You Must Believe and Not Doubt – June 26, 2019

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
James 1:6-8

You Must Believe and Not Doubt


Daily Devotion – June 26, 2019

Devotion based on James 1:6-8

See series: Devotions

Pastor Schroeder noticed two women approaching him after Bible Information Class. Nancy was a member who was taking a “refresher” class, and Ginny had started attending church shortly after her aunt’s funeral.

Nancy said, “Pastor, last week Ginny and I were talking about how we can always go to God if we’re struggling in our faith. I shared with her a passage from James that says anyone who lacks wisdom should ask God and it will be given to him.”

“Oh yes, James 1:5—that’s a great passage!” Pastor agreed.

“But then at home Ginny read the passage in its context (like you always say we should), and now we’re not sure what to make of it,” Nancy said.

Ginny added, “The next verses make it sound like only someone with absolutely perfect faith can pray. ‘You must believe and not doubt.’ I don’t think I’ll ever live up to that.”

Pastor Schroeder reached for his Bible and quickly thumbed to the book of James. “Yes, I see what you mean,” he said. “Those words give any Christian reason to pause. But remember what we learned about faith. It’s not just a positive feeling or simply acknowledging that there is a God. Faith is trusting that God is who he says he is and that he will do what he promises. And that includes his mercy towards those who are weak. James is saying that it doesn’t do any good to ask God for help if you don’t really think that he can or wants to help. Faith connects us to Christ our Savior.”

“So what do I do when I struggle with doubts?” Ginny asked.

“Look to Jesus,” Pastor Schroeder said. “He is our Rock, our solid ground. Look to his gospel. Since Jesus died for us and rose to life again, all our sins are forgiven. We can be confident that God will hear our prayers for his sake. Put your trust in him and he will never let you down.”

Prayer:
Lord, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief! 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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Ask God for Wisdom – June 25, 2019

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5

Ask God for Wisdom


Daily Devotion – June 25, 2019

Devotion based on James 1:5

See series: Devotions

Ginny was glad she had signed up for the Bible Information Class at the Lutheran church near her home. She hadn’t really been to church since she was a kid, though, and there was a definite learning curve. But the class had given her much to think about.

During a break, the lady across the table (“Nancy” was written on her name tag) asked, “Are you enjoying the class so far?”

“Very much,” Ginny nodded. “But there’s so much to take in. And I’m afraid of asking a stupid question.”

Nancy laughed. “Oh, Pastor always says there’s no such thing as a stupid question. We’re all here to learn. In fact, this is the third time I’m taking the class. Each time it seems there’s something new I get out of it. Especially when others ask good questions. Sometimes they even stump the pastor!”

“Well, that must be embarrassing for him!” Ginny said with a giggle.

“Not at all! Pastor says that to be a Christian means that we are disciples of Jesus—lifelong learners. So when he’s stumped, Pastor just says, ‘Let’s ask God together!’ And then he grabs his Bible. After all, even Jesus had to study the Old Testament Scriptures as a boy.”

Ginny raised her eyebrows at that. “But I thought Jesus was the Son of God? Why would he have to go to Sunday School?”

“Good question,” Nancy said with a smile. “From what I understand, Jesus made himself like us so that he could do everything perfectly for us. Even the learning part. And especially the dying part! So now through faith in Jesus, we are credited with his perfect life. That’s how God can accept us as his holy children even though we have sinned. And like any good father, God loves it when his children ask him for help.”

The students began to take their seats again and the pastor asked, “Before we move on, did anyone have any questions?”

Ginny’s hand shot high in the air.

Prayer:
Dear God, there is still so much I don’t understand about you and your Word—and how to apply it to my life. Send your Holy Spirit to give me your wisdom. 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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Finding Joy in Trials – June 24, 2019

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2,3

Finding Joy in Trials


Daily Devotion – June 24, 2019

Devotion based on James 1:2,3

See series: Devotions

Ginny was heartbroken. Her favorite aunt, Aunt Cathy, had been such a strong, Christian woman and an inspiration to everyone. She had fought the cancer for so long, but in the end “the Lord called her home.” At least that’s what the pastor had said at her funeral. He also mentioned her strong faith in Jesus. So then why would God let her suffer so much only to let her die like that?

Maybe you have had a similar crisis of faith at some point in your own life. When you did, how did you feel about your situation? Sad? Frustrated? Worried? Angry? In our Bible verse for today, James, the brother of Jesus himself, encourages us to “consider it pure joy” whenever we encounter events that put our faith to the test.

It’s not that God wants us to have a morbid desire to suffer. And he certainly doesn’t want us to chase after temptations and spiritually dangerous obstacles to our faith. No, they will come often enough without our having to look for more. But when these dark clouds come, God wants us to see the silver lining.

You see, the Lord knows that we are weak. Our faith in him and in his promises easily wavers. On our own, we would wander away from God and bring even more trouble into our lives. So he allows us to face trials of all kinds—because he also knows that when believers are tested and overwhelmed by doubts or fears, they will run to their Savior. They run to him who faced all of Satan’s temptations but never gave in to sin. They run to Jesus who did not run from death but gave his life so that we could walk with him forever. And every time we run to him, we find him waiting with open arms.

The more our faith in Christ is tested, the stronger it becomes, because we witness time and again how trustworthy he is and how certain his promises are.

Prayer:
Lord God, every day I face tests to my faith. Use them to strengthen my confidence in you so that I will remain forever close to Christ my Savior. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Knowing the Real Gem – June 23, 2019

Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
Galatians 1:8

Knowing the Real Gem


Daily Devotion – June 23, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 1:8

See series: Devotions

The writer Haddon Robinson tells the story about a boy in China who wanted to learn all about the precious gemstone, jade. So, he went to study under a gentle old man who knew all there was to know about jade. The first thing the old man did was to place a piece of jade into the boy’s hand and tell him to hold it tight. Then the old man proceeded to talk about everything under the sun; everything except jade. After an hour of this, he took the gem back and told the boy to go home.

This routine went on for weeks—the boy holding the piece of jade in his hand, the old man talking about everything but jade. Understandably, the boy became frustrated. “When is my teacher going to start talking about jade?” he thought. Then one day, when the old man put a common stone into his hand, the boy cried out instinctively, “That’s not jade!”

The old man’s wisdom was clear. He didn’t want that boy to sit and listen to someone talk about jade. He wanted that boy to know for himself what jade was, and to know it so well that he could instantly recognize a fake.

God wants the same for us when it comes to his Word—he wants us to know it so well that we will instantly recognize any false teaching about him. He knows how dangerous false teaching is. It leads us away from him rather than toward him. No wonder St. Paul was so emphatic when he told the Christians in Galatia that they should not listen to false teaching, even if he himself preached it—even if an angel from heaven preached it!

Our loving Lord does not want us to be deceived into thinking that we can somehow earn or deserve his love and forgiveness. These are a pure gift from him through Jesus. “So,” he says, “When you are told or tempted to think that you can earn your own way into my good graces, be sure to say, ‘That’s not the gospel!’”

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, forgive me for the times I ignore opportunities to know your Word better. Work through that Word so that I may know your truths so well that I never fall for what is false. 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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Hope Through the Storms of Life – June 22, 2019

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5

Hope Through the Storms of Life


Daily Devotion – June 22, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 5:1-5

See series: Devotions

Sixteenth-century European explorers were racing to find a way to India and the east. The land route had been cut off; the only option remaining was the sea. One of the first Portuguese navigators to try sailing south around the African continent ran into a storm that nearly tore his ship into pieces. He called that place the Cape of Storms. A few years later when Vasco da Gama arrived at the same location, he was heartened by the fact that they were no longer sailing south but east. His eyes were on the riches of India that lay ahead of him. The place was renamed the Cape of Good Hope.

The human experience has much in common with a stormy sea; we are easily shipwrecked on the rocks of doubt, despair, or temptation. We experience suffering and sadness, pain and loss in our lives. And when we die, we know we will face our Maker to give an accounting to him. At times it may seem that he is already punishing us for the wrong we have done.

But the hope of Christians is not founded on what we can perceive but rather on what God has promised. God’s Word assures us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Through no merits of our own, but purely through faith in the Son of God who sacrificed himself for us, our guilt has been removed and we are at peace with God. No matter how turbulent the journey through life is, we know it ends with our loving Savior welcoming us into his heavenly home. Our hope in God’s promises sustains us through the storms of this world.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you calmed the stormy sea by speaking a word. Calm my restless heart by reminding me of what you have done and what you promise still to do for me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Carry – June 21, 2019

[Jesus said] “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.”
John 16:12

Carry


Daily Devotion – June 21, 2019

Devotion based on John 16:12

See series: Devotions

Christian writer Corrie ten Boom tells a story about her father. As a child, Corrie was a very curious little girl. Once, however, she asked her father to explain a subject she was still far too young to handle. But rather than ignore her, Corrie’s father did something in that moment to teach her a profound truth.

He was a watchmaker by trade, and at that time a travel case full of his watches and spare parts happened to be sitting next to him. He pointed to his travel case and asked, “Corrie, could you please carry this for me?” Corrie walked over to the case and tried. But the travel case was far too much for her to lift.

“It’s too heavy,” she said.

“Yes,” her father replied, “and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now, you must trust me to carry it for you.”

Our Lord has the same loving attitude toward you and me. It goes without saying that there are many twists and turns in our lives. As you and I experience those twists and turns, ups and downs, it can be very easy to ask the question, “Why?” “Why is this happening to me now? Why is this happening to a member of my family? Why are things not going as I planned? Why is the Lord allowing this into my life?”

There are many possible answers to our questions, of course. But when the answers are not immediately apparent, remember the Lord’s heart. His heart pulsates with a love for you and me we will never fully grasp. It’s the same love that drove him to march to the cross and carry our sins away. All this he has done to make us his own.

Remember his heart when you are carrying a burden that seems too heavy to bear and you wonder “Why?” He may not reveal the answer immediately. But know that he loves you. And, he can carry what you can’t.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when I am perplexed by what is happening and burdened with a load too heavy to bear, remind me of your love and carry what I can’t. 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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Liar – June 20, 2019

Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar.
1 John 5:10

Liar


Daily Devotion – June 20, 2019

Devotion based on 1 John 5:10

See series: Devotions

Earlier this year there was an article about lying, and how lying impacts your relationships with others. The article did a good job of spelling out the ramifications of lying—ramifications we don’t always think through. Here are a few of those ramifications.

For one, lies erode trust. This is, perhaps, the most obvious impact. Just as a rainstorm can cause a landslide, so also lies can change the landscape of a relationship and cause it to collapse.

For another, lying shows a lack of regard for the relationship. Telling the truth—even a hard truth—demonstrates that you place great value on the relationship. Lies do the opposite.

For still another, lying demonstrates selfishness. When you lie, you show that you are putting yourself and your own interests ahead of the other person.

Finally, liars are also conning themselves, the article said. They are denying their true identity and are pretending to be what they are not. Such an approach is disingenuous and will put a strain on any relationship.

All of which brings us to the Apostle John. John tells us a jarring thing. He tells us that, when you and I fail to trust God and his promises, we are saying that God is a liar. Listen to that again: John tells us that, when you and I fail to trust God and his promises, we are saying that God is a liar.

When things don’t go our way, we claim God must not love us, even though he clearly tells us that he loves us. We doubt that God is doing what is best for us even though he clearly promises that he makes everything work out for our good. And in thinking these things, John says, we are making God out to be a liar.

But that’s why Jesus came. On our behalf, Jesus demonstrated perfect trust in his heavenly Father. Then he took all our sins of unbelief and doubt and carried them to the cross. And now he lives. And because he does, he sends his Holy Spirit to renew our trust every single day.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, forgive my lack of trust. Move me to believe what you say. 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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Conquerors – June 19, 2019

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:5

Conquerors


Daily Devotion – June 19, 2019

Devotion based on 1 John 5:5

See series: Devotions

Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most famous conquerors in history. At the height of his empire, 720,000 square miles of territory were under his command. As great as his fame is, however, other famous conquerors accomplished much more. Napoleon is actually number seven on our list. Number six goes to Adolph Hitler, who ruled 1.4 million square miles. Number five is Attila the Hun. Attila carved out for himself 1.5 million square miles. Next, there is Cyrus the Great. Cyrus swept up the nations around him until his Persian Empire covered 2 million square miles. Cyrus is number four on our list. Number three? Number three is Alexander the Great. Alexander died when he was only 32, but over the previous ten years, Alexander had marched his men from Greece to India, claiming for himself every inch along the way. 2.2 million square miles came under his command. And then there is Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan was single-minded and ruthless. With his highly disciplined troops, Genghis Khan swallowed up almost everything from Eastern Asia to Eastern Europe. By the time he was done, 4.9 million square miles were his.

Which brings us to number one. Number one is you. Number one is you in the only way that matters. All the other names on this list—Napoleon, Alexander, Genghis Khan—all they could do was seize some territory for a limited amount of time. God’s view of things is different. He tells us that true victory over this fallen world belongs to the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Think about that for a moment. Regardless of what the world thinks, regardless of your status in society, regardless of how significant or insignificant others think you are, you are the conqueror. You are the conqueror through faith in the One who has washed you clean of sin on Calvary’s cross. Through faith in Jesus, you are his and he is yours. Through faith in him you will live beyond this temporary world. Through faith in him, the new heaven and earth are yours forever.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, remind me who I am and what I have through faith in you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Sufferings Arrival – June 18, 2019

[W]e glory in our sufferings . . .
Romans 5:3

Sufferings Arrival


Daily Devotion – June 18, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 5:3

See series: Devotions

Let’s start with the reality that suffering has already placed each of us on its calendar.

Many of us already know this. As many of you read or listen to these words, suffering has already arrived. Perhaps you’re in your third round of chemo treatments. Perhaps you’re in the middle of your parents’ bitter divorce. Perhaps schoolmates are on social media saying vicious things about you for their amusement. Perhaps your spouse is in the final stages of dementia. Perhaps your latest surgery has done nothing to correct your chronic back pain. Perhaps your child is breaking your heart.

However, others of us may not yet know. We may not know that suffering has already placed each of us on its calendar. Oh, sure, we know it in theory. But theory is one thing. Real life is quite another.

And so, what to do? What to do when the suffering arrives?

When it came to suffering, the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to make a statement that simply sounds outlandish. Paul had the nerve to say that “we…glory in our sufferings.”

“We…glory in our sufferings?” Such a statement is crazy, senseless, comfortless—until we understand what Paul is saying in the context of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

You and I are here in this broken, chaotic world to give clear witness to what God has done for us in Jesus. And while the Lord uses suffering in our lives for many things, Paul understood that suffering was often one of the greatest ways by which others can see that we mean what we say.

Suffering is the dark background by which you and I can more easily shine the light of Jesus in our lives. We can shine the light of his forgiveness purchased at Calvary’s cross. We can shine the light of his resurrection. We can shine the light of every single one of his promises. And in a disappointed world that craves authenticity, the Good News of Jesus can use our sufferings to deliver just that.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when my suffering arrives, give me courage. Give me courage so that others can see that your Gospel is true. 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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Turn Towards – June 17, 2019

[T]he LORD turn his face toward you.
Numbers 6:26

Turn Towards


Daily Devotion – June 17, 2019

Devotion based on Numbers 6:26

See series: Devotions

Dr. John Gottman and his wife, Dr. Julie Gottman, are researchers who have spent several decades studying marriage relationships. They have drawn many conclusions, and their conclusions make for powerful reading. Here is one conclusion. For years the conventional wisdom was that a way to deepen your marriage relationship was through a big romantic getaway—a trip to Paris or a Caribbean cruise. Not so, say the Gottmans. While a romantic getaway certainly has its place, the Gottmans have learned that a key to deepening a marriage relationship—or any relationship—lies in the countless little moments you have, in their words, to “turn towards” each other.

Here’s what they mean. Throughout the week, couples will give each other what the Gottmans call, “bids for connection.” These “bids for connection” almost always seem quite ordinary. For example, a spouse might say, “I had one crazy day today.” That, say the Gottmans, is a “bid for connection.” It is an opportunity for two spouses to “turn towards” each other in that moment and to share the details of what made the day so crazy.

This need for couples to “turn towards” each other is vital. In their exhaustive research, the Gottmans found that happily married couples turned towards each other 2½ times more often than couples whose marriages ended in divorce.

All of which brings us to God’s attitude towards you and me.

The Lord has his face turned toward you. Not sometimes. Not frequently. The Lord has his face turned toward you always. With you in mind he came to this earth and became one of us. With you in mind he lived a sinless life as our substitute—the life you and I have failed to live. With you in mind he carried your wasted moments and mine to the cross and washed them all away.

And today he continues to turn toward you. He turns toward you through every syllable of his Word you read and hear. He turns toward you through every message from him you encounter. He turns toward you this very moment, in this daily devotion. Spend this day in the comfort and assurance of knowing the LORD‘s face is turned toward you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when my face is downcast because of doubt or despair, remind me that your face is always turned toward 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 War Is Over – June 16, 2019

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1

The War Is Over


Daily Devotion – June 16, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 5:1

See series: Devotions

Did you know that, as late as 1980, Japanese soldiers were still fighting World War II? You see, the far side of the Pacific has a staggering number of tiny islands. In the chaos of that war, some Japanese soldiers became isolated and forgotten on those islands. As a result, they continued to live year after year assuming that the war was still on.

The same thing can happen to me. In the chaos of life in this sinful world, I can become isolated. In my isolation I can look to myself for answers. But the answers I come up with create only more stress and frustration and emptiness in my soul. As a result I can spend a long, long time fighting to fill myself with a peace I never find. It’s like fighting a war that doesn’t end.

Here’s the Good News: The war is over. Real peace is at hand. But this peace is better than the end to a military conflict. It’s peace with God. And this peace with God does not depend on how my emotions are doing from one day to the next. The peace with God I have is a concrete reality whether my emotions are feeling it at the moment or not. This is true because the peace with God I possess comes through faith in what Jesus has already done on my behalf. Through Jesus’ life God declares me holy. Through Jesus’ death on the cross God declares me forgiven. Because of Jesus there is nothing more to fear.

If you’ve been stuck far too long on an island of your own making, it’s time to get off. Jesus has come. Peace with God is yours. The war is over.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, forgive me for all the ways I have isolated myself from you. In Jesus, real peace is mine. Embrace me with your promises. 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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Communication – June 15, 2019

Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.
Genesis 11:7

Communication


Daily Devotion – June 15, 2019

Devotion based on Genesis 11:7

See series: Devotions

“What did you say?” This is one of my daughter’s favorite questions. I might be standing just five feet from her and she will still respond, “What did you say?” Sometimes she knows exactly what I said but doesn’t want to hear what I said. Other times she’s been daydreaming.

Clear communication is vital to human relationships. Couples struggle due to a lack of healthy communication. Neighborly problems persist when time isn’t spent talking through issues. Presidential candidates spend countless hours polishing skills needed to accurately and persuasively push their political and personal agendas.

The people spoken of in Genesis chapter eleven had communicated rather clearly to God that they were going to follow their own agenda. They put their will over God’s will. They thought they could accomplish anything they put their minds to and did not pay attention to the word that God spoke to them.

In response God clearly communicated both his justice and his love for these people. They needed him. Living in opposition to God results in dire consequences. On the other hand, those who hear God’s Word and follow it are truly blessed. Jesus said, “Blessed . . . are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).

Through his Son Jesus, God clearly communicated his love for all people, including you and me, despite our own, personal agendas. Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death re-established our relationship with him. His resurrection provides the clear message that he still loves us.

As a result, our heavenly Father always listens and never grows tired of us asking, “What did you say?” Instead, he answers our doubts, fears, and apprehensions with patience and mercy.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, strengthen the line of communication between you and me 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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I Will Tell You What It Means – June 14, 2019

“Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:9-12

I Will Tell You What It Means


Daily Devotion – June 14, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 2:9-12

See series: Devotions

I’ve heard the pastor read these Bible verses during worship more than once on a Sunday morning, and I’m always glad that he is a trained public speaker. There are a lot of place names here that are difficult to pronounce. Why is this list here in the Bible? What does it mean?

On Pentecost, the people listening to the pastors preaching all heard words in their own language even though they weren’t sure that those preachers, Jesus’ disciples, could actually speak that language. That would be have been both amazing and perplexing. What did it mean?

I’ll tell you what it meant. God had a very important message to get out as quickly as possible, and he did not want a language barrier to prevent it. This message was so important that God wanted it to spread geographically as quickly as possible, so he brought people from all over the world to hear it right when it was preached, shortly after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.

And I’ll tell you what that list of country names means today. It means that no one is left out. Christianity is not just for certain people in certain countries. The forgiveness of sins won by Jesus is for every person in every land. It’s for immigrants as well as natives, visitors as well as residents. Even if other people can’t pronounce the place that people are from, the wonders of God are for them.

In the sermon that follows these words, Peter explains that Jesus is the Savior of all people. He calls his hearers then and today to repentance and faith in Jesus. I’ll tell you what that means: Life and salvation.

Prayer:
Lord God, heavenly Father, I praise you for the wonderful things you have done for me through Jesus Christ my Lord. 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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Oh That is Why – June 13, 2019

[Jesus said] “And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”
John 15:27

Oh That is Why


Daily Devotion – June 13, 2019

Devotion based on John 15:27

See series: Devotions

I don’t always know why God allows certain things to happen in my life. I have had some real bad times and some real good times.

When Jesus spoke the words from the Bible we are thinking about today, he was talking to his disciples. They had been through a few bad times, but there were some major bad times coming soon. That night, Jesus was arrested and killed. Why would God let the disciples go through all that? Jesus explained it even before it happened. He was preparing his disciples to testify.

They would talk about what they had seen early in Jesus’ ministry, since they had been there. And when they saw how it ended, in death and resurrection, they would be able to talk about how it all made sense in the end. Oh, that’s why God let that happen to them, and to his Son. He wanted to save them.

During the bad times, I wonder why God is letting the bad things happen. I pray for relief, and I wonder why God takes his time answering my prayer. If I learn anything from this Bible verse, I realize that God is letting the story play out, even in some bad ways, so that I can testify. I can testify to the goodness of God, to the eventual relief that he always gives, to his love.

During the good times, I learn to testify to God’s mercy and grace, since I don’t deserve them. I think about the longer arc of my life, and I realize how God has made all things work for my good. The bad times don’t look so bad when I view them like that. Oh, that’s why God gives me many seasons in my life, both good and bad. He wants me to testify.

In fact, I must testify, because I have witnessed so many lives turn from bad to good because of the forgiveness that Jesus won for them. I am compelled to say that Jesus is my Savior. He’s yours as well.

Prayer:
Lord, lead me to tell the story of your love throughout my life no matter what happens. 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 What Is Happening – June 12, 2019

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.” . . . This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”
Acts 2:14,16,17a

This Is What Is Happening


Daily Devotion – June 12, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 2:14,16,17a

See series: Devotions

“What is happening?” Have you ever been in a situation where you looked around and could not figure out what was going on? People around you were paying attention, and they seemed to be following something, but you could not for the life of you figure out what was happening.

That must have been the situation for many people on Pentecost. Here were men with what seemed to be tongues of fire dancing on their heads. They were speaking in a multitude of different languages. It was nine in the morning, and nothing was happening that normally happened at nine in the morning.

Then Peter stood up, raised his voice, and explained. The prophet Joel had predicted this, Peter explained. The Holy Spirit was being poured out. The last days had begun.

For hundreds of years, the Holy Spirit had brought mostly Jewish people to faith in the Savior who was to come. Now there would be thousands, then millions, then billions of people coming to faith in Jesus as their Savior. The Spirit was being poured out on all people. Men and women, young people and old people—all were included. No one was excluded. Everyone was welcome.

And the last days had begun. Jesus had died, risen, and ascended into heaven. The only thing left for him to do was to return for Judgment Day. Now all of the prophecies about the last days would be fulfilled. The gospel of forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus would be preached to all people.

Now you know what is happening. We are in the last days. The Spirit is being poured out on you, and you are being brought to a closer relationship with Jesus. Your life is blessed.

Prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, God and Lord! May all your graces be outpoured. 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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Get the Message Out – June 11, 2019

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them . . . When [people] heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?”
Acts 2:4,6-8

Get the Message Out


Daily Devotion – June 11, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 2:4,6-8

See series: Devotions

Imagine being able to speak a foreign language without studying it. You are standing in front of a person who does not speak your language. You know what you want to say, and you open your mouth, and words come out that mean precisely what you want to say, but it’s in the other person’s language, not your own. Wouldn’t that be amazing? That’s the gift of speaking in tongues.

God gave that gift to his disciples on Pentecost. It was a special gift from the Holy Spirit. It was not to impress people. It was not to make those disciples proud of how special they were. It was for one purpose: to get the message out.

Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended into heaven. His disciples were to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins to everyone they met. But what if those people spoke a different language? The disciples were all from the same people group, and they spoke the same languages. Did they each have to take time to learn a new language in order to take the gospel to the ends of the earth?

Instead of taking that time, the disciples received the gift of speaking in tongues. After the gospel was passed on to many people speaking many languages, the Spirit did not give that gift any more.

You might wish you had that gift today. But God knows precisely what he is doing. He has given you other gifts. One gift is your knowledge and faith that Jesus is your Savior. Another gift is your penitent heart. A further gift is your desire to get that message about Jesus out there. God bless that desire.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, give me the will and the opportunity to speak about Jesus to everyone I meet. 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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Crystal Clear – June 10, 2019

[Jesus said] “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.”
John 15:26

Crystal Clear


Daily Devotion – June 10, 2019

Devotion based on John 15:26

See series: Devotions

I love a clear phone call. When I see all of the bars on my phone lit up, I know that I will be able to understand everything the other person is saying. The texts will go right through, and the internet will respond quickly when I ask a question.

I hate a garbled phone call. It doesn’t matter how loudly or slowly the other person speaks. It’s like that telephone game, where something is hindering your hearing, and you know you are not getting the real message. In the end, you wonder if anything you heard is what was actually said.

Jesus’ disciples were supposed to pass on what he said. But they had to wonder if they would get it right. They knew they couldn’t even say it back correctly when they were with him. How were they supposed to get it right after he was gone?

In our Bible verse for today, Jesus reassured his disciples that he would send someone to prompt their memories and get everything right. He called that person the Advocate, because that person would stick up for him. That person turned out to be the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. He never lies. His line to the Father and the Son is always clear. His testimony is always spot on.

When the Holy Spirit arrived in such a dramatic and visible way on Pentecost (see Acts 2), it was to assure the disciples and everyone who heard them that they would say the right thing about Jesus. The disciples were human beings with human failings, but when it came to talking about Jesus, they would play no game of telephone.

The message of the disciples, recorded for you without error in the Bible, is clear. Jesus rose from the dead. He is your Savior. When he says you are forgiven, there are no strings attached. You are hearing it correctly. Believe it.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, teach me to listen carefully to your clear words of truth. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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More than Marketing – June 9, 2019

When the day of Pentecost came, [the disciples] were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4

More than Marketing


Daily Devotion – June 9, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 2:1-4

See series: Devotions

You’re starting up a new restaurant. How do you get business? You let your community know that they have a need (they get hungry); there is a solution (food) and you have the best solution in town (your barbeque beats everyone else’s). Perhaps you hand out free samples at the fair, entice people with coupons or specials, and you hope that word of mouth drives hungry customers your way.

God was starting his New Testament Church. Jesus had died, risen, and ascended to heaven. Now what? How would God gather people into his Church? Through his disciples, he let the people of Jerusalem know that they had a need (for God to forgive their sins) and that there was a solution (Jesus had died for their sins). This was not just a slick ad campaign. Free forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life through Jesus beat any other deal in the world.

Have you ever marveled that God has delivered this same message to you? You have a need (for God to forgive your sins against him) and there is a solution (Jesus has died for your sins). The same Holy Spirit who filled the first disciples works through the message of forgiveness to give and grow your faith. God continues to build his Church just as he did all those years ago—by the power of his Spirit working through his word.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, my sin means I have the greatest need—I need a Savior from sin; I need Jesus. Work powerfully through your Word to bring me to daily repentance and free forgiveness. Move my heart and my tongue to thank and honor God with all that I do and say. 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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Clean – June 8, 2019

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may . . . go through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Clean


Daily Devotion – June 8, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:14

See series: Devotions

If you ask people who have traveled around the world, “What is the cleanest city you have ever seen?” many of them will answer, “Singapore.” If you go there, however, you’d better understand that the governing authorities take their city’s cleanliness seriously—very seriously.

For instance, Orchard Road is the most famous shopping street in Singapore. Tens of thousands mingle there every day. However, hidden in the crowd are some 400 plainclothes officers. Their sole job is to catch people doing something that may threaten their city’s cleanliness. If they spot you dropping a piece of paper, they can fine you hundreds of dollars. If you are a repeat offender, it can cost you thousands. In addition, they may also sentence you to several hours of community service and require you to attend lectures on littering. In short, if you find yourself in Singapore, enjoy the wonderful sights, friendly people, and cleanliness. But if you make a mistake and litter, your stay may come at a cost.

Life in heaven comes at a cost as well. But the cost is not money or a lecture on littering. The cost is the precious blood of the Son of God. The Lord’s desire for us to be with him was so intense that he himself was willing to pay the price to make it so. And now it is his blood that has washed our sins away and made all things right. It is his blood that has given us the privilege to go through the gates into the city of heaven.

But in that city, there is not just an absence of the rubbish of sin. Rather, there is complete life, light, goodness, and joy. All because Jesus is there. All because he has made us clean.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you have washed my robes and made me clean. Through faith in you, heaven awaits. Oh, how I look forward to that 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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Payday – June 7, 2019

[Jesus said] “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me.”
Revelation 22:12

Payday


Daily Devotion – June 7, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:12

See series: Devotions

Imagine for a minute that you have to do a terrible job for a year. Maybe the work is hard. Maybe it’s high-stress. Maybe the work is far from rewarding. Now imagine you are told you will be paid just fifteen thousand dollars for this year of work. How do you suppose you will do your job? Will you be excited? Will you be motivated to do your best? Probably not. You will be tempted to show up late and give it little effort. You may not even make it through the entire year before quitting.

Now imagine you are facing the same job, but this time you know you will be paid fifteen million dollars. Now, how will you do your job? Your attitude will likely be very different. You will show up on time, be excited, and even brag about how great this job is that pays so well.

Like a terrible job, our life in this world is often difficult. But Jesus promises that when this world ends, he will return and bring with him a reward far greater than fifteen million dollars. He promises to bring us to the mansions of heaven and an eternity without a single care or concern. Remarkably, he promises to give us this as a reward even though it is a reward, he won for us. Think of how comforting this is! It means we don’t have to worry whether we will be good enough to earn his reward. It means we don’t have to wonder whether we will receive his reward. He promises to give us the reward he has earned.

Let this be your encouragement during difficult days. Let it move you to serve your Lord with joy and excitement. Let it keep you from ever quitting. After all, a remarkable reward is on the way!

Prayer:
With everything that is happening in our busy world keep me focused on your return and the reward you will bring. Come quickly, Lord 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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Jesus is Coming Soon – June 6, 2019

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Revelation 22:20

Jesus is Coming Soon


Daily Devotion – June 6, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:20

See series: Devotions

“Did he forget?” I had this thought a few times as a child as I waited for my dad to pick me up from school. Most days dad was there when school got out and although I had to wait for his turn to pull up to the curb, I was sure I was getting picked up. However, on rare occasions dad wasn’t there right away. I watched as the number of kids standing at the curb dwindled. I wondered what could have happened. Had my father forgotten and would he ever show up?

Fortunately, without fail, he always showed up, usually just a few minutes after all the other parents had picked up their children, I would crawl into the backseat of his car and with exasperation ask, “What were you doing?” My dad would always respond, “Coming to get you.”

It has been just shy of two thousand years since Jesus said, “I am coming soon.” It is easy to wonder if Jesus has forgotten his promise and to ask what is taking him so long.

But, much like time is different to an anxious child than to an adult, time is different for us than it is for God. The Bible tells us that, for God, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. The God who lives without beginning or end has a longer and better view of time than we do.

We also know that when God makes a promise, he keeps it. He does not forget. He does not change his mind.

So, we can know for certain that Jesus will come soon. He promised it. He will come soon to take us from this life to our eternal home and the life we were meant to live. Even now we know at this very hour, he is coming to take us to be with him.

Prayer:
Help me to wait patiently on your good timing, and give me the sure confidence that you will return soon. 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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Wish You Were Here – June 5, 2019

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
John 17:24

Wish You Were Here


Daily Devotion – June 5, 2019

Devotion based on John 17:24

See series: Devotions

Taking a vacation away from the hectic pace and pressures of daily life is precious indeed. When you are enjoying such a relaxing time away from home and work, you might stop by a gift shop and see the postcard rack with a number of images that capture the fun and enjoyment you are having, and your friends back home aren’t. Across the front are printed the words, “Wish you were here!” Not that you are serious about your friends or other family members joining you on your vacation, but the card is meant to rub it in that you are enjoying a great vacation, while others are going on with the grind of life.

Can you imagine if God sent you a message from heaven which said, “Wish you were here?” but really was just “rubbing it in.” That you had to still endure a world filled with hardship, tragedy, and suffering. Quite the opposite! As Jesus prayed, he said, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.” Jesus has a heartfelt desire for you. He absolutely wants you to join him in heaven. Yet he doesn’t just wish it, but also provided the means to get there. He sends you an “all-expense paid ticket” which he personally paid for with his perfect life, his suffering and death, and glorious resurrection. There’s nothing more that you have to do or pay to get it; it’s a free gift by faith in him.

When life gets challenging, we oftentimes think of our favorite vacation spot and “wish we were there.” Today Jesus is inviting you, in the midst of whatever life brings you, to look forward to the eternity in heaven he has paid for you to enjoy. Through him don’t just wish you were there, but definitely look forward to actually being there!

Prayer:
Savior Jesus, by what you accomplished through your death and resurrection, I am confident that I will live with you forever in heaven and see your great glory. Strengthen and sustain me now while I wait for you to come and take me where you are. 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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Coheirs – June 4, 2019

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. . . Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
John 17:22,25,26

Coheirs


Daily Devotion – June 4, 2019

Devotion based on John 17:22,25,26

See series: Devotions

What do you have in common with Jesus? At first you might say, “Not much.” You have never turned water into wine or walked on water. No angels announced your birth and crowds of people don’t follow you to hear you teach. However, a closer look might reveal that you have more in common than you first thought.

Jesus says that he gave you the same glory that God the Father gave him. While you don’t have the glory of the crowds or the miracles, you do have the same glory of being coheirs of eternal life with Jesus. You and Jesus have the same story with the same ending. Like Jesus you will live on this earth and there will be ups and downs, but God will use it all to get you to heaven with Jesus, forever.

Jesus also says that you have something that sets you apart from the rest of the world: you know the Father. Jesus says the world doesn’t understand who the Father is, but he knows. Those who share the belief that the Father sent Jesus also know the Father.

Finally, Jesus says you share the love of the Father. It is this love that forgives your sins and guarantees you a place in heaven. It is the love that a perfect Father in heaven has for his perfect Son and that love is shared with you. The Father gives this love to you through his Son that you may also know what it is like to be his child.

What do you have in common with Jesus? All the things that matter most.

Prayer:
Jesus, by winning salvation you made me a coheir of eternal life. Help me to better know you that I may better know the Father. 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 Prayer – June 3, 2019

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
John 17:20,21

Jesus Prayer


Daily Devotion – June 3, 2019

Devotion based on John 17:20,21

See series: Devotions

If you want a list of things people really care about, you probably only need to look at their prayer list. The things that cause people to bow their heads and turn to the throne of God are some of the most personal and important things in their lives. They are the names of the people they love and the situations that pains their hearts. These are the things they think about the most and are overwhelmingly grateful for.

This is what makes it so remarkable that you and I are on Jesus’ prayer list. In fact, you were on his prayer list two thousand years ago. The night before his death, Jesus took the time to pray for you. Even knowing all that he was about to face that night―betrayal, abandonment, abuse of every kind―Jesus made sure that you were on his prayer list. This was no one-time occurrence either. The Bible tells us that Jesus is in heaven right now remembering you. He is speaking your name, remembering you to his heavenly Father.

Jesus prays for you because he loves you. You are the most important thing in the world to him. Your pain, pains his heart. Your eternal good is his highest desire. He prays for you because he knows you, has forgiven all your sins, and you are his dear child. For all these reasons and more you are on Jesus’ prayer list.

The next time you pray through your prayer list, remember that Jesus prays for you because he cares for you.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for praying for me. Continue to remember me in your prayers until I see you face to face. 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 Washing – June 2, 2019

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life.
Revelation 22:14

The Washing


Daily Devotion – June 2, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:14

See series: Devotions

In his Civil War book, Glory Road, author Bruce Catton demonstrates how dirty a human being can get. He recounts an episode in which a soldier leaves a prisoner-of-war camp to rejoin his old unit. His time as a POW had left him filthy beyond description. He asks his comrades to help him get clean. They take him into a river, strip off his clothes, and begin to wash and scrub. Only after this continues for awhile do the men realize that he is still wearing an undershirt. The man’s body had become so encrusted it had been impossible at first to tell the difference between a soiled piece of clothing and his own skin.

The soiling nature of sin does the same thing. From the dark thoughts we allow to fester in our minds to all the deeds of love conveniently left undone, sin does more than leave a dirty streak here and there on our souls. It makes us spiritually filthy beyond description. Left to ourselves, our hearts are so encrusted by sin that it’s impossible for us to see how lost we really are.

That’s where Jesus comes in. We didn’t see how lost we were or how far we had fallen. But he did. He took us to the river of his grace. He washed us in the waters of Baptism. He cleansed us in the blood he shed on Calvary’s cross. Now we stand before him in robes of white. Through faith in him, his forgiveness is our personal possession.

There are moments when the same old dirt from the same old sinful habits can fill us with despair. When such a moment comes for you, remember who you are and what Jesus has done. He has gone to the cross to wash you clean. He has risen from death to assure you that not one of your sins remain. Through his eyes your life is fresh, clean, and new. Your days as a filthy prisoner are long gone.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, in those moments when I stumble and the stench of my old sinful habits fills the air, remind me of the washing I have in you. Fill me with your peace. Empower me to get back up and to walk again 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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Source of Light – June 1, 2019

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
Revelation 21:23

Source of Light


Daily Devotion – June 1, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 21:23

See series: Devotions

The man was desperate to build a fire. You could see the worry on his face and hear the strain in his voice. He was tired and cold. But his campfire would not light because even the dead leaves, he gathered were too wet to burn. And nighttime had already come.

The History Channel ran a series that featured 10 men left to fend for themselves on the northwestern corner of Vancouver Island. The northwestern corner of Vancouver Island is pure wilderness. Massive trees and brush are everywhere. It’s crawling with cougars, wolves, and bears. And it’s wet. It receives more rainfall per year than any other place in the Northern Hemisphere. Every man there had survival training, but each was on his own, as each was isolated from the others by miles. The question posed by the series was simple. How long could each man last before giving up?

One thing became clear. Without a fire—without a source of light and warmth—the darkness, cold, and wild animals that surrounded them became too much. Without a source of light, they would not last.

The same holds true for you and me—your soul and mine. Without a source of light, the darkness and cold that surround us in this broken world becomes too much. Without a source of light, we are lost.

Enter Jesus, the Light of the World. He pierced the darkness of our sin. Through his death on the cross he went to the source of our darkness and destroyed it. Then he rose from the darkness of his tomb. And now, through faith in him, you and I can bask in the light of his forgiveness.

But here’s what we need to remember. When the rains come, when the storms blow, when the troubles of life pour down on us in sheets, the source of our light will not go out. Because the source of our light is Jesus.

In Jesus you are secure, warm, and safe. So breathe easy. And sleep well.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you are my light. In your forgiveness and grace I am warm and safe. Thank you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Turn from Empty Promises – May 31, 2019

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27

Turn from Empty Promises


Daily Devotion – May 31, 2019

Devotion based on John 14:27

See series: Devotions

There is an old saying, “Promises are like pie crusts; they are easily made and easily broken.”

We are surrounded by promises given by others. We are also committed by the promises we make. What every promise shares is the responsibility to keep it. There is also the reality that many promises are broken. Hence, the proverb.

We rely on promises which is why we are disappointed when they are broken. The promised family outing is usurped by work. The promised gift is put on hold because of lack of funds. The promised change of a bad habit is broken because it is not easily overcome.

There is one promise which stands apart from every other promise, and from the proverb. It was not easily made, and it will never be broken. It is the promise Jesus gives. He promises peace—peace with our God and peace with our own consciences. The blood he shed washed away our sin and guilt. So, there is nothing for God to be angry about and nothing for us to feel guilty about. We are at peace.

Jesus’ promise stands unbroken because he is the ever-faithful God. He perfectly accomplished everything he promised to do. Furthermore, we can rely on his promise because he has given us a blood-signed guarantee. In his crucifixion, death, and resurrection we have his lasting testimony that we are at peace.

What a blessing! Because of Jesus’ faithful and unbroken promise, we can be confident and courageous, even when every other promise fails.

Prayer:
O gracious Savior, you know how much I rely on your promises. Remove every temptation, every uncertainty, and every doubt which would make me question your faithfulness. Then, through your never-failing promise give me peace, courage, and confidence. Amen

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Turn from Spiritual Apathy – May 30, 2019

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Revelation 3:19,20

Turn from Spiritual Apathy


Daily Devotion – May 30, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 3:19,20

See series: Devotions

“Whatever!” It seems this has become the mantra for just about everything. The parent tells her child to clean his room. The response is, “Whatever!” The employer expects his employee to be on time. The response is, “Whatever!” The Lord says be faithful to the point of death. The response is, “Whatever!”

There is an inherent danger with this response, especially when it is directed to the Lord. When he says, “Be earnest and repent,” he does not expect the response: “Whatever!” He expects people to acknowledge their need and humbly repent—now.

Unfortunately, there are many distractions and excuses. Each finds its root in spiritual apathy. While it may be subtle and seemingly harmless, soon it becomes blatant. The end result is, even the most urgent call from the Lord is met with, “Whatever!”

Because the danger is always present, we need to humbly repent. We also need to earnestly understand apathy will lead to eternal judgment. This is why we turn from spiritual apathy and seek the Lord so he can purify our hearts.

Only Jesus can bring about this change. He makes us realize our apathy. He leads us to confess our sin. He draws us to his cross. He then assures us we are forgiven. In love he persists because he does not want us to perish.

This is why we want to do everything we can to build ourselves up in our devotion to the Lord. We study his precious Word. We meditate on its inspired truths. We sincerely apply them to our lives. Through the powerful working of the Word, we will be aware of the warning signs and turn away from spiritual apathy. We will also rejoice to hear our Savior’s voice and welcome him as a dear guest.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, there are many complications and distractions in my life. All these turn my attention away from what is important. Reclaim my heart. Strengthen my faith. Renew my desire to live for you alone. 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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Turn from an Uncertain Future – May 29, 2019

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God.
Revelation 21:10,11

Turn from an Uncertain Future


Daily Devotion – May 29, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 21:10,11

See series: Devotions

What does the future hold? While there are some who claim to know, their predictions lack any credibility. So, where do we turn to know what is in store for us? There is an old proverb which is helpful. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.” This, of course, is the Lord.

Although this knowledge offers comfort, we continue to have our misgivings. Too often we wonder, “What if…?” This can actually become a deadly infection. It starts with a hint of uncertainty. It spreads to become a lack of trust. Finally, it overcomes with deadly despair.

St. John’s words from the book of Revelation provide the remedy. He reveals what the future holds for those who put their trust in the Lord. He doesn’t offer a rose-colored perspective, nor does he make promises which will never be kept. He does offer God’s own assurance of what is in store for the future for those who know and trust in him, and that is heaven.

The beautiful picture John described offers the reassurance we need. For loneliness, there is companionship in the presence of the Lord. For earthly loss, there is the anticipation of heavenly blessing. For death, there is new life in the Holy City of the eternal God.

While this may not answer every question we have about tomorrow or the next day, what God does provide keeps us from being overwhelmed by doubt and despair. We know who holds the future, and we know who holds us in his gracious and protective care. It is the Lord who rescues us from sin, death, and every danger. The same Lord tells us what our future holds. There is no uncertainty whatsoever. We will be where he is.

Prayer:
O merciful Lord, we are often short-sighted and overwhelmed by doubt. Strengthen our faith so we trust you and cling to your faithful promises. Throughout this life, fix our eyes on your rescue and the place of blessing you have prepared for us. 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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Turn from Baseless Fears – May 28, 2019

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Kings 6:16,17

Turn from Baseless Fears


Daily Devotion – May 28, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Kings 6:16,17

See series: Devotions

Fear can be good. It can make us careful and help us avoid dangerous, even tragic situations.

While some fear is healthy, baseless fear is not. This is what overwhelmed Elisha’s servant. He was terrified by what he saw. All he could see was the vast and powerful army surrounding the city. This realization brought panic and a sense of hopelessness.

We can relate to the servant’s response. We often find ourselves surrounded by enemies. The devil is always stalking us. The world is always ready to terrorize us. Unfortunately, because of the weakness of our flesh we are seized by baseless fears. We overlook the help God provides, and we fail to take God at his Word. The end result is fear. We are terrorized by what we see just like Elisha’s servant. But this is a baseless fear.

Here is where we need the Lord to intervene. So we humbly ask the Lord to open our eyes and show us the help that is readily available.

So what will we see? We will see a faithful and all-powerful Father who loves us. We will see a victorious and ever-present Savior who stands ready to rescue us. We will see a devoted Lord who will never allow anything to separate us from his love.

There is no better place to look for courage, confidence, or help than in the Lord. He will guide us in all our ways. He will rescue us from harm and danger. He will remove our baseless fears and replace them with an unshakable trust.

Prayer:
O loving heavenly Father, I am weak, but you are strong. I daily fail, but you always succeed. Open my eyes to recognize you are always with me. Give me faith to rely on the help you are always ready and willing to provide. 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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