But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24
"Bringing Christ to the Nations -- and the Nations to the Church."
That is what Lutheran Hour Ministries is about: sharing the Savior around the world. For most of the folks who read our Daily Devotions, hearing and learning about Jesus is not a difficult thing. In our lands of relative religious freedom, we have the opportunity to worship as we wish: the liberty to listen to radio and television broadcasts. Countless online Bible studies are available to us at the click of a button.
For 85 years, The Lutheran Hour, the oldest ongoing Christian broadcast in the world, has taken advantage of that freedom. While far more recent, these Daily Devotions do the same thing. We share the Savior and point people to a worship community.
These freedoms are a wonderful thing, and we dare not take them for granted.
I say that because there are places, many places in this world, where Jesus' Name has been banished. His pastors and preachers have been jailed, and it is a crime for anyone to convert and become a follower of the Savior. There are nations where no cross can be worn on clothing or placed on buildings. And now, the most recent information tells us that this world, which hates Jesus and His followers, has set a new record. Estimates tell us that
EVERY FIVE MINUTES A CHRISTIAN IS BEING MARTYRED FOR HIS FAITH.
When I record these Daily Devotions, they usually time out somewhere between three and a half and four minutes. That means in a little bit longer than it takes you to listen to this devotion, some believer's life will be snuffed out by those who hate Jesus Christ. That means during the half-hour it takes you to listen to The Lutheran Hour, hatred of the Redeemer will end the lives of six of our brothers and sisters.
People often wonder why everything we present contains the simple Gospel message: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and the Lord will forgive you and will rescue you from eternal damnation."
The answer is simple: we know that someone will be hearing the story of salvation for the first time and someone will be hearing about his Savior for the last time. Either way, it is absolutely mandatory that the sacrifice of God's Son, our Savior, be presented clearly, cleanly and concisely.
At the same time we recognize that many of these persecuted brothers and sisters often find themselves isolated from others who worship the Savior. They have no great congregational support to encourage them through their sufferings.
We need to let them know they have not been forgotten. They need to believe someone is committed to encouraging them with the Gospel of the crucified and risen Savior. They need to hear about their Redeemer.
All of this adds a sense of urgency as we bring Christ to the nations. It is our motivation and inspiration as we use special programs, private presentations, and the air waves to take our Savior where no missionary is allowed, where no pastor can publicly speak, where no church can be formally established.
And it explains why we often ask you to pray for and help us as we bring Christ to the nations. It is a job that simply must be done.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, first accept my thanks for this land where I can worship the Savior as is right. But I also ask that You support all those around the world who are suffering, being persecuted and murdered because the Savior lives within their hearts. Let them be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and let our sharing of the Savior's redemptive act support them. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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