"Jesus Commands Us to Make Disciples"
January 24, 2014
(Jesus said) "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20
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
In Ghana when someone is dying or leaving his or her people, the last words they receive from him or her are regarded as being of great importance.
The words which serve as this devotion's text are Jesus' final words to His disciples before He ascended into heaven. As such, Lutheran Hour Ministries has always regarded those words as being precious. Motivated by those words we are proud to say, "We bring Christ to the nations and the nations to the church."
Since its beginnings in Ghana, The Lutheran Media Ministry has made great strides in reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, based on the command to make disciples. Personally, I have been listening to LMM messages for the past 20 years.
In 1999 while on a visit to the Daboase area in the Western Region of Ghana, I met a man who was a mechanic, a fellow who specialized in repairing motorcycles. After sharing the Gospel with the man, he was brought to faith. His was a faith which responded well to the Lord's love. He and his family offered their residence to be used for a church. This offer I shared with our head office of Media Ministry in Accra. They supported me and the work with materials that proved invaluable.
Knowing faith comes by hearing, we started with Bible studies. This was done using tapes of Scripture, which had been recorded in the native language. The studies were done outside with the people sitting on benches. Our gathering soon attracted the attention of those who passed by. Soon many of those folks joined us so they could listen to the Gospel in their native tongue.
The number increased each week, and as a result we started church services on Sunday and Bible studies on Wednesday. Daboase now has a church and a pastor shepherding the flock.
In the same year, a cassette supplied by LMM was introduced to the Sekondi prisons. It was our desire to provide God's Word so the inmates might hear the Gospel. I give thanks I am able to share there was a great impact on the inmates, and many of them were brought to faith by the Holy Spirit.
Along with the tapes of the Bible, we also introduced our Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC). Those inmates who completed the BCC were awarded certificates and their very own Bible. While in prison some of the inmates requested permission to do their communal labor around the church in Takoradi. When they have finished their sentences, a large percentage of the inmates have visited and joined our churches.
Today I give thanks that so many of you have followed the Savior's last words to make disciples. In my country it makes a great difference.
THE PRAYER: Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, help us heed Your Word to make disciples. This we ask in the Name of the Savior who gave His life so we might have life. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Joseph Bart-Plange, who is a volunteer with the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Ghana. We thank him for the time he dedicates regularly to that ministry and for this devotion. Known locally as Lutheran Media Ministry, LHM-Ghana has its headquarters in Accra and was established in 1993. In this West African country of nearly 24 million people, LHM-Ghana uses music, dance and storytelling to share the love of Jesus. A musical group, The Harps, ministers regularly in public through song. Other mission efforts vital to this 20-year-old ministry center are Equipping the Saints (ETS), children's ministry activities, and prison outreach, where the incarcerated are supplied with food, Christian literature, and clothing. You can check out Ghana's blog at lmmgh.wordpress.com.
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