"Learning to Relate"
August 8, 2014
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 1 Corinthians 9:19
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
As we travel for evangelism rallies to the various parts of our country, Ethiopia, we have had some interesting, and sometimes frightening, experiences.
In some places they welcome us with a wreath of flowers, songs of praise, and banners. In other locations, communities have roused the people against our programs. In a Muslim-dominated district, our film screens have been torn down and ripped to pieces. It's difficult to forget the time when we were stomped and kicked by Muslim extremists, as the police officer who was supposed to protect us looked on in approval.
In some places we have slept on a muddy floor using straw as a mattress.
In Ethiopia, we have many nations and nationalities. Just a few of these would include Amharas, Oromos, Tigre, Hadiya, Kembatta and Gurange. Because of nationalism, the children are taught in the local language. Because each tribe and region has a different set of customs and traditions, you can understand the difficulty of sharing the Savior's story of salvation so it can be understood. To best share the love of our Lord, in some areas our program includes solo singers who know the local language. If the dialect is unfamiliar to us, we use interpreters to deliver our messages.
Please understand using a local translator is not a bad thing. When people hear about the Redeemer in their own language, He seems far more personal to them. That is why, when we are in Oromia with the Oromos, we behave like Oromo or when we are with the Hadiya, we act like Hadiya.
The apostle Paul mentions how he, in order to win as many as possible to the Savior, was willing to make some changes to himself. To the Jews he became like a Jew; to those under the Law, he made himself appear to be under the Law, although he wasn't. To those who did not have the Law, he became one like them, and he also became like the weak when he was with those who had limited strength.
Remember: all these changes Paul made in himself and not to the message of salvation. Every personal modification was gladly made so he might reach the nations with the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Gladly we follow in his footsteps. May the good God help us to have the commitment, even in times of adversity and persecution, to be faithful to this preaching heritage and be bold in our witness to tell the nations about our saving Lord Jesus Christ!
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, help us to complete the task You gave us. With humility and meekness may we change ourselves so others may be brought to faith in the Lord Jesus, who gave Himself for their forgiveness and salvation. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by the director of the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Ethiopia, Berhanu Moges. Mr. Moges is a dear friend and faithful servant of the Savior. Established in Addis Ababa in 1996 and known locally as Berhan Media Ministry, this East African ministry center shares the Gospel in this country of 85 million via evangelism rallies, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), and the Equipping the Saints (ETS) program. As the devotion says, we work in partnership with congregations to organize these workshops. To learn more about the work being done in Ethiopia, please visit 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