(Jesus said) "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good work and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
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
It is always interesting to see how the Lord can spread His "good news of great joy" message (see Luke 2:10).
Working with Lutheran Hour Ministries in Latvia I have found that He, not we, is the One who accomplish His purposes. For example, there have been times when we have put a lot of energy in dreaming, planning and thinking about a witnessing project. We were sure things would blossom.
They didn't. They never took off because something was missing.
On the other hand, there were those times when we never expected to see any success and the Lord blessed the project far beyond anything we could have imagined.
Allow me to share an example. Some time ago we began a program in Riga, which we called, "Pandamania." It was something we had never done before, nor had anyone else. I remember how we began our plans to implement the children's program. We did a great deal of background work, including translating the songs that were to be used.
Never did we expect any of those songs would become so very popular.
The Lord surprised us. The beginning of that surprise began when one little boy who liked our song so much couldn't stand still while singing it. He danced and sang and asked us to play the song again and again. We smiled when we saw his joy and involvement in singing that song. Before too long other children began to sing the song. Soon hundreds of young voices joined in singing the praises of a God, who is always good and always comes to help you.
At the Lutheran Hour office in Latvia we are trying to promote family.
This program has also been blessed. I can remember how the mother of a little child came to tell us how much she appreciated the opportunity to participate in sports games together with her children. She had never thought about such a thing before, but now she intended to play games with her children on a regular basis. That was because she had found out how much joy a Christian activity can bring, not only to the children, but also to her.
Of course, there was a little boy didn't want to take part in the "Pandamania" activities.
He decided anything to do with Jesus was boring. "I know already all this God stuff," he said. But before the end of the program the Holy Spirit had touched him, and he was excited. When we asked him why he had changed his mind, the answer was, "I didn't know this God thing can bring so much joy!"
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, help us bring Your light to the dark places of this world. Thank You for all the gifts and skills You have given to us. Help us be Your children, who show others Your love and grace. Grant us Your guidance so that our words, teachings and examples may be used by the Holy Spirit to bring souls into Your Kingdom. This I pray in the Savior's Holy Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Ilze Abraha. She once worked at the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Latvia, but now she is employed as a bookkeeper at an international company. Even though she no longer collects a paycheck from LHM, Abraha is still committed to sharing the Savior's story. This she does as she regularly volunteers herself to the work of telling the folks in this former Soviet Union country about the joys that come from having Jesus as your Savior. In this European country of nearly two million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Latvia, known in-country as Lutheran Hour Mission, supports the efforts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. Through Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops it trains Christians to be outreach-minded in respect to their faith. It also uses four different Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), which are tailored to both adults and young people, either individually or in study groups. Beyond that, LHM-Latvia connects with communities through radio programming, movie night/discussion events, vacation Bible schools, and it even features a seminar series on Christian living: the "School of Spiritual Survival."
Staff and volunteers from LHM-Latvia, along with members from three congregations, took part in a "Warm up Your Neighbor" event in October, which included quilts supplied from the U.S.-based Orphan Grain Train. You can stop by and click here to visit LHM-Latvia's 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