But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. ... 1 Corinthians 15:10a
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
Grace is a most difficult and alien concept for the human mind to grasp. Still, the most blessed person on the planet is one who gets a glimpse of God's grace.
Though divine grace is beyond any human parallel or comparison, the following story gives us an idea. It was an unusually hot day in the lowlands of Dawro, in southern Ethiopia. As we were traveling up the dusty road along the Omo River, many of the villagers were sweating and straining up the steep path to the market.
One small boy approached us holding up unripe, puny mangoes for sale. Displaying his fruit, he said we could buy them for two Ethiopian Birr (10 cents).
A staffer pointed out the fruit was raw and tiny.
The boy dropped his price: "Okay, take them for one birr."
The staffer said he didn't like the fruit.
The boy cut his price again and again and again.
When it was impossible to go any lower, our staffer took 10 birr and gave it to the boy, saying, "Take your fruit home and eat them when they are ripe."
The boy was shocked. Taking the gift given by grace, the boy ran home as fast as he could.
The Bible calls God "the God of all grace" (see 1 Peter 5:10).
That means grace is multifaceted. Grace is available for all, in every circumstance, at any time, and for every need. God's grace is born from His love and touches us through sins forgiven. Grace not only removes our sins, but because of the Savior's cross and His empty tomb, it credits Christ's righteousness to our account.
In the text above, Paul spoke about the amazing, radical transformation grace had brought to his life. A notorious persecutor, he had been dead in sin and trespasses. God's grace transformed him into a herald of the Gospel. It is this same grace which goes after the lost sheep and brings him home.
Remember, grace is not given to us because of our goodness, but in spite of our sin. Paul echoed the same when he wrote: "For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle since I have persecuted the church of God" (1 Corinthians 15:9). Then he added, "By the grace of God I am what I am and His grace to me was not without effect" (1 Corinthians 15:10a).
God's grace is for the undeserving! God's grace is not for the perfect but for the fallen. In short, God's grace is for us.
THE PRAYER: Dear great and gracious God, this day I ask You to keep me mindful of how much I need all Your gifts. Let my heart overflow with thanks for the grace which sent the Savior into the world to give Your grace to sinners such as myself. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written the Rev. Endale Awgichew, General Secretary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Lutheran Church and board member of LHM-Ethiopia. He lives in Addis Ababa with his wife, Kidest Bezuneh, and their children, Yohana and Yonathan.
In Ethiopia, Lutheran Hour Ministries is known as Berhan Media Ministry (BMM). The Lutheran Hour Ministries' ministry center in Ethiopia was opened in the capital city, Addis Ababa, in December 1996. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Ethiopia takes a creative approach to outreach and one of the most effective tools is mass evangelism rallies. Literally, thousands of people regularly attend these weekend events.
Lutheran Hour Ministries-Ethiopia shares the Gospel in this East African country of more than 94 million people through evangelism rallies, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and the Equipping the Saints (ETS) program, working in partnership with church congregations to organize these workshops. The rallies have proven effective in reaching people, drawing thousands and including non-Christians and many Muslims. Here films, music and drama are offered -- each designed to share the Gospel message. Young people are reached too through sports events, dramatic performances, Bible competitions, and other activities designed to connect with people aged 12 through 35.
To learn more about LHM-Ethiopia, you can visit its blog by clicking here.
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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