Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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
In Thailand "spirit houses" are scattered throughout the country in places like homes and businesses. They serve as shelters for displaced spirits when a family or business occupies their land. These spirits could be good or bad and must be respected by the people around them. If these spirits are not tended to they can cause problems.
Each day, many Thai families present incense and offerings to these spirits, asking them to protect their lives and properties. They believe that to obtain security, prosperity, and a better future appeasing these spirits is necessary. Surely, the tsunami of 2004 was devastating to many who believed their earnest work to placate these unpredictable spirits was working.
Our relationship with God is entirely different. There is no offering we can bring to appease Him. Flowers, fruits, vegetables and money will not do. There is nothing we can do to merit the safety, compassion and blessing we seek. That is where the God of the Old and New Testaments separates Himself from the gods of this world. He cannot be manipulated by us.
Instead, He did what we could not do. God Himself became one of us in the person of Jesus. He entered our world of trouble and lived a sinless life. Jesus became God's complete offering for us when He died on the cross for our sins. There, He satisfied the Father's just anger and set us free. Jesus bought us at a price beyond all reckoning -- His own death. And now the risen Christ offers forgiveness and eternal salvation to all who believe in Him.
God's Spirit comes to us in His Word and causes us to believe in Jesus. Consider this: even the waters of the tsunami six years ago that took so many out to sea cannot compare to the waters of Baptism where God gives believers salvation and eternal life. This is all God's gift to us; we cannot earn it and there is nothing we can give God to deserve it.
Instead, God's Holy Spirit gives us Jesus and through faith He dwells in us -- His temples on earth.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the redemption won for us through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Please renew our hearts through Your Holy Spirit as we embark on a New Year, trusting confidently in Christ as our Savior. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Rev. Keith Ringers is the pastor of Saint Mark's Lutheran Church in Elberta, Alabama. He and his wife, Diana, have assisted Lutheran Hour Ministries in mission work in Thailand. In that country, LHM-Thailand is called Journey Into Light (JIL). With offices in Bangkok it shares the Gospel through Equipping The Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), radio, print, Internet and Gospel text messaging. The staff also conducts special children's activities and makes presentations in many government schools.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
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