Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62
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
Our Lord asks His people to be committed to accomplishing the work of the Kingdom.
As our all-knowing Savior, He recognized that when a person becomes one of His followers, they are often given a cross to carry. Now, Jesus didn't want us to avoid carrying our cross, nor did He want us to underestimate its weight. Knowing human nature as only God can, He realized that when people take their eyes off Him, they will begin to look back ... and then they will fail.
Having made His point and shared His warning, our Lord observed that no one having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.
It is a point we understand in our Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Liberia. We understand because we have seen Jesus' words fulfilled in the life of a man I shall call, "David."
Like most Christians, David has experienced his share of ups and downs. Still, because David looked at other things more than he looked to Jesus, he became discouraged. His discouragement would often lead him away from church, and from his Lord.
Then, after a month or two away from worship, David would show up in our office and complain about how "it's difficult to lead this Christian life." There were even times when he would begin his complaining with the words, "If only I were not a Christian ...."
Recently, David came to work for us at LHM-Liberia, and he shared how he had not been to church for a while. He also confessed his two children were asking him when he might be willing to take them back to worship.
From that moment on, David has become our special project. It is our desire to get him back to the Lord and fulfill his duties as a Christian father. This we do by sharing pertinent Scripture verses like that written by Paul who said, "... One thing I do, I forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize ... which comes to us in Christ Jesus" (see Philippians 3:13-14).
We often remind David of the story when Jesus walked on the water.
Special emphasis is given to what happened to Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the wind and waves that were all around him. Then we explain to David, "When we keep our eyes on the Lord, He can lead us through good times and bad, happy times and sad. He can strengthen us when we are weak and comfort us when we are sorrowful. He will give us all we need, if we only keep our eyes focused on Him."
Well, David is our personal project. I wonder who is yours?
Who in your fellowship needs to be encouraged to keep their eyes on the crucified and risen Redeemer? Who should you be encouraging to look to the Lord? I can't guess any names, but I do know the Lord wants us to be fit for the kingdom of heaven, and that will happen only when we keep our eyes on the Christ, our Redeemer and Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me trust You and ever set my eyes on You. This I ask in the Name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Abraham Shape. He came to serve as a volunteer for Lutheran Hour Ministries after he had completed and been moved by our Bible Correspondence Course (BCC). Shape works with the BCC supervisor to distribute our booklets to students who live in Gardnerville, Liberia. Concerning LHM's center in Liberia -- our Liberia radio program reaches out to millions of people throughout the nation. The ministry center recognizes the value of this method of sharing the Savior with the lost since bad road conditions limit the number of people with whom we can visit face to face. In Liberia LHM was established in 2013. In this West African country of more than four million people, LHM-Liberia presents films, outdoor concerts, and dramatic performances as a way of integrating with local communities and inviting people to know more about Jesus. This ministry center also partners with area congregations, seeking volunteers and using Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to train individuals to witness to their faith. To read more about what's going on in Liberia, you can click here to visit its blog.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Check out Lutheran Hour Ministries' video sermon series, "Footsteps of Paul." Click here!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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