(Jesus said) "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." John 14:15-20
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
In the Old Testament God often made covenants, or religious contracts, with the people of Israel. There were covenants which covered the area of repentance and covenants which brought about a sinner's reconciliation with the Lord.
Not surprisingly, some of those covenants had to be repeated.
They had to be repeated because, while the Lord always remembered and kept His end of the covenant's bargain, sinful humans forgot. They forgot what God had said; they forgot what God had promised, and they forgot the punishment that awaited those who broke the relationship.
In March of the year 2000, my mother, Mrs. Eletina Bunguzu, passed on because her heart had failed. Since my father was very old, at the age of 30, I found I had to look after my three sisters and two young brothers. My salary with the Ministry of Education didn't cover expenses. For some reason our other relatives provided neither advice nor assistance.
I felt desperately alone.
I knew the world had rejected us and felt the Lord had forgotten us. To all intents and purposes we were orphans, and living that way can be a dangerous death trap. Looking into the future I could see nothing positive, as everything looked dark and hopeless.
That's the way I felt and thought. But my ways are not God's and my thoughts are not His. The Holy Spirit soon helped me realize that the Lord, through His Son Jesus Christ, provides hope to all believers, including you and me!
The Lord Jesus clearly tells us He does not want us to be alone or become prey for the devil. So that we might be given forgiveness, salvation and peace is why Jesus came into this world. So that devil and death might be replaced by heaven and hope is why the Savior lived, died and rose.
In John chapter 14 we see how Jesus, in His steadfast love, made a covenant in which His followers were assured that there will be no orphans in the kingdom of Heaven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I rejoice that because of Jesus I am not an orphan. By His bloody sacrifice I have been adopted into the family of faith and have an eternal home with You. Accept my prayerful thanks in the Name of Jesus, Your Son, my Savior. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Aubrey William Bunguzu, who is the audience relations coordinator for the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Malawi. He is a holder of a university diploma in education (humanities), and his profession is teaching. His considerable experience with students has helped him understand the behavior and characteristics of his country's people. Leaving his career as a teacher in the government's secondary school system, Bunguzu joined Lutheran Hour Ministries on June 1, 2004. His talents have greatly contributed to the growth of the ministry. His skill has also benefited the church as he has helped plant several congregations. Most of all we rejoice that one of his greatest strengths is to reach out to the unchurched of Malawi.
In this Southeast African country of more than 16 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Malawi is known as Kuunkia Media Ministry. Established in 2002 and headquartered in Lilongwe, the country's capital, this ministry center uses a 30-minute, weekly radio program, mass rallies, drama, music and dance performances, along with volunteer participation to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Additionally, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops allow adults and youth to get more deeply immersed in matters of the Christian faith and cultivate among participants a greater familiarity with witnessing to their faith. To learn more about what's going on in Malawi, you can check out its blog at lhmmalawi.wordpress.com.
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In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries