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Old 01-01-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
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"Equal Love, Unequal Distribution"

January 1, 2010



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



Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.

In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biography of Author: John Donkoh, director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' foreign office in Accra, Ghana, wrote today's devotion. In that West African nation of almost 24 million, LHM-Ghana employs music, dance, and storytelling to tell others about Jesus Christ. It also utilizes Equipping to Share (ETS), Project JOEL, and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) as a means of furthering the Gospel.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:14 AM   #2
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"Thank You"

January 2, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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"Trusting"

January 3, 2010



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



There is a difference between fear and respect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



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

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:25 AM   #4
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"A New Start, A New Year"

January 4, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

I liked that story. It made me feel good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:05 AM   #5
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"I Don't Know"

January 5, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:22 AM   #6
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"It Doesn't Matter"

January 6, 2010



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



It was a piece of news that shocked the world!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #7
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"Truth"

January 7, 2010



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



Honesty and Ethics.

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

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

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

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

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

The mood of distrust seems to touch almost everything.

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

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

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

These are legitimate questions and they deserve an answer.

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

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

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

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



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:48 AM   #8
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"Choices"

January 9, 2010



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



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

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

Adults aren't much better than that little boy.

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

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

I joined the law-breaking commuters.

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

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

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

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

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


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:15 AM   #9
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"Perfect Love"

January 10, 2010



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



Fear.

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

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

Would you mind an example? I hope not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:26 AM   #10
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"Worried To Death"

January 11, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Pastor Klaus returns
again tomorrow.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:24 AM   #11
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"A Child's Compassion"

January 12, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:15 AM   #12
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"An Opportune Time"

January 13, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:25 AM   #13
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January 14, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazing.

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

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

Amazing.

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

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

Amazing.

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

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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:22 AM   #14
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"Following Him"

January 15, 2010



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



Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.

In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:42 AM   #15
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"Trust"

January 16, 2010



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



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

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

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

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

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

The trust people had given him had been misplaced.

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

Only later do we find out how wrong we were.

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

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

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

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

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


From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"



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


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,



Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran HourŪ
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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