"The Great Opportunity"
January 31, 2014
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness." Hebrews 3:7-8
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
I can remember back to the 90s when modernism was history and post-modernism was still trying to promote licentiousness and guilt-free sexual promiscuity.
The epidemic of AIDS had been around for more than ten years. To combat the disease every country had begun a campaign to control the spread of the disease. Sadly, every program had proven to be fruitless.
I know because I had personally enrolled myself as a doctor who voluntarily went around to speak at hospitals and offer support to those who were sickened by AIDS. Again and again, I was confronted by sad situations where the individual had been abandoned by society as well as by their own family members.
They were left to their own fate.
Eventually, my country began to realize Christian values were the best and most effective control to the spread of the illness. It was in 1999 that I heard about the work of Lutheran Hour Ministries in our country. Here in Guatemala it is known as Cristo Para Todas las Naciones Guatemala (CPTLN).
This group of dedicated believers were giving lectures in public schools and seminars. Their presentations stood out as they tried to counter the spread of AIDS with the message of life, hope, and salvation, which is ours through faith in Jesus Christ.
It was a cause in which I readily joined. I knew this message could reach and save thousands of youngsters in Guatemala. It could reach and save their souls as well as their bodies.
What a contrast our message provided!
Patients who had come from a culture with a high level of sexual promiscuity, who were surrounded by terminally ill patients, and were living with the consequences of their sin were told God wanted to give them the great opportunity.
Because of the work, the suffering, the crucifixion, and the resurrection of our Savior we were able to share with these folks the sweetest words they would ever hear: God loves you and His Son has done everything necessary for you to have life and salvation.
Then, we would refer to the passage which serves as the theme for today's Daily Devotion: don't harden your heart to the voice of the Lord.
Today, many years after I first began to make that presentation, I have to acknowledge some things have not changed. AIDS is not controlled, and there is still no medicine that will heal an individual who contracts it.
No, some things haven't changed, but some things have. Today I am able to say that sin no longer is eternally fatal. The blood of Christ is the medicine which can cure. It is free, abundant and, most importantly -- to those who believe -- it is always effective.
That is the message we share, and it is always delivered with this plea: today can be your salvation day; today can be your great, God-given opportunity. Do not doubt, but believe.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your death on the cross. Through Your blood which was shed, today we have a medicine that gives forgiveness and salvation to all who believe. May the Holy Spirit touch hearts with that truth so others may someday stand in Your presence cleansed from every sin. In Your Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Dr. Elry Plinio Orozco Aguirre. Dr. Aguirre serves as a volunteer with the Lutheran Hour Ministries' office in Guatemala (CPTLN - "Christ for all Nations"). He lectures in public schools, represents our organization at educational conferences, serves as a medical missionary, and is deacon in charge of the Lutheran Church Mission La Santa Cruz in Guatemala. In this country of more than 13 million people, LHM-Guatemala uses Project JOEL, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) and a young theater group, Kerigma, to spread the Gospel. You can check out Guatemala's blog at englishcptlnguate.blogspot.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