning life and death is the only hope we have. And You guaranteed that hope by raising Jesus from the dead and sending us Your Holy Spirit. Thank You, Father.
Biography of Author:
Ashraf Fekry is a 20-year-old student in dental college. He lives in Cairo, Egypt, and has a special interest in computers, particularly with Photoshop software.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.