December 17, 2009
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
Pastor Klaus wrote this devotion before he left to lead a seminar in Germany. He prays God's blessings upon your Advent and requests your prayers for his safe return.
My chess career can be summed up in four words:
I lost. A lot.
It was about a year ago that a pastor from Canada sent me the story from which this Daily Devotion is derived. It begins with a chess champion looking intently at an art gallery painting.
The champion was interested because the theme of the painting was (you guessed it) chess. More specifically, the painting showed a chess match between a young man and the devil. It seems the two were playing for the man's soul.
If the faces in the picture could be believed, the man was in a panic as the devil makes his final move.
The title of the painting was "Checkmate."
The chess champion looked at the picture for a solid minute, then two, then five. Finally, he turned to the curator of the art institute and said, "I've got some good news for the man in the picture. He still has a move to make."
From what I've seen, there are a lot of people who feel life is a hopeless thing. They feel afraid, discouraged, alone. The devil has convinced them there's no more moves to be made.
But that is not so.
The grand and long-anticipated birth of the Savior in Bethlehem says the devil doesn't get the last move. Indeed, the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior say the devil has already lost.
Of course, some folks don't believe it, and the devil's certainly not going to come clean and get honest. He's not going to confess he's lost.
That's our job. To invite the world to go and see this thing which has come to pass which the Lord has told us about.
They're out there, you know -- the lost. Won't you invite them? The worst they can do is say, "Mind your own business."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we know Satan is the father of lies. Why then do we listen so carefully when he tells us we've lost? Why do we believe the doubters and the discouragers and the cynics? Please, I ask, shore up my faith when it gets shaky and allow me to witness clearly to the wonders of Your Love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries