All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Romans 3:12
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
Soon after I became Christian, (I was then the only child in the family to receive Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord), I started sharing the Good News of Christ's salvation for all, with my parents. Since I was only 12 years old, and I was staying with my parents who practiced traditional beliefs, the catechist of the village refused to present me to the district pastor for baptism.
I remember that several times, I invited my father to come to church to hear the salvation story. It was my hope that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he might be convicted of sin and be led to repentance and forgiveness of those sins.
Unfortunately, my father would argue with me and say, "My son, I was born here; I grew up here as an orphan; I got married to your mother and we are your parents, right? Don't you think that this is good enough for me?" Then he would continue with some practical examples on his goodness. He would ask, "Have you ever heard that I have stolen something from someone? Have you ever seen me fighting with your mother or someone else, here in the village?" Our conversation always ended with those questions.
But, the Word of the Lord clearly says that "Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin" (see Romans 3:9), and that everyone should "turn away from sins, because the kingdom of Heaven is near" (see Matthew 3:2). The call of John the Baptist for the repentance of the people of that day was not only about the liberation of Israel from sin, but it also concerned God's salvation for all nations.
Among those who responded to John the Baptist's call for repentance, were Pharisees and Sadducees, two Jewish religious groups who had their own doctrines concerning the Lord's working with His people. John the Baptist realized they were more preoccupied by religious legalism and were neglecting their personal relationships with God and with one another. That's why he referred to them as "snakes" and urged them to do things that will show that they have turned away from their sins (see Matthew 3:7-8).
My late father had much the same attitude as did the Pharisees and the Sadducees at the time of John the Baptist. He did not realize that a life without Jesus is a life turned away from God and, therefore, he was destined to eternal damnation.
Thankfully, I am able to share that, by God's grace, my father was put right with the Lord through Jesus Christ. By the Holy Spirit's power he repented of his sins and asked to be baptized in the Name of the Triune God, so he might be forgiven and welcomed into the family of faith.
This happy event happened on Saturday, the 21st of April, in 2007. That was only three days before my father died at the regional hospital of Yagoua, in the far north of Cameroon.
It is my prayer, and the work of Lutheran Hour Ministries, to do all we can so my father's story is repeated in the lives of many more of our countrymen who need to know the Savior and the salvation which comes through faith in Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for being at work through the power of Your Word and the works of the Holy Spirit who convinces people of sins and leads them to the forgiveness which comes in the washing of Holy Baptism. This prayer I offer up in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Pastor Samuel Frouisou. Pastor Frouisou is the coordinator of the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Cameroon. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Natal/Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. Before Pastor Frouisou joined LHM in June of 2004, he was a lecturer at the Lutheran Theological Institute at Meiganga. Soon after his ordination at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon in May of 1993, he was appointed students' chaplain and church's Bible study groups' coordinator in the church. In this West African nation of 22 million people, LHM opened its ministry center in Yaounde in 2001. Using Equipping the Saints (ETS) and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), it works with Christians to strengthen their faith and assist them in their personal outreach to others with the Gospel. Staff and volunteers also use radio, film presentations, rallies, printed materials and, combined with hospital and prison visits, meet spiritual needs in a variety of ways. To learn more about what's going on in Cameroon, you can check out its blog at lhmcameroon.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