The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11b
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, we put a lot of effort into getting the best results.
School is one such place where we place a lot of effort. Competition can be fierce for scholarships, fellowships, and other academic awards that go with high achievement in school. It's just assumed that those who go on to the top schools will get the best jobs and have the happiest families and walk into the brightest futures.
Of course, we know what happens when we assume things.
The verse above from the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us beautifully that nothing is for sure or certain in this world. Life on this planet is full of unexpected twists and, sometimes, awful surprises. No matter how hard we may try to apply our best efforts to insure success that success simply cannot be guaranteed.
The plain news is this: what can be counted on is a day of reckoning for our sins. That, in itself, of course, is a horrifying prospect, putting everything into perspective with a single stroke.
There is other news; however, and it is good, very good.
And it is this: Jesus Christ has taken care of our sin load; He has paid the debt and cleaned the slate of wrongdoing that we -- each and every one of us -- have spent a lifetime doing. That's why He came down from heaven. That's why He spoke to us, comforted us, welcomed us, healed us, and bled for us. That's why He died on the cross -- to save us from our sins and open the doors of eternity to all who believe. Through His sacrifice for our sins we are offered righteousness in place of condemnation.
The apostle Paul pulls no punches on this one: "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:22-24).
Thanks be to God who spared not even His only Son on our behalf!
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, help us depend on You completely. You are the One who holds our futures. By Your Spirit work in our hearts faith in Your Son's perfect sacrifice and lead us forward in lives of obedient service to You. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text submitted from a volunteer working with Lutheran Hour Ministries-Kenya. Working from an office in Nairobi, LHM-Kenya is known locally as Nuru (Light) Lutheran Light Ministry. Door-to-door evangelism, school and prison outreach, drama, music, and film, as well as Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping to Share (ETS) are all ministry tools used in this country of 35 million people.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.