House Rules – May 21, 2019

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

House Rules


Daily Devotion – May 21, 2019

Devotion based on John 13:34

See series: Devotions

Every house needs house rules: a set of agreed upon rules for how people living in the house behave. For example, many families adopt the rule: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Jesus gives us the main house rule for living in his family of faith: “Love one another.” A simple rule. A good rule. It isn’t a complex set of instructions or a complicated flowchart to follow. It simply commands believers: love one another.

If only it were that simple. If only we could just hear Jesus say it, and then do it. If only our hearts and lives would simply be governed by love. If only we would lay ourselves down for each other. Unfortunately, we often love ourselves more than we love one another.

But thankfully, Jesus has broken the power of selfishness and self-centeredness. Jesus lovingly put thoughts of self aside and laid down his life for our benefit. Jesus took all our sin and guilt on himself and removed it forever when he went to the cross.

Imagine that! There is someone whose entire reason for living was to benefit you! To help you! To save you! There is someone that loves you and cares about you even more than you love or care about yourself!

With your sin and guilt taken care of, you are free to focus on loving others. You are free to love others as Jesus loves you. You are free to follow Jesus’ house rule: Love one another.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, set me free from my sinful self-love and self-centered attitudes. By your selfless love in your life and death, forgive me and help me to trust you for all my needs. Move me to focus on lovingly filling the needs of 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Jesus, Our Peace – Week of May 20, 2019

Jesus, Our Peace – Week of May 20, 2019


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27



As most of the children settle on their mats or cots and drift off to sleep, you sit quietly rubbing the back of a little one. She is new to your center and is having trouble adjusting to being in a new place with new caregivers. You quietly assure her that you are there, Jesus is with her, and that all will be ok.

You turn your head toward the nightstand. It’s 2:45 am and restful sleep still has not come. Your mind whirls with things to do and worry about a family concern increases as each minute ticks by. You know that sleep will help you handle the day, but it won’t come.

It’s likely that both scenarios have a ring of familiarity. As you serve the young children in your care, you often have opportunity to reassure them that Jesus is always with them, Jesus loves them, Jesus is watching over them. And then come our own stresses: a to-do list longer than the day, a parent who is unhappy, bills (for the ministry or personal) that are larger than the budget, guilt over any number of things. We can be so comforting and encouraging to the children and to each other. But taking those reassurances to heart – for ourselves – can be entirely different. We know the truth of those comforting words we share. But how well do we apply them to ourselves?

The words of our Bible verse today were spoken by Jesus to his disciples. He had explained to them that he would soon be leaving them. You can imagine their anxiety level. Imagine Jesus’ calm voice in these words: I’m giving you a peace that is beyond any peace the world has to offer. It is a peace from your sin. It is a peace in knowing that I am with you always. It is a peace that knows that I will take you with me to heaven.

We have peace from guilt; our sins are paid for. We have peace that defeats worry and fear. No matter how difficult the situation, Jesus is with us through it all. No matter how difficult our earthly life, we will be with him in heaven for eternity. This peace is one that we’ll never find in the world but always find in Jesus, our peace. As those concerns and worries keep eating at our sleep, we can pray the simple hymn that we teach our little ones. Rest well in Jesus’ peace.



Prayer:
Now the light has gone away; Father, listen while I pray,
Asking you to watch and keep and to send me quiet sleep. Amen
Christian Worship 593:1



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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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Sixth Sunday of Easter

The Risen One Promises Us Unique Peace

These are the readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

God’s Word for This Week

In today’s lessons we hear about peace between us and God. How can rebels find peace with their holy Lord and judge? Not at all by their deserving it, but by his declaring it. God’s peace is so profound and his willingness to receive us as his children so sincere, that Jesus even assures us that he and his Father will come to us and make their home within us.

Traditional First Lesson – Acts 14:8-18

Two miracles occurred in Lystra. One was clear to all. The other was observable to Paul. What were the two miracles?

The obvious miracle was the physical healing of the crippled man. At the command of Paul, he jumped up and began to walk. The other miracle was what occurred first. The Holy Spirit worked a profound change in this man’s heart. Paul shared the gospel and then saw this man had faith to be healed.

What was the crowd’s response to the apostles’ message?

The crowds wanted to sacrifice to them. Paul and Barnabas told the people listening they were mere men. They pointed the people to Christ. Yet, the people of Lystra had difficulty accepting the apostles’ explanation. They had convinced themselves that Paul and Barnabas were gods.

Supplemental First Lesson – 2 Kings 6:15-17

Why didn’t Elisha’s servant have peace?

Elisha’s servant had no peace one morning when he awoke to discover the city of Dothan, in which he and Elisha had spent the night, surrounded by an army of horses and chariots sent to capture Elisha.

The army had come to capture Elisha. What was ironic about the way Elisha’s servant reacted, compared to the way Elisha reacted?

The irony was that Elisha was the one the army wanted; he was not afraid. The army was not after Elisha’s servant, yet he was afraid. (How often we are like that servant, fearfully lacking peace for the wrong reasons.)

According to this story, what is one reason God’s servants can have true peace?

God’s servants can have his true peace because no matter what army threatens us and surrounds us, many more holy angels surround us. The fast, fiery angels on our side far outnumber our enemies.

Traditional Second Lesson – Revelation 21:10-14, 22, 23

Some people are waiting for the New Jerusalem to be built on earth. Is John describing this when he gives such exact details of the Holy City?

Although the details are exact, John is not describing an earthly city. He is describing heaven which God the Father is preparing for us. The detailed description with the beautiful symmetry is highly figurative. It is meant to paint a picture of the safety, beauty, and perfection of heaven.

How does John describe being in God’s presence?

When we join the saints in heaven, we will bask in the never-ending light of God’s glory. The glorious love God showed sinners by sending his Son will illumine us forever. What we receive now intermittently through Word and Sacrament we will enjoy eternally in heaven.

Supplemental Second Lesson – Revelation 3:14-22

As he wrote to a lukewarm, self-satisfied congregation and to their pastor, how did Jesus describe himself?

Jesus described himself as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.” What peace we can have, knowing that he will keep his word and that he rules over all things! How we should fear to disregard his Word!

Does our peace consist in knowing that Jesus is harmless and cuddly?

Our peace does not consist in Jesus being harmless and cuddly. Jesus is our best friend. Since he is, he rebukes and disciplines all he loves. He insists we get serious and repent.

Gospel – John 14:23-29

How will the triune God make his home with believers?

The triune God makes his home with believers through the Word. The Spirit, sent from God, works through the Word. Believers demonstrate that God is dwelling in them by being faithful to God’s Word and putting that Word into practice in their lives.

What is the “peace” that Jesus gives?

The peace Jesus gives differs from what the world gives. The world’s peace consists of words and feelings with no eternal value. Jesus gives us the peace he won for all mankind. This peace makes us at one with God. It calms a troubled heart and a guilty conscience. Jesus gives us a peace where we can find true rest, now and forever, for we have no more war with our Maker.

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The House That Love Built – May 20, 2019

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

The House That Love Built


Daily Devotion – May 20, 2019

Devotion based on John 13:34

See series: Devotions

When I was younger, I remember visiting McDonald’s and seeing a little plastic coin bin on the counter. It said, “The house that love built.” The coins would go to support the Ronald McDonald house. Love for those people, in the form of coins given, built a house for those young cancer patients and their families to stay in during treatments.

It’s not hard to love cancer patients and their families. Those are clearly people who need love, help, and support. But what about people who aren’t so lovable? What about us? We like to think of ourselves as pretty lovable. But truth be told, we do not love God as he commands. And, we do not love others as ourselves. Because of our sinful attitudes and actions, we are neither loving nor lovable.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We are the recipients of something better than coins. We get to live in the house that love built—not a physical building, but a spiritual home where we live by faith. When we were lost in sin, Jesus found us and brought us home. When we were in trouble with God, Jesus took our sins away and forgave us. When we were dead in sin, Jesus loved us, welcomed us into his family, and gave us a loving home.

Now, Jesus tells us, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Remembering Jesus’ sacrifice for you, sacrifice your own wishes and desires in order to love and serve those around you today. It will show the world that, thanks to Jesus, you live in the spiritual house that love built.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for your rich, selfless love. You loved me when I was unlovable. You gave me a loving home, where I have forgiveness from you. Teach me to love as you have loved me. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Victory – May 19, 2019

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:3-5

The Victory


Daily Devotion – May 19, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 21:3-5

See series: Devotions

Individuals with dark hearts set off explosions that kill, maim, and injure dozens of people. Flooding destroys farmland and cripples a local economy. A distracted driver loses control and runs down a young student. Sometimes it seems that everywhere we turn we find destruction and heartache in our world.

What a beautiful comfort it is to know that one day that will all change. One day our all-powerful and living Savior will make everything new.

Right now, sin, death, and the devil have a firm hold on this world. We see the effects of their devastating attacks all around us. The war is fierce, and at times it certainly seems as though evil is winning. In the end, however, Jesus is victorious.

In fact, the victory has already been won. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, Satan’s power to accuse and condemn us was destroyed. His accusations are empty because our sin has been removed by the blood of Jesus. When he rose from the grave, he destroyed the power of death.

In the end, the victory Jesus won will be fully experienced by all who believe in him. In heaven, all of the evils of this world will not even be a distant memory—they will be gone forever.

We can persevere through all the hardships of this world with our eyes focused on Jesus. He has won the victory for us, and one day, he will make everything new.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, lift my eyes from the pain of this world to see the victory you have won for me. Help me to look forward with eager anticipation to the glory of my heavenly home where everything will be made new. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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And Peter – May 19, 2019

And Peter – May 18, 2019


“But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
Mark 16:7




Military Devotion – May 19, 2019

Devotion based on Mark 16:7

See series: Military Devotions

To be rejected by society is disappointing. By friends, disheartening. By God, disastrous.

Worse if the rejection is our fault. Heart-rending if there is no forgiveness.

The aftermath of Easter held a jumble of conflicting emotions. At first, grief gave way to confusion. Then joy and relief grew as evidence of the resurrection grew. Yet for many there was an uneasy undercurrent. Many of the chosen 12 looked back on recent days with shame. Shame led to guilt.

Except for John, all had abandoned their master in his hour of need. Their reputation was in shambles. One of their number had killed himself after selling Jesus out. The most outspoken of them, the one who had bragged the most about his faithfulness, had wilted before a servant girl, backing up his denial of knowing Jesus with curses.

That was Peter.

Peter knew that Jesus knew. Jesus had warned him in advance. The crowing of the rooster was the alarm. With one look, Jesus had convicted him on the spot. No wonder he broke into bitter tears. No wonder that in the joy and wonder of Easter he wondered if he was now rejected.

Was he still loved by Jesus? Was he still a disciple? Was he forgiven?

An angel at the empty grave provided the answer. Jesus was alive and would meet his disciples in Galilee. Then came the words of special comfort and assurance for the grieving sinner.

“And Peter.”

The wonder of the holy Lord God lies in his power, his knowledge, and his love. Of the billions of people on this planet at any given time, he knows each one—numbers the hairs on their heads and reads the thoughts of their most inner hearts.

He knows our shame. He sees our guilt. But he does not abandon those who count him as their Savior.

The account of the life of the apostle Peter is important for us. By looking closely at him, we learn something important about ourselves. By looking at him, we learn something important about our Lord.

We learn of our weakness and guilt. We learn of his mercy and love.

Judas despaired. He concluded there could be no forgiveness for him. Peter repented. He came to the grave of his crucified Lord. In spite of the danger, he stayed among those known to be followers of the prophet from Galilee. Faith overcame fear.

Later on, Jesus would take formal steps to recognize Peter’s position as special among his followers. He would grant Peter the privilege of serving in his kingdom: “Feed my sheep!”

It was Satan who had caused the doubt in Peter’s heart. It was a guilty conscience that had declared, “You cannot be forgiven.” It was the word of Jesus that threw that judgment out.

Usually, we are more like Peter in his weakness than in his strength. Sometimes, nagging guilt can also make us wonder if we have forfeited our place in the kingdom of God. At times, we worry that Jesus might have forgotten us. Worse yet, rejected us.

As with Peter, Jesus knew in advance that days of doubt would come to us too. That is why, just before he was arrested, he instituted Holy Communion. Our doubts are answered with the offering of his body and blood, “Given for you. Shed for you.” “For you.”

He died to cover all sins, even the worst ones. Forgiveness is offered to everyone.

“And Peter.”

And Paul.



Prayer: Risen and glorified Lord Jesus, let the dawn of Easter morning shine yet into our hearts to remove all doubt and fear. You have not forgotten us. You have not forsaken us. Your death signed our life certificate. Your resurrection sealed our place alongside of you in glory. Amen.



Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida.

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. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.


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Transformed – teen devotion – May 19, 2019

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:21-28

The final stomp

In the 2007 movie “Stomp the Yard,” a troubled teen tries to bring his own unique style of dance and interpretation to school. He wants to leave an impression on his peers and a special girl.

Jesus brought a new message of love and victory to a troubled class of sinners. Jesus stomped the yard in a way that had never been witnessed before. He left no doubt that all powers and authorities are squarely under his feet, especially Satan and the sway of death. Death held us hostage because of our mistakes. Which ones? All of them. Every bad choice or desire. It doesn’t matter how big or small, intended or accidental. Jesus realized the everlasting effects of our sin. So he literally stomped out the power of death by his death! In its place, our Savior lays claim to our lives and now wields lasting power over our long-term destination.

Death died a violent death as Christ secured his claim to victory on the cross. Death has been pushed off to the side margins of our personal diaries, and a new entry now appears as “Life Eternal in Heaven.” You can now stomp the yard with your own personal victory dance because of Christ’s victory.

 

Prayer: Lord of our personal destinies, you alone have charted our personal passport for eternal life. You have given us a face and a name through our conception and births. You have stamped our destination of heaven with your personal sacrificial blood. As we approach the customs gate of heaven, we have full confidence that you will accept us because of our faith and trust in your eternal sacrifice and your love for us. Amen.


TeenCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Youth and Family Ministry.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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God Knows Who You Are – May 18, 2019

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:27,28

God Knows Who You Are


Daily Devotion – May 18, 2019

Devotion based on John 10:27,28

See series: Devotions

If you have ever had to be picked up from an airport or train station, you know that weird feeling as you walk out of the terminal into the crowd of people who are all there waiting for someone. You quickly scan the room as you search for the person who knows you. You are counting on them being there and so, for a moment, you hope that they didn’t forget, got stuck in traffic, or just didn’t show up. And there is a feeling of relief and joy when you finally make eye contact with the one person in the crowd who knows you, who is there to pick you up, and take you where you need to go.

It is easy to look at the crowds of people who make up our life and wonder, does anyone know us? Sometimes it seems that even our own close friends don’t know us, and our own family doesn’t understand us.

The good news is that as we look through the crowds of this life, we see one person who does know us—Jesus Christ. He knows who we are, and he knows our fears. He knows our strengths, and he knows our sins. He knows our past, and he knows our future.

The really good news is that, even though he knows us, he still loves us. Jesus laid down his life for us that we may have eternal life. He died and lives again to show us the full extent of his love for us. He invites us to hear his voice and to follow him.

The best part is that he has a plan to pick you up and take you where you need to go. He promises that no one will snatch you out of his hand and you will have an eternal life that will never perish.

Jesus knows you and he will take you home.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for your Son Jesus who knows me, who saved me, and who gives me eternal life. Give me faith and confidence in Jesus and help me to hear his voice and to follow him. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Lamb is My Shepherd – May 17, 2019

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Revelation 7:17

The Lamb is My Shepherd


Daily Devotion – May 17, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:17

See series: Devotions

The headlines on Easter Sunday were a harsh reminder of life in this sinful world.

Half a world away, in Sri Lanka, over 300 people died or were injured by bombs detonated by an extremist Islamic group. Moments before the blasts, the Sunday school children of Zion Church in Batticaloa all professed their undying faith in Jesus Christ.

On the same day, newspapers ran an article about the death of the Christian faith. According to a recent poll, church membership in the United States has hit an all-time low.

Do such stories surprise us? As the psalmist says, even the best of our days is struggle and sorrow. We have all had our hearts broken or our dreams shattered. It’s a good reminder for us not to build our hopes on them.

Don’t dream about what your life on earth could be; and don’t despair of what it isn’t. Put your hope in the Lamb and focus on where he is leading you. Look at the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He went uncomplaining forth to death to open the way to eternal life. In view of the joy set before him, he endured the cross, disregarded its shame, and sat down on God’s throne.

From there, the Lamb shepherds us through death to life. He leads us to the living water of Word and sacrament and invites us to drink deeply. He connects us to his death and resurrection in baptism’s water so we too may live. He gives us forgiveness in the Lord’s Supper to assure us that we shall not perish but have eternal life.

This life will inevitably bring broken hearts and shattered dreams. But because the Lamb is your Shepherd, you can leave your water bottles and tissue boxes here on earth. He is leading you to a paradise where sin and all its problems are a thing of the past.

Prayer:
Christ be my Savior in calm as in strife; death cannot hold me, for he is the life. Nor darkness nor doubting nor sin and its stain can touch my salvation: with Jesus I reign. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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What Heaven Is Not – May 16, 2019

Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.”
Revelation 7:15,16

What Heaven Is Not


Daily Devotion – May 16, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:15,16

See series: Devotions

In 2010, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Alex Malarkey became a best-selling book. Malarkey later disavowed his work, admitting that his heavenly experience was a lie.

Despite the story’s fiction, such books remain popular. People want assurance that there is something more, something better after they die. In the last 20 years, a handful of books have been written on people’s personal afterlife experiences. However, you need only trust one account of heaven—the Bible’s.

In the New Testament, two witnesses of heaven testify to its reality. The apostles, Paul and John, were blessed to see it for themselves. Interestingly, Paul who wrote so much of the New Testament, could only say that heaven was beyond words. And John mostly tells us what heaven is not, rather than what heaven is.

If all we know is an earthly existence affected by sin in every way, how else do you describe an eternity without it?

On earth, sin causes us to separate ourselves from each other. We are suspicious of those who live beyond our borders, who speak other languages, and have a different skin color. In heaven, those dividing walls don’t exist. God brings together a multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language.

The world is filled with sinful rebels. We do what we want and say what we want to get what we want. In heaven, selfishness doesn’t exist. God changes hearts so that every desire is to do his will, day and night.

On earth, we cannot stop the devastation of nature. Fire, water, wind, and earth continue to destroy lives. In heaven, God has put an end to hunger, thirst, and natural disaster.

Look past your differences, your selfishness, and those who scheme against you. Look past the problems of this world that you cannot control.

Look up and see the Lamb, who is seated on his throne.

Prayer:
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world. Have mercy on me and bring me at last to my heavenly home. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Blanched in Blood – May 15, 2019

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:13-15a

Blanched in Blood


Daily Devotion – May 15, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:13-15a

See series: Devotions

At first, we thought it was pink-eye. But the medication that the vet provided didn’t help. Our pet’s condition worsened. We took her back to the clinic. She had an ulcer on her eye. More medication. More time. There was no improvement.

We returned to the clinic. The only option was surgery. If we did nothing, she could die. We scheduled the procedure for a week’s time. Meanwhile, the vet gave us a new medication. A serum that she had made from our pet’s blood. We were to put it on the ulcer three times a day.

Seven days later, I took her in for the surgery. Three hours had passed when we received a phone call. It was the surgeon. “I’m not sure how this is possible,” he said, “but your dog’s eye is fine. I have no need to perform the procedure.” The ulcer was gone. Cleansed by the blood.

By nature, we are all born with a spiritual ulcer—sin. It makes us blind to the God of salvation. It makes us hostile to the God of love. It makes us dead before the God of the living. Nothing in this world can provide an adequate remedy. There is nothing we can do. All our scrubbing, all our striving cannot get rid of the stain of sin. We may try, but the result is always the same—death.

But we are not without hope. John’s vision of heaven shows us that there is another way. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His blood has the power to purify us. His blood alone undoes the damage and heals the disease of sin.

Whatever your troubles, whatever your trials, whatever your temptations here on earth, trust in Jesus. Heaven is filled with those who have overcome because they have been washed in his blood.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I have sinned against you. Forgive me, cleanse me from all guilt, and deliver through all tribulation by the blood of your beloved Son, 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Glory to God – May 14, 2019

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
Revelation 7:11,12

Glory to God


Daily Devotion – May 14, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:11,12

See series: Devotions

“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” English poet, Alexander Pope, penned that phrase in his poem, An Essay on Criticism. Since 1711, it has been reused by the likes of President Abraham Lincoln, Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, Indian social reformer B. R. Ambedkar, and Diane from Cheers.

The phrase refers to naïve people who attempt what experienced people avoid. By nature, that’s us. We rush into sin, ignoring the wisdom of others who have been there, seen the results, and don’t dare to try it themselves.

The angels were there with God when he lit the darkness with stars. They saw what happened when Lucifer revolted against God. And now they joyfully serve God. No one knows God better than they. But their closeness to God does not breed casualness. They fall on their faces and give all the praise, glory, and honor that God is owed.

What about us? Are we too casual with God? Do we seek glory for ourselves rather than give all glory to God? Do we demand from God that my will be done rather than humbly submit to “Thy will be done?” Do we view God’s grace as an excuse to keep behaving badly? Do we equate God’s patience with acceptance of our immoral behavior?

God, forgive us for our foolishness! And he does. The voice of our Good Shepherd calls to us each day in his Word: I give you eternal life, and you shall never perish.

Praise him—the Light of the World—who calls us out of darkness. Glorify him—the Lamb of God—who takes away the sin of the world. Trust him—the Wisdom of God—who chose you to belong to him before the creation of the world. Give thanks to him—the Mighty God—who vanquished sin, death, and the power of the devil. Honor him—the Living Water—who revives our thirsty souls.

Prayer:
Lord, keep me from rushing in where angels fear to tread. Grant that my life may echo their praise instead. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Jesus, Our Shepherd – Week of May 13, 2019

Jesus, Our Shepherd – Week of May 13, 2019


“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

John 10:14



I am Jesus’ little lamb; ever glad at heart I am,
For my shepherd gently guides me, knows my needs and well provides me,
Loves me ev’ry day the same, even calls me by my name.
Christian Worship 432:1

From little on, most children love sheep and lambs. They are soft, fluffy, and docile. To be called one of Jesus’ little lambs sounds quite endearing. The life of a shepherd sounds peaceful, serene, full of endless hours of quiet solitude. I’m guessing that especially at this busy time of year, that scene is rather appealing. However, if you’ve read anything on sheep and shepherding, it may not be too far from your daily setting. Sheep, while rather docile, are not always the brightest or most alert animal. They are prone to wandering (sound familiar?) and finding themselves lost at best and in grave danger at the worst. They don’t know the difference between good drinking water and a toxic pool. They can get themselves stuck in places that make it nigh to impossible to get out without some aid. Does this sound at all familiar? We really are sheep when it comes to our spiritual failures and shortcomings. We wander from Jesus and his Word. We put ourselves in grave spiritual danger. We often don’t even realize how hazardous to our spiritual health are the many influences we consume all around us. The life of a sheep isn’t exactly a life to be envied or exalted.

Ah, the peaceful life of a shepherd. Maybe not, right? His role requires him to constantly be on alert around the clock. His trusty staff is used for gentle prodding to lead a sheep back to the fold or to help ward off an attacking animal looking for meal. He is constantly watching the flock to be sure that all are where they need to be, eating what is safe, and avoiding dangerous places where they could fall. Like a teacher on a field trip, he is fervently taking role call to be sure that no one has separated from the group.

This is the picture of our dear Shepherd in the hymn and in our verse for today. Motivated by his overwhelming love for each of us, he gently guides us with his Word. He knows our needs, physical and spiritual, and provides for us each and every day. He watches over us constantly to see if we are slipping or falling away from him. On the rough days, he loves us. On the good days, he loves us. His love is consistent and unwavering. No sin, no misstep, no failure, changes his love for us. He loves us the same every day.

He even knows our names. Not just our names, but everything about us. He knows what we need, what we like, our weaknesses, our fears, our failures. He knows each of us and loves each of us with a love that is beyond the love of a shepherd for his sheep or the love of a teacher for her students. He loves each of us with the love of a Savior. Because of this, we can always be “glad at heart”, safe in his loving care.

So, this week and every week, lean on your Good Shepherd. He loves to hear you as you come to him in prayer. He loves to hear your heart of gratitude and your anxious fears. It is his heart’s desire that you remain close to him today, each day, and when he calls you home to him in heaven.



Prayer:
Jesus, shepherd of the sheep, who your Father’s flock does keep, safe we wake and safe we sleep, guarded still by you.
In your promise firm we stand; none can take us from your hand. Speak—we hear—at your command, we will follow you. Amen.
Christian Worship 436: 1-2

A Question to Consider:
To understand more about the life of a shepherd, do a search on sheep and shepherds to learn about the parallels between the earthly shepherd and your Good Shepherd, between earthly sheep and the Good Shepherd’s sheep.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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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Fifth Sunday of Easter

The Risen One Inspires Us

These are the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

God’s Word for This Week

Music from the Masters . . . motivational speakers . . . Chicken Soup for the Soul—people look for a boost from many sources. But one need only look to the risen Savior. He inspires us not through soothing songs or moving stories, but through his perfect life and sacrificial death. Our risen Lord energizes us to live lives of love.

Traditional First Lesson – Acts 13:44-52

Why were the Jews filled with jealousy?

The Jews saw the large crowds gathered to hear the word of the Lord. They saw the crowd’s devotion to the gospel of salvation through Jesus rather than through the Law of Moses.

How does this event fulfill the Lord’s command to bring salvation to the ends of the earth?

Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel first to the Jews. When the Jews rejected the message, Paul and Barnabas preached to the Gentiles. The gospel is too wonderful to be confined to one nation. The Risen One inspires us also to take the gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth.

Supplemental First Lesson – 1 Samuel 20:12-17

In this account, which two friends were knit together in a tight bond of love?

Jonathan and David were knit together in a tight bond of love (as dear friends, not in a sexual way).

In this account, what name does Jonathan say in each verse in which he speaks? Why is this notable?

Jonathan keeps talking about “the LORD,” the God of free and faithful grace. Due to the LORD, Jonathan has such care for David, whom the LORD had picked to take over Israel’s throne after the death of Jonathan’s father, Saul. Instead of envying David—as most men in line for a throne would have—Jonathan loved David, for the LORD‘s sake.

What did Jonathan ask David to show toward him when David took over Saul’s throne in years to come?

Jonathan asked David to show the mercy of the LORD toward him and his family.

Traditional Second Lesson – Revelation 21:1-6

In his vision, John saw a new heaven and a new earth. When will this new heaven and earth appear?

John was given a preview of the new home God the Father is preparing for his people in heaven. This new home will appear on the Last Day. How comforting it is to know the glories of heaven that await us.

What will our new life be like when we live with God eternally in heaven?

Since it is impossible to describe the perfection of heaven in human terms, John tells us what we will not see in heaven. There will be no death, mourning, crying, or pain.

Supplemental Second Lesson – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Is love more emotion or action, according to God?

Love is more action than emotion, Paul shows. Love is being patient and kind to others. The Corinthian Christians seem to have been hung up on having the most excellent gifts from God, but love is the most excellent way to use whatever gifts God has given. (See 12:31.)

How can you tell whether love is real love? (See 13:8a.)

Love is real love if it does not quit during hard days. “Love never fails,” Paul says. Shakespeare similarly says, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”

In what way is love greater than faith or hope?

Faith and hope will cease in eternity, but love lasts forever.

Gospel – John 13:31-35

Jesus spoke these words shortly after Judas left the upper room on the night he was betrayed. How then would Jesus be glorified?

Judas’ betrayal began the chain of events that led to Jesus glorification. Jesus glorification included his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Through these actions of Christ, we can see God’s glory and give God glory. Through these same actions, God gives all glory to his Son.

Why is Jesus command to “love one another” a new command?

Jesus’ command to love is not new. What is new is our motive for loving one another. The disciples will love because they know Jesus and what he has done for them. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the forgiveness it brings changes believers’ hearts. In Christ we want to love, to sacrifice for others.

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Salvation Belongs to Our God – May 13, 2019

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:9,10

Salvation Belongs to Our God


Daily Devotion – May 13, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:9,10

See series: Devotions

At the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus rode into Jerusalem. He was seated on the back of a borrowed donkey. He was on his way to establish himself as King of kings and Lord of all. Crowds of Jews went before and after him. They also were headed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. They placed palm branches and their traveling cloaks at Jesus’ feet. With raised voices they plead, “Save us now!”

At the beginning of Jesus’s glorious reign, John views Jesus again. He is surrounded by a great multitude. However, now Jesus isn’t going anywhere. He is seated on his throne in the heavenly Jerusalem. He has established himself as King—the Lamb who vanquished sin by laying down his life for the world and conquered death by taking his life up again.

The crowd that surrounds him isn’t going anywhere either. Their traveling days are done. These aren’t just Jewish nationals. They are people of every corner of earth, every skin color, and every language. With raised voices they proclaim: “Salvation belongs to our God.”

Are you struggling? Do you need help? You can count on Jesus. Because he is true God and true Man who died and rose again, he provides healing and hope for all who trust in him. Walk with him during your earthly life. Follow the path that he has laid out for you in his Word. When that way gets tough, plea for his help and trust his deliverance.

Your King heals diseases, feeds the hungry, raises the dead, and forgives sin. Just remember: his kingdom is not of this world, and this world isn’t your home. You are simply traveling through. From earth to eternity. From tribulation to triumph. From cross to crown. From grace to glory. Heaven is your goal. And it is worth it!

Prayer:
Lead me, O Lamb of God. I follow you. When my road gets rough, hear my plea. And accept my praise, when you deliver me. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Dear Mom – May 12, 2019

Dear Mom – May 12, 2019


Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
John 19:25




Military Devotion – May 12, 2019

Devotion based on John 19:25

See series: Military Devotions

It began in Eden. She would have been the perfect woman; the perfect wife; and the perfect mother. Instead, she became a criminal and was sentenced to die after a life with pain. The death sentence was promptly transferred to another. The pain was not.

Her husband also came under judgment. He, too, would know pain, but not like hers. He would never know the pain of childbirth. He would never know the suffering of a mother’s heart. No man ever would.

She first felt childbirth pain when Cain was born. But holding the dear child replaced the pain. It returned with vengeance when she stood at the grave of her second son—knowing that her first son was a murderer.

We are told, “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20).

That means she is our mother—and our mother’s mother. That means Eve’s life reflects a shadow for all human lives, especially the lives of mothers. It is a painful picture.

We think of all the painful times when mothers had to send their children off into the care of others. Hannah gave up small Samuel so he could minister to the Lord under Eli. We hear, “Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice” (1 Samuel 2:19). We wonder if she cried on the trip home.

How many mothers have waited in vain for their son to return from battle? We hear,

“Through the window peered Sisera’s mother;
behind the lattice she cried out,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?’” (Judges 5:28)

By this time, Sisera, the commander of a massive Canaanite army, was counted among the fallen. If he had been a modern American Soldier, his mother might have received a folded flag and the words, “On behalf of a grateful nation.”

Many such flags have been handed out.

Our hearts must go out to such mothers. It even pains us to think of the mothers of our enemies that have watched in vain for their dear child’s return.

But none can compare to the pain of the mother from Nazareth who, along with her sister and some friends, watched the execution of her son during darkness at midday.

The crowd that gathered at Golgotha on that day saw only the painful sight of torture and dying. They had no idea that they were on the sidelines of the greatest battle ever fought—the showdown between Good and Evil, between Death and Life.

They did not realize that the destiny of the human race lay in the outcome. Rebellious angels had been condemned to forever-abandonment from the only source of peace and joy. Would rebellious humans (and all were rebellious) have any hope to escape forever-pain?

They would. They did. But the warning to Mary would also come true: “And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:35).

God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. God chose our mother for us. We brought her pain. Some was unavoidable. Some was piled onto her by our words and actions.

The Bible says we owe her honor. Shame on us if we do not give it.

Maybe on a Mother’s Day we can send a card or a letter addressed to: “Dear Mom”—if she is still living. If she is not, if she has already gone on ahead of us, then we will need to wait.

Either way, the best Mother’s Day will be celebrated in her new heavenly home. There, we will not need to say, “Happy Mother’s Day.” It will always be happy.

She will forever be our dear Mom.



Prayer: Eternal Lord of life, we thank you for giving us life. We thank you for our mothers. But most of all, we thank you for offering eternal life to our mothers. Help us to love, honor, and appreciate them until we stand with them to see you in glory. Amen.



Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida.

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. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.


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Transformed – teen devotion – May 12, 2019

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:17-20

Signed, sealed, and delivered

Take a step back in time. The year is 1970, and Stevie Wonder is singing one of his many hits. This one is entitled “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.“ These words especially connected with the teenage crowd since teens were starting their personal search for “the one,” the person they could call their own.

The reality is that whether you are married or single, you have someone you can call your own. There is no denying that a person who dies in your place exemplifies love. Therefore, if a person denied that love exists, they are denying an undeniable truth. The same logic applies, if someone denies that Christ rose from death, the empty tomb and hundreds of witnesses of his resurrection would prove the opposite. The resurrection signed, sealed, and delivered the fact that God is alive and sin is dead! Here’s God’s promise to you: Your past no longer dictates your future with him. We often can’t hold the pieces of our life together, so God sent his son to make us whole again, redeemed, restored, and forgiven. Christ’s resurrection is his final signature for mankind that his total victory over sin, death, and Satan was completely accomplished. He shows you his hands and feet and body broken for you. He says, “I’m yours, and you now belong to me.”

How do you know that you truly are forgiven? Look in the empty tomb! Look at the living Jesus! It’s the proof you need—signed, sealed, delivered!

 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving me all the proof I need in your holy Word that Christ came out of his tomb while my sins stayed buried. Help me to live my life today reflecting that undeniable truth! Amen.


TeenCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Youth and Family Ministry.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Peace that God Gives – May 12, 2019

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Revelation 7:17c

The Peace that God Gives


Daily Devotion – May 12, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:17c

See series: Devotions

It’s nighttime. Outside there are only peaceful nighttime sounds. But inside the young family’s house it is anything but peaceful. A tiny baby is crying—crying so loudly that everyone in the household is awake. The parents make every effort to calm the child down, to silence his crying and put an end to his tears. If only they knew the reason why he was crying, they would remove the source of pain or displeasure and wipe away his tears.

What a relief it is when a tiny baby stops crying and drifts off into peaceful sleep. Whatever was bothering him isn’t bothering him anymore.

Our Scripture reading for today speaks of a time when there will be no tears and when whatever tears were being shed will be wiped away. It speaks of heaven, where there will be no pain, no cause for fear, no reason for sorrow, and not even a reason for repentance There we will have the perfect peace that comes from the fact that all our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.

But as Christians we don’t need to wait for a future time and place to have lives filled with peace. Such lives are ours already, as followers of the Jesus. We may still wince in pain, but God is our help. We may tremble in fear, but God is our strength. Life sometimes hurts, but God is our comfort. We still sin, but Jesus is our Savior.

In this world we shed tears and may do so right up until our dying day. But though tears flow from our eyes, peace fills our hearts. It is the peace that God gives. It is the peace that comes from knowing Jesus: the helper of the helpless, the worker of miracles, the payment for our sins. God comforts us when we cry, and he will wipe away our tears.

Prayer:
Jesus, keep my focus on you as my Savior, and fill me with the peace of forgiveness for my sins that I might live in the sure hope of heaven. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Soar through Life like an Eagle – May 11, 2019

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Soar through Life like an Eagle


Daily Devotion – May 11, 2019

Devotion based on Isaiah 40:31

See series: Devotions

Life can get pretty heavy at times. A person can begin to feel like an overburdened pack mule plodding along with the weight of the world on your shoulders. Perhaps you can picture the packages you are carrying. There is the package of overdue bills on one side and strained relationships on the other. There is the package of worries at work and overdue projects at home. You may be carrying the package of meeting the endless needs of your young children or caring for an aging parent. On top of all these there can be chronic illness or clinical depression. And, as if all of these are not heavy enough, there is the guilt of thoughtless words you have said and kind deeds you did not do. You struggle from one day to the next with no relief and the weight is getting heavier and heavier. Plod…plod…plod…

Now, listen to God’s Word: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” God in heaven knows all about your burdens—your work and worry and guilt. He can carry the loads of life, whatever they are. He is the almighty Lord who never tires or grows weary. Rather than relying on your own wisdom or strength to see you through, put your hope in the Lord. He lifts your burdens off your back and frees you so that instead of plodding like a pack mule, you soar through life like an eagle.

Prayer:
Father, forgive me for how often I rely on my own wisdom and strength. My hope is in you. Today I hand over my heavy burdens to you, knowing that you are able to carry them far better than I can. Grant me the faith to spend this day soaring like the eagles. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Not an Easy Life – May 10, 2019

But the Lord said to Ananias . . . “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Acts 9:15,16

Not an Easy Life


Daily Devotion – May 10, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:15,16

See series: Devotions

We don’t know much about Saul’s life before he took his eventful journey to Damascus. However, it seems safe to say that if Saul’s life had not changed so drastically in Damascus, his life could have been rather easy by human standards. In Jewish society, he had every advantage imaginable. Even in Roman society, he had much going for him since he was a Roman citizen.

Yet, Saul’s life after becoming a Christian was anything but easy. By his own account, Saul was whipped on five separate occasions. Three times he was beaten with rods. Wherever he went, his life was threatened. He often went without food, clothing, and shelter. Finally, he spent his last days in a Roman dungeon before being executed for his faith in Jesus. These are the kinds of things that God was talking about when he told Ananias that he would show Saul “how much he must suffer for my name.”

It may not seem fair that those who follow Jesus can expect to face difficulties in life that they wouldn’t face if they weren’t Christians. Our human logic tells us that following Jesus should make our lives easier, not harder. The reality, though, is that being a friend of Jesus means being an enemy of Satan and all his allies in this sinful world. And Satan and his allies are not known for making the lives of their enemies easy.

This, however, is no reason to become discouraged. As Jesus told his disciples on the night before he died, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus, through his life, death, and resurrection, has totally defeated Satan and all his allies. This means that we who have been joined to him in baptism also have totally defeated Satan and all his allies. Saul understood this and later wrote, “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Through faith in Jesus, we have the same confidence. When we trust in Jesus, we are strong, no matter how hard life may become.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when life becomes hard, help me always to rely on you for my confidence and strength. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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An Astounding Miracle – May 9, 2019

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.
Acts 9:17,18

An Astounding Miracle


Daily Devotion – May 9, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:17-18

See series: Devotions

When Ananias arrived at the house where Saul was staying, the Lord enabled him to be a part of two astounding miracles. The first, of course, was the restoration of Saul’s sight. Yet, immediately after that miracle another miracle took place. This second miracle may not be as obvious at first. But in many ways, it is by far the more astounding of the two. The second miracle took place when Saul was baptized.

If you have ever witnessed a baptism, you know that on the surface it looks like anything but an astounding miracle. Water is poured over someone’s head in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And when it’s all over, the only thing that looks different is that the person who’s been baptized is wetter than he or she was before.

But through that washing with water and the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is performing an astounding miracle. Later in his life, Saul (who by then had changed his name to Paul) described this miracle in a letter to the Christians in Rome: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3,4).

That is the astounding miracle that happened when Saul was baptized. In his baptism, Saul died, was buried, and rose again with Jesus. Everything that Jesus did for Saul’s salvation became Saul’s own. And that same miracle has happened to each of us who has been baptized. When we were baptized—we died with Jesus, we were buried with Jesus, we rose again with Jesus. And everything that Jesus did for our salvation became ours. That, without a doubt, makes our baptism a most astounding miracle.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I praise you for joining me to yourself in the miracle of Baptism. May I always grow in my appreciation of this precious gift. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Loving Our Neighbor – May 8, 2019

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”
Acts 9:10-15

Loving Our Neighbor


Daily Devotion – May 8, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:10-15

See series: Devotions

Ananias knew who Saul was. He knew all that Saul had done in Jerusalem to arrest and condemn Christians to death. He knew that Saul had now come to Damascus, with the authority of the chief priests, to do the same thing. And so, Ananias was uneasy, to say the least, when the Lord told him to go to Saul and restore his sight.

Would any of us have reacted any differently than Ananias did? How easy is it for us to show love (or even kindness) to someone who has shown nothing but hatred toward us? How much easier would it be to just write that person off as someone who’s not worthy of our love?

But the Lord didn’t give Ananias the option of just writing Saul off as dangerous and not worthy of love. God had plans for Saul. Even more than that, God loved Saul. Therefore, God also wanted Ananias to love Saul. And with God’s love living in him, Ananias would be able to love Saul, even as God loved him.

Loving our neighbor is not always easy, especially when that neighbor has not shown love to us. Yet our neighbor’s lack of love does not excuse us from loving them. Regardless of who they are, God still loves them. Therefore, he also wants us to love them. And as God’s love lives in us, we also will be able to love all our neighbors, just as God in Christ has loved each of us.

Prayer:
Lord, let your love overflow through me to all those who are around me. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Divine Confrontation – May 7, 2019

As [Saul] neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 9:3-6

A Divine Confrontation


Daily Devotion – May 7, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:3-6

See series: Devotions

What would it take to turn Saul, the persecutor of Christians, into a Christian? Would it take a convincing debate with a prominent Christian teacher? Would Saul have to put in a lot of work researching Christianity so that he on his own could conclude that Christianity was true? I dare say that neither of those approaches would have worked in Saul’s case. He was absolutely convinced that what he believed was the truth and that Christianity was wrong. No amount of debate or research on its own could have changed Saul from a persecutor of Christians into a Christian.

The only thing that could turn Saul into a Christian was a divine confrontation. When Saul got close to Damascus, Jesus himself appeared to Saul in a flash of light and spoke to him. He confronted Saul with the reality that he truly was the Son of God. He confronted Saul with the reality of Saul’s rebellion against him. He confronted Saul with the reality of his resurrection from the dead. And in this divine confrontation, the Holy Spirit worked in Saul’s heart and brought him to faith in Jesus. Nothing short of such a divine confrontation—and nothing else besides—could have made Saul a Christian.

All who have been brought to faith in Jesus have experienced a similar, if less outwardly dramatic, divine confrontation. Through his Word in the Bible, through the water and Word of Baptism, Jesus confronted us with himself. He confronted us with the reality of who he is as the Son of God. He confronted us with his life, his death, and his resurrection, through which he rescued us from all our sins. In this divine confrontation, God the Holy Spirit worked in our hearts and brought us to faith in Jesus. Nothing short of such a divine confrontation—and nothing else besides—could have caused us to believe in Jesus as our Savior.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I praise you for confronting me with yourself and all that you have done for me. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Jesus, Our Savior – Week of May 6, 2019

Jesus, Our Savior – Week of May 6, 2019


God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16



This month, many of you are in your last weeks of the school year. You are likely looking forward to the final days of school and a summer with a different routine. You are also likely reflecting on this last year with the group of children in your care. This month, we’re going to take a look at some of the songs and hymns that you may have shared with your little ones and Scripture verses that reflect the message of the song. Feel free to hum along as you spend time in the Word, reflecting on the blessings of this year of sharing Jesus with your children.

Let’s start with what is probably one of the most well-known and dearly loved songs sung by little ones everywhere.
“Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong.
They are weak, but he is strong.”

There are a number of Scripture verses that can reflect the messages in this song. The one that first comes to mind is, John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life.” You see it on signs at sporting events, on t-shirts, on public signs, and on pieces of art. It’s easy for such a verse to become so well known to us that we gloss over the words. Think with me about the stunning message in this verse. God loved this world of ours enough to go into action. He did more than just say he loved us. He showed us he loves us. How? He wanted to give the most incredible gift-his only Son. Imagine God the Father, turning to his Son and saying to him that he is God’s ultimate gift to a world that doesn’t always love him. From an earthly logic, it makes no sense. He loves us when we don’t always love him. We turn from him and he turns to us. We wander. He comes to us as Jesus, our Savior and in his Word. Why would God do that? He loves us. How do we know? He gave us his word in his Word, the Bible.

“Little ones to him belong.” “Little ones” includes the young children you serve, their families, you, me. It is his desire that all people everywhere would believe in him and be with him for the endless years of eternity in heaven with him. Like an earthly father who yearns to be with his children, even more so, God yearns to have us with him. After all, he loved the whole world.

“They are weak, but he is strong.” Oh my! We get that, right? How often do you feel like you’re in over your head? How many times have you wondered how you could possibly work through a challenge or crisis? How often does fear or worry take up your thoughts? How long do we agonize before we realize that our dear friend and Savior, Jesus, has been there all along? He is loving. He is patient. He knows all things. He made all things. He can and wants to help. He is never weak but always strong. Our weakness shows itself in our sins. His strength and his love are demonstrated in the perfect life he led that we cannot live. His strength is shown in the words of the cross, “It is finished” as he took the terrible consequences that are ours. He paid what we couldn’t pay. “Yes, Jesus loves me!”

As you make your way through the final days of the school year and sing those song one more time, think about the simple, yet amazing message that is planted in the hearts of the children. With confidence and joy, we can all sing, “Yes, Jesus loves me!” Wow! Thank you, Jesus. May I and my students, always love you, too!



Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you. Thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for being strong when I am weak. Thank you for your word in the Bible. Thank you for being my Savior. Help me to share this with each child, family, colleague, and friend I know. In your name I pray. Amen

A Question to Consider:
This week consider one phrase of John 3:16 each day and ponder what it means for you and how you can share that with the children, their families, and others.
• God so loved the world
• He gave his one and only Son
• That whoever believes in him will not perish
• But have eternal life.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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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Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Risen One Shepherds Us

These are the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter.

God’s Word for This Week

Imagine if everyone on earth were a needle: there are well over six billion needles in a huge pile. How can God keep them all straight? How can God keep his eye on you in particular and hear your prayers? He has no trouble at all—and not only because he is Almighty. Jesus is your Good Shepherd. He knows you as well as he knows the Father, and as the Father knows you. That’s why he laid down his life for you.

Traditional First Lesson – Acts 13:15,16a,26-33

Just as with a good pastor’s sermons today, how do the synagogue rulers describe what they hope Paul and Barnabas will share with them?

“Brothers,” they say, “if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”

From what Psalm do Paul and Barnabas quote?

They quote from Psalm 2, showing that God has eternally been Father and Son. Jesus is that Son, born in time to Mary, yet also having no beginning. He has always been.

What do Paul and Barnabas say that God promised in the Old Testament?

Paul and Barnabas say that God promised clearly that his Son would rise from the dead.

Supplemental First Lesson – Ezekiel 34:25-31

In Ezekiel 34:23,24, God promises to have his eternal Son, Jesus, a direct descendant of King David, tend his flock and be their shepherd. Describe some of the wondrous results. (See 34:25-29.)

Some of the results: God’s people will not have to fear “wild beasts” (they will dwell in safety). They will have lots of fruit to eat. God will rescue them from slave masters. They will not suffer famine or the scorn of other nations.

What will God’s people know then? (See 34:30, 31.)

When all these blessings come, God’s people will know that he, the Lord their God, is with them and that they are his people.

Why does God repeat this? (Why is this so important?)

God reemphasizes that he will be our God and we will be his people, his flock, because our sin separates us from God and keeps us from being his sheep, his people. What grace that God would bring us back to him, all on his own! What eternal praise he deserves for his saving grace!

Second Lesson – Revelation 7:9-17

To whom do the people in heaven give the credit for the fact that they are there?

Heaven’s residents give all credit to God the Father and God the Son, the Lamb who laid down his life in our place.

Why, in John’s vision, do the people in heaven who are coming out of the great tribulation wear white robes?

The people in heaven had washed their robes and had miraculously made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

How many descriptions of life with Jesus before his throne does John give?

John gives ten descriptions of life before Jesus’ throne. Just as when we say, for example, “That was ten times better than I ever hoped,” ten is Revelation’s number for a large quantity. In other words, life before the throne couldn’t be more beautiful for all who follow the Lamb.

Gospel – John 10:22-30

What two testimonies should have convinced Jews of Jesus’ day that he really is the Son of God?

a) Jesus’ repeated statements about his relationship with the Father and b) his miracles both testify that Jesus is the Son of God.

What great comfort does Jesus give to people who, like sheep, are prone to wander?

Jesus assures us that no one can snatch us out of his hand. He will keep us trusting in him as we keep hearing his voice—the voice of our Shepherd.

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The Most Unlikely of Converts – May 6, 2019

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:1,2

The Most Unlikely of Converts


Daily Devotion – May 6, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:1,2

See series: Devotions

Saul of Tarsus was not a Christian. Nor did he want to be a Christian. In fact, Saul firmly believed that it was his God-given task in life to root out and destroy as many Christians as possible. To him, these “followers of the Way,” as they were called, were nothing more than heretics who had been deluded by that charlatan Jesus of Nazareth. And he was willing to go to any length, including traveling several hundred miles from Jerusalem to Damascus, in order to get rid of them.

It is hard to imagine anyone less likely to become a Christian than Saul of Tarsus. And yet, as we will see in our daily devotions this week, Saul not only became a Christian but also one of the greatest Christian missionaries of all time. Saul of Tarsus, who once dedicated his life to destroying Christians and Christianity, eventually dedicated his life to spreading the faith that he had worked so hard to destroy.

Why would God even want to bring someone like Saul into his Church? Actually, why would God want to bring any of us into his Church? Were any of us any more likely to become a Christian than Saul was? While we may not have traveled hundreds of miles to persecute Christians, the Bible makes it very clear that all of us were from birth naturally hostile to God. That natural hostility toward God made us just as unlikely to be brought into God’s family as Saul of Tarsus was.

And yet, in spite of who we were on our own and all we had done against him, God still wanted each of us to be brought into his family of believers. Just as he did for Saul, God loved us and reached out to us. And by his grace, he brought us, who along with Saul were the most unlikely of converts, to saving faith in him.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing me, the most unlikely of converts, to faith in you. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Transformed – teen devotion – May 5, 2019

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
1 Corinthians 15:1-5

First things first

If you returned from the dead, who would you want to see first? What message would you want to deliver? In our reading, Paul shares the short version of the “Jesus diary” of accomplishments for human kind.

Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection put his followers into a tailspin about his person and mission. But Jesus returned to reveal himself to the apostles he personally trained over his three years of ministry. Jesus first appeared to Peter, the person who betrayed him. Then he appeared to the rest of the apostles who turned and ran from him in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Which group would you fit? Would you be a “denier” or a “garden runner?” Who needed the most assurance of Christ’s forgiveness? Jesus chose to assure Peter that he was alive first. Perhaps it was because Peter felt responsible for letting his Savior down when Jesus needed his support.

“Of first importance”, Paul says, is this: “Christ died for our sins … was buried … was raised on the third day.” First things first, take your stand on those words! The one we hurt the most with our sins forgave us through his cross. Let that be your first thought every morning and last remembrance every night. With this understanding, may your appreciation grow for the one who makes YOU his first priority!

 

Prayer: Life-giving Lord, we praise you for giving us life at birth and then offering us second life through our baptism into faith. Your assurance of love through your death and resurrection constantly reminds us of your love for us and all humankind. Thank you for putting us first, so that through faith we can put you first in our lives and actions. Amen.


TeenCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Youth and Family Ministry.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Weather watching – May 5, 2019

Weather watching – May 5, 2019


He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
Matthew 16:2




Military Devotion – May 5, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 16:2

See series: Military Devotions

One doesn’t need to be in the Navy to know the saying, “Red at night—Sailor’s delight. Red in the morning—Sailor take warning!” Yet, it’s true that bad weather is of special concern for those aboard boats and ships. That’s why we sing the prayer, “for those in peril on the sea.”

It shouldn’t surprise us that Jesus assumed the people of his day knew the meaning of signs in the skies. Living without wristwatches and smartphones, many generations of people looked to the sky for information. Generations back, many were able to tell time just by looking at the sun. A stage of the moon told people when it was time to plant peas in their garden and oats in their fields. They reminded one another, “A ring around the moon means a change in weather soon.”

We watch the Weather Channel. We see cold fronts and weather systems moving across high definition screens. We receive weather alerts through televisions and text messages. We view live videos of tornados and hurricanes. Never before have people watched the signs of weather as we do.

Yet, the rebuke of Jesus still stands: “…but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”

It was dangerous for countries to ignore what Winston Churchill called “The Gathering Storm” as Nazi Germany ramped up its war machines. It’s always dangerous to miss the signs of any approaching disaster. Many a life has been lost because the danger was seen too late.

“Keep watch!” Scripture exhorts. But we need to know what to watch for. We need to know the signs of approaching disaster.

The signs of deadly danger for people of Jesus’ day were the same as the signs in Churchill’s day—and the same as in our day.

Signs of wars and rumors of wars? Yes, we have seen them, too. Famines and earthquakes? Indeed! But Jesus said these were just the beginning of the perilous end times.

He warned the days would come when his followers would be persecuted, killed, and hated by all nations. Many would turn away from the faith; even betray and hate each other. And false prophets? There will be many. They will deceive many.

As these storm clouds grow darker, a chill will fall upon human life. Jesus put it this way, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Of course, these signs have been there before! Some were seen in Jesus’ day. Dark days have come and gone in the history of the world since then. But we cannot escape noticing that when they receded a little, they often returned with greater intensity.

A look around at the world of today can be enough to scare a person. The storm clouds seem to be gathering from all directions. Wars have been fought before, but now weapons of mass destruction could wipe out entire nations. False prophets have often raised their voices, but now they shout from all corners. Once-faithful voices have joined them.

Wickedness? Greed, corruption, and lies are setting records. Just 25 years ago, how many expected that sexual perversion would not only be tolerated in America, but it could demand respect and protection under penalty of law?

The gathering storm…

A final sign? Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations…” He concludes, “And then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

Who would have thought 25 years ago that the tiny Wisconsin Synod would be reaching great numbers of people in places like Pakistan, China, and opening a seminary in Vietnam? What part of the world has not yet heard the gospel?

Makes us wonder how close to the end we are now, doesn’t it? But scary? Not for children of the heavenly Father! “The one who stands firm to the end will be saved”, Jesus said.

In the closing words of the book of Revelation Jesus told us, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

So, we watch the signs—and join the apostle John in praying: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Amen.





Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida.

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. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.


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Fisher of Men – May 5, 2019

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. . . . So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
John 21:7,8,11

Fisher of Men


Daily Devotion – May 5, 2019

Devotion based on John 21:7,8,11

See series: Devotions

When I was a kid, I loved to go fishing. No matter how small the fish, I wanted to keep it just so I could pull up to the dock and show mom and dad how many fish I caught. Dad once warned me that I was going to catch every fish in the lake! “Naw, that’s impossible, dad. There are too many!” Of all those baskets of fish, I don’t think I ever came home with 153, let alone, all large ones. I could never do that.

Now, I’m older, I don’t take the time to fish like that anymore. But God has called me to be a fisher of men, women, and children, young and old, big and small. I fish for them by telling them about Jesus, their Savior. With every person who comes to trust in him, it’s plain to see another miracle of the Lord. With each person I see the Lord’s mighty power working in their hearts and lives. It’s exciting to see the Holy Spirit catch them. It’s fun to share with them that Jesus has cleaned them up perfectly. It makes me want to go back out fishing again.

As you go about your day, see the people around you. The Lord has brought them to you. Share with them the good news of Easter. Share with them the joy and excitement you have in knowing that Jesus your Savior lives. Invite them to come and hear more with you at church. Impossible? No, for Jesus is the Lord, and he is still doing miracles every day. Go fishing and see the power of the Lord!

Prayer:
Use me, Lord Jesus, to catch more people for you. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Peace Be With You – May 4, 2019

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:19

Peace Be With You


Daily Devotion – May 4, 2019

Devotion based on John 20:19

See series: Devotions

We tend to think peace is something that happens when you finally have nothing to do. You’ve finished your “to do list.” Your work is finished. Ah, peace and quiet. While there is something peaceful about it, this kind of peace pales in comparison to the peace Jesus gives us. For one thing, tomorrow that “to do list” will appear again.

When Jesus appeared to his disciples alive on Easter evening, he declared peace to his disciples. They no longer needed to worry—about their future or their fate. Jesus’ resurrection assured them of his power, and his power to provide eternal life for all who follow him. There was nothing left for them to do. His perfect life and his innocent death paid the price for their sins.

So sit back tonight when your work is done for the day and ponder this peace Jesus gives you. Share the joy of this peace with others who are close to you. Bless them with the same peace Jesus gives you. “Peace be with you as you rest tonight.” Ah, that’s real peace—knowing that Jesus is your Savior, knowing that all is done, and knowing that one day you too will be with Jesus in heaven.

Prayer:
Jesus, fill my heart with your peace that I may always live in the sure hope of heaven. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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