There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
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 seemed to be just an ordinary letter. Each week our office receives quite a few such letters.
The only noteworthy thing about this document was the fact it seemed to be written by a child who said her name was Antonova Tatyana. Our first reaction was here is a child who wishes to learn more about the Bible by taking on one of our adult Bible studies.
But Antonova Tatyana was not a child. She was a 22-year-old woman. The handwriting seemed to be like that of a child because Tatyana has a handicap, and it's very hard for her to write with any great legibility.
We enrolled her in a class, and she faithfully studied and turned in her homework. Quite often she would attach a small, simple, sincere letter. She told us about her family and her life. She shared that she likes braiding the hair of her friends, mostly, because they like it too. In one letter she also shared that while she would love to be a hairdresser her thorn in the flesh makes such a job impossible.
In the office we took a personal and special interest in Tatyana. We speculated about her prospects of marriage and all of us hoped she would find someone in her village to love and be loved by. We believed it would be a great blessing to her if she could meet a man who would love and take care of her.
On the other hand, it was obvious to all that she had already met her lifelong love: Jesus Christ.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Groom who takes care of His Bride, the church. But Jesus also takes care of each of us. This He has done by living, dying and rising so we might be rescued from sin's condemnation. Yes, Jesus loves Antonova Tatyana and He will always watch over her.
By that we mean, in spite of feeble flesh, the Holy Spirit gives the power for this special lady to meet and deal with the complications and challenges of each day. Tatyana knows this. That's why every one of her letters praises the Triune God, who moves her heart and hands in service, who directs her mind and soul to search the Scriptures.
In truth, her faithful studies have given this young lady a faith that is stronger than many folks who have a body that is completely healthy.
The Lord Jesus once said, "The spirit is willing, but the body is weak" (see Matthew 26:41). For Antonova Tatyana, that promise is certainly true.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord and Savior, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, we plead with You for all who are sick and weak in body. Strengthen their spirit by Your Word and Sacraments. Grant that none of us will ever grow fainthearted. Help us keep our eyes on Your sufferings on the cross and Your glorious resurrection. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion comes out of the Lutheran Hour Ministries' office in Kazakhstan. Every year that office receives thousands of responses from people who wish to learn more about Christianity. At the present time the office produces a topical radio program and a 25-minute weekly TV program, which airs in all the major cities. The office also puts out booklets, has medical team volunteers and, during Advent, runs "Operation Christmas Child." Youth programs are among the highest priorities for LHM-Kazakhstan. Monthly programs for the "Love is Kind" and "Labyrinth" series use a biblical framework to encourage young people to walk the right path in life. The Holy Spirit has also blessed the ever-expanding Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC). The ministry center in Kazakhstan has BCC programs for all ages with several hundred BCC lessons being distributed each month.
You can check out LHM-Kazakhstan's blog by clicking here.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries