Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Lutheran Hour Ministries of Saint Louis, Missouri, United States Daily Devotion by Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour - Sunday, August 13, 2017 "From War to More"

The Lutheran Hour Ministries of Saint Louis, Missouri, United States Daily Devotion by Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour - Sunday, August 13, 2017 "From War to More"
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries by Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour "From War to More" for Sunday, August 13, 2017
Matthew 25:35 -
(Jesus said) "For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me."
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
Many refugees are innocent human beings forced to flee their homes and country. Facing physical, mental, and emotional trauma, refugees can confront many obstacles in their escape from persecution and war.
The civil war in Syria forced more than 1.5 million Syrians to seek the safety of Lebanon.
These refugees live in tents in camps, which lack basic infrastructure. Anyone approaching the camps of the Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley cannot miss them. In summer, the smell of garbage and sewage is noticed from a distance, and filthy trash is all around. Even in winter, the snow-covered landscape in areas is stained brown from open sewage and human waste.
It is hard to imagine someone is living here.
Our ministry was touched by this suffering and started to provide holistic gifts to some of the people. This gave us the opportunity to become a trusted friend to Ahmed and many others. Our time with them then helped us build personal relationships, which allowed us to share our faith. What follows is the story of Ahmed, and many others.
Ahmed has managed to survive a war and hold his family together. He has lost most everything else. He says, "We did not have much before, but we had a normal, happy life. Everything was nice before the war."
He is 34, but his hair is marked with gray.
"After two years of living in a tent, I look older," he says, with a weak smile and a sad face. Ahmed continued, "I have noticed that you have provided our camp with food two different times and you do not request anything in return. You always speak about Christ's love and that you support us for the sake of Christ. I have read your pamphlet The Good Shepherd, which was in one of the packages and would like to learn more about the miracles, healings, forgiveness, and love of Christ."
Ahmed's request was easily answered as we gave him a New Testament. When we gave the volume to him, we said, "'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.' Read it so that you may have a genuine relationship with God through Christ who died on the cross for our sake." (See Matthew 4:4.)
The next time we visited Ahmed he had a long list of questions.
He wanted to know more about redemption, grace, and salvation. He said, "I was very happy to receive the New Testament and, to be honest, my joy led me to read it every day because there is nothing better than lifting our souls to God."
The cruelty and many atrocities of ISIS shocked Ahmed and led him to seek the loving forgiveness and compassion shown by Christians.
Ahmed told me, "From you I learned that God loves me. I thank you for restoring my trust in the world. I have learned a lot about Jesus Christ from your love. Help me to learn more about His teaching and grow deeper in knowledge."
Our hearts were filled with happiness when we saw Ahmed's positive response and his awareness that Jesus is the true bread, and His Words are life to his soul. It was like water that refreshed our souls and gave us a push to continue ministering with enthusiasm.
We are fulfilling our mission by helping the refugees and by spreading the Good News among them. Our ministry takes its responsibility seriously and is helping to feed their body with food and to feed their souls with the message of God's salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may You encourage us to tell the truth in affection to those who are lost and in need. Help us to show them the Savior who is the way to You so they might witness Your love and peace that surpasses all understanding. This I ask in Jesus Name. Amen.
Biography of Author:
Today's international devotion was written by Mr. Fadi Khairallah. Mr. Khairallah serves as director for Middle East Lutheran Ministry (MELM) in Lebanon, a position he has held since December 2001. He joined the ministry in 1999. Mr. Khairallah was born in a Christian family in Baabda, Lebanon. He is currently preparing the thesis for his master's degree in Islamic studies. Mr. Khairallah is married to Lara. They have two boys and live in Beirut, Lebanon.
This ministry center's aim is to share the message of "peace and reconciliation" in the Middle East through different media tools such as the internet, television, and radio programs, which are produced weekly in the Arabic language. The programs are Christ centered and based on the Word of God. They deal with social and religious issues, providing help and spiritual guidance for the listeners who are often youth and young adults. The office also uses Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), topical booklets, text messages, social media, video specials (DVDs) and spiritual hymns to strengthen the faith of participants. Holistic aid is given to many Muslim families and Bedouin communities through vacation Bible schools and programs that deliver clothing and school supplies to children. Emergency care is also given to Syrian and Iraqi families who have come to Lebanon from their countries, as they flee various conflicts in their homelands.
Be sure to check out LHM's International Ministries' blog page. You can find it by clicking here.
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 7-9; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40
1 Chronicles 7:
1 The sons of Yissakhar were: Tola, Pu’ah, Yashuv and Shimron — four.
2 The sons of Tola were: ‘Uzi, Refayah, Yeri’el, Yachmai, Yivsam and Sh’mu’el. They were heads of their fathers’ clans, descended from Tola; they were strong, brave men in their generations. In the time of David they numbered 22,600.
3 The son of ‘Uzi was Yizrachyah, and the sons of Yizrachyah were: Mikha’el, ‘Ovadyah, Yo’el and Yishiyah — five, all of them leaders. 4 With them, by their generations, in their fathers’ clans, were army troops organized for war, 36,000 of them, because they had many women and children. 5 Their kinsmen among all the clans of Yissakhar, strong, brave men, numbered 87,000, listed in genealogical records.
6 [The sons of] Binyamin were: Bela, Bekher and Y’dia‘el — three.
7 The sons of Bela were: Etzbon, ‘Uzi, ‘Uzi’el, Yerimot and ‘Iri — five; they were leaders of fathers’ clans, strong, brave men. They numbered 22,034, listed in genealogical records.
8 The sons of Bekher were: Z’mirah, Yo’ash, Eli‘ezer, Elyo‘enai, ‘Omri, Yeremot, Aviyah, ‘Anatot and ‘Alemet; all these were sons of Bekher. 9 Listed in genealogical records by generations under leaders of fathers’ clans, who were strong, brave men, were 20,200.
10 The son of Y’dia‘el was Bilhan. The sons of Bilhan were: Ye‘ush, Binyamin, Ehud, Kena‘anah, Zeitan, Tarshish and Achishachar. 11 All these were descendants of Y’dia‘el, leaders of their fathers’ clans, who were brave, strong men; they numbered 17,200, all fit to fight with the army.
12 [More descendants of Binyamin:] Shupim, Hupim, the sons of ‘Ir.
Hushim, the son of another [of Isra’el’s sons, namely, Dan].
13 The sons of Naftali were: Yachtzi’el, Guni, Yetzer, Shalum, the sons of Bilhah.
14 The descendants of M’nasheh: his concubine the woman from Aram bore Makhir the father of Gil‘ad; Asri’el [Gil‘ad’s son] was descended from her. 15 Makhir’s wife was from the families of Hupim and Shupim, and his sister’s name was Ma‘akhah. M’nasheh’s second son was Tz’lof’chad, and Tz’lof’chad had daughters. 16 Ma‘akhah the wife of Makhir bore a son whom she named Peresh, the name of his brother was Sheresh, and his sons were Ulam and Rekem. 17 The son of Ulam was B’dan. These were the descendants of Gil‘ad the son of Makhir the son of M’nasheh. 18 His sister Hammolekhet [the governor] bore Ish-Hod, Avi‘ezer and Machlah. 19 The sons of Sh’mida were Achyan, Sh’khem, Lik’chi and Ani‘am.
20 The descendants of Efrayim were: Shutelach, his son Bered, his son Tachat, his son El‘adah, his son Tachat, 21 his son Zavad and his son Shutelach; also ‘Ezer and El‘ad, whom the men of Gat born in the land killed when they came down to raid their cattle. 22 Efrayim their father mourned for a long time, and his kinsmen came to comfort him. 23 Then he had sexual relations with his wife, and she conceived and bore a son whom he called B’ri‘ah [in calamity], because his household had suffered a calamity. 24 His daughter was She’erah, who built upper and lower Beit-Horon and Uzen-She’erah. 25 Refach was his son, and Reshef, then his son Telach, his son Tachan 26 his son La‘dan, his son ‘Ammihud, his son Elishama, 27 his son Nun and his son Y’hoshua.
28 Their possessions and settlements were Beit-El with its towns; Na‘aran to the east; and to the west, Gezer with its towns; also Sh’khem with its towns, as far as ‘Ayah and its towns; 29 and, near the territory of the descendants of M’nasheh, Beit-Sh’an with its towns, Ta‘nakh with its towns, Megiddo with its towns and Dor with its towns. In these places lived the descendants of Yosef the son of Isra’el.
30 The children of Asher were: Yimnah, Yishvah, Yishvi, B’ri‘ah and their sister Serach. 31 The sons of B’ri‘ah were: Hever and Malki’el, who fathered Birzayit. 32 Hever fathered Yaflet, Shomer, Hotam and their sister Shua. 33 The sons of Yaflet were: Pasakh, Bimhal and ‘Ashvat; these were the sons of Yaflet. 34 The sons of Shemer were: Achi, Rohgah, Hubah and Aram. 35 The sons of his brother Helem were: Zofach, Yimnah, Shelesh and ‘Amal. 36 The sons of Zofach were: Suach, Harnefer, Shu‘al, Beri, Yimrah, 37 Betzer, Hod, Shama, Shilshah, Yitran and Be’era. 38 The sons of Yeter were: Y’funeh, Pispah and Ara. 39 The sons of ‘Ula were: Arach, Hani’el and Ritzya. 40 All these were descendants of Asher, leaders of their fathers’ clans, elite, strong, brave men, the most important of the princes. Those fit for battle service, listed in genealogies, numbered 26,000 men.
8:1 Binyamin fathered Bela his firstborn son; his second, Ashbel; his third, Achrach; 2 his fourth, Nochah; and his fifth, Rafa. 3 Bela had sons: Adar, Gera, Avihud, 4 Avishua, Na‘aman, Achoach, 5 Gera, Sh’fufan and Huram. 6 These are the sons of Ehud, the heads of fathers’ clans among the inhabitants of Geva (they were carried away captive to Manachat; 7 those who carried them off were Na‘aman, Achiyah and Gera): he fathered ‘Uzah and Achichud. 8 Shacharayim fathered children on the plains of Mo’av; after sending away his wives Hushim and Ba‘ara, 9 it was through his wife Hodesh that he fathered: Yovav, Tzivya, Mesha, Malkam, 10 Ye‘utz, Sokhya and Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of clans. 11 Through Hushim he fathered Avituv and Elpa‘al. 12 The sons of Elpa‘al: ‘Ever, Mish‘am, Shemed — he built Ono and Lod with its towns — 13 and B’ri‘ah and Shema — they were heads of fathers’ clans among the inhabitants of Ayalon, who drove away the people living in Gat.
14 Achyo, Shashak, Yeremot, 15 Z’vadyah, ‘Arad, ‘Eder, 16 Mikha’el, Yishpah and Yocha were the sons of B’ri‘ah. 17 Z’vadyah, Meshulam, Hizki, Hever, 18 Yishm’rai, Yizli’ah and Yovav were the sons of Elpa‘al. 19 Yakim, Zikhri, Zavdi, 20 Eli‘einai, Tziltai, Eli’el, 21 ‘Adayah, B’rayah and Shimrat were the sons of Shim‘i. 22 Yishpan, ‘Eved, Eli’el, 23 ‘Avdon, Zikhri, Hanan, 24 Hananyah, ‘Eilam, ‘Anatotyah, 25 Yifdeyah and P’nu’el were the sons of Shashak. 26 Shamsh’rai, Sh’charyah, ‘Atalyah, 27 Ya‘areshyah, Eliyah and Zikhri were the sons of Yerocham. 28 These were leaders of fathers’ houses through all their generations, leading men who lived in Yerushalayim.
29 In Giv‘on lived the father of Giv‘on, whose wife’s name was Ma‘akhah; 30 and his firstborn son ‘Avdon, Tzur, Kish, Ba‘al, Nadav, 31 G’dor, Achyo and Zekher. 32 Miklot fathered Shim’ah. In contrast with some of their kinsmen, they and their families lived in Yerushalayim.
33 Ner fathered Kish; Kish fathered Sha’ul; and Sha’ul fathered Y’honatan, Malkishua, Avinadav and Eshba‘al. 34 The son of Y’honatan was M’riv-Ba‘al, and M’riv-Ba‘al fathered Mikhah. 35 The sons of Mikhah: Piton, Melekh, Ta’rea and Achaz. 36 Achaz fathered Y’ho‘adah; Y’ho‘adah fathered ‘Alemet, ‘Azmavet and Zimri; Zimri fathered Motza; 37 and Motza fathered Bin‘a. His son was Rafah, his son was El‘asah and his son was Atzel. 38 Atzel had six sons, whose names were: ‘Azrikam, Bokhru, Yishma‘el, Sh‘aryah, ‘Ovadyah and Hanan; all these were sons of Atzel. 39 The sons of his brother ‘Eshek: Ulam his firstborn, Ye‘ush the second and Elifelet the third. 40 The sons of Ulam were strong, brave men, archers; they had many children and grandchildren, a hundred and fifty. All these were descendants of Binyamin.
9:1 So all Isra’el was listed by genealogies, and these were recorded in the book of the kings of Isra’el. Then Y’hudah was carried away captive to Bavel because of their unfaithfulness. 2 The first people to return to their possessions in the cities were the Isra’elim, the cohanim, the L’vi’im and the temple servants. 3 In Yerushalayim lived some descendants of Y’hudah, some descendants of Binyamin and some descendants of Efrayim and of M’nasheh: 4 ‘Utai the son of ‘Ammihud, the son of ‘Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, from the descendants of Peretz the son of Y’hudah. 5 Of the Shiloni: ‘Asayah the firstborn and his sons. 6 Of the descendants of Zerach: Ye‘u’el and their kinsmen, 690. 7 Of the descendants of Binyamin: Salu the son of Meshulam the son of Hodavyah the son of Hasnu’ah, 8 Yivneyah the son of Yerocham, Elah the son of ‘Uzi the son of Mikhri, Meshulam the son of Sh’fatyah the son of Re‘u’el the son of Yivneyah, 9 and their kinsmen, according to their generations — altogether 956. All these men were leaders of fathers’ clans.
10 Of the cohanim: Y’da‘yah, Y’hoyariv, Yakhin, 11 ‘Azaryah the son of Hilkiyah the son of Meshulam the son of Tzadok the son of M’rayot the son of Achituv the ruler of the house of God, 12 ‘Adayah the son of Yerocham the son of Pash’chur the son of Malkiyah, Ma‘asai the son of ‘Adi’el the son of Yachzerah the son of Meshulam the son of Meshilmit the son of Immer, 13 and their kinsmen, leaders of their fathers’ clans, 1,760 very competent men available for serving in the house of God.
14 Of the L’vi’im: Sh’ma‘yah the son of Hashuv the son of ‘Azrikam the son of Hashavyah, from the descendants of M’rari; 15 Bakbakar; Heresh; Galal; Matanyah the son of Mikha the son of Zikhri the son of Asaf; 16 ‘Ovadyah the son of Sh’ma‘yah the son of Galal the son of Y’dutun; and Berekhyah the son of Asa the son of Elkanah, who lived in the towns of the N’tofati.
17 The gatekeepers: Shalum, ‘Akuv, Talmon, Achiman and their kinsmen; Shalum was the chief. 18 Previously they had guarded the king’s gate to the east; they were gatekeepers for the camp of the descendants of Levi. 19 Shalum the son of Kore the son of Evyasaf the son of Korach and his kinsmen from his father’s clan the Korchim were in charge of the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tent. Their ancestors had been in charge of the camp of Adonai, keepers of the entryway. 20 Pinchas the son of El‘azar had been ruler over them long before; Adonai had been with him. 21 Z’kharyah the son of Meshelemyah guarded the entryway to the tent of meeting. 22 All these chosen to be gatekeepers numbered 212. Their genealogies were recorded in their towns; they had been appointed to their positions by David and Sh’mu’el the seer. 23 They and their descendants supervised the gates of the house of Adonai, that is, the house of the tent, by periods of duty. 24 The gatekeepers served on the four sides, east, west, north and south. 25 From time to time their kinsmen had to come in from their towns to help them for seven days.
26 For the four chief gatekeepers were on permanent duty; they were the L’vi’im in charge of accommodations and supplies in the house of God. 27 They spent their nights in the vicinity of the house of God, because they were in charge of it; they were responsible for opening it up each morning.
28 Some of [the L’vi’im] were in charge of the articles used for the service; they had to keep records of them when bringing them in and out. 29 Others were in charge of the equipment, the holy utensils, the fine flour, the wine, the olive oil, the frankincense and the spices. 30 Some of the sons of the cohanim mixed together the ingredients for the perfumes. 31 Mattityah, one of the L’vi’im, who was the firstborn of Shalum the Korchi, was permanently in charge of baking operations. 32 Some of their kinsmen, from the descendants of the K’hati, were in charge of preparing the showbread every Shabbat. 33 Also there were the singers, heads of fathers’ clans among the L’vi’im. They lived in the accommodations and were free from other kinds of service, for they were employed in their own work day and night. 34 These were heads of fathers’ clans among the L’vi’im, according to their generations, and they were leaders; they lived in Yerushalayim.
35 In Giv‘on lived the father of Giv‘on, Ye‘i’el, whose his wife’s name was Ma‘akhah; 36 and his firstborn son ‘Avdon, Tzur, Kish, Ba‘al, Ner, Nadav, 37 G’dor, Achyo, Z’kharyah and Miklot. 38 Miklot fathered Shim’am. In contrast with some of their kinsmen, they and their families lived in Yerushalayim.
39 Ner fathered Kish; Kish fathered Sha’ul; and Sha’ul fathered Y’honatan, Malkishua, Avinadav and Eshba‘al. 40 The son of Y’honatan was M’riv-Ba‘al, and M’riv-Ba‘al fathered Mikhah. 41 The sons of Mikhah were: Piton, Melekh and Ta’rea. 42 Achaz fathered Ya‘ra; Ya‘ra fathered ‘Alemet, ‘Azmavet and Zimri; Zimri fathered Motza; 43 and Motza fathered Bin‘a. His son was Rafah, his son El‘asah and his son Atzel. 44 Atzel had six sons, whose names were: ‘Azrikam, Bokhru, Yishma‘el, Sh‘aryah, ‘Ovadyah and Hanan; all these were sons of Atzel.
1 Corinthians 7:20 Each person should remain in the condition he was in when he was called.
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Well, don’t let it bother you; although if you can gain your freedom, take advantage of the opportunity. 22 For a person who was a slave when he was called is the Lord’s freedman; likewise, someone who was a free man when he was called is a slave of the Messiah. 23 You were bought at a price, so do not become slaves of other human beings. 24 Brothers, let each one remain with God in the condition in which he was called.
25 Now the question about the unmarried: I do not have a command from the Lord, but I offer an opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is worthy to be trusted. 26 I suppose that in a time of stress like the present it is good for a person to stay as he is. 27 That means that if a man has a wife, he should not seek to be free of her; and if he is unmarried, he should not look for a wife. 28 But if you marry you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not sin. It is just that those who get married will have the normal problems of married life, and I would rather spare you. 29 What I am saying, brothers, is that there is not much time left: from now on a man with a wife should live as if he had none — 30 and those who are sad should live as if they weren’t, those who are happy as if they weren’t, 31 and those who deal in worldly affairs as if not engrossed in them — because the present scheme of things in this world won’t last much longer. 32 What I want is for you to be free of concern. An unmarried man concerns himself with the Lord’s affairs, 33 with how to please the Lord; but the married man concerns himself with the world’s affairs, with how to please his wife; 34 and he finds himself split. Likewise the woman who is no longer married or the girl who has never been married concerns herself with the Lord’s affairs, with how to be holy both physically and spiritually; but the married woman concerns herself with the world’s affairs, with how to please her husband. 35 I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to put restrictions on you — I am simply concerned that you live in a proper manner and serve the Lord with undivided devotion.
36 Now if a man thinks he is behaving dishonorably by treating his fiancée this way, and if there is strong sexual desire, so that marriage is what ought to happen; then let him do what he wants — he is not sinning: let them get married. 37 But if a man has firmly made up his mind, being under no compulsion but having complete control over his will, if he has decided within himself to keep his fiancée a virgin, he will be doing well. 38 So the man who marries his fiancée will do well, and the man who doesn’t marry will do better.
39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives, but if the husband dies she is free to marry anyone she wishes, provided he is a believer in the Lord. 40 However, in my opinion, she will be happier if she remains unmarried, and in saying this I think I have God’s Spirit.
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).

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