Luke 4:17-19 - And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him (Jesus). He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
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
On the day that Jesus read that text from Isaiah, the Pharisees and Sadducees were claiming that their way to the Lord was the right and only way. Their position was in direct opposition to the Savior who faithfully and rightly proclaimed, "I have come to preach the gospel to the poor."
One of the best known emperors of Ethiopia was a man named Tewodros. He was the prominent emperor who officially proclaimed Ethiopia to be a Christian country. He was also known as a fierce fighter who had captured and kept his throne through force. What follows is his story.
There was a time when for a small infraction, one of Tewodros' generals ended up in prison. Sadly, during the man's imprisonment, his wife ran away with his servant. Outraged at the woman's faithlessness, Tewodros asked the general if he wanted the servant to be captured, brought back, and punished. The general replied that while he appreciated the emperor's concern such an action was not necessary. Tewodros was confused by the reply and asked for an explanation.
From prison, his general replied, "I don't seek revenge because I report to a greater body."
Tewodros was infuriated by the reply and he immediately demanded to know "In this country is there any one a higher body than me?"
The general replied, "The great body I am referring to is the Savior of the world. The almighty God will judge my wife and my servant in His own time."
Soon after, as the general's wife and his servant were relaxing together, a sudden lightning bolt struck and killed them both.
The news reached the emperor who immediately summoned his general to appear before him. Tewodros said to the commander, "You are a person of prayer and the Lord listens to you. I am afraid you might use your prayers against me, so from this moment on you are free."
Not long afterwards, Tewodros was brought to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Savior. When he became a believer, it was not fear of lightning bolts, but thanks to the Christ which gave him hope and heaven, salvation and Savior. Since then, Ethiopia has acknowledged Jesus as the greater body; He is acknowledged as the Savior of the world.
Jesus said, "I came to preach the Good News to the poor." Knowing that man does not live by bread alone, Jesus first priority was not to feed the body, but offer spiritual nourishment and forgiveness to our sinful souls. His entire life, suffering, death, and resurrection was done to offer us that which we needed the most.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord and Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, we appreciate the mission You completed in this earth. You came to free the imprisoned and give sight to the blind. Most of all You came to preach the saving Gospel. Help us to see the future glory You have earned for us. At the same time, help us to cooperate with You in reaching the unsaved so the Holy Spirit might bring them into Your kingdom. In Your precious Name we pray. Amen.
About the Author: Today's international devotion comes from our Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Ethiopia. It was written by Berhanu Moges. He is LHM's director in Ethiopia and has attended Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. There he took courses in personal issues, biblical studies, finance, and computer.
Established in Addis Ababa in 1996, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Ethiopia shares the Gospel in this country of more than 102 million people through evangelism rallies, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and the Equipping the Saints (ETS) program, working in partnership with church congregations to organize these workshops. Rallies have proven effective in reaching people, drawing thousands, including non-Christians and Muslims. Here films, music and drama are offered -- all designed to share the Gospel message. Also, to reach young people, sporting events, Bible competitions, and other youth-related activities are offered to engage youth between the ages of 12 and 35.
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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