Powerful Words for You – Family Devotion – September 17, 2021

Read: Acts 3:1-10

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Acts 3:6-8

Powerful Words for You

 

Family Devotion – September 17, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 3:6-8

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Touch your nose and jump on one foot,” Lauren said. No one moved . . . except Zach. Zach did just what Lauren said—he touched his nose and jumped on one foot. Everyone started laughing. Zach joined them in laughing because he realized what he did wrong. Lauren didn’t say the magic words, “Simon says.”

Do you like playing “Simon says”? Are you good at playing that game? It’s very easy to play. When the leader speaks those special words, “Simon says,” then you do whatever they say. If the leader doesn’t say, “Simon says,” then you’re not supposed to do what they say. It can be very funny to watch a group of kids do all sorts of crazy and silly things when the leader speaks those special words.

Peter spoke some special words in the story today. Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Then amazingly, a man who was not able to walk his entire life suddenly got up and walked around. He was so filled with joy that he went near God’s house, the temple, and was walking, jumping, and praising God!

What Peter did wasn’t magic or part of a game. It wasn’t done by his own power either. Peter healed the man with the power of Jesus. The same Jesus who healed people himself and who healed us from our sins gave Peter the power to speak these words and heal this man. This miracle helped to prove to other people how powerful Jesus is.

Jesus gives us powerful words to speak, too. We have his Word to share with other people. So when you tell someone that Jesus is our Savior and they believe it, God used the message that you spoke to work faith in their heart. When someone is mean to you and you say “I forgive you,” that person is forgiven just as much as if Jesus himself would say it. That’s powerful! When a pastor baptizes someone and says, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” then God washes that person clean and welcomes them into his family. That’s powerful!

The words of Jesus are always powerful. That means the Bible is something for us to love and treasure. It also means that we can boldly share his words with others. When we do these things, we can trust that God will always be at work powerfully within us!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, help me to treasure your Word and to trust its mighty power. Help me also to be boldly share the good news of Jesus with others. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What was wrong with the man that Peter healed one day?
  • How was Peter able to do this miracle?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How does God’s Word still work powerfully today?
  • Why is knowing that God’s Word is powerful comforting to us?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • If God’s Word is so powerful, why are some people still unbelievers?
  • Describe what a Christian who is a bold witness for Jesus might do.

Hymn: CW 353:1,3 – Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

Praise the one who breaks the darkness With a liberating light;
Praise the one who frees the pris’ners, Turning blindness into sight.
Praise the one who preached the gospel, Healing ev’ry dread disease,
Calming storms and feeding thousands With the Father’s word of peace.

Let us praise the Word incarnate, Christ, who suffered in our place;
Jesus died and rose victorious That we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness, Seeing what our God has done;
Let us praise the true Redeemer, Praise the one who makes us one.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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He’s Coming! He Came! – Family Devotion – September 15, 2021

Read: Isaiah 35:4-7

Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,
he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Isaiah 35:4-6

He’s Coming! He Came!

 

Family Devotion – September 15, 2021

Devotion based on Isaiah 35:4-6

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“He’s coming! He’s coming!” Little Quincy and Nyah ran down the steps in their pj’s. They woke up extra early because they were so excited that their oldest cousin Jayden was coming to visit. Jayden was so much fun! Quincy and Nyah knew that the day would be filled with games and play-wrestling matches and lots of laughs.

For an hour the brother and sister sat by the window, waiting and watching. Any time a red car turned the corner they shouted, “He’s here! He’s here!” (They knew to look for a red car, but they didn’t know what kind.) After so much waiting, Quincy and Nyah gave up looking for a while and started playing video games. When Jayden finally arrived in his cool red car, their mom said, “He’s here!” The two dropped their controllers and ran out the door to jump into Jayden’s arms. After a long wait, he was finally there!

The Israelites had been waiting too—for a really long time. God had promised to send a Messiah who would save them. Over and over again he sent prophets, like Isaiah and others, who said, “He’s coming! He’s coming!” Isaiah even told the people about some things to watch for when the Messiah came. No, he wasn’t coming in a red car. Isaiah said that when he came, he would come with power and would heal people. Best of all, when God finally came, he would save his people.

In the first devotion this week, we heard about how Jesus fulfilled these words of Isaiah. Jesus did in fact heal a man who couldn’t hear or speak. We know that Jesus healed many other people, too. Most importantly, we also know that Jesus came to save us. God kept his many promises by sending Jesus to be the Messiah, our Savior from sin. Jesus lived for us and died for us to rescue us from sin. He also rose from the dead to prove that we will rise to life in heaven.

Sadly, just like Quincy and Nyah who got distracted waiting for their cousin, so did many of the Jewish people. They were so focused on worldly or sinful things that even when Jesus was standing right in front of them and doing the very things that God had promised (like healing people or dying on a cross) they still didn’t believe he was the Savior.

May God give to us eyes that clearly see and hearts that firmly believe that Jesus is the Savior we need. May we always keep our focus on him. Finally, may God give us patience as we wait for Jesus to arrive one last time on judgment day to take us home.

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, thank you for keeping your promises and sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior from sin. Help us to keep our focus on him all our days. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who were the special people God sent to tell others that the Savior was going to be coming?
  • What is the greatest promise that God has made to us?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What did the prophet Isaiah say the promised Messiah would do?
  • Can you think of other prophecies (or promises) that Jesus fulfilled?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Evaluate this statement: Because Jesus fulfilled the words of prophets (like Isaiah), the Bible is more special than any other book.
  • How did the miracles of Jesus help to prove that he is the promised Messiah?

Hymn: CW 353:1-2 – Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

Praise the one who breaks the darkness With a liberating light;
Praise the one who frees the pris’ners, Turning blindness into sight.
Praise the one who preached the gospel, Healing ev’ry dread disease,
Calming storms and feeding thousands With the Father’s word of peace.

Praise the one who blessed the children With a strong, yet gentle, word;
Praise the one who drove out demons With the piercing, two-edged sword.
Praise the one who brings cool water To the desert’s burning sand;
From this well comes living water, Quenching thirst in ev’ry land.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Words of Power – Family Devotion – September 13, 2021

Read: Mark 7:31-37

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Mark 7:31-37

Words of Power

 

Family Devotion – September 13, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 7:31-37

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Quiet, please!” the teacher said. Suddenly all the talking in the classroom stopped. “Attention!” barked the army sergeant, and all the troops stopped what they were doing and stood perfectly still like statues. “Stop!” said the police officer who was directing traffic. All the people waited at the corner for cars to pass by and for the command to walk across the street.

There are a lot of people who have power and authority in their words. When they speak, people listen. When they say something, things happen. The coach tells her team what play to run. The teacher tells his students what they should do next. We respect and listen to people who are leaders because we know that their words are important.

This is even more true with Jesus! Did you hear his power today? Jesus said one word in his language—Ephphatha—and a man who couldn’t hear or speak suddenly was healed. Incredible!

But we shouldn’t be too surprised! This is what our God has always done. God simply spoke in the beginning, and he created the heavens and the earth. He spoke his promises, and they were always fulfilled. Then God came here in human flesh, and Jesus did the same. He spoke, and he calmed a storm. He spoke, and he healed people. He spoke, and he raised people from the dead. And best of all, Jesus said “It is finished” on the cross, and all our sins were paid for and the gates of heaven were opened for us. When God speaks, amazing things happen!

Since God’s words are powerful, true, and trustworthy, it is our joy as Christians to simply listen to God speak in his Word. We may have troubles and difficult things happen in our lives, but just like the man in the story, God comes to us and speaks words of power, love, and forgiveness. Trust God and his words. They are always powerful and always true!

Closing Prayer:

God, you have the power to heal both body and soul. Help me to trust what you say in your mighty Word. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did Jesus use his words to do in the story today?
  • Think of at least two amazing things has God done simply by speaking?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How do we know for sure that God’s Word is powerful?
  • If God’s Word is so powerful, what does that mean for our time in devotions, Bible studies, or church?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why doesn’t God need to perform miracles today like he did in this story?
  • God’s Word is more powerful than your words. Explain why that is comforting for Christians when we share our faith with other people.

Hymn: CW 353:1 – Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

Praise the one who breaks the darkness With a liberating light;
Praise the one who frees the pris’ners, Turning blindness into sight.
Praise the one who preached the gospel, Healing ev’ry dread disease,
Calming storms and feeding thousands With the Father’s word of peace.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 for the Lord – Family Devotion – September 10, 2021

Read: Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:10,13-17

Living for the Lord

 

Family Devotion – September 10, 2021

Devotion based on Ephesians 6:10,13-17

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What would Batman be without all of his cool tools and vehicles? What would Thor be without his hammer or Captain America without his shield? What would the Hulk be without his super size and super strength? What would Superman be without his powers? What would Iron Man be without his special suit? I think the answer to each question is pretty easy. What would they be? In trouble!

If superheroes or Avengers didn’t have their special powers, weapons, or protective armor, how could they fight against the bad guys? They wouldn’t have anything to fight with, and they wouldn’t have anything to protect themselves with. That would be dangerous and big trouble!

Christians are in danger when they don’t use their powers, weapons, or armor, too. No, you haven’t been secretly added to the Avengers or the Justice League. You are part of a bigger army—the army of God’s people. But watch out! Our enemy is more dangerous than any bad guy on TV or in the movies. The devil is our enemy, and he wants to steal you away from God and send you to hell forever.

But not to worry! The power, weapons, and armor we have can beat Satan any day! Did you hear what the verses for today said? We have the full armor of God! That means that we have all of God’s strength and power on our side! Remember that our God crushed Satan when he died for our sins on the cross. Remember that our God conquered death and hell when he rose from the dead. Jesus is the ultimate champion and superhero!

So what kinds of weapons and protection do we have from our awesome Savior God? The verses today told us. We have the truth of God’s Word close to us, like a belt around our waist. We have God’s righteousness and perfection like armor protecting our chest. We have our feet fitted and ready with the peace of Jesus that we can run and share with others. We have the shield of faith in Jesus to protect us from Satan’s attacks. We have the protective helmet of salvation, which is the knowledge that God has saved us from death. And, we have the powerful sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God to protect us and fight against Satan every day.

It may be a dangerous battle with the devil, but you are more ready than any superhero. You have God on your side! He will help you to stand firm and to be strong. He already won the battle at the cross and now he gives you his armor to protect you. Have no fear! God is on your side!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, you have already defeated sin, death, and the devil. Now protect me and keep me safe by your mighty power. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • How did Jesus defeat the devil?
  • How does God keep us safe?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • If someone asked you to prove that sin, death, and the devil were defeated by Jesus, what would you say?
  • Name two ways you can use the armor of God in your life.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Agree/Disagree: Christians are not afraid of anything in this world. Explain your answer.
  • Describe times in your life when these verses might be comforting to you.

Hymn: CW 376:5-6 – Jesus, Your Blood and Righteousness

When from the dust of death I rise To claim my mansion in the skies,
E’en then this shall be all my plea: Jesus has lived and died for me.

Jesus, be worshiped endlessly! Your boundless mercy has for me,
For me and all your hands have made, An everlasting ransom paid.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Listen! – Family Devotion – September 8, 2021

Read: Deuteronomy 4:1,2,6-9

Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you. Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Deuteronomy 4:1,2,9

Listen!

 

Family Devotion – September 8, 2021

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 4:1,2,9

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Henry was not happy. He lowered his head at his desk and was holding back the tears. He couldn’t believe what he saw on his history test—a big, red F. Meanwhile, Harriet next to him was nearly bouncing out of her chair. She couldn’t believe it either! Her test had a big, red A+ and a smiley face on it. They both sat through all the same classes together, but their grades were so different. What happened?

Well, Henry did not take history very seriously. Every day he drew silly pictures while the teacher talked instead of taking good notes. He heard what the teacher said, but he didn’t really listen to the teacher. Because he didn’t listen carefully, Henry remembered nothing on the test. He ended up leaving out some important information, and he even added some wrong things to the questions about Abraham Lincoln.

But Harriet did just the opposite. She knew that history class was very important. She listened very carefully and took notes so she would remember everything. She even reviewed and studied a little bit every day so that she would be ready for the test. Sure enough, Harriet passed the test easily because she listened, she was careful, and she remembered.

When it comes to God’s Word, are you more like Henry or more like Harriet?

Just before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, Moses gave them one final speech. He wanted to teach them to be like Harriet—to listen to God’s Word, to be careful, and to remember. Sadly, most of the Israelites were more like Henry. They heard what Moses said, but they didn’t really listen to him. They forgot many of God’s commands. They left out things in his Word and they added some of their own things. When it came to temptations and tests, they failed miserably and sinned. Many failed so badly they even fell away from God.

We can learn from the Israelites. It’s so important for us to hear God’s Word and listen carefully. That means that we listen to God’s commands, we talk about them, and we work on remembering to keep them. That means that we listen to the good news of God’s forgiveness for all of our sins, we talk about it regularly, and we encourage each other with that good news. Moses was right! It’s important to treasure God’s Word every day, and it’s important for parents to teach it to their children. When God’s Word is the center of your life, many blessings will follow! May God help us to hear his Word and to listen to it carefully.

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, always open my ears to hear your Word and then open my heart and mind to listen to what you have to say. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • When are times that you can hear God’s Word?
  • Why do we want to listen carefully to God’s Word?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Describe the attitudes and behaviors of people who don’t listen to God’s Word.
  • Describe two ways that you can be a better listener to what God says.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Agree/Disagree: It’s not a big deal to miss going to church for a week or two here or there. Explain your answer.
  • When you grow older in life, how will you make God’s Word a regular part of your life?

Hymn: CW 376:3-4 – Jesus, Your Blood and Righteousness

Lord, I believe your precious blood, Which at the very throne of God
Forever will for sinners plead, For me—e’en for my soul—was shed.

Lord, I believe were sinners more Than sands upon the ocean shore,
You have for all a ransom paid, For all a full atonement made.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 in Christ – Family Devotion – September 6, 2021

Read: Mark 7:1-8,14,15,21-23

Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Mark 7:14,15,20-23

Clean in Christ

 

Family Devotion – September 6, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 7:14,15,20-23

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

You know what’s gross? When people don’t wash their hands! Eww! Sometimes you might use chalk or paint or glitter and your fingers start to turn different colors. Other times hands get really dirty, like when you’re playing outside and you get mud everywhere, even under your fingernails. Could you imagine someone coming to dinner with hands like this—dirty, slimy, muddy hands—and then digging into a big bowl of watermelon without washing their hands? Eww!

It’s not just mud or paint that makes your hands dirty. Sometimes you can’t see what makes your hands dirty because they’re filled with germs. Imagine someone sneezing right into their hand and then wanting to shake your hand. Gross! Or how about a sick student coughing all over their hands and then touching everything at school—the desks, the books, the doors. Yuck! Bleh! Gross!

Some of the Jews in Jesus’ time were very serious about washing hands and other things. They weren’t really concerned about germs though. They did these things because they thought it made them more holy. They thought God would love them more because they did these special washings.

One day, when they asked Jesus why his disciples didn’t do this kind of special hand washing, Jesus told them how wrong they were. Jesus told them it is not dirt and mud that defiles a person (that means to make them dirty or unclean). Instead, it is what comes from the inside that makes a person unclean. It’s sin in us that makes us dirty in God’s sight. Our anger, our greed, our hatred, our mean words, our pride, and so much more—all of these make us so dirty that no water or soap could ever clean us.

Thankfully, Jesus could—and did! Jesus washed us clean himself. But he didn’t use soap or hand sanitizer. Jesus washed us clean with his own blood that he shed on the cross. He washed away every stain of sin and made us clean and pure in God’s sight. Even better, one day we will be with Jesus in heaven where we will be clean and holy forever! What a joy that will be!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for washing us clean in your own blood. Help me now to live a life that is pure and God-pleasing in your sight. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What makes us dirty in God’s sight?
  • How do we become clean in God’s sight?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Explain what Jesus meant when he said that what is inside of us makes us dirty.
  • Explain the difference between having a dirty body and a dirty soul. Which is worse? Why?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why was it so dangerous for the Jews to be obsessed with the laws about hand washing? What were they missing?
  • When someone founds out that they are clean in Jesus, how might their life change and be different?

Hymn: CW 376:1-2 – Jesus, Your Blood and Righteousness

Jesus, your blood and righteousness My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Mid flaming worlds, in these arrayed, With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in that great day—Who can a word against me say?
Fully through you absolved I am From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Worth More than Anything – Family Devotion – September 3, 2021

Read: Hebrews 11:24-28

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
Hebrews 11:24-26

Worth More than Anything

 

Family Devotion – September 3, 2021

Devotion based on Hebrews 11:24-26

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If you could have anything and everything you ever wanted, would you take it? What if you had so much money you could buy anything you want—like big screen TVs and every game system, or a new bike every day, or even your own personal llama! What if you could do anything you want at any time, and no one could ever stop you? Would that be amazingly awesome? Or maybe, possibly, do you think that could be amazingly awful?

If you could have anything you want or do anything you want, do you think you might become greedy? Is it possible that your heart would love money and possessions too much? Do you think you might do some sinful things? Is it possible that you might be led away from God?

This might seem like an impossible situation for us, but this was a real-life situation for Moses. Moses had been adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Moses could have bought anything he ever wanted. He could have done anything he ever wanted. No one could stop him because he was in the king’s palace. He could have been rich and powerful. And yet, Moses chose not to take all of that. Instead, he chose to be treated badly along with his fellow Israelite people.

Why would Moses do that? The Bible writer to the Hebrews gives us two reasons. First, he says that Moses chose to be with God’s people instead of all the pleasures of sin. All that money and power would have led him away from God, not closer to God. Then the writer says this, “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” This means that Moses understood that God had something better to offer. The treasures that God offers are much better than king’s clothing or a king’s palace or riches and power. God offers the riches of his love as our heavenly Father. God offers all of his power as he protects us and provides for us. God offers us the riches of eternal life in heaven. What could ever be better than all that?

It might be very easy to look at all the things of the world around us and to wish that we had what other people have. “If only I had more money . . . If only I was famous,” we might think. But today we learn a valuable lesson from the Bible and from Moses. God gave us the greatest treasure of all—Jesus our Savior. Through Jesus we have endless spiritual riches here and in heaven. And that is worth more than anything!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, help me to stay away from the sins of this world. Instead, lead me to follow you. Fill me with your love that I may live for you. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Why could Moses have had anything or done anything if he wanted?
  • What did Moses consider to be more valuable than worldly things?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why do money and possessions often lead people away from God?
  • Explain why Jesus is more valuable than anything here in this world.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What things in this world do you think Satan might use try and lead you away from Jesus? Explain your answers.
  • If God blesses you with children one day, how would you teach them that Jesus is more important than worldly things?

Hymn: CW 506:1,4-5 – Oh, Bless the House, Whate’er Befall

Oh, blest the house, whate’er befall,
Where Jesus Christ is all in all!
A home that is not wholly his—
How sad and poor and dark it is!

Blest such a house; it prospers well.
In peace and joy the parents dwell,
And in their children’s lives is shown
How richly God can bless his own.

Then here will I and mine today
A solemn promise make and say:
Though all the world forsake his Word,
I and my house will serve the Lord!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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, I Promise – Family Devotion – September 1, 2021

Read: Joshua 24:1,2,14-18

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!
Joshua 24:15,16

I Will, I Promise

 

Family Devotion – September 1, 2021

Devotion based on Joshua 24:15,16

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“I will, I promise.” Monique was very confident when she told her parents that she was going to follow all their rules. They were about to go out on a date together, and they were going to leave her alone for a few hours by herself for the first time. They reviewed some of the important rules they had, “Don’t answer the door for anyone. Please don’t cook anything by yourself. No YouTube videos, and please, do something besides watching TV. Will you follow these rules?”

“I will, I promise,” Monique said again. She really and truly wanted to show her parents that she was trustworthy and able to handle being alone and making good choices.

The night started off pretty well. She was going to watch just one show, and then she planned to do something else. But when Monique got bored after two hours of TV, she remembered that her friend at school had told her about a really cool video she saw on YouTube. Well, just one video, right? How would her parents even know? Monique ended up watching a pile of YouTube videos. Not all of them were very appropriate either. But some of them were about cooking, and that made her want to try. How would they know if she cooked something quickly and cleaned up? Unfortunately for Monique, her parents’ date night ended early and they walked in the door right as she was following the video instructions to put something in the oven! Monique meant to obey, but she failed to keep her promise.

The Israelites did the same thing. When they were about to enter the Promised Land of Canaan, Joshua encouraged the people to leave behind sinful ways and other gods and to follow the Lord instead. Joshua said he and his family would serve the Lord only. All the people agreed and said they would too. “We will, we promise!” But that didn’t last very long. The Israelites fell into sin and failed over and over again.

Thank God for his grace! Despite all the times the Israelites failed to keep their promise to serve the Lord, God still sent his Son Jesus to be the Savior of all people. That includes you and me. We fail to serve God with all our hearts when we sin, too. But Jesus took away those sins when he died on the cross. Because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God now looks at us as his dearly beloved children.

May that love of Jesus fill us with thanks and give us the strength to say, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!”

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, give me the strength to serve you all my days with all my heart. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What promise did Joshua and then Israelites make before they entered the Promised Land?
  • Did they keep their promises? How do you know?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What makes it so difficult to keep our promises?
  • How can we work on staying committed to serving the Lord?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • If we break promises often, how do we know that God will keep his promises to us?
  • Describe what it means and what it looks like when a family is committed to serving the Lord.

Hymn: CW 506:1,3 – Oh, Bless the House, Whate’er Befall

Oh, blest the house, whate’er befall,
Where Jesus Christ is all in all!
A home that is not wholly his—
How sad and poor and dark it is!

Oh, blest the parents who give heed
Unto their children’s foremost need
And weary not of care or cost.
May none to them and heav’n be lost!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Where Else Would We Go? – Family Devotion – August 30, 2021

Read: John 6:60-69

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:68,69

Where Else Would We Go?

 

Family Devotion – August 30, 2021

Devotion based on John 6:68,69

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Mr. Fluffers was a good dog. His family loved him and his fluffy fur so much! But what they loved the most was that Mr. Fluffers was a faithful dog that kept coming back to them. You see, in their neighborhood, dogs seemed to run all over the place. Some escaped from their fenced-in yards. Some ran too fast for their owners. And lots of passing cars and stray cats made every dog chase down the street—except Mr. Fluffers.

Mr. Fluffers would sometimes go to the edge of the yard. Sometimes he would run and bark at cats running by. Sometimes he even seemed to disappear for a bit of time. But he always came back. Mr. Fluffers seemed to know that at home he was safe and fed and loved so much. Why would Mr. Fluffers chase any silly cat or leave the yard when everything he could ever want or need was right there at his loving home?

When it comes to Jesus, do you act more like Mr. Fluffers or more like the rest of the dogs in the neighborhood? So many things can distract us in life. Other things might seem more fun than reading the Bible, having a devotion, or going to church. TV, movies, and video games might seem to be a better way to spend our time. As people get older, sometimes they even find that sinful things are more enjoyable, or they might think that working and making money is more important than time with Jesus in his Word or in church.

At one time during Jesus’ life, there were many people who got distracted and left him. Some didn’t believe in Jesus. Others couldn’t understand what he was teaching them about how he was the bread that gives life to people. So they simply left. That’s when Jesus turned to his disciples and asked if they were going to leave, too. Peter had a beautiful response! He said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Peter is so right! Why would we want to go anywhere else? Why would we leave Jesus when he spiritually feeds us, keeps us safe, and loves us so much? Why would we turn to anything else when Jesus gives us everything we could ever want or need spiritually? Jesus provides for us daily. He forgives our sins and welcomes us to his family. He even gives to us the sure hope of life with him in heaven. What a joy to know, like Peter, that Jesus is “the Holy One of God!”

Closing Prayer:

Jesus, please help us not to get distracted by the things of this life, but always to come to you for healing, help, and hope. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Why were many people leaving Jesus?
  • What did Jesus ask his disciples? How did they respond?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What might lead people who believe in Jesus to leave him and follow other things?
  • How can we keep ourselves from being distracted by the things of this life?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Identify what you think are the biggest distractions that lead people away from Jesus in the world right now. Explain your answers.
  • Agree/Disagree: It is easier for Christians in America to be distracted in their faith than Christians in other countries. Explain your answer.

Hymn: CW 506:1-2 – Oh, Bless the House, Whate’er Befall

Oh, blest the house, whate’er befall,
Where Jesus Christ is all in all!
A home that is not wholly his—
How sad and poor and dark it is!

Oh, blest that house where faith you find
And all within have set their mind
To trust their God and serve him still
And do in all his holy will.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Be Careful! – Family Devotion – August 27, 2021

Read: Ephesians 5:15-20

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-16,18-20

Be Careful!

 

Family Devotion – August 27, 2021

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:15-16,18-20

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Be careful!” How many times have your parents said that to you before? “Be careful! Look both ways before crossing the street! . . . Be careful! Don’t touch the hot stove! . . . Be careful! Don’t run with those scissors! . . . Be careful! Tie your shoe so you don’t fall!”

How often have you listened to the warnings of your parents or teachers? Could it be that sometimes you do whatever you want instead? That can be very dangerous! Crossing the street without looking, touching a hot pan, or running with scissors or with your shoes untied can lead to you getting very hurt—or something even worse! Adults tell children to be careful because they care about them and want them to be safe. It is wise to listen to those warnings.

God gives us many warnings in the Bible, too. In his Word he tells us things that we should and should not do. Many times these commands are meant to protect us and other people. But not only does God want to protect us from getting hurt, God also wants to protect us from something even worse—dying and going to hell.

That’s why it is so important for us to listen to the warning today to be very careful how we live. The Bible writer says that days in this world are very evil. It can be dangerous for us if we get caught up in the sins that other people are doing.

So how can we be more careful and safe? The Bible writer tells us that too. He tells us to be filled with the Holy Spirit by making use of the Bible. We can read God’s Word and listen to God’s Word and sing God’s Word in hymns and songs. When we do these things, we know that God will strengthen us and keep us safe from all the evil sins out there in the world. His protection will guide us every day until we are finally safe once and for all in heaven. Because we know this, we can do exactly what the final verse of the day says—always give thanks to God. Yes, thank you, God, for your love, your care, and your protection!

Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, give me wisdom so that I can be careful with my choices. Help me to listen to and learn from your Word as you guide me to your heavenly kingdom. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Why is it important to listen to the warnings of parents, pastors, teachers, and others in authority?
  • Why is it important to listen to the warnings of God?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Explain why it is so difficult to listen to the warnings of God in the Bible.
  • Describe ways that you can be more “careful” with your faith.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Describe what a person’s life might look like if they are not careful with their faith.
  • What can you do to be careful about your faith as you grow older in life?

Hymn: CW 331:1,3 – Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death and hell’s Destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises I will ever give to thee.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Now I Get It! – Family Devotion – August 25, 2021

Read: Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house;
she has set up its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servants, and she calls
from the highest point of the city,
“Let all who are simple come to my house!”
Proverbs 9:1-4

Now I Get It!

 

Family Devotion – August 25, 2021

Devotion based on Proverbs 9:1-4

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lucy was stuck. It felt like she had been working on her math problem for hours (it really had been only ten minutes). She knew how to add and subtract, to multiply and divide. In fact, Lucy was very good at math. But this problem made no sense to her. Finally, Lucy’s teacher came over. “Lucy, can I help you with that?”

“Yes, please!” she begged. The teacher spent a few minutes and walked her through the problem. She explained each part of the problem until Lucy had all the numbers ready to solve it. “Oh! Now I get it! Thank you so much!”

Lucy was very smart, but she needed some help with wisdom. Wisdom is a little bit different than how smart you are. When you are wise you can think carefully about something, understand it, and make good choices. Lucy’s teacher helped her gain wisdom in solving the math problem.

Today’s Bible verses may sound a bit confusing, but they are actually very simple. Wisdom is being pictured as a person inviting people over to the house for a big dinner. It’s like pretending Wisdom is saying, “Come on over for a party so you can become more wise.”

It may seem silly, but it’s a beautiful picture, especially when we understand who is the one that makes us so wise—Jesus. Jesus is the one who invites us to learn more about him. Jesus is the one who wants us to know how much he loves us. Jesus is the one who wants us to know that we are invited to the greatest dinner party of all time—the feast of eternal life in heaven.

Earlier this week we heard about people who were very confused when Jesus told them he is the Bread of Life. Our prayer today and every day is that Jesus can give us wisdom to solve this problem. We can pray that Jesus helps us to know that to eat the Bread of Life means to believe in Jesus and have life in his name. When we understand that, we too can say, “Oh! Now I get it! Thank you so much, Jesus, for giving me wisdom!”

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, give me wisdom to put my faith and trust in you at all times, until you lead me safely home to heaven. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What is the best meal or dinner you have ever had? Why?
  • What do you think it will be like to celebrate at what the Bible calls the feast of heaven?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Explain the difference between being smart and being wise.
  • Why is wisdom something important to have in your life?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Describe how someone would grow in spiritual knowledge and then how someone would grow in spiritual wisdom.
  • Identify stories in the Bible where someone (besides Jesus) acted with spiritual wisdom.

Hymn: CW 331:1-2 – Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliv’rer, Be thou still my strength and shield.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Wait, What? – Family Devotion – August 23, 2021

Read: John 6:51-58

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
John 6:51-58

Wait, What?

 

Family Devotion – August 23, 2021

Devotion based on John 6:51-58

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Wait, what?” Antonio was so confused. “If God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, how come the Bible says there is only one God and not three Gods?” That made Katie think of another question, “And how could it be that God could simply say words and create the whole world out of nothing?” That made Deon think of a question, too. “And if Jesus is true God how could he come into this world as a little baby?” Olivia didn’t even raise her hand. She just shouted out her question, “And how could Jesus die if he’s true God?”

So many questions! I bet you could think of more. How did God split the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites? How did Jesus turn water into wine? How do I get to heaven only by believing in Jesus and not by any work of my own?

If you’ve ever had questions about God or the Bible, you’re not alone! Today’s story tells us about some very confused people. Jesus had been teaching that he was the Bread of Life, meaning that he alone is the one who gives life to people—both life with God and life in heaven. But the people only thought about the bread part. “How can Jesus say he is bread? How are we supposed to eat another person?”

But that’s not what Jesus meant. When Jesus told them that people must eat his flesh and drink his blood, he simply meant that they should believe in him. Kind of like you take in food or drink and it keeps your life going and strengthens you, so when we take in Jesus by faith, he gives us eternal life. But even more, these words of Jesus remind us that later on he gave us a very special meal that we call the Lord’s Supper or Communion. In that meal Jesus does come with his body and blood in the bread and wine for people to eat and drink and receive his forgiveness and comfort.

Sometimes these teachings of Jesus and the Bible are very difficult for our human brains to understand. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t true. Instead, we can pray that Jesus opens our hearts and minds to do the very thing that he teaches—to eat the Bread of Life—to believe in him and receive the life that he gives.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, sometimes we struggle to understand you as our God and Savior. Give us faith to trust you and your Word, even when it is difficult to understand. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Name something about God that is difficult for you to understand.
  • What should we do if there is something about God that we don’t understand?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What did Jesus mean when he said people should “eat his flesh” and “drink his blood?”
  • Compare and contrast eating bread to “eating” Jesus, the Bread of Life.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Agree/Disagree: It is comforting to know that God is often beyond our understanding. Explain your answer.
  • Jesus is obviously not bread. He’s true God and true man. So why would Jesus teach people using picture language like saying he’s the Bread of Life?

Hymn: CW 331:1 – Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Kindness, Please! – Family Devotion – August 20, 2021

Read: Ephesians 4:30-5:2

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 4:31-5:2

Kindness, Please!

 

Family Devotion – August 20, 2021

Devotion based on Ephesians 4:31-5:2

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Kindness, please.” As a kindergarten teacher, Kayla felt like she said that phrase a hundred times a day at school. Kayla said it to her students when they wouldn’t share during play time. “Kindness, please.” Kayla said it when she saw first and second graders cutting in line in front of other people, “Kindness, please.” She said it over and over to the big kids at school too when they were mean in the hallways or yelled at each other during recess. “Kindness, please!”

Why is it so hard for us to be kind and loving to other people? There are probably many reasons, but maybe one reason is bigger than the rest. The devil wants you to love a certain someone more than you love other people. You know who that someone is? You! Satan wants you to love yourself more than other people.

So when children think of themselves first, they don’t want to share with friends at school. When children think of themselves first, they cut to the front of the line or say mean things to other students or cheat to win games at recess. Adults do similar things. When adults put themselves first, they aren’t so good at being nice to other people. We don’t realize it very often, but all of our anger or mean words and actions come from the fact that we are loving ourselves more than we are loving other people.

The apostle Paul helps us to rethink and repent. He wants us to turn away from that sin and to love God and other people before we love ourselves. That’s why Paul said, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.”

But why would we do that? Why would we put others first? Paul tells us: “In Christ God forgave you.” God has shown us the ultimate kindness in his Son Jesus. Jesus came to this world and put us first. He lived for us. He died for us. He rose for us. All this he did so that we could be God’s children and live with him forever. And we hear this great encouragement today, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Since we are God’s dearly loved children, we can live just like Jesus did, putting others first.

Think about how you can show love to others first. Share with your friends. Let someone else go before you. Try complimenting and saying nice things about others. Listen to parents and teachers. God says in his Word, “Kindness, please,” and what a joy it is for us to show others the love and kindness that God has shown to us.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, fill my heart with your love that I may go and show love and kindness to other people. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • How has Jesus shown kindness to us?
  • How can you show kindness and love to someone at school?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Explain why being mean to other people comes from loving yourself more than other people.
  • Why does Jesus’ love for us help us to be more loving to other people?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Explain why loving yourself more than other people also breaks the First Commandment.
  • Discuss with your family two ways that each of you can show more kindness and love to others this week.

Hymn: CWS 750:1,5-6 – Christ, the Word of God Incarnate

Christ, the Word of God incarnate, Lord and Son of Abraham;
Christ, the radiance of the Father, Perfect God, the great I Am;
Christ, the Light, you shine unvanquished, Light and life you bring to all;
Light our path with your own presence, Grant us grace to heed your call.

Christ, the way that leads unfailing To the Father’s home on high;
Christ, the truth that frees the captive; Christ, the life that cannot die.
Mediator to the Father, Sacrifice and Great High Priest:
Lead us to your heav’nly mansions, There to share your wedding feast.

Christ, the Alpha and Omega; Christ, the firstborn from the dead;
Christ, the life and resurrection; Christ, the Church’s glorious head:
Praise and thanks and adoration And unending worship be
To the Father and the Spirit And to you eternally.

 

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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’ve Had Enough! – Family Devotion – August 18, 2021

Read: 1 Kings 19:3-8

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
1 Kings 19:3-8

I’ve Had Enough!

 

Family Devotion – August 18, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Kings 19:3-8

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“That’s enough! I can’t take it anymore!” Tom yelled as he stormed into the house. Tom looked so frustrated—like he was going to scream and cry at the same time. He was so upset that his kids paused the video games to look at their dad while Tom’s wife came to give him a hug. “What’s wrong, dear?” she asked.

“It’s work—again! It was another terrible day. Everyone made mistakes, but I made it all better. But did anyone thank me? No! Was the boss nice to me? No! And to make it even worse, we were told that some of us might be losing our jobs soon. I can’t take it anymore! Doesn’t God know what I’m going through?”

The kids ran over to join Mom in giving their dad a hug. His wife led him by the hand to the kitchen table where the wonderful smells of lasagna and garlic bread greeted him. The family sat down together, prayed, ate dinner, and had their regular family devotion. By the end of the night, Tom felt much better. The love of his family, the delicious food, and a good devotion reminded Tom of all the other blessings that God had given to his family. Soon Tom was thinking more about how often God had helped him rather than thinking about this one problem.

This can happen easily to any of us. God richly blesses us with his love and care. He provides for us and protects us. But then one thing goes wrong, and we act like it’s the end of the world! Someone gets sick or there is trouble in the family or at school or with friends, and we may think that God isn’t helping us anymore.

Elijah did the same thing in the story today. Even though God had done some great miracles, Elijah was afraid of the wicked king and queen of Israel and said, “I have had enough.” But God provided food for him and reminded him with that blessing that he would give Elijah strength to carry on.

In a sinful world we may have difficult times. But remember that Jesus, who came to this world, knows your problems. He is ready to listen to your prayers. He is ready to strengthen you and guide you. And best of all, Jesus overcame this world so that we can soon have a perfect life with him in heaven. Rejoice! Jesus will give you strength to carry on toward heaven!

Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, many things are difficult in this life. Remind us of all your blessings and strengthen us to get through all difficult times. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Why was Elijah frustrated and scared?
  • How did God remind Elijah of his love?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name one difficult thing you have gone through recently.
  • What are ways that God reminds us of his love and blessings?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why do challenging times lead us to question God’s love?
  • Give an example how would you encourage someone who is going through difficult times and questions God’s love.

Hymn: CWS 750:1,4 – Christ, the Word of God Incarnate

Christ, the Word of God incarnate, Lord and Son of Abraham;
Christ, the radiance of the Father, Perfect God, the great I Am;
Christ, the Light, you shine unvanquished, Light and life you bring to all;
Light our path with your own presence, Grant us grace to heed your call.

Christ, our good and faithful Shepherd, Watching all your lambs and sheep;
Christ, the gate that guards the sheepfold, Never-failing vigil keep.
When we stray, Good Shepherd, seek us, Find us, lift us, bear us home;
Lamb of God, our Shepherd, keep us; Let us hear your voice alone.

 

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Eat the Right Bread – Family Devotion – August 16, 2021

Read: John 6:41-51

“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
John 6:43, 47-51

Eat the Right Bread

 

Family Devotion – August 16, 2021

Devotion based on John 6:43, 47-51

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“How can it be?” they thought. “This doesn’t make any sense!”

The Jewish people were frustrated, confused, and upset. Jesus recently fed more than 5,000 people with an amazing miracle. Now many came to him because they wanted more—more food, more miracles, more amazing things. They wanted Jesus to be an earthly king to give them whatever they wanted.

That’s when Jesus told them they were looking for the wrong kind of bread. Jesus said that he was the “bread of life” who came from heaven. This is what confused them. How could Jesus say he came from heaven? Wasn’t he the carpenter’s son from Nazareth? How could he say he came from God if he looks like another ordinary person? How could Jesus be special if he wouldn’t give them the things they wanted?

Do you ever have this problem with Jesus? Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus immediately healed you every time you got hurt? What if Jesus made it so that you never got sick? Or what if Jesus made you rich with lots of money? Sometimes, like the Jews, we want Jesus to be more of an earthly king than a heavenly king.

Jesus reminds us today that we shouldn’t only look for earthly “bread.” Jesus will provide food and clothing and other daily needs. But Jesus reminds us that he gives us something better—himself.

Why is this so important? Well, the Jews of old ate lots of miracle bread called manna, but they still died. We too can have all the best food and possessions and money, but we too will die. That’s why we need a different bread. We need Jesus, the bread who gives life. We need Jesus who conquered sin and death at the cross. We need Jesus who rose from the dead. We need Jesus who gives us a place with him in heaven.

When we eat this bread called Jesus, we aren’t just feeding our bodies. We are feeding our souls. Fill up every day on Jesus, the Bread of Life, and know the life that he gives in his name.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, help us to grow in faith by feeding on you in your Word. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What is your favorite thing in your house?
  • Why is Jesus more important than that thing or anything else?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What were the Jewish people looking for from Jesus? Why?
  • Why do worldly things sometimes lead people away from Jesus?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Compare and contrast Jesus, the Bread of Life, to regular bread.
  • Discuss how your family can better feed on Jesus, the Bread of Life, together.

Hymn: CWS 750:1-2 – Christ, the Word of God Incarnate

Christ, the Word of God incarnate, Lord and Son of Abraham;
Christ, the radiance of the Father, Perfect God, the great I Am;
Christ, the Light, you shine unvanquished, Light and life you bring to all;
Light our path with your own presence, Grant us grace to heed your call.

Christ, the living bread from heaven, Food for body, food for soul;
Christ, the manna, daily given, Nourish, strengthen, make us whole.
Feed us with the food of heaven, Foretaste of the feast to be;
Quench our thirst with living water Springing up eternally.

 

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Dressed for the Best – Family Devotion – August 13, 2021

Read: Ephesians 4:17-24

That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:20-24

Dressed for the Best

 

Family Devotion – August 13, 2021

Devotion based on Ephesians 4:20-24

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bria was horrified! She couldn’t believe it! She finally convinced her mom to go back-to-school shopping for new clothes. Most of her clothes didn’t fit because she had grown over the summer. A lot of her shirts were worn out, and some even had holes in them. Bria got a pile of new clothes, and she was excited to look her best at school.

But how could this be! Here she was in the car on the way to her first day of school in her best and favorite new outfit, and she dropped her chocolate donut! Noooo! She was covered in chocolate stains. With tears in her eyes Bria pleaded to go back home. “Mom, they can’t see me like this! I’m a mess!”

Not to worry! Super dad came to the rescue! Bria and her mom waited in the school parking lot as dad rushed from home with another brand-new outfit for Bria to wear. And suddenly, with a change of clothes came a change of attitude. Bria was happy again and excited for a great first day of school.

How dirty are you? How often do you walk around with stains for everyone to see? I’m not talking about spilling juice on your shirt or getting mud on your shoes. I’m talking about sin. How dirty are you from all the bad things you have done? How often do other people see you do what is wrong?

Today the apostle Paul reminds us that this not how we Christians are to live. This week’s devotions have reminded us that God gives us many blessings—like food and clothing—but the best blessings come to us through Jesus himself. Jesus has washed us clean of every stain from our sins. He has given us a new life and clothed us with his own perfection and holiness. That’s why Paul says we should “put off” our old sinful ways and “put on” the new self.

Just like Bria was happy and excited to wear the new outfit she changed into, so we can be happy and excited to live our new life in Jesus. Life with Jesus is filled with joy and peace and love. Life with Jesus is filled with the hope of life in heaven. Life with Jesus is different and better. So follow Paul’s advice. Get rid of your old sinful ways and put on your best outfit for everyone to see. Wear your faith in Jesus and let the light of Christ shine!

Closing Prayer:

Jesus, you have washed me clean with your own blood. You have dressed me in your own life and death. Now let me shine with the light of your love so that all can see. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What makes us dirty in God’s sight? Why?
  • Who makes us clean in God’s sight? How?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Explain how Jesus’ forgiveness is like putting on new and clean clothing.
  • When Christians live with their “new clothing” from Christ, how will they look different from other unbelievers in the world?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • The Bible tells us that we are clothed with Christ at our baptism (Galatians 3:27). What are ways that you can better remember your baptism when you were clothed with Christ?
  • A friend comes to you and says, “I’ve really messed up and sinned badly. I feel so dirty.” What would you say to that person?

Hymn: CW 402:1,4 – My Faith Looks Up to Thee

My faith looks up to thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine.
Now hear me while I pray; Take all my guilt away;
Oh, let me from this day Be wholly thine!

When ends life’s transient dream, When death’s cold, sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll,
Blest Savior, then, in love, Fear and distrust remove;
Oh, bear me safe above, A ransomed soul!

 

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Stop Whining! – Family Devotion – August 11, 2021

Read: Exodus 16:2-20

The LORD said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’”
Exodus 16:11-12

Stop Whining!

 

Family Devotion – August 11, 2021

Devotion based on Exodus 16:11-12

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What is your favorite food? Take a moment and think about that favorite food . . . can you picture it? Can you smell it? What are you thinking about? Chocolate chip cookies? Crisp, fresh bacon? Warm apple pie? Something else?

What if God did a crazy miracle and provided that food for you right now? What if an entire room was filled with that food? Or what if that food dropped out of the sky for you to eat like in the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? What if God provided you with that delicious treat every single day? Wouldn’t that be amazing!

Or . . . do you think that over time you would get sick of that food? Do you think after a while you would start to complain? How long before you didn’t think about the amazing miracle of getting that food, but rather about how you just wanted something different to eat?

This is what happened to the Israelites. What a bunch of whiny complainers! God miraculously brought them out of Egypt. But they complained! They complained they didn’t have water. So God did another miracle to provide water for them. Then they complained some more because they were hungry! Yet rather than punish them, God blessed them. He did another miracle. This time he provided birds called quail and a special bread called manna for them to eat—every single day. They were in a wilderness where there wasn’t much to eat, yet God provided for around two million people every day with good food to eat. But you know what they did? They still complained!

Do you do this too? Ever get sick of your toys or technology, your shoes or your clothes, your car or your house? Ever wish you had something bigger or better? Ever wish you had what other people have? So often we forget about the endless blessings that God has given to us and complain that we want something different, something “better” in our minds.

Take a moment to think, this time not about your favorite food. Take a moment to think about all the things God has blessed you with. Listen to the reason God provided manna and quail for the Israelites. He said, “Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.” Think about your blessings and know that the LORD is your gracious God who has given you everything you have. But even better than cookies or bacon or shoes or phones or cars, God has given to you the best blessings. He has given you his own Son Jesus. He has given to you forgiveness of all your sins. He has given to you all the treasures of heaven that you can enjoy with him for all eternity. No need to complain and ask for something better! God has already given to you the best. Thank God for that!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for providing what I need for both my body and my soul. You have given me the very best, especially your own Son Jesus. Help me always to be thankful. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What were the two kinds of food that God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness?
  • Why did they complain about these things?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • When the Israelites complained so much and so often, why didn’t God destroy them and wipe them out forever?
  • Explain how we Christians today sometimes act like the Israelites in the wilderness.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • How can Christians better learn to treasure Jesus more than all other things?
  • What does it look like when Christians act like Jesus is the best thing in their lives?

Hymn: CW 402:1,3 – My Faith Looks Up to Thee

My faith looks up to thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine.
Now hear me while I pray; Take all my guilt away;
Oh, let me from this day Be wholly thine!

While life’s dark maze I tread And griefs around me spread,
Be thou my guide.
Bid darkness turn to day, Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray From thee aside.

 

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Want Something Better – Family Devotion – August 9, 2021

Read: John 6:24-35

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
John 6:35

I Want Something Better

 

Family Devotion – August 9, 2021

Devotion based on John 6:35

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“More! . . . More!” Little Bryce didn’t know many words, but he definitely knew this one. “More! . . . More!” he kept saying every time his mother gave him another bite of that ooey-gooey, super cheesy mac ‘n cheese. Bryce’s older brother and sister couldn’t stop laughing at him.

Their mother reminded them that Bryce wasn’t the only one who always wants more. Last week Bryce’s brother cried at his birthday party because even though he got tons of presents, he didn’t get the one thing he really wanted. And Bryce’s teenage sister had a closet full of clothes, yet somehow she always complained about having nothing to wear.

But those three aren’t alone. Don’t we all do this? Kids get toys or gifts or money, and very quickly they want something bigger or better. They want more. Adults buy a new house or car or get a new phone or tablet. But soon there will be a cooler car or a fancier phone those people will want more. Despite our many blessings in this life, we seem so often to want more!

Something similar happened in the story today. Jesus had miraculously fed over 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two small fish. What a blessing! When Jesus left them, the people quickly went to find him. Not because they wanted to thank him. Not because they wanted to learn about their powerful Savior who provided for them. No, they wanted more.

Jesus pointed this out to them and taught them to look for something better. They wanted more bread or food for their stomachs. They wanted something that was for this life and that wouldn’t last. But Jesus told them to look for a “bread” that lasts. What was Jesus talking about? He told them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus provided food for those people, and he provides for us today, because he loves us. He is gracious and blesses us with so many things! But each of these blessings reminds us that Jesus gives us something even better—himself. You can eat the best food ever, but you’ll still be hungry tomorrow. You can have the best phone ever, but soon it will be out of style or break or no longer work. But if you have Jesus, he will satisfy every desire. He gives forgiveness. He gives peace. He gives eternal life in heaven. Thank God for the blessings he gives you, yes even the wonderful food you eat. But always crave the food that is even better—Jesus, the Bread of Life.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for the food and many blessings you give us. Most of all, thank you for feeding us with yourself, the Bread of Life. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What is your favorite food that God gives you to eat?
  • What is the best blessing that God gives to us?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why is it that we often want “more” things in life, even though we already have so much?
  • How do we feed ourselves with Jesus, the Bread of Life?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Describe how a person might act if they are “starving” for Jesus.
  • Explain why having Jesus, the great blessing, helps us to be more content with our other blessings.

Hymn: CW 402:1-2 – My Faith Looks Up to Thee

My faith looks up to thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine.
Now hear me while I pray; Take all my guilt away;
Oh, let me from this day Be wholly thine!

May thy rich grace impart Strength to my fainting heart;
My zeal inspire!
As thou hast died for me, Oh, may my love to thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be, A living fire!

 

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Generous and Thankful – Family Devotion – August 6, 2021

Read: 2 Corinthians 9:8-11

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:8,11

Generous and Thankful

 

Family Devotion – August 6, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 9:8,11

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Everyone was talking about the new video game system. It was awesome! It had all the coolest features, the best graphics, and the best games. Three kids in the class got it already (they had to stand in line for three hours to get it though)! A few other kids were hoping to get it over the weekend. But not CJ. CJ was going to wait a while.

It’s not that CJ didn’t want the new video game system. He really wanted to play on it! And it’s not that CJ didn’t have money. He made good money mowing lawns in his neighborhood. No, CJ was going to wait because he had something more important in mind.

You see, CJ’s parents taught him since he was little to be careful with his money and to be thankful for his blessings. So every time CJ made some money, he saved more than half of what he earned in the bank. Also, CJ regularly gave a part of his lawn mowing money back to God as an offering.

Recently, CJ heard at church that they were trying build a new building. He wanted to help. CJ couldn’t wait to have the new game system like so many of his friends, but he also knew that other things were more important. CJ could wait to have the new system because he wanted to give back to God first.

This week we have heard Bible readings and devotions about God using us and our gifts to do amazing things. Today the apostle Paul makes another important point clear to us—God blesses us by providing what we need in our lives.

Take a moment to think about all that God has provided for you. He graciously gave you the most important things—forgiveness, new life, and salvation in Jesus Christ our Savior. He provides you with clothes and shoes, food and drink, a home, family, friends, and so much more. On top of all these daily needs, God gives so many more blessings than we could even count. God is so good and gracious!

Paul reminds us today that because God has been so generous to us, we can be generous to others. Take a moment today and each day to reflect on God’s rich love and blessings, then think about how you can show thanks and love to God and others.

Closing Prayer:

Gracious God, thank you for showing me such incredible love. You also have given to me so many blessings for daily life. Help me to show you thanks in the ways that I love you and others. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Can you list three of your favorite blessings that God has given to you?
  • What are two ways that you can show love by giving back to others?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does it mean to be generous?
  • Explain how God has been generous to you.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why do you think many Christians struggle to be generous with their offerings to the Lord? How can we overcome these struggles?
  • What if a family does not have a lot of money or possessions? Can they still be generous? How?

Hymn: CW 469:1,5-6 – Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my will and make it thine; It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart—it is thine own; It shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour At thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be Ever, only, all for thee.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Little Things for Big Things – Family Devotion – August 4, 2021

Read: 2 Kings 4:42-44

A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.

“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.

But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
2 Kings 4:42-44

Little Things for Big Things

 

Family Devotion – August 4, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Kings 4:42-44

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It was a terrible tragedy when Anthony’s wife died. Everyone in town heard about the car accident. Everyone knew it would be tough for Anthony to raise two children all by himself. Everyone was shocked and sad about what happened. But little six-year-old Carly knew just what to do.

Carly grabbed some construction paper and her favorite markers, and she got to work drawing. Carly drew a hill with an open doorway (it was supposed to be an empty tomb), a bright sun shining in the sky, and three stick people standing next to the hill. (The stick people were supposed to be Anthony and his two children.) Above each person Carly drew a heart with a cross in it. The picture said, “Jesus lives and Jesus loves you.”

It was just a little picture drawn with a crayon, but it was so powerful. When Anthony and his children saw it, they were filled with tears and with joy. Carly’s picture helped to give them peace because it reminded them that their loved one was now in heaven. Anthony took a picture of Carly’s artwork with his phone and posted it online.

Within a few days, the picture went viral. Carly’s creation had been viewed and shared over a million times! People all over the world heard about Carly’s loving picture. But even more amazing than that, over a million people heard about Jesus as the Savior who rose from the dead and conquered sin and death. God used a little thing for a really big thing!

In today’s short story from the Bible, a man brought 20 loaves of bread to the prophet Elisha. It was a little act of love, but God used that little thing for a really big thing! He fed a hundred people with it! This short story reminds us of how Jesus did a similar miracle (but much bigger!) when he fed over 5,000 people.

All of these stories remind us of God’s incredible power. The Lord can use simple, little things to do big things. Jesus used a manger as his resting place when he was born. He used a cross as the place to die for your sins. He used a tomb as the place to rise in victory over death. Now Jesus wants to use “little” old you and me to do big things in his kingdom.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for showing your big power through little things in this world. Continue to use that power in me to bring big blessings to other people. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did the man in the story bring to Elisha to feed over 100 people?
  • What are your favorite foods that God provides for you?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How does God provide food for you to eat each day?
  • Describe little ways that God could use you to help provide food for other people now and when you are older.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Can you think of at least one story in the Bible when God used little things to accomplish big miracles?
  • Compare and contrast the Bible story today with the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.

Hymn: CW 469:1,3-4 – Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my voice and let me sing Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold; Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use Ev’ry pow’r as thou shalt choose.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Use Me! – Family Devotion – August 2, 2021

Read: John 6:1-15

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
John 6:14

Use Me!

 

Family Devotion – August 2, 2021

Devotion based on John 6:14

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Kyle wasn’t sure where he fit in. At school, he got cut from the basketball team, he didn’t sing well enough to join a choir, and he was too afraid to try out for the play. At home, Kyle’s sister seemed to get all the attention because of her countless dance practices and performances. At church, many of Kyle’s friends were already playing instruments for services or teaching Sunday school.

Kyle kept wondering, “Do I even matter? What skills do I have? Am I useful to anyone?”

Over time though, the Lord used Kyle’s frustrating moments to help him see his amazing gifts. He wasn’t athletic or musical, but Kyle became a key part of the school’s state champion robotics team. At home, he used his technology brain power to help set up his parents’ computers and the family’s Wi-Fi network. Kyle even got to use those gifts to help with technology at church. He was part of the team that recorded services and produced videos for thousands of people to watch and learn about Jesus online. As it turned out, God used what seemed like little gifts in Kyle to serve many, many people.

The famous story for our consideration today is very similar. The disciples were overwhelmed by the crowd of more than 5,000 people that flocked to Jesus. But Jesus had a plan in mind from the very beginning. He used the five loaves of bread and the two small fish of a young boy to feed the entire crowd. He used the disciples to organize the crowd and then distribute the food and collect the leftovers. But most importantly, Jesus used this situation as an opportunity to reveal himself as “the Prophet who was to come.” In other words, Jesus revealed his power as true God and true man—the Savior who came for all!

What gifts do you have? What do you like to do? What are some of your favorite things? God can use any of these things in our lives—even simple things like loaves of bread and fish—as opportunities for us to serve others in love. But even better, Jesus wants to use you and your gifts to reveal to others that he is the Savior. What a comfort that you matter. Your time and talents and treasures matter. Jesus loves you. Jesus saved you. And now, Jesus wants to use you so that others can know that same wonderful truth.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for revealing yourself as my Savior. Now use me and my gifts to serve you and others in thanks and love. Please use me also to help others know that you are their Savior. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What were the seven items of food that Jesus used to feed more than 5,000 people?
  • How was it possible for Jesus to feed so many people with so few items of food?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why did Jesus have the disciples collect leftovers? What would they learn as they collected that extra food?
  • How would you have felt if you were the boy who gave Jesus the bread and fish that day? Why?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Explain why this miracle helped the crowd (and helps us) to see that he is the Savior.
  • What talents, gifts, or abilities do you have that you could use to serve the Lord right now? What about in the future?

Hymn: CW 469:1-2 – Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for thee.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Respect and Pray for Our Spiritual Leaders – Family Devotion – July 30, 2021

Read: Hebrews 13:7-8, 17-21

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us.
Hebrews 13:7, 17-18a

Respect and Pray for Our Spiritual Leaders

 

Family Devotion – July 30, 2021

Devotion based on Hebrews 13:7, 17-18a

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pastors, teachers, and church leaders are God’s front-line defense of his Church on earth. They witness firsthand the devastating effects of Satan’s bombardment of God’s people. They hunker alongside you in the trenches of life. Their genuine desire is to keep watch over you for your spiritual safety. Someday, they will report to the Triune God for the groups of souls, large or small, entrusted to their care.

Because of the weight of their duties, your leaders need you. Here are two ways you can help:

  1. Remember your leaders. Before we can remember, we need to know them by name. What’s the name of your pastor(s)? Find out who your elders, church council, and other leaders are who serve your church. But don’t just say their names. Remember to thank God for them. Send them encouragement in a text, e-mail, or card. Support them in their lives because they have the same joys and struggles as we do. Thank them! Acknowledge their time and the work that they do on behalf of all of us!
  2. Pray for [your leaders]. God isn’t asking us to pray. He is telling us, “Pray!” We pray at dinner time. We pray at bedtime. We pray when we are afraid. We pray when we are joyful. Prayer is our conversation with our Father in heaven. We have the great opportunity to give him all of our troubles, share with him all of our joys, and thank him for every blessing in our lives. When was the last time you prayed for your leaders? Pray for their well-being. Pray that their faith might be strong. Pray that they might lead like Jesus who loved and gave himself for the church. Pray that we might support them and be a blessing in their lives of service. Pray with urgency. Our leaders face the devil daily. That brings urgency to us. We pray for our leaders that they might combat all of the devil’s attacks.

Jesus fought with the holy weapon of love. He prayed, forgave, and loved us to death on the cross. He chose to obey his Father’s will. Hold the line alongside your leaders! Use God’s holy weapon of Christian love to achieve it: “Keep on loving each other as brothers” (Hebrews 13:1). The battle is not against one another but against enemies that do not have flesh or blood. Following the lead of a godly leader reveals our faith in—and obedience to—God.

May God help us to remember and pray for our leaders so that their work is a blessing.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord of our strength, thank you for the faithful leaders of our church. Grant them strength and encourage them each day to keep leading your church to your glory! Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What two things does God want us to do for our leaders?
  • Create a little prayer in your head for your pastor and say it out loud.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name as many leaders in your church as you can.
  • Name one way you can support them in their work

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Think of your pastors. Give a time they might need you to pray for them.
  • Consider the different leaders that serve your church. Discuss at least two challenges they face while serving you.

Hymn: CW 412:1-2 – Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright

Lord, teach us how to pray aright, With rev’rence and with fear.
Though dust and ashes in your sight, We may, we must draw near.

We suffer if we cease from prayer; Oh, grant us pow’r to pray.
And when to meet you we prepare, Lord, meet us on the way.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Provided a Spiritual Leader for His People – Family Devotion – July 28, 2021

Read: Numbers 27:12-23

The Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.
Numbers 27:18-20, 22-23

God Provided a Spiritual Leader for His People

 

Family Devotion – July 28, 2021

Devotion based on Numbers 27:18-20, 22-23

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Who leads your family? If right now you’re pointing at someone, is it a parent or another family member? Who leads the United States? It’s the president. In the same way, a boss leads at work. A teacher leads the classroom. Each of these leaders has been set up to direct the family, the country, the job, and the classroom.

Leaders have been set up by God to direct what we do and to reflect what God wants us to do. All leaders have been given their position from the Lord. God’s Word even outlines their responsibilities. Today we see another leader and how the Lord set him apart for his people. The Lord gave his people a spiritual leader. Moses was his name. The Lord set him apart to lead God’s people out of Egypt and to lead them spiritually. God used Moses to give his people the Ten Commandments and to rebuke them when they would sin against the Lord.

In today’s Bible reading, it is time for Moses to be “gathered to his people.” That’s another way of saying Moses was going to die. Moses did not want the people to be without a leader. He asked the Lord for a new leader for his people. The Lord had Joshua set as the next leader. Joshua was presented before the people. In a very special ceremony, God left no doubt that Joshua was the new leader for his people. God said to Moses, “Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him.” God made clear that Joshua would now have the authority and it was given to him by God.

The Lord blesses us with spiritual leaders. We call them pastors, elders, or church leaders. We, too, have special ceremonies that set these men apart as leaders from the Lord. These men are responsible to strengthen the faith of the church and support the spiritual and physical lives of God’s people. Their power and authority come from God and his Word.

Thank God for providing spiritual leaders as a blessing for our lives!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, you are a God of order. Thank you for setting up leaders so that we might have an orderly life to praise you! Grant us the peace that order brings to our lives. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who led the people of Israel out of Egypt?
  • With whom did God replace him?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name at least two spiritual leaders in your congregation. List one thing they do that makes you thankful for them.
  • Name at least one important thing God expects a spiritual leader to do.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What are two ways you might serve as a leader for the Lord (or to assist a leader) as you get older?
  • Even as a child, discuss how you might serve as a leader now.

Hymn: CW 367:1-3 – Christ Be My Leader

Christ be my leader by night as by day,
Safe through the darkness, for he is the way.
Gladly I follow, my future his care;
Darkness is daylight when Jesus is there.

Christ be my teacher in age as in youth,
Drifting or doubting, for he is the truth.
Grant me to trust him, though shifting as sand.
Doubt cannot daunt me—in Jesus I stand!

Christ be my Savior in calm as in strife;
Death cannot hold me, for he is the life.
Nor darkness nor doubting nor sin and its stain
Can touch my salvation—with Jesus I reign!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Was a Compassionate Teacher of the Word – Family Devotion – July 26, 2021

Read: Mark 6:30-34

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Mark 6:34

Jesus Was a Compassionate Teacher of the Word

 

Family Devotion – July 26, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 6:34

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What does it mean to be compassionate? According to Google, it’s more than simply telling someone that you care. Compassion is “feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.” To be compassionate is to feel deeply for another person as they experience the ups and downs of life. It’s a frame of mind, making it easy to treat others with love and understanding.

In our Bible reading, when Jesus saw a large crowd of people, “he had compassion on them.” They followed him even when Jesus was trying to find a quiet moment of rest. He didn’t think, “Man, I can’t get away from these people!” Or, “Why can’t I be alone for a few minutes?” He could’ve been frustrated. But no, Jesus had compassion on them. He saw them as “sheep without a shepherd.” Compassion is not an outward show but an emotion from the inner and deepest part of the body. God’s gut feeling for sheep is deep inside him and can’t be rooted out. Jesus knew sheep would be lost, confused, and in danger if he were not there to guide and help them. “So he began teaching them many things.” Jesus didn’t run and hide. He didn’t ignore the people while he ate his lunch. He saw people running on empty, who were hurting and hopeless and needed much more. He not only loved them in his heart, but he also showed his love by continuing to care for them. His love flowed out into his actions.

Jesus is a compassionate teacher to us as well! His love flowed out through his actions when he willingly gave his life on the cross and rose from the dead for all of us. Through his amazing, selfless example, he displayed how we might live a compassionate life. He inspires us to love deep down in our hearts and for our love to pour out in our actions. So, the next time your little sister asks you yet again to help her fix her Lego creation, show compassion. When your big brother just needs some time alone, show compassion. When Mom and Dad need your help around the house again, show compassion! Work to have your love shower on others through your actions just as Jesus showers us with his love as our compassionate teacher every moment of every day!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, we are thankful for your compassion every day. Help us to show compassion to others by letting our love show in our actions. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Jesus couldn’t get away from the people following him. Instead of getting mad, how did he feel about them? (Hint: it begins with the letter “c.”)
  • What does it mean to be compassionate?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • If you were one of Jesus’ disciples trying to leave the crowd of people, how might you have felt when they followed you?
  • Name two ways you might show compassion to others?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What makes it difficult for you to show compassion to others?
  • List examples from today how you might have showed compassion rather than become frustrated.

Hymn: CW 365:1 – Love Divine, All Love Excelling

Love divine, all love excelling,
Joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
Fix in us your humble dwelling,
All your faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, you are all compassion,
Boundless mercy from above.
Visit us with benediction;
Comfort us with heav’nly love.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Thank God for Faithful Preachers of His Word – Family Devotion – July 23, 2021

Read: 1 Timothy 3:1-7

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.
1 Timothy 3:1

Thank God for Faithful Preachers of His Word

 

Family Devotion – July 23, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 3:1

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There was a principal that loved his students. He worked hard to make sure he taught his students carefully. He prepared his classes so that each student would learn. He also had to take care of the paperwork of the school. He spent countless hours doing his work. He taught his lessons so that Jesus was in everything his students learned. He took Jesus home with him. He spent time with his family making sure they were safe and happy. He made sure that his family knew Jesus and that they were saved, that heaven is their home. He did all of these things because he loved his Savior.

Then there was a little girl. Her father was taken to heaven. She was in this principal’s school. She was not one of his students yet because she was so little. That didn’t stop this principal. He knew she and her family needed support. One time at a father/daughter basketball game, he stepped in as the little girl’s “dad.” The principal’s daughters babysat for the little girl. The principal watched out for her, and she listened to what he said. She heard his message from Jesus. She felt so loved and supported that she too wanted to be a teacher. Sure enough, she did!

Thank God for faithful preachers of his Word! Because of this principal and all the men and women who God calls to be his messengers, more people (like that little girl) experience Jesus’ love. Many feel the love of the Lord through the love of the pastor or the teacher. Many come to faith, grow stronger in faith, and share their faith because of faithful preachers of his Word! While everyone has the calling to share the good news, few are called to do it full time. Thank the Lord for people like this principal, and all of our pastors and teachers who choose to serve the Lord by sharing the great news of salvation with us every day!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for faithful called workers who have impacted our lives. Use them to strengthen and encourage us each day. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did the principal do to show his love for Jesus?
  • What did the little girl end up doing as a job?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What motivated the principal in his work?
  • Why is love so important in the work of a pastor, teacher, or principal?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Name a pastor or teacher in your life and how they influenced you for the better.
  • Have you considered that the Lord might want you to be a called worker? Discuss with your family the gifts they see in you to be one.

Hymn: CW 446:5,6 – I Am Trusting You Lord Jesus

I am trusting you for power; You can never fail.
Words which you yourself shall give me, Must prevail.

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus; Never let me fall.
I am trusting you forever And for all.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Can Use Anyone to Share His Word – Family Devotion – July 21, 2021

Read: Amos 7:10-17

Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
Amos 7:14-15

God Can Use Anyone to Share His Word

 

Family Devotion – July 21, 2021

Devotion based on Amos 7:14-15

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Who would be the best football player? The one who throws the furthest, tackles the hardest, and runs the fastest. Who would be the best singer? The one with the most beautiful voice, a great smile, and lots of charisma. Who would be the best doctor? The one with the best education, most experience, and a caring heart. These are obvious choices for their type of work.

But what about the player who has a weak arm and is a little slow? Or the singer whose voice cracks and is shy? The doctor from a lesser-known school with little experience? These people would likely not be our first choice for these occupations. There wouldn’t be a sense of excitement or joy over the less than desirable choices. They likely would struggle to find a job.

The Lord’s first choice looks different. Many times, God uses the least obvious choice to do his work. In our lesson today, God chose a shepherd and a farmer. Amos was called by God away from his sheep and trees. The Lord had an additional job for him. Amos was to share God’s word with his people. Amos didn’t have the training. He wasn’t popular. The Lord told Amos to tell the people God’s messages. Amos wasn’t the clear choice. He wasn’t a great singer or speaker. He wasn’t used to being in front of people, and yet God chose him to do his work.

Today, God calls all people to spread God’s great news. It doesn’t matter if you are a football player, singer, or doctor. God calls all of us to spread his great news. Through some of the least obvious people, the Lord works to share his great message of salvation. Even if we don’t have the training, popularity, or other skills the world might say a preacher needs to have, the Lord equips us with his words and calls us to action. The success is the same now as it was for Amos. We have the opportunity to preach the news from our Lord, and he grants success. No matter the job on earth, may everyone work to spread the word that Jesus has saved us all!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, we praise you for your amazing choices of those to do your work. Be with us, your clear choices, so that we might help more people to know that you are God who has come to save them. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who does God want to tell his good news?
  • Name two things that make you so good at sharing God’s Word.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Jesus calls you to share him in your life. Figure out one way you might do that this week.
  • Name two things in life that make it difficult to share Jesus.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why do you think God chooses the less obvious people to share his news?
  • Name one person (not a pastor or teacher) who shared the good news with you and describe how that impacted you.

Hymn: CW 446:3,4 – I Am Trusting You Lord Jesus

I am trusting you for cleansing In the crimson flood,
Trusting you who made me holy, By your blood.

I am trusting you to guide me; You alone shall lead,
Ev’ry day and hour supplying, All my need.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Equips Us for the Journey – Family Devotion – July 19, 2021

Read: Mark 6:7-13

Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. They went out and preached that people should repent.
Mark 6:7-9,12

God Equips Us for the Journey

 

Family Devotion – July 19, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 6:7-9,12

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Get ready! Pack everything you need. What do you need to go camping or to your favorite vacation spot? Clothes, shoes, toothbrush, flashlight, phone, tablet, and…. Don’t forget anything!

When we go somewhere, we prepare. We pack all the things we need and want. We check our phones for battery length. We plan where we want to go, what we want to see, and how we will get there. More people are doing that now in the summertime than any other time of the year.

Then we hear Jesus’ instructions from our Bible reading, “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.” Nothing? Think about what his disciples must have been thinking. How will we eat? Where will we sleep? How will we survive the journey?

The Lord gave them everything that they needed for the journey. Jesus wanted the disciples to trust in him, not the earthly stuff. Jesus wants us to trust in him too. We can often trust too much in the things that we need or want. We don’t know how we will eat or sleep, or how we will survive. It can feel dark when we do not know. “Trust me,” Jesus says, “I will provide for you on your trip.” Jesus has something very special for us to do on this journey—tell a person frightened because of their sins that God doesn’t see their sins because of Jesus. Tell someone who refuses to say “I’m sorry” for what they did wrong that they need to. Tell them to live in God’s light. Jesus is the light that shows the answers to all of our questions. He shows us that the only thing we need is his salvation and home in heaven.

Jesus shines on us and through us. So, while we might be packing for vacation and not a mission trip, we are to be ready and shine Jesus. He never stops shining the light of his greatest answer in our lives. So, we reflect that light to the world so that they might know that their questions are answered in the light of Jesus. The world will know through us that the Savior Jesus is the only light needed!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for shining in our lives so that we know we are saved. Give us the strength and courage to reflect your light to everyone we see! Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did Jesus tell his disciples to bring with them on their journey?
  • Why did Jesus want them to pack light?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • If you were one of Jesus’ disciples preparing for the journey and you heard his instructions, how might you feel?
  • Give two ways you can reflect Jesus’ light to others.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Jesus wanted his disciples to pack light for their journey with nothing extra. Give one way you can reflect the same “pack light” mentality.
  • What is the special mission Jesus gives us as we travel through life?

Hymn: CW 446:1,2 – I Am Trusting You Lord Jesus

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus, Trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation, Free and true.

I am trusting you for pardon; At your feet I bow,
For your grace and tender mercy Trusting now.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Be Prepared to Preach God’s Powerful Word – Family Devotion – July 16, 2021

Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:2-3,5

Be Prepared to Preach God’s Powerful Word

 

Family Devotion – July 16, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 4:2-3,5

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There are lots of things that get into our ears. Loud noises. Music. Books. Words. Some of it is good. Some is dangerous. Some of it is because we have “itching ears.” That’s a fancy way of saying, “Scratch my desire to hear what I want to hear.” There are forces with competing agendas for your ears. What an ugly mess life becomes when we only listen to what we want and lose sight of the better life God wants for us.

That’s why God has something to say about what goes into your ears. There are words of truth he wants planted in your ears and words that are lies he wants to stay out of your ears.

Picture words like the food you eat. Some food is not good for you. Eating chicken-fried steak smothered in gravy, with onion rings, butter-drenched rolls, and a chocolate fudge sundae tastes pretty awesome at the moment! But a daily diet of that will make you unhealthy. God’s Word is like eating a meal of grilled chicken, rice, and green beans washed down with a glass of milk. It’s healthy for you—and it tastes good!

How do you tell the difference between the two? Today’s word of God tells us: “Preach the Word.” The most important words of truth, the whole truth, belong to God. He wants to fill your ears with them—words that save! For some of you, that may go all the way back to your baptism as a baby. Parents and pastors, Sunday School teachers, and grandparents loved you so much they shared the best of Jesus for your ears to hear!

Now God promises you the power of his Word and his love so you can speak God’s Word. When you might be tempted to be timid, quiet, or sugar coat words God has made crystal clear, he says, “Keep your head.” Stay focused. When you’re tempted to avoid conflict, he says, “Endure hardship patiently,” which sometimes goes along with speaking God’s truth.

Whether you’ve heard it a thousand times before, don’t ever stop listening to the words God wants planted in your ears! “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says.”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, your Word is such an amazing gift for us. Let our ears always be ready to hear so that we can be ready for any and all opportunities to share your amazing message of sin, forgiveness, and grace. In your name we pray. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Name three sounds you heard in your ears today.
  • In today’s devotion, what beautiful sound does God want to go into your ears?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Today’s devotion talked about “itchy” ears. What does that mean?
  • Today’s devotion pictured different words you hear to be like healthy or unhealthy food you eat. How do you tell the difference between the two?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • You have a parent or pastor (or teacher) who share God’s Word with you. But why is it important for you to be able the difference between good words and dangerous words?
  • Name a moment when you are in a group and might be tempted to sugarcoat the truth of God’s Word. Devise a response that will glorify your God.

Hymn: CW 293 – God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage

God’s Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life is guides our way;
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure
Throughout all generations.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Ezekiel’s Call: Digest and Share the Word – Family Devotion – July 14, 2021

Read: Ezekiel 2:1-3:4

You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.
Ezekiel 2:7-8

Ezekiel’s Call: Digest and Share the Word

 

Family Devotion – July 14, 2021

Devotion based on Ezekiel 2:7-8

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Have I got a job for you!” Does that get you excited or a little nervous? What if they say, “I’ve got a great job for you. Go over there and tell that group of kids that recess is over. They need to come inside right now. They won’t be happy and might even yell at you, but it’s ok. Tell them anyway. Thanks for helping!”

Is your answer going to be, “Sure! Happy to help!” or will it be, “You’ve got to be kidding! No thanks!”

Ezekiel was someone God picked for an important job. God wanted him to deliver a message. The people he was to speak with were all descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is a big deal. It means that these were people chosen by God. They knew a lot about God. However, God paints a pretty tough picture about them. He calls them stubborn and rebellious. God wanted Ezekiel to be ready for the fact that the people were likely not going to be excited to hear what God has to say about them. Ezekiel was to tell them that they were sinning against God—not an easy message at all. Ezekiel was not to stop speaking God’s message even if the people refused to listen to it.

How about you? Did you know that God asks you to do the same thing as Ezekiel? He sends you as one of his special people who tells others about Jesus. You don’t have to go to a faraway place. You don’t have to get up in front of a large group of people. You simply get to talk about Jesus and all he’s done for you and for others in your everyday life. God doesn’t ask you to actually eat his Word like he told Ezekiel to eat the scroll, but he was encouraging Ezekiel and you to read and listen to God’s Word as food you need for your body. Even if God’s message doesn’t taste pleasant at the moment, it is meant to help us. Sometimes unpleasant things remind us God’s sweet promises of grace, forgiveness, heaven, and that he is right there with us every day.

The next time you see something unpleasant to eat on your plate, remember Ezekiel and the untasty message God wanted him to eat and share with his people.

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, give me faith and courage to speak about you even when I think others might reject what I say. Bless my efforts to tell and tell and tell about you. In your name I pray. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What hard thing did God ask Ezekiel to do?
  • Discuss the last time a grown up (like Mom or Dad) said something you didn’t want to hear. Ask them why they said such a hard thing.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • List at least three words that would describe how Ezekiel may have felt as he set out to deliver God’s tough message.
  • God told Ezekiel to eat the scroll he was giving him. He wanted Ezekiel to taste the words and have that message inside him. God doesn’t ask you and me to eat the Bible, but he wants us to have the message inside us too. How can we do that?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • If you were Ezekiel, how would you share God’s message knowing people wouldn’t like it?
  • Why is it so important to not avoid unpleasant messages God speaks to us even though we may not want to hear them?

Hymn: CW 293 – God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage

God’s Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life is guides our way;
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure
Throughout all generations.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Proclaimed the Truth and Some Sadly Rejected – Family Devotion – July 12, 2021

Read: Mark 6:1-6

Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hand on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
Mark 6:4-6

Jesus Proclaimed the Truth and Some Sadly Rejected

 

Family Devotion – July 12, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 6:4-6

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“I don’t believe you! That can’t be true!” your friend says to you. His reaction shocks you! This is your best friend who has known you as long as you can remember, and he doesn’t believe you. You try to explain but it’s no use. You leave hurt, confused, and disappointed. If he doesn’t believe you, who will? That hurts, doesn’t it? And when it comes from your best friend, it rocks your confidence.

Jesus experienced something similar. He, along with his disciples, were visiting Nazareth, the town in which he grew up. Jesus wasn’t there to only visit and hang out with family. As the Savior, he was there to preach and teach. That’s why people everywhere knew about Jesus. When someone local becomes famous, often the locals are excited and proud to welcome them home. Not so with Jesus. As he was teaching in the synagogue (the church), the people were indeed amazed at what he was saying. Then it turned into questions like, “How can this be the same son of Mary and Joseph that grew up down the street? Who does he think he is?”

They said this about Jesus? They surely did. Those who knew him longest didn’t believe him. They knew God’s promise to send a Savior. But they just couldn’t believe that Jesus was the Savior. To them, he was just one of them and no more.

Now who is amazed? Jesus. He is amazed at their lack of faith. That’s why he did very few miracles while there. After he spoke the words for today’s devotion, the people became so mad that they ran him out of town and tried to throw him off a cliff. “He simply walked through the crowd and went on his way” (Luke 4:30).

What does this mean for you and for me? God never promised that believing in Jesus would be easy. In fact, he said just the opposite. There are going to be times when even those closest to us may reject what we believe and say. But he also promises to bless our believing and to be with us. Like Jesus, we go on our way and keep believing and telling and sharing and praying. May the Lord bless all who hear the awesome message of God’s grace through Jesus. May they join us in hearing and believing!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, it can be hard to share you with others. Help us to be confident and excited to tell others about you. We want everyone we know to be with you. Bless our efforts! In your name we pray. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who were the people that couldn’t believe Jesus was more than the local son of Mary and Joseph?
  • Why do you believe in Jesus?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Share a time when a friend or someone close to you didn’t believe you. Was it something you did or said? What did you do to convince them you were telling the truth?
  • The people Jesus was talking to knew about God’s promise to send a Savior. Why do you think they still didn’t believe him?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Even when you know it might be hard and that someone you know might not believe you, what promise of God gives you confidence and encouragement to speak up?
  • We can share our faith by talking to someone face to face. But what are other ways (without saying a word) that you can influence someone about God’s amazing grace?

Hymn: CW 293 – God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage

God’s Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life is guides our way;
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure
Throughout all generations.

 

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