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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Your Substitute"

October 1, 2010

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I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His Name. 1 John 2:12

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

There is a news story that circulated in Russia not long ago about a man who went to prison for robbery. It was called "The Substitute." The man in jail did the sentence for his brother, who actually committed the crime.

During his trial, the innocent but convicted man maintained he gave himself up before the law to give his brother a chance to change his way of life. "He is my only brother. I love him, and I believe he will change and become a better man."

Many people who heard this story said the sentenced man was either crazy or lying. They were sure he had committed the robbery because they could not believe someone would deny his own freedom to help another -- not even his brother. The thought of willfully paying a penalty for a crime someone else committed -- particularly a punishment as severe as jail time -- seemed absurd to them.

Though the above account may seem hard to believe to our ears, there is an even greater story of Someone substituting a life on behalf of another guilty party.

Jesus came to earth more than 2,000 years ago to pay the price for our sins. He came to receive the judgment our sins required -- a death sentence that was guaranteed -- and deserved.

For it is written: "The wages of sin is death ..." (Romans 6:23a). And with those five words our story could have ended.

But God wasn't through with our story. He sent His Son to save us. Through faith in Jesus' atoning death on Calvary, we are pardoned of the sentenced pronounced against us.

And how do we know what Jesus did was sufficient to pay the price for our sins in full?

God tells us so: "... but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23b).

THE PRAYER: Gracious Father, we come to You with praise and thanksgiving for sending Jesus to pay the price for our sins. He died that we might live. And by His resurrection, death and the grave have been conquered. Thank You for saving us! In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text submitted by a volunteer working with Lutheran Hour Ministries' office in St. Petersburg, Russia. In the world's largest country, LHM-Russia connects with people through a variety of Gospel-centered programs like LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC). Bible study materials like these give people in distant villages access to Scripture and the chance to hear the Gospel.

To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Isaiah 50-52    Romans 9:16-33

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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