March 21, 2014
The path of the righteous is level; You make level the way of the righteous. ... My soul yearns for You in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks You. For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:7, 9
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
It is an amazing experience for me to hear the early morning birds' songs.
At the beginning of the day we hear them singing in various melodies, melodies which reminds us that the night is over and the day is beginning. Of course, the birds do things other than sing in the morning. For most species, the early hours are that part of the day when they gather their daily food.
Although you and I are separated by many miles, we do have an expression in common: "The early bird catches worms or insects."
There is one other thing the early bird does: he wakes us up. On Sunday we would love to spend a bit more time in bed, but those early birds will wake us up and keep us from returning to sleep. The end result is the early bird makes sure we are early birds, too.
That's probably not so bad.
Those things which we do in early morning, when our minds are fresh and alert, make it so we can actually enjoy the rest of the day. Already in the morning we have accomplished much. That is a most satisfying feeling.
Isaiah would understand. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he tells us that it is a good thing to be in early communication with the Lord every day. Other writers of Scripture tell us that a similar time of early morning prayer was also important to them.
The Psalmist David, a man who was referred to as being "after the Lord's own heart," said, "In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice, In the morning I lay my request before You" (Psalm 5:3).
In some of our African cultures it is considered a courteous act to bring a case or an appeal to a higher authority at the earliest part of the morning. This is done because they wish to be able to say, "I didn't sleep the whole night as I was thinking of your case and appeal. I want you to know that I have given your situation proper consideration."
Has the Lord not said the same to us? He who gave His Son to die on the cross so that we might be cleansed of our sins has often expressed a desire to listen to us and our heartfelt petitions.
Confident that we have a loving Lord who saves and hears us, we know the "light of the Lord's face shines upon us" (see Psalm 4:6).
God's grace illumines our sharing the Good News with others. It gives us a good start in defeating temptation, and it directs us to our leading a Christian life. What a wonderful reason to begin the day with morning prayer, praying the Savior's light shines upon us.
True, we may not have the reflection which Moses had on his face after he came down from Sinai, but God's daily presence will make changes in our life, our attitude, and the way we work with others.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may we begin every day in Your presence. May that blessed time grant us a day which will reflect You to others and bring blessings to us. May this happen so that Your grace will remain and abound. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Berhanu Moges. He was born and grew up in Addis Ababa. For over 20 years he served in high positions at the government hotels. Led by the Holy Spirit, he joined LHM-Ethiopia in December of 1996. He served as an organizer for five months and then as manager and director. Currently, LHM-Ethiopia offers an extensive Bible Correspondence Course (BCC) in three local languages and in English. We have evangelism rallies, film shows emphasizing Christian values, Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops, youth ministries, prison ministries, and drama ministries. These are some of the vital programs the ministry conducts in Ethiopia. You can read about the work being done in Ethiopia by visiting its blog at lhmethiopia.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