"Enlightened by the Spirit "
May 21, 2017
1 Corinthians 12:3 - 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.
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 that we have just read, Paul, the author, is making clear that some of the Corinthians were failing to recognize Jesus is Lord.
They had been influenced and led astray to follow man-made idols. In other verses Paul also tries to define the functions and the power of the Holy Spirit, and the apostle lists some of the many different gifts the Holy Spirit bestows.
There are the two main issues that Paul addresses in this very chapter: the first issue was the Corinthians were involved with false religions. The second is they had become victims of Satan's deception.
According to the text, we can safely presume that some must have said "Jesus is cursed." By saying that, they showed themselves to be ignorant and arrogant blasphemers. At the same time they gave witness to the fact they were not believers in the living Lord.
They were spiritually blind as they denied Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit who desired to lead them. It is that God-sent Spirit who wished to touch and heal their lives.
Sadly, there are times when we, just like the Corinthians, act like pagans and are led astray. We may not kneel before carved idols, but there are times when our actions, words, and thoughts demote God and promote ourselves. We can be overly self-confident. We may even claim we can do everything by ourselves and have no need for any divine assistance.
We trust ourselves instead of God and, like the Corinthians, we end up rejecting God's power. The Scripture tells us that no man can call Christ "Lord" and believe in Him, unless that faith is created by the Holy Spirit. Even so, some people claim they have decided to follow Him.
When we share the Gospel with someone, it is the power of the Spirit that converts. The truth is the Lord grants the gifts of the Holy Spirit to us freely and encourages us to share them. We do this rightly when we point the lost to their Redeemer and Lord.
As God's people we are given different talents to perform different works, but all our gifts and abilities proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit whom You have sent to us to offer guidance for our daily lives. With the Spirit's power alone 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 expectations and bear witness to Jesus with people around us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written Reverend Phan Narit (Jesse). He is the Executive Director of Strong Hold Church in Cambodia. An ordained minister, he previously served as a pastor at a church in the Sihanoukville area in Cambodia. He later served for seven years as Logistic Coordinator for The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod (LCMS) in 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 country's 15-plus 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-based 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.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries