Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, September 24, 2017 - 16th Sunday after Pentecost

The Labourers in the Vineyard
Opening Sentence
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
~ Phillipians 1:2

Confession and Forgiveness

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
God is light; in him there in no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him, yet walk in the darkness, we lie and son not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
~ John 1:5b-8

Most holy and merciful Father, We confess to you and to one another, that we have sinned against you by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. We have not fully loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not always had in us the mind of Christ. You alone know how often we have grieved you by wasting your gifts, by wandering from your ways. Forgive us, we pray you, most merciful Father; And free us from our sin. Renew in us the grace and strength of your Holy Spirit, for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

Sunday Morning Prayer
God, as you gave us the sun to lighten our days, so you have given us your Word to lighten our minds and our souls. I pray that you will pour out on me your Spirit as I pray today, that my heart and mind may be opened to your Word, and that I may learn and accept your will for my life.

Shine within my heart, loving God, the pure light of your divine knowledge; open the eyes of my mind and the ears of my heart to receive your Word, this day and always, Amen.

The Psalm
Psalm 145:1-8
1   I will exalt you, O God my King, and bless your Name for ever and ever.
2   Every day will I bless you and praise your Name for ever and ever.
3   Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; there is no end to his greatness.
4   One generation shall praise your works to another and shall declare your power.
5   I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty and all your marvelous works.
6   They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, and I will tell of your greatness.
7   They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; they shall sing of your righteous deeds.
8   The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great kindness.

The Lessons

A reading from Jonah 3:10-4:11
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD and said, "O LORD! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live." And the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city. The LORD God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, "It is better for me to die than to live." But God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?" And he said, "Yes, angry enough to die." Then the LORD said, "You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?"

A reading from Philippians 1:21-30
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God's doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well-- since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

A reading from Matthew 20:1-16
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same. And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why are you standing here idle all day?' They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.' When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?' So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Here ends the Readings.

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

Continuous Reading Track
Exodus 16:2-15
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." Then the LORD said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days." So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, "In the evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your complaining against the LORD. For what are we, that you complain against us?" And Moses said, "When the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the LORD has heard the complaining that you utter against him-- what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the LORD." Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, 'Draw near to the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.'" And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. The LORD spoke to Moses and said, "I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'" In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
1   Give thanks to the LORD and call upon his Name; make known his deeds among the peoples.
2   Sing to him, sing praises to him, and speak of all his marvelous works.
3   Glory in his holy Name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4   Search for the LORD and his strength; continually seek his face.
5   Remember the marvels he has done, his wonders and the judgments of his mouth,
6   O offspring of Abraham his servant, O children of Jacob his chosen.
37   He led out his people with silver and gold; in all their tribes there was not one that stumbled.
38   Egypt was glad of their going, because they were afraid of them.
39   He spread out a cloud for a covering and a fire to give light in the night season.
40   They asked, and quails appeared, and he satisfied them with bread from heaven.
41   He opened the rock, and water flowed, so the river ran in the dry places.
42   For God remembered his holy word and Abraham his servant.
43   So he led forth his people with gladness, his chosen with shouts of joy.
44   He gave his people the lands of the nations, and they took the fruit of others' toil,
45   That they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Hallelujah!

The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

Prayer of the Day
O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen.

A Collect for Sundays
O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Mission
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week is
a concert hall, with a beautiful rendition of
Holy God We Praise Thy Name from the
Irish Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.
Sing along!
Holy God, we praise Thy Name
Faith of our Fathers concert
performed by Irish Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus at the Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
(The words vary slightly among denominations)

Holy God, we praise Thy Name;
Lord of all, we bow before Thee!
All on earth Thy scepter claim,
All in Heaven above adore Thee;
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy reign.

Hark! the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising,
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising;
Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord.

Spare Thy people, Lord, we pray,
By a thousand snares surrounded:
Keep us without sin today,
Never let us be confounded.
Lo, I put my trust in Thee;
Never, Lord, abandon me.

Original lyrics by Ignaz Franz (1771)
English lyrics translated by Clarence A. Walworth (1858)
Tune: Großer Gott, wir loben dich (traditional German)

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia!
Thanks be to God! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer
O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray, Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
~ 2 Corinthians 13:14

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

"The Labourers In The Vineyard" - Sermon for SUNDAY, September 24, 2017 - 16th Sunday after Pentecost

"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

"The Labourers in the Vineyard"
by Christopher Holdsworth
Jesus Calls Ministries, U. K.
Norwich, U.K.

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

This parable is part of Jesus’ response to Peter’s question: ‘Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?’ (Matthew 19:27). This challenging part of the reply is framed with a formula concerning the ‘first’ and the ‘last’ (Matthew 19:30), which is inverted at the end of the parable (Matthew 20:16).

Since we are dealing with “the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 20:1), we need to think our way into the cultural setting of the parable, eradicating worldly presuppositions along the way.

First of all, the employer went to the market place to hire daily labourers. This was the usual custom. Straight away we are made aware that it is God who comes seeking us, rather than vice versa: but it helps if we situate ourselves in the place where we know God will most likely reveal Himself.

Secondly, the employer came with the express intention of hiring labourers. We see the dignity of work (cf. Matthew 20:7), and God’s grace in providing it (Genesis 2:15).

Thirdly, as we might expect, the employer contracted with his employees to pay a specific amount (Matthew 20:2). That amount was enough for each to purchase his daily meal. It may have been no more than the national minimum wage, or the equivalent thereof: but it was sufficient, though not excessive (Exodus 16:14-18). Furthermore, BOTH PARTIES AGREED TO THE AMOUNT.

So far so good: but as the parable proceeds it becomes a little strange to our ears. There is nothing wrong with the employer seeking out other workers as the day proceeds (Matthew 20:3-7): even if it is for no other reason than to rescue them from the indignity of being idle (Matthew 20:6). And each would receive, “whatever is right” (Matthew 20:4; Matthew 20:7).

I don’t know whether it was normal for the last to be paid first, but certainly this is what Jesus would have the employer doing here (Matthew 20:8). Remember we are talking about the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 20:1): which though the world views it as topsy-turvy (Acts 17:6), is in fact setting things the right way up!

Imagine the surprise when the employer gave to each group of labourers the full day’s wage! A pleasant surprise for some, but a source of increasing alarm to the first-contracted workers. Jesus certainly wasn’t teaching a lesson about the economy and diplomacy of trade relations!

The angry attitude of the first-in-the-field (Matthew 20:11) reminds us of the jealousy of the Prodigal’s brother (Luke 15:29-30). Both Peter and Paul teach us that, ‘God is no respecter of persons’ (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). There are eleventh hour converts, and they are just as eligible as recipients of God’s grace as those who fancy that they have personally “borne the burden and the heat of the day” (Matthew 20:12).

The complaint was: “you have made them equal with us” (Matthew 20:12). However, since the first-comers RECEIVED THEIR FULL CONTRACTED AMOUNT (Matthew 20:13), why was anyone complaining? Would they rather that these others were sent home without sufficient for their daily meal?

The Lord is in no doubt: “I will give unto this last, even as unto you… Is your eye evil because I am good?” (Matthew 20:14-15).

We pray day by day, ‘Give us (plural) this day our (plural) daily bread’ (Matthew 6:11). Whether viewed in relation to our physical needs, or to our spiritual needs, it is a prayer for us all.

We should not begrudge those who receive the answer to this prayer, though late in the day. We must not envy the new converts their blessings.


Seeking God?
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relationship with Jesus Christ

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV), KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK. Sermon shared by Christopher Holdsworth on Jul 30, 2014.

Prayer of the Day for SUNDAY, September 24, 2017

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen.

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, September 24, 2017

Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV) So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Read all of Hebrews 10

Listen to Hebrews 10

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un Dia a la Vez - Perseguidos y atacados

La hierba se seca y la flor se cae, pero la palabra del Señor permanece para siempre.

¿Darías tú vida por Dios? Nuestra respuesta debería ser afirmativa, sin siquiera dudarlo. No obstante, si lo pensáramos mejor, ¿moriríamos por Él?

¿Sabes que ese mismo decreto de muerte se lo entregó Dios a su Hijo? Determinó que muriera por nosotros para darnos vida eterna y Él le obedeció. Así que murió por pagar nuestros pecados y salvar de ese modo a la humanidad.

¡Qué precio tan caro y tan grande! Lo que ocurre es que Dios veía más allá de los sufrimientos y, aunque sabía que sería doloroso, era un sacrificio a favor de sus hijos.

Si lo analizamos, toda la vida los cristianos han sufrido persecución y ataques. En el peor de los casos, los asesinan solo por seguir a Cristo. Según lo registra el Manual de Instrucciones, eso no dejará de pasar.

Cada vez podremos tener más oposición, más ataques, secuestros, torturas de pastores y misioneros, pues estamos en un mundo donde se levantan falsos profetas y mucha gente no sabrá a quién seguir. Sin embargo, recordemos que aunque las cosas de este mundo se pongan peor, la batalla ya se ganó. Tú y yo no debemos olvidar quién es Dios y lo que está escrito en la Biblia: «El cielo y la tierra pasarán, pero mis palabras jamás pasarán» (Mateo 24:35).

Así que no te canses de seguir a Jesús, ya que la recompensa está en los cielos.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE FORMS OF THE CHURCH

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
~ Acts 5:42 (NIV)

The place in which a church meets varies. The use of big buildings, complex organizations, involved programs, huge budgets that provide for schools, hospitals, orphanages and other social activities are only possible in financially strong unrestricted societies.

Although the Lord has blessed these activities in many places in the world, we must recognize that they are not essential to the existence of the church. In some countries these activities are forbidden by the government, while in others, the local economic situation makes them impossible. Still the church can thrive, because it is not dependent on these things. Serious problems have arisen when Christians have become confused on this point.

A number of years ago, for example, some Vietnamese leaders thought that their lack of funds for such things was the cause of the slow growth of Christianity there. On one occasion, the following conversation was overheard:

"Do you have communists in your part of the country?" the observer asked. "Most assuredly. They are there," the leader replied.

“Are they growing in numbers and influence?" he then asked. The leader hesitated momentarily, then admitted sadly, “Yes, they are growing very fast."

“Can you show me their meeting places and schools or introduce me to their leaders?" the observer continued. "Certainly not," the leader said in disgust. "If they are known, they will be arrested."

"You mean they are secret, without buildings or property and still they grow in number?" the observer asked in amazement. "Yes, you could say that," the leader responded.

"Then it must be that their growing influence does not depend on such things. If they can be wrong in their beliefs and still grow without money and buildings, why do you think the church of Jesus Christ needs these things?" the man concluded.

If God provides these things, then use them for His glory. If He does not, remember that the New Testament church had none of these things, but they turned their world upside down (Acts 17:6). The early Christians did not confuse the church’s functions with methods. If they had done so, the church would have died in the bondage of Jewish legalism. The early churches were not encumbered by the presence of buildings, nor hindered by the lack of them. They met in public places, when they were permitted to do so, but when they were not, they went from house to house.

RESPONSE: I will no longer confuse the forms of the church with the biblical functions of the church.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for those who use their homes as centers for Your worship and declaration of the good news of Your love.

LHM Daily Devotion - September 24, 2017 "Jesus Became Human"

A man sits down in a restaurant, orders a glass of wine, takes a sip...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Jesus Became Human"

September 24, 2017

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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

A man sits down in a restaurant, orders a glass of wine, takes a sip, and then tosses the remainder into the waiter's face. Before the waiter can react the man begins weeping: "I am so sorry," he says, "I keep doing that to waiters. I cannot tell you how embarrassing it is, how ashamed I am about having a compulsion like this."

The waiter is understanding and sympathetic. He suggests that the man see a psychologist about his problem. The man agrees, thanks the waiter, and leaves.

Six months later, the man returns.

"How are you doing?" the waiter asks as he delivers a glass of wine to the man.

"Great!" the man says, "I have been seeing a doctor twice a week." He then takes a sip of wine and throws the remainder into the waiter's face.

"Well it doesn't seem that doctor's doing you any good!" the waiter says.

"Oh, no, on the contrary," the man says, "he has done me a world of good."

"But you just threw a glass of wine in my face again!"

"Yes," the man says, "but I don't feel ashamed about it anymore."

Have you ever been ashamed? Shame grips you in your conscience and freezes you in a state of disgrace. Shame empties you of esteem and leaves you humiliated. Would you not do just about anything to avoid being ashamed?

Is it not amazing that Jesus Christ chose to be ashamed in order to love people?

The apostle Paul describes the humility of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:5-11. In the form of poetry, the apostle Paul deals with two parts of the person and life of Jesus Christ. Paul affirms that (1) Jesus Christ is fully God, and (2) that Jesus Christ is fully human. Paul does this to emphasize Jesus' love for people -- that Jesus chose utter, absolute, sheer humiliation when, as true God, He became true Man.

When I feel insignificant, unimportant, trivial, forgotten, in Jesus the Son of God there is a message that my needs are not forgotten. I am significant to Jesus. I have a place in the eternal plan of God. When I feel ashamed, in Jesus, the Son of God who became human, I have a God who identifies with me, a Savior who came precisely because I am inadequate and guilty of sin.

To Jesus Christ, you are significant. With Jesus Christ, you have a place in the eternal plan of God.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Jesus has done all that was necessary to win my salvation. Grant that my life may be one of repentance of my sin and thanksgiving for Your great love and grace. This I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Pastor Kevin Wendt of Concordia Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was part of a team that was sent to Thailand for tsunami boat building.

Lutheran Hour Ministries-Thailand focuses on sharing the Gospel and making contacts with local people through the internet, Gospel text messaging, various community radio programs, evangelism training, and evangelistic outreach programs. Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), music CDs, and print materials are also used to encourage and help strengthen the faith of Thai Christians. The staff also conducts special children's activities and does presentations in many government schools.

In this country of nearly 69 million people, LHM-Thailand is known in-country as Journey into Light. It was established in 1991 in Bangkok where it has its ministry center today. It broadcasts three different 25-minute radio programs and follows up with listeners who respond for assistance or more information; it uses Equipping the Saints (ETS) for evangelism training. Through "listener gatherings," it brings people together and helps build a sense of community. Relationships with school children and educators are established through presentations delivered at public schools. Staff members and volunteers also connect with people through music, camp-style activities, sidewalk events held outside the ministry center for neighbors and passersby, and by teaching about Christianity and culture.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).