God Is Love – May 17, 2022

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

God Is Love

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Daily Devotion – May 17, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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Have you ever heard a pastor read these words at a wedding? Couples often choose this text for their marriage ceremony as a beautiful description of the love they are celebrating by saying their vows to one another. It is moving to think about the power of selfless love.

Read the text again, but this time, substitute your name for the words “love” and “it.” For example, “Jim is patient, Jim is kind. Jim does not envy, etc.” When you get to the word “always,” slow down a little, and realize that it’s not true. You don’t always protect, trust, hope, or persevere. Regardless of the strength of your love, you have moments when your selfishness overcomes your love.

But now, read the text once more. This time, put Jesus’ name in the place where you had put your name. Now the words ring true. Jesus was patient and kind. He kept no record of wrongs. He always protected. He always persevered. Jesus did all these things perfectly, not simply to serve as an example for us but to serve as a substitute for us. Through Jesus, God sees Jesus’ disciples as perfectly loving. Through Jesus, we sinners are saved.

When you are angry because other people do not love you the way they promised, remember the love of Jesus, and forgive them. When you are disappointed in yourself because you realize that you are self-seeking, remember the love of Jesus, and relax in his forgiveness and faithfulness.

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your kindness. Lead me always to trust you for forgiveness and love. 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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Why God Gives Gifts – May 16, 2022

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Why God Gives Gifts

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Daily Devotion – May 16, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

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You may have some amazing personal gifts. You may be able to speak more than one language fluently. You may be able to understand things that mystify other people. You may have confidence where others cower in fear. You may be willing and able to endure hardships that cause other people to wither. Even if it’s none of those things, you know what your special gifts are.

Have you ever wondered why God has given you those gifts? It might surprise you that the reason is not so that you can feel better about yourself. In fact, pride in and boasting about your gifts goes against God’s purposes. Your gifts aren’t about you. They are about those around you. God wants you to use your gifts to help the people around you.

That’s precisely what Jesus did. Jesus had more spiritual gifts than anyone, ever. But he didn’t boast about it. Instead, he used those gifts to serve us. He used those gifts to save us. That’s love.

And that is precisely how God wants you to use the gifts he has given you—to serve the people he has brought into your life. Then, like Jesus, your gifts will give glory to God and be a blessing to others.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving and forgiving me. Lead me to use all my gifts in loving service to others. 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 One Another – May 15, 2022

[Jesus said] “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:33-35

Love One Another

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Daily Devotion – May 15, 2022

Devotion based on John 13:33-35

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“Clean up the kitchen after you eat. Feed the dog and let it out. Make sure to finish your homework and get to bed by 9 o’clock.” Similar instructions are given to responsible children in countless households by parents who are about to leave them home alone for an evening.

Jesus gave his disciples some instructions when he knew that he would be leaving them soon. His instructions were simple: “Love one another.” By dealing with one another in love, not only would the followers of Jesus be obeying his command, they would also be making it clear to others exactly who they are—disciples of Jesus.

What is this love that we are to have for one another? Jesus tells us that it is to be the same kind of love he has for us. His love caused him to go to the cross and give up his life for us so that we don’t have to be punished for our sins. His love focused on our greatest need and was willing to do whatever it took to meet it, even if that meant he would have to suffer tremendous pain and even die.

Because of his love for us and what that love caused him to do, we know that our sins have been forgiven and our relationship with God restored. Such wonderful news motivates us to want to live for Jesus, and he tells us how to do so: “Love one another.”

By lifting our eyes off ourselves to see others and their needs and then working to meet those needs, even if it means personal sacrifice, we obey our Savior’s command to love one another. When we do, other people will notice that there is something different about us. They will recognize that we are disciples of Jesus.

Prayer:
Jesus, my Savior, thank you for loving me enough to make the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. Help me to show that same sacrificial love to others that it may be evident to them that I follow and obey 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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No Riddles – May 14, 2022

The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
John 10:24-30

No Riddles

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Daily Devotion – May 14, 2022

Devotion based on John 10:24-30

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Riddles can be used to strengthen the way you think. They can also be aggravating if you don’t have the answer. Many people who listened to Jesus saw him as a riddle. They couldn’t figure out if he was the Christ or not. So finally, they came up to ask him. ‘If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” No more mystery, no more cloak and dagger. They wanted a straight answer.

Jesus gave them a straight answer. “I did tell you.” He did perform miracles in their presence. He did reveal who he was as he taught the crowds who followed him. The problem is that they rejected the miracles and the words Jesus spoke to them. They did not believe Jesus as he proclaimed he was the Son of God.

Do not become like those people who gathered around Jesus. Do not think that Jesus doesn’t give a clear answer about who he is or what he came to do. There is no riddle. Jesus also speaks plainly to you. He is God; he stated, “I and the Father are one.” He came to save you from your sins; he came to give you eternal life. Jesus doesn’t speak in riddles about who he is or what he came to do. He speaks plainly to you, his sheep, so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

Listen to the clear words of Jesus and hold on to them in faith. Look with hope to the eternal life he brings.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I give thanks that you have given me life through your Son, Jesus. Continue to preserve my faith until I am with you in 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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Encouragement – May 13, 2022

“These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.”
Revelation 7:14,15

Encouragement

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Daily Devotion – May 13, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 7:14,15

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The Christians to whom the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation needed encouragement. They lived at a time when the Roman government was severely persecuting them. Being a Christian was illegal. If you were discovered to be a Christian and refused to renounce your faith in Jesus, you could be killed.

To these Christians, it may have seemed as if Jesus had abandoned them. He had promised always to be with them, care for them, and protect them. But their friends and even family members were being killed. Their own lives were constantly in danger. Where was Jesus when his people so desperately needed him?

Jesus gave John a vision that gave these Christians the encouragement they needed. He showed John a huge crowd of people, all dressed in white and waving palm branches. He was told that these were those “who have come out of the great tribulation.” In other words, these were all God’s people who had died but now were with Jesus in heaven. It may have seemed Rome had won, and they had lost. But in reality, the Christians were the victors because they were with Jesus. Jesus blood, shed for them on the cross, had washed them and made them clean. And Jesus would keep with close to him forever. Nothing would ever separate them from him.

We may not face the same type of physical persecution that those early Christians did. But we still need the same encouragement. If ever we wonder whether Jesus is keeping his promise to us and protecting us, we can look at that same crowd of people that John saw. There we see all of God’s people who have been washed clean in Jesus’ blood. There we see where we will one day be as well. A time is coming soon when we will stand in the shelter of Jesus’ presence. And we will be with him forever.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, hold me tightly until you take me to be with you forever. 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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God Kept His Word – May 12, 2022

“We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.”
Acts 13:32,33

God Kept His Word

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Daily Devotion – May 12, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 13:32,33

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Talk is cheap. Whether it’s an advertiser, a politician, a friend, or a family member, it’s easy for people to say things that they won’t back up with actions. A restaurant may claim to have the best pizza in town. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they do. Politicians constantly make huge promises when they are seeking election. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will keep them. A friend or family member can say that they will do anything to help you. But those words really don’t mean anything if they are not followed by actions.

Throughout the Old Testament, God promised that he would send a Savior who would rescue all people from sin. He made that promise to Adam and Eve right after they fell into sin. He made that promise to Abraham when he promised, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3). He repeated that promise to Isaac and Jacob and generation after generation of Israelites. Even when the people of Judah were taken into exile in Babylon, God still promised that he would bring them back so that the Savior could be born just as he had promised.

All these promises would mean nothing if God did not do what he had promised. Without actions to back up these promises, they would be the cheapest of cheap talk. But God did back up his promises with actions. Just as he had said he would, he sent his only Son, Jesus, to be our Savior. In keeping with everything that God had promised, Jesus lived the perfect life that God requires and died the death necessary to pay for all our sins. And the definitive proof that God has kept all his promises is the fact that Jesus has risen from the dead.

Easter, which we celebrated just a few weeks ago, is our guarantee that God has done everything that he promised to do. In Jesus, he has forgiven all our sins. In Jesus, he has declared us holy in his sight. God has kept his word. That truly is good news!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, all praise to you for keeping all your promises in 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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Our Good Shepherd – May 11, 2022

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:28

Our Good Shepherd

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Daily Devotion – May 11, 2022

Devotion based on John 10:28

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Sheep are prey animals. They don’t hunt other animals. Other animals hunt them. Bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, and even dogs can attack sheep and try to drag them away from the flock. When that happens, sheep don’t have much they can do besides try to run away. They don’t have sharp teeth or claws that they can use to defend themselves.

That’s why a shepherd is so important. In many ways, the shepherd is the sheep’s most powerful defense. When a predator tries to snatch a sheep, the watchful shepherd will drive the predator off. He will do whatever he can to prevent anyone or anything from snatching even one of his sheep. David, the Old Testament king who was once a shepherd, is a good example. He once said, “When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it” (1 Samuel 17:34-35).

Spiritually, we are sheep. We are the prey. Satan and all his allies are our predators. The Bible says, “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). When the devil attacks, we are not able to defend ourselves. Spiritually, we are defenseless unless someone comes to our rescue.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has come to our rescue. When Satan was seeking to devour us, Jesus came and fought Satan directly. He willingly put his own life on the line—actually, he willingly laid down his life to rescue us from Satan. Now that Jesus has given his life to keep us from being taken from him, we can be sure that there’s nothing he won’t do to keep us close to him. Satan will still try to snatch us away from Jesus. But he will not succeed. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, holds us tightly in his hand. And no one can snatch us from his hand.

Prayer:
Good Shepherd who laid down your life for me, hold me close to you forever. 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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Jesus’ Sheep Listen to Him – May 10, 2022

“You do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:26,27

Jesus’ Sheep Listen to Him

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Daily Devotion – May 10, 2022

Devotion based on John 10:26,27

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A group of tourists was visiting a farm in Norway when the farmer took them to see his sheep. The farmer taught the group the call he used to summon his sheep. He then allowed three of the tourists to try to use that call to summon the sheep. The first tourist stepped up to the fence and gave the call. The sheep just kept grazing as if nothing had happened. The second tourist gave the call. The sheep still just kept grazing. The third tourist took her turn, still nothing. None of those voices could summon the sheep, even though they gave the farmer’s call.

Finally, the farmer himself stepped up to the fence and gave his call. Immediately, the sheep stopped grazing and looked up. He gave his call again. The sheep looked directly at him. A couple more calls from the shepherd and the entire herd ran toward him. The farmer was able to do what no one else could do because his sheep recognized his voice and would follow only him.

The people who had gathered around Jesus refused to believe that he was the Messiah, even though he clearly had told them that he was the Messiah. To Jesus, this was not surprising. They were not his sheep, so how could they listen to him? If they were his sheep, they would listen to him because sheep know their shepherd’s voice. When the sheep hear their shepherd’s call, they eagerly follow him.

We are Jesus’ sheep when we believe in him. When God the Holy Spirit leads us to trust in Jesus as our Savior, he opens our ears to recognize Jesus’ voice. We hear Jesus speaking to us in his Word. We hear how he rescued us from all our sins through his perfect life and his death on the cross. We hear his promise always to care for us and bring us safely home to him in heaven. Like sheep who know their shepherd’s voice, we recognize Jesus’ voice and eagerly follow him wherever he may lead us.

Prayer:
Jesus, my Shepherd, I praise you that you have opened my ears to hear and recognize your voice. Lead me to follow you always. 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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Right in Front of You – May 9, 2022

The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me.”
John 10:24,25

Right in Front of You

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Daily Devotion – May 9, 2022

Devotion based on John 10:24,25

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Sometimes people simply refuse to see what is right in front of their eyes. The Jewish people who gathered around Jesus in today’s Bible reading are a perfect example of this. They still weren’t sure whether Jesus was God’s promised Messiah. They felt as if Jesus was keeping them in suspense. Why wouldn’t he just come right out and tell them if he was the Messiah?

Jesus, however, had been telling them plainly that he was the Messiah. In fact, he’d done it many times. He’d spoken that truth to them repeatedly using words. In addition, he had spoken to them using his actions.

If they wanted to know if Jesus was the Messiah, all they needed to do was open their eyes and see what Jesus was doing. Who else but God’s chosen Messiah could heal the sick as Jesus did? Or cast out demons with a single command? Or feed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish? Or raise the dead? Or give sight to the blind? Or do any of the countless other miracles that Jesus was doing?

The miracles that Jesus performed demonstrated who he was. He was indeed the Messiah God had promised to send. But they refused to see it. Even though all the evidence they needed was right in front of their eyes, they could not see it because they didn’t want to see it.

On our own, we couldn’t see the evidence that Jesus is the Messiah any more than the people in today’s Bible reading could. But God the Holy Spirit has worked faith in our hearts so that we see all that Jesus has done. Jesus’ miracles, his perfect life, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead clearly show us that Jesus is our Savior who has paid for all our sins. Praise God that he has opened our eyes to see!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes to see that you are my Savior. 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 Real Messiah – May 8, 2022

“We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.”
Acts 13:32,33

The Real Messiah

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Daily Devotion – May 8, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 13:32,33

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Menachem Mendel Schneerson served as the seventh and final Rebbe (spiritual leader) of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. In 1991 he told his followers that he had done everything he could to bring the Messiah to this world.

Some followers believed that this message revealed Rebbe Schneerson as the Messiah. They sang in his presence, “Long live our Master, our teacher, and our Rabbi, King Messiah, forever and ever!” He did not tell them to stop singing.

Rebbe Schneerson died in 1994. Some of his disciples gathered at his grave, expecting him to rise from the dead and reveal himself as the Messiah. He has remained dead. True believers expect him to return soon to show himself to the world as the Messiah.

Almost 2,000 years ago the apostle Paul and his companion Barnabas spoke in the Jewish synagogue of Pisidian Antioch. They revealed a message about a certain rabbi named Jesus. Paul said, “God has brought the Savior Jesus, as he promised” (Acts 13:23).

Paul taught a Bible lesson in the synagogue. He demonstrated how the history of Israel pointed to the coming of Jesus. Even the death of Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophets read every Sabbath. Paul told them the good news that Jesus had risen from his grave. This astounding miracle revealed Jesus’ death as the fulfillment of God’s promise to punish one man for the sins of all.

Paul concluded, “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).

Rebbe Schneerson. Dead. Buried. All other false messiahs—the same. Jesus Christ. Died. Buried. Rose again on the third day. The one true Messiah. We tell you the good news: What God promised he has fulfilled for us by raising up Jesus.

Prayer:
God of the prophets, make your message clear to the world so that all may know the good news that has come to all through Jesus Christ, our one and only Savior. 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 – May 7, 2022

Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 9:17

Lost and Found

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Daily Devotion – May 7, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 9:17

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A person can get lost without knowing it. A little boy in a mall wanders off from his parents to play with some toys. Two friends on a cross-country road trip miss their exit; they’re so caught up in the conversation that they drive many miles out of the way.

A man named Saul was lost, but he didn’t know it. He thought that by keeping the laws and traditions of the Old Testament, he could make himself right with God. In fact, Saul was so convinced he was right that he went after those who disagreed to bring them down. He didn’t want to hear that Jesus was the Savior, risen from the dead. Saul was a persecutor of Christians.

It’s easy to think about our relationship with God the way Saul did. It’s easy to think the way to be right with God is to do the right things. It’s easy to think we don’t need a Savior from sin. And when we think that way, we’re just as lost as Saul was.

One day God found Saul. There was a bright light from heaven, a visit from Jesus, and a bout of blindness. As terrifying as it all must have seemed to Saul at the time, clearly, God loved Saul. For the three days Saul’s blindness lasted, God gave him time to reflect on things. Jesus had been right all along; he was the only way to God. Jesus wasn’t dead; he was alive! Best of all, when the three days were up, Saul was baptized. Jesus had died for Saul’s sins too. God had forgiven Saul, and now Saul knew it.

When you are lost and know it; then there’s nothing better than being found. You probably haven’t been rescued from a deserted island, but you can imagine what joy there would be in hearing the beat of a helicopter blade. The account of Saul’s conversion is a ray of hope for all who are spiritually shipwrecked. Jesus paid for Saul’s sins, and he paid for yours too. It doesn’t take miraculous healing or light from heaven to turn you around. The Holy Spirit works through the message of what Jesus has done for you. Help has come.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, risen Savior, thank you for shining the light of your forgiveness on me too. 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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Shared Experience – May 6, 2022

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
John 21:4

Shared Experience

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Daily Devotion – May 6, 2022

Devotion based on John 21:4

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Throughout Jesus’ ministry, how many times did his disciples tell the story of what happened near the beginning of that ministry—the time when Jesus told Peter to let down his fishing nets into deep water for a catch? When Peter, James, and John let down their nets as Jesus had directed, pure pandemonium broke out. Before these sleepy fishermen knew it, the nets were so full of fish that the nets began to break. And when they hauled the fish into the boats, the boats were so full that they began to sink.

It’s not hard to imagine watching one of the disciples tell that story around a campfire, backed up by good-natured laughter. It’s also not hard to imagine Jesus and his disciples exchanging looks with each other during the story—looks and nods and knowing smiles. After all, that’s typically what happens when people bond over a shared experience.

That bond of shared experience must have become poignant the day the resurrected Christ showed up on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Here’s what happened: Peter, James, John, and several others had decided to go fishing overnight, but they caught nothing. Suddenly there was a man on shore, but they couldn’t make out who he was. The man called out, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” They did. And suddenly, they had on their hands a repeat of the fishing story they knew so well. The man on shore was Jesus. The man on shore was their Savior, their dear, dear friend.

Jesus has that same bond with you and me. Not only is he the One who lived a sinless life in our place and who suffered and died to cleanse us from every wrong. As our living Lord, he has been with you and me every moment of our lives. Every experience we’ve had, good and bad—Jesus has been there for it. He’s been there to carry us through. He’s been there to guide it all for our good.

That’s the kind of friend we have in Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for being by my side always. And thank you for being my dearest friend. 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 End – May 5, 2022

In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Revelation 5:12

The End

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Daily Devotion – May 5, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 5:12

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God has wired us for stories. Our own experience reflects this. If someone presents us with endless bullets of factoids on a PowerPoint screen, we will likely lose interest. Weave that same information into a gripping story, however, and our attention remains. It’s simply how our Creator has put us together.

This probably should come as no surprise. After all, Christianity is the greatest story of all time, and a story that happens to be absolutely true. It starts with Creation, then the Fall into sin, then God’s promise to send a Savior from sin. Then, God guides the twists and turns of history until the moment is right for the Savior to arrive. When he does, Jesus Christ does exactly what needs to be done to live a holy life on our behalf and suffer and die for our every sin. Then, according to his promise, he rises from the dead.

And this drama is still unfolding. You and I are fighting the good fight. We battle the temptations of the world, the temptations of Satan, the temptations of our old sinful natures. Often we overcome, but sometimes we stumble. Sometimes we fall. When we do, The Bible brings us to repentance, Jesus refreshes us in his forgiveness, and his gospel empowers us to get back up.

Through all of this, you and I are collecting scars, but that’s all right. We know it’s all right because our Lord has chosen to tell us how this ultimate adventure is going to end. In the last book of the Bible, the apostle John receives a revelation of what you and I are going to see. In the end, there is victory and peace and joy, unbridled and pure. Jesus is at the center. Multitudes of angels are there. You and I are there, along with all those of all time who have trusted in Jesus. And we fill the heavens with our shouts and songs.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for showing me how all this is going to end. Refresh me day by day as I fight the good fight. 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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God’s Plans – May 4, 2022

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man [Saul] and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem . . .” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name before the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”
Acts 9:13,15

God’s Plans

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Daily Devotion – May 4, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 9:13,15

See series: Devotions

Let’s take a moment to set up this extraordinary scene. Ananias is a Christian. He lives in a town called Damascus. He’s been receiving reports about a Jewish man by the name of Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus has made it his mission to crush Christianity. In Damascus, the mere mention of Saul’s name very likely creates a corkscrew sensation running up the back of every Christian.

And now the risen Lord Jesus appears to Ananias in a vision. In this vision, he tells Ananias to go to a certain house in Damascus and to ask for Saul of Tarsus, who’s staying there.

Saul of Tarsus? Poor Ananias. In that moment, Ananias cannot see the wisdom in seeking out the one who brings so much terror to many Christians. Every impulse in Ananias tells him to take a pass on paying a visit to Saul of Tarsus. The Lord’s plans, however, are different.

Ananias is not alone, of course. As Christians, you and I battle all kinds of impulses that tell us to back away from the Lord’s will for our lives. Such impulses can come in many forms. There’s the impulse of fear and resentment, There’s the impulse of convenience and the status quo or to remain where it’s comfortable and familiar.

However, the Lord’s plans are not for the sake of what’s comfortable. Often, they are for the sake of reaching the next blood-bought soul with the good news about Jesus. And that can make for some uncomfortable, inconvenient moments indeed.

But the true joy of life is in God’s plans, not ours. In him, we find our forgiveness, purchased at the cross, where we find true belonging and meaning. And in him, his gospel empowers us to embrace the Lord’s plans, leaving ours behind.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, move me to trust your plans for my life. I am yours. 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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When Life Stops – May 3, 2022

For three days [Saul] was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
Acts 9:9

When Life Stops

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Daily Devotion – May 3, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 9:9

See series: Devotions

For a Jewish man by the name of Saul, life had suddenly stopped. He had been embracing the presumption that the followers of a crucified teacher named Jesus were all wrong about his being the promised Savior of the world. As a result, Saul had made it his mission to persecute and root out the Jesus followers wherever he could find them.

But then the risen Lord Jesus himself had confronted Saul. After that encounter, Saul was physically blind for three days. The Bible records that, during those three days, Saul did not eat or drink anything. The Bible also records that Saul spent much of that time in prayer.

What were those three days like for Saul? No doubt they were not easy. No doubt they contained for Saul some long, difficult hours of reflection; long, difficult hours of realizing how wrong he had been and how right Jesus was about everything.

When was the last time your life suddenly stopped? When was the last time it was all you could do to sit down and try to absorb something that had just happened? Was it the abrupt loss of your job? Was it the collapse of a close relationship or heartbreak in your family? Was it the diagnosis of a life-changing illness or the death of someone close to you? Or was it something else that still, somehow, put your life into a pause or a sobering picture frame? Perhaps your life is at a full stop right now.

When life stops, Jesus is there. He’s there to bless those difficult hours of seeing those things I need to see—whether it has to do with where I’ve gone wrong, what I have forgotten about the Lord’s will for my life and his promises, or what I have forgotten about my absolute dependence upon God’s grace.

He’s also there with his forgiveness. He’s also there to cleanse me in the blood from Calvary’s cross. He’s there to start my life all over again.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when my life stops, sit with me. Move me to see what I need to see. And by your forgiveness, empower me to begin 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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The Question – May 2, 2022

He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Acts 9:4

The Question

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Daily Devotion – May 2, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 9:4

See series: Devotions

Pat Flynn felt overwhelmed. He was struggling to develop an online course, but it seemed as though the harder he worked, the more complicated it became. It was then that he had a chance to sit down with an author by the name of Tim Ferriss. During their discussion, Tim Ferriss asked a key question: “If [developing this course] were easy, what would it look like?” The question was a game-changer for Pat. It tore down his false presumption that the setup of his course had to be complex to be good. He re-thought everything he had been doing, stopped feeling overwhelmed, and ended up with a much better course.

In Acts chapter 9, a Jewish man by the name of Saul embraced a powerful presumption. He presumed that the followers of a crucified teacher by the name of Jesus were wrong about his being the promised Savior of the world. For that reason, Saul had made it his business to persecute and root out these Jesus followers wherever he could find them.

That all changed, however, when the risen Jesus himself confronted Saul with a question: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Such a question challenged Saul’s entire presumption. And with that question, Jesus, his gospel, and the power of his Holy Spirit quickly brought Saul to faith and changed his life forever.

Perhaps the Lord could confront us with some “Why” questions: Why do you continue to worry your way through your day? Why do you spend so much time on social media but not so much in God’s Word? Why do you tell yourself you’re too busy for the things you know are truly important? Why do you behave as though the Lord Jesus is not in control? Why do you avoid taking a moment to tell your child or grandchild what Jesus means to you?

Whatever the question is, the Lord can use it for great blessing. It can bring us to repentance. And through his Gospel, he can refresh us all over again in the forgiveness he purchased for us at the cross.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, confront me with the question I need to hear. Bring me to repentance. Refresh me in your forgiveness. 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 Lamb – May 1, 2022

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain.”
Revelation 5:12

The Lamb

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Daily Devotion – May 1, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 5:12

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What comes to mind when you think of God? Perhaps words like “big,” “powerful,” maybe even “angry with me” come to mind. I doubt you would say “an animal.” But in the book of Revelation, Jesus is called “the Lamb.” And we’re told he was slain.

In the Old Testament, thousands upon thousands of lambs, goats, bulls, rams, and other animals were slain. Why? In directing his Old Testament people of Israel to bring animal sacrifices, God was teaching them that disobeying God is extremely serious. In his holiness, God’s justice demanded the thing of ultimate value: one’s soul for one’s sin.

But in his tremendous mercy, God provided substitutes. He allowed animals to be sacrificed in substitution for sinners. These animals pointed to Jesus, “the Lamb, who was slain,” in substitution for us. Jesus allowed his life to be taken in place of sinners’ lives so we could have a God who is not “angry with me” but a God who is at peace with us. The Bible says that “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

Why would Jesus do that for us—give up his own life to save ours? The Bible says that Jesus could bear our sins more easily than he could bear the thought of our eternal hopelessness. He could endure the dishonor of being damned for sin if it meant we would not be.

It’s astounding that he would do that for us! This is why the Bible says, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive . . . honor and glory and praise . . . for ever and ever!”

Prayer:
Lamb of God, comfort my troubled conscience with the truth that you were slain to forgive all my sins. All glory and honor to you for dying in my place so I could live eternally! 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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Go and Tell – April 30, 2022

The high priest and all his associates . . . arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people . . . “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” the high priest said . . . Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!”
Acts 5:17-21,28,29

Go and Tell

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Daily Devotion – April 30, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 5:17-21,28,29

See series: Devotions

“Go…and tell,” the angel told the apostles. That’s the Easter imperative—the Easter command. Jesus is alive! He’s risen from the dead. He has conquered death. Go and tell.

There is a part of us called the sinful nature that says, “Don’t go and tell.” Some people warn us that we should never talk about politics and religion. Sometimes, as in the Bible reading for today, even the authorities of the world forbid us to speak about the risen Christ. But through his angel messengers, God told the apostles, “Go…and tell.”

So why would we go and tell? We do it out of love for the Lord who told us to do so. But there is also another reason.

We live in a world where people are dying spiritually and eternally, and we have the only real antidote for death. Through faith in the risen Jesus, we can and will live eternally. In the risen Jesus, we have the prescription to living joyfully forever! Love for others will move us to go and tell them.

Yes, there will be some who will reject that truth, deny that possibility, and suggest that the notion of joyous everlasting life through Jesus and him alone is nothing but foolishness.

But God will bring others to faith, and they will thank you for sharing that life-saving message of the crucified and risen Christ. Then experience the wonder and joy of sharing that message with others. Yes, go and tell.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, you have saved me for a life of joy in heaven with you. Moved by your wondrous love, help me to go and tell others about it, too! 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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Resurrection Peace – April 29, 2022

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:26

Resurrection Peace

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Daily Devotion – April 29, 2022

Devotion based on John 20:26

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Jesus came and stood among them. Since those disciples had been through so much, Jesus stood among them and gave them peace. Oh, that he would do the same for us.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if Jesus would appear while sitting in the ICU waiting room to assure us that dad is in good hands?

Wouldn’t it be great if Jesus was there at our side in our lonely, quiet moments, when all others have left us or forgotten about us?

Wouldn’t it be beneficial if Jesus was there for us when we’re at our lowest? You know, when we start recalling all our mistakes and the internal guilt is tearing us apart.

We might sometimes think the original disciples had it so easy; Jesus was right there, standing in the same room. But keep in mind, in just a matter of weeks, Jesus would ascend into heaven, and his disciples would no longer have his physical, visible presence to assure them. They would have to rely upon his promises. And those promises are just as comforting and dependable for us today as they were for the disciples then.

Jesus doesn’t suddenly appear to us in our living rooms or medical waiting rooms, but he does offer this solemn pledge: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20) and “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

He doesn’t ring our doorbells and give us a show-and-tell display of his scarred hands every time our consciences act up. Instead, he promises that our sins have been removed from us “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).

He may not put a hand on our shoulders. Instead, he puts his Word in print, and he puts that printed Word, the Bible, into our hands. There in the Bible he promises peace—the peace of sins forgiven, the peace only the living Lord Jesus can give.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when I feel weak or alone, remind me that you are near. When I am pressed by a guilty conscience, remind me that you have already paid for my sins. When I hurt, remind me of your love. Help me to share that same love with others. 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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Resurrection Proof – April 28, 2022

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
John 20:26,27

Resurrection Proof

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Daily Devotion – April 28, 2022

Devotion based on John 20:26,27

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Have you ever been channel surfing late at night and come across one of those infomercials with the super energetic spokesperson? After a few minutes, you start thinking, “Maybe I do need one of those salad spinners. After all, they do come in six amazing colors. And I really should eat more salads.” Those infomercial producers know you won’t purchase something on blind faith; you need proof. And if you see that proof—that the product really works—maybe you’ll consider buying theirs. That’s why the spokesperson for the salad spinner is energetic, happy, and in great shape. If you act now, this can all be yours for just $19.99.

The disciples wanted proof. They had seen Jesus die. His body had been taken off the cross and placed into the tomb. The disciples had been shaken. What they didn’t know yet was that Jesus had risen from the grave. He was alive. Jesus, on Easter evening, appeared to those shaken disciples and set their minds and hearts at ease.

But Thomas wasn’t there. So, Jesus appeared to him a week later. He didn’t have to, but our patient Savior reached out to Thomas and gave him what he was looking for: proof. What was unbelievable just a few days ago, wasn’t so far-fetched now that Thomas could see Jesus with his own eyes.

We have doubts, fears, and struggles too. Our patient Savior comes to us with promises that are always reliable. He points us to the cross—proof our sins are forgiven. He points us to the empty tomb—proof that he lives and that the Father has accepted and approved of his payment for sin. He holds out his scarred hands and assures us we have peace with God. No need to act now or make a payment; Jesus already has!

Prayer:
Lord, in my times of doubt, strengthen me with your promises. You died for me. You rose again. You are with me always! 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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Courageous Witnesses – April 27, 2022

“We must obey God rather than human beings!”
Acts 5:29

Courageous Witnesses

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Daily Devotion – April 27, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 5:29

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How do you define courage? I’m not looking for a wordy definition you’d find in a dictionary; I’m looking for a practical description of courage. Peter and the other apostles provide that for us in Acts chapter 5. Shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles faced fierce opposition. Jesus had commissioned them to be his witnesses. However, the people of power had commanded them to keep quiet. To whom would they listen? To continue preaching and teaching about Jesus would not only be unpopular, it could be deadly.

“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” the authorities lectured to Peter and the others. You can almost see the apostles dig in their heels and stiffen their backbones as they reply, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” What courage! But from where did it come? Wasn’t Peter the same one who lied about knowing Jesus several weeks earlier? Weren’t these the same apostles who locked themselves into a room after Christ’s death?

Peter and the apostles found courage in the same place we do—in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! You can almost see Jesus dig in his heels and stiffen his backbone as the Roman soldiers crown him with thorns and force a cross onto his shoulders. Resolutely, courageously Jesus faces the mockery, the suffering, and even the cruel crucifixion. Courageously he dies. Victoriously he rises. You will be my witnesses; he says to you and me.

This courageous Jesus carried our sins to the cross; he now asks us to carry his name to the world. Some will thank us for it. Some will urge us to keep quiet. With strength and courage that comes only from Jesus, we can dig in our heels, stiffen our backbones, and continue to preach and teach about Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord, you have told me to be your witness, to share your love with a world full of people who so badly need to learn of you. Give me courage, not in myself but in you. Help me to seize the opportunities to speak of your saving work whenever they arise. 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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Victoriously Saved for a Purpose – April 26, 2022

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Revelation 1:5,6

Victoriously Saved for a Purpose

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Daily Devotion – April 26, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 1:5,6

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In his Small Catechism, after describing the work of Jesus, Martin Luther wrote: “All this he did that I should be his own, and live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he has risen from death and lives and rules eternally.” According to Martin Luther, now that Christ has redeemed and rescued us, we now have the opportunity and the motivation to serve him and live for him.

Martin Luther didn’t come up with that concept. He was repeating what the Lord had already said many times through his holy writers, including the apostle John. After assuring us that Jesus loves us and that he has completely freed us from our sins, John offers a purpose for which we have been rescued. Christ has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father.

I am a priest? That brings up images of a clergyman wearing black, listening to someone’s confession, or presiding over a wedding. Instead, think Old Testament priest. He offered sacrifices to God. He helped others see God’s love and goodness. He prayed for the people.

When John says you are a priest, he is reminding you that you have a very special purpose in life. Your day job might be a nurse, accountant, teacher, or mechanic, but your purpose in life is to help others see God’s love and goodness, to pray for others, and to offer sacrifices to God. And by sacrifices, thinking kind words of others, a helpful hand to someone in need, being patient with a co-worker, living with an attitude of thanksgiving and contentment, and sharing the good news about Jesus when given the opportunity. In all these ways you help others see the goodness of God.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for rescuing me and making me a member of your family. Help me to express my gratitude by the way I live my life—for the good of others and to your glory. 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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Victoriously Rescued – April 25, 2022

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.
Revelation 1:5

Victoriously Rescued

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Daily Devotion – April 25, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 1:5

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Can you picture the scene in the old black and white silent movie? The young lady is in obvious distress. Heavy ropes are wrapped around her, securing her to the railroad tracks. In the distance, you can see the train getting closer and closer. This isn’t going to end well. The look on her face expresses helplessness and fear. The train rumbles on, smoke billowing from its chimney as it bears down on the poor woman. Just then, the hero arrives. With a few quick swings of his ax, the ropes are severed, and the young lady is free. The tragedy is averted. The hero smiles.

Can you picture the scene? We are in obvious distress. The heavy ropes of sin are wrapped around us. Every day an honest assessment of our actions, our words, and our attitudes reveals a very tragic scenario. We have fallen short. We haven’t treated others with selfless love—sometimes we do, but not always, as God demands. We haven’t always used our time wisely and honorably. We haven’t always spoken good and godly words. If we don’t get help, things will not end well. What can we do but cry out, “Lord, have mercy on us! Lord, save us!”

Thankfully Jesus, our hero, came to save us. He didn’t use an ax to cut us free. Instead, he shed his own blood. He has freed us! It really happened. Our selfishness, our wrong words, our mistreatment of others—all of it was taken away from us by our hero, Jesus. He died for us. He rose again. We are forgiven. The tragedy is averted. The hero smiles.

Prayer:
Lord, I daily fall short of the demands of your law. I confess that I am sinful; I need you. Point me to the sacrifice you made on the cross and to the empty tomb, from which you rose victoriously. As a freed and forgiven child of God, help me to face today and every day with confidence and a renewed commitment to walk with 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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Jesus Gives Us Peace – April 24, 2022

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
John 20:19,20

Jesus Gives Us Peace

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Daily Devotion – April 24, 2022

Devotion based on John 20:19,20

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When the disciples were gathered behind locked doors on that first Easter Sunday, they were very afraid. They were afraid for their lives. They truly thought that those who killed Jesus were now going to come after them and kill them, too. The bottom line is that they had no peace, and they lacked a faith that believed Jesus would rise from the dead.

What is it that scares you? Studies show that people are most often scared by spiders, snakes, and other creepy-crawly things. Does that hold true for you as well?

Perhaps you’ve outgrown that fear. Yet as we grow older, we face a new set of fears. Will our health hold up? Will our children be okay when they leave the house? Will we have enough money to support ourselves? All of these “fears” are out of our control. They, too, rob us of peace—which is where faith in Jesus comes in.

Just as the disciples could not control the enemies of Jesus, we can’t control the economy, disease, or people who wish to cause harm. Oh, if only Jesus would appear to us and say, “Peace be with you!”

But don’t be fooled. This “peace” Jesus gives is not intended to make all the bad things in life go away. The peace Jesus gives strengthens us as we endure the many difficult challenges of life. The peace Jesus gives also lifts our eyes from the temporary things of this world to the eternal things of heaven. The peace Jesus gives is the assurance that our sins are forgiven, and we will be in heaven forever with him.

Truly, there is nothing to fear. Cancer, thieves, storms cannot take away the eternal promises Jesus has made to you. Trust in him and his words, and you will have the peace Jesus gives.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, fill me with the peace of knowing you are alive and well, ruling this world on behalf of your people. 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 Path of Life – April 23, 2022

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57

The Path of Life

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Daily Devotion – April 23, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

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A father and his two sons were driving down the road one day when a bee found its way inside the car through an open window. The younger son was terrified of bees. He was allergic and being stung was one of the worst things that could happen to him. When he saw the bee in the car, he started to panic. At once, his older brother trapped the bee between his hands. He held it there for a few moments and then opened up his hands. The bee started buzzing around again, and the younger boy again began to panic. But his older brother said, “Calm down! Don’t be afraid! The bee can’t hurt you anymore. Look at my hand.” And there, in the older brother’s hand, was the stinger.

As you and I travel down the path of life, there’s one thing that terrifies all people by nature–death. You could say we’re all allergic to death. We do whatever we can to avoid it. Yet, because of sin, death is inevitable for all of us. But just like in the story, we have a brother who travels with us. We have a brother who was willing to take the sting of death, the sins of the whole world.

Jesus took the sting of death in our place, and he died on the cross to take away all of those sins. With sins forgiven, with sins removed, death has lost its sting. Jesus says to each one of us, “Don’t be afraid. Death can’t hurt you anymore. Look at my hands, look at my feet. I’ve taken the sting of death for you!” And because of this marvelous truth, death is not a defeat but a victory! Death is now the doorway to life everlasting with Jesus. That is our Easter hope!

Prayer:
Resurrected Lord and Savior, thank you for taking the sting of death for us so that by faith in you we have the sure and certain hope of eternal victory in 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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A Victory for Body and Soul – April 22, 2022

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. . . Then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” . . . Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:51,52,54,57

A Victory for Body and Soul

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Daily Devotion – April 22, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:51,52,54,57

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Click. A vulnerable newborn nestled in her mother’s tender embrace. Flash. The infant’s first toothy grin. Click. Baby’s first step. Flash. Child’s first day of school. Click. Teen’s first date. Flash. Woman’s wedding day. Click. First-time mother. Flash. Last time grandmother. Click. Granite headstone and freshly dug earth.

Click. Flash. Click. Flash. The bulb’s flash and the shutter’s click catch the progression of life. But really, it’s the regression of life, isn’t it? The camera captures the newborn so full of promise and potential. But already at life’s first cry, we have begun our journey to life’s final breath.

“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). The sting of death is sin, but two thousand years ago, Jesus bore the curse of sin. The power of sin is the law, but two thousand years ago, Jesus satisfied the law’s demands. When Jesus died, he paid for our sin, fulfilled the law, defeated death, and redeemed not only our souls but our bodies as well.

Because Jesus lives, all who believe in him will live with him forever even if we die. But these mortal, perishable, sin-stung frames aren’t made for eternal life. We need an upgrade. The resurrection of Jesus guarantees that an upgrade is pending. Yes, Jesus fulfilled our salvation two thousand years ago, but one day it will be fulfilled in us.

In a flash at the trumpets’ last blast, Jesus will reverse the poison of sin and remove the effect of death. He will rend every grave and raise all the dead. And all who died trusting in the Lord will be transformed. The old body will become a new body, but it will be your body. Just better. Immortal. Imperishable. Upgraded for eternal life.

Prayer:
Risen Savior, thank you for your victory over sin and death. 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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Feast of Victory – April 21, 2022

On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 25:6-8

Feast of Victory

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Daily Devotion – April 21, 2022/b>

Devotion based on Isaiah 25:6-8

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Serhiy Perebyinis opened his social media account to discover, with the rest of the world, that his family had died in Kyiv trying to escape death. “I lost everyone,” he said, “I lost the meaning of life.”

Many in Ukraine may find it hard to celebrate Easter this year. Surrounded by destruction and death, they may not feel much like celebrating.

But God has given a reason to celebrate, even to those shrouded by the world’s worst atrocities. The reason is Easter. Jesus’ resurrection is the death of death. It is the destruction of the devil. It is the deletion of disgrace. For the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign.

Jesus will reign from now till the day of his return. On that victorious day, the dead will rise to live. This new life won’t just offer an escape from everything bad. All who believe in him will experience and enjoy eternal life as God intended. A life that will flood our senses with good things.

No, we have not lost anything, even when everything seems lost. For Jesus lives! And his resurrection guarantees that he can transform even the most painful human occurrence into good for his people.

So, raise a glass and raise the victory cry: “This is our God. We trusted in him, and he saved us! Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation!” (Isaiah 25:9)

Prayer:
Jesus, take me with you from the grave of sin, doubt, sorrow, and death, and let me share in your victory, life, joy, and glory. 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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Hidden Victory – April 20, 2022

Suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them . . . [and] said to them. . . . “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
Luke 24:4-6

Hidden Victory

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Daily Devotion -April 20, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 24:4-6

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A little girl turns around in a department store, expecting to see her daddy. But he’s not there. Panic.

A woman gets up and goes to the kitchen, expecting to see her husband. But he’s not there. Grief.

Friends go to the arena, expecting to see their favorite performer’s last concert. But he’s not there. Disappointment.

A man goes to the courthouse, expecting to confront his attacker. But he’s not there. Anger.

“He is not here.”

Those four words don’t typically evoke positive feelings. But on the morning of Jesus’ resurrection, the angel’s sermon brings joy and hope bubbling to the surface because those four words are followed by one overpowering truth: He is risen, just as he said. Amid all of life’s disappointments, we have a God who keeps his word.

Jesus is not here because he has risen and ascended to God’s right hand. He’s gone to prepare a place for us. But if he’s gone to prepare a place for us, that means he’s coming back.

Until then, we will still be scared, sad, disappointed, and angered. But let’s not forget what promise opened for us when that stone was flung from its place. Jesus may be hidden from our eyes, but we can always find him in his word. He meets us there with his peace, his joy, his satisfaction, and his grace, and his promise that he will work good for us.

We will not stay in doubt, fear, pain, and sorrow. We will not stay in the grave. We will not stay in our mortal, perishable bodies. We will not stay on this earth, groaning under the weight of sin, but when he comes back, he will take us to live with him on a new earth, cleansed of all evil.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am so glad that you are not here, that you are risen, just as you said. It means I can trust that you will keep all your promises to 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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Living Victoriously – April 19, 2022

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

Living Victoriously

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Daily Devotion – April 19, 2022

Devotion based on Colossians 3:1-4

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To the world, the Christian life can look like a wasted life–so much time spent worshiping God and serving other people. Why not take everything this life has to offer and make the most of its pleasures?

Why not? Because we have been raised with Christ, and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. This doesn’t mean we live in some fantasy world. Nor does it mean we cut ourselves off from the joys of life.

We still live, work, and play in this world, but culture’s current trends don’t mold our minds, and life’s disappointments don’t crush our hearts. For our hearts are set on the glorious home that Jesus has prepared for us. And so, we gear our minds to wanting what God wants and walking in God’s ways.

Yes, this makes us look like poor, pitiful fools to the world, but our value comes not from what people see. Our value comes from what God sees. Jesus wraps himself around those who trust in him. So, when God looks at us, he sees one that he loves. He sees one with whom he is incredibly pleased. He sees one who is beautiful and blameless. He sees one who is devoted to our first love, Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, what grace that I am known, and I am treasured by you. Help me to show this same grace without measure. 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 Victorious Life – April 18, 2022

“I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him.”
Exodus 15:1,2

The Victorious Life

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Daily Devotion – April 18, 2022

Devotion based on Exodus 15:1,2

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We like to remember the “good old days” when life was better, simpler, more wholesome. We long for those days again. But there are certain things we wish we could forget. And sometimes those things cast such a long shadow we think we cannot escape them and have no choice but to embrace them.

The Israelites’ time as slaves in Egypt was not the good old days. Even after God had delivered them with a mighty hand through the Red Sea, they still couldn’t shake their past. When the path to the promised land looked too difficult, they were ready to return to their former life of slavery.

However, God hadn’t just put space between them and their former way of life. He had shattered it and rendered it powerless. In its place, he gave them a new life and a new identity. As God’s chosen people, they had every reason to let go of their past, rejoice in their present, and hope in the future.

Easter is our Red Sea experience. It is the day that Jesus crossed over from death to life, shattering death and rendering the devil powerless. In its place, he gives us the gift of new life and a new identity. Through faith in Jesus, we are God’s chosen people.

If the path to God’s eternal promised land looks too difficult, too out of grasp, don’t look back. Don’t long for what once was. In Christ, good days do not lie behind us. Nor does our past define us. Jesus’ resurrection means that every day is a new day, a new life, for you and me.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I praise you for you are my strength against temptation, my defense against condemnation, and the joy of my salvation. 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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