You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18
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
One of our contacts named Manuel told us he always said, "I do no harm to anyone. However, when it comes to trusting other people, I was very closed. My attitude towards others was vindictive and spiteful. That philosophy produced resentment among family and friends. Worst of all, I refused to admit I was hurting my loved ones, others and myself. I felt despair when my wife asked for divorce because this attitude had caused her much harm."
Afterwards, on one of the days of deep reflection on what had happened to me, a Lutheran Hour brochure about anger management through trust in God's love fell into my hands.
That tract allowed God to shed light on the one who had been acting wrongly.
Then and there I asked Him to help me, and soon my life was in His loving hands. This was shown by a deep change in my spiritual life and in my relations with others. That was especially important to my wife who saw this change most personally.
With his problems, Manuel speaks for many of us.
By God's grace and the Holy Spirit's interaction, people of faith are changed. First, we are changed from being lost sinners to saved saints. But we are also empowered to let the Lord's love be reflected to those around us, to our loved ones and our friends.
No longer condemned by our transgressions, we can rejoice in the love of Jesus and our brothers and sisters in the faith. The Bible says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It rejoices with the truth, and always perseveres" (see 1 Corinthians 13). By constantly receiving and reflecting love, our lives become far more pleasant, safer and God pleasing.
My friends, many times people are wrongly convinced they can solve any problem. This is not the case. There are many situations over which we have no control. We cannot do miracles, and we most certainly cannot change others. No, we are not God.
Thankfully, although we fall far short of perfection, God remains in control. In Jesus our sins were forgiven and death was defeated. That is divine proof that God is able to handle all that we cannot. This is why, today, I pray all of us be cradled in God's hands. You will find, as Manuel found, that with God all things are possible.
God is love, and through Jesus Christ, He gives each of us a renewed relationship with God, with ourselves, with our loved ones, and with other people around us. In this He gives us a true inner peace. It is a peace which can accomplish much for it comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we thank You because You love us. I ask that You fill us with Your holy love. Grant me the ability to love my family and all those whose lives I might touch. Let them see the true happiness and peace which You have given. In Jesus' 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 that he has also 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 nearly 30 million people, LHM-Venezuela, known in-country as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones, uses programs like Equipping the Saints (ETS) and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) to reach out to South Americans with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Short radio broadcasts like A Moment with God and Perspectives address everyday concerns and give listeners spiritual help in dealing with pressing issues in their lives. Additionally, this ministry center's website offers helpful resources and information to help people in a practical way. You can find Venezuela's blog at lhmvenezuela.wordpress.com.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries