Faith Based Support Groups - JANUARY Devotions




View Full Version : JANUARY Devotions


EZMONEY
01-01-2010, 10:40 AM
"Equal Love, Unequal Distribution"

January 1, 2010



How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! . . . 1 John 3:1a



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 Friday 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 of The Lutheran Hour



Two men returning from work walked past a construction site where a building was going up. One of them wondered how someone could construct a building while others cannot even afford to buy a meal. "And you tell me God loves everybody equally. No, He does not," he asserted authoritatively. He continued, "In this world, some have children, and some do not; some have bank accounts full of money; others can't buy ordinary salted fish for their soup." Then, he chuckled, a joyless, resigned type of laughter.

The man's opinion of God's love is based on his perception that God's distribution of the world's goods is unequal. The man thought that considering the evidence thus far advanced, it could not be said that God loves everyone equally because of the disproportionate way He distributes the world's goods and blessings. Actually, looking at all the inequalities in life, it is surprising the man thought there was any God at all -- let alone a God who loves. Many have written off God completely, not only in view of life's great inequalities, but also in view of such things as tragedies, sufferings, and pains.

This problem has troubled the people of God too. It troubled Job, David, Habakkuk, and others. But pains or no pains, suffering or no sufferings, those who believe God's promises and salvation -- which He offers us through His Son Jesus Christ -- will get to heaven some day.

The story of Christmas and Calvary are ample demonstrations of God's love. The Word of God says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). God is love, and we find abundant promises of that love through His Word.

Questioning God's seeming unequal distribution of material goods makes it sound as if the wealthiest people are the happiest or most blessed. That simply isn't true. It was a wise man who prayed in the book of Proverbs, "Two things I ask of You, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread" (Proverbs 30:7-8). You see, riches come and go. For no condition is permanent in this world. But the love of God endures forever; His faithfulness is to all generations.

The measure of God's love should be taken not from that which may fail at any time, such as the number of houses a man builds, or how many children he has, but from that which lasts for all time. And that is the salvation He has secured for all through the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. You and I may never have enough worldly goods. But Jesus Christ is enough -- sufficient for you and for me.

THE PRAYER: Our God and Heavenly Father, teach us to know that You love all people irrespective of their rank in society. Our sufficiency is only found in knowing You and living under Your care. Give us Your Spirit to look up to only You. In Christ's Name. Amen.

Biography of Author: John Donkoh, director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' foreign office in Accra, Ghana, wrote today's devotion. In that West African nation of almost 24 million, LHM-Ghana employs music, dance, and storytelling to tell others about Jesus Christ. It also utilizes Equipping to Share (ETS), Project JOEL, and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) as a means of furthering the Gospel.


EZMONEY
01-02-2010, 09:14 AM
"Thank You"

January 2, 2010



He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1



I hope you didn't miss it -- the beginning of a new year -- I mean.

At the start of every year, along with watching The Lutheran Hour float in the Rose Bowl Parade (the only Christian float there), and watching a lot of football games, most folks make resolutions, you know, rules to begin the New Year.

Not so long ago I came across an article about a university arboretum. That college plant place used to have simple signs that read, "Don't pick the flowers."

Too many people found loopholes to the arboretum's simple request.

That's why the staff put up new signs. These signs have new rules which say, "DO NOT PICK: twist off, sever, cut, clip, snip, snap off, pluck, pinch off, pull, bend, crush, pare, cleave, divide, break, touch or take, borrow, steal, remove or otherwise harm, mutilate, or endanger the flowers."

I imagine folks have already found out how to get around those rules, too.

Yep, it's hard to cover all the possibilities and eventualities of where we can go wrong.
This is why you and I need to be thankful we have the Savior we do. He knows us and He knows how inventive we are when it comes to sinning.

He knows that if the Trinity comes up with a rule to guide us, we will twist, sever, cut, clip, snip, snap off, pluck, pinch off, pull, bend, crush, pare, cleave, divide, break, touch, take, borrow, steal, remove, or otherwise harm, mutilate, or endanger that rule.

In spite of that, Jesus loves us. He came to save us from sin, death, and devil, but He also came to save us from ourselves. In Bethlehem's manger, on Calvary's cross, at the borrowed tomb and now before heaven's high throne, Jesus has done that which saves.

Good news for the New Year? I would certainly say so. Perhaps it should prompt this resolution from each of us: In 2010, I will offer my thanks to God for the Savior who loves me in spite of the fact that I twist, sever, cut, clip, snip, snap off, pluck, pinch off, pull, bend, crush . . . well, you get the point. Let's pray.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, as we begin 2010, we ask that You will help us keep this resolution of thankfulness. Today, many thanks for a Savior who loves and has redeemed us. In His Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-03-2010, 09:52 AM
"Trusting"

January 3, 2010



Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6



There is a difference between fear and respect.

Last summer I had the opportunity to see that distinction in action.

My observation began when a church discovered a hive of bees had taken residence in the church bell tower. The first person who volunteered to move the hive was an amateur. Fear motivated him to move quickly, and he ended up making some costly (and painful) mistakes.

He was stung about ten times before he gave up on the job.

As a result, the officers of the congregation called in a professional. That man respected the bees. He was not fearful of their sting. He moved slowly, deliberately, and without fear. The bees allowed themselves to be moved and never once stung him.

The sight of that respectfully cautious beekeeper moving that hive has stuck with me -- as has the moral of the story.

Each of us encounters difficulties and all of us have our share of problems. These bees -- along with their hives -- are similar to situations common to all humanity.

The question is this: how will we handle these bees?

Will we, motivated by our fear, try to move the bees on our own? If so, it's almost guaranteed we will make mistakes and we will be stung. Just as surely, we will find we have to give up with the job left undone.

On the other hand, we can take our problems and hand them over to the Savior. Having seen every sin since the world began, having come to this world to offer Himself as the substitute to save us from those transgressions, Jesus is the one expert who can make us safe from the sting of the Law.

So the moral is this: a wise Christian isn't dominated by sin's worries. Instead, he entrusts his sin to Jesus -- the expert who disposes of sin so the sinner might be safe.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are the only one who can keep me safe from the sting of sin and the stumbling blocks Satan places in my path. Remove my fear and replace it with confidence in Your ongoing protection. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries


EZMONEY
01-04-2010, 09:25 AM
"A New Start, A New Year"

January 4, 2010



Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16



It's the New Year, and we're in it.

As we go into the unknown new year, it seems appropriate to tell a story that comes from Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.

The place is a restaurant called, Aramingo Diner. There, during breakfast, shortly before Christmas, a most extraordinary thing happened. A nameless couple paid for their meal and then picked up the tab of some other diners who were sitting at a different table.

The couple only asked that their beneficiaries not be told what had happened until they left. Then, and only then, could the wait staff say, "Merry Christmas! Those people picked up your check."

The gesture was the beginning of a chain reaction. For the next five hours, dozens upon dozens of the diner's guests got caught up in the holiday spirit and bought a meal for someone else.

The manager of the restaurant commented, "It was a surprise to all of us." One of the ladies who had waited on tables at the diner for ten years said, "It was truly wonderful. I had tears in my eyes."

I liked that story. It made me feel good.

There were only two things I didn't like. First, I didn't like the fact the generosity couldn't be sustained. It eventually ended. The second thing that saddened me was that this kind of good news generosity happens so seldom that it actually becomes news when it does occur.

Maybe that's one of the reasons the angels spoke about Jesus being good news for all people. You see, in the smallest of ways that story tells what Jesus has done for us. He paid our bill.

With His faithful fulfillment of the laws we had broken, He paid our bill. Through His ongoing resistance to Satan's temptations, He paid our bill. His carrying of our sins, His death on the cross, His entire life were dedicated to paying our bills.

It was the most gracious thing this sad world has ever seen.

Now the Lord asks that those who acknowledge the salvation given them because of Jesus should share Him with others.

That's what it says in Hebrews: do good and share with others for it pleases God when you do.

By God's grace, in the New Year -- in every year -- we will do just that.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for past blessings, my thanks. For future joys, my praise. Now may I, redeemed by the Christ, share the wonders of His love with others. May this be my resolve and resolution in the New Year. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-05-2010, 09:05 AM
"I Don't Know"

January 5, 2010



Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? . . . Job 38:33a



Do you know somebody who likes to learn a new thing every day?

In my collection of friends, I know one person who learns a new word every day and another fellow, a brilliant trivia player, who thinks the day is squandered if he hasn't picked up some "worthless bit of information."

From what I've seen, during these last months, the scientific community has been doing the same thing. It's learning something new every day, and it's also un-learning something old.

For example, it was only a few months ago that learned scholars told us there is probably water on the moon. That was a shock to me. I had always been told there wasn't any water on the moon. A dry-as-dust-moon was a fact as sure and certain as anything we knew.

Now, in Bangalore, India, scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization think they may be on the brink of saying they have discovered signs of life on the moon.

That's the way the media has been reporting the story. Indian scientists are not as bold. They're saying, "We're checking out the data. It looks like maybe, possibly, perhaps, it might be so."

Understand, they're not saying they've found the Loch Ness monster or the abominable snowman. They're talking about some kind of evidence that some kind of life was on the moon at some point in time.

If they're right, it means I have to unlearn another fact. You see, learned men have always told me there is no life on the moon. It was a fact as sure and certain as anything we knew.

This takes me to the point of this devotion. In the beginning days of 2010 it is wise to remember God is the one who is omniscient; He is the one who is in control. As He said to Job, "Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?" Job didn't know, and truth be told, we don't either.

Our facts come and go and today's new truth replaces yesterday's old and erring truth.

This is why if you're looking for that which is reliable, look no further than the Triune God. His Word can be trusted; His Son's sacrifice has made salvation a surety for all who acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Do I know the ordinances of heaven? No, I don't. But I do know Jesus as my Savior and Lord, and that is enough.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, man's truth comes and goes. In this New Year and always, may I place all my trust in You who never changes. May my conviction be placed in Jesus Christ, whose plan of salvation remains from one generation to the next. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-06-2010, 08:22 AM
"It Doesn't Matter"

January 6, 2010



One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Romans 14:5



It was a piece of news that shocked the world!

Did you miss it? If so, here it is: on Christmas Eve, Pope Benedict XVI broke with tradition and celebrated midnight mass in St. Peter's Cathedral at 10 p.m. and not at midnight.

Papal spokesman, the Reverend Federico Lombardi told the Associated Press the decision was made because the Pope is tired from the many commitments he has had to fulfill at Christmas time.

When I read that, I laughingly thought, well, there's another tradition eliminated.

Then, after a few moments, I realized I once served a congregation whose Easter Sunrise Service was at 7:30 a.m. If the Pope had seen the worship schedule announcements for my church, he might also have laughed and said, "Those Lutherans -- there's another tradition gone out the window."

Let's see, midnight mass at 10 p.m., sunrise service at 7:30 a.m., preaching on a half-hour radio broadcast called, The Lutheran Hour -- truly, many of us have seen a lot of changes when it comes to our worship life.

Some of you sing the Savior's praises at an informal Monday night service in a storefront mission station, while others faithfully attend a high church service with full orchestra and organ. Some of you listen to a pastor who is garbed in beautiful robes and others love their pastor who owns a clerical collar -- but doesn't remember where he's got it stored.

We have seen many changes, but when it comes to the Lord, this has not changed: the Savior Jesus is still worthy of our prayers; He is still deserving of our praises.

We have seen many changes, but when it comes to worship, Christianity is not meant to be a solo affair. We still need to support others and let others lend their witness to us.

We have seen many changes, but the power of the Holy Spirit, the sureness of the Word and the Sacraments are still real and sure.

This is why on Epiphany, I would like to urge one last New Year's resolution: that we be faithful in our worship of the newborn King -- the Savior who has done all that is necessary to save us.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that among the many changes of this world You have remained faithful and trustworthy. Forgive me when I get sidetracked, when I forget, when I push my worship to the back and refuse to follow the star. In this New Year, may I proclaim the Savior, the Lord. In His Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-07-2010, 09:36 AM
"Truth"

January 7, 2010



(Jesus said) "Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God." John 8:46-47



Honesty and Ethics.

Gallup has just released its "Honesty and Ethics Poll," which is just another fancy way of asking, "How much does the average Joe and Jane really trust the authority figures all around them?"

Apparently, the answer is "Not very much." For example, the poll said,

· 55 percent of people rate the members of the U.S. House of Representatives as
low/very low.

· 49 percent of Senators are placed into that same bottom category.

· Clergy do better with 50 percent of us being rated high/very high in ethics.
(Unfortunately, that percentage is the lowest it's been since Gallup started reporting.

The mood of distrust seems to touch almost everything.

When it comes to global warming, people are asking, "If I can't trust the weatherman to tell me what's happening a half hour from now, how can I believe him when he's looking years into the future?"

On the subject of nationalized insurance, many seem to wonder if the figures they're hearing have any truth to them, or is it just a bunch of numbers with no connection to reality?

Even the Lord has not managed to escape the doubtful eye of the questioners: "How do I know the Bible is real?" "How can I be sure Jesus is the only Savior?" "How can I know there isn't a giant Christian cover-up?" "How can I believe the things the Church has said?"

These are legitimate questions and they deserve an answer.

The answer is found in Jesus' words. "If I tell the truth. . . ." Did Jesus tell the truth? Has God spoken the truth? Scripture records many inspired authors who spoke over many centuries. Did their prophecies find fulfillment in the person of the Christ?

During Jesus' three years of ministry, He said many things. Do those things hold water? He made predictions about His life, His death, and His resurrection. Were those predictions fulfilled? Were they all fulfilled? Were they all fulfilled in the way and according to the timetable He set up?

To every inquiring mind, the Lord encourages them to find answers in His Word. There, an honest questioner will find the Triune God can be trusted, Jesus can be believed, and all who have been given faith in the Redeemer most definitely have salvation.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. In a world where truth seems to be questionable and relative, let me find my peace in the solid truth of Your Word and the Savior's unchanging story of salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-09-2010, 09:48 AM
"Choices"

January 9, 2010



But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5



The little boy had just finished the last -- very big -- piece of cake when his mother entered the kitchen.

With sternness in her voice, she said, "I can't believe you ate the entire thing! How could you do that, without even thinking for a moment about your sister?" The boy's reply was hardly a matter of tact. He said, "Mom, that's not fair. I was thinking about her all the time. I was thinking, I hope I finish before she comes in."

Adults aren't much better than that little boy.

We know what's right, but we often try to get away with stuff that isn't quite correct.

That truth was brought home to me this morning as I drove to work. Getting onto the expressway, I found traffic was going about 20 miles an hour above the speed limit. I had a few seconds to decide if I would keep the speed limit (and watch the other drivers fly past me), or join the crowd of law-breaking commuters.

I joined the law-breaking commuters.

That doesn't mean any of us thought we were doing the right thing. We didn't think that at all. When we spotted a police car parked alongside the road, all of us, every one of us, slammed on our brakes and started to do what was right.

We did right until that squad car was out of range; then, our speedometers began to climb again.

The Lord must look at our sorry, sinful antics and shake His head. His wandering children are so sad, and they are so predictable in that sadness. How obviously we need a Savior. How thankful we should be to have one.

Indeed, we are blessed to have Christ as our Redeemer. His perfection has accomplished all that we never could. His suffering, death, and resurrection offer forgiveness, hope, and an eternity in heaven.

In His honor I'll try to do better when I drive home tonight. Really, I will.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Thank You for sending Your Son to be born under the Law so I might be forgiven of my transgressions. May I be given the ability to witness to His love by the way I live. In the Savior's Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-10-2010, 10:15 AM
"Perfect Love"

January 10, 2010



(Jesus said) " . . . Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27b



Fear.

Read the paper and you will be forced to confess: it's hard to beat back feelings of fear. Maybe that's why so many people aren't reading the paper any longer.

In recent years, fears have taken on a global, national, and neighborhood scale. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be any way we can escape fear. That's true for the common person, as well as the individual who has managed to make it to the top of the human heap.

Would you mind an example? I hope not.

Although he was one of the most powerful men in the world, Joseph Stalin, dictator of Russia, lived in constant fear of being poisoned or murdered. He had eight bedrooms -- bedrooms in which he could lock himself up -- bedrooms where he was as safe as if he had been in a bank vault.

Why eight bedrooms? He wanted to make sure nobody ever knew in which of those bedrooms he would sleep on any given night.

As I've gone around the country I've noticed most of our Daily Devotion readers don't have the kind of house that allows them to escape their fears by moving around from bedroom to bedroom.

True, some of us have equipped our homes with burglar alarms; some carry guns or mace, and most of us try to stay out of neighborhoods where we know we won't be welcomed. Still, after all our excellent precautions have been made, we are forced to admit: fear remains.

This is just one of the reasons we need a Savior. Of course, knowing Jesus does not mean everything becomes sweetness and light. It doesn't mean there is no cause to be afraid.

On the other hand, if Jesus is your Savior; if He remains Your constant Companion, you are assured that none of the evil in this world will have the final word, or keep the upper hand.

Remember, Jesus is the one who conquered sin, Satan, and death. His victory assures us this world simply does not have a match for our divine Protector.

And that, dear readers, is the special source of comfort we all need in this world of fear.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are so much more powerful than all the evils in this world. For having committed Yourself to my deliverance and protection, my thanks. In Your Name I give thanks. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ

EZMONEY
01-11-2010, 08:26 AM
"Worried To Death"

January 11, 2010



(Jesus said) "In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:2-6



Folks often worry about being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

When we're young we may have an itch to leave the old homestead and make our own way in the world.

Then after we've been gone awhile, we return home at special times like Christmas and Easter for a visit. We might even share with Dad or Mom that we're worried to death about a seeming unsolvable problem.

Perhaps, we attend our old home church with them to hear the Christmas or Easter story.

The pastor speaks of Jesus as personified love, putting Himself in our place on the cross, so that we might be rescued from prodigal living. Jesus offers us a new place to live now and promises a heavenly place in our future. One day He will return to take us to His place, our eternal home with Him forever. In effect, He says, "Don't worry. Trust My Father and Me for the way to the best place."

THE PRAYER: Oh, grant dear Lord to me. Recalling Thine Ascension, that I may ever walk with Thee, adoring Thy redemption, and then, when all my days shall cease, let me depart in joy and peace in answer to my pleading. Amen.

About the Author: Reverend Harlan Wendler wrote this devotion at my request. Originally written for Ascension, it seems just as applicable during this season of the year.

A Note from Pastor Klaus: By way of introduction to Reverend Wendler, allow me to share the following with you: As a senior at the St. Louis seminary in 1945, seminarian Wendler answered The Lutheran Hour mail for Dr. Walter A Maier, the broadcast's first speaker. Speaking regarding this duty, Reverend Wendler shares, "He insisted we quote an appropriate Bible passage in our replies. As a rule of thumb, his TLH messages always had a Bible quote for each minute he was on the air. I had him in an exegesis Genesis class my second year. He was tough. His final exam was three hours long. One question was this: "Name ten reasons for the nebular hypothesis theory. Then name ten reasons opposing it!" Reverend Wendler's STM thesis is entitled, Categories of Lutheran Preaching and their Communication Systems for Apprehending Revealed Truth.




Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

EZMONEY
01-12-2010, 08:24 AM
"A Child's Compassion"

January 12, 2010



As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. Psalm 103:13



Seven-year-old Jonathan Slack of Orland Park, Illinois, was moved when he saw a homeless woman holding a sign that said she and her child had no place to live.

Maybe "moved" is too small a word for what Jonathan felt.

First, he cried, then he decided to do something. The first thing he wanted to do was go back into town so he could give the lady his six dollars. His second idea was to ask President Obama to take money from the rich and give it to the poor.

Jonathan's mother suggested they might try to take up a collection. He agreed.

Jonathan canvassed the neighborhood and asked people to pitch in. Amazingly, with only ten days to go before Christmas -- busy people, financially strapped people -- responded with incredible generosity.

By the time Jonathan was done, over four truckloads of food and toys had been donated -- food and toys that were then sent to the Su Casa Catholic Worker Community's homeless shelter in Chicago.

Now there are a lot of ways this devotion could go. We could talk about how people were moved by the compassion of a young boy. We could speak of the plight of the homeless and our responsibility to help them as Christians.

What we would like to say is this: the Lord can use people who don't say, "no", to Him. He can accomplish great and wonderful things when people are empowered by the Holy Spirit.

He can use an exiled prince to lead His people out of slavery; He can take a small shepherd boy and turn Him into a king. He can use a willing maiden from Nazareth to bring about the birth of the Savior and fulfill His plan to buy back a lost world.

The question is this: "What can He do with . . . you?" This Daily Devotion has tens of thousands of readers -- people who are loved by the Savior and who love Him in return. Imagine what just might happen if we set aside our limitations and did what we could to reach out to the lonely; if we gave to the needy; if we prayed for our pastor.

What would happen? I don't have a clue, but I'm willing to guess we might be able to raise more than four truckloads of toys.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have sent Your Son to save me, and for His sacrifice I shall give eternal thanks. Now I pray that You will use me to accomplish Your work. You have given me gifts; use those gifts to accomplish Your purposes. In Jesus' Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-13-2010, 08:15 AM
"An Opportune Time"

January 13, 2010



And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13



The text above describes what happened at the end of Jesus' formal temptation.

Satan had tried his hardest. He had tried to dissuade Jesus from the work of redemption. He had tried, failed, and then he left.

But the devil didn't leave for good. He bided his time. He waited. He waited until situation and circumstance presented him with a more opportune time to work on the Savior. As far as I know, Scripture is not specific about when that opportune time occurred.

Did the opportune time come when the crowds deserted Him; was it when He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane; was it when He was challenged before Pilate; was it when the mockers called for Him to come off His cross? It could have been any, none, or all of those times.

I do know the devil still looks for opportune times. As evidence of that fact, I'd like to share a story that was recently carried by the Reuters News Service. The article told how a thief stole thousands of Euros from some business-class travelers who were on an overnight flight from Tokyo to Paris.

The thief waited until the people were asleep. He waited until they were sure they were safe. He waited for his opportune moment and then he rifled through their belongings.

That's the way Satan works. He waits for a time when we let down our guard.

He unsuccessfully waited to find such an opportune time in Jesus' life of dedication and commitment. In that particular wait, Satan failed. Without a stumble, our perfect Savior accomplished His work of sacrifice and He paid the price that gives us forgiveness and salvation.

But Satan doesn't have many such failures as he works on the rest of humanity.

He continues to wait for each of us. He waits for the opportune moment when he can bring down our faith and destroy our trust in the Savior.

This is why we need to be prepared. We need to remain near our sacrificing Savior; we need to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Unless we wish otherwise -- and who ever would -- the Triune God will help us, encourage us, guide us, and protect us.

God's ongoing protection is what we need if we are to deny Satan his opportune moment of temptation. By God's grace, let us do our best to make sure that opportune time never comes.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You never gave Satan the temptation victory that he so much desired. Now, be with me so that I may not fall victim to the evil one who waits. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-14-2010, 08:25 AM
January 14, 2010



(Jesus said) "Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31



In 2009, the Men's NetWork of Lutheran Hour Ministries had its first annual virtual fishing contest. For the many who participated it was a great deal of fun.

Fun. Sport. Fellowship. Those are the things I look for on the rare occasions I get to go fishing.

From a recent report by the BBC, the Japanese are a lot more serious about fishing than I am. If that sounds cryptic, let me explain. A few days ago a bluefish tuna -- a handsome tuna that weighed in at 511 pounds -- sold for a record 16.28 million yen.

If 16.28 million yen sounds like a lot of yen, it is. That fish, and I acknowledge it is a big fish, sold for a whopping $175,000.

Now I know the bluefish tuna is the best tuna there is, and this one was caught in waters where really tasty tuna grow up. Still, it's hard for me to believe I'd buy any fish when -- for the same money -- I could buy a Corvette, a Lincoln Town Car and a Chrysler convertible.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I get shocked at the prices some people are willing to pay for food. Not so long ago a truffle, once again, a large truffle sold for $330,000. Then there was the Glasgow, Scotland chef who made a pizza for a couple in Rome. It was a pizza that cost $3,467.

Amazing.

Of course, Jesus told each of us that we were worth a lot. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew He told us we were worth more than many sparrows.

And if you were to ask Jesus how much more we were worth, He would show you. On Calvary's cross He showed us we were worth Him sacrificing His own life so we might be saved.

Amazing.

The innocent, omnipotent Son of God, the one who was present at creation, voluntarily, willingly, and graciously gave His life to save sinful humanity.

He knew He would be tortured, beaten, and murdered in a most cruel manner, but He endured it so sinners might be given an opportunity to be forgiven and redeemed.

Amazing.

There is no other word for it. It's impossible to understand why He did what He did, but each of us ought to be glad -- eternally glad -- Jesus paid that price.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your amazing grace which saves a wretch like me, my gratitude and praise. I will never understand why You should be mindful of the sinful human race, but I shall live eternally because of Your substitution and sacrifice. Dear Lord, I love You. In Your Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-15-2010, 08:22 AM
"Following Him"

January 15, 2010



"Come, follow Me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17



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 Friday 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 of The Lutheran Hour



Words powered by deeds demonstrate the Christian's witness to his Savior. Living our lives as He directed -- helping others, praying for God's will to be done, uplifting those who are downcast and scorned -- is where the rubber meets the road.

What did Jesus say? What did Jesus do? What did He mean for us when He said, "Follow Me"?

Here are a few of the things Jesus said to those who would follow Him:

· "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27b-28).

· "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:35-36).

· "Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. . . . " (Luke 6:37-38a).

These are challenging words that prompt action from us in response to the sacrificial love Jesus showed for you and me. These words also say that when we act like our Heavenly Father's Son, we show ourselves to be His children. If we call ourselves children of God, when people look at how we act, do they see the nature of our Father?

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us follow Jesus as we live like Him. Amen.

Biography of Author: Matthew Glowacki wrote this devotion. In Australia, Lutheran Media Ministry broadcasts the Gospel via radio, television, and the Internet, and works in concert with Lutheran Hour Ministries as a ministry partner. Approximately 700,000 viewers in this country watch television programs with Gospel content through the work of LMM.


To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.

EZMONEY
01-16-2010, 09:42 AM
"Trust"

January 16, 2010



Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6



It's pretty difficult to find someone you can trust.

Some years ago a druggist in the eastern part of our country advertised this:

"WE ARE THE DRUG STORE YOU CAN PATRONIZE WITH CONFIDENCE-ACCURACY AND EXPERIENCE, OUR MOTTO."

After many years of making up prescriptions for the neighborhood, it was discovered the druggist had been doing so without a license.

Not only was he not an expert pharmacist, he had never even studied pharmacy. It is impossible to guess how many people suffered in health from his inexpert filling of prescriptions.

The trust people had given him had been misplaced.

We're almost used to that kind of thing, aren't we? How often have we seen somebody lie to make a sale, or lie to get elected, or lie when they speak of love, or lie to get their way? For many, lying is far, far easier than telling the truth.

Only later do we find out how wrong we were.

Today, I wonder, do you have someone you can trust? Do you have somebody you would trust absolutely? Completely? Totally? If so, you are a very blessed individual.

If you don't have such a confidant, you, I'm afraid, are one among many.

This is why, if you are looking around for someone you can trust, I would like to place before you Jesus of Nazareth, God's Son, our Savior.

Jesus has never broken a promise; He has never gone back on His word. When He says He wants to save us, He means it. When He says all who believe on Him as a redeeming Savior will be given a permanent place in paradise, you can take it to the bank.

Jesus, lest you don't know, is a refreshing breath of fresh air in a world that remains polluted by people who abuse our trust.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are the Rock, the Foundation upon which I stand. I praise You for Your faithfulness and the fact You never, ever abandon Your people. For that, I thank You. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-17-2010, 10:01 AM
"Usefulness"

January 17, 2010



Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:17



Most people like to think they have a purpose in life.

Most people.

But some folks have to search very hard to fill their days and make the time pass. Not so long ago I was told of a man who retired in Detroit. That man spends most of his day playing solitaire. He plays it with a passion.

In ten years he has managed to play 132,400 games and he has recorded the results of each one. He can show visitors six ledger books filled with the figures.

Now, this Daily Devotion is not being written to take a stand for or against cards or the value in playing solitaire. We all need our hobbies, and most of us need some moments to be alone. On the other hand, I hate to see someone waste a perfectly good retirement recording the results of thousands of games of solitaire.

Now many people may be nodding their heads in agreement with my previous thought. They can feel pretty good that they don't do that. After all, they dislike cards. Well, how about TV? Do you spend countless hours in front of the tube? No? Well, I can't go through the entire list of how people can waste time, but most of us do.

So, the question before you is this: how can the Lord use you? There are so many lonely and hurting people. There are so many needs that remain unmet.

Perhaps it is time to ask the Lord what He wants you to do. He has put you here for a purpose, you know. Yes, we are here to worship Him for saving us through His Son, but we are also here to love and help each other.

We may not change the world when we do these things, but it sure beats playing 132,400 games of solitaire.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, may the things we do with our time, our hands, and our thoughts ultimately glorify You. Thank You for those friends and helpers You put into our lives. Together may our actions glorify You. In Your Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-18-2010, 08:20 AM
"Saved By An Angel"

January 18, 2010



For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11



If you expect to hear stories about angels when you read the Daily Devotions, today you will not be disappointed.

Today's devotion is about angels, well, at least one, very real Angel.

Before I go too far with this tomfoolery, let me introduce you to Angel, an 18-month-old Golden Retriever. You should also meet Austin, the 11-year-old boy that Angel loves.

And if you said Angel loves that boy more than life itself, that wouldn't be a stretch. You see, when it appeared a cougar was going to attack Austin, Angel threw herself at the cougar to let the lad get away.

Austin did make his escape; Angel didn't.

Even though Angel may have the heart of a lion, even on the best of days a young Golden Retriever is no match for a cougar. Indeed, that would have been the end of Angel's story if a Canadian Mountie, Peter Thiessen, hadn't heard the ruckus and shot the cat.

Now that's the kind of story that could be made into a movie; instead, it's a Daily Devotion.

And what can this devotion do with this story? How about this: the Lord can use some very unlikely candidates to accomplish His purpose of rescue.

Everybody is thankful Angel threw all caution to the wind and did all she could to save her master. In this case the Lord used a Golden Retriever to physically save a boy. Is it possible the Lord has used a surgeon to save your life . . . or a lifeguard . . . or some medicine . . . or seat belts or . . . ? You get the idea.

Yes, the Lord can use many agents to physically rescue people, but there is only one Rescuer of our souls: Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, the Christ of the cross, the Savior of the empty tomb.

Jesus is the One, the only, the heaven-sent Rescuer.

Unlike Angel who couldn't have imagined how the battle with the cougar was going to turn out, Jesus knew.

Jesus knew He would be betrayed by a friend; He knew He was going to be denied, deserted, and condemned. He knew about the whip, the crown of thorns, the nails, and the cross.

Even so, Jesus continued on. He gave His happiness for ours, His future for ours, His death for our lives. His was a sacrifice unparalleled and unmatched in history. It is unique.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks a dog was able to save the earthly life of a little boy. I give thanks for the many ways You protect me. Most of all I give thanks for my Savior who sacrificed His life to save the world. May I continue to rejoice in Jesus, the Redeemer of the world. In His Name. Amen.

PS - Angel has had surgery to repair her wounds and, as of this writing, is recovering nicely.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-19-2010, 08:18 AM
"Moving Up"

January 19, 2010



If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV) 1 John 1:9



In March of 2005, Mark McGwire, ex-professional baseball player and home-run hitter extraordinaire, appeared before the Congress of the United States. When he was asked to address the subject of his having used steroids, he told them, "I'm not here to talk about the past."

Apparently, something has changed because Mark McGwire is now doing just that.

He has confessed to the news media that he was using steroids and human growth hormones in 1998 when he broke the previous single-season home run record of Roger Maris.

He has confessed that same thing to his wife, his son, his parents.

He has made his confession to the widow and family of Roger Maris.

He has made a confession to the general public.

Immediately after the TV cameras stopped rolling, the commentators began to evaluate the confession of Mark McGwire.

For some his confession was too late; for others it was too little, and for yet others the confession seemed insincere. For some, McGwire's confession smacked of an attempt to get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; others maintain this confession was the price he had to pay to work as a hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

As for me, when Mark McGwire was done crying and confessing, he looked more like a hero to me than he ever had as a home run hitter.

Of course, some will ask, "How do you know he was sincere?" I don't. But it's not my job to judge sincerity. That belongs to God, and the Lord knows McGwire's heart.

But I will hope and pray the confession was real. After all, if we confess our sins, the Lord has promised to be faithful and just and gracious and forgive us those sins.

So we might be forgiven is why Jesus was born; so we might be forgiven, the Savior carried our sins to the cross.

If that forgiveness belongs to Mark McGwire -- like it belongs to so many of us who have been called to confession and the Christ -- I will thank the Lord.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for having sent the Holy Spirit to call me to faith in the Christ, I give thanks. Now I pray that others may also fall to their knees in heartfelt confession. Then, having made confession, may they be told to rise up -- forgiven and free. In Jesus' Name, I ask this. Amen.




In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-20-2010, 08:18 AM
"Not That Open-Minded"

January 20, 2010



. . . They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. (NIV) 1 Thessalonians 2:15b-16



For the last few weeks, this Devotion has resisted the temptation to speak about Tiger Woods.

That's because we didn't have a whole lot to add to the countless voices that were criticizing and defending the great golfer. Now, however, it may be time to comment. Understand, we're not commenting on Tiger Woods; we're speaking about open-mindedness -- or a lack of it.

You see, when a fellow by the name of Brit Hume made a guest appearance on Fox News Sunday, he said, "Tiger, turn your faith to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

As a Christian, Hume was offering his personal urgings to Mr. Woods, who is not an avowed Christian, to be given faith and forgiveness that comes only through the sacrifice of the crucified and risen Savior. Hume was doing the kind of thing Christians have been doing for almost 2,000 years now.

It's the kind of comment with which people are free to agree or disagree.

I want to tell you people have disagreed with Mr. Hume. Big time. People who are supposed to be open-minded about things showed their open-mindedness by condemning Hume, by calling him names, by threatening him, by saying all Christians were nothing more than a bunch of (you can fill in the blank here with any nasty name you would like).

So, we must conclude, open-mindedness for many of these people is to be reserved for those who malign the Savior; who laugh at the Savior, who mock the Savior, or who oppose the Savior.

And we can further conclude that closed-mindedness is what we Christians can expect when we say, "Jesus is the Savior of the world."

Hume wasn't surprised he was being criticized. He said, "The Name of Jesus has been intimidating people for ages and that's not going to stop now."

I guess I wasn't surprised either. As Paul wrote, there are those who "are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved."

So there we have it. The Savior tells us to share His Name; the world tells us to be quiet. What shall we do? Pretty easy choice, isn't it? Peter and John should be speaking for all of us when they said, "For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).

And we can't.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world still doesn't wish to hear of Jesus who has offered His life for its salvation. Send Your Holy Spirit to break Satan's hold and open minds and hearts to the grace we have been given in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. In His Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-21-2010, 08:18 AM
"Full Of Evil"

January 21, 2010



. . . The hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. Ecclesiastes 9:3b



Hong Kong's Temple Street Night Market is a busy place.

Situated at ground level and surrounded by old apartments, it is usually filled with local residents and tourists checking out the unusual wares and bargains to be had by the discerning shopper.

It is also the place of the most recent acid bombing.

For those of you who don't know -- and I would pray that ignorance would extend to most of you -- an acid bombing takes place when a person or group of people go to the top of one of these apartments and throws full bottles of acid down on the people below.

There have been six such attacks in the last year.

Since no one takes credit for the bombings, the police assume it is not politically motivated. Since no special person is targeted, nobody believes it is an act of family vengeance.

With no suspects, police are concerned about who it is that likes to throw acid on strangers, children, the unprepared, and the unsuspecting. The acid bomber is like the pyromaniac, except his thrill comes from destroying people not buildings.

I know that nowadays it's pretty normal to reject the idea of original sin, and most folks would have us believe humanity is basically good. It's not; we're not. Ecclesiastes is right when it says, "The hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live."

Granted, most of us don't throw acid bombs on the unsuspecting but, all of us, by nature, are sinners -- lost and helpless sinners.

It is into this sick and sinful world that the Lord sent His perfect Son. It was Jesus' job to rescue us from the evil that permeates, to pull us back from the clutches of sin and Satan. It was an obligation Jesus fulfilled flawlessly. Now, because of His selfless sacrifice all who believe on Him are saved and all who trust in Him are forgiven and offered His promise of paradise.

Thank God. In a world of wars and rumors of wars, when acid can rain down unexpectedly from the sky, we need the hope Jesus alone can provide.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as You look upon this sinful planet, You must grieve. You sent Your Son to save us, but so many prefer to live in sin rather than with the Savior. Use me, I pray, to make a witness to Jesus where I can, to whomever I can, as often as I can. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ

EZMONEY
01-22-2010, 08:19 AM
"The Marathon Of Faith"

January 22, 2010



. . . And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14b



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 Friday 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 of The Lutheran Hour



The Olympics always launch by transferring the flame from the site of the original contests in Olympia, Greece to where the games will be held next. It is a privilege to be chosen as a torchbearer. Athletes, actors, musicians, sports figures, and politicians have all carried the torch, transferring the flame to the next person in the procession as it makes its way to its final destination. It is an impressive sight with millions of people watching the pageant on television. The conclusion to this spectacle is when the fire is transferred to the stadium's torch prior to the games beginning.

Faith is like this. With the atoning work for our sins accomplished by Jesus Christ's death and resurrection two thousand years ago, His message to His disciples was to take the Gospel out into the whole world. He told them, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19). Since then, the fire of faith has spread to the earth's distant corners, and year after year we see many people transferring their torches to another person.

The apostle Paul knew, too, that reaching others with the light of salvation means sharing the Good News of God's love in Jesus Christ: "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ," (Romans 10:17). As elected people in this great marathon of faith, preaching is our duty-a blessed opportunity to participate in the growth of God's Kingdom on earth. It is our obligation and responsibility to bring the torch of faith to all we meet along our road of life.

How wonderful it is when people who have received God's Word from us are moved by the Holy Spirit to lives of faith and who can then say, along with the apostle Paul, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

How wonderful when these same people-newly justified by God's grace-take up the torch and join in sharing His story of salvation with others!

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we pray for those who carry the torch of Your Word to a world groping in darkness. Give them strength and purposefulness to share the light of Jesus Christ with all they meet. In His Name, we pray. Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion was written by Igor Savich, the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' Russian office. The ministry of LHM-Russia is active in several outreach services: radio, TV, CD and DVD production, booklets, and the Internet. Based in St. Petersburg, LHM-Russia also utilizes Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops.


To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.







Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

EZMONEY
01-23-2010, 09:31 AM
"God Sees And Cares"

January 23, 2010



If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? Psalm 130:3



I have some friends who are, because of a promotion, selling their house and moving to another city.

The idea of leaving their church, their neighborhood, their friends, and their home has made the move traumatic.

Amazingly, one of the things that bothers them the most is when the realtors call and say, "We're bringing over some prospective buyers in a half hour. Give the house a quick straightening up and then disappear."

Both husband and wife have confessed they don't like the idea of someone prowling around their kitchen and poking into the drawers and closets. The thought has made them very uncomfortable. No, it's not that they have anything wrong hidden away, and it's not that they're embarrassed at the cleanliness of their house.

It's just that, well, there are just some things they'd rather not have people see.
I can sure understand that feeling. You can, too.

All of us have things we would rather not have other people know about us. Just as we don't want anybody snooping in our closets and drawers, we don't want people prying into our private affairs.

We all have too much to hide -- too many things we've done of which we're not proud.
Have you ever thought how the Lord sees each and every one of those sad, sorry, and sinful things we've done? He knows our thoughts and our wrong actions. Amazingly, in spite of seeing every one of our hidden secrets, He still loves us.

He loves us enough to send His Son to become one of us, to fulfill the Law for us, to resist temptation for us, and to die and rise for us.

It's an incredible and gracious attribute for a gracious God.

In spite of knowing who we really are, He still cares.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for all my sins that are an insult and an affront to You, I am sincerely sorry. Please accept my appreciation for Your Son and the forgiveness He has won for me on the cross. In Jesus' Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-24-2010, 08:25 AM
"Hidden Blessings"

January 24, 2010



Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21



In the early years of the 1900s, a couple moved from North Carolina to Oklahoma. There they farmed a small piece of land.

Truth be told, they lived mighty poorly for a good number of years. That all changed when a stranger drove up on their property and took a sample of their water. I'm not sure what he found, but it wasn't too much later that another stranger showed up and offered to buy their farm at an unbelievable price.

Before long, a high-producing oil well was located between the house and the barn. Reminiscing, the old farmer said, "To think that we slaved here for all those years and all that time we had a fortune under our doorstep and we didn't know about it."

Now, I'm not going to suggest we all ought to go out and dig in our backyard for oil. Life doesn't work that way -- at least not very often.

But I do suggest that the Lord, who gave His Son to save us, may have also given unrecognized fortunes to many of us.

Perhaps your unrecognized fortune is a spouse who has given faithfully without getting much in return. Perhaps your unrecognized fortune is an unexpectedly kind place of employment. Maybe it is in the form of children who respect you, or a church that appreciates you.

Most of us have fortunes right outside our back doors or under our roofs.
This is why I would encourage you to offer a special "thank you" for those hidden fortunes; it seems the right thing to do.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I am grateful for the unexpected, undeserved blessings that You have placed into my life. For a Savior who suffered, died, and rose to save me, for a . . . (name your blessing here _________ ), I am most thankful. Please help me to always see Your hand in the simplest of things. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-25-2010, 08:22 AM
"I Have Faith"

January 25, 2010



(Jesus said) "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10



What would I do?

Years ago I read the stories of pastors who had been asked to serve their congregations and communities during times of plague and continuous warfare. The books spoke of the courage they showed in the face of frustrating and almost hopeless circumstances. I wondered what would I do if I were ever placed into such a situation? The passing years have not changed the question. I still wonder.

What would I do?

Haiti's recent earthquake has shown what people will do. The severity of the quake and the inability of the world to provide the most basic of humanitarian aid and relief has shown what people will do when necessities aren't accessible. It shows what they will do when society and authority have lost control.

What will people do?

The daily television reports have shown us, in high-definition, what we would do. We have seen machete-wielding gangs take over the streets, but we have also seen spontaneous parades during which people praise the Lord for their deliverance.
And what have the pastors done?

They've done some amazing things. For years we preachers have picked up some pretty bad press. Sometimes it was deserved, sometimes not. But watching the reports coming from Haiti I have seen ministers pulling the Lord's people together with enthusiastic words of encouragement. One pastor calls out: "Think of our new village here as the house of Jesus Christ, not the scene of a disaster . . . ."

If their church building is no more, if the pastor is dead or missing, laypeople of faith are coming forward. As one encouraged, "As I still breathe, I have faith."
What would I do?

I pray the Holy Spirit would reach out and uphold me. I pray He would watch over my family, friends, and the faithful. I pray we all, as long as we could still breathe, continue to have faith in the Savior whose life was spent so we might be saved for a better life than here.

What will we do? It occurs to me if those things are worth praying for in times of a disaster, then they are also worth praying for when our lives have been blessed.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in Haiti and here bring light to darkness, hope to ruined lives, and peace to troubled and worried hearts. In Haiti and here, teach us to look past this ruin so we might see the joy that comes from the peace You alone can give -- the peace which passes human understanding and can cover the most devastating of earthquakes. In Your Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-26-2010, 08:18 AM
"Thou Shalt Not"

January 26, 2010



All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (KJV) 1 Corinthians 6:12



Some years ago I saw a man-on-the-street interview.

One lady was asked, "How many commandments are there?" She knew the answer: "Ten." The next question was harder, "Can you give me one of those commandments?"

The lady hemmed and hawed; she stuttered and stammered, and then she said, "Thou shalt not . . . do anything." The audience laughed.

The questioner asked, "Are you sure?" She was positive she had it right. "Thou shalt not do anything."

There are a lot of unbelievers who think that's what the Lord has done to Christians. He has told us, "Thou shalt not do anything. Thou shalt not have fun. Thou shalt not smile. Thou shalt not . . . "

How wrong they are! The Savior's sacrifice and the shedding of His blood on Calvary were designed to free us from our sin and release us from Satan's clutches. Jesus' resurrection on the third day has even freed us from death itself.

Now it's true that the Son of God dying -- so we might have eternal life -- can be a sobering and powerful thought. Even so, that doesn't mean we Christians have to be sour and sad. God has not given the order: "Thou shalt not do anything."

Now the reason I bring this up is because recently, during a rare winter snow in London, some British policemen -- two bobbies -- were reprimanded (lightly reprimanded) because they had used their riot shields to go sledding.

The film, made by a passerby, shows one bobby shooting down the hill while another shouts, "Whatever happens, keep smiling!"

Apparently, the authorities found the thing objectionable.

I like the rule: "Whatever happens, keep smiling." That's it. "Keep smiling in the Savior." That sure sounds a lot better than, "Thou shalt not do anything."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for the grace of the Gospel that enables me to live in gratitude for all that has been done to forgive and save me, I am thankful. Now, please send Your Holy Spirit upon others so they may see Your love, and not just Your Laws. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-27-2010, 08:22 AM
"No Boasting"

January 27, 2010



For I the Lord do not change . . . . Malachi 3:6a



There are some things that just shouldn't change. When I order a Big Mac at McDonald's, I expect to taste two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun. I don't expect them to substitute sushi for the beef.

On the other hand, there are some things that should change. One of those things that should change is Oscar Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas. Understand, I don't much mind if Goodman personally likes to cavort with showgirls, or if he likes to drink his gin, or if he bets on anything that moves.

On the other hand, I have a major problem -- as defined a very few years ago -- when Mayor Goodman visited an elementary school and told some fourth-graders if he was stranded on a desert island, he would take a showgirl and a bottle of Sapphire Bombay Gin.

I also have a problem with a man who says, "If I'm governor, I'll cavort with showgirls, and I'll keep drinking my gin and betting on anything that moves."

Goodman told the Philadelphia Inquirer, his hometown paper. "I won't change!"

I think he ought to.

While these devotions don't get involved in politics and we would never endorse a candidate, we do believe in Christian responsibility. We believe it is the responsibility of Christians to cast their votes for those who are upright morally and sound ethically.

This we do because we, unlike Mayor Goodman, have been changed. Because of the Savior's sacrifice, we have been washed of our sins and been brought to faith. We've been changed, and we want our leaders to be men and women who do their very best to leave sin behind and serve with integrity.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for the changes Your Son has made in my life, I give thanks. I further rejoice that You can be counted on and will never change. Now I pray that You will grant us leaders who will be responsible and ethical. In Jesus' Name, I ask it. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-28-2010, 09:31 AM
Visit here to be refreshed through a meditation on God's Word. The devotions are updated daily, and you can also receive these devotions daily via e-mail. If you would like to read a devotion from a previous date, please visit our devotion archives.


En Espaņol

"Crying Can't Help"

January 28, 2010



He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4



Myrtha was at a friend's home in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake came. The home she was in shook; then, it collapsed. Myrtha was swept into a hole along with two of her friend's children. The children died, and Myrtha was trapped in that grave for three days.

Her family mourned. Her cousin in New York mourned. Friends who saw TV coverage that showed Myrtha's home assumed she had been killed. But Myrtha was not killed. She was rescued, hospitalized and, eventually, her picture was shown. Myrtha was among the living.

When Myrtha's family found out, they rejoiced and called Myrtha at a phone in her hospital. Their joy was turned to sorrow when they were told she had lost a leg in the accident.

That's when the family began to cry.

Hearing the weeping, Myrtha said, " . . . listen to me: Don't cry. Where I was, it was the worst thing ever."

Did you get that picture? Someone who had been in the **** of Haiti was telling people in America not to cry.

According to the apostle John, that's what the Lord is going to do for us in heaven.
Centuries ago, Jesus Christ was born one of us. As one of us, He resisted the devil's temptations; He fulfilled the Law; He suffered, died, and descended into ****. Three days after His murder, a living Christ -- a risen Christ -- showed the entire world that even death had been defeated.

Now, the ascended Savior welcomes into heaven all who acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord.

And if you're wondering what heaven will be like, it will be like this: Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes, "and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

To all of us, to all of our hurting hearts, Jesus will say, as Myrtha did: "Don't cry."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as You look upon this sinful planet, You must grieve. You came to save us, to forgive us, to wipe away our tears. Even though You died and gave Your all, so many do not believe. Lord, be with them, call them to faith. Let them see Your heaven that awaits -- Your heaven where all tears will be wiped away. In Your Name, I ask it. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-29-2010, 09:23 AM
"From Babel To Bangkok"

January 29, 2010



Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your Name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed. Revelation 15:4



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 Friday 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 of The Lutheran Hour



Short-term volunteer teams to Asia often tell us a highlight of their mission experience is worshiping with local Christians. "It's enjoyable and uplifting to be worshiping with believers from another country and culture half a world away from our own," they say. This experience is a small glimpse into what John wrote about in Revelation: "All nations will come and worship before You. . . ."

Christians joining together to worship in spite of language differences is a stark contrast to the Tower of Babel narrative in Genesis 11. At that time the people's unity was disrupted when God confused their language. They could no longer understand each other, so they couldn't work together.

When a group of Lutheran pastors and their wives visited Bangkok to conduct a seminar for local Christians, communication was difficult. The visitors didn't speak Thai, and most of the Thai people spoke little to no English. At times their efforts to converse were comical. Lots of gestures, strange facial expressions, long pauses, and bemused smiles resulted from the attempts to bridge the language barrier. Work was accomplished, but there were some awkward and embarrassing moments in the process.

But when it came to worshipping together, an interesting thing happened.

When the visiting team attended local churches and worshiped with Thai Christians, they felt a bond. Though the words were different, the melody was the same. The natural dissonance of mixing the two languages actually created another kind of harmony as God's people raised their hearts and voices in praise to Him. At Babel, "the Lord scattered them (the people) from there over all the earth . . ." by confusing their language, according to Genesis 11:8a. In Bangkok, the Lord brought people together from opposites sides of the earth and gave them unity through the power of His Holy Spirit. In spite of the language and cultural dissimilarities, the mission team and the local Thai Christians were keenly aware of their oneness in Christ.

How great it will be when all nations come and worship before the throne of God in heaven! There will be no strangers there. Then, God's people the world over will raise their voices in a resounding chorus of praise to God for the wonderful salvation provided through His Son Jesus Christ.

THE PRAYER: Thank You, Father, that Your people throughout the world are one in Christ and that someday we will all worship together before Your throne of grace. Please send Your Holy Spirit to open the hearts and minds of those who do not yet know You, so they may come to know Jesus as their Savior and join in the heavenly worship. Amen.

Biography of Author: Dennis Denow is a missionary with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod World Mission and the husband of Monta Ekwanit Denow, director for Journey Into Light (JIL), the ministry center for Lutheran Hour Ministries in Bangkok, Thailand. Using Equipping the Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), print, Internet and text messaging, booklets, tracts, and coloring books, JIL shares the Gospel in this country of 65 million.


To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.




Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

EZMONEY
01-30-2010, 10:13 AM
"Getting Revenge"

January 30, 2010



Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Romans 12:19



Today, as I drove in to work, I fellow cut into my lane of traffic. He didn't look, and I'm pretty sure he didn't know I was there.

I was mad and I was just about ready to lay on the horn when I remembered a story an old preacher told me when I first started in the ministry.

The pastor told me about a farmer in his congregation who had frequently been pestered by a carload of young folks -- young folks who delighted in sneaking over his orchard fence and playing havoc with his apples without asking permission.

Eventually, the farmer caught the youngsters red handed and full mouthed.

Quickly swallowing a chunk of golden delicious, one of the apple thieves sheepishly smiled and said, "We hope you don't mind we took a few of your apples."

"No, not at all," said the farmer, who was also smiling. He continued, "And I hope you don't mind I took some of the air out of your tires."

Honestly -- that story changed my life.

That farmer did more than take some air out of a few tires. He has taken some of the air out of me. Every time I'm ready to get back at somebody for a real or imagined hurt they've done to me, the face of that farmer shows up in my mind.

He shows up and I have to calm down. That's probably good. After all, revenge seldom helps the people I'm angry at, and it insults the memory, example, and wishes of my Savior.

You see, Jesus who gave Himself to save us never paid people back for the evil they did to Him. On the contrary He tried to bring them closer, call them to repentance, and offer them forgiveness.

And -- if I read today's Scripture correctly -- we're supposed to avoid revenge and leave the score settling to the Lord.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, how blessed we are to have a Savior who forgives our poor choices and our bad attitudes. Now, may I, one of Your forgiven children, share that forgiveness with others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-31-2010, 09:53 AM
"Doing Something"

January 31, 2010



(Jesus said) "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16



Sunday -- what a wonderful day to sleep in and do nothing.

Although I've never seen a scientific study on it, I believe doing nothing is one of the great pleasures of life.

Doing nothing is something Melody Schick is very good at. Not so very long ago, Schick dressed herself up as a rag doll and sat down on a revolving platform.

Only Schick's eyes moved. The rest of her just sat and sat and sat and, well, you get the idea.

Five hours and 43 boring minutes after Schick first sat down, she slowly stood up and tried to smile. She smiled because she had just become the proud holder of the world's record for sitting still. Amazingly, Schick's stunt took place at a shopping center while hundreds of shoppers watched her do -- nothing.

I don't know which is worse, doing nothing or watching someone else do nothing.

You know, there are an awful lot of people who have taken Melody lessons.

By that I mean they work very hard at doing nothing. Or they stand around and watch other people do nothing. It's fascinating and it's such a waste. Each of us has been given gifts from God -- gifts He wants us to use for a purpose.

Now, it's possible that doing nothing may be Schick's gift. But it's difficult for me to believe "doing nothing" is the kind of gift the Lord distributes in abundance to the masses.

What the Lord really wants from us is for His people to appreciate His Son. He wants them to thank the One who has saved them from sin, Satan, and death. God wants people who are willing to let their lights shine, to glorify the Savior, and to help those around them.

It may not be as exhausting as doing nothing, but it sure is easier for people to watch.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Father, when I am tempted to do nothing, please help me refocus my energies into accomplishing something that will be a reflection of Your love to those around me. In Jesus' Name, I ask this. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

EZMONEY
01-31-2010, 09:56 AM
I really love today's message...

I always try to remind myself to "do something"....

but often find myself wasting precious moments of life...

Pray on!