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Old 11-02-2009, 07:46 AM   #1
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"What's The Point?"

November 2, 2009



Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. . . . Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14a; 15b



Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit with, work with, and travel with some honorable men who followed the tenets of Islam.

It has been an interesting experience visiting with these fellows, sharing their perspectives on life, listening to their positions on religion in general and, Christianity, in particular.

We found there were things we shared in common. We both wanted our children to be well educated. We wanted our grandchildren to grow up in a world of peace. We prayed our days would be reasonably healthy and our endings swift and painless.

There were many matters of the heart and mind that brought us together.

And there was the matter of faith that kept us apart.

We didn't hate each other; we didn't despise each other; we didn't even put each other down.

On the contrary, we respected each other and the sincerity of our individual beliefs. But there
came that time, there always came that time, when we disagreed. We disagreed completely and totally on how we were to be saved.

I believed I was saved by Jesus' sacrifice; they believed they were saved by their compliance to the Koran, the prophet, and the tenets of Islam.

This is why I was amazed to read this year some Christians celebrated Ramadan -- the time when Muslims refrain from food and drink during daylight hours. I was surprised to hear these Christians considered this a gesture of solidarity that would deepen respective faiths and send a message about finding peace and common ground.

It's an interesting philosophy but if I'm reading the above Scripture correctly, it's not an accurate one. The truth is that while Christianity believes God's Son, Jesus Christ, has paid the ransom to save us, Islam does not. The truth is we believe we are saved by grace through faith in the Christ and Islam does not.

Somebody is right in what they believe, and somebody is wrong.

Now understand, I believing in respecting the faith of others; I believe in dialoguing with them and sharing with them and witnessing to them of the Savior who saves. But I can't pretend there is common ground when there isn't. I can't pretend there's more than one way to heaven when there is not.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice, Your suffering, and Your death that saves, I am most grateful. I pray the Holy Spirit will keep me and those around me in the faith. But I also pray for those who are still in darkness. May they see the wonders of Your love and the power of Your grace. In Your Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:41 AM   #2
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"Liberty"

November 3, 2009



For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1



One of the most surprising things Pam and I found during out travels to Israel was the special Sabbath elevators.

All day long they go from the bottom floor to the top floor, from the top floor to the bottom floor. And they open up and stop at every floor in between.

When we first got on such an elevator, we thought some young child had gotten on and pushed all the buttons.

Then we figured out the rule. The Jewish law, halacha, says it is work to push a button on the Sabbath. People are not supposed to work on the Sabbath, so no button pushing is allowed. Those who need an elevator to get back to their condo or apartment have to take the stairs, or wait for someone to push the button for them, or . . . well, there was no other choice. Not until the fellow invented the elevator that stopped on every floor.

Problem solved.

Until recently. Last month a rabbinical ruling came down which said these self-running elevators were also a violation of the law because the weight of the passengers increases the amount of electricity needed to power the lift.

Ninety-nine-year-old Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv is the scholar who made the controversial decision about elevators. It was not his last. Last September he decreed Jews could not wear Crocs (the shoes) on the Day of Atonement because they were too comfy for this serious day of fasting.

Now I share this not to criticize or disparage. Indeed, on one level I greatly respect any group of people who are so deeply concerned with following their faith and doing right.

On the other hand, I rejoice in the freedom the Savior has given to me and all those who follow Him. Jesus' fulfilling of the laws we have broken has set us free from the condemnation of those laws.

Now, in thanksgiving to the Savior, we are forgiven and saved and freed to live a life of thanksgiving and appreciation.

In short, our lives are no longer lived fulfilling ongoing obligations; they are filled with heartfelt gratitude for our blood-bought, God-given liberty.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, once we were under sin's rule and conviction. Now, because of Jesus' perfect life, we have been set free. May the Holy Spirit direct our gladdened hearts to live our days in gratitude and thanks for this divine gift. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:51 AM   #3
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"Maybe Some Of Scripture?"

November 4, 2009



All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16



What language does God speak?

That question was the beginning of a joke that was going around long ago, back when I was in seminary. According to the joke, one old farmer said, "God speaks German." When the farmer was asked how he knew, he took out his Bible and pointed to Genesis 3:9 where it says God went looking for the hiding Adam and asked, "Adam, wo bist du?" ("Adam, where are you?")

I didn't say it was a funny joke.

Now here's something even unfunnier. On Halloween, a North Carolina pastor brought his congregation, Amazing Grace Baptist Church, together to burn heretical books.

Sadly, Pastor Mark Grizzard put many versions of the Bible at the top of the banned book list.

According to Pastor Grizzard, the King James Version of the Bible is the only true Word of God and all other versions are perverted and satanic. Indeed, he believes only the King James Version is God's preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God for English-speaking people.

Now I like the King James as much as the next person. It was from the KJV I memorized Scripture, and it will be part of me until I die. Even more, there are verses -- like those of Psalm 23 -- which feel comfortable only when I say them in the King James Version.

Still, we need to be careful.

Personal preference for a translation is a long way from claiming one-of-a-kind divine verbal inspiration for that translation.

Rather than making the news for the burning of the Bible, I would prefer to see Pastor Grizzard, along with all of God's people, claim the headlines because they were living the Word.

Before you write to me, let me say, "Yes, I know, we don't do good so we can get recognition from the world. We don't." On the other hand, if the Savior's redeemed people spent an entire day showing their appreciation for the Savior's sacrifice, I have to think the world would take notice. I pray they would.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, fill our hearts with an appreciation of the Savior's sacrifice and a desire to share His story with the lost. May our witness avoid the burning of the Word and include lifting high Jesus' cross. 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
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:52 AM   #4
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"Resistance"

November 5, 2009



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



I'm not exactly sure where Eve -- you know, the Eve from the book of Genesis -- came from.

I'm pretty sure she didn't hale from Council Bluffs, Iowa.

If Eve had come from that town, the world's history might read differently.

Let me explain: We all know the passage from James that says, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Sadly, not too many people, including the original Eve, do much devil resisting.

In contrast to Eve, we have the story of the 26-year-old lady from Council Bluffs. She was taking a bath on Wednesday evening when she noticed her cat had come into the bathroom. Coming near water was something her cat never did.

The lady got dressed and went out to investigate. When she went into the living room, she saw a man, a strange man, standing over her four-year-old son who was sleeping in the recliner.

The lady yelled. Then she threatened to call 911.

For her outrage and threats the burglar hit her in the head. Now if this was a movie, the lady would have cringed in the corner, or would have passed out, or would have run for help. But this was not a movie, and this young lady knew how to resist evil.

She grabbed her son's plastic baseball bat and started clobbering the burglar with it. She clobbered him fast, and she clobbered him furious. She clobbered him with such intensity he decided it was in his best interest to get out of the house.

Now if Eve had clobbered that snake and Satan when he first began to make his suggestions to sin, I think we'd be in a better place today. Of course, as I said, Eve wasn't from Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Still, we who have been redeemed and who have seen the Savior's bravery are blessed to have God's encouragement to take a serious stand against the world's evil and against Satan's sinful urgings.

God is sort of encouraging us to be like that lady from Council Bluffs, Iowa. How? Like her, our resistance to evil shouldn't be part time, pathetic, or sporadic. When we say "no!" to the devil, we need to say if fiercely, firmly, and finally.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive the times when our resistance to the devil and his encouragements are pathetic. Send the Holy Spirit to empower us to take a stand for the Savior who gave His life so we might be forgiven and saved. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:55 AM   #5
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I think I will try to say NO! more often and more FIERCELY! today.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:53 AM   #6
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"Jesus Is Our Hope"

November 6, 2009



Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26



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



Before the time of Christ, life was very difficult and people searched for something in which to place their hope. They had the Law, but that only came with accusation. No one could fulfill the Law, and the result was death.

This crisis covered all aspects of life: politics, economics, health, even spiritual life. This is similar to the situation today, with one exception: Jesus has brought us the hope of forgiveness and eternal life. Through His death on the cross, He took the condemnation of our sins upon Himself. Through His resurrection from the dead, He gives us complete forgiveness.

The world we live in is ruled by a physical law. Decay is a natural ending to any living thing. But scientists are trying to prolong human life by developing cryogen systems and clone technology, spending huge amounts of money on rich people who are afraid of death and are hoping to avoid it.

There is, however, something very simple - and remarkable -- that gives us hope. Whether you have money or not, faith in Jesus Christ alone provides hope. The apostle John wrote, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).

But, how can one believe if they have not heard? This is where God uses us -- to tell others about what He has done through Jesus Christ!

THE PRAYER: Thank You for the love and life You have given us through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Give us the opportunities and words to share Your Good News with others. Amen.

Biography of Author:
Igor Savich, director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' Russian office, wrote this devotion. In this enormous country spanning ten time zones, LHM-Russia connects with people through a variety of Gospel-centered programs, such as LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) that Savich and his staff are now organizing. Such mission work gives people in distant villages a wonderful opportunity to access the Bible and hear the message of Christ as their Savior.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:39 AM   #7
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"Change"

November 7, 2009



For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6



Have you noticed that when people change the name of an item, they often change its value as well?

For example, I've noticed that a store that sells "footwear" charges more for their products than a store that sells "shoes." A "journal" is usually more expensive than a "magazine." And a business that has "clientele" is often a lot more expensive than a shop that has "customers."

When I mentioned those examples to one of my friends at Lutheran Hour Ministries' headquarters, he immediately added, "Don't forget, a trip to a men's "hair salon" will set you back three times as much as a visit to a "barber."

That same principle probably applies to people, too. I wonder if a "prison guard" makes less than a "security officer," or if a "garbage man" is less appreciated than a "sanitation engineer." Is a "rat catcher" of less value than a "rodent exterminator"?

Of course, there are some things that simply don't change. You know, things like the proverbial death and taxes.

Here's another item that can be added to the list of unchangeables: most of us carry around sins and shortcomings, pains and problems.

This is why we need that one other thing which doesn't change: the forgiveness that comes to us through the Savior's blood-bought salvation.

Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we know there is nothing that can separate believers from the love of God. Not nothing, no how.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we thank You that You are changeless. Because of Your unchanging love we are forgiven of past sins and the condemnation that once awaited us. Thank You for Your unconditional love, which comes to us through Jesus and in whose Name, we pray. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:32 AM   #8
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"Being Me"

November 8, 2009



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



Did you ever think your life might be easier if you were somebody different, somebody else?

If so, you might learn a lesson from an experiment conducted by a 19-year-old college student. What he tried to do was find out how people would react to him if he lived and acted like the most remarkable of saints: Francis of Assisi.

Like St. Francis, the college student went begging for food; he washed with melted snow; he dressed in a simple brown robe, talked to the animals, and the like.

What he discovered was this: people whispered behind his back, they called the police, and they stared at him as if he were a nut -- pretty much the same way St. Francis' contemporaries had treated him in the 11th century.

The animals weren't much better. "I tried to talk to some birds," said the student. "They flew away."

No matter how desirable or advantageous we might think it would be to be like somebody else, we don't have the ability to make ourselves into somebody different.

We have to be ourselves with all our sins and shortcomings. But that's not any kind of revelation, is it? What might be surprising is this: in spite of our sins and shortcomings, the Lord still loves us and wants to save us.

That's why Jesus was born into this world. It is why He lived for us, why He resisted temptations to sin, why He sacrificed Himself for us. It is why He rose on the third day.

Now, all who believe in Him find that they have indeed become somebody different. In Jesus, they are forgiven and saved.

And that's a person worth being.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, for loving me as a sinner, I thank You. For giving Yourself so I might be changed and saved, You have my eternal gratitude. May I, this day, reflect Your grace to others who don't know how You can transform them. In Your Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:52 AM   #9
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"The Not-So-Good Samaritan"

November 9, 2009



But a Samaritan, as He journeyed, came to where He was, and when He saw him, He had compassion. Luke 10:33



Good Samaritans and entrepreneurs -- those are two titles you don't often see together.

Maybe so, but 41-year-old Christopher Walls of Johnson City, Tennessee, qualifies as a Good Samaritan and an entrepreneur.

Well, sort of.

Let me explain. It's easier if I start with the Good Samaritan part. You should know Mr. Walls is a mechanic, a mechanic of some talent. Even though he wasn't at his shop or on official mechanic duty, there are a number of people in his hometown who can verify that when their cars unexpectedly broke down, Mr. Walls very courteously came forward and used his skills to help.

Yes, he charged them, but they were grateful a mechanic was nearby when their cars broke down.

Now, let me explain about Mr. Walls' entrepreneurial side. Apparently, business hasn't been very good at the shop where he works as a mechanic. Now a regular person might sit around and lament his fate, but not Mr. Walls. He is an entrepreneur and he took his fate into his own hands.

Mr. Walls went out to restaurant parking lots and used his mechanical skills to disable cars. Then, when the cars' owners came out of the restaurant, Mr. Walls -- entrepreneur that he is -- would come forward and volunteer, for a small fee, to fix the vehicle that he had previously . . . unfixed.

The police department of Johnson City, Tennessee, has arrested Mr. Walls on two counts of thievery. So far only two people have come forward to accuse him, but the police are sure more victims will join the list and make the world know Mr. Walls isn't a Good Samaritan after all.

Now there are a lot of ways this story can be used in a Daily Devotion. We could talk about the corruption of human hearts, or we could zero in on how there is help for difficult times. We might even use the story to warn Christians to be on guard against those who would deceive.
But we're not going to go those routes.

Instead, let us think upon Jesus, the ultimate Good Samaritan. Looking on our lost condition, Jesus came into this world to fix that which our transgressions had broken. Freely, willingly, unilaterally, Jesus gave His life to mend the bridge between earth and heaven, to mend the bridge our sins had torn down. We don't have enough money to pay Him for His sacrifice and, if we did, He wouldn't take it, but we can say, "thank you" to our Savior who gave Himself to save us.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are a lot of fakes, charlatans, and con men out there. Sometimes I'm not sure who I can trust. Today I give thanks for Jesus who has, without my asking, without any payment, done everything necessary for my salvation. 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
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:51 AM   #10
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"Something's Wrong Here"

November 10, 2009



Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25



Being speaker for The Lutheran Hour has forced me to broaden my perspective on life.

Even so, I have to admit I have problems with the story of Ahmed Mohamed Dhore. Mr. Dhore who claims to be 112 years old, has recently "realized his dream by marrying a girl aged just 17." He says he "didn't force her but used his experience to convince her of his love."

The girl's family blessed the union, as did Mr. Dhore's eighteen children and his two (out of five) surviving wives.

The story continues. Mr. Dhore says he has wanted to be married to the young lady (her name is Safiya) for years, but has patiently waited for her to grow up before proposing. I should share that since Somalia's government collapsed in 1991, Islamic Sharia law is in effect in many places. That religious law allows polygamy for men and marriage from the age of puberty for girls.

So that's the story, except for this fact: after the wedding Mr. Dhore said, "Today, God has helped me realize my dream."

It was that comment, more than any other, which bothered me about that story.

You see, it's difficult for me to believe that my God would approve of such a union. Nowhere do I see anything in Mr. Dhore's thinking process that says he is going to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. Nowhere do I see him willing to sacrifice himself for her happiness or her good.

Of course, Mr. Dhore's god is not my God, and no matter what the free thinkers of this world may say, all gods are not the same.

When I look at my Savior, I see someone who was unique. In Jesus I see the Son of God who gave and gave and then gave some more. From cradle to cross Jesus gave Himself so you and I and all who believe on Him would be forgiven and saved.

But that isn't the only difference.

While I shall most certainly wish Mr. Dhore and his newest bride a peaceful life, I am eager to give thanks for my blessed Savior whose sacrifice has given me a religion, a faith in which "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

Such a world is part of the dream of the Triune God. His is a dream for which I am most appreciative, and His is a cause I am most proud to proclaim.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, for Your sacrifice, for Your death and resurrection that frees men and women of their sins, I give thanks. Now may I be bold in witnessing to the wonder of what You have done and Your gift that gives joy in this world and hope for the next. In Your Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:23 AM   #11
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"Easy To Spot"

November 11, 2009



Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. John 15:13



Forty-seven-year-old Sara Gaspar of Granger, Indiana, is a caterer who works hard for her money.

Even so, she had to be surprised when Notre Dame University gave her a check for $28,387. It was a bit more than the $29.87 she had been expecting.

While many people might have thought the university was being incredibly generous, Sara took the more conservative route. Thinking a clerical or computer error had been made, Sara said she called the university to report the overpayment. Her call wasn't returned.

Sara says she called again, and her call wasn't returned again.

She called again, and her call . . . well, you get the idea.

Finally, figuring the university didn't want or need the money, Sara went out and bought a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta.

It was about then that Notre Dame caught its mistake and asked Sara if she would please return their money.

Of course, by then Sara no longer had all of the money. To make a long story short, Notre Dame and Sara ended up in court. The university and the caterer eventually agreed Sara would pay back $50 a month -- $50 a month for the next 28 years.

Sara will be 75 when her payments stop.

Now that may be the law, and justice may have been served, but it still seems like quite a penalty for Sara to have to pay.

Of course, Sara's fine is nothing compared to that of our Savior.

Consider these points:

· Jesus did nothing wrong, yet He carried the sins of all humankind.

· He committed no sin, yet He was declared guilty so we might be forgiven.

· He was (and is) the eternal Son of God, yet He died on the cross so we might live forever.

Was it unfair? It was the most unfair event in the unfair history of this unfair world. Still, Jesus suffered all this so we might be forgiven and reconciled to our Heavenly Father.

It's as He said: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for showing a love I cannot begin to understand or properly acknowledge, I offer my thanks. You were found guilty so I might be declared innocent of all wrongdoing. For this I shall be eternally grateful. In Your Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:03 AM   #12
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"Just Walk Away"

November 12, 2009



Then Peter came up and said to Him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22



The story was headlined, "MOBILE PHONES: DANGEROUS"

I almost skipped the story. That's not news. All of us have seen motorists doing strange things, dangerous things, because their attention was on their cell-phone conversation and not on the road.

But that wasn't the story. Not at all. This story told how one man, by mistake, called a wrong number. Apparently, the wrong number didn't like being called by mistake and he texted an insult to the first man. The first man texted the second man back with an equally insulting message.

In no time at all, the two met in a parking lot to settle the matter.

I guess they settled it.

One of the men was arrested by the Savannah Police Department for aggravated assault and the other fellow was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

That's where you take someone who has been shot.

Can you believe it? Because of a wrong number one man has lost his freedom and another man almost lost his life?

Whatever happened to the concept of forgiveness? And remember, we're not talking about forgiving seventy times seven times; we're not even talking about forgiving seven times.

These guys couldn't forgive somebody -- not even once.

Of course, honesty compels most of us to admit we have a tough time following Peter's standard of forgiveness. Can you imagine forgiving somebody once, and then having to forgive that person all over for committing the same sin, and then having to offer your forgiveness all over again, and then doing it yet one more time?

Sound like a lot? My friend, at this point, you're barely at the halfway point for Peter's suggested number, and you haven't begun to make a dent in the proposal of the Savior.

And if you're wondering who can forgive seventy times seven? I have an equally honest answer: Jesus can. Jesus does. Look at Scripture and you'll find Jesus healing those who had physical needs, and forgiving those with spiritual burdens. Look at Scripture and you will see the crucified Christ forgiving the fellows who had put Him on the cross.

And if you don't have a Bible handy, then look closer to home. How many sins have you not committed again and again? Is Jesus keeping a tally of those sins? I think not. His sacrifice, His suffering, death, and resurrection say those sins have been taken care of.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive me all the times when I thought I could take care of myself by myself. I can't. That is especially true when I get angry or feel laughed at or slighted. Help me curb my temper and make a solid witness to You and 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
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:43 AM   #13
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"God's Warming Hand"

November 15, 2009



For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9



Not being the handiest of people, I'm always amazed by the miracles of technology.

Understand, I'm not just talking about the big stuff like nuclear reactors and space telescopes. No, I'm referring to little things like Velcro and instant cake mixes. Recently, a Japanese magazine entered the long list of things that amaze me.

This magazine had a picture of a butterfly on one of its pages. The butterfly was a dull gray until you placed your hand on it. When the picture was warmed by a person's hand, the special inks on the page changed and the dull gray butterfly was transformed into a flashing rainbow of color.

I'd say that this is a miracle of technology, but it isn't.

There is a perfectly logical explanation as to why the picture changed, and I'm sure many people understand it, but I don't.

Just as I don't understand how God can love a sinner like me. I don't understand why He would do that, but because of Jesus I know He has and does. Like the butterfly picture it is a mystery, but I can see the very obvious results.

Because of Jesus, because of His sacrifice, all who believe on Him find their lives aren't a dull gray any more. They don't just put in the hours to bring home a paycheck or despair over events that seem gloomy and dark.

Because of Jesus, for those who believe, this day is special. Because of the peace that comes from the forgiveness won by Jesus' nail-pierced hands, this day can be filled with beautiful colors of joy and gladness in the Lord.


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I am so grateful Your hand is always extended to me, a sinner. Because of Your sacrifice I am blessed with the gift of salvation. You have truly placed Your hand on my life, and for that I thank You. In Your Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:54 AM   #14
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"Faithfulness"

November 16, 2009



One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, but one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. Luke 16:10



If you look up the word "commitment" in the dictionary, you will find a picture of 68-year-old Cha Sa-Soon of South Korea.

Well, that's not really true. Although Sa-Soon is committed, her picture won't be in the dictionary. Saying that it would be was a writer's exaggeration on my part.

Even so, Sa-Soon is dedicated. How dedicated is she? Well, here are the statistics:

· She has spent $4,200 on the application fees to pass her driver's test.

· She has been trying to pass the 50-question written test on road regulations and car maintenance since April 13th of 2005.

· She has had to take the written part of the test 950 times before she managed to get the 60 percent needed to pass. Now Sa-Soon only needs to pass the practical or driving part of the test, and she will have her license.

Can you imagine 950 tries at passing a test? Me, I would have given up long ago. But not Sa-Soon who says, "I believe you can achieve your goal if you persistently pursue it, so don't give up your dream. Be strong and do your best."

What a special lady! What grit! What pluck! What determination! I like the attitude Sa-Soon has.

Sadly, there are areas of our lives where a gritty attitude just doesn't work. There are things we can't achieve no matter how hard we work for them, no matter how long we stick to them, no matter how sincerely we believe or dream.

Need an example? Here's one: we are sinners and as sinners we are stuck in our nasty situation.

A person can dream of being able to get rid of this sin; he can work day and night to get rid of his sin; he can be persistent in pursuing a new, sin-free life and be dedicated to keeping things perfectly.

These are things a sinner can do, but that sinner is still going to fail. If we want to be saved, John shows us how in the third chapter of his Gospel. There it reads in verse 16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

That's it. We are saved by God's love and grace, not by what, or how hard, or how long, or how intensely we work and dream.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, without Your sacrifice, I would be lost. My dreams, my work, my dedication would never have won my forgiveness or salvation. This, You have done and because You have made the sacrifice on Calvary's cross and defeated death with Your resurrection, I am saved. For all this, I give thanks. In Your Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:28 AM   #15
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"An Honest Confession"

November 17, 2009



If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. 1 John 1:9-10



Although historians say it probably didn't happen, the story about George Washington and the chopping down of his father's cherry tree has a certain appeal.

You remember how the tale goes. George's father roars, "And who chopped down my cherry tree?" That's when young George comes forward and boldly says, "Father, I cannot tell a lie. I am the one who chopped down your cherry tree."

I've often wondered, if I had been George's father, how I would have reacted to that kind of confession. I probably would have praised the honesty, but I'm almost positive I would have punished the chopping.

That's the way I felt about Mary Strey of Neillsville, Wisc.

Not so long ago, Mary called the 911 dispatcher and said, "I want to report a drunken driver." The dispatcher asked, "Are you driving behind them (meaning the drunken driver) now?"

Mary replied, "I am them."

Mary followed the dispatcher's orders. She pulled over to the side of the road. She turned on her hazard lights and she waited.

That's the way the police found her. She was cited for misdemeanor drunken driving. She goes to court on December 10th.

What's going to happen? There will probably be praise for the confession, punishment for the sin.

Confession. If the Church had a list of ideas that might be put on an endangered species list, confession would be at the top. Sure, there's general confession on Sunday mornings . . . maybe -- but individual confession for a specific sin? Well, those critters are getting mighty scarce.

Still, the apostle John does encourage us to confess our sins. That's because God wants us to acknowledge our sinful shortcomings, our terrible transgressions. When we do, we also end up admitting how much we need a Savior and how much we need the forgiveness Jesus has won for us with His life, death, and resurrection.

It's a strange thing: we sin, Jesus gets punished; we confess; Jesus forgives. Yes, it's a strange thing, but what a wonderfully strange thing it is.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, for Your sacrifice, for Your death and resurrection that frees men and women of their sins, I give thanks. Now may I be bold in witnessing to the wonders of what You have done and Your gift which gives joy in this world and hope for the next. In Your Name. Amen.



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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