November 22, 2013
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
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 sainted pastor, Gnana Paranam Johnson, was a well-known bishop of the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) in India.
There once was a time when he informed the medical office at one of the mission hospitals run by the Lutheran Church that he was going to pay them a visit. He shared the time of his train's arrival, and some of the staff of the hospital went to greet him.
The train arrived, but they couldn't find the bishop.
Eventually, with disappointment, they returned to the hospital. When they reached their destination, they were shocked to see the bishop was sitting by the side of the patients who were waiting in line to see a doctor.
Sitting with the sick was something the bishop did because humility was part of his nature.
Truly, humility is one of the most costly and life-enhancing of all Christian virtues and a powerful part of a spiritually solid believer. Perhaps that explains why our text encourages us to imitate Christ and the humility of His service.
In India we have a saying: "Water flows through low land." That observation can be applied spiritually. Jesus, the water of life does wonderful things among the lowly, who are aware of their great helplessness and welcome God's greater love (see John 4:10).
Truly, the Lord does His best work with His people when they are humble.
When the people of Israel were suffering under bad kings and other nations, the prophets encouraged them to be humble before God. When God called Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites, he humbled himself before the Lord and said, "Please Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house" (Judges 6:15).
Then, of course, we have the humility of the Savior.
The humility shown by the Son of God in His work of saving us is beyond human comparison. The last night He was with His disciples, He washed their feet. It was a gesture which summed up the life of God's Son who left heaven to become one of us. It was an example of our Redeemer who humbled Himself, even to dying on a cross so we might be saved.
It was an example Paul appreciated and held up for all believers to emulate.
Sadly, the Savior's elect often decline to follow our Savior in this quality.
Maybe that is why Scripture says pride comes before a fall (see Proverbs 16:18), and with that fall will come a great deal of disgrace and embarrassment.
This is why I share the Lord's call for all of us to practice true humility in our lives. God calls us to affirm our nothingness and our need for His grace. To that end let us throw our pride behind our back and be clothed in a spirit of humility.
THE PRAYER: Our loving Father, give us the grace to overcome the pride that wishes to steal us away from You. Lord, grant us true humility so we can reflect Your humility in our lives. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: The author of today's international devotion is Pastor D. Geevadhas. The good reverend, the son of a pastor, was born and brought up in a Lutheran Christian family. He graduated from Tamilnadu in Madurai. He has served as a missionary in Tamilnadu for one year and has been in the parish ministry for eight. Our pastor works with Christian Media Centre, India, (Lutheran Hour Ministries-India) and serves the Lord as our audience relations officer. He is married and has a daughter in the fourth grade. The Christian Media Centre's online religious broadcasts and television programs reach out to Tamil- and Hindu-speaking people in this country of 1.2 billion people. This 60-plus-year-old ministry center also relays the Gospel to "live" audiences through devotional songs, short dramas and dialogues. Ministry-sponsored youth groups perform public music programs, stage plays, and dance. Local groups also conduct Gospel rallies for large audiences in cities and remote villages. Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) are also available in six different official languages: Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi Marathi, Gujarati and English.
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