(Jesus said) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35
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
We are traveling to the kingdom of God.
On the way there we are all blessed to be in the company and on the path of Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit we have been called to faith and hope in Jesus Christ our Savior. As such, and in honor of the Redeemer, we have been given the privilege to love one another.
But the question that confronts us is "How do we love one another?"
The answer to that question is simple to say but hard to do.
We are encouraged to love one another according to God's standards. Now we normally love somebody because that person has been kind to us, or because they are our relatives, etc. That's something I call "loving with conditions."
In contrast to our restricted love, the Lord's love is unconditional, which helps people know Him.
The Lord wants us to treat each other like that because by our actions everyone can know and see we are His disciples. We do not really need a uniform with a logo or other Christian-related words. No, what we need is true love in action. By this, many and most people in the neighborhood will easily recognize that we are sons of the God of love.
Do you want to let people know you are a son or daughter of God? I am sure you will say yes immediately. If so, that means we will want to reveal the love which comes from our heart and not just by our words or some temporary feelings. Loving one another must be a lifetime decision, a commission, a right attitude to respect others and bring benefits to the ones we love.
I have experienced this once and helped my friend to be saved. He is suffering AIDS now. Nobody, even his family members, wants to hear, share, support and take care of him. I listen to him, share ups and downs with him, and he himself feels the special love (that I am given by God) I give to him. He is touched and he is, by the Holy Spirit, brought to faith in Jesus now.
Thank God for helping me share this true love with my friend by this very lesson. If there was not God's teaching, I would love our neighbors, especially my friend, by the love according to people's standards. In that case, everything will be "the same old story": nobody knows Christ and nobody is saved either.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You because Your Words are so sweet and wonderful that help us to live a fruitful life for You. Please continue to help us reveal Your sweet love in our life so that more and more people will know we are Your disciples and come to You, Lord. Amen!
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Vietnamese Pastor Dang Chau Nogoc. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Vietnam works with existing government-recognized congregations and organizations to assist in outreach in this country, where atheism is the "semiofficial" religion. Government regulations prohibit any religious activities outside the church; therefore, LHM-Vietnam cooperates with local congregations to spread the Gospel through programs such as Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), puppet shows, videos and musical performances. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Vietnam also provides Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to train lay Christian volunteers in personal witnessing.
Known in-country as Globalinks, LHM-Vietnam's ministry center's holistic outreach includes conducting eyeglass clinics and children's nutritional programs in an effort to build community relationships. Soccer tournaments are used as a model to demonstrate Christian values to youth.
To see what's going on around the world at LHM-Vietnam, you can click here to find out more.
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