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Always with Me – August 30, 2016

Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:1-8

Always with Me


Daily Devotion – August 30, 2016

Devotion based on Hebrews 13:1-8

See series: Devotions

A father went with his daughter 2,000 miles away from home for her first year of college. Before they said their good-byes, he felt compelled to write a little note that he could slip in her desk that would encourage her after he left. But what was he to write? How could he sum up what he had spent 18 years trying to teach and model for her? A short note hardly seemed enough to capture all his thoughts and emotions. After a few moments of reflection, he wrote that he was proud of her, that she was ready for the new challenges ahead of her, and that he loved her.

The writer of the book of Hebrews was in a similar difficult situation as he penned the closing words of his letter. He spent 12 chapters with his audience sharing the life and eternity-changing truths about Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus also shared our humanity. And with his perfect life and innocent death, Jesus forgave our sins and broke the power of devil. Jesus spoke the truth and encourages his children, like you and me, to live according to it in thanks and love. It is through faith in Jesus that God’s children throughout history faced the challenges of living in an imperfect world.

Finally, in chapter 13, the writer left his audience with some concluding remarks. He summarizes the first thought by saying. “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” These words suggest that they were already doing many of these things. Included on the list is showing hospitality and giving help to anyone in need. Today there is no shortage of opportunities to show Christ’s love to those who are hurting or in need. We will want to keep our eyes open for opportunities to help and then act in love toward those in need.

God’s children also have reason to be content. After all, we have the promise that God is with us at all times. This truth will help us as we fight sexual temptation in the same way that people fought it 2,000 year ago. We will also be on guard against the trap of greed. We have been given the gifts of love and forgiveness from God. The storerooms of heaven stand open for us. What treasure from this world could ever compare to that?

Finally, the author takes us back to Jesus. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” As we recount the faithfulness of God throughout history, we have every reason to believe that his promises remain true for eternity. Jesus does not change. His promises do not change. His future with us and his love for us is certain.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, I know that you are with me at all times. Continue to guide my heart and give me the strength to live in love. Thank you for always being my God whom I can trust completely. 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

Put in My Place – August 29, 2016

When [Jesus] noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited…But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’…For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14:7-8,10-11

Put in My Place


Daily Devotion – August 29, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 14:7-8,10-11

See series: Devotions

Years ago, attending a national conference, I was pleased to sit by a classmate and friend. Each of us had raised our hand several times and offered input. When, once again, we had a hand in the air, suddenly from behind we felt a hand on our shoulders. We heard the firm voice of a much older man who said, “We’ve heard enough from you young fellas for one day.”

I think of that experience when reading today’s parable. It made a real impression, but did not always bear abundant fruit. True humility is not a simple matter.

False modesty is not true humility, but often is a “fishing expedition,” angling for a compliment. However, denying obvious abilities and declining to serve, saying, “I could never do that,” is not true humility either. True humility requires brutal honestly and a totally accurate giving of credit.

As Jesus taught in another parable, true humility begins: “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). True humility echoes a former persecutor of Christians who became a foremost missionary: “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). True humility finds its foundation only at the cross of Christ. True humility is the on-going exercise of a maturing Christian faith, which leads us to Jesus’ conclusion: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The proud and arrogant will be put in their place when Jesus comes, and repentant believers in him will be put in their place. Jesus promises: “Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2).

Prayer:
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 397):
Just as I am without one plea but that thy blood was shed for me…O (Jesus) Lamb of God, I come.

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

Hold on to What is Valuable – August 28, 2016

“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”
Mark 7:8

Hold on to What is Valuable


Daily Devotion – August 28, 2016

Devotion based on Mark 7:8

See series: Devotions

Peter was overcome with emotion as he walked into his grandmother’s living room. It was a museum of pictures and collectibles. Each one had a story. Each one was precious in its own way. Peter, unfortunately, didn’t have the time to savor the sweetness of their memories. He had to clear out the house and prepare it for sale.

As soon as he started with the kitchen and the closets, his sentimental journey came to an abrupt end. Not only did his grandmother save precious items, she also saved everything else. Paper and plastic bags were tucked into every corner. There were old coffee tins and plastic containers filling every cabinet shelf. There were even old toasters and coffee pots set aside because they were considered too good to throw out. Peter’s fond memories of his grandmother’s home were replaced with frustration and one nagging question. “Why did she keep all this stuff?”

Like Peter’s grandmother I too have the tendency to hold on to many things. Some are valuable. Some are sentimental. Some are worthless. I need to be careful so I can identify which is which, and then hold on to what is valuable.
This is especially true with the Word of my Lord. Jesus opens my eyes to the danger I daily face. It is easy to hold on to what I think is important. In the end, an alarming conclusion confronts me. I have held on to things which have no value. At that moment I also realize I have relinquished my hold on what has eternal value.

Jesus’ lesson is clear. I can never allow the decisions of my sinful flesh to cause me to lose my hold on what God has given me in his love. I need to understand my flesh is influenced by the deceptions of the devil and the whims of the world. I also need to understand if I lose my hold on what God has given me, I lose everything. I lose the peace he offers my sin-burdened conscience. I lose the comfort he provides for my guilt-wearied soul. I lose the strength he gives to meet every challenge and temptation.

This is why Jesus was so direct in his admonition. I need to be aware of the dangers I face when I allow my Savior’s rich treasures to be replaced by the empty possessions of this world. I need to listen to that admonition, and I need to hold on to what is valuable.

Prayer:
Jesus, instill in me a love for you and your Word that I may always value you as my priceless treasure. 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

Too Strict? – August 27, 2016

Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. … Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
Deuteronomy 4:1, 2, 6

Too Strict?


Daily Devotion – August 27, 2016

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 4:1, 2, 6

See series: Devotions

“Your parents sure are strict,” I remember hearing often as a child. My parents had simple rules: If they told me to do something, I should do it. If they told me not to do something, then I shouldn’t. Looking back, I don’t know if I’d classify them as strict. I think my parents simply had expectations.

Yet, I was resentful of those expectations sometimes. My parents’ expectations seemed to limit my fun. It was hard for me as a child to see that my parents always had my best interests in mind. It was hard to see the wisdom in their expectations.

“Your God sure is strict! Look at all those rules you have to follow! Look at all the fun that your God takes away!” We’re tempted to look at God’s law that way sometimes, aren’t we? We are tempted to subtract those parts of God’s Word that are unpopular or counter culture. Satan whispers in our ears, “God is restricting your freedom with all these laws!” Except, just the opposite is true.

In the Word of God for today, we read, “Follow them so that you may live.” Except we can’t follow them perfectly! That’s why God sent his Son, Jesus, to keep all of his commands. Jesus kept them perfectly for us. He came so we can have life, life to the full. Just sit back and think for a minute: When has God ever done anything that wasn’t ultimately for your good? Every command God gives us, even the ones that are unpopular for many people, are for our good. Following those commands doesn’t restrict our freedom, it shows our wisdom. Following all of God’s commands is a way to say “thank you” to God for all his blessings.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us life by offering the life of your Son, Jesus, in our place. Help us live according to all of your commands which we know are for our 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

The Greatest Miracle – August 26, 2016

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
Luke 24:5-6

The Greatest Miracle


Daily Devotion – August 26, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 24:5-6

See series: Devotions

In the early hours of the morning, the women came to the tomb of Jesus. They were like weary travelers looking for a place to stop and rest. But it was rest for their souls that they longed for. The one thing they needed more than anything else, the hope of salvation in the promised Messiah, must have seemed to them simply unobtainable. They had witnessed Jesus’ enemies crushing the life out of him. With his death, their hopes in him had also been crushed. So as they prepared to visit Jesus’ grave on that Sunday an open, empty tomb is not what the women expected to see.

However, they were met by heavenly receptionists–angels of heaven who brought them the news: “He is not here; he has risen.” Those weary and astonished women who had come to the tomb expecting to find it sealed with the dead body of Jesus inside, instead found that it was open and that Jesus was no longer there.

Jesus performed many miracles during his ministry here on earth. The Bible records some of them in detail: who Jesus healed, what Jesus said, and how the miracle affected people. There are other verses in the Bible which state in general that Jesus performed miracles for masses of people. But of all the miracles that Jesus did, the greatest is the one he did to himself–he came out of his tomb alive!

This miracle of miracles is vital for us. Like those women, we come to the empty tomb where God beckons us—the weary, the lost, the frustrated, the discouraged, all who are searching for shelter from the storms and trials of this earth. The open tomb is our assurance that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. By the open tomb of Jesus, God says to us that he has accepted the sacrifice Jesus offered on the cross to pay for all of our sins. The open tomb testifies that Jesus is our Savior.

The open tomb is Jesus’ greatest miracle, and most meaningful for us!

Prayer:
Living Lord Jesus, your open tomb is the miracle that assures me that you are my Savior from sin. Fill my heart with the confidence that your ultimate power over death is also the great miracle that you will perform for me. Amen.

Devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in August 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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Healing for the Hurting – August 25, 2016

One of [Jesus’ followers] struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Luke 22:50-51

Healing for the Hurting


Daily Devotion – August 25, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 22:50-51

See series: Devotions

They had made up their minds about him. They had decided that he was only a man–not true God. They judged his big, bold claims about himself as lies, labeled him a fraud, and concluded Jesus was a bad man.

What in your life has whispered in your ear that God is not as good or powerful or wise as he claims? A broken, hungry, violent world? A crushed heart? Shattered dreams? Often, what we see and feel seems to be shouting in the world and whispering to our hearts that Jesus is not good, or perhaps not God.

When Jesus’ enemies came to arrest him, one of Jesus’ close friends swung a sword and cut off a man’s ear. Jesus reached out and did what none of them could do. With a loving, gentle touch, he healed the ear of the man who came to arrest him. They came to kill. Jesus healed.

Jesus helped those who were looking to hurt and kill him. Jesus is a good man. Jesus miraculously healed the man’s ear. Jesus is much more than just a man. Jesus is true God. Jesus showed that he was exactly who he claimed to be–the perfect Son of God. Jesus can be trusted.

God allows bad stuff into your life. The car breaks down, your job disappears, health is lost, or a relationship crumbles. Since he is good and he is God, what kinds of hurts can Jesus heal for you? He can heal any of your hurts, but this side of heaven he has not promised to heal all of your hurts. Sometimes he heals the problem. Sometimes he heals your heart. Sometimes he holds your hand and heart until he brings you home to heaven.

Jesus does promise healing now. Through the forgiveness he freely gives you, Jesus heals your relationship with God and gives peace to your heart. And, Jesus promises that one day those who trust in him will be given a home free from pain, sorrow and suffering. Jesus will give you complete and perfect healing of body, mind, heart and soul forever in heaven.

Trust Jesus. He is good. He is your God.

Prayer:
(Christian Worship – A Lutheran Hymnal: 446):

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus, Trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation, Free and true.

I am trusting you to guide me; You alone shall lead,
Ev’ry day and hour supplying All my need.

Devotions on 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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The Future – August 24, 2016

“I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations…and to the islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 66:18-20

The Future


Daily Devotion – August 24, 2016

Devotion based on Isaiah 66:18-20

See series: Devotions

Imagine if you were to go back in time to the year 1900 and you were asked to describe the future, it would be a challenge to describe advancements that would seem inconceivable to the people of that day. How far do you think you would get explaining a microwave oven or a cell phone? Would they be able to wrap their minds around air travel and a trip from London to New York City that would take under 7 hours? Imagine the looks on their faces when you explained a man landing on the moon!

This is the type of challenge Isaiah faced as he was sharing God’s plan for the future. It was almost impossible for the people to grasp what God had in store for them. The people of Isaiah’s time were about to go through one of the darkest times in their nation’s history. The prophet Isaiah warned the people that God was about to send them into captivity as a result of their repeated rebellious and sinful behavior. Their future seemed bleak at best.

As Isaiah closed his book of warnings and judgment, he offered hope. He pointed to a bright future that didn’t seem possible. God would disperse his people to the different nations of the world just as he warned, but this act of judgment would bring about an unexpected positive result. As God’s people went out into the world, he would use them to share his glory with all people.

Isaiah paints a picture of the return of the people that would be spectacular. The people left in disgrace—in chains, but they would return in triumph with wagons and chariots and animals and wealth. God would bless his people beyond their wildest expectations.

God also has blessing for you beyond what you can imagine. Even today it is a challenge to describe God’s glory. How can we as mortal people comprehend an enduring future that lasts for an eternity? Even now I struggle to put into words God’s great love for you. The best I can do is to point you to the cross of Jesus. It is there that God showed his ultimate love by securing your future with him.

Looking into the future and completely understanding what God has in store for us is impossible. But as we take time to meditate on his Word, he grows our faith and understanding of what he has done for us. One thing we can know for sure is that our future with God is bright. May this give you hope as you face the difficulties of each new day with confidence.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, show me your glory. Help me continue to grow in understanding of your love for me and your will for my life. Thank you for letting me look to the future with confidence. 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

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.
842x474-Custom-Post-MondayDevotion

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.
842x474-Custom-Post-SundayDevotion

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.
842x474-Custom-Post-SaturdayDevotion

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.
842x474-Custom-Post-FridayDevotion

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

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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.

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