And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:2
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
Blessings bring many opportunities and joys to our lives.
Those blessings come from many different sources: our parents, elders, pastors, teachers, etc. Properly given and received, those blessings are always real helps in our lives. Of course, it almost goes without saying the blessings of God remain the greatest, the most excellent gifts of all.
Scripture has many such examples of God's blessings being given.
For example, God selected Abraham and revealed Himself to the patriarch. Part of that choosing ended up with the descendants of Abraham, the Hebrews, knowing the true God. As long as the people appreciated the Lord's favor, that is, as long as they trusted in Him, they enjoyed favored lives. God's blessings resulted in them becoming a great nation.
Abraham received the promises of God and trusted in Him. In this way he became a forefather of believers and, centuries later, the Lord honored his name.
Over the centuries God has continued to bless His people. Truly, it is always a joyful thing to receive the Lord's heaven-sent bounties in our lives. But it is a double joy to be a blessing to others also.
After realizing he had reached a considerable age, Abraham gave a large share of his holdings, as well as many rights, to his relative Lot. Abraham passed on all the material gain he had won in his battles with his enemies and thereby gave Lot the tools to have a blessed and happy life.
Through this act, the fame of Abraham was increased. More importantly, in the form of blessings both old and new, the Lord continued to bestow His largesse upon the aged patriarch.
Stories like this from the Word of God help us understand that we are blessed not only through receiving the gifts we get from our Creator, but we are also blessed when we share those blessings with others.
Understand, here we are not talking about mere earthly things and stuff.
Our real blessings come via the sweet grace and special mercy of God. These are the Lord's never- tarnishing, never-failing gifts. When St. Paul took his problems to the Lord, God responded by saying, "My grace is sufficient for you" (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). It was that grace which sustained Paul through his trials.
It is the same grace by which, centuries later, our Lord blesses us by using us as good leaders to reach out to people and reflect His love to the lost -- as well as to each other.
In other words, in word and deed, we share the story of the Savior who gave His life, so all who believe on Him might be given salvation through the risen Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Lord, our Heavenly Father, the Giver of all blessings, we thank You for all Your earthly and spiritual gifts we enjoy in our lives. Help us understand the greatest blessing is not only to receive -- but also to share -- our salvation with others whom You bring before us. In the Name of Jesus our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Reverend D. Eben Titus. Reverend Titus received his degree from Serampore University in India. The good Reverend is married to Beril and they have a son and daughter. Pastor has served 16 years at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and four years at Calvary Lutheran Church. Since 2001, he has been at Grace Lutheran Church, Vallioor in the Nagercoil Synod. Pastor Titus has written numerous devotions and articles.
In this country of 1.2 billion people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-India is known as Christian Media Centre and began operations in 1951. Using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) in six languages -- Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi Marathi, Gujarati and English, this ministry center in Chennai reaches out with the Gospel. It also utilizes the Internet to broadcast round-the-clock radio messages of love and hope. Beyond this, short dramas, devotional songs, stage plays, and dance convey the Gospel to audiences in remote villages and cities. Twice weekly this ministry center broadcasts television programs to reach out to Tamil-speaking people.
Check out how LHM-India is using summer Bible school programs to reach young people, by clicking here to read its July 5 blog.
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