Psalm 133:1-3 - Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
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
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, blessed is a person who truly prays.
There is no more blessed time in a person's life than the time of communication we spend with the Creator. This time calls for no great preparation. We don't need to get dressed up or change our vocabulary. No, the Lord invites us to talk to Him the way we are, with the language we have been given.
But prayer is also a time to think upon the Lord and what He wants us to understand.
One of the things He wants us to understand and be grateful for is the church. Indeed, the purpose of today's devotion is to encourage you to pray and thank the Savior for creating His church and becoming its Head.
We speak about Christ's church a lot, and often.
At such times, it is good for us to realize that the church has been created by God for many important purposes. Of course, none is more important than pointing lost souls to their Redeemer and Lord. Just as significant is the administration of the Sacraments and encouraging believers in their Christian walk. Of course, we dare not forget the church also gives us the opportunity to thank God for His manifold blessings, which He showers upon us.
When we talk about the church, there is one thing which often goes unnoticed: the church was created by the Lord to let brothers and sisters feel good and pleasant when the Holy Spirit brings them together.
The Lord designed the church as a "pleasant fragrance" of love and blessings, which -- without exception -- ought to reach all who are part of the body of believers (see 2 Corinthians 2:15). Love is the essence of the Lord, and it is wonderful when the church is filled with that amazing, simple language of love, which is freely given to all.
It is the love of the Lord that builds the church.
It is like dew descending from heaven; it claims and softens hearts. Then, when the heart is claimed for the Christ, forgiven of sin, the Holy Spirit fills us with God's love, which we are privileged to share with others.
It is these blessings, and many others, that bring us to the Lord in prayer. Before His throne of grace, we give thanks for what we have received and ask that we be given the wisdom and words to share our blessings with others.
Truly, in such an earthly church it is good and pleasant for brothers and sisters to be together. In this institution of the Lord, we are blessed to have Him direct us to a deeper faith, a faith which rejoices in hearts that have been changed by the Christ.
My brothers and sisters, let us thank God for His gift: the church. Amen!
THE PRAYER: Lord, we thank You for Your church which You created and have given to us. Let Your people rejoice that the forces of hell cannot destroy this blessed gift. We thank You that You became its Head and that You saved Your people! Help us be careful followers of Your Word and protect us from all evil. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Aleksandr Khlynov, deacon of St. John's parish (Tyro) of the Church of Ingria. Deacon Aleksandr has been serving as a relieving officer and prior of the parish for 11 years. Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM)-Russia has been spreading the Gospel in word and in deed since 1993. Since 2007, the ministry has been based in St. Petersburg. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Russia's outreach ministries take many different forms. We have Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), radio and TV programs, videos on YouTube, online forums, puppet ministries, concerts, magazine ads, and many others.
In this vast country, LHM-Russia makes good use of the Internet and social media vehicles to broadcast spiritual content. It also uses radio and television programming, print media, music, and drama and puppet performances to get the Word out. Staff and volunteers also focus on youth and prison ministry opportunities. Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops are held in partnership with area churches in the area of St. Petersburg. Bible Correspondence Courses are popular across the board too, with a high rate of graduation among people of all ages. Recently, this ministry center has produced a youth-oriented website that offers BCCs in a video-based format.
Be sure to check out LHM's International Ministries' blog page. You can find it by clicking here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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