November 29, 2013
(Jesus said) "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25
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
Because of failed relationships which had blighted her life, Alicia was a girl who sought revenge by hurting others.
That had been the makeup of Alicia. But she was different the day she came to our office after hearing one of our Lutheran Hour radio programs: a broadcast in which we had spoken about God's forgiveness. By the time we met her, Alicia had felt the impact of the Word of God and responded to the Holy Spirit's call to faith.
Now she was asking God's forgiveness for all the damage she had caused to others.
We were glad to talk to Alicia -- as we've talked to so many others -- about the change which happens inside a person when they are redeemed by the Savior. We tell them how, gladly, they can try to leave behind bad attitudes from the past and walk the new path to which the Lord has directed them. Forgiven because of Jesus' blood, they can be glad to have this wonderful opportunity to leave the past behind and live a new life in the Lord.
And what does that mean? It means every day they can rejoice in the opportunity of coming to God, acknowledging their sins, and being grateful they are forgiven through Jesus Christ. They give thanks that since Jesus has saved them, they can confess the mistakes they have made and realize they are forgiven through Jesus Christ.
But there is more to the Christian life than being forgiven by the Lord.
Believers know God has given them the power to forgive those who have sinned against them. Indeed the Lord wants to have us reconciled with our loved ones and others around us because we wish to share His forgiveness and His love. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches us to forgive as we have been forgiven.
To receive forgiveness and share it relieves us of past burdens and shares God's reconciliation with others. Those who practice this aspect of the faith soon find it heals many emotional and spiritual wounds. Forgiven and forgiving we are enabled to approach the future with hope, optimism, courage and a renewed faith.
I am pleased to report that Alicia understood all this.
Today, like so many other Christians, she remembers that God is the Author of forgiveness and that through Him God's people are given inner peace and live in a loving way with all whom they know.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, remind me always that Your love and forgiveness through Jesus is bigger than my sins. Grant me the power through Your grace and forgiveness to share it with others. In the Savior's Name I ask it Amen.
Biography of Author: Venezuela's Alexander Jesus Perez Leon has an accounting degree and has taken religious courses at Juan de Frias Theological Institute. He currently works as an insurance executive at Sanitas Insurance Venezuela. He also is involved with the Association for the Assistance of the Helpless Child. We are thankful he has served as coordinator and director of the Lutheran Hour office in Carabobo and assistant to the director of the Venezuelan office in Caracas. In this country of some 30 million people, LHM-Venezuela, known in-country as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones, uses Equipping the Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), Christian literature, e-mail and text messages, and radio programs like A Moment with God and Perspectives to address everyday challenges Venezuelans face.
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