(Jesus said,) I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." John 15:5-7
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
Some people think of God as an absent father: He created the world, but does not want to get involved. Others think of God as a lenient father who quickly provides health and wealth-or anything else we may ask-if only we have enough faith. Views like these arise from an erroneous understanding of God's qualities and God's plan for our lives. Is there, perhaps, a halfway point?
What is your picture of God? Is it in line with the image the Bible shows us, or is it similar to the notions described earlier?
To believe in an absent God who does not get involved with His creation is to believe in a God without love, who feels no compassion for human misery. On the other hand, to believe in a God whose only role is to fill our needs is to believe we can manipulate God. Such a God would not judge or condemn wickedness and would be an unjust God. Does the Bible encompass these extreme interpretations? Of course not. Each complements the other.
God is a God of love. He loves us and is involved in our lives to such an extent He sent His Son, Jesus, to give us a new life, free from evil and sin. But He is also a just God and will repay the unrepentant sinner with punishment as the Scriptures say.
There is a story that tells of a shop owner, a kind man, who gave a boy a large handful of sweets and told him they were a gift. But the boy, strangely, drew back. After leaving the store, the boy's mother who was with him asked why he had suddenly acted so shyly and not taken the handful of candy when the man offered it. The boy answered, "Because his hand is so much larger than mine!"
God is a God of love. His hand is willing to give us what we need, at the right time. He is aware of our needs, and He tells us to live freely, trusting He will provide. He generously and lovingly extends the hand of salvation towards us and even gives us the faith to take hold of it in order to remain with Him and live under His blessing.
THE PRAYER: Beloved Father, we thank You for that which we receive from Your hand, and for giving us Your great love each day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author:
This devotion was written by Guillermo Herigert, a Lutheran pastor in Uruguay. As a Lutheran Hour Ministries' volunteer, he works with LHM - Uruguay, a ministry established in 1999 serving this country of more than three million from its office in Montevideo.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.