He (Jesus) replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in My Name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Then He said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Luke 21:8-10
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 Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
The passage we have just read is Jesus warning His followers of what must happen before the last day arrives.
He tells us before the end of the world there will be many horrifying events. Suffering, pain and false prophets will arise. Some of those false prophets will be so bold in their lies as to claim they are the Savior.
Disturbing? Absolutely! But Jesus wants us to be alert and prepared for those difficult times. Further He wants to make sure we are not frightened or deceived.
In December of 2011 a Cambodian judge was kidnapped and beaten by an unidentified group of men. Fortunately, the judge managed to jump out of the car and escape into the bush. Concerned individuals eventually found him and rushed him to Vietnam, where his head wounds were treated.
Subsequent investigations concluded the judge had been taken and beaten by the friends of some illegal woodcutters that he had tried and jailed. It had been the kidnappers’ original intent to murder the judge for having stood up for the truth.
The judge’s story reminds us that everyone, including those who are wealthy and hold high positions, still have worry and trouble. There is not a single person in this world that has complete peace. Wars, illnesses, natural disasters say that we, like the flower, will decline and wither.
Worst of all, as unforgiven sinners, we faced eternal death.
Thankfully, our merciful God sent His only Son Jesus who came to live on earth and take our place under the law. His substitution for us is salvation. His life, death, crucifixion and resurrection assure us that He alone is our Savior: the only Savior who can forgive.
So we might be sure Jesus is authentic and these false prophets are nothing, Jesus warns, “For many will come in My Name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” But what does this phrase mean? It means salvation is only from Jesus Christ and not from any impersonator.
This is the joy and hope Jesus gives. When you are baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- from that moment -- you have received the assurance your salvation is of God.
As God’s redeemed children, He has entrusted the Good News to us. Jesus has come to grant us salvation from the condemnation of hell.
Armed with this knowledge we can joyfully proclaim the salvation story of our gracious God. We can tell them Jesus will deliver and, someday, He will take us to be with Him in heaven.
THE PRAYER: Oh, God may You strengthen us to tackle daily obstacles in our lives and give us courage to share You with our neighbors. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today’s international devotion was written by Dr. Phin Naro, director of the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Cambodia. Since its establishment in 2000, the ministry center staff and volunteers at LHM-Cambodia have used programs like Equipping the Saints (ETS) and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) to communicate the message of God's eternal love to the 14 million Cambodians. The center also cooperates with churches in reaching the lost through puppet shows, music events and youth programs.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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