Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
This devotion ends my writing for Lutheran Hour Ministries. I thank you for your support which has kept these devos flowing over 11 years. I encourage you to support those who will keep them coming in the future. With appreciation, Pastor Ken Klaus
Some people say they aren't sinners. I'm not one of them. I'll tell you how I know.
When my son, Kurt, was about three years old, I told him to stay away from my stereo, a very expensive piece of equipment. Well, he was three and he forgot. I was listening to one of my favorite records, and he got too close. He bumped the machine and his bump sent the needle skidding, scratching across the vinyl.
The record was ruined.
Now, here's the sad part. I flew out of my chair and started to shout at my son. Then I took one of his coloring books and tore out a page. I shouted, "Maybe that will teach you to respect other people's property!" Yes, I know that was terrible, and I'm not proud of what I did that day. He had made a small mistake while I did what I did on purpose. Was it a big thing? Probably not when it's compared to some of the terrible things you read about in the news. But it was a big thing to me. That moment in time showed me that as hard as I might try, there is something inside of me, something that I am ashamed of, something that I never want to see again.
Now I tell you that sad little story not to point out how bad a person I am. I already know that. I shared that story, so you will know my words are not just words. I'm not just a preacher placing some platitudes in front of you. I'm an ashamed sinner. And, if you look at yourself, honestly, you will find an event, or a series of events, inside you that make you feel the same way. We are all sinners who need to be ashamed. We are all sinners who need a Savior.
You see, by God's grace -- and not by anything within me -- I have been given a Savior.
The day I tore that page out of my son's book I needed that Savior more than I ever had before.
I needed a Savior to forgive me. I needed a Savior to help me get down on my knees in front of a crying three-year-old boy -- and ask for forgiveness. I needed a Savior to help me keep the promise which said I would never do anything like that again. All these things the Savior has done. Yes, I still have a temper, and yes, I am far, far from perfect. But, because of the Savior, I am not who or what I was.
There are a lot of things in my life about which I am ashamed, but I will not ever be ashamed of my Savior. He has done so much for me. Although I have shared a dark day from my past today, I want you to know that I am forgiven. God has wiped that sin away, and no longer does it condemn me. He wants to do the same for your sins, your dark heart, those things that make you hang your head in shame.
The Holy Spirit wants you to join me and another sinner, St. Paul. Join us and say, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes."
How could I be ashamed of Someone who picked up the sin I have just described, and so many more, and carried them to the cross? How could I be ashamed of the One who voluntarily died, so I might live. Be ashamed? Impossible! And now today, that crucified and risen Redeemer has assured me that all my sins are forgiven and I am saved. And so are all repentant sinners who are called to faith.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is by Your grace my worst sins, every sin, has been forgiven. Grant that all the world may know the joy of salvation they can have through the Savior's sacrifice. In His Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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