Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3
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
In the verse we have just read, Paul, the author, is making clear that the Corinthian congregation was failing to recognize Jesus as their Lord. They were being influenced and led astray by speechless idols.
There were two main issues Paul addressed in this chapter.
1. The first issue was the Corinthian involvement with false religions.
2. The second issue was how they were subjecting themselves to Satan's deception.
According to the text, we can safely presume that someone must have said "Jesus is cursed." By saying that, the speaker had shown himself to be an ignorant and arrogant blasphemer. The fact he was not accepting of the Savior or His completed work was a rejection of God and His great grace. In this they showed themselves to be spiritually blind, as they denied Him and the work of the Holy Spirit, which ought to have been directing his daily life.
Many Christians have found there are times when we also are tempted to take a path different than that which the Lord would have us walk.
This can happen when we place other things before the Lord and when our words and actions deny Him. Then there are those times when we brag about our abilities and achievements and minimize the work of the Lord. We give the impression we can do everything by ourselves, without any assistance from the Lord.
Instead of trusting in God, we trust ourselves. We are blind and reject God's power.
The Scriptures tell us no man can call Christ "Lord," and believe in Him, unless that faith has been created by the Holy Spirit.
Sadly, there are times when we claim we have decided to follow Him. Then there are those times when we share the Gospel with someone and take credit for what happens when, in reality, it is the Holy Spirit who creates faith in that person's heart. How tragic and wrong it is if we brag as if we were the ones who had done that saving work.
When these things happen, such an individual is stealing the glory of God.
Thankfully, God in His mercy has chosen us and uses us as tools to perform His work. Like different tools in the hand of a skilled mechanic, each of us has a different gift and ability. Still, it is not the tools, but the mechanic's wisdom and skill, which does the work and brings about a positive change. For those changes the Lord has made, we give thanks and praise His Name.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit whom You have sent to call and keep us. With the Spirit's power we are illuminated and enlightened to recognize that You are the only Lord and Savior. May the power of the Holy Spirit continue to help us live up to Your will and wishes. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Pastor Phan Narit of Cambodia. Since its establishment in 2000, the ministry center staff and volunteers at LHM-Cambodia have used programs like Equipping the Saints (ETS) and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) to communicate the message of God's eternal love to the 14 million Cambodians. The center also cooperates with churches in reaching the lost through puppet shows, music events, and youth programs.
In-country, LHM-Cambodia is known as Cambodia Christian Media Center, with its headquarters in Phnom Penh City. In addition to utilizing BCC and ETS workshops, this ministry center is active in evangelism training and educating this county's citizens in Christian teachings. Using a values-education program, young people are taught the benefit of making healthy lifestyle choices. The ministry center also provides clothing and other materials to school-age children.
Check out LHM-Cambodia's blog and read about the small-group Bible studies taking place there. You can find this 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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