January 8, 2010
As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," He said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." Luke 21:1-4
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
The evangelist Juan Romero once said, "We can never out give God, because He always gives us more than we can give back." An example of this happened to twin brothers Javier and Francisco. They worked several jobs in order to earn enough money to buy sneakers and backpacks. They wanted to be the envy of their classmates by having the most fashionable shoes and accessories.
The day finally arrived when they had enough money, and they were excited to go shopping. That same day, a new boy joined their class at school. He came from a very poor family and didn't have a notebook or pen.
Javier and Francisco took a fresh look at the expensive items they intended to purchase and came up with a generous plan instead. They decided not to get the highest quality shoes and backpacks but to spend less and to give the remaining money to the new boy.
Later that day, as the boys sat in the office of LHM-Panama, the story of the old woman who gave everything she had was considered from the Gospel of Luke. She was compared to people who give only from what they have leftover.
After thinking about it, the twins decided to buy the best backpack they could find for the new boy. It was a sacrifice for them. However, after this decision something surprising happened. The boys received a call from a professor they had worked for the previous summer. He had some money for them. In the end, Javier and Francisco were still able to buy backpacks for themselves.
We cannot outgive God -- no matter how much we surrender. As the apostle Paul writes, "He (God) who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all -- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
THE PRAYER: Remind us, Heavenly Father, that You are the provider of all good and perfect gifts. We may give from our generosity, but we cannot outgive You, especially when we consider the sacrifice You made on our behalf through Your Son's atoning work on the cross. Thank You, Father. Amen.
Biography of Author: Porfirio Franco Cortes, coordinator for Project JOEL in Panama, wrote this devotion. Lutheran Hour Ministries in Panama operates as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN) -- "Christ for all Nations." Cortes coordinates a youth program focusing on drug prevention through a Christian perspective in public and private schools.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.