And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" Matthew 27:46
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 Sunday 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
On January 4, 2008, something happened when I expected it the least.
On that day my mother passed away, and for my brothers and myself, this sudden loss was most painful. Still, even in the midst of all the emotional turmoil, I could see the hand of God. It was His gracious will to bring all of us to her side so we might say goodbye and offer up our prayers of thanksgiving. How could we do otherwise when He had, through His Son, saved her soul?
The day we buried mother tears clouded the eyes of some of my brothers. That is not an unexpected emotional outpouring when someone has experienced such a great loss. I remember someone approached me in the time of burial and asked, "How are you, Ivan? How can you be so serene?"
I told him that God granted me that serenity through His Holy Spirit.
It was at that moment a biblical text came into my mind. That text was Psalm 27:10, where it says, "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in." It was also at that moment I was given a deeper insight into what the psalmist was trying to convey.
He wanted believers to know that they would never be forsaken by their loving Lord because Jesus had endured that abandonment when He hung upon the cross.
I opened this devotion with the text which quoted Jesus praying to His Father and asking why had He been forsaken. Now, seven years after my mother's departure from this world, I am able to testify that the psalmist was most accurate.
Even though both my mother and my father are gone, none of us has been forsaken. They are with their risen Redeemer in everlasting joy, and I am always comforted that there will be a reunion in heaven for all who are washed in the Savior's blood.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, many people find themselves being abandoned in many different ways. I give thanks that because of my Savior I have been forgiven and granted a faith in You, my most faithful Friend and Lord. For all You have done, I offer my thanks and praise. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion comes to us from our office in Venezuela. The author is 48-year-old Ivan Vasquez. He was born in Valencia, Venezuela, and is married to Iris. His lay work is done at Danaven, and he shares this about himself: "I arrived at 'Christ for All Nations' (that's the name of Lutheran Hour Ministries in that country) through a radio station. Having taken numerous theological classes, I rejoice that I have been able to assist in the 'Christ for All Nations' ministry through various speeches and presentations made at schools." Finally, Vasquez reports he is a member of the Lutheran Church of Valencia -- Estado Carabobo
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
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