Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. . . . But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:13, 16
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
Sometimes it may seem we are beyond redemption.
Though the apostle Paul trekked thousands of miles during his missionary journeys of spreading the Gospel throughout the Greek and Roman worlds, before that he worked feverishly to stamp out and destroy those who believed in that Gospel. Having persecuted and been party to the murder of early believers Paul, no doubt, had to grapple with guilt over his previous sins during his new life as a Christian. Yet, God's grace -- and forgiveness -- was greater than this horrendous past. He received Jesus Christ as his Savior and lived a remarkable life for the sake of Gospel.
It is not beyond conceiving that you or I might have a past filled with misdeeds and wrongdoing that may even rival the crimes of Paul's pre-Christian days. Are there sins in your life that it would seem no amount of God's goodness or grace can touch and wipe clean? Think again. God the Father through Christ Jesus forgives you and will heal you from whatever sin haunts your past -- or your present.
Thanks be to God almighty whose grace as revealed in Jesus Christ is sufficient to cover any sin and blot out every wickedness. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah53:6).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. Please strengthen me through Your Holy Spirit to live a life empowered by Your forgiveness to boldly take Your message of grace to a hurting and dying world. In the Name of Christ Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
Biography of Author: Nguyen Huu Dung works with Lutheran Hour Ministries' operations in Vietnam as a volunteer preacher. Known locally at The Voice of Hope, LHM has shared the Gospel in this country of 90 million for ten years via Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), Equipping The Saints (ETS) outreach, puppet shows, and musical performances.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.