For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
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 year in the month of July, 58 Khmer children of Cambodia died from an outbreak of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. All were between the ages of two and nine.
There was much fear in the district of Sen Sok where we live and serve the Lord. The parents and teachers of our little school, Grace International School (GIS), were greatly concerned. To help reduce the spread of the disease, all schools in Cambodia were closed for two weeks. With 10 percent of our district's population under the age of 10, that didn't do much to alleviate the fear.
Parents wanted to know what they could do to prevent their children from getting the illness.
For two days our staff conducted home visits and educated people on what to do to prevent the pestilence. We told concerned parents the most important disease preventative act they could perform was to have their children wash their hands regularly and keep their bodies clean throughout the day.
During these home visits, our staff also had opportunity to speak about the deadly disease called "sin." The Scripture says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Sin killed us. It separated us from God, and it made us His enemies. It was an illness for which there was no man-made cure. A good hand-washing or keeping our bodies clean had no affect on the malady.
The only cure for us came through the gift of God. This gift of God is His one and only begotten Son: Jesus Christ. Through Jesus' innocent life and sacrificial death on the cross, His blood washed away our sin. It is a gift that is given to us in Word and Sacrament.
Through faith in the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit gives us the Lord's medicine, which heals all illnesses of our soul. With that medicine we pass from death to life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amazingly, this cure is given to us freely and without charge. It costs us nothing because it cost Jesus His life.
This is why -- in gratitude to the Lord -- we offer up our thanks and share Jesus' story with others.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be the cure for sin. Without Him, we would have been lost forever. With Him, we will be living forever with You. Accept our heartfelt prayer, which asks the Holy Spirit to keep us in the one true faith, so eternal life will always be ours. Amen!
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Rev. Fungchatou Lo. Dr. Lo graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 2007 and is an ordained pastor in the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod (LCMS). He served as a pastor for a Hmong Ministry in the U.S. for three years and was a missionary to Indonesia for two years. Currently, Dr. Lo and his family are serving the Lord in Cambodia, where he is the country representative for the LCMS. His wife, Kalia, is the branch manager for LCMS' human care organization out of Hong Kong. Dr. Lo and Kalia have two children: a 14-year-old daughter named Faith, and a three-year-old son named Mercy. In Cambodia, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cambodia is known locally as Cambodia Christian Media Center. It was established in 2000 in Phnom Penh City. Using both Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS), this ministry center is active in evangelism training and educating this county's citizens in Christian teachings. Through music events, films, and the Internet, young people are learning about their Savior and the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.
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