July 31, 2009
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans 13:13-14
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
Though Christians are forgiven by the grace of God, they certainly are not beyond sinning. The apostle Paul knew this when he wrote to the Christians in Rome that they needed to "clothe" themselves "with the Lord Jesus Christ," rather than partake in debauchery and gratify the desires of the flesh through immoral sexual behavior.
Conducting ourselves as Christians means showing love and concern for one's brothers and sisters in Christ and compassion for those who do not yet know their Savior. It also means what we do, how we act, and the way we come across to people is a significant part of our witness as well. For dedicated Christians, shunning participation in orgies, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and the rest should be an easy call. Paul, however, reminds his readers that the first battles against such behavior begin in the mind: "and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
Yet, sorrowfully, daily we do. We not only think about old, dead nature desires, we coddle them, get comfortable with them, rationalize them, and let them get the best of us. We sin.
But thanks be to God for His Son Jesus. In Him there is forgiveness. In Him there is the newness of life that transforms us into reliable witnesses for Him. In Him -- Him alone -- there is a complete victory over "the desires of the sinful nature."
THE PRAYER: Jesus, please help us find release from our past sins and trust in the forgiveness You have won for us on the cross at Calvary, that we may become free to live life in fullness for You. Clothe us with Your Holy Spirit and strengthen us in our witness. In Your Name we pray. 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.