"The God Of All People"
February 13, 2009
Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. Joel 2:32a
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
After our English class, I was talking with a student about Christianity. He was intrigued about the hope that faith in Christ offers the individual.
"It sounds really good," he said. "You don't have to work hard to erase your sins because your sins are already forgiven. You have peace knowing you'll spend eternity in heaven because you believe in Jesus."
"You can have that peace, too," I said. "You only need to believe in Jesus."
"But, I'm Thai," he replied. "Thai people are Buddhists. Christianity is for Westerners, not for Thai people."
It's not unusual for Thai people to think of Christianity as the religion of Westerners. They hear the United States, Australia, Great Britain, France, and Germany are Christian countries. Most of the Westerners they meet are Christians. After more than 200 years of mission work and a Christian presence in Thailand, only about 1.6 percent of Thai people are Christian. So there are not many examples of Thai people becoming Christians.
Buddhism is so intricately woven through Thai culture many Thai people believe being Thai and being Buddhist are inseparable. They think if they are not Buddhist, then they are not really Thai.
But the Bible is very clear; salvation is for all people. Jesus died on the cross for everyone. Jesus said, "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself" (John 12:32). The Bible says God "desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). God created all people, so He loves everyone and wants all people to know Him and to live with Him in heaven.
As a Christian teaching English in Thailand, I have opportunities to share my faith with my students. They often ask questions, and I can share many facts with them. I can also explain to them what it's like to have Jesus in my life. However, my white skin and round Western eyes sometimes reinforce in their minds the idea that Christianity is the religion of Westerners and doesn't fit with Thai people.
The best way for Thai people to understand it's possible to be Thai and Christian is through the lives and witness of Thai Christians. Thai Christians are living proof Jesus died for all people and that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, You are the God of all people from every country and culture. Thank You for hearing everyone who calls to You. Amen.
Biography of Author: Dennis Denow is a missionary with LCMS World Mission and the husband of Monta Ekwanit Denow, director for Journey Into Light, the ministry center for Lutheran Hour Ministries located in Bangkok, Thailand. Using community radio programs, Equipping the Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), print, Internet and Gospel text messaging. The staff also conducts special children's activities and does presentations in many government schools.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.