Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. Isaiah 45:15
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
Our Lord who revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ is also a God who hides Himself.
That needs some clarification. As we know, God's eternal and divine nature can be clearly seen in His works. The things we experience with our senses have come from the unseen God. That truth is taught by Scripture when it says, "For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible ... all things were created through Him and for Him" (see Colossians 1:16).
Now there have been times when God visibly showed a small part of Himself. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve spoke directly with the Lord. In the wilderness the Children of Israel (see Exodus 16:10 and 24:17) saw the Lord's glory in a cloud and consuming fire. To Elijah He came in a whispering voice, and the three men in the fiery furnace had a fourth Person stand with them.
But even at these times God was only showing a very small part of Himself. He knew that we, with our limited senses, would be overwhelmed by the greatness of His perfection and power. That gulf which separates man's finite from the godly infinite was bridged in the Person of Jesus Christ. In the Savior, God's Son humbled Himself so all could see Him, hear His call to repentance, watch as He was crucified, and rose, so all who believe on Him might be saved.
Throughout His life, the Savior's humility shows us the Lord's perfect way of doing things is quite different than that of sinful humankind.
As sinful people, we don't naturally have that godly quality of humbling ourselves. Unlike Jesus, whose life was lived following the Father's wishes, whose days were dedicated to saving others, most of the time we want human praise and earthly credit for everything we do.
In His Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5), Jesus says our actions should be motivated by a desire to please the unseen Lord and not to receive earthly applause. In three different areas the Savior encouraged us to glorify our unseen Savior and not our very visible brother. Jesus says,
* when you give to the needy, do not announce it on streets by blowing a trumpet so you will be honored by men;
* when you pray, close the door and pray to the unseen Father in heaven. Then your Father who sees in secret will reward you;
* when you fast, don't disfigure your face to show you are fasting but put oil on your head so you will appear to be in fine fettle.
And if anyone should ask, "Why should I want to please the unseen God rather than receive man's applause?" Jesus would reply, "You cannot serve two masters." He would tell us we should first and always love the Lord with all our hearts, souls and minds. Only in this way can we lay up a heavenly treasure that will not rust and cannot be stolen (see Matthew 6).
THE PRAYER: Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion comes from the Lutheran Hour Ministries director in Ethiopia, Berhanu Moges, a faithful servant of the Savior. Established in Addis Ababa in 1996 and known locally as Berhan Media Ministry, this East African ministry center shares the Gospel with Ethiopia's 85 million souls. This is done through evangelism rallies, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and the Equipping the Saints (ETS) program, working in partnership with church congregations to organize these workshops. These rallies have proven effective in reaching people, drawing thousands, including non-Christians and Muslims. At these events, films, music and drama are all offered -- each designed to share the Gospel message.
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