"Vigilant Response To Our Problems"
August 31, 2012
And the people of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines." 1 Samuel 7:8
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
Ten-year-old Mayamiko Banda was a good boy, who was much admired by the adults of his town.
Part of the reason for Banda's standing stems from his paying attention to his father. If dad said, "Wear your shoes when you go out!" Banda followed his father's advice.
Then, slowly things began to change. Banda went out with his friends and stayed out past his curfew. Then, like them, he refused to wear shoes and began walking around barefoot. It was on such a late-night, bare-footed jaunt that a sharp piece of wire went into Banda's heel.
The pain was so great Banda couldn't stop crying. The only thing stronger than the pain was his fear of telling his father what he had been doing.
It took a while, but eventually Banda came to his father with an admission of guilt and disobedience. The boy made confession and promised to do better in the future. The reunion with his father gave peace to Banda's conscience and healing to his body. Seeing his boy's infected foot, the father took out a razor blade, opened the wound, and drained it.
Soon Banda was back to normal.
When I first heard Banda's story, I remembered 1 Samuel 7, which tells of the days when the children of Israel disobeyed their Heavenly Father. For years God's people had listened to the Lord and had been blessed. But then they began to worship other gods and disregarded the Lord who had delivered them and given them their land.
As was the case for Mayamiko Banda, it didn't take too long before God's people found that disobeying the Lord had some negative consequences. In many ways, large and small, they were persecuted by their enemies: the Philistines.
By the Holy Spirit's power, they were eventually called to repentance and asked the Lord's spokesman, Samuel, to intercede on their behalf. With prayer and fasting Samuel brought the repentant people to the Lord, who was eager to reestablish the relationship which had been broken by sin.
Restored to God's favor and defended by His miraculous hand, the Israelites gained a great military victory against their enemies.
As I look around, I see many people and nations who need to learn from the stories of Mayamiko Banda and the children of Israel. Wrongfully, they believe they can disregard God's will and wishes, without suffering any ill consequences. In this they are wrong.
Thankfully, God is always merciful and forgiving to repentant hearts. Those who learn from biblical history will quickly find that God wants His children to cling to His steadfast love, and by His grace and power be given a blessed life in this world and the next.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us learn from the sad and sorry story of those who have deliberately disobeyed You. By the Holy Spirit's power may we be kept in Your grace and the salvation which the Savior won for us upon the cross. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Aubrey William Bunguzu. Since 2004 Bunguzu has served as the audience relations coordinator for the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Malawi. Married and with two children, he has a degree in education and before coming on board with LHM was a secondary teacher. In this small southeast African nation of 15 million, LHM-Malawi operates as Kuunika (Light) Media Ministry. Here the ministry center is able to reach nearly 90 percent of the population through national radio broadcasts. It also utilizes dramas, music, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) to share the Gospel in a country, where young people make up more than 50 percent of the population.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries