And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:31
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 Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Kazakhstan recently received a letter from a 24 year-old woman. She wrote to us and said,
"I am a 24-year-old single woman who has had an unhappy marriage. Actually, it was only a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, which began when I was 17 and lasted for three and a half years. Back then I was young and stupid. I don't know if I have become smarter, but I do know that experience was enough to have me hating families, that is, a husband-wife relationship. I do not have and I do not want to have children.
"In my younger years I used to be independent, so after high-school I got a job. Now that I want to further my schooling, there is no money and because of tough economic times there is no job. So I am uneducated and unemployed.
"Ethnically Tartar, I am often told I belong to the Muslim community. I do not feel like going to a church or a mosque though. I really dislike show-ups, which is what I think most religious establishments are into.
"Having said that, you should know I do believe in god, I believe that god is one and he is unique. I don't understand how some can claim their god is different and better than the god of somebody else. I disagree when someone says their church or mosque is better.
"For me god is one, and I am one; he lives in my heart through my troubles and joys. I feel it is important to ask for his advice and let him direct my values, my conscience, my peace, my life. I read a lot of religious literature, and try to make up my own mind about what I've read. As far as talking to god, I'm not going to say much because that relationship is very personal and intimate."
In our office we are hearing more and more from people who agree with that writer. They do not want to hear God as much as they want their own made-up deity to bless the things they want to do. These people speak about faith, love and conscience, but the facts of faith are lacking. When they are challenged, confronted or even engaged in conversation, they step back saying such subjects are personal.
It is to such people that we must minister. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit opens doors, and we are often given the opportunity to speak to such folks about Jesus Christ. It is at such times that our words must be backed up by our faith. Falseness in one or the other stops our witness completely.
This is why in this devotion I ask for your prayers. Ask God to bless our words, our work, and our witness. Ask that He allows us to produce literature which, when read, may point clearly to the Christ of Scripture and not someone's made-up divinity. Pray for us as we stand in the marketplace and witness. Pray for our people that they may -- better than did the people in Jeremiah's day -- hear the Savior who gave His life, so they might live forever.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive those who try to make You into someone who blesses whatever they want to do or be. Grant that the people of Kazakhstan might meet You and be brought to a saving faith in Jesus. This I ask in His Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Alexandr Starchenko, has been the director of the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Kazakhstan since February of 1998. As an educator, he has received many awards from the secular world. As our director, he is much appreciated as he spearheads media ministry, which promotes the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A husband, father and grandfather, Starchenko, a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Almaty, supervises the writing and preparation and delivery of Lutheran Hour Ministries' materials. In this Central Asian country, LHM-Kazakhstan employs youth-oriented programs that address life situations, teaching individuals how to use God's Word to make wise decisions. Its Pure Line Internet-based youth community is especially effective in connecting with young people. Using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), this ministry center also works with people in prison.
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