(Jesus said) "In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also." John 14:2-3
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
"Why don't Western parents love their children?" an elderly Thai woman once asked me.
"Western parents do love their children," I replied.
"No, I don't think so," she said.
"What gives you that idea?" I asked her.
"If they loved their children," she said thoughtfully, "then why do parents kick them out of the house when they turn 18 and force them to find their own place to live?"
When I tried to explain how Western parents and their children value independence and how it's a mark of good parenting when children can live on their own and take care of themselves, the elderly Thai lady just stared at me with a look of incomprehension on her face.
I decided it wouldn't be wise for me to mention how older Western people work very hard to maintain their independence as long as they possibly can.
Thai society is very communal. For most Thai people to be alone is to be lonely. They have great joy in being around a group of friends and family as much as possible.
In Thai culture everyone fully expects children to live with their parents until they get married. Even when the children get married, they often live with the woman's parents until after the first grandchild is born.
Most homes in Thailand contain extended, multi-generational families. Parents love keeping their families together by having their adult children live with them. The adult children enjoy the familiarity and comfort of continuing to live within the family circle. Everyone in the family is happy to have grandparents living under the same roof with them so they can help take care of them in their old age. This is seen as the best way to show respect and appreciation for all they have done for the family for so many years.
Like those Thai children, we, too, have an invitation to live in our Father's house.
Through faith in Jesus we have a room waiting for us, and that room is ours through all eternity. Because of His great love for us, God opens the doors of His heavenly home and welcomes us in.
Our place in heaven is already prepared. Jesus has arranged our room for us. Our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone before us are waiting to greet us. We can have confidence that our place in heaven is secured by the blood of Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Jesus, for preparing a place for us in our Father's house. Through Your suffering, death and resurrection, You have made it possible for us to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father throughout eternity. We are forever grateful. In Your Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: The author of today's international devotion is Dennis Denow, who works as an LCMS missionary in Thailand and serves as the Asia Pacific Region education consultant. He is the husband of LHM-Thailand Director, Monta Ekwanit Denow, and volunteers to teach English classes for the LHM-Thailand staff and occasionally assists with other LHMT projects. About our office in Thailand: LHM-Thailand focuses on sharing the Gospel and making contacts with local people through the Internet, Gospel text-messaging, various community radio programs, Equipping the Saints (ETS) evangelism training, and evangelistic outreach programs. Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), music CDs, animated VCDs, and print materials are used to encourage and help strengthen the faith of Thai Christians. The staff also conducts special children's activities and does presentations in many government schools. Known in Thailand as Journey Into Light (JIL), LHM's ministry center in Bangkok was established in 1991 and serves many individuals in this country of nearly 67 million.
To see how LHM-Thailand got in the thanksgiving spirit early this year, check out its story -- "An Evening of Blessing" -- to see in words and pictures how this ministry center showed its appreciation to all the donors and friends who support its work in Thailand. You can 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