Looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
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
On my way back from Johannesburg Correctional Services to the LHM-South Africa offices, I always stop for a coffee. One day I had the opportunity to share my faith with the shop assistant.
He told me he would never come to church because he is not good enough. Along with that, he knows people who are as bad as himself, but they still go to church. In his mind they were hypocrites.
I asked him where such people would go to find salvation except in church. Then I challenged him to come as he is and be assured the Lord would cleanse him. "The truth is" I told him, "you can't do anything because no matter what you do, it will never be enough. That is why Jesus came. When it comes to salvation Jesus did it all for us. Indeed, He became sin for us so that we can be saved."
That is why Jesus is the only Savior of the world.
The penitent can flee to His mercy because He promised that whoever comes to Him He will never send back. God so loved the world that He gave His Son as atonement for our sin. The Savior died a shameful death so that we can be free of sin, death and the devil. He resurrected victoriously so that we too can conquer death.
The problem with people is they think they need to perfect themselves before they come to Jesus.
They forget He is the Author and Perfecter of our lives. He suffered, died and rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father, but He also is with us in the "means of grace." At His supper He feeds us with His body and blood in the Sacrament for the forgiveness of our sins.
This, too, is done out of His goodness without any works from us. From the beginning, when our first parents sinned by disobeying the Lord's command, He put into place the plan to reconcile us back with Himself.
This plan was fulfilled when Christ suffered and died in our stead so that we can receive His righteousness. That is why, when our hour arrives to leave this world, we can be at peace. We know our souls are in God's hands and our sin has been paid for, all this without any works done by us.
THE PRAYER: Merciful Father, we pray that You will send Your Holy Spirit to kindle in us the zeal to proclaim Your Gospel to the nations, so that they may know Your loving kindness for the world. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Sizakele Lugojolo, who is director of the Lutheran Hour Ministries center in South Africa. Mr. Lugojolo is a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church in South Africa (LCSA). He was the first student who was allowed to attend the LCSA seminary while holding down a full-time job in business. This labor of love for his Lord took him eight years to complete. The Lord has blessed Mr. Lugojolo and his wife with a young daughter. In Africa, Lutheran Hour Ministries-South Africa is known as The Lutheran Hour. Established in Johannesburg in 1961, this ministry center employs emerging technologies in its innovative social media and text-message ministries. It also uses LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) in its outreach approach. Areas of ministry specialization include work in prisons where LHM staff and volunteers regularly visit inmates to share the Gospel. Dramatic presentations are another area where people are reached with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Ads in newspapers inviting people to call for counseling, topical booklets, or prayer are effective too. To learn more about what's going on in South Africa, check out its blog at lhmsa.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