The Big Picture – March 3, 2021

“Get behind me, Satan!” [Jesus] said, “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Mark 8:33

The Big Picture


Daily Devotion – March 3, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 8:33

See series: Devotions

Are you a “big picture” kind of person? Do you have the ability to anticipate what might happen in the future as you weigh this alternative versus that one? Can you analyze the pros and cons?

Some people seem to have the uncanny ability to foresee the future and stave off disaster. We call that gift wisdom or prudence. Especially when making big decisions, it’s important to see and consider the big picture.

But no sinful human being has perfect prudence. Worldly wisdom often fails. The reason for this is simple. We cannot know with certainty what the future holds based on our human understanding and intuition. At best, we make educated guesses. But our calculated wisdom and painstaking prudence offer no guarantees. The Bible says, “No one knows what is coming—who can tell someone else what will happen after them?” (Ecclesiastes 10:14).

Peter thought he was prudent by imploring Jesus to avoid his cross. It made perfect sense! Why would anyone purposefully go up to Jerusalem so that he could “suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law,” only to “be killed” (Mark 8:31)? Which one of us would have argued that Peter was wrong?

We wouldn’t have, but Jesus did. And why? Because our Savior sees the big picture. Unlike us, he knew the future and understood what lay ahead on the road for sinners like you and me should he listen to Peter’s prudence and shun his suffering and cross. His evasion would mean our devastation.

Jesus didn’t mince words. He knew who was hiding behind Peter’s iron-clad logic. It was the devil himself, who would have loved nothing more than to watch Jesus abandon us to the grave and hell forever.

But our Savior saw right through it. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Peter was only noticing the short-term disadvantage to Jesus. Our Savior saw the big picture. His cross meant our salvation. His death meant our life. His resurrection meant our eternal victory.

That’s all that mattered to Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for saving me from my broken logic and shortsightedness. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Unanswered Prayers – March 2, 2021

[Jesus] spoke plainly about [his suffering], and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter.
Mark 8:32,33

Unanswered Prayers


Daily Devotion – March 2, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 8:32,33

See series: Devotions

Have you ever wanted something so badly—prayed for something passionately—only to discover later in life how thankful you ought to be that you didn’t get what you once wanted so desperately? So often, we have to thank God for “unanswered” prayers, requests that we’ve made to him, which he replied with a big, fat “no.”

Why doesn’t God give us everything that we want? Because he loves us too much, and he knows that what we want is not always what’s best for us in the long run.

That’s what our Savior wants for us most of all, the very best things that last forever. He’s not interested in our instant gratification that ultimately ends in ruin and destruction. What good does that do? He wants to give us his blessings and life that last eternally, even when we beg him for the opposite and rebuke him when he refuses.

When Jesus told his disciples about the suffering he must undergo as our perfect Savior, Peter begged him to stop talking that way. Indeed, Mark tells us, he “began to rebuke him.”

Don’t get Peter wrong. This wasn’t hateful, nor was it necessarily selfish. His intentions were sincere. He loved Jesus, and he wanted to prevent the horrible series of events that his master had just outlined for his future. So he prayed earnestly to Jesus, “Keep this from happening to you!” If Jesus wouldn’t prevent it, Peter would do his best to block him in love.

But Jesus resisted his dear disciple’s pleadings, even though he realized the prayer was offered in good faith. Why resist him? Because he knew that, even though granting Peter’s request would result in a much better outcome for himself, it would have doomed Peter and us to everlasting destruction.

But that’s not what Jesus wants. No, he “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). What is that truth? Jesus loves you. He’s saved you completely. Your sin is forgiven. Heaven is yours. Believe it, it’s true.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for doing all things to grant me the gift of everlasting life. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Bucket List – March 1, 2021

[Jesus] then began to teach [his disciples] that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Mark 8:31

Bucket List


Daily Devotion – March 1, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 8:31

See series: Devotions

Do you have a bucket list, a list of things you must do before you die?

I don’t have a bucket list. Maybe that means I’m unimaginative or that I’m content. Perhaps it’s a little of both. But I really can’t say that there’s any one thing I must do before I die. Otherwise, I might feel as though my life would end unfulfilled.

I suppose that there are some people who have taken the time to put together a bucket list. And I imagine that the activities on their lists include every type of fun and enjoyable adventures, things meant to bring a smile to a person’s face. After all, that’s why bucket lists exist. Right? They’re all about me, my self-fulfillment, my self-indulgence.

Did you know that Jesus had a bucket list? He absolutely did. But his list didn’t include a bunch of fun, self-indulgent activities. No, Jesus’ bucket list was all about his suffering in self-sacrificing love for you and me and every sinner.

True, Jesus didn’t concoct his own list. It was given to him by his Father before he was born. But it wasn’t crammed down his throat either. Not at all. Jesus accepted it joyfully and willingly. And he strove with all his being to carry out the items on that list perfectly and passionately.

In Mark chapter 8, Jesus revealed his list to his closest friends. He told them how he “must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”

This was more than a premonition on Jesus’ part. It was a promise. Each item on his bucket list was going to get crossed off, no matter what.

And why? Because Jesus loves you that much. Because he wants you to know that heaven is yours. Trust him! His bucket list is complete, and it wasn’t about him. It was about you!

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for your faithful and perfect love and your willingness to sacrifice all things 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Peace With God – February 28, 2021

Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac . . . I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Genesis 28:12,13,15

Peace With God


Daily Devotion – February 28, 2021

Devotion based on Genesis 28:12,13,15

See series: Devotions

Jacob was a mess. He had to leave home much earlier than planned, and some of that was his fault. His brother Esau was so angry at him that he was comforting himself with the thought of murdering Jacob. As if that weren’t terrifying enough, there was more fuel for fear as Jacob fled from his homeland and found himself in unfamiliar surroundings. His pillow was a rock; the ground was his bed. He faced many dangers, and his only companion was his guilty conscience. There was no peace in his heart.

That’s when the LORD revealed himself to Jacob in a dream, to bring Jacob the peace he desperately needed. In the dream, there was a stairway with angels going up and down. The LORD himself was at the top. He assured Jacob, “I am with you. I will watch over you, wherever you go. I will bring you back. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.” God gave Jacob the one thing that he could find nowhere else—peace. There were many questions, but there was no question about whether Jacob was at peace with God.

Why are you afraid today? There are many possibilities, for there is plenty of fuel for fear in our world. And just like Jacob, peace is impossible for us to find—until we discover God’s gracious promises in Jesus. All sin is paid. We are forgiven through Christ. There may be questions, but in Christ, there is no question about where we stand with God.

Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your peace that surpasses all understanding. When I am filled with fears, and when those fears raise questions, remind me that in Jesus there is no question about my status as your eternal, forgiven child. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Our Substitute – February 27, 2021

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Genesis 22:15-19

Our Substitute


Daily Devotion – February 27, 2021

Devotion based on Genesis 22:15-19

See series: Devotions

At Mount Moriah, God swore an oath to Abraham. Swearing is calling a higher authority to be a witness. God swore by himself because there is no higher authority.

God’s oath promised that Abraham’s descendants would become very numerous. They would enjoy material conquest, capturing cities, and possessing land. And from them would come a man through whom everyone on earth would consider themselves blessed: Jesus Christ. And it is believers in Christ who are truly the spiritual descendants and offspring of Abraham.

The conquest for Christians was won by Christ on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. He paid for our sins with his death, freeing us from the bondage of Satan and hell, and he triumphed over the grave, freeing us from the bondage of death as well. We have the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ because he offered up his life for us as a substitute on the cross and when God brought him back to life and raised him from the dead, he showed us that death has been conquered, for all of us.

Prayer:
Jesus, you have taken away my fear of death by becoming my substitute in death. Give my heart the peace of the forgiveness of sins and the joy of your victory over death. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Love Calls For a Change – February 26, 2021

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Mark 1:15

Love Calls For a Change


Daily Devotion – February 26, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:15

See series: Devotions

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem stands over the supposed place where Jesus was born. The main entrance is a low framed door. This four-foot-high door forces pilgrims to bow face-first while entering—as an outward sign of humility.

I didn’t get the memo. Because of my height, I bowed and stepped in backward. I didn’t make it through the Door of Humility. A security guard stopped me, forced me back outside, and instructed me to enter properly.

For hundreds of years, the Christian Church has observed a season of the year called Lent. Lent is like that door in the Church of the Nativity. It is meant to make us bow our heads in humility.

It is an important reminder. We have all sinned. None of us measure up to God’s approval. We cannot enter his kingdom with our heads held high. If we try, we will not remember how desperately we need Jesus. Though Jesus had no sin of his own, he was condemned and crucified for ours. His death sets us free from death, and his resurrection opens the way to God’s kingdom for all who trust in him.

That’s how much God loves us! And, having been so loved, we are changed. Instead of fear, there is faith. Instead of guilt, there is joy. Instead of judgment, there is forgiveness. Instead of hell, there is heaven. Instead of death, there is life. A life that delights to live to serve and please the Savior who so perfectly served us.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, cleanse me, comfort me, change me with your abundant love! 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Optimistic Love – February 25, 2021

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
Mark 1:14

Optimistic Love


Daily Devotion – February 25, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:14

See series: Devotions

A painkiller. That’s what 19th Century philosopher Karl Marx called religion. He saw Christianity as a cop-out. A way for people to avoid the hardships of current reality by doping up on the promises of religion.

You might think that’s what Jesus offers when you see how he responded after King Herod imprisoned Jesus’ cousin, John. John had spoken out against the king’s illegitimate marriage. John’s followers must have been distraught. And what did Jesus do? He went around proclaiming the good news. It seems a little harsh or insensitive, at least.

Jesus didn’t need sensitivity training. He just knew the bigger picture. John’s job was to point the world to Jesus. Jesus’ job was to save the world from sin, death, and hell. John must decrease so that Jesus could increase. Jesus wasn’t a fool; he knew what would happen to him. He knew he must endure cruelty and crucifixion. He endured it anyway because he knew he would triumph. He would rise from the dead and be the source of eternal life for all who trust in him.

This Good News of Jesus is not an opiate from the reality of the world’s bad news. It is our optimistic reality despite the bad news of the world. While hardship will always be part of this life, Jesus gives us the freedom to respond to those hardships in a positive way. Because he lived and died for us and now lives again, we are free to be the victor rather than play the victim. Forgiveness is ours! God’s love is ours! Eternal life is ours! Victory is ours!

Come what may—distress, or deprivation, or danger, or death—you are more than victorious through Jesus who loved you and gave himself for you.

That’s Good News!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, how optimistic your love for me is. I can face any danger or disaster victoriously! 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Attentive Love – February 24, 2021

He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Mark 1:13

Attentive Love


Daily Devotion – February 24, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:13

See series: Devotions

Imagine coming home from a hard day. You call a friend, talk to your spouse, or pour out your heart to your mom or dad. You are hoping for comfort and encouragement. But you get no response, no reaction. Your confidant just sits there, staring into space, saying nothing. After a few minutes of silence, if you don’t say it out loud, you might be saying it in your head: “Don’t you care?”

Although there may be times when the people in your life don’t seem to care, you can be sure that God cares. He cares when you cry. He cares when you worry. And he cares when you are being tempted to do the wrong thing and go the wrong way.

Fighting against temptation is a daily battle for every Christian. When we want to do the right thing, evil is always there to sabotage us. We do the evil we are trying to avoid and avoid the good we are trying to do. It is exhausting.

Thanks be to God; we don’t fight those battles alone, and we don’t win them on our own. God attends to our every need. He puts his name on us and claims us as his own. He gives us the victory Jesus won by resisting every temptation for us and paying for our failures to resist temptation with his holy lifeblood. You are God’s child. He loves you.

He even has special, powerful allies to assist him in caring for you. The Bible says that God sends his angels to attend you in all your ways. When you face temptation, his angels are at hand to reinforce you. When you fight temptation and the devil flees, the protection provided by God’s angels refreshes you in keeping with God’s life-giving Word.

God cares. All day, all night, his angels watch over you.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, let your holy angel be with me that the devil may have no power over 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sympathetic Love – February 23, 2021

He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.
Mark 1:13

Sympathetic Love


Daily Devotion – February 23, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:13

See series: Devotions

“Unless you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, you wouldn’t understand.”

Have you ever had this thought? Every day we experience troubles, trials, and temptations. Every day, most people—even those closest to us—won’t know the half of it. Sometimes this is because people are too busy to ask or too self-focused to care. Other times it is because, to protect ourselves, we keep what we think and feel and experience bottled up and locked in.

But no matter who you are or what you have experienced, you have someone who knows you intimately. His name is Jesus. And he is not out of touch with your reality. He knows your triggers. He knows your turmoil. He has walked in your shoes. He went through weakness and testing in all the ways you have. He has experienced it all, except for the sin. And because he has, he can protect you.

He was born to protect you. The reason he came into this world was to destroy the devil’s work. The devil’s work is sin, and his end goal is our damnation. But Jesus fought the devil for us and won. God put our sin on Jesus, who never sinned so that Jesus could make us right with God. He endured our hell. He experienced our death. And in exchange, he offers us his righteous life. Because Jesus was perfectly obedient—even to death on a cross for us—those who trust in him are perfectly holy. God does not judge us guilty.

Jesus doesn’t just protect you from future judgment. Every moment of every day, he is ready with his power to protect you. This doesn’t mean that you will never again be tested, tried, or tempted. But when temptations come, Jesus’ protection is just a prayer away.

Jesus understands. He died and was raised again to free you from the devil’s work. Go to him at any time, in any trouble. Ask him for his strength to stand up against the devil. Jesus will give it. And the devil will flee.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Eager Love – February 22, 2021

At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.
Mark 1:12,13

Eager Love


Daily Devotion – February 22, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:12,13

See series: Devotions

“Just a minute.”

How often has someone said that to you? Your child when you tell her it’s time for dinner. Your spouse when you ask for help with the dishes. Your friend when you have important news you want to share.

Sometimes, “just a minute” is a valid response. At the moment, you are wrapped up in something that you cannot walk away from. You want to help but just physically can’t. Other times, “just a minute” is simply a selfish response. You just don’t want to listen. You just are feeling lazy. You just would rather do your own thing.

What a difference “at once” makes! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time you needed someone’s help or needed someone to listen, they were there? We could all use the power and possibility of an eager love like that in our lives.

God’s love is like that. The Son of God, Jesus, had just been baptized in the Jordan River. As soon as the Holy Spirit inaugurated him into the office of Savior, he wasted no time in sending Jesus into the wilderness to begin his work of saving us. His work began with battling the devil and ended with bowing to death. But God raised Jesus from the dead because he did his job perfectly. Believing in him, you are instantly free from the due penalty and punishment of sin.

If God didn’t hesitate to love you in that way, he certainly won’t stop gladly and freely loving you. When you call on him for help, he won’t drag his feet to do what he knows is right and best for you right this minute.

That’s how willingly, eagerly, and urgently God loves you.

Prayer:
Lord God, you are my hope and salvation. You will not forsake or abandon me. In temptation and trouble, come quickly to help me. Do not delay! 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Christ Removes the Crushing Weight – February 21, 2021

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:10

Christ Removes the Crushing Weight


Daily Devotion – February 21, 2021

Devotion based on Romans 8:10

See series: Devotions

From time to time, we hear of human beings doing extraordinary things, like the woman who managed to lift the end of a 3,600-pound car off her son when the jack slipped. In extreme emergencies, people have been known to reach back into a resource of hidden physical strength and mental resourcefulness they didn’t know they had. Can they do this all by themselves? Or is this a miraculous help from God?

The author of the book of Hebrews devotes his 11th chapter to Old Testament men and women who were heroes of faith. It was from God that they drew their strength. In one dimension of life, however, human strength cannot avail. It does not enable us to save others or ourselves from the power and the punishment of sin. By the labors of our hands, we cannot fulfill God’s demands, earn salvation, or pull ourselves out of the dilemma of doing things we don’t want to do and not doing the good God demands.

What is more, the psalmist declares, “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him” (Psalm 49:7). The ransom demanded would be entirely too great. But what we can’t do, Jesus did for us. He gave his life as a ransom for the whole world of sinners so that all who believe in him as the Savior are freed from the burden of unpaid spiritual bills, the fear of death, and the crushing weight of sin—just as that woman lifted the weight of a car off her son. WOW! Nothing short of a miracle of God! Jesus was lifted up on a cross that he might remove our load and bring us to himself.

Prayer:
God of heaven and earth, please stand near me with Your strength that makes me perfect in my weakness. In Jesus’ name, I pray. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Escaping Death – February 20, 2021

As [Elijah and Elisha] were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
2 Kings 2:11

Escaping Death


Daily Devotion – February 20, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Kings 2:11

See series: Devotions

Death and taxes—these are two certainties of life for everyone—everyone except for the prophet Elijah. God granted him the privilege of escaping physical death. God took him directly into heaven. The question that begs to be asked is ‘Why?’

As we read through the life of Elijah, we see that he was a prophet of God. But that wasn’t the reason he escaped death. God had called others to be prophets, and they faced death. Elijah fought against idolatry, but so did others, and they died. Elijah proclaimed the Word of God as countless others have done throughout the ages. It was not his office, courage, or faithfulness that earned him the right to escape death and go straight to heaven. It was only by the grace of God that Elijah was taken to heaven without facing death.

We cannot escape death on our own. The grave awaits us as the Bible teaches, “Man is destined to die” (Hebrews 9:27). We have no power to escape the death that we deserve for our sins. This is death that separates us from God forever under his judgment. But God gives us an escape from the death that we face as sinners. He sent his Son, Jesus, and heaped the guilt of our sin on him, making him pay the penalty of eternal death that should have been ours.

Just as God revealed his grace to Elijah by sparing him from physical death, so God reveals his grace to us through Jesus. In Jesus, we are raised to a new life of faith. The death we will face at the end of our lives loses its sting because, in Jesus, we will be raised from the dead and taken to live forever in heaven with Elijah and all believers of all time.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I give you thanks for releasing me from the power of death. Keep me steadfast in your word until I see you in your glory in 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Listen to Jesus – February 19, 2021

Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
Mark 9:7

Listen to Jesus


Daily Devotion – February 19, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:7

See series: Devotions

The city of New York is one of the busiest, most stress-filled cities on the planet. Yet even in the middle of New York’s chaos, you can find some encouragement. On the corner of 5th Avenue and 14th Street, there is a dog named Loubie with her owner. Loubie is there for one reason: to give hugs to anyone who wants one. She’s there almost every day, ready to give an encouraging hug to anyone in need of one. She’s been there giving hugs for multiple years now, and she has not yet run out of people to hug. You probably know why.

God does too. He knows how hard your life often is. God knows how difficult it can be to live with your disappointments. He knows the pain this broken world can so quickly bring. It’s why he urged the disciples on the mountain of the transfiguration to listen to Jesus. He wanted them, and us, to know about the encouragement that is waiting for us in the middle of everything.

You may never get a hug from Loubie on the corner of 5th Avenue and 14th Street, but you will always find the loving encouragement of Jesus in the Bible, which is where we can hear his voice over and over, again and again.

Find a quiet place away from the busyness of life. Away from the hurt. Away from the stress. You don’t need to stay long. Just long enough to be reminded of what kind of God is listening whenever you cry out to him. He’s the one whose powerful arms are always wrapped around your precious life and whose glorious grace and mercy will never fail to bring you all the way to the home Jesus won for you when he walked down the mountain of transfiguration and made his way to the cross.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, open my ears to the loving voice of Jesus as I open your Word so that I am led through life by the voice of the Savior, who knows my name and is stronger than any enemy that would take me from 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Remember Who Our God Really Is – February 18, 2021

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.
Mark 9:2

Remember Who Our God Really Is


Daily Devotion – February 18, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:2

See series: Devotions

Do you wonder why Jesus chose to bring his disciples to that mountain and briefly reveal his true glory to them? We find a clue in the first three words of today’s verse: “After six days.” As we look at this event, God wants us to keep in mind what had happened six days earlier. And what was that?

Six days earlier, Jesus told his disciples that he was soon going to die by crucifixion. At this point, Jesus is nine months away from his death, and he knew his disciples were going to see it happen. He knew they were going to see some very difficult things that were going to challenge their faith and make them wonder if following Jesus was worth it. So Jesus showed them a glimpse of his true glory. He gave them a reminder of how different and beautiful our God really is.

Based on what they were going to see, that was an important reminder for them, just as it is for us. We also have times in life when it doesn’t seem like anything good is happening, when our faith is challenged, and when the troubles of this world make us wonder if we have the right to expect anything glorious from the God who promises us so many good things.

The day of Jesus’ transfiguration is a reminder that we do. Just as Jesus bolstered the fragile faith of his disciples with a brief reminder of his glory, he invites us to find strength for our journey by remembering, moment-to-moment, who our God really is. He invites you to look past the human skin and see the glorious identity of our Savior, always eager to love, always ready to forgive, always ready to sacrifice whatever is necessary to be there for you when you cry out to him.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, help me to remember everything Jesus is and everything Jesus did so that I will never forget that I am your own child through 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jesus Gave Up His Glory – February 17, 2021

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.
Mark 9:2,3

Jesus Gave Up His Glory


Daily Devotion – February 17, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:2,3

See series: Devotions

Today is the first day of the season of Lent. During this season you might hear some people say what they will be “giving up for Lent.” Some give up eating dessert, drinking alcohol, watching television, or checking social media during the 40 days of Lent. Why do they do this? Willingly giving up the use of something meaningful to them helps them better appreciate what Jesus was willing to give up during his time on earth. And what was Jesus willing to give up?

He gave up his use of the glory he revealed to his disciples on, what is named, the mountain of transfiguration. The dazzling whiteness that was brighter than anything the disciples ever could have imagined was something they had never seen when they looked at Jesus for as long as they had known him. Indeed, when Jesus called these men to be his disciples, when he walked with them from town to town, when he sat with them and taught them the truths of God’s Word, in every moment, Jesus looked very … normal. He looked just like them. But he wasn’t just like them. The Bible is clear that Jesus has always been “the radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3).

Yet Jesus willingly gave up the use of that glory, not just for 40 days, but from the moment he entered the womb of a virgin as a fragile human until the moment his crucified body was placed into the grave in which he was buried. Why?

Because God wanted to give you a human friend who is “not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15) who is also, as this glimpse of glory reminded the disciples, able to offer God a better sacrifice than any you or I could give him.

Jesus willingly gave up his glory so that we would never have to give up holding on to the certainty that we are forgiven of our sins through his sacrifice and eternal members of God’s own family.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for the glorious sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Gospel Is Veiled – February 16, 2021

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3,4

The Gospel Is Veiled


Daily Devotion – February 16, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:3,4

See series: Devotions

A man recently bought a home in Chicago. The house was a fixer-upper and in need of extensive rehabilitation. As the man began tearing into walls and removing floorboards, he discovered something he wasn’t expecting. Cash. Lots of cash. In various places throughout the house, behind walls and underneath the flooring, the man discovered multiple envelopes, each filled with money. Altogether, the cash totaled more than $10,000.

He didn’t know the cash was in that house when he bought it. Yet it was. The money was real, and it was there, even if he wasn’t aware of it.

The Bible reminds us that we already possess something far more valuable than $10,000 in cash. We possess the gospel. The gospel is the good news that God has already found you and, through the life and death of Jesus, has placed into your future the eternal wealth of heaven.

Yet, it’s not always easy to live as though that good news really exists. The Bible tells us why: “The god of this age has blinded” many eyes from seeing it. The good news of the gospel is often veiled behind the ongoing work of Satan, behind the abundance of his temptations, and even behind the eagerness of our own hearts to give in to them. Based on the darkness we see, either in the world or in our hearts, we can wonder if the gospel is real or if it applies to someone like me.

But just because the gospel is sometimes hard to see doesn’t mean it isn’t real or doesn’t apply to someone like you. Even Jesus knows this dark world will always make it difficult to see good things. It’s why he came. Jesus came to give us a light that would keep shining no matter what this dark world did to him; so that anyone who has trouble seeing good news would always be able to find it.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, open my eyes each day to the reality of the gospel so that I follow the one true Light through this world’s deep darkness. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A Love Worth Preaching – February 15, 2021

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:5,6

A Love Worth Preaching


Daily Devotion – February 15, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:5,6

See series: Devotions

John Wooden was one of the most successful college basketball coaches in history, and he kissed only one woman throughout his entire life. When John was 14, he gave his first kiss to a girl named Nellie, who later became his wife. He never kissed another woman.

John and Nellie were married for 53 years. Nellie died on March 21, 1985. Exactly one month after Nellie died, on the 21st of April, John wrote a love letter to his deceased wife. A month later, on the 21st of May, he did the same thing. On the 21st day of every month after that until the day he died, John wrote another love letter to Nellie. He never showed them to anyone. Not even their children were allowed to read them. When John was asked why he continued to write love letters to someone who could now never love him back, he said, “I love her, and I’m keeping my promise.” That’s a very special love.

Yet we find an even greater love on the pages of the Bible—a love for you that doesn’t end even at death. That’s what we find as we read of Jesus hanging on a cross, continuing to love a world that far too often acts like it’s dead in its desire to follow him. That’s what we find when we read of Jesus not spilling some ink on a paper once a month but spilling his innocent blood on a cross to forgive us of our sins and earn our place in heaven where we will be loved for eternity in perfection.

This is why the apostle Paul preached “Jesus Christ as Lord” and declared himself to be his willing servant. What greater love could you ever find? What greater love could you ever show the world than that which we find in Jesus?

Prayer:
Father in heaven, help me to see the greatness of Jesus’ love for me so that I will serve both him and all others with love more eagerly. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Preparation of the Transfiguration – February 14, 2021

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
Mark 9:2-7

Preparation of the Transfiguration


Daily Devotion – February 14, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:2-7

See series: Devotions

Last week, millions of people watched one of the greatest sporting events of the year—the Super Bowl. For people like us, who merely watched the game, the event lasted a few hours. But for the players and coaches who participated, the event was the culmination of days of preparation. Practices were held, the game film was watched and meetings were attended—all to be prepared for the biggest game of the year.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus prepares us for an even greater challenge than the Super Bowl. He prepares us to face life in this sin-filled world. In this world, Jesus’ glory will not always appear as clearly as it did on the mountain that day. There will be trials and temptations and times when we will wonder where our Jesus is.

When facing these difficult days, glance back at the Mount of Transfiguration. See your Jesus and the glory that is his alone. Remember that he is the Almighty and was willing to go back down that mountain so he could be crucified on another. There on the hill called Calvary, Jesus’ glory shone most brightly. Beneath the blood and sweat and horror, you see the glory of his love for you—a love that paid for your sins so that one day you can experience the glory of the transfiguration forever.

May this reality prepare you for the valleys you will walk through in this world. May it make you all the more eager to view his glory in heaven where he is preparing a place for all his believers.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for using your transfiguration to prepare me for the valleys of this life. When I am tempted to doubt your power and glory, turn my eyes back to that mountain and renew my 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

For the Sake of the Truth – February 13, 2021

I do all this for the sake of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:23

For the Sake of the Truth


Daily Devotion – February 13, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 9:23

See series: Devotions

His name was William Charles Macready. He’s not a household name now, but back in the 1800s, William Macready was one of the most respected actors in Great Britain and the United States. In each of his stage performances, Macready poured his heart and soul into the character he was portraying. People loved him for it. They packed the theaters to see him at work.

It’s said that there once was a preacher who approached Macready with a simple question: “What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all.”

Macready’s answer was, “I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.”

Ouch.

Don’t misunderstand. The Bible is clear that the power to bring hearts to faith in Jesus lies in the power of the gospel—the good news of what Jesus has done on our behalf. Nevertheless, how many times have Christians put a roadblock in front of the gospel by acting as if it’s fiction? In all candor, Christians must confess that they have been guilty of this.

The beauty is that, despite the lack of passion and bouts of apathy, the gospel remains the truest thing there is. After all, whenever the reality of our wrongs crushes us, and we cry out in repentance, the living, breathing Savior promises us that his blood has washed us clean, that we are his, and that he will never leave our side.

Macready did all he could for the sake of fiction. In Jesus, you and I can do all we can for the sake of the truth—the truth of sins forgiven in Christ.

Prayer:
Precious Savior, I confess all the times I have shared your good news so poorly. Forgive me. And empower me by your gospel to do all I can for the sake of the truth. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Routine – February 12, 2021

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Mark 1:35

Routine


Daily Devotion – February 12, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:35

See series: Devotions

Consider this. You and I face an assault against our prayer life every day. That assault may begin the moment we awake. On goes the radio in the bedroom. On goes the TV in the kitchen. Now it’s time to check my social media. Now it’s time to scroll through my texts. From there it’s time to climb into my vehicle to listen to a podcast on the way to work. After work, I swing by the grocery store with soft rock pulsating from the store loudspeakers. I catch up on the news over dinner. I listen to my playlist as I go for a walk. I pull up something to watch on Netflix before I turn in. The next morning on goes the radio in the bedroom.

When you and I consider how Jesus starts his day in Mark chapter one, the difference is stunning. When Jesus gets up, the first thing he does is go off to a solitary place, a place free of distractions, free of interference, free of competing sounds and voices. He goes there to pray and raise his voice to heaven. He goes there to open up to his heavenly Father.

Let’s give ourselves a moment of candor. You and I must confess to our Lord and each other that there have been all kinds of ways by which we have often allowed the noises and bells and whistles of the day to swallow precious minutes—precious minutes we might otherwise have spent talking to our good and gracious God. This is to our shame. And for it, we deserve God’s eternal contempt.

But that is not how God has dealt with us. Instead, he sent Jesus. On our behalf, Jesus maintained his prayer life as a constant, perfect priority. And at the cross, Jesus bled and died for all of our wasted moments—every single one. Now, through faith in him, all is forgiven, all is restored, all is well.

All of which empowers us to look at tomorrow’s routine with a fresh set of eyes.

Prayer:
Lord God, in Jesus I am forgiven. Move me to seize moments to talk to you in prayer. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cliché – February 11, 2021

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Cliché


Daily Devotion – February 11, 2021

Devotion based on Romans 8:28

See series: Devotions

There are certain sayings that people share so much that they become cliché. The word cliché is from the French. It refers to a part on an old printing press that runs off a copy over and over again. Even in the word itself, you can hear the sound that the old printing press makes as it repeatedly runs off its copies.

Examples? A few years ago, a website came up with a list of common clichés. Coming in at number ten is “Better safe than sorry.” “There’s no time like the present” is number nine. Number six on the list is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Number five is “You cannot please everyone.” “You cannot judge a book by its cover” is number four. Claiming the number three spot is “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” “The grass is always greener on the other side” is number two. And coming in at number one for a top ten list of common clichés? “Actions speak louder than words.”

There’s a downside, however, for a saying that reaches the status of cliché. Constant repetition can diminish its impact. “That’s just an old cliché,” people begin to say.

Over the years, many Christians have spoken the words of today’s Bible passage. Often they have made a shorthand reference to the passage by simply saying, “In all things God works for the good.” Usually, the souls who hear these words are hurting in some way. The circumstances might be anything—serious illness, family crisis, financial setback, job loss, natural disaster, death.

The next time it’s our turn to hear these words, the temptation will be strong to dismiss them; to say, “That’s just an old cliché.” When that temptation comes, stop, and listen. Let this Word of God penetrate your mind and heart. It’s a living, breathing promise, sealed in the same blood of Jesus that has washed your every sin away. His Word is not an empty cliché. His Word is truth.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, in my moments of pain, breathe into me your promise that you work in all things for my good. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mileage – February 10, 2021

I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:23

Mileage


Daily Devotion – February 10, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 9:23

See series: Devotions

In the classic adventure film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” there’s a scene where Indiana Jones is feeling all his aches and pains from his countless escapades. At that moment, he groans, “It’s not the years. It’s the mileage.”

The apostle Paul could have said something similar. If you had met him near the end of his life, what would you have seen? Perhaps a limp from some broken bone that never healed properly. Or scars on his skin from the beatings he endured. Or callouses on his hands from his work of tentmaking to make ends meet. And if you looked carefully, perhaps you would notice Paul sighing some heavy sighs and wiping away a tear as the desperate needs of souls weighed on his mind.

Was it all worth it, Paul? Was it worth the years? Worth the hardships? Worth the hostility? Worth the heartaches? Worth the mileage, callouses, and scars?

Throughout the New Testament, the Holy Spirit empowered Paul to answer such a question many times. In 1 Corinthians chapter 9, Paul simply said this: “I do all this for the sake of the gospel.”

Through all the mileage and wear-and-tear, Paul never forgot what the gospel has done for him. He never forgot that, even though he, Paul, had been living a life in dark opposition to God’s truth, nevertheless God the Son came for him in the person of Jesus Christ. In place of Paul’s life of sinful arrogance, Jesus lived a life of perfect, humble service. Then he carried every last one of Paul’s sinful failures to the cross, washing them all away.

Through faith in his living Savior, Paul never forgot this. He lived to share the gospel with others. That’s how valuable the good news about Jesus is. Whenever and wherever you can learn more about it so that, like Paul, you can share in its blessings.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, grant me opportunities to learn more about what you have done for me and continue to do 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Slave – February 9, 2021

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible.
1 Corinthians 9:19

Slave


Daily Devotion – February 9, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 9:19

See series: Devotions

It is the First Century A.D., and you are a slave. How you became a slave may have been in any number of ways. Perhaps you’re a prisoner of war, or a sailor captured and sold by pirates, or your desperate family sold you into slavery when you were a child.

As a slave, you might find yourself working anywhere. You might work in a household, in a mine, in a factory, or on a farm. What dominates your life, however, is the reality that you are the property of your owner. Your owner can rent you out or sell you at any time. Your owner also has the right to put you to death at any moment, for any reason. You are a slave. Your life is not your own.

This picture of a slave is what the apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote to his fellow Christians in Corinth. Although he was a free man, Paul was willing to make himself a slave in the way he lived for those around him.

What drove him to do this? Did he suffer from low self-esteem? Was he trying to make up for past failures? Was he subservient by nature? Any fair reading of Paul will soon tell you that those were not the reasons. Instead, Paul said this: “I make myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible.”

For Paul, it came down to Jesus. The Son of God came to this earth, made himself a servant on our behalf, and lived a holy life in our place. He allowed himself to endure torment and death as our Substitute. All this he did to serve us and to wash our sinful stains away.

In Paul’s mind, if he could bring the Good News to more people by living for them and not for himself, he would do it. He was simply following his Savior’s lead. Forgiven in Jesus, you and I have reason to do the same.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you gave up your life to wash me clean. Give me that same spirit as I live for 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A Breath – February 8, 2021

My life is but a breath.
Job 7:7

A Breath


Daily Devotion – February 8, 2021

Devotion based on Job 7:7

See series: Devotions

In October of 1989, a sportswriter by the name of William Nack leans against a wall in his hotel room and sobs. He’s heard some news. A racehorse by the name of “Secretariat” is dead.

Flashback. It is the summer of 1973. Secretariat has taken the United States by storm. So thrilling and dominant are his victories that, in one week, he makes the cover of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and Time. And through it all, a young William Nack is right there as a sportswriter, covering the races, talking to the owner, talking to the trainer, talking to the jockeys and grooms. He has a front-row seat to history in the making, and he knows it.

But now the great Secretariat is dead, and William Nack sobs. He later explains why. It’s not just his respect for the horse or Secretariat’s place in history. It’s personal. Secretariat, he says, reminds him of a short era in his life when he had no real heartaches, no real griefs, no big problems. When Secretariat died, he realized those days were over and how quickly they had come and gone.

Do you ever have a moment like that? You hear about the passing of a famous figure, and somehow the news hits you hard. What hits you, however, is not so much the passing itself of the famous figure, but the era in your life that that figure represents. In that moment, you experience a jarring truth: My time on this earth is short. The days come and go. Or, as Job said, “My life is but a breath.”

Sin has done that, of course—your sin and mine. It brings heartache, problems, and grief to the few days we are on this earth. It also brings death.

But that’s why Jesus came. The eternal Son of God invaded our broken world of short, passing days. On our behalf, he lived the sinless life you and I have failed to live. At the cross, he suffered and died for our every wrong. Then he rose. And now, everyone whose faith is in him stands forgiven and inherits eternal life. And the best days are yet to come.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, my life here is but a breath, but in you the best days are still to come. Thank 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Secure Even in Suffering – February 7, 2021

The hungry consume his harvest, taking it even from among thorns, and the thirsty pant after his wealth. For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”
Job 7:5-9

Secure Even in Suffering


Daily Devotion – February 7, 2021

Devotion based on Job 7:5-9

See series: Devotions

Job was a faithful believer who had a large family and many possessions that gave him great satisfaction in life. But Satan took it all away from him. He attacked Job so hard that he left him in a state of physical and spiritual anguish.

The odds are that we will never suffer the way Job did. Still, we can feel like our world is collapsing all around us. We can suffer through difficulties without a glimmer of happiness in sight. We may think, “I work so hard, and this is all the gratitude I get from people around me.” “Why can’t people at school appreciate me for who I am?” “Can I ever be really happy with my life?” The devil can take advantage of our most subtle doubts and lead us to wonder, “Does God really care about me?”

Don’t let Satan steal your confidence in who you are. Remember that you are God’s own child for whom he died. God loves you. He is the strength of life. He will provide exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. Because of Jesus, your identity is secure with God.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, strengthen me to face my trials with confidence in your wisdom and love, and thank you for making me your child through faith. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Temptations – February 6, 2021

At once the Spirit sent him [Jesus] out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Mark 1:12,13

Temptations


Daily Devotion – February 6, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:12,13

See series: Devotions

Jesus knows what it’s like to be tempted. He began his public ministry this way. The Holy Spirit sent him into the desert where Satan tempted and tempted and tempted Jesus. The good news is that Jesus never once gave in to any of those temptations. He knew that doing so would be wrong and a sin against God. If he did, he would fail to be the Savior. It didn’t matter if no one else was looking. Sin is still sin whether someone sees our sin or not because God sees all.

Jesus lived each day as a sinless one, overcoming every temptation. The good news is that Jesus lived this perfect life in our place. The blessed result is that through faith in Jesus, God sees us clothed in the perfect righteousness of Jesus, our Savior.

Such a wonderful message not only lifts us up when we’re mindful of our many failings, but it also strengthens us with the resolve that we, by God’s power, can overcome temptations. God gives us the strength to walk away. God empowers us to say “No,” even when no one is looking. And when we fail, God’s promise of his full forgiveness strengthens us to return once again to the fight, knowing full well that Jesus has defeated the tempter, who has no power over us.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when my thoughts, words and deeds become impure, have mercy when I become defiled. Forgive, lift up, restore me, your child. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Our Actions Impact Others – February 5, 2021

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
I Corinthians 8:9-13

Our Actions Impact Others


Daily Devotion – February 5, 2021

Devotion based on I Corinthians 8:9-13

See series: Devotions

The Christians in the city of Corinth had a question. They wanted to know if it was wrong to eat meat that had been used in sacrifices at idol temples. This meat, you see, was used at the restaurants attached to the temple. Paul assured them that it was not wrong to eat such meat since the idol it was sacrificed to didn’t actually exist. The meat was just meat.

But this didn’t mean they should just go ahead and eat in those restaurants. Why? Well, one of their fellow Christians might see them doing so and think they were worshiping an idol. It might even lead that person to worship the idol themselves. Paul’s point was simple. Even if something is not wrong in and of itself, think carefully about what you are doing so you don’t mislead others and harm their relationship with Jesus.

Jesus would have us exercise the same love for our fellow Christians today. Think carefully about everything you do. Consider how it might affect the spiritual well-being of those around you. And be willing to give up your own rights, if necessary, for the good of others. After all, it was our Savior Jesus who gave up all of his rights in order to save you from your sins. May his love instill in you a sacrificial love for others.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, help me show the same loving concern for the souls around me that you showed for my soul. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jesus Frees Us From Petty Rules – February 4, 2021

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
I Corinthians 8:1-6

Jesus Frees Us From Petty Rules


Daily Devotion – February 4, 2021

Devotion based on I Corinthians 8:1-6

See series: Devotions

During the time the apostle Paul lived, it was common practice for people to sacrifice an animal to an idol and then for the meat from that animal to be sold in the marketplace to eat. There were many new Christians who wondered if it was acceptable to eat that meat. They worried that eating it would mean they had participated in worshipping that idol.

Paul set their consciences at ease, assuring them that “An idol is nothing at all in the world,” that “There is no God but one,” and that “food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”

People today may not be wondering whether it’s ok to eat meat taken from an idol temple. But plenty of people still wonder which of the many gods and religions in this world is the true God and true religion. The apostle Paul answers this question in no uncertain terms. “…there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”

Do you want to get to know the God who made you, who cares for you, and who loves you more than you can imagine? Then get to know Jesus. Read of his life and work in the words of the Bible. There you will discover the God who will change your life now and promise you eternal life after. Thankfully, this is the one true God!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me get to know you better as the one, true God. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Can Trust Jesus – February 3, 2021

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.”
Deuteronomy 18:15-18

You Can Trust Jesus


Daily Devotion – February 3, 2021

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 18:15-18

See series: Devotions

In the advertising world, there is one goal: sell your product. Of course, this leaves the consumer suspicious, and rightly so. Is the person in the commercial telling the truth? Is the salesperson misleading me? Are the claims made too good to be true? But if a brother or sister, or good friend tells you that they bought a product and it is good quality, that’s different. That means more than 100 TV commercials. Why? The intentions of our family and friends are different than those trying to sell a product. They have our best interests at heart, not the next sale.

In the Bible reading today, God reminds us that Jesus can be trusted. He has our best intentions in mind. More than fifteen hundred years before Jesus was born, God promised that Jesus would be a prophet who would only say what God wanted to be said. This means that everything Jesus said was true. His words can be trusted.

Jesus wasn’t trying to sell something. Jesus didn’t come to earth to make money or make life better for himself. Jesus came to earn heaven for us and give it to us free of charge. His words weren’t deceitful or crafty. He wasn’t trying to trick us. Jesus’ words help, heal, and are true. You can trust Jesus!

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, help me to trust that you care for me. Give me a heart that listens to your words and takes them to heart, trusting that what you say will always be for my good. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Can Trust Jesus Power – February 2, 2021

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Mark 1:21-24

You Can Trust Jesus Power


Daily Devotion – February 2, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 1:21-24

See series: Devotions

It must have sent a tingle up the spine of anyone who was there to hear it. The voice of an evil spirit spoke through the mouth of a demon-possessed man.

Those of us who live in the twenty-first century Western world don’t discuss demons very often. Many people are convinced they simply don’t exist. The Bible tells us differently. In fact, it tells us of many occasions when Jesus confronted evil spirits. In our Bible reading for today, we are told that an evil spirit was in control of a man’s body or at least his mouth. What a terrifying state of affairs!

But notice that the evil spirit was not more powerful than Jesus. Not even close. In fact, it had to acknowledge that Jesus was the Holy One of God.

What are you afraid of this day? What troubles you? What makes you worry? Whatever it is, it cannot be more powerful than Jesus. He is all-powerful. The one who could cast that demon out of that man can conquer anything that frightens you. He has already conquered your sin when he went to the cross. He already conquered death when he rose from the dead. So, you can be sure he can and will do what is best for you now and take you to himself in heaven one day. Aren’t you glad your Jesus is so powerful?

Prayer:
Jesus, when I am tempted to tremble in fear, remind me of your almighty power. 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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email