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 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
Vietnamese people are very superstitious.
They believe in everything and worship many different gods. When we hold our ministry events in the countryside, we experience this issue first-hand. It is for that reason we make a special effort to share the true God's love with them so that they can be saved like us.
Thinking of them, I recall the passage of Isaiah 44 where the Lord says, "Return to Me."
God's Words are an appeal, desiring to draw people back to Him. His words are gentle and kind but, all too often, people living in the dark cannot hear Him. They are occupied with searching for the useless things of this earth.
In this passage, Isaiah explains the difference between Israel and the peoples who serve and worship other gods.
On the one hand, Israel and all who belong to God, will surely be saved and enjoy His blessings continually. They have hope in their life. In contrast, those who refuse to be returned to God will live in the darkness where the future must leave them hopeless and depressed.
In addition, Isaiah wants it to be known that people who are brought back to God will live with joy and experience the glory of the Lord. More importantly, Israel's sins are forgiven -- not because they are inconsequential -- but because when a person becomes the Lord's, they receive His pardon and grace.
I remember a soccer player who plays with our team.
He had been playing with us for nearly two years before he was called by the Holy Spirit's power. It was last year that he heard God's call: "Return to Me." The man repented of all he had done wrong. He even showed sorrow for having refused God's love, which had been shared by our sports ministry.
When he was brought to the Lord, he was able to rejoice as he personally experienced God's blessings of forgiveness, peace and happiness in his life.
Please have a look back around you at the people you know who need to hear the Lord's call. Let them know that surrender and repentance are part of God's process which brings sinners to the Savior and transforms them into His saints.
THE PRAYER: We praise You, Lord! We thank You that we belong to You. You are so kind to us, even though we are severely sinful. I pray for many other people who do not yet know You. Please help us to bring the Gospel to every corner of the country and grant that more people will be returned to You, Father. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen!
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by a pastor from our Vietnam office. Neither picture nor name is being shared due to the sensitivity of witnessing for the Christ in that nation.
In this country of nearly 90 million people, radio is not yet open for LHM-Vietnam, known in-country as Globalinks, to use in outreach; therefore, the center uses its website to broadcast radio-style programming. Beyond this outreach effort, the center uses more traditional means of communication like print media, musical performances, puppet and film shows, drama and rallies to share the Christian message. Respondents to the center's outreach efforts are invited to enroll in LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC). Lutheran Hour Ministries-Vietnam also provides Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to train lay Christian volunteers in personal evangelism. This ministry center's holistic outreach approach also includes conducting eyeglass clinics and children's nutritional programs, in an effort to build one-on-one relationships. Soccer tournaments are used as a model to demonstrate Christian values to youth and have had a positive impact as well.
To see what's going on at LHM-Vietnam, click here to check out 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