1 Corinthians 2:9 - But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him."
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
A few days ago I attended a funeral of a distant relative of mine.
During condolences I sat next to a man who was complaining about his life and circumstances. He said to me, "Life is hard, then you die."
I looked at him and said, "You are absolutely right; life is wearisome, but this only happens when you do not have hope."
He nervously replied, "What hope? When you die you become dust and that is it. Your farewell is people drinking a cup of coffee at your funeral."
Having said that, he nervously stood up and left.
I was a little bit perplexed at his bad temper, but then I realized that to all who do not have hope, death is the final end. As believers in the Savior, we are blessed to see death as a transition from this world to the heavenly world. As Paul said, it was even better for him to leave this present world and go to the Father's house. (See 1 Corinthians 5:8.)
Of course, I am aware that all of us have difficulties during the stages of our lives.
As Christians we have two things which allow us to live joyfully as we face these challenges and difficulties. We are sure of God's love and are full of hope. Both of these stem from the fact we are God's children, "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17a). In his first letter, Peter adds that this inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled and reserved in heaven for us. (See 1 Peter 1:4.)
Have you ever thought of that wonderful privilege we have?
We are assured that "He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). Christian hope is not wishful thinking or dreaming of a better life. Hope is confident expectation, a firm assurance, regarding things that are unclear and unknown.
Hope looks toward the future, but it does so rooted in the divine knowledge we have been given in the salvation we have in Jesus. Concerning our hope and our faith, we are encouraged to "give to anyone who asks an account of the hope that is in us" (1 Peter 3:15b).
As Christian believers we know we are justified by grace and have, by the Holy Spirit's working, become God's children loved by Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for adopting us as Your children and granting us the hope of eternal life. Help us show this hope to all those we meet. In Jesus Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Fadi E. Khairallah. Mr. Khairallah was born to a Christian family in Baabda, Lebanon. He has attended graduate courses in communications and Lutheran theology at Concordia University, Seward. He is currently preparing his thesis for his master's degree in Islamic studies. At present he serves as Director for Middle East Lutheran Ministry (MELM) in Lebanon, a position he has held since December 2001. Mr. Khairallah is married to Lara and has one baby boy. He and his family reside in Beirut, Lebanon.
Launched in 1950 in Beirut, Middle East Lutheran Ministry -- also known as LHM-Lebanon -- uses radio broadcasts to reach people in at least ten Arabic-speaking countries with the Good News. Assisting individuals in their Christian faith life in places as far away as Libya, Iraq, and Egypt, this ministry center teaches people about Jesus with its Arabic-language Bible Correspondence Course (BCC). Through its Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops, lay people are trained in how to better convey God's message of hope in their everyday lives. Many of this program's participants are students and young adults who are eager to share Jesus with their families and peers. Using the internet (website, text messaging), TV programming, and other video production, God's love and hope are shared with people throughout a region torn by war and other desperate circumstances. Holistic assistance is provided to many Muslim families and Bedouin communities through vacation Bible schools and programs that deliver clothing and school supplies to children. Emergency care is also given to people such as Syrian and Iraqi families who have come to Lebanon from their countries, as they flee various conflicts in their homelands.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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