842x474-Custom-Post-TuesdayDevotion

Rooted in Christ – July 26, 2016

Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7

Rooted in Christ


Daily Devotion – July 26, 2016

Devotion based on Colossians 2:6-7

See series: Devotions

Several years ago my brother-in-law asked me to help him remove an unwanted tree from his front yard. It really wasn’t a very big tree. At its thickest the trunk was less than four inches in diameter. This would not be so hard, especially with the assistance of a one-ton pickup truck. Can you see where this is going? Perhaps you are more knowledgeable about trees and trucks than we were. We hooked up a heavy duty chain to the back of the truck. We looped and tied and secured the other end of the chain to our easy victim, the little tree. He got in the truck, put it in gear, and stepped on the gas. When the chain tightened, the truck stopped moving. The tree didn’t move at all. Soon the only things in motion were the spinning tires of the truck that tore up the grass and left ruts in the lawn. I suppose we could have improved our chances by using better techniques, but at any rate I was left with the lasting impression: trees, even small ones, have deep and strong roots that make them difficult to move.

Roots are important for the life and longevity of trees. Roots, spiritually speaking, are even more important for the life and longevity of people. The apostle Paul was writing to a group of Christians about their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. These were people who had come to know Jesus by faith. They trusted in his forgiveness, and they looked to him for strength. And now Paul was encouraging them to move forward in faith. There would be spiritual enemies that would seek to uproot and destroy them. The chains of false teaching would tug at them. The axes of the devil’s temptations would seek to knock them down. There was a continuing need…that they would sink their roots deeper and deeper into Christ. How? By digging in to his Word. By seeking him in prayer. By exercising faith and godly living.

There are so many things in this world, some subtle and some very blatant, that would seek to uproot our confidence and trust in Christ. Satan and his allies, in their deception and cunning, are always looking for opportunities to tear Christians away from Christ. How do we face those threats? We start by listening to the Lord through the words of his mouthpiece, the apostle Paul. Can you hear him? “Sink your roots deep into the solid foundation of Jesus and his promises!” “Strengthen your roots through Bible study and worship!” “Let the Lord nourish you through the gospel message of Christ as he feeds you with his Word and Supper!” “Approach his throne of grace again and again through prayer with your confessions and concerns!” “Wrap your roots around his unending, gracious forgiveness and love!” Through these things Christian roots are strengthened and deepened. And in him we will stand against anyone who would seek to uproot us!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you are the solid foundation of my faith. I thank you for bringing me into a relationship with you. Help me to sink my roots more and more into your love and forgiveness. Strengthen and nourish my faith through your precious and powerful grace. In your name. 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

When You Pray – July 25, 2016

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'” Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:1-13

When You Pray


Daily Devotion – July 25, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 11:1-13

See series: Devotions

Let’s say someone has invited you to their home. When you get there, you can tell they’ve been expecting you. They’ve turned on the porch light. They smile when they see you and invite you in. They’ve prepared good food. They’ve set the table. In a similar way, whenever you pray the Lord’s Prayer, you know that the Lord has been expecting you. He has even laid out the words and the form of the prayer for you, so that you know you are welcome.

At times we might have a good reason to decline an invitation to someone’s house. But there is no legitimate reason why we would ever decline God’s invitation to pray. And yet we do. God in heaven invites us to pray, and we believe in him, and still we struggle to appreciate the gift he’s given us. It’s just more evidence that the sinful nature in you and me always runs away from God and wants nothing from him, and that there’s not a thing we can do to fix that. What a helpless mess we are!

And yet Jesus’ words still stand. He invites us to call God Father.

As Jesus speaks the words in today’s reading, he is looking ahead to his cross. And as strong as our sinful nature desires to run away from God, Jesus had an even stronger desire to suffer and die for us all. Now, by his suffering and death he has paid for our sins, and through Jesus God has declared us to be his forgiven children.

If prayer were nothing more than a business contract with God, then you would be legally bound to pray to him or he would cut off all ties. If your relationship with God were no more than a relationship between friends, then you would be expected to give as much as you get. Jesus sets the record straight. Prayer is an exchange between a child and his Father. God does all the giving, and like a good father, he will only give you things that are good for you. Your privileged role is to receive his gifts.

When God invites you to pray, he is inviting you into his throne room. Your Savior has cleared the way. By his death and resurrection, he has paid for your sins. Whenever you pray in Jesus’ name, you know that God’s been expecting you. Your Father in heaven is greeting you with a smile.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for giving me the privilege of prayer. Help me to use it well. In Jesus’ name, 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

God Invites Us to His Dinner Party – July 24, 2016

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
Exodus 24:9-11

God Invites Us to His Dinner Party


Daily Devotion – July 24, 2016

Devotion based on Exodus 24:9-11

See series: Devotions

Imagine that you’ve been invited to a dinner party. It looks pretty neat! The menu contains things which you like to eat. Also the time and the date work for you. But then you come to realize that you don’t know anyone who’s been invited to the party, and you have absolutely nothing in common with the people who are going. What do you think? Will you still be as excited to go? I’d guess most of us wouldn’t be as excited. After all, what really makes a party fun is being with people we know and enjoy.

Can you imagine a dinner party with God? At first, it’s a scary thought! After all, God is perfect, holy and eternal; we’re sinful mortals. What do we have in common with God, or he with us?

And yet God chooses to have fellowship with people. We read in these verses of the Bible how he allowed the leaders and elders of Israel to dine in his presence. What an experience that must have been! But in a more wondrous measure, he chose to have fellowship with people when Jesus came to this world and lived among us. Now the Lord continues to do it today, promising that he’s with us always to the very end of time. And he’s preparing a place for us at the eternal “banquet feast” in heaven.

And yet that question lingers: why would God want us in his presence? Why would God want ME? I’m a sinner!
Ah, true. But remember Jesus. He lived, died and rose, thereby paying for your sins in full. The holy life of Jesus covers you perfectly so that you do not fearfully stand opposed to God as a foe; rather you peacefully sit with him as a friend. Indeed, you’re his welcome guest through Jesus! You might even think of yourself as a VIP.

And what a conversation you’ll have with all the other guests of his grace! People like David, Mary and Joseph, Abraham and Sarah – all sinners, like us; all saved by Jesus, like us. It will be a great party!

Prayer:
Lord God, thank you for making it possible through Jesus for me to come to your heavenly feast. Fill me with longing for the day you will take me there. 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

You Belong – July 23, 2016

You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.
Ephesians 2:19

You Belong


Daily Devotion – July 23, 2016

Devotion based on Ephesians 2:19

See series: Devotions

Each of us has probably felt it. And although we try not to think about it, many of us can’t forget it. Perhaps you felt it when the captain of the kickball team picked you last. Perhaps you felt it when your grades were lower than everyone else. Perhaps you felt it when your clothes weren’t as nice as others or your physical appearance did not fit the standard of what others considered “good-looking.” It is that catch in your throat and that wave of unease that washes over your body. It’s the terrible feeling that says within you, “I don’t belong.”

And let’s be candid. That feeling does not simply haunt the playgrounds and schooldays of our past. There can still be awful moments or periods of life when that sad, familiar voice speaks again; the voice that says, “I don’t belong.”

What’s even worse is the fear of not belonging to God! It’s true that apart from Christ, we are separated from God. We could win all the popularity contests we want, but without Jesus we have no hope of a peaceful and blessed relationship with God. However, Jesus changed everything! “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2). God accepted the suffering and death of his Son as full payment for our sin. Through Jesus our eternal relationship with God is secured; by faith in our Savior we belong to God. And we are united with other Christians—we “are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”

Now, do we always feel that closeness? Do we always feel that bond? No, not always. As long as we are still in this fallen world, our Christian brothers and sisters are bound to let us down, we are bound to let them down, and our flawed emotions will often fail to perceive the close, intimate bond we have with Christ and with each other.

But make no mistake. You belong. You belong to us. We belong to you. And by faith we all belong to God through the precious blood of his Son.

Are there still times when you feel left out and alone? Then remember the blessing you possess in Jesus Christ: You belong!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, because of your blood I belong. I belong to my Christian family and I belong to God. At those times when I feel left out, overcome my emotions with the certainty of your Word. 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

I Don’t Know the Answer – July 22, 2016

Jesus said, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . . ” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”
Matthew 9:5-6

I Don’t Know the Answer


Daily Devotion – July 22, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 9:5-6

See series: Devotions

I still don’t know the answer to Jesus’ question. I’ve thought about it for a long time but it still stumps me. “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’”?

The reason I don’t know the answer is that I can’t do either of them.

I do not have the ability to heal someone’s paralysis. Doctors can do some amazing and wonderful things but medicine can never give me the ability to heal in the way that Jesus heals.

I do not have the ability to pay for anyone’s sins. There is no sacrifice that I could ever make that would even pay for one of my sins, let alone all the sins of another person.

While I don’t know the answer to Jesus’ question, Jesus not only knows the answer, he can do them both.

Jesus spent much of his ministry healing so that the blind received sight and the lame walked. He cured those with leprosy, made the deaf to hear, and did many, many other miracles of healing.

Jesus also spent much of his ministry telling people those most important words, “Your sins are forgiven.” He gave his life as a payment for our sins so that those words would have real meaning and authority.

Jesus is still doing both these things today. He is now in heaven but he continues to rule all things on this earth as the King of kings. He still provides healing and makes all things happen for the good of his people. He is also still forgiving our sins daily. He is near his Heavenly Father reminding him that he has paid for all our sins by his suffering and death for us.

Which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” or “get up and walk”? I don’t know but I am certain Jesus can do both.

Prayer:
Father, we thank you that you sent Jesus. Help us always to trust that each day he gives us the forgiveness we need and rules all things for our good. Amen.

The Thursday and Friday devotions for the month of July focus on the Miracles of Jesus. For previous devotions in this series go here.

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-ThursdayDevotion

Is Jesus Sleeping in Your Boat? – July 21, 2016

That day when evening came, [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Mark 4:35-41

Is Jesus Sleeping in Your Boat?


Daily Devotion – July 21, 2016

Devotion based on Mark 4:35-41

See series: Devotions

The disciples supposed that Jesus did not care if they drowned! They did not trust his love for them, nor did they have faith in his power to control wind and wave. Jesus exposes their lack of faith, “Why are you so afraid?”

Jesus exposes our lack of faith with the same question, “Why are we so afraid?” Has Jesus left our “boat”? Do we think that he is sleeping through the problems and troubles of our lives? Do we think that he just doesn’t care? Do we think that he cannot stand up in the middle of danger and disaster and say, “Be calm and be still!” Think about hurricanes and tornadoes, floods and fires, wars and plagues, drought and disease. Even death! Do we think that he is uncaring and powerless to rescue us from everything that threatens us?

Yet there he is with his disciples in that boat on the lake in the middle of the storm. Only the man sleeping on a pillow in back of the boat actually believed that God would take care of him. Only the man sleeping in back of the boat knew the right time to stand. Only that man could speak words filled with such power that the sea became calm mid-crest and the winds stopped howling. Perfect calm!

Now in that boat on that lake right after the storm, the men believed that Jesus possessed infinite power, eternal might. He actually did control the wind and the waves!

This miracle helped the disciples learn the answer to the question, “Who is this Jesus?” “Even the wind and waves obey him.” This miracle displayed Jesus’ infinite power. This miracle teaches us how to respond to Jesus. We join the wind and waves in obeying his every word.

But this miracle also rebukes us when our weak faith wonders, “Does Jesus care?” This miracle demonstrates the boundless, limitless and infinite love of Jesus. The quieted winds and the calmed waves testify, “Yes, he cares for you!”

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, come and stand in our “boat.” Ride with us through the storms of life. Help us wait patiently when you seem to sleep. Help us worship joyfully when you rise to save. Amen.

The special devotions for Thursdays and Fridays this month focus on the Miracles of Jesus. For previous devotions in this series go here.

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-WednesdayDevotion

Don’t Laugh – July 20, 2016

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”
Genesis 18:9-14

Don’t Laugh


Daily Devotion – July 20, 2016

Devotion based on Genesis 18:9-14

See series: Devotions

Ah… good times in the school cafeteria. We always had to be on our guard. One of our friends was always watching, waiting for just the right moment when your mouth was full of juice or milk and you were just about to swallow. If he timed it right and picked just the right words, his outrageous statement just might result in a burst of laughter that would cause a mini explosion. The challenge was not to laugh. If you failed… well there would be a mess to clean up and possibly even a burning sensation in your nose.

The natural tendency of just about every human being is to laugh when they hear an outrageous statement. Think about it. When someone tells you something that is just too unbelievable to be true, isn’t your natural and almost immediate response to expel some air from your mouth or maybe even release a little laughter?

That’s what happened to Sarah, the nearly 90 year-old wife of Abraham. The “outrageous” statement she heard was that she would have her first child in about one year, and she laughed to herself. Her laughter didn’t result in a mess that needed to be cleaned up, but her doubt was rebuked. The statement she heard should not have been difficult to believe because the one who made it was the Lord himself.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Of course the answer is, “No.” Sarah got pregnant and bore a son just as the Lord stated.

There are things we hear from God that sound unbelievable, or too good to be true, but he is God. He doesn’t lie, and nothing is impossible for him.

God loves you and will always be with you. He will not allow more trouble than you can bear to enter into your life. Don’t laugh. It’s true.

Your sins, each and every one of them, have been forgiven by Jesus. Don’t laugh. It’s true.

Jesus defeated death. Through faith in him you too will rise to live forever with him. Don’t laugh. It’s true.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times when my initial response to your incredible promises is doubt. Grant me faith that my laughter may be the result of joy not unbelief. In Jesus’ name I ask it. 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-TuesdayDevotion

Struggling with Christ’s Energy – July 19, 2016

To this end I labor, struggling with all [Christ’s] energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Colossians 1:29

Struggling with Christ’s Energy


Daily Devotion – July 19, 2016

Devotion based on Colossians 1:29

See series: Devotions

“I just don’t have the energy to go on!” “I can’t do this anymore!” “I’m drained!” “This is exhausting!” Have you ever said anything like that? If you are a parent with young children, you probably have. If you are a parent with older children, you maybe have too. If you are a student working through a tough semester or class, perhaps you have thought those things. Constantly butting heads with a spouse or family member might lead you to say things like that. If you work at a job that demands you do more with less, you might have those feelings right now. If you are suffering with emotional or spiritual issues, your situation can seem bleak and desperate, beyond your ability to go on.

A 1st century man named Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, can relate. In a letter that he wrote to some Christians living in modern-day Turkey, he speaks of it. Paul worked very hard…preaching, teaching, and supporting himself through tentmaking. He engaged in constant spiritual combat…dealing with personal struggles, opposing enemies of the gospel message, admonishing and encouraging Christians in their walk of faith. He lived his life as a servant of Jesus…giving his life for a taxing and sometimes thankless ministry. He suffered in many ways…shipwrecks, beatings, and imprisonments.

How could he do it? How did he do it? He tells us. The energy he ran on was not his own. Paul relied on Christ and his energy. Paul labored and struggled with the power of Jesus. When Paul felt spiritually weak, he looked to Jesus for strength. When he felt drained because of past sin and failure, he found peace in the forgiveness of Jesus. When Paul grew spiritually tired, he rested in the arms of Jesus. When his labor seemed in vain, he found meaning in the promises of the risen Jesus. When Paul felt inadequate for his work, he looked for guidance in the words and wisdom of Jesus. Paul was an amazing man who did amazing things, but he tells us the secret of his life and ministry: “…I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

Do you sometimes feel spiritually, emotionally, or physically drained? Does life or any part of it seem to be a struggle? If so, do what Paul did. Find your motivation, strength, energy, and power in Jesus. Look to him and his Word. Fill up on his promises. Let him feed you with his Sacrament. Let him renew and refresh you with his assurances to be with you and uphold you. Speak with Christian pastors, family, and friends, all of whom he uses to remind you of him and his energy-giving gospel promises. Labor and struggle with the energy that comes from Jesus and be amazed at what he will do.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you know how tired I am. You know what a struggle some parts of my life are right now. You know how weak I feel to move forward and accomplish things. Lord, help me. Fill me with your gracious and comforting promises. Assure me of my place in your kingdom through your forgiveness. Help me to labor on in your name and with the energy you provide. In your saving name. 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

Only One Thing is Needed – July 18, 2016

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

Only One Thing is Needed


Daily Devotion – July 18, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 10:38-42

See series: Devotions

There’s so much to do, and there’s so little time. Are you a busy person? Even if you’re not, you’ve certainly come to realize that there are always plenty of things to worry about.

When Jesus visited the home of his friends Martha and Mary, we hear that Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. You can imagine, I’m sure, what that felt like. Jesus was not only their friend, but also their Lord and Savior. Wouldn’t you want everything to be just right for his visit? So Martha frantically tried to take care of all the business of cleaning and cooking and serving, but she did it to the point that she got distracted from the real point of Jesus’ visit.

There’s nothing against paying attention to many things. The problem is in the way we let those things fill our hearts with worry. Then we lash out at those around us as Martha did: “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” But we’re the ones with the problem. Whenever we set God aside as though we’re in charge of everything, we always learn the hard way that we can’t manage things as well as he can.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord said, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.”

Do you ever get worried or upset over many things? Do you ever get distracted from Jesus? Don’t be afraid. Jesus has never let himself get distracted from you. He went to his cross and suffered and died for you. He has covered all your sins. In a life where it seems like nothing is ever finished, the most important thing is. Jesus has paid for your sins. He said it himself from the cross: “It is finished.”

So find that Martha inside of you, the worrier who is full of anxiety, and tell her to take a hike. You have a Savior named Jesus. He has suffered and died and risen from the dead for you. He speaks to you in his Word. He’s the only thing you need.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, forgive my sins, calm my anxious heart, and lead me to trust you in all things. 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

Jesus’ Passionate Love for Us – July 17, 2016

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Mark 6:30-34

Jesus’ Passionate Love for Us


Daily Devotion – July 17, 2016

Devotion based on Mark 6:30-34

See series: Devotions

Jesus had a passion for people.

It was a passion for people that led him to share his message, “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15). He encouraged people to examine their lives to see the wrong they had done and to turn to the Lord for forgiveness. Jesus’ message also came with authority. Isaiah prophesied that the coming Messiah would accomplish many miracles (Isaiah 35:3-5). Jesus fulfilled that prophesy, proving he was the promised Savior, for the blind received their sight, the lame walked, those who had leprosy were cured and the good news was preached to the poor (Matthew 11:5). The people couldn’t seem to get enough of Jesus or his miracles.

It was a passion for people that moved Jesus to enlist the help of his apostles. They went throughout the countryside and shared Jesus’ message and performed miraculous signs as well. The work was becoming so overwhelming that Jesus tried to get his apostles some rest. They went by boat to a place on the far side of the Sea of Galilee, but the people even followed them there. Jesus was so moved by their desperation and misery, that he changed his plans. His passion for people who were lost in the darkness of sin and death moved him to give up his personal quiet time to lead them into the wonderful light of God’s forgiveness and life.

Jesus’ passion for people is most obvious on the cross of Calvary. It was there that Jesus suffered and died to pay for the sins of all people, people he so dearly loved…people like you and me. But Jesus didn’t just die for us. He also rose for us. Three short days after his death, Jesus walked out of his tomb and declared victory over sin and death forever. This victory is one that Jesus shares will all mankind.

Those who follow Christ continue to have a passion for people today. We are led to offer food to the hungry. We offer medical assistance throughout the world for those who are sick. When natural disasters strike, we share the gifts God has given us with those who are hurting from loss. But we are most passionate about sharing Jesus’ good news of forgiveness. This good news not only brings comfort in this life, but a promise of eternal life with God in heaven.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, please help me to recognize Jesus’ passionate love for me. Help me to trust his certain promises. Send the Holy Spirit so that I may follow him in my life. 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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Beautiful People – July 16, 2016

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.”
Jeremiah 23:5-6

Beautiful People


Daily Devotion – July 16, 2016

Devotion based on Jeremiah 23:5-6

See series: Devotions

In the days of Jeremiah the prophet, about 600 years before the birth of Christ, many people of God’s chosen nation had turned away from God into unbelief. They followed false teachers and bad leaders that led them into idolatry. However, there were some people who remained faithful to the true God. Through Jeremiah, God promised that he would gather all his faithful ones and bless them.

The Lord announced that glorious time: “The days are coming when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” With the word “branch,” God wants us to think of a shoot or sprout which grows out of a dying stump or from the ground where a tree stump is decaying. With this imagery, God pointed to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. His roots or ancestry were from the line of David. But by the time of his arrival, the grandeur of the Davidic kingdom had died and decayed under David’s godless successors. The Messiah, however, came to reestablish the glory of David’s throne, although not in the same way as before. Jesus Christ is a King, but his kingdom is new and different. His is a spiritual kingdom where he graciously rules in the hearts of people by faith.

God cares for his people and he saves them. He sent Jesus to do what is “just and right in the land.” In contrast to the people who rejected God and lived in disobedience to his will, Jesus lived in perfect obedience to the will of God and was guiltless of any sin. He lived this way for our benefit. God charged the perfect righteousness of his Son to us. He is: THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Covered with the purity of Jesus Christ, we are beautiful people in God’s eyes and blessed by faith in Jesus to be members of his glorious, eternal kingdom.

Prayer:
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 376):
Jesus, your blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Mid flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head. 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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Don’t Cry – July 15, 2016

Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
Luke 7:11-17

Don’t Cry


Daily Devotion – July 15, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 7:11-17

See series: Devotions

“Don’t cry.” Can you think of a time when you have heard those words? It was probably at a time when you had every reason to cry.

“Don’t cry.” Jesus spoke these words to a widow who had every reason to cry. She had lost her husband. He was not only the love of her life, he was also someone who cared and provided for her. Then it was her son. As it often happens, he had probably stepped up after his father died and been a huge source of support and comfort for his grieving mother. But now, he too was being carried out of the city in a sad procession.

“When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” These words weren’t so much a command as a promise. “Don’t cry, because I am here to help.” Jesus placed his hand on the coffin and everyone stood still. Then, surprisingly, he spoke to the young man, as if he weren’t dead. “Young man, I say to you, get up!” Everyone knew that this young dead man didn’t have the power to get up. His pulse had long been gone. His heart hadn’t pumped blood through his veins for hours, maybe days. His lungs were deflated, his pupils weren’t adjusting to changing light, and the neurons in his brain had been shut down—he was dead. But when Jesus spoke, the young man sat up and began to talk!

The people knew what this meant: “God has come to help his people.” Jesus is God. The power that he displayed on that day in Nain would be exhibited for all to see when he himself rose from the dead. The sinless Son of God has power over death! Later Jesus would comfort his friend Martha saying, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25).

Every day is one day closer to death. As you think about your own death, or when you feel the painful emptiness and loneliness that comes from losing a loved one, remember the power of Jesus. Remember his power over death, and his promise that he will raise from the dead all those who trust in him and give them eternal life. Remember his words to the widow of Nain and hear his voice saying, “Don’t Cry.”

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, you alone have power over death because of your death and resurrection. Even though I may grieve here on earth, help me to remember your power and fill my heart with hope. Amen.

This month the devotions for Thursdays and Fridays will focus on the Miracles of Jesus. For previous devotions in this series, go here.

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.