Money Makes No Promises – September 25, 2022

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

Money Makes No Promises

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Daily Devotion – September 25, 2022

Devotion based on Hebrews 13:5

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Define financial stability. Is it having enough money to purchase needs or also the wants? How much savings determines stability—$1,000? $10,000? $1,000,000? Defining financial stability is not so easy.

No matter how we define it, a time of financial instability can be unnerving. When money is tight, the dreams can be dashed. But it is not just dreams that need money. For most, money buys the basics of food, clothes, and shelter. How devastating it is if earthly needs can’t be met from lack of funds. Whether it’s funding dreams or daily needs, the money we thought would always be there can fail us.

There is someone, however, who will never fail us. God has promised in his Word never to forsake those who are his own. In fact, God specifically tells us that we ought not place our trust in money, which can fail, but in him, who never fails. Whether we have $1,000,000 or $1, God will not turn his back on those he loves.

No, God has not promised that he will give us everything we want. But he has promised to supply us with everything we need. He has promised to see us through the hard times. And he proved his promise by sending his own Son, Jesus Christ, to forgive the sins of the world. God loved you and me so much he saved us from the eternal punishment our sins deserved. He also loves us enough to provide for us when money is tight.

Money can make no promises. God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Prayer:
Dear God, give me what I need for my daily life. Keep me from a love for things that gets in the way of my love for you. When tough times come, strengthen my trust that you will be with me and that you will provide. Amen.

Daily 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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Merciless Master – September 24, 2022

[Jesus said] “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Luke 16:13

Merciless Master

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Daily Devotion – September 24, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 16:13

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We tend to live urgently. Deadlines, high-priority messages, and target dates have many of us working at an unsustainable pace. When we finally catch our breath, we wonder how we’ll survive the next big push.

Pressing deadlines and demanding supervisors make it challenging to have a life outside of work. Often, we try to do two things at once—or more! We bring our phones to the dinner table. We reply to emails during soccer games. Even when we’re finally unplugged, date night is ruined by the overflow of office stress. What is the return on our investment? Divided attention, disappointment, and sometimes even divorce. Our closest relationships suffer the most when work and life are not properly aligned.

So why do we live this way? Money is enticing because it offers potential. If we had more, we could do more. More money means a better house or car. To us, better stuff means a better life.

Jesus warns that money is a merciless master. Serving money will destroy you because it always demands more. More of your time. More of your skills. More of your energy. More of you.

Money wants exactly what God wants—you. That’s why Jesus says, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

Moved by our Lord’s unconditional love, our eyes will be locked on Jesus; not on our hectic schedules. Our closest relationships can blossom because work and eternal life are properly aligned. Even when the pace quickens, God directs our focus heavenward and transforms our attitudes toward the temporal. We’re content with our present circumstances. We’re excited about our eternal future. We rest without anxiety. In Christ, we enjoy unmatched peace.

Prayer:
Lord of life, you continue to take care of all my needs. Thank you. Give me peace and fulfillment as I serve you in my workplace, my home, and my community. Amen.

Daily 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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Rich – September 23, 2022

Command those who are rich in this present world . . . to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous.
1 Timothy 6:17,18

Rich

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Daily Devotion – September 23, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6:17,18

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Imagine the apostle Paul has just stepped forward into our 21st Century society. He has received a detailed description of the typical standard of living for Christians who live in a modern civilization. He’s learned all about our conveniences: access to medical care, ease of travel, varieties of food, freshly squeezed orange juice in the dead of winter, closets of clothes, garages of cars, indoor climate control, family trips, net assets, investments, retirement plans, our income that’s often so disposable we may think nothing of “going out for a bite to eat” simply because we can.

Then, with Paul knowing what he knows about us, you and I stand before him and clear our throats. We then try to explain to him that the Word of God in our reading that speaks “to those who are rich in this present world” does not apply to us.

The vast majority of us—in comparison to most parts of the world and in past standards of living—are among the materially rich. That is not wrong in and of itself. We give thanks to a lavish God for it. But in light of this lavish treatment, let’s confess to our Lord and to each other all the time you and I have failed to demonstrate heartfelt generosity in its many forms. Let’s also confess all the times we have talked ourselves into thinking that we cannot afford to be generous; that generosity is meant for someone else.

Thank God that we are even richer in another way. We are rich in God’s grace. We are rich in God’s overwhelming forgiveness of our every sin through faith in the blood of Christ. That makes us truly rich, eternally blessed.

How to thank such a generous God? “Be rich in good deeds,” Paul tells us, “be generous.” And we can do so joyfully. For doing this, we are simply giving shouts of praise to God for what he’s already given to us.

Prayer:
Lord, by your gospel, displace the stinginess of my old self with generosity and joy. Amen.

Daily 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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Trap – September 22, 2022

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap . . . For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
1 Timothy 6:9,10

Trap

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Daily Devotion – September 22, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6:9,10

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A man by the name of Hansie Cronje [pronounced HAHN-see CROHN-yah] is not familiar to many of us. In South Africa, where the game of cricket is a dominant sport, Hansie Cronje was a household name. Imagine a person with the superstar talent of a Michael Jordan, the universal popularity of a Tom Hanks, and the integrity of an Abraham Lincoln all rolled into one. In the 1990s, when racial divisions were fierce, black and white citizens alike revered Hansie, a white man, for his sense of fairness and his strength of character.

Therefore, when a report with evidence appeared that Hansie was taking money for match-fixing, almost everyone dismissed the report as outrageous. His reputation for honesty was impeccable. How could anyone even suggest such a thing?

A few days later, however, Hansie cracked. He confessed that the substance of the report was true. Later, in a legal hearing televised live to the nation, Hansie told what he had done. He also answered the question: “Why?” The reason he gave was simple. It was, he said, “an unfortunate love of money.” Authorities later banned Hansie Cronje from cricket for the rest of his life. He died in a plane crash two years later.

Hansie was honest as to the trap into which he had fallen. God’s Word, through the apostle Paul, is honest too. Across the centuries, Paul is looking us straight in the eye when he speaks to us. The love of money has always been a trap for our fallen, sinful natures. In our culture that is materialistic and money-centered, the trap is insidious. But such a trap cannot just ruin reputations and careers. Far more lethal, such a trap can pull the soul away from our Savior-God.

Are you in such a trap? Even now, Jesus reaches for you. He calls you to repentance. Be refreshed in his forgiveness purchased at Calvary’s cross. Be empowered to replace your love of money with God’s love for you in Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I think about money so much, and think about you so little. Forgive me. Refresh me in your Spirit. Dominate my thoughts once again. Amen.

Daily 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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Contentment – September 21, 2022

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:8

Contentment

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Daily Devotion – September 21, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6:8

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Many years ago, in the Far East, there was a man named Ali. Ali owned a farm, and he was content. However, one day someone told him about diamonds. Ali, therefore, started on an extensive journey in search of diamonds. He never found them. In the process he had to sell his farm to cover his expenses. So when all was said and done, Ali died a penniless and broken man.

Meanwhile, back at Ali’s old farm—the new owner of the farm was getting settled. He brought his camel to a stream on the farm for a drink. As the camel drank, the man looked into the stream and noticed a stone that reflected sunlight in a dazzling way. The man had just discovered the diamond mine of Golcanda, one of the most magnificent mines in the world.

The story reminds us of our lives as Christians. In our 21st Century society, we receive constant messages that tell us not to be content with what we already possess. Through television, radio, print, and the staggering array of social media, a massive advertising industry is at work not only to convince us to purchase a certain product; it is at work to shape our very view of life. Therefore, it should not surprise us that one of the great temptations for you and me is not to be content.

But here’s the problem. When the lack of contentment pushes us to wander away—always consuming, upgrading, and searching for the next new thing—we abandon the treasure we already possess.

Our treasure is Jesus and his gospel. His perfect life lived in our place, and his death on the cross for our sins has given us riches beyond our wildest dreams. Through his Holy Spirit, God himself is now ours, and we are his. We now possess his every promise to take care of us personally. And it is that very treasure that empowers us to display true contentment and remember the treasure we have.

Prayer:
Lord, forgive my lack of contentment. Refresh me in your gospel. Remind me of what I have. Amen.

Daily 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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Reflections – September 20, 2022

They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:20

Reflections

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Daily Devotion – September 20, 2022

Devotion based on Ecclesiastes 5:20

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A question. If Satan were to get you to reflect on your life, what kinds of reflections would they be?

Reflections from Satan might include the following: I made it. I’m a success. I’ve done what I set out to do. I’m now enjoying the things that make life worth living. On the other hand, reflections from Satan might also include thoughts like these: My life is a disappointment. I should have achieved so much more. I cannot forget the people who’ve hurt me, and I cannot forget all the people I’ve let down.

Such reflections from Satan have one thing in common. They all focus on the self. They all fail to acknowledge the reality of our Savior-God.

The story of your life is not you in a vacuum. It includes your Creator-God loving you so much that he chose to mount a rescue mission to save you from yourself. To do this, God became one of us. In the person of Jesus, he lived the kind of life you know that you should have lived. Then he took upon himself all the ways you have let him down and blotted them out for all time through his blood on the cross.

And now he lives. He lives to delight in you. He delights in you because, through faith in him, you are forgiven, cleansed, precious in his sight. And because you are, he has saturated your every moment in this life with a kind of significance and purpose that nothing else can match.

You are God’s special creation through faith in his Son, Jesus. He is using every moment of your life to carry out his good will in your corner of his Kingdom. He sees your fruits of faith. He employs your fruits of faith. Regardless of your outward circumstance, what you do matters. It matters because God himself is working through you.

In Jesus, you and I can shake off the distracting reflections that Satan tries to slip us. In Jesus, God keeps us occupied with gladness of heart.

Prayer:
Lord, when Satan slips his reflections into my mind, replace them with gladness of heart in you. Amen.

Daily 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 Hoard – September 19, 2022

I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner.
Ecclesiastes 5:13

The Hoard

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Daily Devotion – September 19, 2022

Devotion based on Ecclesiastes 5:13

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His name is Lonnie. When the cameras first enter his home, Lonnie is all smiles. Lonnie is the owner of a massive collection of Las Vegas memorabilia, and he is proud of it. His inventory of artifacts is so large that it fills three large buildings—including his own house. Neon signs, clothing from famous performers, giant statues—Lonnie has it all and more.

Several minutes into Lonnie’s tour, you sense that all is not well. During the tour, Lonnie’s wife, Sandy, comes along. Sandy is quiet and pleasant but also clearly troubled. In time, the truth comes out. After years of feeding his impulse to hoard, Lonnie has put them in debt. Even worse, his passion for collecting has begun to dominate everything else—even his family relationships.

It might be easy to dismiss Lonnie as an eccentric and to congratulate ourselves for not being so over-the-top. But let’s think again. True, few of us have three buildings filled with all things Vegas. However, perhaps, I am guilty of hoarding too. In other words, perhaps I’m guilty of taking something that’s fine in and of itself but hoarding it to such a degree that it twists my priorities. For example, I may hoard a favorite hobby, my children’s athletic schedules and dance classes, my weekends, movies on Netflix, or money.

As God’s Word warns in Ecclesiastes chapter five, anything of this world—even something that’s good in and of itself—anything of this world that I hoard will bring me harm. It will bring harm because such a hoard will put distance between my Savior and myself.

But Jesus does not abandon me to my sinful impulses. Instead, he pursues me, calls me to repentance, and embraces me in his gospel. He assures me that, through faith in the blood shed for me on Calvary’s cross, I am forgiven; and I am his. He refreshes me to remember that life is not what I hoard in this world. Rather, my life is Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, my life is not what I hoard. My life is you. Help me remember this. Amen.

Daily 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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Contentment – September 18, 2022

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
1 Timothy 6: 6-9

Contentment

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Daily Devotion – September 18, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6: 6-9

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Few things are more difficult to attain than contentment. No matter how much we have, we would like more. And when we are not content, we are miserable. Even worse, our Bible passage for today says, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

We don’t want that. What we want it to be content. The apostle Paul told his young friend Timothy that godliness with contentment is great gain. When we are content with what God has given us—knowing that everything we have is an undeserved gift from him, knowing that he was willing to sacrifice his own Son for our sins and assure us of eternal life when his Son was raised from the dead—when we are content with these great gifts, it is a great gain for us. We are happier, lighter on our feet, less jealous, and more joyful. Isn’t that great?

Prayer:
Lord, let me see all the blessings you have showered on me so that I am content. Amen.

Daily 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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Recognizing Your Sin – September 17, 2022

Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them . . . “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Luke 15:1-3,7

Recognizing Your Sin

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Daily Devotion – September 17, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:1-3,7

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He was almost forced off the road and muttered, “How could anyone drive so recklessly?” She read about the senseless murder and muttered, “How could anyone be so brutal?” After seeing another politician or athlete confess a sin, we mutter, “How could they lie, take performance-enhancing drugs, text such lewd photos?”

Luke 15 is a great chapter about the lost—the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. It begins with some muttering. Awful sinners had gathered around Jesus to hear his message. But some of the religious elite muttered. They wondered how Jesus could welcome “sinners” into his presence and even sit down for a meal with them. If Jesus were truly God, he would know who they were. He’d know better than to associate with them.

But those “sinners” were people who recognized their sin. Those “sinners” understood how awful they had been, how they had hurt people and said shameful words. They knew they were sinners who needed the forgiving love of Jesus.

How different those sinners were from the religious elite who thought they were so good that they didn’t need the forgiving love of the Savior, Jesus, who was right there in their presence.

When you’re tempted to mutter, don’t be judgmental about the sins of others. Repent of your sin. Rejoice in that Savior who came to forgive the sins of “sinners” no matter who they are, even sinners like you and me. Give the angels a reason to rejoice in your repentance, rather than shake their heads in dismay over your judgmental self-righteousness.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, keep me from being judgmental. Help me to repent of my sin humbly and daily. Help me to rejoice in your forgiving love for lost sinners, even sinners like me. Amen.

Daily 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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We Find Comfort – September 16, 2022

You ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.
2 Corinthians 2:7,8

We Find Comfort

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Daily Devotion – September 16, 2022

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 2:7,8

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Eureka! I found it! It is such a relief to find something that was lost. But there is no joy greater than when a lost soul is found.

Today’s Bible reading is about just such an event. A man in the Christian congregation in Corinth had been so lost in sin that he refused any correction. To warn this man of his lost condition, his church had to declare that this man was outside of God’s kingdom and destined for eternal death. Can someone get more lost than that?

Thankfully, the congregation’s act of love achieved its goal. By the grace of God, the man repented and returned to the Lord. A heart that was once calloused to the Word and warning of God was now broken and longing for comfort. And that’s what the apostle Paul instructed his church to give him—comfort through complete forgiveness.

Think of how our world treats someone who has done something it considers shameful. So often, there’s no coming back. The person is written-off, canceled—that’s it. But this man returned and was restored. No hoops to jump through. The one who was once lost found comfort and relief, and heaven rejoiced over one sinner who repented—he recognized his need for forgiveness and trusted in Jesus for complete forgiveness.

That same comfort is yours! Jesus does not shame us when we come to him in humility, recognizing how much we need him. Jesus doesn’t cancel us and cut ties. He does not give us hoops to jump through to earn back his love. He reaffirms his unconditional love for us and reassures us of his forgiveness. In that love and forgiveness, we find eternal comfort.

Prayer:
Jesus, lead me back always to your love and forgiveness to find comfort that lasts. Amen

Daily 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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How much is it worth? – September 15, 2022

[Jesus said] “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’”
Luke 15:8,9

How much is it worth?

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Daily Devotion – September 15, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:8,9

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How much is it worth? That’s a good question to ask when you lose something. If it’s worth very little, it’s no great loss. In fact, you might not even know it’s missing. If it’s worth very little, you might as well cut your losses and move on.

Earlier in this chapter of the Bible, Jesus told a parable about one lost sheep out of one hundred—a one percent loss. Now the stakes get higher. A woman loses ten percent of her savings. You can understand why this woman was frantically searching for a coin—this was not merely a penny or a quarter. It was worth much more.

Your life, which God has fearfully and wonderfully made, is worth much more. Your life has great value to God for two great reasons. One, because he made you. Two, because he redeemed you. That means he paid the price to buy you back from sin, death, and the power of the devil. You have great worth to your Maker and Savior.

But how much? How much are you worth? When we try to set the value of our lives by what we achieve, some days we feel worthwhile and other days not so much. When we try to gauge our worth on what people think of us or how they treat us conflicts or negative interactions can leave us feeling worthless. Instead, let the one who made you and saved you tell you how much you’re worth.

To answer that question, “how much is it worth?” you must consider the price that was paid. Jesus paid the ultimate price to take away your sins by giving his life on the cross. He gave his life for you. That’s how much you are worth.

Prayer:
Lord, since you set such a great value to my life which you have saved, may I value you more than anything in all the world. Amen

Daily 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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He Doesn’t Cut His Losses – September 14, 2022

[Jesus said] “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”
Luke 15:4

He Doesn’t Cut His Losses

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Daily Devotion – September 14, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:4

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The religious leaders of Jesus’ day wondered why Jesus was interacting with sinners. Jesus answered with a parable. One sheep out of one hundred got lost. The shepherd left the ninety-nine to go after one sheep. It was just a one percent loss—seems like a low attrition rate in a business like that. Was it wise for the shepherd to go after one lost sheep, or should he have just cut his losses and rejoiced that he still had ninety-nine?

Jesus wasn’t talking about sheep. He was talking about souls and his concern for every lost soul. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, didn’t cut his losses. He didn’t write us off as a lost cause. When it came to saving us, Jesus didn’t run a cost-benefit analysis before he came to seek and to save. He knew it would cost him his life on a cross. The Shepherd laid down his life for you to bring you to heaven, rejoicing over one precious soul.

Remember this if you still seem lost and confused at times. Remember that you have a Good Shepherd who, without a second thought, comes after you to seek, save, and keep you.

Prayer:
Jesus, my Good Shepherd, keep me always in your tender care and open my eyes to see and reach out to the lost around me. Amen

Daily 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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Lost and Found – September 13, 2022

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:1,2

Lost and Found

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Daily Devotion – September 13, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:1,2

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Have you ever walked by a lost and found? So often, there are such trivial things that you wonder, “Who would come back for that?” The stuff doesn’t seem to have any significant value. An old water bottle. A torn sweatshirt. A dirty pair of worn-out shoes. Who would care enough to come and search for that?

That’s what the Pharisees and teachers of the law wondered, as they walked by the spiritually lost people of Jesus’ day. “Why bother?” These religious elite had written these sinners off as lost causes. They wondered why Jesus would waste his time with them!

But, unlike the religious elites of his day, look where Jesus placed himself. He welcomed sinners and ate with them. He didn’t say “ick” and run away. Even though Jesus is true God, even though he was perfect and without sin, he spent time with sinners.

If you’ve ever felt brushed off by someone, or if you’ve wondered, “who would come searching for me?” remember that Jesus doesn’t distance himself from a messy life and complicated problems. In fact, he welcomes you; he settles into your life, and he’s not ashamed. Jesus does that because he is the God who, in love, came to seek and save the lost.

So, there’s no need to hide who you are or what you’ve done. What you’ve done has been overcome by what Jesus has done. You are not a lost and worthless item in the lost in found—found in the love of Christ; you are God’s prized possession.

Prayer:
Thank you, Jesus, for coming into my life even when I was lost, even when my life is a mess. In you, I find complete forgiveness and real peace. Amen.

Daily 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 are you looking for? – September 12, 2022

The Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
Hosea 3:5

What are you looking for?

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Daily Devotion – September 12, 2022

Devotion based on Hosea 3:5

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What are you looking for? Is it a lost set of keys or something more? Are you searching for peace in troubling times? Are you seeking comfort and security? Whether it’s a lost item or something more, we do a lot of searching.

In the days of the prophet Hosea, the Israelites were looking for something more. Sadly, they were looking in all the wrong places. They were looking for peace and hope in false gods. They were looking for comfort and security in cozy homes and cushy lifestyles. The more they searched, the more they got lost. They lost sight of the only true God who rescued and blessed them.

Ironically, in our searching, at times, we lose sight of the only one who can provide that something more. Thankfully, we have a God whose searching skills are far greater than our own! Imagine a child lost in the grocery store. He panics and tries to find his mother. But then his mom come from behind, calling his name. He turns and runs into his mother’s arms and says, “I found you!” Really it was his mother who found him. She came searching and calling her child’s name.

The Israelites would return and seek the Lord because the Lord, in his searching love, came after his lost children and called them back to his love. This is what it’s like for us. If it depended on our searching skills, we would still be lost looking for that something more in all the wrong places. But the Lord is the God who searches. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to seek and to save the lost. He called you by name. And like that boy, you can exclaim, “I found you!” when really he sought you and found you in his love. And in him, we find that something more—peace in troubling times, comfort, and security now and forever.

Prayer:
Lord, in your love, you sought me when I sought you not. Now that you have found me by your great love, may I always come to you to find what my searching heart is looking for. Amen.

Daily 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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Worth a Bunch – September 11, 2022

[Jesus said] “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8-10

Worth a Bunch

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Daily Devotion – September 11, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:8-10

See series: Devotions

Can you picture it? She’s lost her coin—it’s worth a bunch! Can you sense the effort that would have to go into finding the coin? What a challenge. What joy when the coin is found.

The angels in heaven experienced that kind of joy—on the day God brought you to faith in Jesus. Can you imagine? The angels in heaven were rejoicing because God had called you to believe in Jesus.

Oh, it took effort. God had to go looking for you and me. God had to bring the message of Jesus to us and convince us that Jesus had died for us. God had to work faith in our hearts, keep on strengthening that faith, and go after us when we strayed. God had to put in all that effort in order to “find” you. Was it worth it? Obviously, God thought it was.

So now? Now we will not fear! We will not! After all, if God has put in the effort to search for you, to find you, to call you to himself, does it not make sense that God would do whatever it takes to make sure that you are kept safe, either on this side of eternity, or far more importantly, on the other? Absolutely, he will! He’s invested way too much in you to do anything else.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for seeking me out and finding me. Help me treat being a member of your family as the treasure it is. Amen.

Daily 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 Question – September 10, 2022

Formerly he was useless . . ., but now he has become useful.
Philemon 1:11

The Question

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Daily Devotion – September 10, 2022

Devotion based on Philemon 1:11

See series: Devotions

Author John Gardner tells of a pleasant, elderly man he used to know. As pleasant as this elderly man was, however, he loved to ask a particular question that many people found unsettling. The question was this: “What have you done that you passionately believe in?”

Many found this question unsettling because it forced them to rethink their lives on the spot. For years they had been comfortable making conversation about what they did for a living, how busy they were, the trips they had taken, the restaurants and movies they enjoyed. But suddenly, here was this gentle, gracious old man who asked them something for which they did not have an immediate answer.

How about you? What is your answer? What have you done that you passionately believe in?

Of course, one could answer that question in all kinds of ways—from making a difference at your place of work to teaching the lonely child next door how to make cookies. However, if you see your life through the lens of Christianity, sooner or later, you’re going to conclude that the most satisfying actions in your life are the ones connected to Jesus Christ.

Apart from Jesus Christ, every ability I use and every deed I do has no permanent value. Even if I manage to make a noticeable impact on this world, it’s on a world that’s cracked, broken, and fading away.

But in Jesus, everything is different. His work as my substitute has washed me clean of my sinful self-absorption. His Holy Spirit has also bonded me to things that are lasting and real. This means that everything I do, no matter how involved, no matter how simple—everything I do to the glory of my Savior is a priceless fruit of faith that has positive, eternal consequences in the hands of my Heavenly Father, who is the everlasting God of all.

So go ahead and answer the question. Our answers will vary in specifics, of course. What matters is the connection they have to our Savior from sin.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, by your Holy Spirit, fill me with the joy of knowing that even the simplest things I do to your glory are vital and profound in your sight. Amen.

Daily 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 Salty – September 9, 2022

[Jesus said] Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
Luke 14:34

Stay Salty

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Daily Devotion – September 9, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:34

See series: Devotions

My heart doctor told me that salt is not good for my heart. He advised me to go on a low-salt diet, and I have tried to follow his advice. I used to think of salt as a flavor enhancer, but now when I bite into some restaurant foods, all I can taste is the salt.

Two thousand years ago, salt was used for much more than flavor. It was a way to preserve food for use later. Salt was good, but if it lost its saltiness, food was spoiled rather than preserved. And there was really no way for salt to be made salty again.

This expression of Jesus is a reminder for me to persevere. If my faith loses its faithfulness, what good is it? I want to to continue to savor the object of my faith, Jesus, my Savior. If my faith functions as salt, preserving me from corruption and decay, I can face each day with fresh confidence.

If my love fades, what good is it? I want love to predominate in my life. If the love of Christ fills me with all joy and peace as I trust in him, I will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. My kind words can be the seasoning that enhances someone else’s life.

It’s no wonder, then, that Jesus encourages us to stay salty!

Prayer:
Lord God, as one of your followers, help me to be the salt of the earth. Amen.

Daily 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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Count the Cost – September 8, 2022

[Jesus said] Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Luke 14:31-33

Count the Cost

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Daily Devotion – September 8, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:31-33

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At first it sounds like Jesus is trying to talk people out of becoming one of his followers. He talks about a king who is planning to go to war against another king with twice as many soldiers. At a certain point, the first king realizes that it would not be wise, so he figures out a way to avoid war. Is Jesus telling us to give up on becoming his disciple? That it’s too hard?

The point here is exactly the opposite. Jesus wants you to count the cost of not being his disciple.

If you’ve been waging war against God himself—his will, his commandments, or salvation through Christ—then you’re fighting a losing battle. God is more powerful. He is always right. The consequence of fighting him is an eternity of punishment, and that’s a cost that should certainly be counted.

So what’s the alternative to fighting him? Ask for terms of peace. God has provided peace for you by the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. You have forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, complete salvation, perfect rest.

There may be things you’ll want to give up. Most people consider waging war against God when they realize they have desires that God calls wrong. But a life of repentance is worthwhile not just for eternity but right now as well. A clean conscience is a powerful thing.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, lead me to see the value of following you every day of my life. Amen.

Daily 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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Carrying Their Cross – September 7, 2022

[Jesus said] And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27

Carrying Their Cross

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Daily Devotion – September 7, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:27

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Some people pay for other people to push them. They hire personal trainers who tell them to eat less desirable food and refrain from eating the tastiest stuff. Those trainers push them to the point of pain in the gym and even strongly encourage them to keep going when they want to give up.

Why would anyone ever hire a personal trainer? It’s because they want to be better people, different people. When the personal trainers advertise their services, are they honest about what kind of pain they will put people through?

Jesus is honest about the kind of pain that comes from following him. He told his disciples that they were going to suffer. He used an expression, “carry their cross,” that implied that they would be treated like criminals.

Why would anyone ever want to put themselves through that kind of punishment? Disciples of Jesus realize that they may be misunderstood and mistreated. They find out they are fighting their own sinful flesh their whole lives. They make sacrifices, and often go unappreciated.

Why would Jesus’ disciples ever want to do that? It’s because Jesus has made them different people. They were once on the road to hell, but now they have the sure promise of eternal life in heaven. They used to live in guilt, but now they live in forgiveness.

Being a disciple of Jesus is worth all that suffering. There is glory that will be revealed in them.

Prayer:
Lord, lead me to bear my cross with perseverance as I look to Jesus’ cross for my strength. Amen.

Daily 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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Putting Jesus First – September 6, 2022

[Jesus said] If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:26

Putting Jesus First

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Daily Devotion – September 6, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:26

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Love your father and mother. Honor and obey them. Life will be better for you and for them. Take care of your family. Demonstrate sacrificial love for them and consider how you can help them even more than you already do. Take care of yourself. Take time to relax and refresh your energy.

But if you notice that doing any of those things makes you love Jesus less, then he calls you to some self-assessment. Do you overlook your parents doing things that Jesus condemns? Do you avoid calling them out on those things to avoid confrontation? Jesus calls on you to love him more than your parents.

Do you defend the actions of your spouse or your children even though you know they are wrong? Do you criticize Christians who gently point out that God wants what’s best for your brothers and sisters, and that’s why we have the Ten Commandments? Jesus calls on you to love him more than your family.

Do you spend a lot of time justifying what you know is wrong? Do you put your leisure time ahead of your time in God’s Word? Jesus calls on you to love him more than yourself.

Jesus really does know what’s best for you, and when he says these hard things, it’s because he knows how important it is that you stay connected to him. There is no other way of eternal salvation.

Prayer:
When I let the most important people in my life come ahead of you, Lord, call me back to repentance and faith in your dear Son, Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

Daily 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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On the Basis of Love – September 5, 2022

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—that I appeal to you.
Philemon 1:7-10

On the Basis of Love

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Daily Devotion – September 5, 2022

Devotion based on Philemon 1:7-10

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You can avoid doing things because you think you might get into trouble for doing them. And you can do things because you think you might be rewarded for doing them. You can get other people to do things simply by claiming it is the right thing to do. And you can get them to stop doing things simply by claiming that it is the wrong thing to do.

That way of approaching life is called law motivation. You don’t have to be Christian to think and act that way. It’s a natural way of thinking.

Christians have a different motivation for how they think and act. They appeal to one another on the basis of love. In today’s Bible reading, Paul appeals to his friend, Philemon, to do the right thing not simply because it’s right but because of love.

It’s the ideal for parenting. You want your children to do the right thing not because they fear punishment but because they love you. It’s the ideal for classroom teaching. You want the students to behave not because there are classroom rules to be followed but because they love their teacher.

It’s how God appeals to you. You don’t have to be good to go to heaven. It’s Jesus’ perfect goodness that is getting you there. So why be good? God appeals to you on the basis of love. Because you love him, learn what is right. Because you love him, do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong.

It’s called gospel motivation. When you believe the gospel, you are moved to show your love to God by demonstrating love to other people. When you are not feeling it, go back to what God has done for you. You love because he first loved you.

Prayer:
Loving Lord, move my heart to show my love for you by doing what is right in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Daily 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 Word Is Near You – September 4, 2022

The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
Deuteronomy 30:14

The Word Is Near You

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Daily Devotion – September 4, 2022

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 30:14

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Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, declared in regard to Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut who was first human to journey into outer space, “Gagarin flew into space, but didn’t see any god there.”

No matter how high we go, we will not find God. No matter how deeply we delve into the mystery of the human psyche or dig into the wonders of particle physics, we will not find God.

Yet he is not far from any of us.

Where do we find him? He reveals himself in his word–the Bible.

How does his word come into our hearts? As it is spoken and read. That’s how the Holy Spirit opens our minds to understand and writes his word on our hearts.

What does the Spirit teach us through the word? First, no matter how good we are, our hearts have failed to obey God. We have failed to love our neighbor as ourselves and to love God above all. You and I have no excuses for failing. We can’t plead ignorance. The word is very near you.

But what good news the word reveals as well! We could not ascend to God, so he came down to us. He did not come to condemn but to save us. He came near to us, not only in his word but also in person. Jesus is God with us. His mouth always spoke God’s truth in love. His heart reached out with unselfish compassion. His perfect record of obedience counts for you. His sinless life covers your failures and mine. Believe this with all your heart because that’s what God’s Word promises.

The word is near you. Unbelief rejects what the word says. Then only guilt and hell remain. But faith cherishes the word, for it brings us Jesus, our only Savior.

Prayer:
How precious is your word, O Lord! May I always cherish it, as I read it with my mouth and treasure it in my heart. Amen.

Daily 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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Put in My Place – September 3, 2022

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

Put in My Place

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Daily Devotion – September 3, 2022

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

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

I think of that experience when reading today’s Bible reading in which Jesus tells us not to exalt ourselves. Rather, he says we are to humble ourselves.

True humility means praying, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). It is a recognition that I am not what God made me to be. I am not as kind, patient, or loving as he commands me to be.

This humility is important because only when I humbly recognize my faults will I realize my need for God’s forgiveness. Only then will I turn to Jesus, who won forgiveness for me. And when I do, he promises to lift me up and restore me, to assure me that I am at peace with God and an heir of eternal life. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, give me a humble heart that trusts only in you. Amen.

Daily 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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Forgiven and Saved – September 2, 2022

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
James 2:10

Forgiven and Saved

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Daily Devotion – September 2, 2022

Devotion based on James 2:10

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Did you ever play with dominoes when you were younger? We would stand them up on end and line them all up so that when you tipped the first one, a chain reaction would start, and all the dominoes would fall like a giant wave rolling through. It took some effort for that to go according to plan. Each domino had to be placed just so: not too close and not too far away from the next one in line, and placed carefully on the ground so that it did not tip over prematurely. The more elaborate the design, the longer it would take to get it just right.

In reality, it was a bit of a stressful situation. It only took one mistake to ruin the whole thing. One slip-up or accidentally bumping one domino could start a chain reaction that could not be stopped. One mistake and one by one, the dominoes would fall. It happened so fast, and before you knew it, nothing was left standing.

The Bible says our salvation works that way too. We can try so perfectly to order our lives and line everything up so we are as good as we can be. But one sin, one slip-up, one mistake is all it will take to destroy our chances of saving ourselves.

Jesus removes all of that. He has already lived a perfect life for us. He perfectly lined up God’s commands every day and never once slipped up or made a mistake. The Bible tells us that Jesus never sinned. He was our perfect substitute in life, and through faith in him we receive the credit for his life of perfection. Having earned our righteousness, he proceeded to die on the cross to pay for all our sins. We are forgiven and saved.

Do you know what that means? No more stress or trying to line everything up perfectly in the hopes that we can achieve salvation. We cannot earn it. Instead, we are free to live for God and love our neighbor without fear.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for living a perfect life for me. Help me to trust in your righteousness as the only way to heaven. Amen.

Daily 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 Your Neighbor – September 1, 2022

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
James 2:8,9

Love Your Neighbor

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Daily Devotion – September 1, 2022

Devotion based on James 2:8,9

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Are you doing right by God? Does God generally approve of how you live your life? These can be common questions we all contemplate. The apostle James provides a litmus test to know if we are doing right before God: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That sounds simple enough. Love your neighbor. That seems doable. We can hold the door open for people, mow our elderly neighbor’s yard, be pleasant and wish people well.

It can be easy to feel like we love our neighbor so well that we are right with God. The trouble, however, is found in the phrase: “as yourself.” Do we love others that way? Not so much. It is one thing to hold the door open for someone. It is an entirely different to love someone the way we love ourselves. To love someone that way costs time and effort. It means putting their needs before my own. Too often, we do not have the desire or the energy to love other people that way. Worse, we perhaps discover that we do not love all people equally. Clearly, we cannot be right before God based on how we love our neighbors.

Thankfully, there is one who did right before God. One who always loved his neighbors perfectly. One who never played favorites. His name is Jesus. And the proof of his love for his neighbor is found on the cross. In giving his life on the cross, Jesus loved his neighbors. All of them. He didn’t only die for the ‘good’ people. He didn’t only die for the ones who would love him back. He died for all of us. He died for you.

You are Jesus’ neighbor, and he has already demonstrated his perfect love for you. You now have an opportunity to thank him for all that he has done by showing that same love to your neighbors.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for the awesome love that saved me from my sins. Empower me with your love, to love my neighbors equally—with the same kind of love that you have shown me. Amen.

Daily 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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Favoritism – August 31, 2022

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
James 2:1

Favoritism

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Daily Devotion – August 31, 2022

Devotion based on James 2:1

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Deep down, we all know that we should not play favorites. Parents should not have a favorite child. The teacher should not have a favorite student. The coach should not treat one player any differently than another. In the Bible, God encourages us to love and treat everyone the same way. Our love and care should be consistent.

But it is so easy to fall into the habit of showing favoritism. The teacher may, in fact, have a teacher’s pet that is quite obvious to the other students. Parents perhaps seem to favor one child over another. Coaches sometimes let the star player get away with more than the rest of the team. We have all witnessed the results of such favoritism: anger, resentment, hurt feelings, and frustration may all stem from favoritism. Deep down, we do not want our authority figures to play favorites.

We don’t want that from God either. If God played favorites, then our salvation would be in jeopardy. We wouldn’t know if he truly loved us as much as others. We would constantly wonder if we had impressed him enough to be saved. We would look around at others and constantly feel like they are better than we are. We certainly would not have any confidence in going to heaven.

Thankfully, God doesn’t play favorites. The Bible says: “God so loved the world”(John 3:16). God loves us all. He sent Jesus to pay for the sins of all. The Bible also says that God wants all people to be saved and to come to believe in Jesus for salvation. And when Jesus came into this world, he didn’t play favorites either. The Bible tells us, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Before any of us could even begin to try and impress him, Jesus died for us. His death for us does not depend on us or our efforts. Jesus died for everyone, you included. Thank God that he shows no favoritism!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for me in Christ. Thank you for loving all of us equally. Help me to model that same love in my life and to not show favoritism. Amen.

Daily 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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Humility – August 30, 2022

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.
Proverbs 25:6,7

Humility

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Daily Devotion – August 30, 2022

Devotion based on Proverbs 25:6,7

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“Hey Daddy, watch me!” We likely all shouted similar words to a parent, grandparent, or teacher at one point in our lives. Whether we were about to go down the park slide or try a somersault or try to make a free-throw, we wanted to be noticed. That really hasn’t changed. We like to show off for the teacher, coach, or employer. We want to appear smarter than our classmates, faster than our teammates, and more productive than our coworkers. And, in getting noticed, we hope to be elevated above others. We want the scholarship, more playing time, or the raise in salary before anyone else can get it.

But what if it goes the other way? What if the teacher, coach, or boss is not impressed? What if we haven’t met the standard as well as someone else? It can be humiliating when someone is chosen ahead of us.

In the same way, we cannot impress our heavenly Father enough to be given eternal life. As he looks at our imperfect lives of sin, the only possible conclusion he can come to is that we are not good enough—that our lives of good deeds have not been impressive enough. One single sin is enough for God to humiliate us rather than exalt us.

That’’where Jesus comes in. Rather than come down to earth to impress everyone, Jesus humbled himself and put others first. He did not seek to elevate himself over anyone else. Instead, he willingly gave himself to a horrible death on a cross so that he could pay the price that our sins deserved. He died for you and me and the whole world. And now, through faith in Jesus, the Father holds out his hand and says, “come up here.” Jesus has opened the door to heaven for us. Thanks to Jesus, we will not be humiliated for our sins. Rather, we are saved now and forever.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for humiliating yourself so that I could be lifted up to heaven. Help me to honor you in my life today. Amen.

Daily 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 Seat – August 29, 2022

[Jesus said] “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.”
Luke 14:8,9

The Best Seat

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Daily Devotion – August 29, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:8,9

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Growing up in a household of three boys, everything was a competition. We constantly competed, even when it came down to who got to sit in the front seat of the vehicle. If dad announced we were going somewhere, immediately it was a race to get outside and call: “shotgun!” Then, of course, there would be the argument of who called it first: “I called it.” “Yeah, but I called it first.” “No, you didn’t.” “Yes, I did. You just didn’t hear me.” Very often this argument would lead to Dad declaring that due to our arguing, no one would get to ride in the front seat.

We may have outgrown calling ‘shotgun,’ but we still like to rush for the best seats. We often try to get ahead of others, and we are not too concerned about how we make them feel in the process. If our getting ahead means offending someone or hurting the feelings of others, we are often willing to move forward anyway. We can be so focused on what we want for ourselves; that we end up sinning against others in the process.

If there’s anyone who could have called “shotgun!” and claimed the best seat, it was Jesus. As true God, he could have put himself first. But he didn’t come to put himself first. He came to put our needs ahead of his own. He came so that you and I could have a seat at the banquet in heaven. Jesus came to take the lowest place so that we could be elevated to the highest place. He came and took the manger and the cross so that we could be given the gift of eternal life. With this selfless love of Jesus fresh in our minds, let someone else have the best seat. Yours is yet to come.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for taking the lowest seat so that I could have a seat in heaven. Empower me to have that same selflessness in my life. Amen.

Daily 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 Without Favoritism – August 28, 2022

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. . . . If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
James 2:1,8-10

Love Without Favoritism

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Daily Devotion – August 28, 2022

Devotion based on James 2:1,8-10

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How can you love someone without showing favoritism? It is easy if you only have one person to love. But when two or more people enter into the equation, it becomes difficult. Do you love your siblings equally? Do you love your children or grandchildren equally? Do you treat and respond to all your friends in the same way? Or do you find yourself enjoying time with some more than the others? Favoritism can strain and even damage relationships.

The problem is that we are inclined to love those who love us. Jesus’ love is very different. He loves all people and does not show favoritism. He demonstrated his impartial love by sacrificing his life for the sins of everyone, not just a few. He chooses us to be his followers and heirs of eternal life, not because we deserved it, but because of his great love.

Embracing us with his love, Jesus leads us to love people in the way he loves them. Our Savior teaches us to love without favoritism. As his believers, we learn to love everyone. We do not consider some people more worthy of our love than others. And let’s remember that when we love people with Jesus’ kind of love, we will surely have opportunities to tell them about the love of Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, keep me from showing favoritism. Rather, instill in me a desire to love all of the people in my life the way you do. Amen.

Daily 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 Lord is Near – August 27, 2022

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:5

The Lord is Near

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Daily Devotion – August 27, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 4:5

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The Lord is near. He is coming back from heaven to judge the world. But believers in Jesus have nothing to fear. They know and trust the Savior who has taken away sin’s guilt and freed them from condemnation. Jesus has removed the fear of the final judgment with his sure promise of eternal joy with him. This comforting message leads us to rejoice always in the great love of God!

Because the Lord is near, let your gentleness be evident to all. Let people around you see the calm, confident spirit that you have because you rejoice that you are a child of God and an heir of eternal life. Imitate the gentle spirit of Jesus, always ready to help and serve others with a humble attitude and unselfish actions.

The love of Jesus working in your life through his word helps you to be gentler in your relationship with others, as he is with you. Think how conspicuous that will make you against the backdrop of the dog-eat-dog world in which we live. That can create all kinds of opportunities to tell people of the gentle love that Jesus has for them, too.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, fill me with a gentle nature that reflects the joy I have for the forgiveness of my sins which I rejoice to have by faith in you. Amen.

Daily 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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