Posted by: lolpres | August 16, 2016

LHM Daily Devotion – August 14, 2016 “God First, My Neighbor, Then Me”

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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int’l LLL (LHM).

“God First, My Neighbor, Then Me”
August 14, 2016
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25
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 Sunday 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 Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

Teachers of the French language have always taught us to conjugate the verb to be as follows: “I am,” “you are,” and “he is.”

But the Hebrew student learns to reverse the order and the conjugation becomes: “He is,” “you are,” and “I am.” It is quite possible that this difference in language is one way the Lord was trying to teach His people that when we set our priorities of importance, it ought to be “Our Almighty God first, my neighbor second, and then, in last place, myself.”

Luke 10:25 forward tells of the time a lawyer tried to test Jesus as to His teachings on the Law. The lawyer asked what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus’ reply was a simple one. The Savior said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

Jesus’ statement sounds easy, but in reality it is quite difficult. Actually, it is impossible.

The only Person I know who could keep these priorities perfectly was the Christ. When He was 12, He told His bewildered parents that He had to be in His Father’s house.

Throughout His life Jesus strove first for the kingdom of God and to follow His Father’s plan of salvation. In doing so, Jesus also was concerned for — and reached out to — all men. This He did by living with them, calling them to repentance and a right relationship with the Lord.

Indeed, Jesus was the Good Samaritan who came to help the wounded (see Luke10:30-37). He was also the Good Shepherd who went after the lost sheep (see Luke 15:4-5). The Gospels are plain: Jesus served the Lord first; He loved the sinners of this world next, and He placed Himself last. It is that wonderful spirit of grace and mercy which saw the Redeemer suffer and sacrifice His life to rescue us from condemnation.

It is the completeness and perfection of His work which brought about His third-day resurrection from the dead and the assurance that all who believe on Him are forgiven and will be granted eternal life.

As we look at Jesus, we stand convicted. All too often we think of ourselves first, then of our Lord God, and then of our neighbor, and when we do think of our neighbor, it is often on the basis of social status, color, race, gender, etc.

This should not be. That is why our Lord Jesus always reminds us in His teachings that our neighbor is anyone who is made in the image of God — everyone who needs our help, in short, everybody.

Fellow Christians, let us live in accordance with the teachings and example set by our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us set our priorities and thoughts in proper order: the Lord God first, my neighbors second, and then me.

THE PRAYER: Dear God, we ask Your forgiveness for our wrong priorities. Guide and give us the confidence to trust You above all things. Thank You for Your love and care as we rely on You. Through Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Biography of Author: Today’s international devotion was written by 51-year-old Yapani Hermine. She is part of the Lutheran Hour Ministries staff in Cameroon. She is in charge of training Christian mothers in the art of mothering. She is a member of Women for Christ in the congregation of the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Cameroon (EELC). She is a widow who has been blessed with four children.

There is freedom of religion in Cameroon, but radio broadcasts and television airings are limited. Therefore, the most effective method of ministry in this country is a personalized, one-on-one approach, which brings staff and volunteers to the front doors of those to whom they are reaching out. Though this method is hampered by an infrastructure with often impassable roads, it is effective, especially in the northern portion of the country where the influence of Islam has been spreading.

In this country of more than 22 million people on the Gulf of Guinea in central West Africa, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cameroon employs a wide variety of resources to reach the local population with the message of Jesus Christ. Included among these efforts are radio programming, printed materials, film shows, outdoor rallies, the Internet, text messaging, and hospital and prison visits. This ministry center also uses Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints(ETS) workshops to strengthen the faith of Christians. To reach young women at risk, LHM-Cameroon utilizes an holistic outreach program, where vocational training and the hope they have in Christ are studied and shared. Other initiatives are aimed at youth, giving them guidance from a Christian perspective and helping them to make choices to live effectively in a secular world.

Check out pictures from a roundtable discussion organized by LHM-Cameroon, in association with the Protestant University Chaplaincy, on the topic of whether Christians should enter politics or not. You can do this by clicking here

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To learn more about our International Ministries, click here

or visit www.lhm.org/international

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In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today’s Bible in a Year Reading: 1 Chronicles 10-12; 1 Corinthians 8

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