And He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15
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
At the class with his elementary school students, the teacher talked about the natives who still live in our country and the other countries of Latin America.
Most of those students had never met such a person and were surprised to learn there actually were other human beings who, right at this very moment, were living in their country and had different manners, different ways of living and values, which are very different from those of the students and their families.
This activity encouraged the students to investigate the other types of culture around them.
Once again they were shocked at the myriad groups who are living in a different culture. Truth be told, although we live in a world that is shrinking, every day we come across people who hail from areas, which sport different cultural variations, different dialects, and even different religious beliefs and viewpoints concerning God and salvation.
But all these divergent groups have something in common: they are all sinners before God.
Scripture tells us, "sin entered the world through one man": Adam, which takes us to the second thing we all have in common -- because of our transgressions all of us are going to die. (See Romans 5:12.)
Things would have stayed that way if it had not been for the grace and mercy of the Triune God. In His love, the Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son into this world. Jesus' remarkable life is unique in this: He committed no sin. Even so, He carried all of our sins to the cross where He gave up His life for the salvation of the world.
In short, Jesus was treated as a sinner so, in Him, we could receive God's forgiveness and salvation.
Now everyone, regardless of race, culture and dialect can be united with Christ. Those who have Jesus as their Savior are no longer under condemnation. True, their earthly bodies are still subject to temporal death, but their spirit will live because of the Christ.
Is not this the most wonderful gift God could give to a sinful and condemned world? I pray it is for you -- no matter what your family history or background. I pray it is. Because our justification through Jesus' sacrifice is the central message of the Word of God for humankind.
Because of Jesus, on the final day, we will be in the presence of the Lord. Dressed in white and with a palm in hand, we will join with multitudes who hail from every nation, race and language. Together we will join in singing, "Victory belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and the Lamb" (Revelation 7:10b).
THE PRAYER: Beloved Father, we thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to die for all mankind, no matter the social status, race or origin. Today and always we rejoice that because of the Christ we are reconciled and made partakers of the blessings You have prepared for all believers. In Jesus' Name we give thanks. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Pastor Edgar Martin Coronado of Venezuela. Pastor Coronado is supportive of Lutheran Hour Ministries' work in his country, and we thank him for his devotions. Currently, he is serving at La Fortaleza Lutheran Church in Maracay, and as a missionary pastor in Aragua State. He is also professor of philosophy at Pedagogico de Caracas.
Known in Venezuela as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ("Christ for All Nations"), LHM-Venezuela uses Equipping the Saints (ETS) and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) to reach out to South Americans with the Gospel, in this country of more than 33 million people. Additionally, this ministry center produces radio messages like "A Moment with God" and "Perspectives" to deal with life's everyday issues. Also its website is accessed by many, and visitors can opt to receive Christian devotional messages, as well as inspirational e-mails or text messages.
You can learn more about what goes on at LHM-Venezuela by clicking here to visit its 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