August 1, 2008
You must obey My laws and be careful to follow My decrees. I am the Lord your God. Keep My decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord." Leviticus 18:4-5
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
Listening can be hard; listening to advice can be harder.
"Emilio" used to be in the habit of not paying attention to people's advice. They had their lives; Emilio had his. Their advice often sounded impractical or simply didn't apply to him. This was especially true when it came from Christians; he did not like to hear their advice at all.
But there are dividends to listening to people's advice, especially when it comes from people who care and who take the time to listen to us. As for Emilio, he had a lot of troubles but even so, he thought he was intelligent enough to solve them without the help of God.
That was far from the case, however. Over time, Emilio got involved in serious issues with his family and friends and ended up being arrested for public disorder. Things were not going very well. In jail, they only got worse.
One day, however, Emilio's situation changed. Thanks to the Lord and the committed Lutheran Hour Ministries' volunteers who visit Nicaraguan jails, he heard a message that changed his life. That message was about more than good advice; it was about saving grace. Volunteers spoke to Emilio and told him about Jesus Christ and how His obedience to God the Father took Him to the cross to pay for the sins of mankind.
Jesus is the reason for Emilio's changed life. Faith in Him gives hope; reading God's Word gives direction; obedience to His Word molds character and transforms one's life.
Even as the book of Leviticus indicates dozens of laws and decrees God required the ancient Israelites to follow, so today our obedience is to the One whom God has sent. The book of Hebrews says, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Jesus summed it up: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through by Me" (John 14:6b).
That's more than good advice; that's saving grace.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus Christ, thank You for going the distance for us on the cross. Through Your death and resurrection, You have won salvation for us. Grant us faith in that truth - - and obedience - - to follow You thereafter. Amen.
Biography of Authors:
As volunteers, these individuals are on the front lines helping people in need and sharing the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ with their brothers and sisters in more than 40 countries worldwide.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.