January 14, 2011
Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Proverbs 16:19
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
How contrary to human thinking does the Word of God appear!
Consider the passage above from the book of Proverbs and ask yourself, "Is that true?" Is it really better to be low in spirit and among those who are oppressed than to share stolen swag with the proud?
God's Word says it is. It's better to be the one who has suffered at the hands of another -- getting ripped off or even worse -- than to be the one who caused suffering. That this is so and that this is true simply confirm once again how God's ways are not our ways.
When we look at the life of Jesus Christ we see this principle in action. As the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus took our sins to the cross, paid the price for our redemption and rose from the grave victorious over Satan.
Along that road to Golgotha, however, the Savior was oppressed -- severely oppressed and beaten down. Yet, Peter says that "when they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made not threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:23). Jesus was "lowly in spirit" and trusted God.
Entrusting ourselves through faith into the hands of God who judges justly is a Christ-like thing to do. When you are oppressed by the world, when those you counted on let you down and seem to gloat at your discomfort, then trust in God who gave His own Son to redeem you from sin and death.
Even in Jesus' darkest hours, He knew the Father's power over the world and its circumstances, and He entrusted Himself to the Father's will.
We can do that too.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, teach us to rely on You instead of looking for the easy way out. By Your Holy Spirit give us courage to know that though we may be downtrodden and beaten back, You still love us and care for us. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text submitted from a volunteer with the Lutheran Hour Ministries' office in Brazil. In that South American country of 200 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries operates as Cristo Para Todas as Nações (CPTN)-Brazil. Outreach programs include "Five Minutes with Jesus," a radio program; "Messages of Hope," a voicemail response service delivering more than 10,000 Gospel replies each month; and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC).
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.