And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12
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
In Nicaragua we offer a training program which we call, Equipping the Saints.
Equipping the Saints is an interesting program that makes a witness to those who are lost while, at the same time, it teaches those who are already saved how to share the salvation story with others. Equipping the Saints is a wonderful program that touches new Christians, old Christians, and non-Christians.
At an Equipping the Saints meeting, when we meet with people who don't know much about the Savior, the first question which we ask is "Who do you think is a saint?" Naturally, almost everyone immediately thinks of famous people of the past: Saint Luke, Saint Paul, Saint Matthew, and others who followed our Lord Jesus.
To that common answer, we respond, "It's true. These folks were and are saints." And then we share, "But every person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is also a saint." In Galatians 3:26, Saint Paul tells us, "For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." Now if we are "sons of God," we are also saints.
Sometimes at our presentations we notice that people misunderstand. That is because they have heard or been taught to believe they can pray to the saints for a miracle or for health or wealth.
When we see such misunderstanding, we go out of our way to tell them the only way we can be given salvation and everlasting life is through our Lord Jesus, the Son of God.
It is He -- and not the saints -- who has lived for us, died for us, and risen for us. Now He pleads to the Father for our faith and well-being. It is to Jesus, and not to the saints, that we ought to pray. When they understand the key and central position of the Savior, we are able to move forward.
From then on we can remind them, "Do not forget that you are also saints!"
We can offer them the encouragement to be ready as Christians, as God's children, as saints ... to be ready to share the Savior with those who have not yet heard about the everlasting life Jesus Christ offers to all of us.
It is, of course, the saintly thing to do.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing me to be Your child. Most of all thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ who has, without any merit or worthiness in us, paid for our sins and given us eternal life. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion comes from Nicaragua and was written by Mercedes. Mercedes is a young lady who is finishing her master's degree in psychology. She is an active volunteer with our Lutheran Hour Ministries office as -- every month, on the Savior's behalf -- she makes spiritual presentations at elementary and secondary schools. Mercedes is also part of LHM's radio broadcast. Mercedes is originally from the city of Leon. In country, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Nicaragua is known as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ("Christ for All Nations"). It opened its ministry center in Chinandega in 1999. From there LHM-Nicaragua conducts Equipping the Saints (ETS) evangelism workshops, and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC). For the latter, the ministry center sends out volunteers to a variety of locations, offering personal assistance and guidance to students as they learn biblical truths. Project JOEL is another valuable outreach program that's making a difference. Here children and youth learn to make healthy lifestyle choices so as to avoid addictive or detrimental habit patterns. This program is also used to connect with high school and university students. Using both radio and the Internet, religious messages are broadcast over a wide area. Supplementing its radio ministry is "Radio CristoNica," a daily Internet program sharing the Gospel and helping others in this diverse Central American country of six million people.
To read how LHM-Nicaragua honored the 497th anniversary of Reformation Day this year, click here to visit its blog.
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