(Jesus said) "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29
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
Have you ever noticed that there are a few people out there who have talents, wealth and glory but who, somehow, manage to remain gentle and humble of heart?
Some time ago I met such people.
There was a construction program going on in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The government told us we had to move to a remote area where there was no road, electric power, or clean tap water. Everyone was forced to move to this place since the government was going to take over our former location to put up some high-rise buildings.
About 125 land and property owners evacuated their former locations and moved to other places. But there were seven property owners who did not wish to leave the land, which they had received from their ancestors. They told the government, "We will construct the same type of building that you are going to put up."
When these families submitted this proposition, it became evident to everyone else that they were incredibly wealthy. What amazed us is these families had always been our neighbors, and we had never known how rich they were.
Those folks all had a humble demeanor, as did Jesus, our Savior, God's Son.
It has always amazed me that Jesus, the King of kings, humbled Himself and came to earth to be our suffering Servant. He was not born in the palace of the kings. Indeed, He could have ordered the angels of heaven to come and prepare a grand building, which could be substituted for the Bethlehem stable and manger.
When King Herod tried to have the Savior murdered, Jesus could have transported Himself, Mary, and Joseph to a place of safety. He could have commandeered a chariot of fire like Elijah's. He could have ordered the sands of the desert to blind and confuse the soldiers, or He might have simply struck down anyone who opposed Him.
As the Savior hung on the cross, He had the power to switch places with those who had put Him there. Being God's Son, Jesus could have done many things to make His life on earth easier. He could have done those things, but He didn't. Instead, He chose to live His life in poverty and humility.
Had I been in His place I would have used all my authority to save myself from the attack of my enemies. If I had been Jesus, I would have performed a miracle to frighten my enemies and force them to keep their distance.
But Jesus didn't do any of those things. Instead, He humbled himself even unto death. Jesus gave up all earthly glory and allowed Himself to be taken by His persecutors and murderers.
Paul helps us understand in His epistle to the Philippians. There He says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. ... (He) took on the nature of a servant. ... As a man He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross" (See Philippians 5:5-8).
Now, because Jesus, true Man and true God has fulfilled the Commandments for us, has defeated temptations for us, and conquered death for us, all who believe on Him as Savior are washed, cleansed, forgiven and saved. Now all that is left for His people to do is follow their Lord in humility.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we thank You for the humble and sacrificial work You did for us. Help us to be humble in our daily contacts with others. This we ask so souls might be won for Your kingdom. In Your Name. 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 those workshops. Its rallies have proven effective in reaching people, drawing thousands and including non-Christians and Muslims. Films, sporting events, music and drama, and Bible competitions have all proven successful as outreach efforts designed to share the Gospel message. You can learn more about what's going on in Ethiopia by check out its blog at lhmethiopia.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