Luke 9:48 - And (Jesus) said to them, "Whoever receives this child in My Name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great."
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
Some time ago a young woman shared her story with me.
Maya and her husband Paul had been married for 10 years and they had a beautiful son. Their social situation wasn't always easy, but still, Maya was happy.
Suddenly, Maya's husband lost his job and he started to drink. They had no money.
Maya had to take care of her son all by herself. That was because her husband Paul no longer came home every night. His nights were spent with his "friends." Then there came the day when Paul simply didn't come home anymore.
He just left. There was no explanation; there was no goodbye note.
I met Maya at an event we presented in cooperation with a local social service. At the beginning of the evening Maya didn't want to participate in any activities. This was in contrast to her son who wanted to try everything. He wanted to play all the games and he begged his mother: "Please, mummy, come on, come on!"
After some time I noticed Maya was smiling and playing ball with her very happy son.
He acted as if he had just received the biggest gift of his life. He was incredibly happy to see his mother wasn't worrying -- at least not for the moment.
After the event, Maya's son told me he had never seen his mother laugh and smile for such a long time! He shared that it was the first time in their lives that his mother had seemed to be enjoying something. And Maya? Maya said the last time she had played with a ball was many years ago -- when she was in secondary school.
Then she added, "How can I enjoy my life? It's impossible, now that I am alone in taking care of all which has gone wrong."
Usually after a Lutheran Hour Ministries' event all the participants receive some gifts, which are provided by Christians who live in the USA. When Maya received her gift, she started to sob. She couldn't believe that a total stranger wanted to share with her and her son.
Again and again, we have seen how the Holy Spirit shows our people the greatness of God's love because Christians have reflected the love they have received from Jesus into the lives of others.
Truly, Jesus loves each and every one. Still we are blessed to see the greatness of His love when it forgives the greatest of our sins and calls us to a new life in Him.
My friends, you should know that sometimes it doesn't take a lot to lead someone to the Savior. We don't always have to make great plans, do a lot of projects, or force-feed our religious beliefs to bring someone closer to Jesus. Sometimes the best testimony of our faith is to directly help someone who is in need. And for your help in doing this, the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Latvia thanks you!
THE PRAYER: Dear God, we rejoice that You can enter the hearts, lives and souls of sinners in small ways and great. Grant that our foreign offices and missionaries will be blessed to use the Gospel message in ways that can be used by the Holy Spirit to call sinners to repentance and salvation. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Eric Laime Babris. He is a project leader for the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Latvia. His main responsibility is to organize ministry events all around the country. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Latvia is our mission center which makes its witness through ministry events, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), and radio broadcasts.
In this European country of more than two million people, LHM-Latvia, known in-country as Lutheran Hour Mission, supports the efforts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. Established in 1991 in the city of Riga, this ministry center uses Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to train Christians to be outreach-minded in respect to their faith. It also uses four different BCC courses, which are tailored to both adults and children, and which are adapted to the concerns of Latvians. Beyond these efforts, LHM-Latvia connects with communities through radio programming, movie night/discussion events, vacation Bible schools, and even features a seminar series on Christian living: the "School of Spiritual Survival."
Visit LHM-Latvia's blog and see how a Lutheran congregation in Bolderaja took a Christmas service to the people at a social care center in Daugavgriva. You can do this by clicking here to visit its blog.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click 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