Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3
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
My name is Isaac. I was born in April of 1973.
I counted myself a devout Muslim, but I never thought deeply about God at all. In March of 1997 I got married, and my wife and I had four children. One day, something bad came into my life. That day was in 2010 when I became upset with someone and hit him with a shovel.
I went to prison because of it.
Before going to prison, I was given a copy of the Bible in Mongolian. I had the Bible but wasn't interested in reading it. Things stayed that way until the day came when, in prison, I heard the Gospel from some Mongolians.
Soon after, I began to read the Mongolian Bible with interest.
Sometime later, John Smith, an evangelist from Kazakhstan, began visiting the prison about once or twice a week. He told me the Gospel again in Kazakh, and I received a copy of the Bible in my own language. By the Holy Spirit's power, I began to understand more completely about Jesus.
I became His follower.
While you may have known these things for many years, they are wonderfully new for me. They are both new and incredibly exciting. For example, I know Jesus came into this world for me, a sinner. I also know He died on the cross for my sins.
The Law has told me I am unworthy of God's grace, but the Gospel lets me know that because of Jesus, my sins are forgiven.
And that gives me joy.
Through the Redeemer's holy blood, I have been given redemption. Thanks be to God!
In my life, I am seeing God's love and kindness. He has changed me so much: my character, the words I speak, my work each day -- everything is different now. It is so different I want to share God's love with other people.
When I returned home after finishing my prison sentence, my wife saw how much I had changed, she was so happy.
Our love for each other and for our children has grown.
Now, I want to use my life to help other people in prison. I understand the situation they are in. My future goal and purpose in life is to share the Good News with people in prison, and tell them about the spiritual freedom they can have because of Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, we pray today for those who are in prison around the world that they would not only search for physical freedom from prison, but also long for the spiritual freedom and forgiveness that can only be found in You. We pray for their hearts to be opened to Your message of hope. We pray they too will be given freedom from sin. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was told for Isaac by John Smith (names have been changed). John, a Kazakh evangelist, moved to Mongolia to work among his own people, who are mostly Muslim. In the five years he has been living there more than 80 people have been baptized into the Christian faith! John also volunteers with Lutheran Hour Ministries in Mongolia, helping with radio player distribution and holistic ministry in the community.
The Lutheran Hour in Mongolia began in 2014. A radio program reaching out to Kazakhs in their own language was begun in Central Mongolia, and now there is a second station opened near the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Soon, we hope to start Lutheran seminars and the distribution of MP3 players to the nomadic peoples of Mongolia.
Situated between Russia and China, this country of less than 3 million people has as many as 100,000 Christians today, up from nearly none in the late 1980s. Known in-country as the "Voice of the Nation," Lutheran Hour Ministries-Mongolia has its ministry center in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Listeners responding to radio broadcasts are invited to study and learn more about Jesus and the Christian faith by participating in Bible listening groups that use the Who Is Jesus? Bible study. The center also publishes other Kazakh-language resources to supplement its radio programming and Bible courses.
You can check out the LHM-Mongolia 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