(Jesus said) "So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?" Luke 16:11-12
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
Last October, I and the president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cambodia traveled to visit one of the pastors in Kompong Cham province.
The pastor whom we visited has been sharing the Gospel with inmates at a local prison. He told us about some of the prisoners who were about to be released. Rather than being overjoyed at the prospect, they worried about what they would do to make a living.
To help these men and those who would come after, the pastor asked for -- and received -- permission from the warden to train these men in the growing of rubber tree plants. The agreement was the warden would allow the inmates to insert soil and plants into small plastic bags, which would be watered every day.
The pastor would lay out the cash for the purchase of irrigation pumps, gasoline, hoses, fertilizer and other tools necessary to grow 60,000 rubber trees. The agreement between pastor and warden said that when the trees were sold the preacher would receive 25 cents per tree and the jailer would get 15 cents.
Everything went smoothly until the time the trees were to be marketed. That's when the warden changed his mind. He wanted an equal share with the pastor. If the pastor refused, the trees would be kept in the prison compound.
In the end our pastor lost $3,000.
No doubt you believe the warden was dishonest. He was. But are we any different? As sinners we also tell lies. We are not always honest with each other; we can be self-serving, and we hurt other people with our evil actions.
We all deserve temporal and eternal punishment before God.
Thankfully, our merciful God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to be our Substitute. Jesus became a faithful Servant and suffered the punishment our sins had earned. Although He never committed any sin, Jesus was mocked, beaten and crucified, so we might be delivered.
Because of what He has done, we who are given faith become God's children -- children who can honestly give thanks for our blood-bought deliverance from hell.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, please enable us to have courage to share the Good News with other people. Let us tell them that Jesus is the perfect Son of God, the honest and faithful Servant who suffered, so we might be saved. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by 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