"The Ten-Cent Gospel"
December 13, 2013
Instead you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 4:15
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
Have you ever heard the expression, "Life turns on a dime"?
A dime is small. To turn on a dime is to turn quickly and suddenly. It can mean an action which is impulsive and erratic, but it can also indicate an activity which is flexible and spontaneous in response to the sudden and unplanned opportunities that life offers.
While life can be unpredictable, God's will can be surprising too. Allow me to give an example:
I can remember attending the annual pastoral conference at Scottsdale, Arizona, during the fall of 2009. Because of scheduling conflicts I hadn't been in attendance at many previous gatherings, but that year I was able to go.
At the conference there was a table set up for a Thailand mission organization called the Garuna Foundation. The host of the Foundation was Pastor Jeff Ehlers. I hadn't expected to see anything about Thailand at an Arizona conference but, as I had a member in my congregation from Thailand, I wandered over for what I thought would be a brief chat.
Surprise! Things can turn on a dime, and the following summer I was visiting ministry sites in Thailand and Cambodia. During that visit I met many of the members of Journey Into Light Lutheran Church in Bangkok: Boom who is a worker with Lutheran Hour Ministries and Birdy who is an LCMS missionary, teaching English as a second language. You should know that kind of teaching is really a wonderful way to introduce the Gospel to those who don't know the Savior.
Before leaving I promised to bring my congregation back some day.
This past July I was able to keep that promise when 15 members of my St. John Lutheran Church were able to join me in an exciting 10-day visit to Thailand. There we did our own mission work as we taught English to our students.
Those were my first and third trips to Thailand.
And my second trip? That trip came after I met a woman named Joelle, who, because she had attended our parochial school, came back for our 100th anniversary celebration in June 2011. Although the service was not a mission festival, I still was pleased to see a new face in the crowd. I introduced myself and found out Joelle worked for English Language Institute/China (ELIC), a mission organization known throughout Asia for its stellar teaching of the English language.
The ELIC has an annual teacher's conference in Chaing Mai, Thailand. Long story short, that following February I was on a plane to Thailand to attend the convention in Chaing Mai. There I was to help with the children's program of that gathering.
As I said at the beginning of this devotion, life turns on a dime.
Looking back over those months, I can see how so much took place to accomplish God's plan and purpose. That plan which has been in place from eternity has given us unexpected opportunities to share His love and grace.
Having called us to the Savior, the Holy Spirit now asks that we trust Him and be open to the opportunities He seems to be placing before us. We know God's people are to live by faith in the Savior whose life, crucifixion and resurrection has turned the world upside down with God's great and gracious Good News.
As the first disciples discovered and our church has rediscovered, the Lord works His transforming miracles of salvation in unexpected ways ... by turning one dime at a time.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to the opportunities to share Your love. Forgive us when we are blind and deaf to the needs of others and when we are preoccupied with our own wants. Guide us each day according to Your will, trusting Your direction is right and best for us all. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Pastor Patrick Curley lives in Covina, California, and has been the pastor at St. John Lutheran Church (LCMS) for over 15 years. He has gone on three, short-term mission trips to Thailand and one to Belize, Central America. He recently celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary and is father of three children. Evangelism and witnessing are key components of his ministry. He has two brothers who also attend worship at St. John. In Thailand, Lutheran Hour Ministries operates locally as Journey Into Light (JIL), with its ministry center in Bangkok. It utilizes mass media technologies to proclaim the Gospel, while supporting local churches and Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod missionaries. In addition to serving others through LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) program, JIL utilizes 30-minute radio programs as daily broadcasts to the citizens of this Southeast Asian country of nearly 70 million.
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