December 26, 2008
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the Law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
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
In Exodus 16, the Lord provided a miracle food called manna-and He commanded the Israelites to gather as much as they needed for that day. They were not to keep any till the next day-but they didn't listen. The next morning, the leftover manna had maggots in it and smelled! When the Lord said they needed to gather twice as much on the sixth day so that it would last for the Sabbath, some people still went out on the Sabbath to look for manna, which they obviously didn't find. Why on earth are we like that? Why don't we just listen to God the first time around?
Imagine a world where every person could live according to God's commandments -- no murder or rape, no stealing or corruption, and no punishment. Yes, if we all obeyed God's Laws we wouldn't need any prisons. But, somehow we always manage to mess up. It starts with the sinful nature we inherited from Adam. Utterly corrupt inside, we fall for temptation again and again. It is very irritating, frustrating, and discouraging.
Angie called our offices in South Africa one day after listening to a radio program about addiction. She wanted to stop smoking and was interested in our free booklet offer. After working through the booklet, she called again and asked if she could meet with somebody to talk about her addiction.
Angie told us of her struggles with cigarettes, how she had once quit, and how she had picked up the habit again during a time of stress. She told how she is learning to turn her addiction over to God. In stressful situations, she turns to God in prayer instead of lighting up a cigarette. In this way, God is helping her overcome her addiction.
We all have addictions. It may not be drugs, alcohol, or nicotine, but the compulsion to sin plagues us all. Hand your sins over to God, trust in His forgiveness, and ask Him to help you endure temptation. Instead of focusing on our sinful addictions, trust God and praise Him for His deliverance through Jesus Christ, His Son, our Savior.
THE PRAYER: Father, Your commandments show us our need for a Savior, keep us from harm, and show us the way to live. Please forgive us for not listening to You and help us to become obedient. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author:
Christel Scharlach is the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries-South Africa with its office in Johannesburg. In addition to Equipping the Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), and a performing arts program, LHM-South Africa conducts an active prison ministry providing spiritual counseling and support.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.