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A Mountaintop Experience – August 23, 2016

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:18-24

A Mountaintop Experience


Daily Devotion – August 23, 2016

Devotion based on Hebrews 12:18-24

See series: Devotions

Go to church. If you figure out what’s going on there, it can be a mountaintop experience.

I’m not talking about the kind of church where they tell you how to be good enough to go to heaven. That kind of church is scary, because deep down, you know you will never be that perfect, no matter how hard you try. When you go to that kind of church, it is like approaching Mount Sinai, where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. That was terrifying.

I’m talking about the kind of church where you hear the good news that Jesus is your Savior, no matter how sinful you are. That kind of church is like the mountain in Jerusalem where the temple was built by Solomon, where animals were sacrificed as a picture of the sacrifice that Jesus would be once for all on the cross. At that kind of church you worship with people who are declared perfectly righteous through faith in Jesus. At that kind of church, even if you worship with only a few people, you are also worshipping with the angels whose songs you will hear fully when you go to heaven.

And won’t that be a mountaintop experience? Until then, go to church, and enjoy a little taste of it.

Prayer:
Lord, lead me to rejoice whenever I go to your house. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Narrow Door Stands Wide Open – August 22, 2016

Someone asked [Jesus], “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”
Luke 13:23-24

The Narrow Door Stands Wide Open


Daily Devotion – August 22, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 13:23-24

See series: Devotions

“Is the door to heaven open for someone like me?” The gospel knocks at your heart’s door with the unconditional answer, “Yes!” Jesus not only provides the door to heaven, he is the door to heaven. Your complete confidence rests in Christ, who lived perfectly, died innocently and rose triumphantly for you. Through faith in Jesus, you can be assured that nothing bars the door of heaven.

Because Jesus has given us this gracious promise, he wants nothing to deter us from entering the open door. Jesus tells us to “make every effort to enter through the narrow door.” Our entry through the door to heaven is not something we earn—it is a gift of God’s great love. But Jesus warns us that entry to heaven can be lost if we treat our sins with careless indifference.

Through the law, the Lord lovingly leads our hearts to recognize the guilt of our sin. He calls us to repent of our pride which seeks to find a way to heaven other than the narrow door Jesus has provided by his grace. The gospel gives our hearts the peace to know we are forgiven, and the inner strength to follow God and his will.

The door to heaven is not yet shut. It is not too late. It remains wide open to all who receive the Savior’s gospel invitation to believe in him. Faithfully follow him who poured out his heart in determined love for you so that you are able to freely enter the door to eternal paradise.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for providing the door of your divine grace so that I am assured that I will be with you in heaven. Move my heart to live each day for you, my Savior. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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I Quit! – August 21, 2016

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
John 6:66

I Quit!


Daily Devotion – August 21, 2016

Devotion based on John 6:66

See series: Devotions

Fred was fed up. The last demand was too much. He stormed into his supervisor’s office and said, “I quit!” Once the initial shock wore off, the supervisor collected his thoughts and asked, “What brought this on?” Years of pent up frustration poured from Fred like water through a broken dam. His supervisor tried to diffuse Fred’s emotions and dissuade him from doing something so rash. Fred was undeterred, and he maintained his position. “I quit!”

I quit! While they are words I would prefer not to use, they are usually held in ready reserve. When a challenge becomes insurmountable, or when a problem becomes irresolvable, or when a task seems too daunting, “I quit!” becomes a reasonable solution and provides a small sense of satisfaction.

I quit! This was the response of many of Jesus’ disciples. They yearned for his miracles. They relished his teaching. They even delighted in Jesus’ gentle leadership. However, when Jesus began to explain the high cost of discipleship in more detail, many were drawn to the same conclusion.

I quit! While it may be a quick and easy solution, should it be the response I offer my Lord and Savior? Certainly there will be challenging times as I follow him. I will experience rejection. I will experience persecution. I will even experience frustration caused by the world and the weakness of my sinful flesh. What makes each of these worse is they will be used by the devil to lead me to an incorrect conclusion.

I quit! While my sinful, weak flesh may relish the thought of severing my relationship with Jesus, the new creation in me needs to remain in control. That new creation brought about by Jesus’ precious sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel gives me the resolve I need not to quit. I see my Savior’s strength as my strength to overcome temptation. I see my Savior’s perseverance as my perseverance to endure all things. I see my Savior’s faithfulness as my faithfulness to support me through every struggle.

I quit! Although many decided Jesus wasn’t right for them, through faith I have come to a different conclusion. Because of all he has done for me, and continues to do for me, my response is this: Savior, lead; I follow you.

Prayer:
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 473):
Savior I follow on, guided by thee,
Seeing not yet the hand that leadeth me.
Hushed be my heart and still; fear I no further ill.
Only to meet thy will my will shall be.

Savior, I long to walk closer with thee;
Led by thy guiding hand, ever to be
Constantly near thy side, quickened and purified,
Living for him who died freely for me.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Death is Going to Die – August 20, 2016

The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:26

Death is Going to Die


Daily Devotion – August 20, 2016

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:26

See series: Devotions

I remember it vividly. I was listening to the radio. The song that was on was not a familiar one, but suddenly one line from the song did something I did not expect. The singer sang how he wished it were once again 1985, where all the ones he loved were still alive. With that one line I abruptly found myself back in 1985, sitting at the large table in my parents’ kitchen. Surrounding me were those members of my family who have long since died. They were happy, healthy, laughing and smiling as they had always been. And oh, how I missed them.

That’s the hard thing about death. One by one it takes away the people you love. The longer you live, the worse it gets. And when it comes to the death of someone extremely close to you, you never completely get over it. Such a death is going to leave a mark, a scar. That’s just the way it is. That’s what it means for sinful people to live in a sinful world. Everything dies. And everyone.

But then along comes Jesus. Along comes his empty tomb. Along comes his resurrection from the dead to declare that death no longer has the final word. In fact, because our Savior has paid the ransom for our sin, even the deaths we endure in this world will soon cease to be. When Jesus returns, death itself will die. Death will be destroyed. A time is coming when the heavy hurt of death will not even be a memory. Instead, there will only be joy, laughter, victory, celebration. And these will last forever. Jesus says so.

Maybe you’re hurting now because of a recent death. Or maybe you’re hurting from a death of long ago. It’s okay to feel the hurt. Just remember. Jesus lives. Those who die in the Lord will live forever. And death is going to die.

Prayer:
Living Lord, when death touches my life, remind me that death does not have the last word. You do. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Limitless – August 19, 2016

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
John 11:38-44

Limitless


Daily Devotion – August 19, 2016

Devotion based on John 11:38-44

See series: Devotions

We all deal with limits. There are limitations to our abilities. As much as try, we cannot go beyond our finite natures. We can keep on developing more and better technologies, but they will soon prove their need for update and change because they have reached the limits of their capacity. We can make better and bigger machines to improve the way we get things done, but one day they too will prove inadequate and have to be replaced. We can push ourselves physically to go faster and harder and farther, but finally there is a limit to what we can do. We can pursue our mind’s quest for greater knowledge, but ultimately we come to the realization that the more we learn, the more we need to learn. We strive many ways to live longer, but the truth is that there is a set limit to our life on this earth. All the graves in cemeteries are signs of that serious limitation.

We are limited, but Jesus is not. He is God who is limitless in his power and abilities. Even death is not a limit for him. His commanding voice demanded that death release its grip on Lazarus–and it did!

There is no limit to Jesus’ love. He loved us in such a limitless way that he surrendered himself to death and the grave for us. But death could not hold him. He came out of the grave; he rose from the dead to prove that he is almighty God. By his resurrection he assures us that he is limitless in his love for us as our living Savior.

One day in the future he will shout again “Come out!” and graves will lose their limited grip. Jesus promised, “Because I live, you also with live.” Only the Son of God has the limitless ability to accomplish what he said. Count on it and you will see the glory of God!

Prayer:
Jesus, strengthen my faith in you as my living Lord and loving Savior. Fill me with the confidence that you are limitless in your power and love, and assure me with your promise that you will raise me from death to live with you forever. Amen.

The devotions for Thursdays and Fridays this month focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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100 Percent – August 18, 2016

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:11-19

100 Percent


Daily Devotion – August 18, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 17:11-19

See series: Devotions

Can you imagine being very sick and not being allowed to hug or see your friends and family?

Jesus saw a group of men in desperate need of help. They were outcasts from society because they were afflicted with a horrible skin disease. They were barred from interacting with any healthy person or community.

In mercy, Jesus sent the group of ten sick men to go and see the priests (who also functioned as the public health officials.) On their way, their sick skin was restored to health. Their disease disappeared. Jesus had miraculously healed them. 100% of them were 100% healed.

Jesus healed many physically sick people. More importantly, Jesus provides spiritual healing for sinners. Jesus taught this when he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). Our fear, doubts, hate, jealousy, sinful words and actions are all symptoms that we are “the sick.” Without Jesus, 100% of us are 100% sick.

Jesus provides healing. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, wrote: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus provides 100% healing to 100% of sinners. To me. To you.

Can you imagine being one of those ten men whom Jesus healed? You could go home, see the smile on your loved ones faces, and throw your arms around them in joy!

Ten were healed. One of the ten thought to return in praise and thanks. Jesus’ 100% gift received a 10% return of thanks. We wonder—where were the other nine?

Can you imagine seeing God’s smiling face and feeling his arms wrapped around you in a loving hug? You don’t need to imagine. Jesus has healed your heart and your relationship with God. Your life will not end in death, but in a perfect eternal life.

We pray our hearts and lives echo the response of the man who returned to thank Jesus—praise and thanks with 100% of our hearts and lives. And, why? Jesus provides 100% healing.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for providing 100% healing of my heart and my relationship with God. Give me confidence and joy in your forgiveness and my eternal home in heaven. Fill my heart and life with praise and thanks for all that you do for me. Amen.

Devotions on Thursdays and Fridays for July focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Caught in Our “Secret Places” – August 17, 2016

“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:24

Caught in Our “Secret Places”


Daily Devotion – August 17, 2016

Devotion based on Jeremiah 23:24

See series: Devotions

It was early evening at the birthday party. The adults were seated around the fire pit absorbed in conversation. The youngsters were playing Hide and Seek. One of the boys saw a perfect place to hide. The going-on-6-years-old climbed into an outdoor toy chest that was made to double as a bench. It was his secret place! Nobody would find him there!

One of the adults saw the youngster executing his plan and casually took a seat on that bench. “Help! Help!” came the voice from the toy chest. “I’m trapped.”

Do you have “secret places” where you think no one sees you? Is it an internet “toy box,” a developing addiction to that prescription, or a place in the recesses of your mind? Countless individuals are getting trapped in such secret places. Sinful human beings get caught in Satan’s subtle snares as he whispers, “No one will find you there.”

Before you ever went there, however, you were caught! “‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord.”

The all-knowing, ever-present Triune God of the Bible proclaims an indisputable warning, but also an awesome comfort. God always knows, always sees! Don’t try to hide anything from him.

“Devil” means “liar,” “for he is a liar and the father of lies,” said Jesus (John 8:44). Don’t believe Satan’s lies! Don’t lie to yourself. Admit your sins to God, asking for forgiveness and help. He’s always present to help. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

If right now you are caught in one of your secret places of guilt or sadness or depression, if you are overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the “liar” says, “No one will find you. No one cares.” Wrong! God cares so much that he sent his son Jesus to save you, winning forgiveness for all your sins. God cares so much that he promises his help and blessing through the truths of Scripture. And he gives us people in our lives to be a blessing to us. Don’t hide.

Prayer:
Gracious God, when I am tempted to hide, seek me with your mercy and power, forgiving and helping me for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Discipline – August 16, 2016

You have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline) then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:5-11

Discipline


Daily Devotion – August 16, 2016

Devotion based on Hebrews 12:5-11

See series: Devotions

It is not my job to discipline other people’s children in the grocery store. When someone else’s children throw their tantrums in front of the candy displays at the checkout line, it would be out of line for me to step in.

If it is my own child, however, I am right there. I want him to know how to ask for something appropriately, in public and in private. I want him to learn how to accept “no” as an answer. I know what is best for my son, and I love him enough to take the time and teach him.

God knows what is best for us, and he loves us enough to say “no” to some of our prayers. It may not seem pleasant at the time, but he knows what we can handle, and will never let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.

God does not say “no” to punish us. Instead, God has proven his love for us by punishing his own Son, Jesus, for our sins when Jesus died on the cross. Because Jesus suffered hell in our place, we share in his holiness through faith.

Prayer:
Lord God, give me the patience to endure it when you discipline me for my good. Remind me of your love and help me to live as your child through faith in Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
842x474-Custom-Post-MondayDevotion

Peace on Earth? – August 15, 2016

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
Luke 12:49-51

Peace on Earth?


Daily Devotion – August 15, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 12:49-51

See series: Devotions

Didn’t Jesus come to earth to bring peace? Didn’t the angels sing of “peace on earth” when the Savior was born in Bethlehem? Didn’t Jesus declare his peace to his disciples after he rose from the dead?

Yes, Jesus certainly won unparalleled peace for all people! In order to win that peace, Jesus marched into war against sin, death, and hell. In the verses for our devotion today, Jesus describes the distressing mission to win our eternal deliverance. The Lord looked ahead to the torment and death that he alone would undergo for us. He willingly poured out his lifeblood on the cross to win eternal peace for guilty sinners.

Through Jesus’ perfect life and selfless suffering and death, believers have the peace of God. They are filled with a faith kindled by the Holy Spirit. Their transformed hearts burn within them because of the gospel’s joyful news of peace with God. However, not everyone enjoys the peace Jesus freely won for them. Unbelievers search in vain for worldly peace, dousing the flame of faith extended to them through the gospel. They live as enemies of Jesus, despising the cross and the comfort Christ brings. Because of their rejection of Jesus’ gift of peace, the fire of God’s just judgment awaits them.

Because of humanity’s sin, Jesus’ beautiful gospel message of eternal peace will cause division in this world. Believers will face rejection and ridicule by neighbors, friends and even family members. It is a temptation for believers to attempt to maintain peace in their relationships at all costs. Yet peace maintained at any price is not the purpose of Christ. In love, Jesus reminds his followers that loyalty to him counts more than all else.

Jesus has graciously given us a mission. Filled with Christ’s peace, we hear his call to proclaim his eternal gospel to others. When it appears the message falls on deaf ears, do not be discouraged. Jesus encourages us, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me…” (Luke 10:16).

Our ultimate goal in sharing the gospel is that others may know of the peace Jesus won for them so that they may enjoy eternal peace with Jesus in heaven.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, thank you for giving me your everlasting peace. Give me confidence to proclaim your message of peace to others. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
842x474-Custom-Post-SundayDevotion

Knowledge Leads to Understanding – August 14, 2016

Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:9-10

Knowledge Leads to Understanding


Daily Devotion – August 14, 2016

Devotion based on Proverbs 9:9-10

See series: Devotions

Throughout the United States schools are starting up again. People are searching for knowledge, from preschoolers who are beginning to learn their “A-B-C’s” to people pursuing their doctorates who are digging deeply into their fields of study.

And that’s good! In fact, the search for knowledge has been a hallmark of the world’s history.

Down through history people have been taught some pretty amazing things. Things like, “The world is flat.”

Yes. For hundreds of years people—really, really smart people—were taught that the world was flat, or taught others that the world was flat. Though they were really smart, they were completely wrong!

So, how many of the things which we’re being taught today are also incorrect? Indeed, there may be really smart people teaching us, or we may be the really smart people doing the teaching.

And we might be completely wrong.

BUT! We will NEVER be wrong when we are listening to the Word of God, because God will never lie to us. The God who created the world is the source of all wisdom. And that God loves you dearly! He loved you enough to go to the cross for you, to die for you, paying for your sins. He has given you the knowledge which really matters—the knowledge that the Triune God is the only true God, the knowledge that Jesus has forgiven your sins, the knowledge that you’re going to heaven by faith alone in your Savior. THAT knowledge will never be incorrect. THAT knowledge gives you the most important understanding you can have!

Prayer:
O Holy Spirit, fill me with the wisdom which you alone can give through the Word of God. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
842x474-Custom-Post-SaturdayDevotion

God’s Heart is Full of Love – August 13, 2016

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-20

God’s Heart is Full of Love


Daily Devotion – August 13, 2016

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:15-20

See series: Devotions

We’re really good at complaining: “My chicken sandwich is too spicy.” “This traffic light takes forever to change.” “The weather is too hot (or cold, dry, wet)!”

Is life really this bad? Is it so bad that God deserves an earful of complaints every day? God owes us nothing. Where do we get the right to complain when we deserve to have God shut us out from all good things?

OK, so I should thank him for his gifts. But thank him for everything? My injury? Losing my job? Higher food prices? Having to go back to school? Why should I thank him for these?

I thank God for everything because I know his heart. It doesn’t matter if the bills are greater than the paycheck can cover. It doesn’t matter if my summer is over way too fast. I thank God rather than complain because I know the heart of my heavenly Father. He was willing to withhold blessings from his own Son, Jesus, and give him over to death in order to pay for my constant complaining. He gave Jesus the punishment for sin that I deserved, so I will never find out what it feels like to be cut off from God’s love.

Jesus’ sacrifice shows me God’s heart, which means I can thank him for everything. I may not understand why he would take my wife of 38 years or why he would allow the front fender of my car to get smashed just when I made the last payment. But I know his heart is full of love for me. Whatever the Lord sends or allows in my life, he’ll use it to help me.

Knowing his heart, I can thank God for everything.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for the good and the bad in my life. Give me strength to bear with the bad and a heart of thanks to enjoy the good. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
842x474-Custom-Post-FridayDevotion

A Higher Purpose – August 12, 2016

As [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
John 9:1-7

A Higher Purpose


Daily Devotion – August 12, 2016

Devotion based on John 9:1-7

See series: Devotions

Perhaps the favorite question we human beings like to ask is “Why?” A four-year-old asks his parents, “Why is the grass green? Why do I have to eat my vegetables? Why can’t I just play all the time?” As we get older we still ask “why”, but the questions get more complicated. “Why can’t anything go my way? Why is God letting this happen to me?”

We want to know “why” especially when life gets tough. So we go searching for answers. Our sinful, limited minds often take us to the seemingly logical conclusion that if something bad happens to us, then it must be because we did something to upset God. We sinned, and now he is dishing out some divine retribution on us. That line of thinking presents two big problems: 1 – It presumes that our infinite and all-wise God can be figured out by finite creatures. 2 – It minimizes or totally ignores his merciful love.

When Jesus and his disciples met a man born blind, they asked Jesus whether the blind man or his parents sinned. They thought that his blindness must have been the result of God punishing either him or his parents for some sin.

But Jesus taught his disciples that there was a higher purpose to this man’s blindness. He said, “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” That man was born blind so that on that day, Jesus could display his power as the Son of God by making this blind man see. More importantly, later in John chapter 9 we learn that this man was brought to faith in Jesus. God used the man’s condition as an opportunity to open his eyes to see Jesus as his Savior. In this way, God shows his believers that he truly is at work for their eternal good even and especially in hardship.

Are you facing trial and trouble? Have you wondered why God is letting those things happen to you? Have you thought that he is punishing you? He is not. All the sins of the world have already been punished in Christ on the cross. Your sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus alone. When he allows trouble and hardship to come into your life, he has a higher purpose: to display his work in your life, to work everything for your eternal good.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when I face hardship, help me to trust that you will work through it for my eternal good. Forgive me for my doubts and despair. Strengthen my faith in you and bring me at last to heaven. Amen.

Devotions on Thursdays and Fridays this month focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.