Repentance and Forgiveness – May 12, 2021

Repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:47

Repentance and Forgiveness


Daily Devotion – May 12, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 24:47

See series: Devotions

How do the speakers at a high school and college graduation boil down everything that happened during those years of education into something that captures all of it and holds the attention of the crowd? Many of them do not even try. They tell a few jokes, maybe a story, and then go for a memorable sentence general enough that most graduates can apply it to their lives.

When Jesus was about to ascend into heaven, he had his turn to boil down three years of education for his disciples into something that could apply to every one of their lives from that time forward. Here’s what he told them: repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations.

Repentance was necessary for every one of them, and it was necessary for every person to whom they would speak. Repentance is sorrow for sin and trust in God’s promises, and it is just as necessary for the nations today as it was back then.

Forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus is the key message of Christians. Nothing is more important. When the name of Jesus is put on something, it belongs to him, and he has put it on people from nations all around the world. They belong to him, and they have forgiveness of sins from him.

This has been a crazy school year. All around the world, graduation speakers are trying to summarize it. But you don’t have to be graduating this year to appreciate something that can be applied to every life as most important: repentance and forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, as I continue on the path of life, give me repentance and forgiveness of sins through faith in your name. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Love One Another – May 11, 2021

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11

Love One Another


Daily Devotion – May 11, 2021

Devotion based on 1 John 4:11

See series: Devotions

Dig down deep enough, and we can find something unlovable about anyone. Sometimes we don’t have to dig too far. It’s obvious. How can we ever find the strength to love people who are difficult to love?

Dear friends, God loves us. He knows unlovable things about each of us, and he still loves us so much that he sent his one and only Son to be our Savior. When we are feeling unlovable or unloved, we can return to that comfort. God still loves us, and his opinion counts more than any other in the universe.

Dear friends, God also loves those other people. He sent his Son for them as well. Taking his opinion into account, we realize that it’s pretty bad if we withhold our love from people God loves. So we take the confidence we have from being loved by God and make ourselves vulnerable to love the people he has put into our lives.

Because we are frail humans, we may struggle with the proper way to express our love in any given situation. But it’s worth the struggle to figure out the best ways to demonstrate our love for one another. When we fail, it’s an appropriate act of love to apologize and ask for forgiveness. When others fail and apologize, it is an act of love to forgive them.

We love them because he first loved us. Whenever we are not feeling it, return to that truth, and pray for strength.

Prayer:
Lord God, strengthen my love for you and for others, in the name of 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.
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This Is Love – May 10, 2021

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

This Is Love


Daily Devotion – May 10, 2021

Devotion based on 1 John 4:10

See series: Devotions

People want to know what love is. Teenagers want to know if their strong feelings for another person are puppy love, infatuation, or the real thing. People who have been burned in relationships wonder whether they were ever actually in love. On one day, the memes about love resonate, and the next day they ring hollow.

Do you want to know what real love is? Take a look at the attitudes and actions of God.

God loves you. He wants you to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. He is committed to the best for you. He knows the real you, the times you have disappointed him. He knows your weaknesses and failings. That doesn’t stop him from loving you.

While you were still a sinner, Jesus died for you. His death was a sacrifice because he didn’t have to do it. The Son of God could have continued living in glory for eternity. Instead, he took on a human body and a human soul, then suffered hell so that you wouldn’t have to. He let that body and soul separate in death, paying the complete price for your sins.

Some people want the best for you and are committed to you, but no one else has done what God has done for you. Even your gratitude and love for God are not the best example of love.

This is love: God loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Now you know what love is. But people don’t just want to know love. They want to experience it. In Jesus, you have experienced it, and you can heal from every harmful human relationship that has fallen short of perfect love.

Prayer:
Jesus, you are all compassion, pure love without boundaries. Enter my trembling heart and make me confident in your continuous perfect 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.
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A Special Plan For You – May 9, 2021

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. . . . Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:13-18,23,24

A Special Plan For You


Daily Devotion – May 9, 2021

Devotion based on Psalm 139:13-18,23,24

See series: Devotions

Our Bible passage for today gives us some remarkably comforting information. For example, it assures you that you are not a random accident of evolution. No, God personally knit you together in your mother’s womb. The end result is something fantastic, unique, and special.

As a special creation of God, God assures you that he knows the exact amount of days you will live on this earth. During your life, God has a specific plan mapped out just for YOU. When you stray from the plan, God pulls you back. And when you stray again, God does not leave you. He stays with you. He uses his Word to correct and comfort you.

Together with the writer of today’s Bible reading, you can say: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, help me to treasure the physical life you have given to me as a gift. Even more so, help me to treasure the spiritual and eternal life you give to me as a gift through faith in Christ 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.
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The Grace of God – May 8, 20 2021

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us, so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
Psalm 67:1,2

The Grace of God


Daily Devotion – May 8, 20 2021

Devotion based on Psalm 67:1,2

See series: Devotions

Everywhere on the internet, there are those fake ads where someone pretends that they have received a free phone or computer because the company has made a mistake. If you foolishly click on the link, you will always find out that it’s a scam. No company would give away valuable merchandise that you haven’t paid for, right?

But God has given away something more valuable than a phone or a computer, and you haven’t paid for it. God has given away salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life in heaven. We haven’t paid anything for these valuable gifts. In fact, we don’t deserve them, and we can’t do anything to pay for them. Instead, Jesus paid for them by shedding his innocent blood and dying for us on the cross. Because we don’t deserve the love of Jesus, we call God gracious. Because the gifts of God bring us many good things in our lives of faith, we say that he blesses us.

Why would God do that for us, especially when we don’t deserve it? Is he making a mistake?

God doesn’t make mistakes. He knows what he is doing. One of the reasons he blesses us is so that his ways might be known on earth. If people realized that there really were sweet deals on the internet, getting something valuable for nothing, they would be sharing those deals immediately with family and friends.

In the same way, when we realize the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, we find ways to post it and tell it and pass it on—across the street, across the internet, and across the world.

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 249)
God of mercy, God of grace, show the brightness of your face. Shine upon us, Savior, shine; fill your Church with light divine, and your saving health extend to the earth’s remotest end. 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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To God Be the Glory – May 7, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . You are the branches. . . . This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:1,5,8

To God Be the Glory


Daily Devotion – May 7, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:1,5,8

See series: Devotions

Everyone has a “born on” date. And we all have an “expiration” date. Everything in between is summed up with a “dash.” The question is, what do we do with the “dash” between those dates? What are we supposed to do with our lives?

Look to plant life for the answer. A vine produces grapes. A flower blooms. A stalk sprouts ears of corn. But it is the gardener who makes it happen. He chooses the seed and gives it life by planting it in good soil. He makes it grow and flourish by watering it and weeding around it. So, when a plant is fruitful, the glory belongs to the gardener.

This is the way for God’s people. From eternity he chose us to be his own. Through faith in his Son, our Savior, he gives us life. By his word, he causes us to grow and flourish in line with his will. So, when we are fruitful, it is because God is at work in us for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

So, what do we do with the dash? What are we supposed to do with our lives? We don’t all bear the same fruits, but we all have the same Father. He loves us. He gives us life and the ability to produce.

“So, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and giving me life in your Son. Help me to glorify you in all that I think, and say, and do. 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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It Will Be Done – May 6, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the vine; you are the branches. . . . If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
John 15:5,7

It Will Be Done


Daily Devotion – May 6, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:5,7

See series: Devotions

Ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Wow, that is one incredible promise! But what does it mean? It sounds like Jesus is some kind of genie in a jar. Do you want to be wealthy, healthy, lucky in love, successful? Ask for whatever you wish, and “Poof!” Jesus will grant it.

If that were true, then everyone would be a follower of Jesus.

So, does that mean Jesus is a liar? Of course not! Look closely at the promise Jesus makes to us. He says he is the vine, and his people are the branches. A branch doesn’t wish to become a butterfly. Neither do Jesus’ followers wish to be anything other than like Jesus.

Rooted in Jesus by faith and nourished by his Word, Jesus’ people grow in the grace and knowledge of him. They know that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again to set them free from sin and death and to set them free to thrive as God intends.

May this be true of you. Rather than praying “my will be done,” may your prayer be, “Heavenly Father, thy will be done.” And God’s answer will always be “Yes,” in Christ.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, accomplish in me the works that you have prepared in advance for me to do. 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 Fruit Filled Life – May 5, 2021

[Jesus said] “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:4,5

A Fruit Filled Life


Daily Devotion – May 5, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:4,5

See series: Devotions

In technologically advanced cultures, people take much for granted. But there are still some remote places in the world where people don’t even have access to electricity.

The story is told of a man from such a place. He travels to a modern city and is amazed by all the electric lights. What a blessing these would be to his village! So, he took what little money he had and bought a bag full of bulbs and a light switch.

Back home, he excitedly hung the bulbs around his yard and on the front of his home. Puzzled, the other villagers asked him what he was doing. “Wait until dark, and you will see,” he replied.

When evening came, he flipped the switch, but nothing happened. No one had told him that without a connection to electricity, light bulbs are useless.

Without a connection to Jesus, we can’t do the good that God created us to do. But when God connects a person to Jesus by faith, the power of his forgiving love flows through them, enabling them to do what is pleasing to God.

Do you want to live a more God-pleasing life? The key is Jesus. Connect to Jesus through his Word. He will empower you to produce those God-pleasing fruits.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, keep me connected to Jesus through your Word so that I live a life that pleases 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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Pruning Love – May 4, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”
John 15:1-3

Pruning Love


Daily Devotion – May 4, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:1-3

See series: Devotions

Some people have a “green thumb.” I do not. My wife once gave me some cacti from Arizona. They could survive in the desert’s arid atmosphere but not under my artless attention.

That’s why I’m amazed by anyone who can not only keep plants alive but make them bigger or more beautiful. Have you ever seen those prize pumpkins at a county fair that weigh over 300 pounds? How do they do that? They direct all the nutrition to one or two blossoms rather than the whole plant.

God is such a skillful gardener. He wants us to produce the fruit of love in us. So, he connects us to Jesus, the true vine who gives us life. And he prunes away things that hurt our connection to Jesus, the vine.

The pruning process is often painful, but God isn’t punishing us. Jesus has already made you pure in the sight of God through faith in his holy, precious blood. Through his Word, the Bible, God is directing the flow of his grace so that the fruits of love we produce are more than mediocre—they are magnificent.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for planting me in the vine by your gospel of grace. Help me accept whatever pruning I need so that my life better displays your splendor. 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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You Are a Planting of the Lord – May 3, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. . . . If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”
John 15:1,2,6

You Are a Planting of the Lord


Daily Devotion – May 3, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:1,2,6

See series: Devotions

Spring is in the air. New life is signaling the death of winter. Bird songs fill the air. The grass is greening. Leaves are budding. Flowers are blooming. And soon, the fruit will be ripening on the vine.

Yet, amid the kaleidoscope and fragrance of flowers mingles the gray haze and pungent smell of brush fires. The smoke isn’t pleasant, but it is necessary. Gardeners need to trim away lifeless branches, rake up the waste, and burn it to protect the healthy plants and promote new growth.

In the garden of God, every believer in Jesus is a planting of the Lord. To God, the gardener, we are the display of his splendor (Isaiah 61:3) and the pleasing aroma of Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:15). We flourish best when our heavenly Father trims away everything that threatens our faith.

God’s gardening activity is always for our good, even though the smoke and shears may bring about tears. Sometimes God’s shears and smoke are a warning signal for us: Be on your guard against anything that can threaten your faith in Jesus.

Sometimes, God’s shears and smoke signal that God is at work in our lives, caring for us and correcting us when necessary so we can bear the fruit of love for him and our neighbor.

Prayer:
Lord God, mercifully forgive me for my sins and accept my thanks for graciously grafting me to Jesus, the true Vine. 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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Stay Connected – May 2, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. . . . If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
John 15:5,7

Stay Connected


Daily Devotion – May 2, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:5,7

See series: Devotions

What do we mean when we say we have “connections?” We are implying that we have a relationship that gives us a special advantage. It gives us an advantage that we would not normally have.

Our Bible passage for today tells about a connection that we have—that we are connected to Jesus. That was not always the case. In fact, we had a disconnect. We were sinners. Because of sin, we were separated from God and earned his anger for breaking his commands. But God was not willing that we remain disconnected from him. He sent his Son, Jesus, who died in our place, taking the punishment we deserved as sinners. Then Jesus rose from the dead to assure us that his death counts for us.

The Easter message is clear—we are no longer cut-off from Jesus by our sin. He took it all on himself. By faith in the living Jesus, we are branches firmly attached to him and empowered to lead lives that give glory to God for our salvation!

Do we have a special connection? Jesus says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Stay connected to Jesus through his Word, and he will grant your wishes in ways that he knows are best for you. Jesus is our special advantage!

Prayer:
O dearest Jesus, as the true vine, you provide me with life and the ability to produce the fruits of faith. Keep me connected to you. Keep me growing in my love for you. Keep me close to you in this life and forever. 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 is Our Hope – May 1, 2021

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4,5

Jesus is Our Hope


Daily Devotion – May 1, 2021

Devotion based on Psalm 25:4,5

See series: Devotions

Drivers are required to follow rules and regulations as they drive. Obey the speed limit. Stop on red; go on green. Don’t cross the centerline; stay in your lane. The laws for road travel are set for the safety of everyone. Accidents, injuries, or even worse, are caused when drivers disobey laws.

Just as drivers have rules to follow as they drive, we have rules to follow as we live our lives. They are rules given us by the God who made us. They are rules meant to keep us safe–both physically and spiritually.

Sadly, we don’t always follow God’s rules. We think we know better, so we do our own thing and go our own way. Had God left us to our own devices, we would have wandered away from him forever.

But, as we see from today’s Bible verse, God is our Savior. He sent Jesus from heaven who walked life’s path for us—perfectly. And for all the times we fall and fail to follow God’s way, Jesus bore our guilt and suffered the judgment we deserved. Instead of being charged with breaking the rules of the road of life, through everything that Jesus did for us we have a perfect record. Instead of crashing into the destruction we deserve for lawbreaking, we have the joy of God’s love and assurance of life with him forever.

Having seen how much God loves us, we become more and more confident that the path he has marked out for our lives must be best for us. And so, with the writer of today’s Bible passage, we say, “O LORD, teach me your paths.”

Prayer:
Jesus, I praise and honor you for being my Savior who walked the path of life perfectly for me and rescued me from the destruction I deserve for my sin. Guide me now to live and walk in God’s way out of thankfulness and joy for the hope that you give 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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Shepherds Take Care of Their Sheep – April 30, 2021

Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Acts 20:28

Shepherds Take Care of Their Sheep


Daily Devotion – April 30, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 20:28

See series: Devotions

A friend invites you to worship with him on Sunday. He says, “Do you want to come to my church with me?” Two pastors get together for coffee, and each of them asks, “How are things going at your church?” Christians speak this way about the churches they attend because they have such a close connection to them. And this is a good thing.

But sometimes, this idea can go too far. People might say, “This is my church,” as they try to push their own personal agendas on the ministry of a congregation.

As a man named Paul spoke to the church leaders in the ancient city of Ephesus, he reminded them to whom the church belonged. He called the church “the church of God.” And then he explained why it belongs to God. God bought it with his own blood.

When you pay a lot for something, it is worth a lot to you. God paid a price for you and me too. He paid the price of his blood. Because Jesus was the innocent Son of God, his blood was infinitely precious—more valuable than all of the gold in the world. And Jesus paid the price with his blood, bleeding and dying to buy us out of our slavery to sin and death.

Now we belong to him. And the one who paid so much for us makes sure that we are taken care of. He chooses pastors and church leaders to care for the spiritual needs of Christians the way that shepherds take care of sheep. They have an important responsibility. But in the end, they are simply those chosen by God to care for his sheep.

Thank God for faithful pastors. Pray for them. Encourage them. And most of all, rejoice that, while pastors may come and go and churches rise and fall, the church of God remains as those forgiven, set free, and purchased with the precious blood of Christ.

Prayer:
Bought by your blood, Jesus, I belong to 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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What Great Love – April 29, 2021

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1

What Great Love


Daily Devotion – April 29, 2021

Devotion based on 1 John 3:1

See series: Devotions

How does a father show love to his children? One father spends his hard-earned money to buy the best of everything for his children–whether it’s toys, computers, clothes, or cars. Another father pursues the best opportunities for his children—the best education, the best sports teams, the best music, or the best dance lessons. Another father works less in order to spend more time with his children. I suppose all of these can be motivated by a father’s love for his children.

But the Bible doesn’t say, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that he always gives us whatever we want, that he makes life easy for his children, or that he always makes them feel happy and loved.” No, it says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.”

God the Father’s love for us is most clearly shown in his calling us children of God. When we were born into this world, we were descended from Adam and Eve, the first two people in the world. Because they disobeyed God, we inherit from them an inborn desire to live for ourselves, ignore God, and operate by our own rules. When we live that way, we can be called children of the devil.

The devil is worse than any deadbeat dad in this world. He doesn’t care for his children at all. He only wants to see them suffer because when they do, he thinks he is getting back at the God who kicked him out of heaven.

But God loved us so much that he couldn’t wait to rescue us from that abusive household and adopt us into his family. And so he sent his own Son to be the perfect child in our place, to be absolutely obedient, not to demand proof of God’s love, but to give proof of God’s love by his life. He did that so that we might be called children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ himself. As God’s children, we have a place in his family and a home with him forever. Now that’s love!

Prayer:
God, I delight to call you Father. Thank you for your lavish 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.
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Authority Over Life and Death – April 28, 2021

[Jesus said] “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
John 10:17,18

Authority Over Life and Death


Daily Devotion – April 28, 2021

Devotion based on John 10:17,18

See series: Devotions

If you’ve ever stood beside the bed of a loved one who is dying, you know how helpless that can feel—for them and you. The body grows weaker, the pain increases. Every treatment has been exhausted. There’s nothing more that can be done. All you can do is wait. You don’t get to decide when they die. God gives life and takes it away. It’s his timing, not ours.

Jesus was in the prime of life when he spoke the words of our Bible reading for today. Cancer wasn’t consuming him. His organs weren’t failing. But he knew he was going to die, and he knew when and how. Jesus was not just a human being. He was also the Son of God. As God, no one could take his life from him.

But he willingly laid down his life for you. The angry hatred of his enemies didn’t put him on the cross. His amazing love for you and me did. His enemies taunted him from the foot of the cross and told him to come down to prove that he was God. He could have done just that. But he stayed there and gave up his life to forgive those who fought against him and rescue those who ridiculed him.

And, just as he had the authority to lay down his life on his terms, Jesus had the authority to take his life back up again. He came back to life on Easter Sunday. His rising from the dead proves that he has taken care of your greatest need by overcoming sin and death for you. You can be at peace because Jesus has defeated death for you. And by his power, he will one day raise to eternal life with him all who trust in him as their Savior.

Prayer:
Jesus, when I face death, lead me to trust in you and know that you died and rose to give me 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.
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Your Good Shepherd – April 27, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
John 10:11

Your Good Shepherd


Daily Devotion – April 27, 2021

Devotion based on John 10:11

See series: Devotions

The Bible often compares people to sheep. Maybe that sounds like a compliment. After all, sheep are soft and gentle. They don’t hurt anything and seem pretty innocent.

But sheep are also pretty helpless. And sheep aren’t very smart. If someone compares you to a sheep today, they probably mean that you don’t think much for yourself but follow others blindly. That’s what sheep do, even if they are following right into danger or death. They have little or no ability to defend themselves from predators. They get lost easily. They need a shepherd to provide for them and defend and lead them. The people in Bible times would have understood the comparison well.

As unflattering as it sounds, you and I are aptly described as sheep. We are spiritually vulnerable and helpless. On our own, we’re unable to defend ourselves against the attacks of the devil, who attacks us like a wolf attacks a flock of sheep. We are easy targets.

At the same time, we aren’t just helpless victims. Too often, we choose to wander and get hopelessly lost. The Bible says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.”

And Jesus, our Shepherd, knows how much you and I are like sheep. He sees those wandering thoughts of anger or lust that we may just ignore as normal. He knows about the selfish motives that taint some of our kindest actions. He knows when our hearts covet worldly things, even if we never act on those desires.

But Jesus, the Good Shepherd, doesn’t leave his wandering sheep. He shows us his tender mercy by caring for every need of our bodies and our souls. He picks us up and carries us through the dangers of life. And he doesn’t abandon us when things get dangerous. He sees the devil coming, and he defends us. He would rather die for us than see us die in our sins. And that’s exactly what he did!

Your Good Shepherd won’t run away when life is dark and difficult. He stays with you through it all. You can count on it!

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for rescuing me when I go astray. Never leave my side. 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 Good Shepherd Knows His Sheep – April 26, 2021

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
John 10:14

The Good Shepherd Knows His Sheep


Daily Devotion – April 26, 2021

Devotion based on John 10:14

See series: Devotions

Who knows you better than anyone else? That one person who knows you inside and out. They know where you’ve been in the past and where you want to be in the future. They know what brings a smile to your face or a tear to your eye. They know the things that make you angry and the things that you fear the most. They know how you think and how you make decisions. They know just what makes you…you.

But they don’t know you completely, do they? They only know what you let them see or know. Maybe no one knows you better than you. Well, almost no one.

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep.” The sheep he is talking about aren’t literal sheep. The sheep are people—you and me.

Jesus knows you. This is not just knowing the facts about you. It’s a much more personal and intimate knowledge. It’s like how a parent knows his child or a husband knows his wife, but even deeper. Jesus knows your past, present, and future. He knows your joys and sorrows, your thoughts, and emotions. He knows you right down to the core of your soul.

That means he also knows all your sins—every selfish thought, every hurtful word, every loveless action. He knows how desperately you need a solution to your sin and rescue from the hell you deserve, even if you don’t fully grasp or acknowledge that desperate need.

He knows those sins because he paid for every one of them when he laid down his life for you. In undeserved, self-sacrificing love, he knew you were powerless to save yourself. And so he gave up his own life in your place. He took all your sins on himself and willingly gave up his innocent life in exchange for the guilt of your sins when he died on a cross.

Yes, Jesus, your Good Shepherd, knows you, and he loves you. His death proves it. What a blessing to know that the Shepherd who loves us that much knows us and our needs!

Prayer:
Jesus, my Good Shepherd, nothing in my life is hidden from you. Remind me of your undying love for me every day. 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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Easter Confidence – April 25, 2021

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Acts 4:31

Easter Confidence


Daily Devotion – April 25, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 4:31

See series: Devotions

Are you a confident person? We hear a great deal today about the importance of self-confidence. “You have to believe in yourself!” we’re told. There’s an inherent danger in self-confidence, though. None of us is perfect. Every one of us will disappoint ourselves and others. When this happens, self-confidence quickly gives way to self-doubt and despair.

The early Christians in Jerusalem didn’t make this mistake. They were extremely confident but not self-confident. You might say they were Christ-confident. They knew that Jesus had risen from the grave on Easter morning. He promised to be with them always. He assured them that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to him. These realities made them bold to proclaim the word of God even after two of their leaders had been jailed for doing this very thing.

What are you facing today? Whatever it is, face it boldly. Jesus is alive. He is with you. He has promised to make all things work out for your good. What could give you greater confidence?

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you know what I am facing this day. Give me confidence knowing that you are with 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 Answer Is Jesus – April 24, 2021

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8,9

The Answer Is Jesus


Daily Devotion – April 24, 2021

Devotion based on 1 John 1:8,9

See series: Devotions

A while back, there was a piece in a news magazine about a woman who appeared stable and well-adjusted in every way. She held a responsible job. She was nicely dressed. She was gracious and cordial in her demeanor. She held a terrible secret, however. The secret was that she was keeping hundreds of cats in her home. Video footage from the city health department was shocking. The interior was in ruins. Officials reported that the stench was indescribable.

Most shocking of all, though, was the woman’s sense of absolute denial. She had no grasp of the sickening thing she had produced within her home. In fact, during an interview, she even described herself as “a clean freak.”

That woman’s self-deception is a lot like our attitude towards sin. You and I don’t mind admitting that we’re sinful in a generic kind of way. (“Nobody’s perfect.” “We’ve all done things we’re not proud of,”—you know the routine.) When it comes to confronting the real-life failures in our lives, however, you and I often plug our noses and ignore the terrible stench of our own sin.

But the answer is not self-deception. The answer is Jesus. Confess your sins—thoughts, words, and actions that oppose God’s perfect will and make you unclean in his sight. Trust God’s faithful word that through faith in your Savior, Jesus, you are freely forgiven and completely clean before God.

And from now on, no more self-deception.

Prayer:
O Lord, my God, I called to you for help, and you answered me. I thank you for the love you have shown me in Jesus Christ, my Savior. Through him, you have rescued me from the guilt of my sin and given me the peace of forgiveness. Help me fight against temptation, correct whatever wrongs I can, and serve you and those around me with love and good works. 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 Scriptures – April 23, 2021

[Jesus said] “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Luke 24:44

The Scriptures


Daily Devotion – April 23, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 24:44

See series: Devotions

It is January of 2000, and a man by the name of Christian Hosoi has hit rock-bottom. He has fallen a long way. Throughout the 1980s and early 90s, Christian Hosoi reigned as royalty in the world of professional skateboarding with all the fame, money, and jet-setting that went along with it. Then he began dabbling in drugs. The dabbling morphed into an addiction. He stopped competing. Instead, from 1995 to 2000, he ingested crystal meth every day. Now he is under arrest for drug trafficking with intent to distribute. He’s facing ten years in prison.

He calls a friend. In Christian’s mind, what he needs is a good lawyer or at least money for bail. Instead, his friend tells him to find a Bible. He does. He pages around at first, not quite knowing what to read or where to start. Soon enough, however, he settles in. Once he begins, he does not stop.

It is the Sunday evening of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Jesus has already made several appearances that day. Now he appears among his disciples. At first, they are startled and frightened. To assure them he has truly risen, he shows them his hands and feet and eats some broiled fish.

Once he has established that he really is alive, Jesus turns the disciples’ attention to something else. He points to the words of the Bible. “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me,” he says. Then Jesus continues: “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name.”

Several weeks after first opening the Bible, Christian Hosoi is still reading. Even though the walls of a jail surround him, Christian is beginning to know a freedom he has never known before. The Scriptures declare that Jesus died on a cross for his sins. The Scriptures declare that Jesus has risen from the dead. The Scriptures declare that forgiveness is his through faith in Jesus the Christ.

Today, Christian Hosoi serves as a pastor in California.

Prayer:
Thank you, risen Christ, for your Holy Scriptures. Through your living Word, keep me close to 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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Aroma – April 22, 2021

We are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 2:15

Aroma


Daily Devotion – April 22, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 2:15

See series: Devotions

One person feels euphoria when she smells freshly fallen snow because it reminds her of snow days off from school when she was a little girl. Another person feels stress when he smells that same smell because it reminds him of a cold and terrible battle in a long-ago war. According to an article in Psychology Today, because we tend mainly to think about our sense of vision, we sometimes underestimate the power of smell. Studies, for instance, have shown that our olfactory nerve—the nerve that gives us our sense of smell—sits right next to the parts of our brain that handle things like emotion and memory. Aroma, therefore, makes a profound impact.

This is no new discovery, of course. People have known about the power of aroma for thousands of years. It’s one of the fascinating ways God has wired us. It should probably come as no surprise, then, that God’s Word pictures those who proclaim the message of Christ as “the aroma of Christ.” He pictures these proclaimers in this way, not because these proclaimers are powerful in and of themselves. Rather, the impact comes from the power of the message.

All of this serves to remind us how potent the message of Jesus truly is. When his proclamation of repentance and forgiveness of sins rings out, God the Holy Spirit is hard at work within that message. All those times when we have grown sleepy and apathetic in our relationship with the Lord, the message of Jesus might come to us as a harsh and abrasive smelling salt, waking us up. At those times when the guilty stench of our own sin is filling our nostrils and choking us in despair, the message of Jesus comes to us in the refreshing sweetness of the full forgiveness he purchased for us at Calvary’s cross.

This brings us to a question. Which aroma does your soul need right now—the smelling salt of repentance or the sweetness of forgiveness? The beauty is that the Lord brings just what you need through the power of his Word.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, fill the nostrils of my soul with the aroma of Christ. Do this through the power of your Word. 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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Soul Toupee – April 21, 2021

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8,9

Soul Toupee


Daily Devotion – April 21, 2021

Devotion based on 1 John 1:8,9

See series: Devotions

Tim Kreider is a cartoonist. He is a gifted writer. He is also the man who has coined the term “Soul Toupee.” He explains its origin. He and a friend used to frequent an oyster bar in Baltimore, MD. One day they noticed how one of the regulars there wore what Kreider calls “the worst toupee in the world, a comical little wig taped in place on the top of his head.” From that, Kreider and his friend developed the concept of what he calls “The Soul Toupee.”

Kreider’s definition for the Soul Toupee is as follows: The Soul Toupee is that thing about ourselves we are most deeply embarrassed by and like to think we have…concealed to the world, but which is, in fact, pitifully obvious. Then Kreider adds this: Contemplating one’s own Soul Toupee is not an exercise for the fainthearted.

The soul toupee is nothing new. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, the apostle John wrote. A holy God sees through the soul toupees. Every single one.

What’s your soul toupee? What ugly, sinful rut have you been trying to cover up or camouflage for far, far too long? Is it laziness, lust, greed, pride, a sense of entitlement, ducking responsibility, blaming others? Or is it the absence of self-discipline or raw self-absorption?

Whatever it is, the same holy God who sees through all the toupees also gives us a beautiful promise. When we confess our sins, John says, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. God makes this promise on the basis of his Son, Jesus Christ, who has lived a holy life in our place and suffered and died on the cross for our every sin. Christ alone saves us. Soul toupees be gone.

Prayer:
Lord God, move me to confess what I have been hiding the most. Forgive me. Give me peace in Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Rhoda – April 20, 2021

Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
Acts 12:13,14

Rhoda


Daily Devotion – April 20, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 12:13,14

See series: Devotions

Her name is Rhoda. God’s Word has recorded Rhoda’s name and her delightful moment from the early days of the New Testament church.

Here’s the context. Jesus has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven. The Holy Spirit has empowered Jesus’ apostles to proclaim the good news of what Jesus has done. They face persecution, however. For example, King Herod has decided to arrest the apostle Peter and to put him in prison to await trial. After Herod does this, many Christians gather in a house in Jerusalem to pray for Peter.

Then, a miracle. God sends an angel. Peter’s chains fall off, and he follows the angel. He walks right past the guards and straight out of the prison. Peter is free. And so Peter proceeds to walk to the very house where those Christians are praying on his behalf.

This is where Rhoda enters the picture. She hears a knock and goes to answer. It’s Peter! In an instant, joy washes over Rhoda so completely that she runs back and announces that Peter is at the door. In her excitement, however, she’s left Peter outside, still standing, still knocking, still asking if he can come in.

They let him in, of course. But think about this. Think of all the times Rhoda must have smiled, laughed, and told the story of how she forgot to let Peter into the house because her sheer joy had gotten the best of her.

It was quite a moment for Rhoda. You and I get moments like that too. Perhaps the circumstances are not as dramatic, but God does the same for us. Just when we need it, he gives us a moment of joy, a moment to laugh and smile, a moment to savor and share with others. And this should not surprise us. After all, he is the kind of God who was willing to sacrifice his own Son to save us from our sins. And, as we travel this broken world, he gives us what we need to see us through.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the moments of joy you give me. Please, keep them coming. 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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No Other – April 19, 2021

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12

No Other


Daily Devotion – April 19, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 4:12

See series: Devotions

Last month, a couple was driving across a bridge in the western United States. They were riding in their truck, and their truck was pulling a 30-foot trailer. Suddenly, disaster struck. The truck veered out of control and went over the side. It was about to plunge all one hundred feet to the bottom of the gorge. It didn’t, however. Instead, it hung, suspended. There was one reason for this. The trailer was still on the bridge, and between the trailer and the truck was a standard safety chain. That chain—and that chain alone—spared the couple from plummeting to the bottom.

In that moment, as the couple stared straight down into the gorge, it didn’t matter what kind of sound system was in the truck. It didn’t matter how big its engine was. It didn’t matter whether or not the interior of the truck was in pristine condition. What mattered was the chain.

On any given day, you and I encounter many good things that need our attention. Our family, work, and physical health need our attention. So do our home, finances, hobbies, and recreation.

These are all good things. However, none of them is as important as our relationship with Jesus Christ. “Salvation is found in no one else,” the apostle Peter wrote, “for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Jesus alone is the One who came to live a perfect life on behalf of sinful mankind. Jesus alone is the One who took the sins of all people of all time and paid for them in full at the cross. Jesus alone is the One who links us to life eternal and forgiveness full and free.

With so many things pulling at our time and attention, remember to stay connected to the most important One—your Savior, Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, wash away my sins of misplaced priorities. Renew my bond with 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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There Is No Other – April 18, 2021

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

There Is No Other


Daily Devotion – April 18, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 4:12

See series: Devotions

Have you been to an electronics store recently? Walk to the back of the store, and you will discover a wall of televisions. Literally, the entire wall will be covered with flat-screen TVs. The challenge is choosing which one to buy. There are different sizes, different features, and different prices. The choices seem endless.

When it comes to our relationship with God, the situation is very different. There are not many different paths to God. There is only one. His name is Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can save us from eternal separation from God because only Jesus did what we needed to have done. He lived a perfect life in our place. He died to make payment for our sins. And he rose from the grave to defeat death and guarantee us eternal life.

The worst that could happen if you walk out of an electronics store with the “wrong” TV is that you won’t get as clear a picture as you could have had. But, walk out of this life with anyone or anything other than Jesus, and you won’t have the eternal life you could have had. Don’t allow this to happen. Trust Jesus—the only name by which we must be saved.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for doing everything necessary to save me. Keep me close to you until I sing your name in the heaven that you are preparing 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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The Best Kind of Refreshment – April 17, 2021

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Acts 3:19

The Best Kind of Refreshment


Daily Devotion – April 17, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 3:19

See series: Devotions

“Refreshments will be served.” Advertise a meeting by promising refreshments and the meeting attendance will almost always increase, especially if the refreshments are really good. Fresh donuts in the morning and hot pizza at night have a powerful effect on meeting attendance.

The Lord promises the best kind of refreshment. He says that when our feelings of guilt and our record of wrongs are wiped away, that’s lasting refreshment. There is no feeling of relief that compares to the sweet relief of forgiveness, knowing we are spared the condemnation we justly deserve as sinners.

God has done everything necessary to take away the punishment that should be ours. The guilt of our sins was laid upon Jesus, and by his Son’s sacrificial death, the due penalty was paid.

Now God calls us to a meeting where he will serve refreshments that are the best. He comes to meet with us through his Word. In the Bible, the Lord gives us the refreshing message that our sins are wiped out.

We will want to meet with him often by reading and listening to his Word because he gives us the best kind of refreshment—we have the peace of forgiveness for our sins through the Lord Jesus!

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for refreshing me with the promises found in your Word. 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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Christ Is Risen – April 16, 2021

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 15:19,20

Christ Is Risen


Daily Devotion – April 16, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:19,20

See series: Devotions

When was the last time you saw someone rise from the dead? Never. And you have to admit Jesus’ resurrection is one big, difficult pill to swallow. So why is it so important to believe that Christ is risen?

Because faith without fact is a lie, and hope without history is hopelessness. If Jesus’ bones are dust in a tomb, then Christians are the most pitiful people on the planet because they are wasting their lives. They trust in a man who is not the Savior he said he was, who did not rise again as he promised, and who cannot do a thing for their future because he is dead. Even the Bible admits that if Christ is still dead, Christians are dead wrong.

But do you know what else the Bible admits? “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.” Indeed! There is no doubt. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is something that happened in history, unlike any other thing that has happened. But like every other event in history, the resurrection is an historic fact.

And Jesus won’t be the only one who rises from the dead. Our Bible reading for today says that when he rose, he was “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Firstfruits are the very first fruits that you harvest. Christ is the first to rise from the dead, but not the last. Jesus’ resurrection is God’s guarantee that there are more resurrections to come, including everyone who trusts in Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life. May that include you!

Prayer:
Risen Lord, give me confidence in your resurrection and joyful anticipation of my own resurrection. 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 Reason the Bible Exists – April 15, 2021

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30,31

The Reason the Bible Exists


Daily Devotion – April 15, 2021

Devotion based on John 20:30,31

See series: Devotions

Why did John write his Gospel? For that matter, why does the whole Bible exist? Today’s passage gives this answer: to bring you to faith in Jesus.

John’s Gospel is the eyewitness testimony of John. He didn’t make it up. He saw it with his own eyes. He lived it. Then he wrote down what he saw so that the Holy Spirit would use it to bring you to faith.

Why is this important to know? Many people assume that the Bible is a collection of religious fiction. They say that if you believe that Jesus actually performed miraculous signs and that he factually rose from the dead, then your brain must be mush because those things do not happen.

But the Bible presents itself as a factual book that was written to give people faith. You probably do not realize how much importance you place on eyewitness testimony. In the courtroom, eyewitness testimony is the difference between whether someone is pronounced guilty or innocent. Reporters cover events with eyewitness accounts of what happened. For a claim to be taken seriously—in Bible times or our times—eyewitness testimony is important.

The apostles witnessed Jesus’ miracles. They saw him crucified and risen. They knew he was dead, and then they saw him alive. Their eyewitness testimony has been handed down to you so that you can know who Jesus is and what he has done—that he is God in the flesh who died on the cross to take away your sins and rose from the dead to guarantee your salvation.

And their testimony was written not only to tell you what happened but also so that the Holy Spirit would work through it and you would have eternal life in Jesus’ name. What a blessing! You do not have to guess or try to figure out what God did or when he did it. It is given to you in his Word.

Prayer:
Son of God, I praise you for giving me eternal 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.
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Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen – April 14, 2021

Then Jesus told [Thomas], “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29

Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen


Daily Devotion – April 14, 2021

Devotion based on John 20:29

See series: Devotions

Thomas had a problem. He was not with the other disciples on the first Easter. When they told him that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to them, he doubted their report. It was simply too good and amazing to be true.

You weren’t in that room with the disciples on the first Easter either. You did not witness the resurrection. In fact, you have never even seen Jesus.

But don’t let it overcome you. Instead, watch how Jesus dealt with doubt. The second time Jesus appeared to the disciples, Thomas saw him and believed. Then Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus answered Thomas’s doubt by appearing to him. He answers your doubt by blessing you for believing in the Savior you have not seen.

Christianity involves believing in Jesus and believing, is putting your trust in something you do not see. That is the Bible’s definition of faith. The book of Hebrews says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

However, that does not mean that the Christian faith is blind faith. You did not see the risen Christ in that locked room, but the apostle John did. He is the eyewitness, and this passage from his gospel is his testimony.

You don’t need to see Jesus to know that he is real. You can trust that what he promised and what his disciples witnessed is true. He is your Savior who rescued you from your sins and who rose from the dead to assure you of eternal life. Believe it and be blessed!

Prayer:
Blessed Savior, thank you for blessing me, even though I have not seen 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 – April 13, 2021

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21

Peace Be With You


Daily Devotion – April 13, 2021

Devotion based on John 20:21

See series: Devotions

“Peace be with you!” Those are wonderful words to hear when you live in a world like ours so filled with turmoil and turbulence. It is Jesus’ promise to all of his followers. It is peace between you and God. It is the certainty that God is not out to get you. He already “got” Jesus for your sin when he punished him for it on the cross. God’s wrath is gone. Where once there was hostility and anger over sin, now there is only peace.

This is the peace that settled on the apostles when they saw the risen Savior, and it is the peace that Jesus sent them to proclaim. Because they took the message of peace to the world, the Christian Church grew, and you are reading this devotion nearly two thousand years later.

This resurrection peace directly affects you. Because Jesus lives, you know that your sins are forgiven, and your guilty conscience is silenced. Because Jesus lives, you have peace of mind and can cast all your cares on the Lord, who cares for you. Finally, because Jesus lives, you have the certainty that there is “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade . . . kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).

Listen to Jesus. He says, “Peace be with you! Do trials make you miserable? Does death terrify you? Remember me. I died for you, rose for you, and conquered every evil. I give you an eternal inheritance, and nothing can take that from you. Truly, what can harm you?” Peace like that cannot be found anywhere else in this world.

Prayer:
Jesus, help me to cherish your resurrection and your peace. 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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