(Jesus said) "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
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
Recently, after a church service in Lebanon, a group from church decided to go for an outreach in the city. The area where they were headed was typically crowded in the afternoon; this would give them a better chance to meet people and talk to them.
When they got there, an old and very poor lady was lying on the ground. Her face was barely visible because her back was so severely arched. The group thought she might be hungry so they bought her a sandwich and tried to help her eat it. They also spoke to her of Jesus but were not sure if she understood anything. It took a long time for her to finish the sandwich, and the group left her-unsure if their efforts would bring any results.
Shortly after leaving the lady, they encountered a young man leaning on a fence and smoking a cigarette. After some introductions, a couple from the group struck up a conversation with him and the three spoke together for quite some time. Eventually, after he had asked them what they were doing and why they bothered with the old lady, they started to tell him about Jesus and how Jesus died and rose to forgive our sins. The man appeared quite interested and was receptive to the couple's words. He asked them a few questions and listened to what they had to say. They laughed together and the conversation proceeded naturally.
After this exchange was nearly finished and the three were saying their goodbyes, the young man said, "I want you to know something. I was watching you take care of that poor, old lady and because of what you did for her, I said to myself, 'if those people come to me, I will listen to what they have to say and not just brush them off.'"
How powerful our actions of love are when they precede telling others about Jesus! This man in all likelihood would have completely dismissed the folks from this church were it not for their genuine concern and effort to befriend a down-and-out old lady. Their actions built a bridge they didn't even know they were building. And, in that short time, the couple was able to share the Gospel with this young man, who was willing to listen.
But the Holy Spirit was not through with that young man -- not yet.
The couple heard some weeks later the man had made a confession of faith and acknowledged Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. When the church heard this, they thanked their Heavenly Father for using their simple efforts -- first, to help an old lady and, second, to be a witness to the Gospel for that young man.
THE PRAYER: Lord, let our light shine before men. Let our deeds praise You so others will come to know Your saving grace. Whether we're in the marketplace or along some back alley, prompt us to speak -- and act -- in love. In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text submitted from a volunteer working with Beirut-based Middle East Lutheran Ministry (MELM), also known as LHM-Lebanon. With locally produced radio programs utilizing Bible studies, meditations with hymns, commentaries, drama, and more, the Gospel is proclaimed weekly in 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. These programs are written in Arabic by LHM staff members. This office also conducts a Gospel outreach to area Bedouin.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.