Luke 3:3 - And he (John) went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
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 months ago, María visited the Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ministry center -- that is the Lutheran Hour Ministries' Christ for All Nations center.
María told us that she was very sad because her husband had left the house.
María's greatest grief was that she knew she had been responsible for part of the breakup. Indeed, she was most sorrowful for some of the things she had done as well as some of the things she did not do.
María is not alone.
Looking at our lives, each of us must admit to having done many sins of commission. Sins of commission take place when we actively break God's laws and go against His will. But that's only half the story. We are also guilty of sins of omission.
And, no, sins of omission are not the wrong things we haven't gotten around to doing yet.
A sin of omission takes place when we fail to do, say, or think, the God-pleasing things we should. Many times we regret having done something against other people such as deceiving or cursing people we ought to love.
But we also have to repent of the God-pleasing things we didn't do.
My friends in Christ, look around. How many people still do not know the forgiveness, the salvation, which Jesus' sacrifice has won for them? The Lord has asked us to be His witnesses to all the world. He wants us to share with everyone the wonders of His grace. Sadly, all too often, when we see or meet someone like that, we leave them in the lurch. We don't do for them that which we ought, and our witness is left unmade.
Acknowledging all of our sins, with repentant hearts we stand next to John the Baptizer, who said we should "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8a).
In that spirit, I encourage all believers to faithfully proclaim the love of God to all people.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, may the Holy Spirit help us and make us appreciate Your grace and Jesus' sacrifice, suffering, death, and resurrection. Keep us from all sin and use our talents to make a powerful witness to salvation through Jesus. In His Name I pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by a volunteer who wishes to remain anonymous. The volunteer dedicates his life to the service of Christ seven days a week through the Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ministry center in Paraguay.
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) in Paraguay, known locally as "Christ for All Nations," opened its first ministry center in 2000. Since Paraguay is in such a remote area, LHM-Paraguay uses Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) to reach out with the Gospel to as many people as possible. In various communities, small groups of 12 to 30 people often gather to study the Bible and discuss how it relates to their lives. Another way LHM-Paraguay distributes its message is over the radio. Programs are being broadcast over four radio stations throughout the country, including the capital of Asunción.
In this country of nearly seven million people, LHM-Paraguay's staff and volunteers make personal visits, host rallies and lectures, and visit churches to share the Gospel. Using a variety of social media tools (a website, email, Facebook, a blog, YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) as well as radio broadcasts (including a five-minute program that airs twice a day), this center stays connected with individuals throughout the region. For outreach training, Equipping the Saints (ETS) is available to assist people in speaking their faith. In an effort to reach young people, this ministry center utilizes a values-education program, which is presented at schools and clubs. This ministry center also works with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay in outreach events designed to honor and commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
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