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03-01-2010, 10:57 PM
We welcome all devotions here ~ The ones I post are from Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Lutheran Ministries website

"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 HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-01-2010, 11:16 PM
That was powerful!

03-02-2010, 08:07 AM
"Bad Christians"

March 2, 2010

(Jesus said) "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12

Unless you're a Hollywood kind of person you probably don't know the name, Andrew Klavan.

On the other hand, if you are Clint Eastwood or Michael Douglas, the name Andrew Klaven would be familiar to you. You would know Klaven as a best-selling author, a screenwriter, and an individual to whom the media turns when they want some kind of comment on current culture or an evaluation of things entertaining.

Having said that you might be interested to hear what Klavan has to say about the way Christians and patriots are portrayed in movies and television.

Klavan says, ". . . anytime a Christian walks on Law and Order, you know he's the murderer. That happens a lot in films. Anytime somebody expresses any kind of religious view point, he's going to turn out to be hypocritical, especially if he's a Christian." Klavan continues, "He's going to turn out to be a hypocrite, or a hater, or something like that. When you watch movies, watch who turns out to be the villain -- how often he's the patriot (or) the Christian."

Well, I've watched, and Klavan is right. According to Hollywood, Christians are the perverts, the fanatical prudes, the pathetic people who are prejudiced, pompous, and pitiful.

Oh, there's one other thing we are: we are the people whom Jesus was talking about in Matthew 5. We are the Christians who, because we are Christians, are being reviled and persecuted and lied about.

Now, I don't think the folks who produce these programs are going to change their ways any time soon. They know an easy target when they see one. They know true Christians -- Christians who have been washed of their sins by the Savior -- aren't going to get violent or seek revenge. We're not going to try to kill them as members of some other religions might.

No, they're not afraid of us. "What are you going to do?" they ask, "pray for me?"

To which we reply, "Exactly! That's what the Savior said we should do in Matthew 5:44b. He told us: 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'"

It's a good idea. Let's pray.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, how sad it is the unbelieving world feels it is its sacred duty to tear at You and the work You have done in our lives. Today I ask that You will forgive my sins and allow my life to be a living witness to what You have done. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-03-2010, 08:07 AM
"Believe It Or Not"

March 3, 2010

Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

When some people read the Bible they say, "It's too hard for me to understand. I don't get it."

In truth, I do believe them.

I'm not afraid to admit there are passages in the Bible difficult for even the most learned scholars to figure out. I wouldn't hesitate to confess the Holy Scriptures contain some texts we will never fully comprehend until we have left this world and gone to the next.

Having made that admission and confession, I would also say the vast majority of the Bible is simple and straightforward and easy to understand.

For example, look at the passage that serves as our text for today's devotion: Jesus said He was the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. He didn't say he was a way, a truth, or a life. He didn't imply He was one of many ways. Jesus claimed to be the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life.

That's pretty easy to understand, isn't it? I thought so, too. Sadly, a poll of the Presbyterian Church USA says that 36 percent of those members would disagree with this claim of Christ.

That's right, 36 percent disagreed or even strongly disagreed with the statement, "Only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved."

As near as I can tell those opinions aren't based on not being able to understand the Bible; they come from disagreeing with what Scripture says.

I'm not entirely surprised. St. Paul said this would happen. "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

And what should we do when such time comes? St. Paul tells us that, too: "Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2).

That's pretty easy to understand! When people wander from the Bible, our job is to share the Savior's story of salvation. Understand?

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for speaking to me in words I can understand, my thanks. May others also be brought to see the wonders of Your love which can reach out to the leper, the prostitute, the vain, the murderer, to me. For a Savior whose love can be appreciated by a sinner, my praise. For the opportunity to witness the faith You have given, my gratitude. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-04-2010, 08:10 AM
"Good Times And Bad"

March 4, 2010

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? . . . Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14,15b

Joseph Reyes decided to have his daughter baptized. Normally I'm in favor of parents taking care of their children's spirituality.

I'm not sure about the motivation on this one.

You see, according to his ex-wife, Joseph has not always been the most religious of fellows. For years he never felt the need to baptize his daughter. And then, all of a sudden, after a number of years, he just up and had his daughter baptized.

It was only after the baptism was over that Joseph sent pictures of the event to his ex-wife -- his Jewish ex-wife -- the wife he hadn't told about the baptism. The wife, Rebecca, was sort of surprised by the baptism. She had been raising her daughter in her faith, the Jewish faith. She had even made sure the girl was attending a Jewish school.

The wife concluded her husband had used the baptism of their daughter as a way to thumb his nose at her. That's a judgment call I'm not wiling -- or able -- to make.
On the other hand, Judge Edward R. Jordan from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, had no such reservations. Having heard the story, the judge imposed a 30-day restraining order on the father. He forbade Joseph from "exposing his daughter to any other religion than the Jewish religion."

In case you missed it, the judge said, for 30 days the daughter can't be brought into contact with any faith other than the Jewish faith.

Now I've got a sneaky suspicion this story isn't over. No, I won't hazard any guess on how it will all turn out or how the daughter will turn out.

But I'm pretty sure the Lord isn't overly keen on seeing a child being used in such a way by her parents. Maybe that's why He told His people -- His men and women -- not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. The Lord says that because He knows just how poorly light and darkness mix.

They don't. Never have. Never will.

This is why, today, we pray for those who are young and looking for someone.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there is no greater joy than to have a spouse with whom you can share your faith. Similarly there is no greater sadness than watching the souring of love between two individuals with different faiths. I pray You will send Christian partners to our Christian children. Bless them and grant them a home where they are yoked together in peace, in joy, and in Jesus. In the Savior's Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-05-2010, 08:11 AM
"God Answers Our Prayers"

March 5, 2010

So Peter was kept in prison, but the Church was earnestly praying to God for him. Acts 12:5

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 twelfth chapter of Acts begins with King Herod on the rampage against Christians -- both persecuting them and killing at least one, James, the brother of John, with the sword. Seeing this murder pleased the Jews, Herod also had Peter arrested. In the following verses, we see how earnest prayers made to God by the early Church delivered Peter from his cell when an "angel of the Lord appeared," freed him, and led him out of prison.

The Bible shows us many examples of people whose prayers were answered by God. But sometimes we fail to understand God's answers to our prayers, or we refuse to admit God's timing might not be our own. His answer to prayer may be in the affirmative; it may be declined altogether, or it may be answered at a later point in time.

Even in this gloomy and despairing situation, when Peter surely feared King Herod would carry out his threat to kill him, he continued to trust in the Lord and the effectiveness of prayers. Having witnessed the appalling torture and crucifixion of Jesus just a few weeks before, would be no small reason to shirk back from following Him now.

But, of course, the resurrection of Jesus Christ changed everything. Peter now knew that God works through circumstances that, though bleak and seemingly empty of hope, are part of His divine plan in the lives of His creatures.

Do you consider your difficult and trying situations from a Christian perspective? The words of this text encourage us to do just that -- to pray confidently in such circumstances and rely on God. It teaches us about the importance of praying -- both individually and communally -- and entrusting our lives to Him, who alone has the power to save.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to understand You hear all our prayers and answer them according to Your will. Help us to stay faithful through pain, hardship, and uncertainty so that we may glorify Your Name. In Jesus' most holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion was written by Baipahoul Elie Marcelin, a church elder and Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cameroon volunteer. In this West African nation, LHM-Cameroon connects with citizens through Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops, MP3 downloads of Christian music and Bible verses, choir concerts, booklets, and youth ministry.

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

Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

03-06-2010, 09:07 AM
"Press On"

March 6, 2010

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Folks who read the Daily Devotions make my life easier by sending me all kinds of their favorite stories. Here's one of those stories -- one which is about 1900 years old.

It begins with a man who bought a dog which was to be primarily used for hunting. Anxious to see how the dog would perform, he and a friend went out into the fields. It didn't take too long before the dog picked up the scent of a bear. The men knew it was a bear because they could see the tracks.

All went well until the dog stopped, sniffed, and started out in a new direction. The tracks said he was now following a deer.

A few moments later the dog halted and switched directions again. This time the dog had picked up the scent of a rabbit which had crossed the path of the deer. Again and again, the dog switched his prey.

Finally, the breathless hunters managed to catch up with their canine, who was triumphantly barking at the hole of a mouse.

It's a grand story, made the more so because it describes much of humanity. Too many people start out with great plans and giant aspirations. Sadly, the devil, the world, and the flesh do some serious distracting. One after another those temptations show up under our noses and folks eagerly, gladly follow them.

Yes, following those distractions seems like a good and grand idea at the time. But, in retrospect it is easy to see how a lot of ground was covered, but not much was accomplished.

Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way. As St. Paul says to the church at Philippi, by the Holy Spirit's power we can press on toward the goal the Lord has given us. Distractions can be ignored and the goal can be pursued. It is possible not because we're so good; it is possible because the Holy Spirit is there to help us.

Every moment of every day He is there to provide the power, the wisdom, the guidance, the direction, and the persistence we need to remain faithful. True, faithfulness may not seem as intriguing as some novelty, but the end of the hunt does make it all worthwhile.

Now I wonder, are you thinking to yourself, "I'm a Christian. I know the Savior and I know my job is to be faithful." If you did know all of this, I am glad. But how many people in your family or in your circle of friends are chasing after one thing and then another?

How many have no direction?

Won't you please share this devotion with them? Let them know you don't want to see them spend their days chasing after things as inconsequential as a field mouse.

Tell them of the Savior who kept His eye on the goal of our salvation. Tell them and
then pray that they may see Jesus whose commitment kept Him unerringly on the path which gives all who believe forgiveness and eternal life.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send the Holy Spirit so I may press on. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-07-2010, 09:53 AM
"Hiding Things"

March 7, 2010

Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!" Psalm 139:7-8

I have a friend whose business requires him to make frequent trips to Japan.

Although he has always been impressed by the honesty of the people at the hotel where he stays, to avoid temptation he has always hidden his prized camera before he leaves the room.

One day he was in a hurry and he simply forgot and left the camera out on the desk.
When he returned to his room he was saddened -- but not entirely surprised -- to find his camera was gone.

At least that's the way it seemed, until he discovered the maid had put the camera back in its regular hiding place.

It occurs to me that a lot of people try the same hiding stunt with God.

Because they manage to keep many of their sins and shortcomings hidden from their families and business associates, they are pretty sure they have managed to get away with their wrongdoings.

They think everyone believes they are innocent and without a thing to hide.

That's not so.

The Lord is very much like that Japanese maid. He knows about all of our sins, and He knows where we try to keep them hidden. Truly, it's impossible to keep anything from an all-knowing God.

Fortunately, we don't need to hide our sins. Those who acknowledge Jesus as their Savior also know He has taken away their sins and their need to hide them.

When we trust in Jesus to be our Savior, we can rest secure and be at peace, and we can be sure that hiding places for sin are a thing of the past.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You know me inside and out. There is nothing I have managed to keep hidden from You. Now may I, freed from sin's curse and the Law's accusation, spend my days in thanksgiving and praise. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-08-2010, 09:24 AM
"It's A Start"

March 8, 2010

They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your Name. Psalm 139:20

Although most of us in the fly-over states love California, many of us have to admit we don't always understand.

We certainly understand when Californians brag about their climate, but we wonder why someone might build a multi-million-dollar house on a slope where a good rain will wash it down the hill.

We understand the benefits of being able to go swimming in the ocean and skiing in the mountains, but we don't understand the highway design which seems to produce 24/7 traffic jams.

We understand California often leads the way in fighting for social causes, but we don't always understand what those causes are all about.

Having said that, most Christians do appreciate the fact that California has been working with a resolution that would declare the first week in March to be "Cuss-Free Week."

In case you're curious, Cuss-Free Week is the idea of a South Pasadena teenager, McKay Hatch. Hatch founded a No-Cussing Club at his junior high. Today, his crusade to stamp out profanity has caused more than 35,000 people to join the No-Cussing Club.

Hatch believes a cuss-free world would be a more harmonious one. He maintains that we ought to use the things we say to build people up rather than tear them down.

Now there are all kinds of things that could be said about Cuss-Free Week. We could ask, "Isn't it sad legislature has to pass a law so our language can be cleaned up?" We could inquiry, "Why stop with one week? Why not add the other 51?"

Personally, I prefer to say, "Thank you McKay Hatch." As a minister, I like it when people respect each other and when they honor the Lord's Name. God likes it, too. As our text says, the Lord really isn't keen on it when people speak of Him with evil intent or when His adversaries use His Name.

Having seen the Savior and being recipients of His gracious sacrifice, our references to the Divinity ought to be respectful, reverential, and courteous.

Not because it's the law, but because it's right.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, because we are grateful for all You have done, allow our references to You to be filled with thanks and praise. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-09-2010, 09:23 AM
"A Fighting Chance"

March 9, 2010

(Jesus said) "For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

David Benke is a mathematics teacher in Littleton, Colorado.

More importantly, David Benke is a math teacher who practices what he preaches.

Let me explain. Benke was present when a 32-year-old man opened fire on some students at his school. He realized the man was using a bolt-action rifle. (That's a long gun which the shooter has to reload after every shot.) Benke used his mathematics to calculate he had time to disarm and tackle the shooter before the man could get his gun ready to fire.

Even though Benke thought he was safe, he still risked his life to save the children. It was a calculated risk he was willing to take so others might live.

I wonder if Jesus ever made any calculations before He came to earth to be our sacrifice and Savior. If so, His percentage calculations might have looked something like this:

Chance He would die of old age -- 0
Chance He would marry and have children -- 0
Chance He'd be appreciated by the folks He came to save -- 0
Chance He would be hated, despised, and beaten -- 100
Chance His life would end on the cross -- 100
Chance the world would appreciate Him after His resurrection -- ???

Although I'm not very good with numbers, those seem to be terrible percentages. They are not the kind of odds I would like to see if I were risking my life for others. I'd like to have a fighting chance.

A fighting chance -- that's something Jesus never had. After all, He came into this world to minister and give His life as a ransom for you and me and everybody.

And now, for those who believe in Him, the following percentages can be said:

Chance they will go to heaven when they die -- 100
Chance the Savior will protect them before they die -- 100
Chance the Savior will give them peace -- 100
Chance they will live forever because Jesus died and rose -- 100

Looking at those special numbers, I think we need to give thanks.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You came to serve and give Your life for sinners. Even so, I sometimes forget all that You suffered, all that You gave up. Please help me remember how You did all that was demanded so I might be saved. Then, when I have remembered, let me give thanks. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-10-2010, 09:28 AM
"Taste Test"

March 10, 2010

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8

Toyota has had to do a recall of some of its vehicles. In the past, other auto manufacturers have had to do the same.

Some tire manufacturers have had to recall some of their unsafe products, and it's not unusual to hear that a few tons of ground beef have been recalled and are going back to the plant for disposal.

Every year, right around Thanksgiving time, you can see lists of toys which are unsafe and have been recalled, but which may still be on some store shelves.

Even though recalls seem to be a daily experience, it was still a shock to hear that Little Brownie Bakers -- the manufacturers of Girl Scout Cookies -- had recalled some of their Lemon Chalet Crčmes. Now, let me put your fears to rest: there was no bacteria found in the cookies; they were safe to eat. The recall was only for some states, and it was only because some of the Lemon Chalet Crčmes didn't smell or taste good. In truth, the recalled cookies only made the news because they are normally so absolutely reliable and consistent in quality.

As I was thinking about the cookie recall, I remembered the passage which serves as the text for today's Daily Devotion: "Taste and see that the Lord is good."

Tasting the Lord? That's an unusual idea, don't you think?

Even so, I wish more people would. All too often unbelievers draw their opinions about God from sampling the misbehavior of Christians, or they rely on what somebody told them, or they believe what they read somewhere. Sometimes they just love to dine at the devil's table of temptations.

The Psalmist says, "Taste and see the Lord is good." If people look at the Bible, if they read through the Gospels, if they really take the time to taste the Savior -- to see a healthy sampling of His love and His sacrifice -- they will indeed find the Triune God is good and gracious.

If they taste God and see the Savior, they truly will be blessed when the Holy Spirit gives them faith in a Savior who is our Redeemer and our Refuge.

Today, we pray for those who need to taste of God's goodness.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is a mystery to me why so many people turn up their noses and refuse to sample Your goodness and grace. If it be possible, I pray that You will send the Holy Spirit to lead these doubters, deniers, and skeptics to the cross and the open tomb of their loving Redeemer. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-11-2010, 09:30 AM

March 11, 2010

(Jesus said) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

The writer of the article referred to the Lord as "The Big Man Upstairs."

That's the way people talk when they're trying to be cute, or when they're trying to be politically correct, or when they really don't know much about religion, in general, or Christianity, in particular.

For the rest of this devotion, we are going to put the phrase "the Big Man Upstairs" to rest and refer to the Triune God.

The Fox article spoke of a study done by the University of Toronto.

That great school had reported that "believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress." The university had also discovered that there are "distinct brain differences" between believers and nonbelievers. That study came out a year ago.

Now there is a new study which has been released by Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. That study says patients who have been diagnosed with clinical depression respond better to medical treatment if they believe "in a concerned God." The study says the important word in these folks needs is a "caring" God. Folks who had a strong belief in a personal God -- in a God who was involved with them and their future -- were more likely to experience improvement.

Now, if I may summarize, this is what I think these learned people are saying:

• If you have a Savior who says to cast all your cares upon Him, you can be sure He will help you.
• If you have a Savior who is by your side, your anxiety is minimized and your stress decreases.
• If you have a God who has numbered the hairs on your head, if you have a God who cares about what happens to you as an individual, if you have a God who has sent His Son to save you from sin, death, and devil -- you can be sure He will lift you up.

The text for today's devotion is right. We who believe in Jesus have been given a peace which the world cannot give. We who believe in Jesus are gladdened for a Redeemer who forgives, comforts, defends, and strengthens. We who believe in Jesus no longer need to be troubled or afraid.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, because of You my sins are forgiven; my punishment is erased, and I am saved. Now may I reflect the peace You give the troubled hearts and lives of others. Let them see Your blood-bought peace, which can comfort the most troubled and frightened of souls. In the Savior's Name I pray it. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-12-2010, 09:37 AM
"The Sin Of Pride"

March 12, 2010

... And those who walk in pride He is able to humble. Daniel 4:37b

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 sin of pride is a particularly nasty one. Some examples we can all relate to are when we look down on somebody else less fortunate than us, when we're preoccupied with our fabulous achievements or material acquisitions, or when we think somehow we're just plain better than other folk.

In addition to duping us into thinking we're better than other people, pride can also drive a deadly wedge between God and us. How? Though we may acknowledge that God, through the saving work of Christ Jesus, is willing to forgive all our sins, pride can deceive us into thinking that somehow that doesn't really mean our sins.

As a consequence, some people mistakenly feel that though God offers complete liberation from every sin through Christ's work on the cross, this offer must somehow, some way, be added to by them completing the deal -- i.e. doing something on their own that puts the finishing touch on God's work for their salvation.

That is nothing more than an attempt to earn salvation through the things we do.

Perhaps Paul's no-nonsense approach puts it best: "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

Unfortunately, there are many who are too proud to accept that their sins, though grievous, are as damnable -- and forgivable -- as the next person's. No more, no less. Therefore, being cleansed of those sins requires one thing: faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world.

THE PRAYER: God, please help us accept the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life that You have extended to all people through the life, death, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Biography of Author: Today's devotion is based on a message submitted by Meron Tekle Berhan from Ethiopia. Working as an adult English language instructor, she assists the work of Lutheran Hour Ministries by helping translate Amharic into English. Opened in 1996 in the capital of Addis Ababa, LHM-Ethiopia or Berhan Media Ministry (BMM) as it is known locally, spreads the Gospel through mass evangelism rallies and by Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) in this country of 85 million people.

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

Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

03-13-2010, 09:41 AM
"First Things First"

March 13, 2010

(Jesus said) "But seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Do you feel tired today? I do.

From what I've been told, we have a right to be tired. Consider this: according to what scientists say, in the last 24 hours our hearts have beaten 103,689 times. But there's more. Our blood has traveled 168 million miles.

In the last 24 hours, we have breathed 23,040 times, inhaled 438 cubic feet of air, eaten three and a half pounds of food, spoken 4,800 words, moved 750 muscles, and exercised 7 million brain cells.

No wonder we get tired.

Still, even though we've done all those things, we can't say that any of these things have accomplished all that much -- other than keep us alive.

What I've said above was designed to make you smile. Still, I wonder how it would be to finish not just a day, but an entire life, without anything to show for the passing days, weeks, months, years, and decades.

I think it would have to be mighty depressing.

That's why, God tells us, it's important for us to keep first things first. The King James Version of today's Scripture says, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God."

That's a good idea. If we keep God first in our lives, all the other things we do will fall into place. If we keep our loving Lord first, we will have accomplished the greatest work He has given to us.

If we keep the Savior first, then so many of our pains and problems, our sorrows and sadnesses will be put into their proper place, too.

This leads me to say, God grant we accomplish keeping Him first. If we do nothing else throughout our entire lives, God grant we accomplish this.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, create in me a new heart and fill it with a desire to keep You as the first and foremost Person there. Send Your Holy Spirit to remove any stumbling block and allow Him to pave the road so I may keep my focus on You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-14-2010, 09:43 AM
"Our Builder"

March 14, 2010

For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. . . . Colossians 1:16a

Here's a true story from years ago.

No matter how much the man cranked, no matter how far he advanced the spark or made adjustments, the stalled Model-T Ford just wouldn't start.

When the man reached his frustration point, a chauffeured limousine pulled up behind him. A thin man stepped out and offered his assistance. After tinkering for a few moments the stranger said, "Now try it!" The engine turned over. The well-dressed mechanic identified himself as Henry Ford. "I designed these cars," he said, "so I know what to do when something goes wrong."

When I go to the bookstore, I am amazed at the number of books on the racks telling us how to get our lives running again.

There are self-help books for married couples, singles, babies, teens, and the elderly. There are books that give direction on computers, income tax, and painting.

Many of them carry the label "best-seller" on their covers. Maybe these books work. Maybe they don't.

But I do know one that does. That is the Book, which is the best of best-sellers. It is always reliable when your life has stalled. That's why, today, I encourage you to listen to God, who is our Designer, our Redeemer, and our Preserver.

He, more than anyone else, can say what is wrong and how it can be made right.
Even more, He is the One who, all on His own, can make it right and keep it right. This He has done through the life, death, resurrection, and intercession of Jesus.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, from before my birth till now You have been with me, loving me, watching over me. Forgive my ingratitude. At the same time enable me to always look to you for direction and help. In the Name of Jesus who is my best help. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-15-2010, 07:58 AM

March 15, 2010

. . . evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it. 2 Timothy 3:13-14

There was a time when people used to write letters; that doesn't happen much anymore.

There used to be a time when Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker on The Lutheran Hour, got 50,000 letters a month. For many reasons, that doesn't happen anymore either.

Because people don't write, and because it's far faster and cheaper to e-mail someone, it's understandable why the U.S. Post Office is losing money. It's also right that Postmaster General John Potter would do his best to try and balance that budget.

To balance the budget is why he is proposing no Saturday mail delivery. If Congress blesses such an action, it could save the country $3.5 billion. Right now, it appears Congress is not prepared to give that go-ahead.

Did I hear you ask, "Why?"

Here's part of the answer: Congress thinks if the government doesn't deliver mail on Saturday, more people will go elsewhere to send their letters and packages. If that were to happen, we would have another big deficit and have to cancel another day's delivery.

Congress is afraid we will finally balance the Post Office budget when we get to the point where we aren't delivering mail on any days of the week.

You know Scripture is full of stories about people who have had a bad idea and, through a series of wrong choices, made the bad idea worse.

Adam and Eve's jealousy of God's wisdom led them to listen to Satan, which soon had them eating the forbidden fruit, which eventually had them hiding from their Creator The Children of Israel's dissatisfaction with Moses' leadership had them murmuring. Their complaining led to rebellion, which led to idolatry. David's lust led to adultery, and that adultery ended up with him becoming a murderer.

As Paul said to Timothy, evil people go from bad to worse.

We Christians ought to be different. We who have been washed in the Savior's blood should realize the best way to stop sin from escalating is not to commit that sin in the first place. After all, Satan can't take over if we never give him a foothold in our lives.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You never fell victim to the devil's lies and the world's temptations. Because of Your perfect life, complete sacrifice, and glorious resurrection we are saved. Now, we ask that You will empower us so we might also flee sin and Satan. In Your Name Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-16-2010, 08:04 AM
"You Can't Say That"

March 16, 2010

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered. Matthew 26:65-66


This is a devotion in which I implore you not to shoot the messenger. That's what I am here: a messenger.

At the age of 77, Italy's Beppe Bigazzi had made a name for himself in the world of that country's cuisine. His opinion was respected; his advice was sought after, and his televised cooking show was quite popular.

All this ended a few weeks ago.

It ended when Bigazzi said he had eaten "cat stew" many times. It ended when he gave his listening audience the recipe on how to prepare the "delicacy."

And the reaction? His female co-host hid herself; the country's Health Ministry said, "Cats are protected by law from cruelty, maltreatment, and abandonment." The TV channel's director had him suspended, a decision which was "painful but inevitable."

It goes to prove there are some things a person just can't say with impunity or without punishment. Saying that you enjoy eating cat stew is too politically incorrect.

Jesus would have understood. When He laid claim to being the Son of God, the reaction by the priests was pretty violent. The high priest tore his robes to show he was upset, and the rest of the high court agreed Jesus was worthy of death.

It was a fair verdict. Well, it would have been a fair verdict, except for one small thing. What Jesus said was the truth. If you or I laid claim to being God's only Son, it would be a first-class falsehood. But when those words are uttered by Jesus, they are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

How do I know?

I know because Jesus rose from the dead on the third day just as He said He would. Jesus' resurrection offers proof that everything He has ever said or promised is real, reliable, and true.

And because it's true, we have eternal life.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice and the salvation that comes through Your resurrection victory, we offer our thanks and praise. Now, although some may consider it politically incorrect, may we tell the world, "There is salvation in no one else other than Jesus Christ." In Your Name we pray it. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-17-2010, 08:00 AM

March 17, 2010

(Jesus said) "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10

I get lost.

There, I've made the confession. I get lost.

Not just regular lost. I get lost coming out of a hospital room, when I look for my car at the airport, when I'm traveling to see someone, when I leave the movie theater.

I get lost.

I used to think I got lost because I didn't pay attention, or I hadn't made any mental notes as to which way I should go, or maybe I was born without the direction-finding gene.

Direction-finding gene?

Believe it or not, there may be such a gene. Scientists from Montclair State University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Chicago have found there are people who have "Williams Syndrome."

They concluded that folks who have Williams Syndrome may indeed have some sort of genetic disorder that doesn't allow them to find themselves out of a paper bag. (Actually, the researchers never really said that bit about a paper bag. That was mine.)

Even so, there are some folks who have a tough time getting around, and I don't have to tell you who you are. You already know.

In contrast to the select group that has Williams Syndrome, all of us start out spiritually lost. Try as we might, it's impossible for any of us to figure a way out of our sin and find the path that would take us back to God.

This is why we who were lost, needed someone to show us the way. Actually, we needed someone to be the way.

That person, of course, is Jesus. Jesus spent His entire life, blazing the path, showing the way, building the bridge, being the individual who would pay the price that would reconcile sinful humankind with our perfect God.

His third-day resurrection from the dead is the final proof we need that the work is done and that Jesus is the Way . . . to forgiveness . . . to peace . . . to heaven.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for the fact Your feet never left the path which would lead to my salvation, I offer my thanks. Now may I gladly follow You every day of my life and especially this day. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-18-2010, 08:00 AM
"Goose And Gander"

March 18, 2010

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Dale Halferty teaches industrial arts at Guthrie Center High School in Iowa. Recently, Halferty was given a five-day unpaid suspension for insubordination.

The suspension came because Halferty refused to allow a student to build a Wiccan altar in shop class. (For those who don't know the word, "Wiccan," it means the student is a practicing witch.)

The student's project was designed to help him worship his goddess.

Now the school's officials believe the boy has the right to express his religious beliefs in school assignments. Halferty believes there should be a separation between Church and State.

He also believes he is obligated to take a Christian stand for what he believes is right or wrong. Halferty doesn't believe worshipping rocks and trees is right. In this he is joined by almost 70 of the school's students who also don't wish to have witchcraft practiced at school.

Having said all this, Halferty did tell the boy he could build his project, but he had to leave his religious materials at home. When the student kept coming back to class with a book on witchcraft, Halferty asked the student to stop working on the project. To be fair, Halferty had done the same sort of thing when a student started to build a cross in class.

Now, this devotion isn't really about Halferty, and it isn't about shop class, and it isn't about freedom of speech, or even the community's principal, or its superintendent.

It is about training up a child in the way he should go.

I get worried when I hear of a student whose parents allow him to be a Wiccan. I am concerned when the student doesn't follow a reasonable request made by a teacher. I get disturbed when I see such a lack of respect for authority.

Applying the Proverbs passage to the story of this unnamed young man causes me to wonder. I wonder if he feels it is his duty to confront a teacher, to challenge authority, or to push his theology in the public school setting. What will he do and what will he be like when he is an adult.

This is why our prayers today are for such people.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Proverbs tells us that adults will remain loyal to what they have been taught. Today we pray for all the young people who are being taught wrong things, foolish things, next to nothing. Send Your Holy Spirit upon family and friends that they may motivate young people to goodness, godliness, and Jesus. If possible, grant a direction to a shop teacher who is trying to make a stand for his faith and the Savior in whom he believes. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-19-2010, 08:03 AM
"Our Fragile Existence"

March 19, 2010

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

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

Whether it's Panama or Paris, people get depressed. Sometimes that depression causes them to do things they never would have considered in their right minds -- things like suicide.

While it's typical for people to have moments of crisis and, at times, even profound anxiety, it's not normal for these mood states to drive people to suicide. Those who contemplate such dire measures unfortunately live in a world of shifting sand. In weighty moments of loneliness, when friends or family are unavailable -- or unwilling -- to help, the results can be catastrophic.

How many people suffer a similar anguish throughout the world? Are you one of them? If so, how can you survive in this confusing world? Do you have a spiritual foundation based in God, your Creator? Or do you search without finding and live without purpose?

Jesus Christ says, "Come, follow Me" (Luke 18:22b) to us today, even as He did to the ruler who inquired about inheriting eternal life centuries ago. Jesus alone is the true Way, the best guide, the supreme purpose, and the only source of life - both temporal and eternal.

If you are looking for the meaning of life and if you want to find true love and peace with God and within you, then grasp the nail-scarred hand of Jesus Christ, who offers His grace and forgiveness to any who seek Him.

THE PRAYER: Lord, though the future is unknown to us, Your love is dependable and without end. As a result, I know I can count on You. How good it is to know the things I can't control, You can, because You love us! Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion was based on a text submitted by Marcos Kempff, a volunteer with Lutheran Hour Ministries in Panama. In that country of more than three million people, LHM operates as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN) -- "Christ for all Nations." Using Equipping the Saints (ETS) training, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), and Project JOEL, the LHM-Panama staff shares the Gospel with individuals throughout this Central American country.

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

Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

03-20-2010, 09:23 AM
March 20, 2010

(The LORD said) "Because you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you . . ." Isaiah 43:4a

One of my senior citizen friends came in the other day and shared a story with me that I would now like to give to you.

Understand, I can't verify the truth of the story because my friend is quite a story-teller herself. Even so, this is what she, with a twinkle in her eye, said to me: "It was about two weeks ago, my five-year-old granddaughter climbed up on my lap and spent considerable time inspecting my white hair and wrinkles."

"After the examination was over, with great seriousness she asked, 'Grandma, did God make you?' I told her that He had."

"Knowing that when she starts asking questions, they can keep coming for a while, I wasn't surprised to find my granddaughter had another question for me. She asked, 'Did God make me, too?' I was relieved the query wasn't any harder. Yes, God made you, too. I told her."

"'Well,' said my dear five-year-old, 'Don't you think God is doing a better job nowadays than He used to?'"

With the emphasis the world puts on youth and the avoidance of aging, many people might agree with the granddaughter's conclusion.

That is hardly the case. God doesn't determine our worth on the basis of the candles on our birthday cake or the wrinkles on our forehead.

Indeed, one of the great joys of Christianity is the Savior loves young and old alike. Men and women are all in need of His care, and all believers constantly receive His grace, forgiveness, and redemption.

So to all of you who look in the mirror and see wrinkles that weren't there a few years ago, to all of you who find you can't keep up with the children the way you used to, I say, rejoice!

You have a Lord who loves you and a Savior who died so you might live forever.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, what a comfort to know I am precious in Your sight. No matter my age, my wrinkles, or the condition of my worn-out body, You love me. To You, my Creator, I give thanks. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-21-2010, 09:45 AM
"Being Scared"

March 21, 2010

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

When I was a little boy, my bedroom was paneled with knotty pine.

In the twilight, with the room lights out and the summer sun sliding under the horizon, those knots and stained shapes took on all kinds of strange monster faces.

At least in the mind's eye of a four-year-old boy.

In the winter, when the snow reflected the moon's light, those shadows came alive. Today, I'm an old man, but those memories are still very much with me.

Just as vivid is the time when my father came to my bedside and asked, "Son, you don't have to be afraid since you've said your prayers. You do say your prayers at night, don't you?"

I assured him I did.

His next question was, "And you do say your prayers in the morning, too? Right?"

I replied, "No, Dad, I don't have to. I'm not scared in the morning."

Now that I've grown up, I realize talking to God is not a once-a-day experience. The loving Lord most certainly wants to hear from me when I'm scared, but He also wants me to check in when things are going smoothly.

It's a sad thing, but many people still think of God as a refuge only when they're in trouble.

They only speak to Him when their lives are filled with monster faces, terrific terrors, and they are frightened beyond imagination.

If you're one of them, may I -- from experience -- remind you that God hears you at such moments? But He wants to hear from you at other times, too -- even in the morning, even when you're not scared any more. Today, can I encourage you to talk to the Savior who gave His life so you might live and so you might not be afraid.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Precious Lord, thank You for being with me in times of joy as well as times of fear. Thank You that You care about my simplest needs and concerns. To know You are my Savior, my Friend, and always present reminds me I have nothing to fear. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-22-2010, 08:00 AM
"Practice Makes Perfect"

March 22, 2010

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1

The seven-year-old boy's name is Carlos.

At the press conference, the San Francisco Police Department didn't mention Carlos' entire name. Instead, they called him things like "brave," "courageous," and "cool under pressure."

And what had Carlos done to receive such praise?

His story began with Carlos' little sister leaving their home's front door unlocked. That was an invitation for three masked gunmen to break in and threaten Carlos' parents.

Carlos grabbed his sister, picked up a telephone, locked himself in the bathroom, and called the police. Pretty impressive, don't you think? I do, too. And if you're wondering how Carlos knew he was supposed to do those things, I can tell you.

Carlos was taught to do those things. Every day his mother made him rehearse what he was going to do in an emergency. That day when the bandits came, Carlos did just as he had been told. He called the police dispatcher and said, "Um, there's some, um, there's some guys that are going to kill my mom and my dad. Can you come, please?"

The police came. The thieves got away, but the parents were spared, and Carlos had become a hero.

I think Carlos' mom is a hero, a hero because of what she taught her son and daughter, a hero because she believes children ought to obey their parents.

I think there is a lesson here. We may not all live in a neighborhood as dangerous as that of Carlos and his sister. Even so, we parents need to teach our children how they can confront and escape evil when it comes calling -- and it will come calling. No neighborhood is completely safe all the time.

We need to teach our children to call 911 when they run up against armed robbers, and we need to teach them to call upon God when they are confronted by spiritual thieves and murderers.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, children need to obey their parents and parents need to teach children wisely and well. We give thanks that Carlos and his sister are safe. Now we pray the same might be said for all children. May we teach them to rely upon Jesus, their Savior, their Friend, their Protector and Salvation. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-23-2010, 08:04 AM
"The Thief Comes"

March 23, 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

Yesterday, we talked about how a seven-year-old boy, following his mother's training, probably saved his family by making an emergency phone call to the police.

Sadly, not all stories turn out with such a happy ending.

Consider the tale of a convenience store owner in Montrose, Canada. Leroy Hiltz has operated his store for 22 years. During that time, his shop has been robbed nine different times.

In one of those robberies, his wife, Edna, was held at knifepoint. Two weeks ago Edna died. During the funeral, and the days of mourning that followed, the store was closed.

Knowing the family was in mourning -- make that because the family was in mourning -- thieves took advantage of the situation, kicked in the door of Hiltz's store and leisurely stole cases of cigarettes.

Realizing he was dealing with men who respected nothing, Hiltz said, "I'm going to go out of business against my will, but I can't take any more of it. It's bad enough having to grieve the loss of my wife, let alone having people in our community -- and these were people from our own community -- (breaking) into the store . . ." This was break-in number ten.

Even as I can understand why Hiltz is walking away, I am thankful the Lord doesn't do the same. He easily could. When the Lord looks at the world, He sees Satan continually breaking in and stealing individuals, communities, even nations.

As Jesus said, the devil is the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

We would be helpless if it weren't for the arrival of the Savior. It is He who takes Satan's abuse; it is He who suffers the indignity, the shame, the torment, the pain, the torture, and the death which have -- because of sin -- been directed against us.

Now, because of what Jesus has done, to those who are blessed with faith in the ever-living Lord, there is given life -- abundant life -- for this world and the next.
So, maybe this story turns out to have a happy ending after all.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks for Your presence and all You have in Your great grace done for me. I rejoice that You have sent Satan packing and have forgiven me of my sins. Now may I make use of this abundant life that You have so freely bestowed. Let my abundant days be filled with abundant witness to Your love. In Your Name, Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-24-2010, 08:00 AM
"Not What They Appear To Be"

March 24, 2010

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life . . . 1 Peter 3:7a

Peter was married. We know that because Jesus cured the apostle's mother-in-law.

Having read the above text in 1 Peter, the line about women being "the weaker vessel," has often made me wonder if Peter ever really took a serious look at the woman he called, "his wife." I've seen my wife, Pam -- and a whole lot of other women -- put up with pain and carry problems, which would have broken the strongest of men. In this respect, women certainly don't appear to be the weaker vessel.

Things aren't always what they appear to be.

Consider the story of Johana Ortiz. Ortiz became pregnant and then her husband, Melvin, was sent overseas to Iraq. She went through the entire pregnancy without her partner. Then word came in that her hubby was returning home. Her only problem was their baby gave every indication he was ready to ruin the festivities.

Ortiz went into labor and the doctors said she should "stay put." To that Johana Ortiz, the weaker vessel, said, "I don't think so."

Against her doctor's orders, Ortiz drove three hours to meet her husband's plane at Camp Douglas. He was ordered to get off the plane first. He did. He then rushed to his wife, hugged her, and jumped in a car and drove to the hospital. Shortly afterward, she gave birth to their son, Eduardo.

The weaker vessel? Things aren't always what they appear to be.

That same thing could be said about Jesus.

After all, He was more than He appeared to be. Jesus appeared to be a rabbi, a teacher from Nazareth. He was far more than that. He was God's Son, the only perfect Person who has ever lived. He was our Redeemer and our Sacrifice, living a perfect life for us, suffering for us, carrying our sins, and dying the death which should have been ours.

Look at Jesus, and He appears to be a young carpenter. But He was -- and is -- so much more.

He is our Savior, our Forgiver of sin, our Giver of eternity.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord God, how sad it is the world doesn't really see the Savior and all He has done for them. I pray You will send the Holy Spirit to the lost of this world so they may recognize Jesus and receive the forgiveness His sacrifice and resurrection provides. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-25-2010, 08:02 AM
"The Whole Truth And Nothing But . . ."

March 25, 2010

(Jesus said) "Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth." John 17:17

Truth can be such an elusive little beastie.

For example, four friends from the Bronx are facing a year in jail. And are they deserving of this punishment? Well, it depends on whose story you believe.

The four pals say they were goofing around during a February storm when a snowball went off target and hit a policeman in the leg. Next thing they knew the policeman was waving his pistol at them and calling for back-up. The young men have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon (the snowball).

On the other hand, we have the story of the policeman who says he was walking toward his girlfriend's house when he was hit in the back by four snowballs. He kept walking, even though the boys called him all kinds of names. It was only when he heard someone shout, "Let's jump him!" that the officer pulled his gun, called for help, and had the boys arrested.

So, who is telling the truth? I don't know. I doubt if I'll ever know. Of course, the Lord can separate the truth from a lie, the wheat from chaff.

Anyone who has watched TV court shows knows that humankind has a marked tendency to play pretty fast and loose with the truth. It's a human trait. On the other hand, we are blessed to have a Lord who tells the truth -- every time. As Scripture says, His "Word is truth."

Note that it doesn't say God's Word has some of the truth, some of the time. It doesn't say God's Word gets close to the truth, or is near to the truth, or has one version of the truth. God's Word is truth, and it can be trusted.

And how do I know? I know because the biblical worldview makes more sense than does the explanation of anyone else. I know because I have seen God make promises, and I have also seen Him keep those promises. I know because I have read the prophets who made predictions about the Savior, and I have seen Jesus fulfill those prophecies with His life, His suffering, His death, and His resurrection.

How do I know? I know because God has always been there for me. Yes, I know that's pretty subjective. But so is my belief that my wife of 40 years still loves me. How do I know? In a million ways she shows me, so there is no doubt about her, and there is no doubt about the honesty of my truthful, Triune God.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Satan has been called "the father of lies" (John 8:44b). Now he may be the father of lies but he has a very large family of liars. Help me avoid his lies and listen to You who are the source and center of all truth. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-26-2010, 07:54 AM
"Good News For The Poor"

March 26, 2010

He (Jesus) went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And He stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:16-19

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 passage in Luke describes the day Jesus presented Himself at the town's synagogue. He came as one who is there to explain a plan. He had been put there by God to undo the great tragedy caused by humanity's disobedience. He had been anointed with the Holy Spirit's power, to be an obedient Servant until the end of His mission. The old prophecies of blessing, given to the patriarchs and prophets, would be fulfilled in Him.

Jesus' coming was good news for those who represented the least-favored parts of society. They were those who enjoyed fewer privileges. They were those who, according to traditional Judaism, were excluded from the Kingdom. They were those who had little to lose and everything to win. The first generation of believers was part of that social sector. A jubilee was now announced to them, a time in which debts were paid and the oppressed recovered their dignity.

The reality of salvation is the same today, and still there are many who completely miss the Good News of Jesus Christ. There are those who believe they can see but are blind, those who believe they are rich but are empty, and those who think they're free but are still tied to the powers of this world. Jesus offers His salvation to those who are aware they have nothing to offer and everything to receive. It is beautiful to see when God, working through His Gospel, restores the lives of those who are rejected into an eternal relationship with Himself through the redemptive work of Jesus.

THE PRAYER: Lord, give me a poor and humble heart to receive the gift of Your salvation. Free me of pride and help me look with mercy upon those You love. Make me an instrument to share Your Good News. Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text written by Antonio Schimpf, a professor at Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this South American country of over 40 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries -- known locally as Cristo Para Todas las Naciones (Christ for All Nations) -- connects with people through Project JOEL, Equipping the Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), as well as by supporting church missions in Rosario, Tucuman, Salta, and Patagonia.

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

Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.

03-27-2010, 09:46 AM

March 27, 2010

(Jesus said) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. . . ." John 14:27a

Although it was frustrating when I was in school, there are times I'm glad I'm no genius when it comes to mathematics.

That's because I've figured out figuring can be pretty discouraging.

For example, people who are in a position to know have calculated that over the last 3,100 years of recorded world history, the nations of the earth have enjoyed peace about eight percent of the time.

Before you get your calculators out, let me tell you that is about 286 years.

Depressing? I'm not done. During that same period of time, around 8,000 treaties have been made -- and broken.

Yes, there are times when I'm glad I'm not good with numbers.

As I look at all the people I meet, I wonder what percentage of their days is filled with peace. Far too many of the folks I encounter think of peace as nothing more than a fairytale wish.

There is always something which seems to rob people of peace. It can be a big thing like war, or a less-global thing like the person who gossips about us or takes the parking place we were waiting for.

There's always something robbing us of peace.

That's why it's important for us to take all those peace-destroyers to the Lord. He is the only Person who can send them permanently packing.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, sometimes there are peace-robbers surrounding me. Other times, my worries alone can make me miserable. I rejoice in Your forgiveness, in Your salvation, and in the peace which comes from living in Your presence. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries

03-28-2010, 09:54 AM

March 28, 2010

. . . and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7b-9

Looking over the newspaper, an article caught my eye that told the story of a murderer who had just been sentenced.

His trial cost over $400,000 and had taken two months.

What interested me most was the man's defense. He said he had killed another human being because his wife had refused to make him coffee that morning. Now if you're thinking a lack of coffee might not be a good reason to murder someone, you would be right.

You are so right the murderer agrees with you. That's why he offered a second reason to explain what motivated his crime. Are you ready? You're not! If I gave you until St. Swithin's Day, you'd never guess his reason.

The man said he was forced to do what he did because his parents had gotten a divorce when he was three years old.

Still not enough to commit murder? You've right. The defense did have a third reason for the murder. The murdered person had made a face at the perpetrator of the crime.
That face-making incident was just too much.

That got me thinking: I wonder how often a judge hears someone stand up and confess, "Yes, your honor, I did it. I was totally out of control and nobody else is responsible." Most judges I think would consider that kind of confession a refreshing change.

In all probability, God, our just Judge feels the same way. Adam and Eve decided to pass the blame. Cain tried to bluff his way out of Abel's murder. David covered his adultery by adding the sin of murder. Scripture is filled with folks who pretend they're fine just the way they are.

The Lord knows differently.

He knows all of us are sinners. Mark that. We just don't do sinful things. We are sinners. And because we are helpless sinners Jesus came into this world.

The Christ's entire life -- from birth to crucifixion to resurrection and beyond -- was dedicated to saving our souls. The Innocent died for the guilty.

His is an act of grace unique in the annals of history. Jesus lived and died and rose so we might be forgiven and saved. Now, because of what Jesus has done, those who believe are washed, cleansed, and redeemed.

John said it rightly: "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

In that forgiveness, let us pray:

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for my many sins of thought, word, and deed. Grant me the grace to believe in the Savior, whose sacrifice forgives my sins and moves me from darkness into light. In His Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŽ
Lutheran Hour Ministries