Faith Based Support Groups - DEVOTIONS ~ February

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02-01-2010, 09:15 AM
"A Confession"

February 1, 2010

(Jesus said) "And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God." Luke 12:8

For over 60 years Lutheran Hour Ministries has been helping put a float in the Rose Bowl Parade.

For just as long, people have been asking, "Isn't that a waste of money?"

Well, putting a float in the parade is terribly expensive. In fact, it would be impossibly expensive if it wasn't paid for by the volunteer effort of thousands of volunteers -- volunteers called, "Petal Pushers." These folks work on our float and also donate their time to work on other displays. The money paid for their volunteer work is what underwrites our float.

But what good does a float do? That's easy. It brings thousands of volunteers together to work. It is the only Christian float seen by the one million people on the parade route. And, depending on TV coverage, it is a Christian witness made to about a billion souls all around the world.

Not bad for a bunch of flowers and seeds!

Now, the reason I bring this up is because there is supposed to be a Christian commercial in the Super Bowl this year. That's right, Tim Tebow, who played college football for Florida, is going to be featured in a commercial put on by Focus on the Family.

I don't know how much it cost. I don't know what it will say. I don't know where the money came from.

But I do know, like the Lutheran Hour Float, there are going to be a lot of folks who are going to say, "The commercial should have said this" or "It should have said that" or "The money shouldn't be spent so frivolously."

Me? I give thanks when the Lutheran Hour float rolls through Pasadena and through my living room as I watch. And, if the Super Bowl commercial is solidly for the Savior, I'm going to give thanks for that, too.

I'll just pray the Lord uses an athlete who loves his Savior to reach out to all those armchair athletes who love the sport but don't know the crucified and risen Savior.

If the Holy Spirit can use a Super Bowl message to plant a seed from which faith can grow, it's going to be a day where there really will be some winners.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, today I pray that this Sunday the world may appreciate Your victory over sin, death, and devil. Help us remember that Sunday is not super because of a football game. It's super because it's a day You have made and a day that -- by Your grace -- someone may come to faith in You as Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-01-2010, 11:58 PM
My kids and nieces....ex-wife and sister have been "Petal Pushers" several times!

02-02-2010, 09:10 AM

February 2, 2010

When Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16-17

So, do you remember where you were and what you did last Epiphany?

You really don't have to answer that question. I'm impressed anytime someone from the western branch of the Christian Church remembers Epiphany is the day to celebrate the coming of the Wise Men to worship the baby Jesus.

If anyone remembers the day and what he or she was doing, well, that's a bonus.

On the other hand, if you are a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and live in Moscow or just about any city in that immense land, I would be surprised if you didn't remember what you did last Epiphany.

Why the difference?

In the Russian Orthodox Church, Epiphany marks the baptism of the Savior. In many places it is celebrated by the local church by cutting a very large cross-shaped hole into the ice of a local river. When that is done, many of the believers from the church jump into the water as a remembrance of Jesus' work and their baptisms.

This year that meant people jumped into the river when it was about 13 degrees below zero outside (Fahrenheit).

One man, his hair frozen into mini-icicles, said, "After the Epiphany dive, all your illnesses, all your problems just fade away." Now if you're thinking that custom is a bit strange, you won't get any argument from me. And if you're thinking that's the kind of custom that is probably dying off, well, you'd be absolutely wrong.

More and more people -- young people -- are participating in the ceremony.

There are probably all kinds of reasons why they would do such a thing, but more than one has said this: "Jesus suffered for me and His baptism was the beginning of that suffering. I suffer for a moment to remember how His suffering, His death, and His resurrection have taken away my sins."

If that's what they believe, that's wonderful! I'll join them!

-- in the belief, that is, not the river.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks for all You did for my salvation. Help me. Help me remember and share with others the love and sacrifice You made so my sins might be washed 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

02-03-2010, 09:08 AM
"Without Ceasing"

February 3, 2010

Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Adam Wainwright is a big-league baseball pitcher.

In fact, he's a pretty good pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.

He does, however, have a rather annoying custom. Every once in a while he puts his glove up over his face. In the past, some pitchers would use a gesture like that to put something into their gloves.

The addition might be a little tobacco juice, or petroleum jelly, or just plain spit. You put a little spit on a ball and it will do all kinds of things as it goes hurtling toward the catcher's mitt.

But Adam Wainwright says he's adding none of those things.

He says: he's praying. He prays before the games; he prays between some of the pitches. And if you're curious about what is in his prayers, he'll tell you.

Before the game he's asking the Savior for strength and that "the other team will look at him in fear." Between pitches he's asking the Lord to help him do well.
Not bad for a baseball player!

Adam seems to have grasped the idea of praying "without ceasing." On the other hand, the idea of God making the other team afraid, well, that seems a bit off the mark.

Nevertheless, Adam Wainwright is setting a good example. First and foremost, Wainwright is grateful for the forgiveness Jesus has won on the cross. He knows the risen Savior is with us, interceding on his behalf and for all people. But he is also not too proud to say, "even professional athletes need the Savior by their side."

This leads me to say this: If you're watching the TV next summer and you see pitcher Adam Wainwright put his glove up in front of his face, won't you think about this devotion. Then, while he's saying his prayers . . .

. . . won't you say one of your own?

In fact, we have a prayer coming up right now.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we are told we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. I give thanks we also have many very real men and women who are glad to make a witness to the fact that You are in their lives. May I, by the Holy Spirit's direction, make my witness to others so they may see the wonders of Your love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-04-2010, 08:27 AM

February 4, 2010

(Jesus said) "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10

You may not know the German word that serves as the title of our devotion.

Phonetically, it is shod-en-froy-de. It means getting a little laugh out of someone else's misfortune. Recently, the United Press International had a few examples of the word, "schadenfreude."

The first story told how a Florida man checked himself into a Florida hospital. The police wanted to know how he happened to get a bullet in his leg. The man was reluctant to say. The police, fearing some foul play, put on the pressure. Finally, the man confessed.

He had been at his girlfriend's backyard when the accident happened. He was practicing his quick draw like a western-type cowboy. He was putting the gun into the holster like a western-type cowboy. Then he accidentally pulled the trigger and shot himself, unlike a western-type cowboy.

Now if you pictured that story in your mind's eye, and if you smiled, that's schadenfreude.

Here's another. In Vaxjo, Sweden, 20 dieters at a Swedish Weight Watchers clinic said the floor of their building collapsed when they were at a weigh-in. The folks -- all of whom escaped without injury -- said they heard a "crack." Shortly after that the floor gave way.

The group finished their weigh-in at a different location.

Now, please don't write and tell me I dislike folks who are a bit not skinny or who are gun shooters. I'm a lot not skinny and I love to shoot guns. But, seriously, didn't you smile . . . just a little? If so, that's schadenfreude. And so is laughing at the pratfall of a slapstick comedian, or cackling when you watch one of those funniest home video shows and someone drops a wedding cake or the groom faints. That's schadenfreude.

Now, I can't be sure, but I believe the Lord who created the giraffe and the platypus also has a sense of humor. I also believe His humor never extends to being amused at our misfortune.

On the contrary, the Lord, moved by our lost condition, sent His Son to save us. Jesus left heaven's bliss and perfection to walk the dusty roads of some poor provinces in the Roman Empire. There, unappreciated, unapplauded, and unloved, He gave His life so we might be saved. He died, rose, ascended, and sends His Spirit upon us.

And if you wonder why, maybe it's because the Lord didn't want Satan laughing at our misfortune on Judgment Day. Maybe He wanted to rob Satan of schadenfreude.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You took pity upon this sinful world and the sacrifice You made for my salvation. Now may I do all I can to make sure Satan has no schadenfreude on Judgment Day. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-05-2010, 08:02 AM
"The Only Solution"

February 5, 2010

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3

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

To find peace and cope with his depression, a man decided to seek the help of a psychiatrist. Detailing his situation, the man explained the traumas of his youth and the failures of his adult life, which continued to cause him anguish and sorrow.

After appraising the man's predicament, the doctor counseled him to handle the sadness in his life by looking at things from a different perspective -- a new angle. He suggested he try to laugh more and enjoy the positive things around him.

Mulling it over, the doctor recommended a somewhat novel approach to this man's plight: he referred him to a comedian who worked at a local nightclub. "People who watch him perform have come away happy and light-hearted," the doctor said enthusiastically. "Maybe an evening on the town would refresh your outlook."

The man sighed deeply at these words and said, "If seeing this comedian is going to bring me happiness and a smile then I am surely lost -- because that man is me!"

Sometimes proposed solutions are nothing more than cosmetic touches for our problems. Jesus didn't come to simply lift our spirits; He came to transform us completely, radically, from the inside out. The willing, sacrificial offering of His life on the cross for the sins of the world broke the devil's stranglehold on us. Through faith we are free -- forgiven by His blood and set aside -- beyond judgment and born unto life everlasting.

In times of anguish and sorrow, remember that through Christ, we will prevail. (Jesus said) ". . . In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b).

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Jesus is the only answer, the only solution to this world's woes. Help us to turn to You for all our needs and return with thanksgiving for all You give us. In Jesus' Name, we pray this. Amen.

Biography of Author: Alexander Jesus Perez Leon, the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' Venezuelan office, wrote today's devotion. Established in 1953 in Caracas, LHM-Venezuela or Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN) meaning "Christ for All Nations," operates a radio and print ministry addressing issues like anxiety, sex, drugs, depression, occultism, and family relations. These programs are broadcast to more than 30 million people over 40 stations in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Spain, and Cuba.

To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit

Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

02-05-2010, 09:41 PM
the daily scripture verses are inspiring...

02-06-2010, 08:54 AM
the daily scripture verses are inspiring...

I am glad you enjoy them :)

02-06-2010, 08:55 AM

February 6, 2010

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

I've always been fascinated by trivia. If you are too, here's an interesting piece of it for you.

Over 200 years ago, with flint and steel, Tom Dalton started a fire in his Blue Ridge Mountain cabin.

That's not all that important until you realize his descendants have kept the fire burning.

Requiring a cord of wood a month, the fire has been watched from one generation to another, moved from one cabin to another. It has become the oldest man-made fire in the United States -- perhaps in the world. It's not been an easy task for the Dalton descendants, but always the fire has been kept burning.

Now, that's commitment! You don't hear much about commitment anymore, do you?

Almost every year we hear stories about spies who sell out our nation and her secrets.

We have seen spouses desert each other; we have watched as promising politicians are elected and promptly forget their campaign commitments.

In contrast, Christians are blessed to have a Savior who is constantly committed to the saving of lost souls. That commitment had Him misunderstood by men, betrayed and denied by friends, and crucified by the people He had come to save.

Even so, Jesus stayed on the course that took Him to the cross.

And because He did that, the open tomb tells us we are blessed to have a Savior in whom we can believe and to whom we can be loyal.

Redeemed and restored, like the Dalton family, our lives can now be committed to letting our light shine as a witness to the lost and lonely world.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, indeed I am blessed by Your unconditional love and loyalty. Help me to be a blessing to others by allowing them to see the light of the Savior radiate through the things I do and say. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-07-2010, 10:03 AM

February 7, 2010

(The LORD said) ". . . I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Jeremiah 31:3b

Because most people like to think well of themselves, most people believe they are the kind of people who are committed.

Maybe so, but the years have taught me some folks are more committed than others. An example of questionable commitment is the story of the young man who poured out his feelings of love as he wrote to the girl of his dreams. In part, his letter said, "Darling, for you I would climb the highest mountain, swim the widest stream, cross the burning desert. My dearest, I would be willing to die at the stake for you."

After a paragraph or two more of such painful pleas from his heart, the smitten lad concluded, "P.S. I will see you on Saturday -- if it doesn't rain."

It is a sign of the times that many people and companies make most of their commitments exactly this way.

We buy products which we think come with a complete warranty. And they are guaranteed . . . until the product is out of the box and actually used. Once the product is in service, we're pretty much on our own. That's because the company has made a questionable and incomplete commitment.

And, as we all know, a questionable commitment is really no commitment at all.

In contrast to the world's comfortable commitments, those who have been brought to Christ recognize in Jesus they are given a unique and wonderful Savior.

Jesus makes no commitments that are simply comfortable. On the contrary, His commitments are complete. They are so complete He was willing to undergo loneliness, pain, poverty, and betrayal; they are so complete He did not shy away from the cross or the dark grave.

Because Jesus' commitments were both complete and completed, on Resurrection Sunday, the risen Christ announced to all who would see, all who would hear, that the old way of death and damnation was over, God's new way of forgiveness and salvation had come.

Our present hope -- and our future home in heaven -- have been made possible totally because of the Christ's complete commitment.

Because of Jesus' success, we are able to pray that we, by the Holy Spirit's power, may be given the strength to live out our days in total thanks and without any questionable commitments to our loving Lord.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, because of Your unconditional love and gracious sacrifice for me, I give thanks. For Your complete commitment to the cause of my forgiveness and salvation I will always be grateful. May that gratitude be shown in all I do, and say, and think. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-08-2010, 08:12 AM
Gone, But Not Forgotten"

February 8, 2010

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him. . . . Psalm 103:15-17a

On the 19th of July in 1916, the young man who had been stationed in Fromelles, France was ordered to charge the German lines.

He was not alone.

Thousands of other British and Australian troops charged into the machine guns. A survivor wrote, "The air was thick with bullets, swishing in a flat, criss-crossed lattice of death. Hundreds were mown down in the flicker of an eyelid."

It was the bloodiest 24 hours in Australian military history.

2,300 died. So many died, their bodies couldn't all be recovered. The Germans buried hundreds in mass graves -- graves that were forgotten, graves that were lost, graves that were, until only recently, rediscovered in 2008.

Now, using modern DNA matching, some of the soldiers are being returned to their families and are being given a new, more fitting gravesite. But there are others -- like our young man -- who are being reburied without names, without their families, without . . .

He is a man who is known only to God. That's what it will say on his stone. That's what it will say on all of the stones of the unknowns.

I don't know if you feel lonely or lost. I don't know if you think of yourself as misunderstood or mistreated. I just don't know.

You are known to God.

He knows you as a sinner, and because of His Son's sacrifice and forgiveness, He knows you as one of His redeemed children.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I give thanks I am known to You. Thank You, that in spite of my transgressions and foolishness, You still remember me, love me, and reach out to keep me in the faith. This day send Your Holy Spirit to especially watch over the forgotten and the unknown. 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

02-09-2010, 08:20 AM
"Friendly Fire"

February 9, 2010

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:13-15

There are misunderstandings and there are misunderstandings.

Less than two weeks ago, a military patrol made up of Afghan military and coalition forces came under attack. The patrol, which had completed an operation and managed to arrest some insurgents, was headed back to the base when the shooting began.

Believing they were being attacked by the enemy, the patrol returned fire and called in an air strike to take out the enemy's position. It was then they realized the position was that of an outpost manned by Afghan's National Army.

A representative of the government called it a "misunderstanding." Another individual said it was a "regrettable incident."

It was a misunderstanding that left two dead and a number of Afghan soldiers wounded.

It is always a terrible tragedy when your own troops are brought down by "friendly fire." It is a tragedy in war; it is a tragedy in the Church. Sharp tongues, inconsiderate behavior, overzealous positioning can all can lead to brother and sister Christians being wounded or killed.

Friendly fire certainly isn't what Jesus wanted, and it's not what the early Church encouraged.

St Paul's warning to the Church in Galatia is representative of the urgings given to the Church in general: we are to serve each other in love. When that happens, when we love our neighbor as ourselves, everyone is built up and the witness we make to an unbelieving world is a positive one.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, even as we pray none of our loved ones will ever become the victims of friendly fire on the battlefield, so we pray our fellow Christians may be kept safe from friendly fire. May we always be known for the way we love and support each other. 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

02-10-2010, 08:15 AM
"Saving Us"

February 10, 2010

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (KJV) Psalm 121:1-4

Hunter, a two-year-old hound, is a failure -- at least until he's really needed.

Recently, Reyna Zurita came home. As she walked in, her dog, Hunter, ran out. Zurita gave chase. As she ran, Zurita called for the dog to stop, but the dog kept going and she kept following.

The chase ended about a half mile from Zurita's home. That's where Hunter stopped by the side of an infant who was lying on the ground. Zurita noticed the child was unresponsive and had turned purple. Without knowing the details of what had happened, Zurita began CPR and the child who had nearly drowned, began to revive.

So would you like an explanation of what happened? I really don't know. Sgt. Richard Schichtel said Hunter had been a failure. Originally trained in child rescue, Hunter had "washed out of the training program" because he didn't do good enough. That all changed the day Hunter ministered to a child a half mile from where he had been. Pretty impressive!

Even more impressive is the fact that we have a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps; we have a Lord who keeps an eye out for us. It is that Lord, the same One who made heaven and earth, who sends us help.

There are times that help comes in the person of the Christ who gave Himself and His life to the cause of saving us.

And sometimes, just sometimes, the help the Lord sends is in the form of a two-year-old, washed-out-of-the-training-program hound dog named, "Hunter."

Whichever way the help comes, we give thanks.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, You always see our situation and our needs. Before we realize we are in trouble, You have responded. I give thanks for the help that You send in the Savior and the help you give in other ways. In Jesus' Name, I give thanks. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-11-2010, 08:15 AM
"Injury To Insult"

February 11, 2010

And as they continued to ask Him, He stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7

Many years ago I saw the silent version of the movie, King of Kings.

The movie had a scene where the crowd wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery. That's when Jesus says the first sinless person in the crowd ought to throw the first stone. When one man pulls his arm back to let loose, his companion stops him. Pretty soon the crowd melts away.

That's the way it was in the movie. That's not the way it was recently in Bangladesh.

Let me explain. It was a 16-year-old girl, not a woman, who was the main character in this story. This young girl was not caught in adultery; she was raped.

Ashamed, she did not report the crime. Then, when she found out she was pregnant, she quickly married. When the groom found out his bride's condition, he divorced her.

You see, real life in Bangladesh is different than the movie. In real life the family was fined because of the moral laxness of their daughter. In real life the girl was kept in isolation until her family agreed she should be physically punished.

In real life the girl received 101 lashes.

And, in real life, the 20-year-old villager, who had raped the girl, was pardoned by the elders.

There are times, my friends, that we forget just how much our precious Savior has changed this world.

Most certainly His suffering and sacrifice have changed our eternity. Because of His perfection, because He gave Himself for our salvation, we are forgiven and saved.
That is a great change.

But Jesus, with His teachings also has changed the way Christians live and deal with each other. While we are far from perfect, I think we would, in our towns and churches, be hard pressed to see the kind of unfairness told about in this story. If you agree, then give thanks to the Lord Jesus, who is the Way and has shown us the way.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, watch over this young lady. Keep her from bitterness and let her see the Savior who can heal the deepest wounds. Let her know that Jesus, who also experienced the lash, loves her, and wishes to save her. This I pray in the Name of the Savior. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-12-2010, 08:11 AM
"At Odds With The World"

February 12, 2010

(Jesus said) "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first." John 15:18

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

When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, friends or even family members might persecute us. Becoming a child of God, the Holy Spirit gives us strength to live a godly life and turn away from evil intentions and wrongdoing. In fact, not becoming involved in acts that are displeasing to God may cause those who oppose our faith to hate us even more.

Jesus Christ anticipated this. Even as He came into the world to die for our sins, He was still hated by people. Jesus said, "No servant is greater than his master" (John 15:20a). The world hated our Master; it certainly will hate us.

As we live godly lives and serve Jesus Christ, we are blessed. It is written: "Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man" (Luke 6:22).

If the world hates you, don't lose heart. Trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance, persevere in the reading of God's Word, and consider the reward that is yours in heaven through faith in Jesus Christ. "All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" (Mark 13:13).

This is God's promise to us.

THE PRAYER: Dearest Heavenly Father, thank You for the strength to help us stand firm in the face of persecution from the world. Thank You for the blessings You pour on us when we are hated by men. Please keep us in Your almighty arms and give us peace through the time we have in serving you. We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Biography of Author: A volunteer from Lutheran Hour Ministries' office in Vietnam wrote this devotion. Known within Vietnam as "The Voice of Hope," it has operated from offices in Ho Chi Minh City since 1999. Using creative productions like puppet performances and music in its outreach efforts, LHM-Vietnam also utilizes Equipping the Saints (ETS) and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) in its outreach efforts.

To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit

Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

02-13-2010, 09:02 AM

February 13, 2010

(God said) ". . . I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5b

Have you ever felt forgotten?

It's not a pleasant experience, is it? Not so long ago one of our Lutheran parochial school teachers told me of a little boy who, on the opening day of school, felt so alone he actually started to make himself sick.

The lad was so upset he asked for permission to call home. As the boy was a new student, the teacher asked her aide to help the boy make the connection. The call was made, but when his mother answered, the fellow was too distraught to talk. Without hearing anything or anyone on the other end of the line, the mother understandably asked, "Who is this? Hello, who is this?"

The little boy burst into tears as he sobbed, "Mom, this is Jerome. Have you . . . forgotten me . . . already?"

Thankfully, most of us have never been so alone that we have felt our own mothers had forgotten us. Even so, the feeling of loneliness can be a terrible burden.

Thankfully, as Christians we are comforted and encouraged by the realization we have a God who never forgets us.

Our Lord remembered us when He first promised Adam and Eve He was going to send His Son to be the Savior of sinners. When Jesus knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, He remembered us and our transgressions. When He hung on the cross dying to save sinners, His sacrifice was for those who were there that day -- and for us who would be born centuries later.

And now, even though everyone else may forget us, or ignore us, or even despise us, God still remembers.

In the crucified and risen Savior we have been given a Redeemer, a constant Companion, a Friend whose love is shown for us in a thousand ways every day.

The words of our text for this Daily Devotion are important. God has made the promise to never leave us or forsake us. Relying on that promise our loneliness is checked.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in those dark times when I feel so alone, please help me remember You are walking beside me and holding me close. Send Your Holy Spirit to constantly remind me You will never forget me. This prayer of thanks I offer in the Name of my Redeemer and Friend. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-14-2010, 09:28 AM

February 14, 2010

God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For our Daily Devotion readership, here's a story of true love for Valentine's Day.

Consider this: 78-year-old Aleida Huissen of Rotterdam has been smoking for 50 years. For almost 50 years Huissen has been trying to give up the habit.

Like so many, Huissen had failed time and again. She kept failing, that is, until recently.

Today I'm pleased to report that Huissen has given up her cigarettes, her cigars, and her pipes.

Would you like to know the secret of her success? I'll share it, although it probably won't be of help to anyone else. Her secret weapon against smoking is Leo Jansen.

That's right, Leo Jansen, age 79.

Jansen asked Huissen to marry him, but he refused to tie the knot until his true love stopped smoking.

Huissen says, "Willpower never was enough to get me off the tobacco habit. Love did it."

Chalk up another victory for love. Love has seen many other such victories over the centuries. Love has ended wars. Love has made life bearable for millions. Love can transform our days from something bearable to something wonderful.

And -- lest we forget -- the power of love is active every day and not just on the day named after the Christian martyr, Valentine.

Of course, when we talk of love, we'd be terribly remiss if we didn't point to the greatest love this sinful, sorry old world has ever seen. Readers of our Daily Devotion will immediately know we are, of course, referring to the love humanity has received from the Triune God.

The Lord's love is incredibly unique.

God's love gives when people don't want it. God's love gives when people feel they don't need it. God's love is self-starting, self-maintaining, and self-sufficient. God's love reaches out to those who are unwanted, uncared for, and physically unattractive. God's love is not stopped by political boundaries, by the clock's ticking, or even by the grave.

God's love is personified in Jesus, and it comes to us by the Holy Spirit's power.

And when God's love finds a place in sinful hearts, it forgives, transforms, and restores.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, there is no love that is even close to Yours. Thank You for a love which is eternal, a love which is personal, and a love which has proven itself victorious over death. Now I ask this: Lord, grant me the grace to love others as You have loved me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-15-2010, 08:11 AM
"Too Late A Prophecy"

February 15, 2010

(The LORD) . . . will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation. Exodus 34:7b

The world took notice when the small island of Haiti was rocked by an earthquake.

Then, as the reports came in, as we heard that tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands had been killed, and many more injured and made homeless, people decided to act. They responded with gifts, with prayers, with cash, with time, and with much needed supplies.

Then, from the Christian community came a voice (I will not mention the name of the person behind the voice) who said the earthquake was a divine punishment upon the people of Haiti. It was a divine visitation which had come because, generations ago, some people on that island had made a pact with the devil.

I have a problem with that.

In the Bible, when God was going to visit a punishment upon His people, He sent a prophet, sometimes a whole group of prophets to warn people of what was going to happen if they didn't repent.

God gave them a chance to mend their ways. If they mended, wonderful! If they didn't, the punishment took care of things.

This is the first time I've heard of God sending a prophet after a punishment has taken place. It is the first time I've heard of a prophet who didn't tell what was going to happen, but explained what had just happened.

Now I have no doubt that God punishes sin. And Scripture says if the grandchildren copy the sins of the grandparents, they will get punished, too. But this kind of interpretation of natural events paints a picture of the Triune God that makes me very uncomfortable.

I have a Lord who sent His Son to seek and save the lost, to bring those in darkness into the light, to be a physician for those who were ill in spirit. I have a Savior who cried over Jerusalem because the people wouldn't repent and be gathered.

This, I believe, is a far better and far more accurate picture of our God of grace and love.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for the sins I have committed, You have my heartfelt repentance. May I rejoice in the forgiveness that comes to me through the Savior's sacrifice -- the forgiveness which is complete and total. In the Savior's Name, I pray it. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-16-2010, 08:13 AM
"Fairest Of Them All"

February 16, 2010

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

I didn't get to see the Miss America contest this year.

Now that I think about it, I haven't seen the Miss America contest for quite a few years. That's probably because these contests frustrate me. You see, every time I pick a winner -- a young lady who is absolutely guaranteed to win -- they lose.

So, even though my interest in the Miss America contest is somewhat underwhelming, the papers have shared that Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron, is the nation's Miss of the hour. Looking at her pictures; it does seem she has the facial symmetry, the youthfulness, the figure, and the smarts which make for a first-class winner.

The article in the newspaper got me to thinking. In a few short words I had been told what it takes to make a woman a "winner" in the eyes of men. What I wanted to know was this: what would it take for a lady to be a winner in the eyes of God?

Since the Lord sees things differently than we do, I'm pretty sure He would zero in on qualities which we, all too often, ignore.

It didn't take too much searching before I came upon the passage from Proverbs which serves as the text for today's devotion. It reads: "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

Evaluating that passage we can quickly see that while humankind looks at the temporal and the external, the Lord looks at a woman's internal qualities. It says the Lord values and appreciates the woman who honors, respects, and trusts Him.

To find a lady who respects the Lord . . . it's not the kind of show networks would televise, and it's not the kind of contest that inspires big-time sponsors. Even so, I've seen some of these ladies who honor the Lord and, in my opinion . . .

. . . they need to be honored for they are most beautiful indeed.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is easy for us to look upon the externals of a person, to evaluate their worth on temporal and passing things. Help us see others as You do. Let us, as much as we are able, seek to recognize and honor those lasting spiritual qualities which the Holy Spirit bestows. 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

02-17-2010, 08:07 AM
"A Nice Pet"

February 17, 2010

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

It was one of those man-bites-dog stories.

Only this time it was the story of a teenage girl in New Zealand who was bitten by a shark. The girl was Lydia Ward, aged 14, and the shark was probably a broad-nosed seven-gill shark.

And no, Lydia didn't bite the shark when it bit her on the hip, but she didn't panic either.

What she did do was clobber that shark over the head with her surfing body board. She clobbered it again and again and again. Finally, the shark decided it was in his best interest to let her go. Just for the record, Lydia is doing fine. I've received no reports on the condition of the shark.

Now Lydia's story is being told for a purpose. It would seem to most of us that a young lady doesn't have much chance against a shark. Thankfully, the young lady didn't know that, and because she didn't know that she is alive and well today.

Similarly, it would appear that as Christians we don't have a prayer when Satan comes at us with his bag of temptations. He is old, and wise, and has considerable resources. To most observers it would seem we would come out on the short end.

Not necessarily. When Luther was confronted by the devil, so the legend goes, he pegged an inkwell at Old Nick. Your pastor can tell you some of the other more colorful suggestions Luther had in regard to handling the devil.

The bottom line is this: Lydia had her surfing body board and Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit. That's what James was telling God's people. Submit yourself to God and at the same time do some serious devil-resisting.

Having said those words of encouragement, James makes a rather unusual prediction of what will happen: resist the devil and he will flee from you.

That's right. The devil will flee from those who, armed with faith in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, are persistent in their resistance. Understand, the battle might not always be easy, but the idea is to follow Lydia's example and resist and resist and resist yet again.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, help us understand that in the battle against Satan we are not on our own. The risen Redeemer has always promised to be with us. The Holy Spirit has shown that He wishes to keep us safe and strong. With their power, may I resist Satan and have the joy of watching him flee. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-18-2010, 08:07 AM
"Christian Witness"

February 18, 2010

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:8-9

A rose is a rose is a rose. That's what the poem says.

If that's so, I suppose a fact is a fact is a fact. At least it ought to be. Unfortunately, in recent years, facts seem to have become very flexible beasties.

When I was young, Christopher Columbus was a great explorer; now he has been demoted to a great exploiter. Once we celebrated a day in his honor; now, at least in many circles, the mention of his name causes sneers.

There was a time when students were told America was founded on Christian values, by Christian men and women. Now, according to many textbooks, those reports were greatly exaggerated. Indeed, now we're informed those special folks were far too sophisticated and intelligent to have a serious faith in the Triune God.

Pontius Pilate spoke for many of us when he asked, "What is truth?"

Right now the Texas State Board of Education is trying to answer that question for the children, the students of that state, and others.

Coming under debate have been school textbooks. Concerning them, these questions have been raised:

• Should Christmas be mentioned?
• Should religious references to America's founders be deleted?
• Should civil rights leaders receive some prominence?

It's impossible for me to tell how it will all work out. I do pray our ancestors who came to this land searching for religious freedom -- and our forefathers who tried to follow the tenets of God's Word throughout their lives -- may not have their memories erased.

Many of them weren't perfect, and the textbooks should never say they were. On the other hand, many of them did serve the Lord to the best of their ability.

And we have enjoyed the results of their work.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, when Jesus was on trial, they brought in people to lie about Him. Now the witness made by many Christians is also under attack. Today we ask our generation and those who come after us may be inspired by the Christian witness that has been made by our ancestors, and that we avoid the sins they committed. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-19-2010, 08:10 AM

February 19, 2010

Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. . . . " John 10:32a

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

During Jesus' ministry on earth, He performed many jaw-dropping miracles, which declared His power over nature and manifested His divinity. One would think seeing people healed of debilitating diseases, or moving freely on limbs once crippled, or suddenly blemish free of leprosy would be sufficient evidence to accept the fact that Jesus was extraordinary -- that He was, quite simply, the Son of God.

One would think these signs would be convincing. But the depravity of man's sin-soaked heart is an unbelieving place indeed.

Verses prior to today's text refer to the miracles Jesus did and how they plainly spoke of Him being the Christ. The Jews who witnessed them, however, wanted something more. They wanted to hear it in no uncertain terms. "Jesus answered, 'I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in My Father's Name speak for Me, but you do not believe because you are not My sheep'" (John 10:25-26).

And why did they not believe? They were blinded by sin. In this age, of course, it's no different. People are as dense and deluded today to the knowledge of Christ as the Savior of the world as they were 2,000 years ago.

As Christians we recognize the wretched state mankind finds itself in apart from God. Without His Holy Spirit working faith in a person's heart, the inner darkness will continue, the non-stop excuses will only get more ridiculous, and the broad, well-traveled road that leads to ultimate tragedy will claim yet another life.

As Christians, however, we also realize that God works through us to share Jesus as the Savior, mankind's only true hope. It is through His life-changing Word -- spoken by our voices and expressed through our lives -- that God works in the hearts of those who don't know Him.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to see Your love for us and share that love with others. Enable us through the power of Your Holy Spirit to address people's unbelief and freely share the Good News Your Son has so richly provided for us. We ask all this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion was written by a member of the Lutheran Hour Ministries-Paraguay ministry team. Established in Asuncion in 2000, LHM-Paraguay operates as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones and is active in door-to-door ministry, radio programming, Project JOEL, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), and Equipping the Saints (ETS) training.

To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit

Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

02-20-2010, 07:47 AM
"The Power Of Our Tongue"

February 20, 2010

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Not so long ago, as part of my duties, I had to attend a banquet.

The food was good, but the speakers, for the most part, left something to be desired. I say, "for the most part" because there was an exception. There was an excellent speaker in attendance at that banquet.

The master of ceremonies with great enthusiasm and many superlative words, introduced the lady. He eulogized her many wonderful qualities and activities. He told us she was faithful, charming, and a person who accomplished great things.

Finally, the MC sat down and turned the podium over to the somewhat embarrassed guest of honor. Appearing to be somewhat overwhelmed, the speaker got up, faced the audience, cleared her throat and began, "After such an introduction, I'm afraid to hear what I'm going to say."

Allow me to share that she did a wonderful job.

Have you ever been afraid of what you were going to say or embarrassed at what slipped out of your mouth?

I have.

It's true. There are many times I've put my foot in my mouth; there are many times when, in spite of my best of intentions, I haven't said the right thing. I try, but it just doesn't come out right.

All too often my tongue has caused offense, brought about pain, and been cutting.
Maybe you can say the same.

If so, I invite you to join me and the Psalmist in the prayer which serves as the text for today's Daily Devotion. We who have been touched by the Lord's love, who have heard Jesus' words of forgiveness spoken from the cross, need to do our best to use our tongues to thank the Lord and bestow blessings upon our brothers and sisters in Jesus.

By God's grace, the Holy Spirit can minimize the negative impact of our tongues and maximize the blessings they bestow.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I want to be bold in sharing the story of Your saving grace. May the words I speak reflect my risen Savior who lived and died to take away my sins. May my words sing His praises and be a blessing to those around me. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-21-2010, 09:49 AM
"Almost Right"

February 21, 2010

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Some people I know do the right thing . . . almost.

That was brought home to me this past week when a friend in the insurance industry told me of a lady who received $1,200 to compensate her for the loss of her diamond ring. Not unsurprisingly, four weeks later she found the missing ring stashed away in the back of a cupboard.

Glad for the ring, she wrote to the insurance company and confessed, "I didn't think it would be right for me to keep the ring and the money, so I thought you would be pleased to know I have sent the $1,200 to the Red Cross."

The lady had done the right thing . . . almost.

She hadn't kept the money. That was right, and she did tell the insurance company about finding the ring. That was right, too. But sending the money to the Red Cross . . . even as fine an organization as it might be, well, that was not quite right.

A lot of people try to do the right thing . . . almost. Over Christmas I watched my twin grandchildren who were squabbling and arguing. Finally, their mother stopped things and told them to apologize.

They did.

They shook hands. They said they were sorry. They did the right thing almost. You see, in spite of the hand shaking and the words, they weren't sorry. They were still angry.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Our selfishness and our natural propensity to sin guarantees we almost always miss the mark of doing the right thing.

This is why we need Jesus.

Why? Because He is the Son of God, Jesus did that which we could never do. He did the right thing always. If Jesus dealt with pompous Pharisees, He did the right thing. If He was speaking with a serious sinner, He did the right thing. If Satan placed before Him a tremendous set of temptations, Jesus still did the right thing.

Because Jesus did the right thing -- always -- at the end of His life, as He hung dying upon the cross, He could honestly say, "It is finished" (John 19:30b).

And it was. Jesus' perfect life, His total avoidance of sin had opened the door to heaven for all who believe on Him as their Father-sent Substitute and Savior.

Now you and I are still sinners, and our plans almost always fall short of the mark when we try to do the right thing. In spite of that failure, our lives should still be lived in thankfulness for what Jesus has given. It would be the right thing to do -- absolutely.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son to do and be the perfect person we could never be. Now may we, redeemed by His complete fulfillment of the Law, thank and praise, serve and obey the risen Redeemer. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-22-2010, 08:08 AM
"Pluto Platter"

February 22, 2010

. . . And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. Acts 11:26b

Most people don't know the name of Fred Morrison.

Now I could begin by telling you that Morrison was a World War II pilot and a prisoner of war. Or I could share that he died a week or two ago at the age of 90. I could tell you that, but that wouldn't help you know Mr. Morrison much better.

And I doubt if it would help much if I informed you that Fred Morrison was the inventor of the battery-operated toy tomahawk and a water-filled bowling set.

That didn't help, did it? How about if I tell you that Morrison also created the Whirl-O-Way and Pluto Platter? Does that help you figure it out?

In truth, Morrison's inventions never went too far, that is, until he licensed his greatest idea to the Wham-O Manufacturing Company in 1957. The company took his invention, borrowed a name from an East-coast pie company, and christened Morrison's invention by a new name: Frisbee.

Although Morrison thought the name change was stupid, the change made a big difference. The flying bit of plastic known as the Frisbee caught on. It sold hundreds of millions and became one of the most popular toys of the 20th century.


Truly, there are times when what you call something can make a difference. That, however, is not always the case. For example, our text for today's devotion says, "in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians." Before that time the followers of the Savior had been known as members of "The Way." That's really not a bad name since Jesus said He was the Way, and we know there is only one Way to heaven.

But those who have been to Bethlehem's manager, who have stood in sorrow and repentance at Calvary's cross, who have looked in awe and wonder into Jesus' empty tomb, know it is not the name we carry which is important. It is not our name that has made Christianity the biggest human organization the world has ever seen.

Every believer must acknowledge it is the Savior's work which is all important. His life, His sacrifice, His death and His resurrection offer forgiveness to all who believe. Because of what the Christ has done we know that heaven -- not **** -- will be our ultimate home.

No, it's not our name which is significant. It is the Savior who is the beginning and end of our salvation. Jesus is the Name which saves.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice and the salvation which comes through Your resurrection victory, we offer our thanks and praise. Now, as much as it lies within us, please make us worthy of Your Name. In Your service we pray it. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-23-2010, 08:08 AM
"A Broken Heart"

February 23, 2010

Then He (Jesus) said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with Me." And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:38-39

Dorothy Lee's husband of 40 years died while they were driving home from a Bible study.

He nodded a few times and then his head fell upon his chest. Ms. Lee was able to avoid a crash, call 911, and watch as the ambulance arrived and the paramedics worked to save her husband.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Then, a few minutes later, Ms. Lee's heart seemed to start causing her difficulty. She complained of sharp pains in her chest; she said she felt faint and then passed out.

The doctors studied her. They sent her through a battery of tests and found nothing amiss. Her arteries were clear; there was no trace of a blood clot. She hadn't had a heart attack.

So what happened? Dorothy Lee almost died of a broken heart.

Yes, really. There is such a thing. A broken heart isn't just some poetic turn of phrase.

Those who study such things know that real, sometimes fatal, changes, can happen to a heart after a traumatic breakup or after the death of a loved one. If that's the case, it would explain why ministers see seemingly healthy spouses die soon after the passing of a loved one.

When I first read that article in the Wall Street Journal, it got me wondering, "Did Jesus die of a broken heart?" If anyone had a right to die of sadness it was Jesus. The people He had come to save had rejected Him, renounced Him, and rebelled against His words. One of His closest friends betrayed Him; one denied Him; the others deserted Him.

Did Jesus die of a broken heart? Of course not.

Scripture tells us the Savior willingly "gave up His Spirit" (John 19:30b). In John 10, Jesus said that nobody would take His life. On the contrary, He predicted that when death came calling on Calvary's cross it would succeed because He was willingly laying down His life to save the sheep.

Did Jesus die of a broken heart? No, He died because His heart was so full of love He gladly gave His life for ours.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, nobody shows a greater love than when he lays down his life for another. If that is so -- and it is -- what kind of love did Jesus have? He gave up His life for those who hated Him, rejected Him, murdered Him. Because of what Jesus has done, may my heart be made new and clean and appreciative. 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

02-24-2010, 08:13 AM
"History Repeats"

February 24, 2010

Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah's eyes were weak but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Genesis 29:16-17

Often people tell me the Bible was written for people who lived long ago. Too often they tell me that Scriptures have no connection to modern life.

Well, it's just not so.

As proof, I refer to one of the stories of the Old Testament, which most people probably think could never have anything to say to our age. I'm speaking of the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah. You remember the story -- how Jacob worked to marry pretty Rachel and how Rachel's father, Laban, substituted plain Leah for Rachel. Jacob got really angry at that trick.

Well, an Arab ambassador in Dubai has just had his marriage annulled.

Why? It seems every time he had met his betrothed she had kept her head down and warn a niqab, a veil which covers the face right up to the eyes. Of course, the ambassador knew what his intended looked like: he had seen her picture. As far as her not looking at him, well, he thought he had a humble, old-fashioned, modest girl.

So what happened? The ambassador, after the marriage contract had been signed, wanted to kiss his spouse. She took off the veil, and he found she was cross-eyed and had a beard.

And how did this happen? The girl's parents had shown the ambassador photographs of his bride's sister. In short, Laban's fool-the-groom-by-switching-the-sisters-trick is still alive and well.

You know there is another thing you read about in the Bible that is also applicable to our age: Jesus Christ's work to seek and to save sinners.

Satan tempts us with all manner of old sins dressed up in new packages; our flesh is still victim to all kinds of worldly temptations, and death is still the ultimate ending for unsaved sinners.

This is why we still need Jesus. We still need a Savior who has the love to save sinful humanity. We still must believe on this Savior if we are to be rescued from sin, death, and devil.

I know it may sound old-fashioned. It is.

But Jesus is still the only Savior who can redeem us from our old-time enemies.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord and Savior, You know better than anyone else there is nothing new under the sun. Our enemies are old; our sins are old; our need of salvation is just as old. For being willing to offer Yourself as our Substitute I offer my thanks. May that thanks be new and fresh every day. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-25-2010, 08:08 AM
Zebras And Wildebeest"

February 25, 2010

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (KJV) Galatians 3:28

There are times when decisions can be difficult, times when no matter what you do it seems to be the wrong thing, or the less wrong thing to do.

Here's a case in point.

Southern Kenya has undergone a drought. That drought has taken a severe toll on the zebra and wildebeest population.

Without wildebeest and zebra, the lion population has become hungry and started looking for food -- elsewhere. To a lion's palate the next best thing to a zebra is the domesticated cattle of the Maasai.

The Maasai are understandably upset with having their livelihood become lunch for the lions. Nobody can blame them for protecting their cattle and, when necessary, killing the lions. Of course, without any wildlife, the ecosystem gets a little strange, tourism drops, and the plains look pretty desolate.

So, what to do?

The government has decided the best thing to do is import 4,000 zebras and 3,000 wildebeest. The zebras and wildebeest are designated as food for the starving lions.

Pretty tough decision, isn't it? You can feel sorry for the starving lions, or the Maasai natives, or the wildebeest and zebras. You can try to save one or two of these groups, but it will be hard to save them all.

So what's the point? There have been times in my wanderings and my readings when I've heard of Jesus being talked about as being the Savior of the Europeans.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

St. Paul is clear. Jesus didn't come to save one race, one culture, or one select group of people. Jesus came to be the Savior of all. He was born to rescue and redeem everyone. He lived taking the place of everyone; He shouldered the sins of everyone; He died for everyone, and He rose so that all who believe on Him will not perish but have life everlasting.

Was the decision to come and save sinful humanity a difficult one? Difficult or not, the decision was made and because Jesus willingly took our place, we have salvation.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for the sending of Your Son to save this lost world, I have been given salvation. Now, I pray that others may know the wonders of Your love which extends to all humanity, and dear Lord, if it is Your will, may the drought in Kenya be lifted. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-26-2010, 08:11 AM

February 26, 2010

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

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

In the worst of times, headlines may scare us. Issues like global economic crises, stock market crashes, and people running out of money all generate fear about our future. These are hard and uncertain times for all of us.

This unsettling news may come from newspaper or Web headlines, what we hear on the radio or TV, or even in the words of an ordinary conversation: "The market's tanking again today. Did you hear?" "We'll be getting a memo today about a salary freeze." In all cases, these messages paint a not-so-pleasant picture.

It's easy to become overly concerned-even overwhelmed-in the face of such crises. After all, we know nothing about the future; we can't reach back into the past, and we can barely control what's in the present. The result is that fear of the unknown and preoccupation with things beyond one's control can easily dog a person throughout the day. In fact, for some, these unwelcome pests can persist all day.

But as Christians we know that headlines come and go and are very soon forgotten.

Now is the time to stop dwelling on that which changes minute by minute and turn to an everlasting God whose love is constant and dependable from beginning to end.

• "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow" (Hebrews13:8).

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

• (Jesus said) "... And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20b).

Now these are headlines you can trust, written on the pages of Scripture and in our hearts. When we place faith in God's promises, we find a safe haven from any storm. Don't pay attention to what changes with each passing wind. Instead, listen to God and read about His work in this world. His news report is always what our hearts need to break through the bad news of this world.

Headlines fade; our God doesn't.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, sometimes the world's headlines may drive us to go the wrong direction, making us fearful and scared. Strengthen us, through Jesus Christ, to keep our eyes always on your Good News. In Jesus' Name, I ask this. Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text written by Pastor Lucas André Albrecht from Brazil. In that South American country, Lutheran Hour Ministries operates as Cristo Para Todas as Naįões (CPTN)-Brazil. Outreach programs include "Five Minutes with Jesus," a radio program; "Messages of Hope," a voicemail response service that delivers more than 10,000 Gospel replies each month; and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC).

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Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

02-27-2010, 08:59 AM

February 27, 2010

But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant Your strength to Your servant and save the son of Your maidservant. Psalm 86:15-16

There are few things in life more frustrating than sitting behind a stalled car.

That's what happened to me yesterday. A lady's car stopped and stalled at a traffic light. I was behind her and another vehicle. She tried to get her car going, but, although the battery did its thing, the starter never fired up.

With my window rolled down, I could hear the starter. In frustration the woman turned the key again and again. At least I thought that was what I was hearing. It was difficult to pick up much of anything as the motorist between us kept leaning on his horn.

Finally, the red-faced lady got out of her car and walked back to the honker. Without the sound of her engine trying to turn over and his horn blaring, I could hear her very plainly say, "I'm awfully sorry, but I don't seem to be able to start my car. If you'll go up there and start it for me, I'll stay here and honk your horn."

I was really glad that for once I hadn't joined in on the horn honking.

Still, as I look back, there are far too many times in my life when I have been impatient with others -- times when I didn't stop to think of how someone else might feel.

It doesn't make any difference whether I showed my impatience with a car horn or a disgusted look, or taunting words -- I was impatient -- unnecessarily impatient.

This takes me to the point of this devotion. Each of us ought to be incredibly grateful the Lord isn't so impatient with us. With all our flaws and failings, our sins and shortcomings, our terrible transgressions, an impatient Lord would be justified if He turned this planet into a roasted marshmallow.

But that's not what He does. The Lord answers the Psalmist's prayer and has mercy on us. By the sending of His Son, through the forgiving of our sins, by the calling and ongoing protection of the Holy Spirit, the Lord shows us He is longsuffering.

That's the word for Him. I have a Lord who is longsuffering. And I thank Him that He is.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, how easy it is for me to get frustrated at the small and insignificant. Forgive me. Grant me the wisdom and insight to praise You for Your patience, for my redemption, for the fact You are . . . longsuffering. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

02-28-2010, 09:17 AM
"Working On It"

February 28, 2010

Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Psalm 85:8-9

This story was shared with me by an elder of a church in Iowa.

He told me of how his young daughter was concentrating so hard on her homework that he got curious enough to interrupt and ask her what she was doing.

Without missing a beat or looking up, she said, "I'm writing a report on war in the world and how we can make peace."

Impressed by the intensity of the subject and the forcefulness of her answer, the father respectfully asked, "Isn't that a pretty big job for a young lady, like yourself?"

"Nope," she answered, "And, besides, I don't have to do it myself. I'm working on it with two others."

"Peace on earth and good will toward men," how wonderful it would be if peace on earth could be brought about by three, very sincere people.

But that's not the case, is it? In spite of our most sincere efforts, our most ardent wishes, wars, hatred, and prejudice are still very real. The problems that separate us are immense. Peace -- both nationally and personally -- seems illusive.

So, what's the problem?

Maybe, just maybe, it's because there aren't three working together.

That's right There aren't three. God works for peace. He's first and He's foremost. So that we might be forgiven, so we might have eternal peace, He sent His Son to seek and save us. Now, because of what Jesus has done, all who believe on Him will have peace eternally. So, as we said, "God is number one."

I imagine we would be number two. Most of us, most of the time, work for peace. But the devil, he ruins things. He always has.

And until the day God kicks him out of our lives, the job is just not going to get done. So, until that day arrives, our job is to remain faithful and make sure the Holy Spirit keeps us on the side of the Lord.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we have, through Your Son, seen how much You love peace. When the world was created, it was filled with peace, and after Judgment Day, all who believe will have unending peace. Now, as much as I am able, let me share Your peace 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

03-01-2010, 08:09 AM
"Sure Deliverance"

March 1, 2010

And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. Psalm 50:15

A few weeks ago the roads of Pittsburgh were packed with snow.

It was during this time that 50-year-old Curtis Mitchell called 911 for help. He said his "entire stomach [was] in pain."

Two hours later Curtis would call again. That's the call where he asked, "What's the holdup on the ambulance?" Nobody had called him and said the emergency vehicle hadn't been able to get there because of snow.

In the next 28 hours, Curtis and his girlfriend, Sharon, would call again.

And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.

If you skipped over that last line or if you haven't been counting, Curtis and his girlfriend called for help ten different times. By the time that last call was made by Sharon, her boyfriend had stopped breathing and when she touched him, he felt cold.

Curtis Mitchell died while waiting for help.

Public Safety Director Michael Huss said, "We should have gotten there. It's that simple." Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said, "It's unacceptable what happened; it needs to change. We're talking about somebody who lost their life, and it's no small matter."

It's a sad thing when people call for help and don't get it, isn't it? This is why the Lord's promise in Psalm 50 is so important. God says if we call upon Him in our days of trouble, He will not only hear us, but He will deliver us.

Now, that's a broad kind of promise that might make people ask, "Really? Can we be sure?" If that's where you're coming from, if that's the question you're asking, I'd like to tell you the answer: "Yes!"

When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden, God gave them a promise of delivery. When the Children of Israel cried because of their enslavement in Egypt, God delivered them. When sinners came to Jesus, He delivered and restored them.

So we might be delivered from sin, Satan, and death is why Jesus was born. It is why He lived His life and died our death.

Now, because of His third-day resurrection from the dead we can be sure of our blood-bought deliverance and salvation.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You have sacrificed Yourself for my deliverance from sin. Grant me the grace and ability to share Your story with those who still live under the burden of their transgressions. Let them learn how to call upon You in the day of trouble. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries