"We Are Rich in Christ"
May 2, 2014
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7
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
Wealth among the Israelites and people of our times has always been measured from a worldly point of view, with a focus on the material goods everyone thinks they need to possess.
Scripture speaks about the riches of Job, Abraham, Isaac and others. Their wealth was measured in sheep, camels, and the number of children they had. In our age riches are more often calculated by the amount of real estate you own and the quantity of money you have stashed away in the bank.
When the representatives of Lutheran Hour Ministries first came to our mission field at Los Limones, they recognized it was their job to help people see things differently, that is, from a spiritual perspective. They wanted everyone they met to realize that they, like St. Paul, could be made very rich in the grace of the Lord, which had been shown to them through the sacrifice and substitution of the Savior.
I just mentioned Los Limones. Los Limones is the place where I live and work. It is a community, which is made up of some 500 families. Ninety-five percent of those families are incredibly poor. As a result, many of them have come to believe their first -- and sometimes only -- priority, is to make money and accumulate stuff.
I have seen the power of the Holy Spirit change the hearts of entire families when they became acquainted with and are given faith in the crucified and risen Savior.
One family, Don Candelatio Perez, along with Irma, 13, and Ana, 14, have been transformed. Once they were focused only on "things," and now they have had their eyes lifted up to the cross and empty tomb. The end result is they are overjoyed to know how Jesus Christ has forgiven their sins and has made them children in His Kingdom of grace.
While there is only one story of salvation, we at Lutheran Hour Ministries have found the message can be successfully shared in many different ways.
We have had families touched through evangelistic campaigns that were part of a vacation Bible school. There have been radio programs and printed literature for special needs and situations. We have been blessed as the Holy Spirit has used adult Bible studies to bring knowledge and faith to those who once were lost.
As a citizen of Los Limones, I personally rejoice at the change I have seen.
The families are no longer poor. True, the number of earthly possessions may not have changed, but in Jesus they have been made rich. And those gracious, spiritual riches are more than we deserve and all that they can hope for.
THE PRAYER: Beloved Father, we pray that You will help us appreciate Your love and be grateful for the riches of Your grace, which comes to us in Jesus. Then, with understanding and gladness, may I share those riches with others who are still spiritually poor. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Guatemalan Pastor Luis Alberto Jasinto. Pastor Jasinto is married to Nancy, and they have three children. The good Reverend has been pastor at The Resurrection Lutheran Church in Gualan, Zacapa, since 1993. He has represented Lutheran Hour Ministries in his community where he assists in a Christian education program, which reaches more than 100 children and their parents. Based in Guatemala City since 1993, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Guatemala -- known locally as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN) -- utilizes Project JOEL, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), Equipping the Saints (ETS) to spread the Gospel in this country of more than 15 million people. Additionally, this ministry center utilizes radio, television and the Internet in its outreach efforts. Also, staff and volunteers frequently visit hospitals and orphanages, making contact with adults and children in physical and spiritual need. To read and see more of what's going on in Guatemala, please visit its 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