Dirty Feet and Washed Hearts – Family Devotion – May 16, 2022

Read: John 13:31-35

[Jesus said], “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34-35

Dirty Feet and Washed Hearts

 

Family Devotion – May 16, 2022

Devotion based on John 13:34-35

See series: Devotions

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

Remember the last time you slept in a hotel room? Did you sleep in a bed with clean sheets? Hotels don’t change sheets once a week and expect you to snuggle in ones already used by total strangers. Eww! That’s why they are in the habit of changing out the bedsheets. As their guest, you want everything to be clean, not dirty, right?

One time, Jesus gathered with his closest followers in a special room for a special celebration. There was the habit of providing water for someone to wash the dusty, dirty feet of the guests as they entered. And should there be no one to do it for them, you would think that after three years of walking with Jesus, one of them would volunteer, “I’ll do it!” But no one did.

So Jesus washed their dirty feet. He didn’t pick the nicest ones or the worst ones. He washed them all and made them clean. Then he asked, “Do you understand what I’ve done for you?” I washed. Now you wash. I’ve set you an example, “A new command… love one another.” Dirty feet were not the real problem. Your feet aren’t your problem. Our problem is our dirty hearts. Out of our dirty hearts has poured out more bad manners, bad feelings, and bad words than we would want anyone to see, much less admit. As Jesus washed their dirty feet, he could see their dirty hearts as well.

The day after Jesus washed and dried feet, his hands went to work on the cross. There, Jesus washed our hearts so clean, our feet can pivot in a new direction to love one another. If you want to find love, don’t look inside your heart. Look at Jesus. “As I have loved you.” There’s nothing new about the idea of loving each other. Here’s what’s new: Before Jesus, no one had a clue what love really is. We’re used to loving in order to be loved. But love for the unlovable? That’s new! And that’s Jesus!

That love doesn’t end with Jesus. It’s a chain, and now you are a part of it. “As I have loved you, so you must love one another,” Jesus said. Jesus set the bar of love high and says, “Go for it! I’ll help you love like me!” And do you know what? When you go for it, people will notice something different about you. They will see Jesus in you!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, today you make very clear what you want of me. Help me to love like you love me so that way everyone will know that I follow 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

  • What did Jesus wash for his disciples—their a) hands, b) faces, c) feet, or d) hearts?
  • What did Jesus wash for us on the cross—our a) hands, b) faces, c) feet, or d) hearts?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • If following Jesus means to love one another, why don’t people just love each other?
  • TRUE or FALSE: If you want to find love, all you have to do is look inside your heart.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • AGREE or DISAGREE: We have trouble keeping the last nine commandments because we keep breaking the first one.
  • “Love each other as I loved you,” Jesus said. But he did more than just say it, he showed it. List at least one way you can show Christ-like love for each of the following: while doing a chore at home, when arguing with a parent, when teasing a friend.

 

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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You Can’t Duck the Truth – Family Devotion – May 13, 2022

Read: John 10:22-30

The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me.
John 10:25b

You Can’t Duck the Truth

 

Family Devotion – May 13, 2022

Devotion based on John 10:25b

See series: Devotions

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

There is a popular phrase that you can likely finish: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a…” That’s right. A duck. The lesson behind this phrase is that you can’t ignore evidence. Ducks waddle, swim, and quack. That’s what makes them ducks! It would be silly to call them something else, wouldn’t it?

Our reading today comes from a time in history when many of God’s children were looking for the promised Messiah—someone who be their great champion, liberator, and savior. There were many different ideas around town about what the Messiah would look like and how he would act. And then Jesus came, attracting all kinds of attention for his amazing teaching and his powerful healing. He described himself as being sent by God the Father to do his work (John 8:16,42; John 9:4). He had recently fed more than 5,000 people with nothing but a boy’s lunch. He had healed a man who was born blind. The evidence was mounting.

Jesus knew that people like to hear more than words. People can argue about words. That’s why Jesus had all kinds of evidence to back up his words. “The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,” he said to curious people looking at him. Who else could do the kind of miracles Jesus was doing? Who else fit all the descriptions of the Messiah that the prophets had written down so the people would know what to look for? Jesus was saying, “If I do the things only the Messiah could do, then I must be…” That’s right. The Messiah.

Many of the people following Jesus during his ministry did not believe he was the Messiah. They ignored the evidence. It’s easy for us to point to them and say, “How silly! Why don’t you believe?” But sin is powerful. It causes people to ignore the evidence and follow their own logical conclusions.

Sometimes we ignore evidence, too. We know Jesus is powerful enough to help us through any situation on any day, yet how many days do we worry? He promises to be with us, yet how often do we forget that when we need it most? He promises the best ending ever—life with him in heaven—as our ultimate, yet something happens that makes us feel as if our world is ending!

That’s when we confess our weakness, doubt, and fear and ask for forgiveness. Then all that’s left is to simply believe that if Jesus is who he says he is—our great Champion and Savior—we have forgiveness and eternal life. He’s backed up his words with his saving actions! He is our Savior! No one can say otherwise. The evidence is plain and true.

Closing Prayer:

Jesus, thank you for all the amazing evidence you provided to help us recognize you as our Savior. Most importantly, thank you for your resurrection that proves your victory over death. Help us believe in you always. 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 you learn about Jesus as your Savior?
  • What did Jesus do on Easter that only a powerful Savior could do?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name three things did Jesus did that identifies him as the promised Messiah?
  • Why do you think people ignore the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah? When do you find yourself tempted to do the same?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Give an example of how the world we live in today replaces Jesus with their own set of “facts.”
  • Cite evidence from today’s devotion that can help you when your faith in Jesus is shaken.

 

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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Visions of Victory – Family Devotion – May 11, 2022

Read: Revelation 7:9-17

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
Revelation 7:9a

Visions of Victory

 

Family Devotion – May 11, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 7:9a

See series: Devotions

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

If you were banished to a lonely island, what would you want to have with you? Your answer might reveal something about what you value in life.

John, the disciple of Jesus who wrote our reading today, found himself in that situation. Because he had followed Jesus, he was exiled to a rocky island called Patmos. It was a place where the Roman government sent prisoners, far, far away from their homes and their families. We don’t know if John was able to bring any belongings with him. He must have felt so alone on that island. He knew many of his friends had suffered or even been put to death for following Jesus. John was old, perhaps tired. What could comfort him now?

God knew what John needed to find comfort. He allowed John to see visions of heaven—a huge crowd of people who died and were now with Jesus because they had faith in him. Their robes were white because Jesus’ blood washed them from every sin. They were enjoying Jesus’ victory, free from sin and the troubles of their lives on earth.

The sight of this great crowd celebrating in heaven is exactly what John needed to see. Yes, he had patiently endured a lifetime of being bullied and mistreated. And yes, John had moments of feeling down, lonely, and longing to relive beautiful, past memories of his time with Jesus. That’s all John needed on that rocky island—that beautiful picture of heaven helped him see that someday, his patience and endurance would be worthwhile. He and so many others who endured to the end of life for the name of Jesus would celebrate their Savior’s victory together in unending life.

But here’s the wonderful thing about John: It wasn’t enough for him to close his eyes and dream of sweet victory. He got busy on that rocky island and wrote down what he saw so that he might inspire others who often experience feelings like him. God gave him the words, and John wrote them down so that now, you can see and be comforted by his great vision of heaven (Revelation 1:1-3).

When we are lonely, tired, defeated, or feeling down, read these words given to us from God, who wants us to see what Jesus’ victory will someday look like in heaven. Strengthened by these words, we can encourage one another in the faith, wherever we are and with whatever we have, just as John did for us.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, you have given us a picture of your victory in heaven to encourage us. Help us to be truly thankful and to share that encouragement 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

  • Why is a huge crowd of people and angels in heaven praising Jesus right now?
  • Do you have to wait until heaven to praise Jesus? (No!) Let’s do it now: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What is the meaning of “white robes” in John’s picture of heaven? How do you get one?
  • Describe two parts of John’s picture of heaven that bring you peace and comfort.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Describe a time when you felt a little persecuted or lonely because of who you are or what you believe.
  • Look up Hebrews 10:24-25. What can you do so you don’t feel quite so 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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A Guarantee You Can Trust – Family Devotion – May 9, 2022

Read: Acts 13:15-16a,26-39

God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said, “I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.”
Acts 13:34

A Guarantee You Can Trust

 

Family Devotion – May 9, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 13:34

See series: Devotions

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

As you begin your devotion today, ask your parent(s) to point to something in your home that came with a guarantee. The roof on your house may have come with a “lifetime guarantee.” Computers, phones, cars—many of these items come with guarantees that they will continue to work as promised or your money back. Companies often use guarantees to sweeten the deal so that you will have confidence in their products.

In our reading today, Paul describes a promise that God made to the people of Israel long ago. God promised that he would restore them as his children, even though their relationship was broken by sin. Jesus would be the “repairman”—the one to restore the broken relationship. “I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David,” God said to his people (v. 34). Then God sweetened the deal. He gave his children a special guarantee that the repair would last forever, that their relationship with him would always be strong. When speaking of Jesus’ work, God promised, “He will never be subject to decay” (v. 34). It means that even though Jesus would die for our sins, he would not stay in the grave. God had a repair plan, and that plan came with a guarantee that the repair would last forever.

Even though they had this wonderful guarantee, many of the people listening to Paul didn’t understand God’s plan. They did not recognize Jesus as the Savior God had promised. In fact, when Jesus showed up to repair what was broken, many of them condemned him. They sentenced him to death and put his body in a grave.

But remember, God made a promise. Jesus’ resurrection on Easter proves God’s promises are true. Jesus rose from the grave “so that he will never be subject to decay.” Never! He will always be alive! That’s more than a lifetime guarantee! That’s an eternal promise that our relationship with God is repaired, and nothing, not even sin or death, can break or change that.

Jesus has the power to fix us. The more we study God’s Word, the more we see that it’s true. His repairs last forever, just as he promised!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer:

Gracious God, thank you for sending Jesus to sacrifice his life for us and for keeping your promise to raise him to life again. Because he lives, we also will live. Keep us in this faith always. 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

  • Even though Jesus gave up his life for our sins, what did he do on Easter?
  • Because we believe Jesus rose at Easter, where will we live forever?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name something of yours that broke and could not be repaired. How did that make you feel?
  • Look up John 14:19. How do you know you can trust Jesus’ promise that you will live with him forever? How does that make you feel?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why was it important that Jesus died for our sins and rose victorious over death?
  • As a Christian, you believe God’s promises. Think of how you would you describe God’s “eternal lifetime” guarantee to someone who may not yet believe. What’s the alternative guarantee if they don’t believe? Give a reason why it’s important we discuss that one with them as well.

 

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 Can See Clearly Now – Family Devotion – May 6, 2022

Read: John 21:1-14

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

I Can See Clearly Now

 

Family Devotion – May 6, 2022

Devotion based on John 21:4

See series: Devotions

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

Imagine this: You are going about your daily business, and in walks Jesus. You’re at the kitchen table. Or with friends for lunch. Or in your room playing with your toys. And suddenly, Jesus is standing there!

Not long after Easter, some of Jesus’ disciples were in their fishing boat fishing. But they weren’t catching anything. They weren’t expecting to see Jesus either. In fact, they didn’t even recognize him at first. He was there, but maybe it was hard to see him through the mist. Or maybe Jesus did not want to be recognized until after the fish were caught.

Yet he was with them, blessing their work. Their fishing was wildly successful that morning.

Jesus is with us as we go about our work, too. It may be difficult to see him because we think of him as seated far away at the right hand of God where he rules over all things. We can’t see him, so is he really here with us? Whenever we ask that question, remember what Jesus told his disciples on the night before he went to the cross: “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me” (John 14:19). His disciples would always see him through the eyes of faith. They would see him when they remembered his teachings and lived their lives with Jesus’ words ringing in their ears.

When they heard his voice on the shore that morning, instructing them, they followed his direction to “throw your net on the right side of the boat.” And wow! A huge haul of fish! Suddenly, they realized something. Clearly, only Jesus could do such a thing! That’s when they recognized him.

The best way to see Jesus is through the eyes of faith. The Holy Spirit helps us see Jesus and know that he is with us. No matter how dark the night or misty the morning, no matter how frustrating our days, no matter what we are doing, Jesus is with us, blessing everything we do.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer:

Risen Savior, help me see you clearly through the eyes of faith, and help me hear your voice as you speak to me in your Word. Let me never forget that you are with me always. 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 do you know Jesus is with you, even if you can’t see him?
  • What can you do if you ever feel alone, or like Jesus is far away?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What can you do every day to make sure that you are seeing Jesus and hearing his voice?
  • Jesus blessed his disciples with a whole boatload of fish. Name at least two “blessings” Jesus gives you when you listen to his voice.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Review what happened yesterday. What got in the way of seeing Jesus clearly in your life?
  • What would you say to someone who is having trouble seeing Jesus clearly through the mist or darkness of everyday life?

 

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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Cheer from Wherever You Are – Family Devotion – May 4, 2022

Read: Revelation 5:11-14

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Revelation 5:13

Cheer from Wherever You Are

 

Family Devotion – May 4, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 5:13

See series: Devotions

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

Imagine yourself at a sporting event in a gym or stadium full of people. Hundreds or thousands of people are chanting, clapping, and shouting for their favorite team. What an energizing atmosphere when your team wins!

Even if you haven’t been in a big stadium like that, maybe you’ve watched your favorite team on television at home. You can hear the crowd roar and see people cheering. You might cheer and shout in your living room, too, as you watch on the flat-screen. It’s still thrilling to watch your team win, even if you’re not there in person.

In today’s reading, God gives the apostle John a special glimpse of what heaven will be like. The scene is a little bit like that stadium full of people:

  1. The angels are the cheerleaders, reminding us how wonderful Jesus is, worthy of cheers.
  2. Jesus is the hero on the field because of what he accomplished for us: He played the perfect game, and he gave all of himself in doing so. He even beat the most powerful enemy of all, death itself. When he rose from the grave, he proved himself to be the undefeated victor.
  3. Then the whole stadium erupts with loud cheers. Everyone! Some of the people praising Jesus are right there with him in heaven. And some are like us, still living here on earth, but following Jesus and celebrating his victory. Because we aren’t in heaven yet, we see this picture through John’s description of it in the Bible, and we join in the praise from where we are.

It’s a blessing for us to see this picture through John, because sometimes we need a reminder of how absolutely amazing the joy of Jesus’ victory is. As we live every day, it’s easy to lose some of the joy and energy of Easter. When we have a rough patch in life, when our enemies seem to be winning, our cheers for Jesus might die down a bit. We forget about his victory.

That’s why Easter’s stadium erupting in cheers is so good to see! It’s where we go, over and over again, to see Jesus win and see those in heaven who are praising him. Someday, we’ll be there too because Jesus paid for our ticket. Until then, we cheer him from where we are now—wherever he has put us. Because he is worthy of our cheers.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, you have won the victory over sin and death. Let every person, far and near, praise you for what you have done. Help me to join in those praises, no matter how I feel or where I am, because you are worthy. 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

  • The Bible tells us that Jesus won the victory. Who did Jesus have to beat in order to win?
  • The Bible tells us that Jesus won the victory. How did Jesus win?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Recount the last time someone in your house was cheering their team to win. Describe what they looked and what they were feeling.
  • Discuss what cheering for Jesus feels and looks like in your life or to others watching you.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Jesus won! But sometimes you can’t tell by the looks on our faces. Name something happening in your life that makes you think that the devil and sin are winning. How can you be certain that they will not win in the end?
  • Name someone you know who is in heaven right now, cheering for Jesus. What do you and that person have in common?

 

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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A Stub Is Not a Snub – Family Devotion – May 2, 2022

Read: Acts 9:1-22

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Acts 9:3-4

A Stub Is Not a Snub

 

Family Devotion – May 2, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 9:3-4

See series: Devotions

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

Imagine it’s one of those days. You are really angry. So angry that you feel like you are boiling. You might even storm around your house, tossing and slamming things.

As you storm, you stub your toe. You fall down in pain. As you sit, your toe throbs, but the rest of your body starts to relax. You begin to realize how ridiculous your behavior was. Your rage was getting you nowhere.

Today’s Bible reading opens with Saul storming around in a rage against the followers of Jesus. If you were a Jesus follower and crossed paths with Saul, you were in great danger. The threats, sticks, and stones were flying.

And then Saul stubbed his toe, so to speak. Jesus appeared to him in a way that got his attention and reduced him to a quivering pile of a man. He lost his sight and was completely dependent on his friends to guide him to the city where he was going.

Humbled, Saul sat for three days in darkness, coming down from his raging high.

When God knew Saul was ready, he restored Saul’s sight. And then God gave Saul an even better gift—the Holy Spirit filled his heart (v. 17). With these gifts, God in his grace gave Saul physical and spiritual sight. We know this because Saul began hanging out with the followers of Jesus, talking about Jesus and proclaiming his name. These are things Saul never would have done while he was blinded by his rage against Jesus.

Saul is an example of God’s incredible grace and his power to change hearts. Can we see ourselves in Saul? We too are sinners. We often get ourselves so worked up about this or that, and we fail to see what God intends for us to see. God might let you stub your toe just to get your attention, to get you to calm down so you can see things clearly. It’s his way of saying, “My child, what are you doing?”

When we’re finally calm and repentant, we can better get Jesus’ words to us, what he did for us, his power, his victory. As we listen to his voice, the Holy Spirit fills us and helps us see those things.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer:

Lord, open our eyes to see your work in our lives, as you’ve done for so many people who once sat in darkness. Thank you for allowing us to see you clearly and share in your victory over darkness! 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 calms you down when you get really angry?
  • How do we know that God forgives us for what we do when we are angry?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Describe a time when God allowed something to happen so you would pay more attention to him and his Word.
  • How does God bring about change in your heart? (See Ezekiel 36:27, 1 Corinthians 2:12.)

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Name two things that were hard to see and understand because you were angry.
  • Saul sat in darkness for three days. What do you suppose he was thinking about? How does the fact that Saul received his sight after three days in darkness parallel Jesus’ time in the grave between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

 

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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You just can’t help it! – Family Devotion – April 29, 2022

Read: Acts 5:12,17-32

Then the captain went with the officers and brought the apostles in without force, because they were afraid that the people might stone them. After they brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin. The high priest asked them, “Did we not give you strict orders not to teach in this name? Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are determined to bring this man’s blood down on us!”

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you arrested and killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his right hand as Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Acts 5:26-32

You just can’t help it!

 

Family Devotion – April 29, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 5:26-32

See series: Devotions

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

A family was coming back from vacation when they got into a little fender bender. Everyone was okay. No one was hurt. But they all decided not to tell the grandparents because they didn’t want the grandparents to worry. The next day when they arrived home, they called the grandparents to let them know that they were home safe and sound. When it was the youngest boy’s chance to talk to Grandma and Grandpa, the first thing out of his mouth was, “Grammy and Papa, we were in a car accident!” The little boy just couldn’t help it! And out of his mouth came the truth!

Peter and the apostles were in a similar situation. They were told not to tell anyone the truth. They were told to remain silent about all the time they had spent with Jesus and how they never saw him sin once. They were to “zip their lips” about the perfect Jesus being willingly crucified on the cross to take away the sins of the whole world. And they were absolutely not to mention anything ever about Jesus rising from the dead and appearing to over five hundred people.

But everywhere they went, they talked about Jesus. They just couldn’t help it! They saw Jesus’ miracles. They ate with the five thousand fed. They watched as the paralyzed man was lowered through the roof and walked out carrying his own mat. They heard Jesus’ promises, “Because I live, you also will live.” They watched everything Jesus did and stood in awe of his word. They just couldn’t stop talking about him no matter what!

As we think about the incredible Bible events that we hear in church, that we learn in Sunday School, that our parents tell us about, we just can’t stop thinking about them. What do these truths mean for us? Every sin washed away! Death conquered! Heaven secured forever! Go and share these truths. If someone wants you to stop, tell them, “I just can’t help it!”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to bring us these incredible truths in your Holy Scriptures. Continue to work through them to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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

  • Do you know what a secret is? Why is the message of Jesus not a secret?
  • Next time you are talking on the phone with a family member, tell them “Jesus loves you.” Practice it right now. Pretend that you are on the phone and say, “Jesus loves you.”

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What’s something that you just couldn’t wait to get home from school to tell your parents about? How is the message of forgiveness through Jesus similar to that?
  • When you think about all the miracles that Jesus did, what is the one that is the most impressive to you? Wait until bed tonight to tell your parents which one you thought of!

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Imagine you got a text message right now from your close friend. She won front row tickets to the biggest concert of the year, and she wants you to go with her. How long would it take you to tell your family? Now think about the even better news that Jesus has won for you—eternity in a perfect place called heaven. What do you want to do with that news?
  • Have you ever shared something that you weren’t supposed to? Maybe you “replied all” on an email… or texted the wrong person. How did you feel? What’s the one message that you never have to worry about sharing with the wrong person?

 

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’ Catchphrase – Family Devotion – April 27, 2022

Read: Revelation 1:4-18

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingship and patient endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus.

I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me. When I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands, and among the lampstands was one like a son of man. He was clothed with a robe that reached to his feet, and around his chest he wore a gold sash. His head and his hair were white, like white wool or like snow. His eyes were like blazing flames. His feet were like polished bronze being refined in a furnace. His voice was like the roar of many waters. He held seven stars in his right hand. A sharp two-edged sword was coming out of his mouth. His face was shining as the sun shines in all its brightness.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last—the Living One. I was dead and, see, I am alive forever and ever! I also hold the keys of death and hell.
Revelation 1:9,12-18

Jesus’ Catchphrase

 

Family Devotion – April 27, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 1:9,12-18

See series: Devotions

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

A catchphrase is a word or a sentence that makes you think of a certain person. Let’s see if you or your parents can guess who said these catchphrases:

  • “Ugga Mugga!” – Daniel the Tiger’s way of saying “I love you!” (from a PBS kids’ show)
  • “To infinity, and beyond!” – Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story
  • Here’s one for your parents. “Hakuna Matata” – Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King
  • Here’s one to ask your grandparents. “And now for the rest of the story” – Paul Harvey

Maybe you have a catchphrase too. Something that you like to say all the time. Maybe your parents, teachers, and pastors have a catchphrase too. Something that they like to say all the time. Did you know that Jesus had a catchphrase too? Do you know what it was? He said it to John in our devotion text from Revelation chapter one. He said it many times in the New Testament. Some have counted over 300 variations of the phrase in the Bible. His catchphrase was, “Do not be afraid.”

John was afraid. He received this amazing vision of the resurrected Jesus standing among his churches (the lampstands) and his pastors (the stars) in all his glory. He wore a majestic kingly robe. His pureness shined bright white into John’s eyes. He spoke God’s Word (sharp two-edged sword) with authority.

If you’ve ever stood next to a college or professional athlete, you quickly notice how different you are from them. They are big and strong, even compared to your dad. It didn’t take John long to notice how different he was from Jesus. Jesus was perfect and holy. John was a sinner.

Because of this, John was terrified to stand in Jesus’ presence. But look at what Jesus does. He places his right hand on John. It’s the same thing your parent might do if you are having a bad day. And then Jesus says, “Do not be afraid… I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever!”

Jesus says the same thing to you today. He says the same thing to you every day. Although your sins are real, your Savior is too. And Jesus loves you. That’s why he died to take away your sins and rose so that he can put his arm around you in his Word and tell you, “Do not be afraid, now or forever.”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, as you came to John, you come to us through your Word. Comfort us, especially in our sins and guilt, with your wonderful catchphrase, “Do not be afraid.” Allow us to live free from fear knowing that you are in control of everything. 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 something that is scary to you?
  • What does Jesus love to tell you every day?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What’s a catchphrase from a television show you watch? Tell it to your family and see if your family knows who says it.
  • What do you love about Jesus telling you over and over, “Do not be afraid”?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Pick out a description of Jesus in the verses for today. What do you think it means? If you don’t know, send an email to your pastor. He would love to help you out!
  • Next time you are afraid of something, what’s the first thing Jesus wants you to think about? Why can he say that to you?

 

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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SENT just like Flat Stanley – Family Devotion – April 25, 2022

Read: John 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
John 20:19-23

SENT just like Flat Stanley

 

Family Devotion – April 25, 2022

Devotion based on John 20:19-23

See series: Devotions

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

Have you ever read the book called Flat Stanley? If so, do you remember what happened? Stanley was sleeping, and one morning a bulletin board fell on him. His parents didn’t know what to do, so they decided to take him to a doctor. The doctor was speechless, he did not even know what to say! Stanley was, well, flat!

But Stanley decided to look on the bright side of being flat. Since he was flat, do you know what Stanley could do? He could be sent in the mail! And that’s exactly what happened! His mother put a sandwich and snacks in a box along with Flat Stanley and mailed him to California to visit his friends.

Do you think you could be sent in the mail? No way! You would be way too heavy! And you would have to bring a lot of food! But did you know that even though you can’t be sent in the mail, you can be sent in a different way? That’s what Jesus said in the verses we just read from John 20. This is the passage to remember—John 20:21, “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.’”

God probably won’t send you like Flat Stanley, but maybe someday God could send you as a teacher or a pastor. Maybe God will use something you’re really good at to help someone who really needs that. Maybe God will send you on a mission trip to another state or another country. Maybe God will use you to write a devotion like this one so you can send it to others to read.

No matter who we are, we are sent to share the good news of the Father sending his one and only Son, Jesus. Jesus came to take away our sins so that that we can tell others, “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus came to give us peace. So let’s join the disciples in rejoicing as the Lord sends us out with the best message in the world!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, thank you for sending Jesus into our world to save us. Thank you for sending us to tell the world about Jesus. 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

  • Whom did your heavenly Father send to take away your sins?
  • Name someone in your life you can share the message of Jesus with.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Flat Stanley’s mom was the one who sent him. Who is sending you into the world?
  • If you were Flat Stanley and could travel anywhere in the world to share the good news of Jesus, where would you go?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Stanley probably didn’t like that he was flattened by the bulletin board, but he turned what should have been a negative thing into something positive. Can you think of something similar in your life?
  • How can you have peace no matter what is going on right now in your life?

 

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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Best Food Ever – Family Devotion – April 22, 2022

Read: Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the LORD of Armies will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of aged wines, with the best cuts of meat, and with the finest wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that covers all peoples, the burial cloth stretched over all nations. He has swallowed up death forever! The LORD God will wipe away the tears from every face. He will take away the shame of his people throughout the earth. For the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said, “Look, here is our God! We waited for him, and he saved us! This is the LORD! We waited for him. Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
Isaiah 25:6-9

Best Food Ever

 

Family Devotion – April 22, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 25:6-9

See series: Devotions

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

When Jayden was growing up, his mom would always make his favorite food on his birthday. He looked forward to sitting down at the table with his parents and sisters and getting the first plate. Do you have a similar tradition in your house? If so, what kind of food do you pick? Jayden always picked spaghetti!

Food is something that we crave. It’s something that we enjoy. It’s something we look forward to. Think about the thirty minutes before lunch when you are at school. Sometimes all you can think about is food, especially when it’s chicken nuggets (or insert in that blank whatever your favorite school lunch meal is). When your parents have a night to spend together, they often go out to eat, don’t they? And my guess is that they might even have a favorite restaurant!

It makes sense that God connects his wonderful message of forgiveness, new life, and salvation to food, doesn’t it? He says that he is going to give us “a banquet of rich food…with the best cuts of meat.” Sounds even better than spaghetti! Of course it is! God’s food is the best ever! It means that your sins are forgiven. It means that “he has swallowed up death forever!” It means that all the things in this life that you don’t like such as tears, pain, and sadness will forever be things of the past when God takes you home to heaven.

And what makes these verses so comforting is the fact that God is the one giving this to us. He is preparing the feast! He is getting rid of the darkness! He is wiping away the tears! He is taking away the shame! He is doing the saving! He is the one who took on human flesh to live a perfect life for us, to die on the cross for us, and to rise from the dead for us!

One of Jayden’s favorite hymns is called “Jerusalem the Golden.” Listen to the words of the first stanza:

“Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest—
the sight of it refreshes the weary and oppressed.
I know not, oh, I know not what joys await us there,
what radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare.”
(Christian Worship 890:1)

Whenever we think of how much God loves us—and all the good food he gives us now and promised to us forever, we can’t help but join Isaiah in saying, “Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for everything you have given us, but nothing is better than forgiveness and salvation. Give us peace today as we taste how good these gifts are through Jesus! 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 your favorite food.
  • Next time you eat your favorite food, what can it remind you of?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • From the verses we looked at today, what description of God’s gifts to you did you like the best? (If needed, read through the verses one more time.)
  • Just like God gives you your daily bread, how does he want to continue to fill you up spiritually?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • List three of your least favorite things in this world. Based on those three, describe what heaven will be like.
  • You don’t have to wait until heaven to receive God’s gifts for you. What gifts has God given to you now that will last for all eternity?

 

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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Victory When It Looks Like You Lost – Family Devotion – April 20, 2022

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

But once this perishable body has put on imperishability, and this mortal body has put on immortality, then what is written will be fulfilled: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Victory When It Looks Like You Lost

 

Family Devotion – April 20, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

See series: Devotions

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

There was a high school basketball team that was up by one point when the fourth quarter buzzer went off. The bench cleared and they were celebrating in the middle of the court. It took ten minutes for the referees to get the players and fans off the court and explain to the team that the other team’s coach had called a timeout with one second left on the clock. Maybe you can guess what happened. The team that was down by one point ended up making a shot in the last second of the game. They ended up winning when it had previously looked like they had lost.

A similar course of events took place on Good Friday. Jesus—Immanuel, God with us—died on the cross. It looked like Jesus lost and death won. Jesus’ followers were heartbroken with sadness. Until three days later… Friday – day 1, Saturday – day 2, Sunday – day 3… when Jesus rose from the dead!

Maybe you have had a similar feeling if you’ve ever gone to a funeral. Your dear loved one is no longer with you on this earth. Again, it looks like death has won. But that’s not what the pastor told you at the funeral, is it? He told you that death has been swallowed up in victory. It means that there is victory even when it looks like you lost, because Jesus’ victory over sin and death is your victory.

Your body is a beautiful thing. But it is a body that breaks down—a body that feels aches and pains, a body that gets sick, a body that will finally wear out. Again, it might look like we are losing until you hear God’s promise of a great victory through Jesus. Someday God will call us home to heaven where we will have a perfect home in a glorious body for all eternity. So if you think you are losing, think about Jesus! “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the victory you won for us through Jesus. Remind us every day that our sins are forgiven, death has been conquered, and heaven has been won for us. In our Savior’s 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

  • Have you ever gotten hurt? Tell your family about it.
  • What does Jesus promise heaven will be like?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Describe how you feel when you lose in a board game or sporting event.
  • How does God want you to feel knowing Jesus won the victory over death?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Describe how you felt when you went to a funeral of a loved one.
  • What are some words of comfort you can remember for yourself at the funeral of a believer?

 

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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How’s Your Memory? – Family Devotion – April 18, 2022

Read: Luke 24:1-12

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. When they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothing. The women were terrified and bowed down with their faces to the ground.

The men said to them, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has been raised! Remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee that the Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?” Then they remembered his words.
Luke 24:1-8

How’s Your Memory?

 

Family Devotion – April 18, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 24:1-8

See series: Devotions

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

Have you ever played the game Memory? If so, you know how it feels when you think a card is in one location, only to flip it over and find out that you were wrong. Then the person you are playing with gets it right. You probably say out loud, “Oh yeah!”

Your parents have probably had a similar feeling when they walk into a room and forget what they were going there for. When it finally comes back to them, they might even say out loud, “Oh yeah!”

This is the same reaction that the women in our verses had when the angels reminded them of Jesus’ words. Jesus had told them that he would willingly be arrested. Jesus had told them that he would die on the cross to take away their sins. Jesus had told them that he would rise from the dead three days later to win for them a place in heaven for all eternity.

But because they were so sad, they forgot for a little while, until they stared into the empty tomb on Easter Sunday and the angels reminded them. They might have even said out loud, “Oh yeah!” as they remembered Jesus’ words.

It’s easy for you to forget where the cards are in the game “Memory.” It’s easy for your parents to forget what they were looking for when they are walking from room to room in your house. And it’s easy for all of us to forget Jesus’ words and promises for us.

That is why he gave us Christian friends, parents, and a church family—to remind each other of Jesus’ words. When you are feeling alone, remember Jesus’ words, “Surely I am with you always.” When you are feeling afraid, remember Jesus’ words, “He will command his angels to protect you.” When you are missing a loved one who has gone to heaven, remember Jesus’ words, “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I am going to prepare a place for you.”

What a great day to join the women peering into Jesus’ empty tomb and say out loud, “Oh yeah!” and remember Jesus’ words.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, continue to put people in our lives—parents, pastors, teachers, and friends—who remind us of your words. Send your Spirit to work through these words to bring us the message of comfort and forgiveness. 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

  • Whom do you remember every time you see a picture of a cross?
  • Name one thing that you want to remember when you think about Jesus.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What is something that you recently forgot? How do you feel when you forget something?
  • Put to memory Jesus’ words in John 3:16 and remember it tonight before bed. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Discuss: Why is it important to memorize Jesus’ words?
  • Share with your family one of your favorite Bible passages that you have memorized.

 

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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Finally, It’s Finished. – Family Devotion – April 15, 2022

Read: John 19:17-30

Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30

Finally, It’s Finished.

 

Family Devotion – April 15, 2022

Devotion based on John 19:30

See series: Devotions

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

A dad arrived at a little league baseball game a bit late. Through the chain link fence, he asked, “What’s the score?” A little leaguer replied, “We’re losing 11-0.”

“Ouch,” the dad said, “too bad.”

“Oh, it’s okay,” the boy quickly answered, “we haven’t been up to bat yet.”

On Good Friday, Jesus went to bat for you and me. And when it seemed like we were losing, he climbed up on the cross and won the victory. While rest of us stood and stared with hopeful faces pressed up to the chain-link fence, Jesus stepped up to the plate and smacked a homerun over the devil’s head—up, up, and away! It’s gone! Sins gone! Satan defeated! Salvation won! He ended death’s long winning streak with one final word from the cross, “It is finished.” And with that, Jesus died and placed himself into the hands of his loving heavenly Father.

None of us were standing there at the cross the day Jesus died. But today, we are. And as we do, we see all that was there:

  • Jesus was there. But that doesn’t surprise us. After all, this is the reason he was born. He understood his mission from the beginning, and until the end, he carried out that mission just as God planned.
  • Sin was there. We see it on Jesus’ face, on his back, on his hands and feet. We see it in the black darkness of the noon-day sky. It was there with all its power, for “the wages of sin is death.” All sin—the ones you see or can’t see, your favorites or most shameful—strapped to his sin-free back.
  • Love was there. What held Jesus to the cross our sins shaped and made? Amazing love caused Jesus to say “yes” to the thorns, the nails, and the cross.
  • Death was there. Even the bravest person has cried and felt the fear of death But as we look and see our Savior die, we know that death dies too! Good Friday is the day death died!
  • Victory was there. Death lost; Jesus won! You and I and the souls of all people are saved and set free. Thank God Jesus won the victory that day.

On Good Friday, every cross we see reminds us: Sin was there. Death was there. Love was there. We were there. But most importantly, Jesus was there.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being there for me and my family on the cross. As I quietly think of you and what you did for me, may it fill me with an eager hope that soon will shout out your name! 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

  • Names as many things as you can remember that were there at the cross the day Jesus died.
  • Which one is the most important and why?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What’s the part that you dislike the most about Good Friday?
  • What would have happened if Jesus hadn’t gone through that hard part?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • In your own words, explain what exactly Jesus meant when he said on the cross, “It is finished.”
  • Name at least one area of your life that immediately benefits from hearing Jesus say, “It is finished.”

 

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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A Meal Worth Remembering – Family Devotion – April 13, 2022

Read: Luke 22:7-20

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Luke 22:19-20

A Meal Worth Remembering

 

Family Devotion – April 13, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 22:19-20

See series: Devotions

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

Today is part of a very special week called Holy Week. There’s even a special meal with it—usually on Thursday. It’s called the Lord’s Supper because the one who invites us to it is the Lord. The one who prepares the meal is the Lord, because he’s the only one who could pull off this kind of supper. If Jesus isn’t present, this meal isn’t happening. It’s also called the Sacrament of the Altar because the meal is served from the table or the altar at the front of church. The church altar reminds us of the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins.

If you’re a child listening, someday, you will be invited to this meal after you learn more about it. Until then, be encouraged to learn all you can by watching. Here’s what you will see: little pieces of bread and swallows of wine are handed out by your pastor or church leader. Listen carefully and you will hear, “Take eat, this is my body… take drink, this is my blood.” If your mom or dad or grandpa or grandma said those words, you would think they were joking! But because Jesus is saying those words, then what he says must be true.

Still, how strange this sounds, right? If you can’t understand it, remember this: Jesus is preparing the meal, Jesus is serving the meal, and Jesus is speaking throughout the meal. This is a Jesus’ meal. Who does he want to come to his meal? He invites moms and dads, sons and daughters, teachers and students whose mouths got smudged with dirt from arguing and back talking; whose faces are red from getting angry; whose hearts feel heavy from it all and are truly sorry for it all. “Come on in,” Jesus invites as he motions us to his table. “From the look of things, you need to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins.”

No one else may know what you have done. No one else may know exactly what you’re feeling. But Jesus knows. And that’s why every Holy Week and every week you see the Lord’s Supper in church, Jesus motions again and again for you to come to his table… as often as you hunger and thirst for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus wants you to know that what he did on the cross for the whole world, he did for you. For you. It’s in that meal.

Now that’s a meal worth remembering!

Closing Prayer:

“Jesus is the Word that spoke it;
Jesus took the bread and broke it.
And what His Word makes it;
This I believe and take it.”
(John Donne, adapted from “On the Sacrament”; 1654 edition, p. 352.)

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 name of the special meal that was talked about today?
  • Describe to your parent(s) what they smell like when they sit back down after the Lord’s Supper. Then ask them how they feel and what they’re thinking after the Lord’s Supper.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Because of God’s Word, what did Jesus promise would be added to the bread and the wine in the Lord’s Supper?
  • Why is Jesus’ body and blood connected with forgiveness in the Lord’s Supper?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why is receiving the Lord’s Supper something to take seriously?
  • Discuss with your parent(s) how often you want to receive the Lord’s Supper and why.

 

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 Knows How to Make an Entrance – Family Devotion – April 11, 2022

Read: Luke 19:28-40

As Jesus went along, people spread their cloaks on the road… and the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Luke 19:36-38

Jesus Knows How to Make an Entrance

 

Family Devotion – April 11, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 19:36-38

See series: Devotions

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

This week is very special, so special that it has a special name: Holy Week. It begins with a day called Palm Sunday. That’s the day Jesus made a grand entrance to begin his work to defeat our enemies. Jesus told two of his disciples to go ahead and find a young donkey that no one had ever ridden. “Bring it back,” Jesus said. So they went and found it… just as Jesus told them.

Remember another grand entrance of Jesus into our world—at Christmas? There was a census decree that everyone was to register in their hometown, including Mary and Joseph. While there, she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger. Remember the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks who heard the angel announce, “Christ is born in Bethlehem”? Remember the sign? “You’ll find him lying in a manger.” So the shepherds hurried and found it… just as they were told, just like the disciples found the young donkey… just as they were told.

Jesus enters as a humble baby, and now he enters as a humble king. Two grand but humble entrances, both to shouts of praise!

  • A glorious company of angels announcing: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!”
  • A great crowd with palm branches shouting: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven! And glory in the highest!”

You praise the cook after a great meal. But Jesus deserves the highest level of praise—the kind only given to God. Why? Because people saw things done that no one else could do: Jesus gave new ears to deaf people, new legs to those who’d never walked, new life to the dead, and he forgave people their sins!

Two grand entrances. Two concerts of praise. All for one long-awaited King who arrives this week to defeat our enemies… just as he told us. But instead of fighting them, he surrenders himself to them. Jesus knows that’s the only way he could defeat them.

Praise the King this Holy Week! What he does is not for himself, but for you.

Closing Prayer:

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Dear Jesus, during this Holy Week, help us think of you more than we ever have before. When we do, we will have so many reasons to give you our praise! 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 special name for this week?
  • What should we do to welcome Jesus as our King?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name two important grand entrances Jesus made for us.
  • Explain the importance of both of those entrances.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Name up to three enemies that Jesus intended to fight for us during Holy Week.
  • Explain why Jesus had to surrender to our enemies in order to defeat them for us.

 

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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It’s Time to Take Out the Trash – Family Devotion – April 8, 2022

Read: Philippians 3:4b-14

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ.
Philippians 3:8-9

It’s Time to Take Out the Trash

 

Family Devotion – April 8, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 3:8-9

See series: Devotions

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

There’s a tradition in homes and churches this time of year. With the weather warming, it’s a great time to open doors and windows and do some spring cleaning. There are places around your house where clutter accumulates, like the crushed boxes and hefty bags stuffed in the trash can that we push to the street curb. Or like the moldy apple cores and dried out leftovers that go down the garbage disposal. It’s the dirt you vacuum up from the carpet or sweep from the floors of your garages. What do you do after changing a diaper, do you keep it? Eww, wrinkle your nose and throw it away! Why do we jiggle the handle of the toilet after using it? Life would get pretty messy if we didn’t, right?

Before Easter arrives, there’s another place that needs spring cleaning. It’s inside us and our lives. Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. We like to think that we smell pretty good to God. The apostle Paul once thought that too. He worked so hard at being good for God. For a while, it made him feel good about himself. Then he discovered the only thing worth holding onto in life was Jesus. Nothing is as clean and pure and right as he is. Paul said, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

When you think of your life, what achievements make you proud? What things do you treasure? What relationships do you prize? Make a list of all the things that you are and all that you own and all that you want for the future and ask: Does it help or get in the way of Jesus? And if it does get in the way—get rid of it. Park a garbage truck by the back door of your life. If something doesn’t get you closer to Jesus, toss it in! It’s garbage. It will never be able to make you right with God.

Easter is days away. That makes today the perfect time for spring cleaning inside. It’s time to take out the trash in order to better see and know how good and lovely and right Jesus is. Jesus is the one thing worth keeping!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, I admit there’s a lot of garbage that clutters my heart. Help me get rid of it all so the only thing that remains is you. Everything of this world is nothing. But you are my everything! 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 takes out the garbage in your house?
  • What did Jesus do with the garbage of our sins?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why does the apostle Paul not want anything to get in the way of knowing Jesus?
  • If a garbage truck was backed up to the door of your heart, name three things (could be a feeling, a memory, or action) that you would want to toss in and get rid of.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • List the top three things you value most in your life. Then ask this question: Do they help or get in the way of your relationship with Jesus?
  • Explain: For those who follow Jesus, every day is spring cleaning.

 

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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Remember You Are My People – Family Devotion – April 6, 2022

Read: Isaiah 43:16-21

This is what the LORD says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland … to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself.”
Isaiah 43:16,18-21

Remember You Are My People

 

Family Devotion – April 6, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 43:16,18-21

See series: Devotions

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

The people looked back in fear as they ran as fast as they could from the enemy army. But how could they outrun galloping horses pulling chariots filled with soldiers. An entire army was rapidly gaining on them. Just a few days before, they experienced their first taste of real freedom after hundreds of years of slavery. All because God stepped in with powerful displays of might. They looked back and thought, “Why is this happening?
Have you ever felt that? Someone hurt you and you asked, “Why do I feel like everyone is against me? Why am I the one always hurting?” Did you ever want to say, “God, don’t tell me I’m yours, show me! Get me out of this mess!”

God knows you. He knows where you are at in life. He knows what you are experiencing and feeling. And he has not forgotten that you belong to him. “Remember, you are my people,” he once said to those people being chased by an enemy army. “Remember the day when I made a road where there was no road right in the middle of a sea? I stacked up walls of water so you could walk safely through on dry ground. Remember how I demolished the entire army that was threatening you so they would never again hurt you.”

Today, God says to you, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing. You are mine.” Remember how he saved you—Jesus a Lamb of sacrifice—“He sighed, he died. He took my sin and wretchedness.” But remember, “He lives and forgives! He gives me his own righteousness” (Christian Worship 525:4). Remember how he demolished Satan and destroyed the power of death and hell. “Because you are my people,” he says, “and you share my name.” God will never let his name be made fun of. He will rescue you, for his sake.

When you get hurt and ask, “Why is this happening to me?” imagine a road that will lead you to safely through to the other side. God chose you for something bigger and better than your problems. Remember, you belong to him!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, there are times I get hurt and feel all alone. The next time it happens, help me remember that you wrote your name on me with permanent marker. I’m yours! Help me wait patiently for you to rescue me. 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

  • Tell your parent(s) about a time when your feelings got hurt. What did they say to make you feel better?
  • What did God say in today’s devotion that makes you feel better?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • “You are my people,” God says. What has he done to prove that is true for you?
  • What is the connection between your baptism and today’s devotion?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • A lot of kids get their feelings hurt, but don’t handle it well. Think through how you want to handle the hurt the next time it happens to you. What would you do differently?
  • Think of someone whose feelings you recently hurt. Determine how you can correct that wrong and make it right.

 

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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Learn From Your Mistakes – Family Devotion – April 4, 2022

Read: Luke 20:9-19

Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
Luke 20:17-18

Learn From Your Mistakes

 

Family Devotion – April 4, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 20:17-18

See series: Devotions

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

Emma rolled her eyes. Her older teenage sister Olivia was crying… again. “What’s all the commotion about?” Grandma asked as she walked in. In between heaves and blowing her nose, pieces of Olivia’s story came out: a boyfriend, a break-up, for the third time. Emma had heard it all before. “Why can’t my sister learn that her Mr. Right is really Mr. Wrong?” she impatiently muttered. “But I love him! I can change him,” Olivia sobbed. Finally, her grandma replied in a calm voice, “Sweetie, I’m going to share something that was once said to me: ‘Don’t tear your pants on the same nail twice.’ Do you know what that means?” Olivia shook her head as Emma listened too. “It’s a way of saying: learn from your mistakes,” Grandma said.

How about you? Do you learn from your mistakes? Before you answer, listen to Jesus tell a story about a man who worked hard to build a winery filled with prize-winning grapes. Then he handed it over to some farmers who knew the grape business and agreed to bring him his fair share of the fruit. But they didn’t. Even after his repeated attempts, they refused to listen. What a huge mistake!

It’s really a story about a God who spared no expense to plant and protect us as his prized people. He didn’t even spare his own Son to save us. He gave his all! He continues to give us ways to express our thanks to him, like loving God and each other more than anything else in the world.

Don’t make the mistake that others have made. They are like builders who reject Jesus as the cornerstone and toss him aside like a worthless brick. Sadly, some people forget their desperate need for Jesus. To do so is to tear your pants on the same nail… again and again.

Jesus, the one we too have treated shamefully… is it too late to learn from our mistakes? No! Jesus tells today’s story one last time for us to see yet again the incredibly patient heart of God and his own undying love. During Lent, Jesus may look like a common stone. He was crushed under the weight of all our mistakes but did not crumble. He proves to be the most important stone for a magnificent building in which you are safe. It’s his Church, and he wants you inside with him!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, help us to learn a lesson from today’s story. Thank you for not crushing us when we make mistakes. Build our faith on you and keep us safe as part of your Church. 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

Today’s devotion shows how important it is to learn from mistakes.

  • Talk with your parent(s) about a mistake they gently pointed out to you. What was it?
  • What did they want you to learn from your mistake?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

In today’s Bible story, the man who built the winery and rented it out sent messengers to collect his share of the fruit.

  • What is meant by “fruit”? Then describe at least one fruit in your life that shows your thanks.
  • Who are some of the messengers God sends today to get our attention and encourage us to give him fruits of thanks?

Questions for Middle School and Above

Emma and Olivia’s grandmother said, “Don’t tear your pants on the same nail twice.”

  • Recall what she meant by it. Then identify a “nail” in your life on which you keep getting hung up on.
  • Discuss the lesson you want to learn so as not to repeat it.

 

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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Safe and Protected in Jesus – Family Devotion – April 1, 2022

Read: Romans 8:1-10

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

Safe and Protected in Jesus

 

Family Devotion – April 1, 2022

Devotion based on Romans 8:1

See series: Devotions

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

Today’s reading starts with a big word. Did you catch it? “Therefore.” When Paul uses the word “therefore,” he has just said something really, really important.

So what big thing did Paul say? He had just talked about a great struggle that happens in the life of every Christian. We want to obey God and do what is good. But we often end up disobeying God and doing what is evil. Why? Because both good and evil live inside of us and constantly fight to be in control of us.

There are days when we lose that struggle. We give in and do evil. And on those days, it’s easy to think we’re not good Christians, that our faith isn’t very strong, that we’re not really in God’s family anymore. But Paul tells us that’s not the case at all. Instead, we know exactly where we are: we’re in Christ Jesus.

That sounds funny! How can we be in a person? What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus? It means that—because we believe in Christ Jesus—we are God’s dearly loved children and part of his family. He draws a circle around us on the ground and says if you are in his circle, all your sins are forgiven. Inside his circle, we are protected from Satan and his evil.

But there’s more! Because we’re in Christ Jesus, we don’t have to rely on our own strength to do good things and win the struggle. Nor do we have to worry when we do bad things and lose the struggle. We’re in Jesus! Therefore, there is no condemnation for us. It means God isn’t going to punish us or send us to hell—even though that’s exactly what we deserved.

Why doesn’t God condemn us? Because he condemned Jesus instead. Jesus took on our punishment and suffered and died in our place. Now that we’re in Christ Jesus, our sins are outside his circle. God doesn’t see our sins anymore. He only sees Jesus’ perfect life—a perfect life that covers all of our sins now and assures us that we too enjoy the perfect life in heaven someday.

In the meantime, we’re always going to have a struggle between good and evil inside of us. But because we’re always in Christ Jesus, we’re protected and safe—and there’s nothing we can do to make God stop loving us. How comforting!

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, thank you for promising that you will never condemn us, even when we lose the struggle to do good. May we always find safety in Christ Jesus. 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 big word does Paul use at the beginning of today’s reading?
  • Who did God condemn instead of us?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What do we deserve from God because we often lose the struggle between doing good and evil?
  • Instead of seeing our sins, what does God see when he looks at us?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why don’t we have to worry when we lose the struggle and do bad things instead of good things?
  • What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus?

 

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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Someone Who Likes To Be Praised – Family Devotion – March 30, 2022

Read: Isaiah 12:1-6

Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.
Isaiah 12:4,5

Someone Who Likes To Be Praised

 

Family Devotion – March 30, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 12:4,5

See series: Devotions

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

“You did a fantastic job! I’m so proud of you! You worked really hard, and your hard work is paying off!” It’s fun to be praised, isn’t it? It’s encouraging when you do something well and other people notice. It makes you feel good to have your efforts recognized.

We aren’t the only ones who like to be praised. In today’s verses, Isaiah tells the people of Israel that God also likes to be praised. Isaiah encourages them to give praise to the LORD and proclaim his name, to tell others how great God is. Now it’s your turn. Here are three questions:

Why do we give praise to the LORD? Isaiah answers: “for he has done glorious things”—lots of amazing things, big and small. God the Father gave us everything that we need for our life and protects us from evil every day. God the Son became a human being, lived a perfect life and took away our sins. God the Holy Spirit brings the words of the Bible into our hearts so we can believe.

How do we give praise to the LORD? Isaiah answers that question too: “make known among the nations what he has done.” When we recognize everything we have comes from God and when we share the good news of Jesus with others, we give praise to the LORD!

When do we give praise to the LORD? To answer this question, we need to know a little more about Isaiah. He had to speak some very harsh words to his people because they needed to repent. He knew that they would face some tough times because of it. But even in the midst of these hard times, the people of Israel were still called upon to praise the LORD.

The same is true for us today. No matter whether you feel happy or you’re sad and dealing with something very hard, you still have reason to praise the LORD—to thank God for everything he’s done for you. If you’ve already forgotten, go back to the “why” question. Then praise him at home with your family, at school with your friends, and at church with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Praise him for loving you and adopting you as his child. Praise him for all the glorious things he’s done!

Closing Prayer:

LORD, we have so many reasons to praise you! Help us to praise you in every situation, and give us the courage to tell others of the glorious things you have done. 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

  • We all like to be praised. According to Isaiah, who else likes to be praised?
  • When should we give praise to the LORD?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does it mean to praise God’s name?
  • Name one specific thing you can do tomorrow to praise God.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • TRUE or FALSE: Praising God is best when things are going really well in life.
  • Think of one thing for which you can you praise each person of the Triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

 

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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Lost and Found – Family Devotion – March 28, 2022

Read: Luke 15:11-32

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him… “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Luke 15:20,24

Lost and Found

 

Family Devotion – March 28, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:20,24

See series: Devotions

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

What’s your favorite thing? A blanket or stuffed animal that you always sleep with? A toy or game that’s always fun to play with? A book or movie that you always love to read or watch, no matter how many times you’ve read or watched it before? Imagine how sad you would be if you lost it, if you couldn’t find it anywhere in your room or your house.

In today’s reading, Jesus tells a story about a man who lost something far more valuable than a stuffed animal or a toy or a book. This man lost his son, and he was very sad.

How could a father lose his son? It wasn’t the father’s fault. It was the son’s. The son demanded money from his father, money that was meant to be given him in the future. After his father gave it to him, the son left for a faraway country. He spent all his father’s money and had nothing left—not even enough to buy something to eat. The son realized his mistake. He came home, hoping that his father would give him a job as a servant.

Instead, the father welcomed his son home with open arms. He was so happy that he found the son he thought he’d lost. He forgave everything the son had done wrong because he never stopped loving him.

Just like in Jesus’ story, God the Father lost something too. And just like in the story, it wasn’t God’s fault—it was ours. Can you see yourself in the lost son? Have you gotten a little wild and been told to calm down? What happened when you didn’t listen? How sad God the Father is when we run away and don’t listen to him!

But through it all, he never stops loving us. In a couple weeks, we will be reminded why. At the cross, it’s the Father’s Son, his one and only Son, who suffers and dies for sons and daughters who wander off and get lost. Because of his love for us, God forgives and welcomes us back home with open arms. He sends his Holy Spirit to work faith in our hearts and make us his sons and daughters. And one day, when we are finally in our heavenly home, we will see our Father face-to-face.

Until that day, remember how much God loves you. Remember that God always welcomes you back home. Remember that by faith, you are God’s child—and nothing separates you from the love of your heavenly Father.

Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for making me your favorite thing, for always loving welcoming me back home. Keep me close to you until I see you face-to-face in 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 did the father in Jesus’ story lose?
  • What did the father do when his son came back home?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why did the father in Jesus’ parable welcome his son back home with open arms?
  • Discuss a time in which you were running from God. What (or who) helped you to return?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Have you ever found that if you have some money, everyone wants to be your friend until the money is gone? Discuss what true friendship looks like.
  • When the son returned, the father could have greeted him with “I told you so.” What does the father do to make the son feel at home? What has God done to make us feel at home?

 

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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There’s Always a Way Out – Family Devotion – March 25, 2022

Read: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

There’s Always a Way Out

 

Family Devotion – March 25, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 10:13

See series: Devotions

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

“But lead us not into temptation.” Do you recognize those words? We say them every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer. We ask God to deliver us from evil and to lead us not into temptation. Temptation is a big word! What does temptation look like in our lives?

Different people face different temptations. Sometimes it’s tempting to be mean to our friends and family members because it’s so much harder to show them love. Sometimes we’re tempted to sit through a devotion without really hearing a single word. Sometimes we’re tempted to rely on ourselves or other people in our lives rather than trusting in God. And the list goes on.

We face temptation every day. Sometimes we make wise decisions and avoid them. Too often, we don’t. Often, giving in to the temptation seems like more fun or the cool thing to do. Giving in is easy; standing strong is hard.

That’s the bad news. But there’s also good news! Like us, Jesus faced temptation that wasn’t easy for him. But unlike us, he stood up to every temptation perfectly. That’s why God’s Word for today says that because Jesus suffered while he was being tempted, he understands exactly what we are going through when we’re being tempted—and he can help us when we face temptation.

Having someone who can help us through our temptations is really good news. And there’s even more good news in today’s reading. Temptation will always be part of our life. But God promises he will also provide a way out. Even if we can’t always see what that way out is, we can be sure that it’s there.

We won’t always resist temptation perfectly. We won’t always take that way out. We’ll fail sometimes. But don’t give up! Confess the times we fail and ask for God’s forgiveness. Then, try again when the next temptation comes. And always thank God that Jesus perfectly resisted every temptation in our place—so that one day, we can be with him in heaven where we’ll be free of every temptation. Until then, know God will always provide a way out!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for resisting every temptation and being without sin. Help me to get better at resisting when I am tempted. Show me the way out that you have promised 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

  • Temptation is a big word. Can you explain what it means?
  • Who perfectly resisted every temptation?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does it mean to be tempted?
  • How do you know that Jesus can help you when you are tempted?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What should you do when you’re faced with temptation and you can’t see the way out?
  • Think of a temptation that you face regularly. What wise decision can you make to resist it?

 

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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Exactly What We Need – Family Devotion – March 23, 2022

Read: Exodus 3:1-15

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you.”
Exodus 3:11,12

Exactly What We Need

 

Family Devotion – March 23, 2022

Devotion based on Exodus 3:11,12

See series: Devotions

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

Being a kid is pretty great sometimes. You play games and participate in fun activities. You go to birthday parties and have sleepovers with your friends. Your parents feed you and drive you places, and you don’t have as many responsibilities as adults do.

But there are other times when being a kid isn’t all that great. School can be hard, and it can feel like there’s just too much to learn. You often have fun with your friends, but you don’t always feel like you fit in. And sometimes, you aren’t tall enough or smart enough or grown-up enough to easily do things. Sometimes, you just can’t get everything done on your own.

Moses felt the same way, even though he wasn’t a kid anymore. God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and told him that it was time to rescue his people from slavery. God wanted to use Moses as part of his rescue.

But Moses didn’t think he was up to the task. He hadn’t grown up among the Israelites; Pharaoh’s daughter adopted and raised him as an Egyptian. He had never been eloquent—he wasn’t a good speaker—and he didn’t think he could convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. In the next chapter of Exodus, Moses flat out asked God to change his mind and send someone else.

Moses was right: he couldn’t get this job done on his own. That’s the beauty of today’s devotion: he didn’t have to. God promised that he would be with Moses, that he would give Moses miracles (awesome displays of God’s power), and that he would provide the words for Moses to say.

God might not speak through burning bushes today, but he still calls us to follow him. He calls us to tell how Jesus rescued us and how to live our lives in ways that show we are his people. Like Moses, we can’t get this done on our own—but we don’t have to. God promises to be with us every step of the way, and he promises to give us exactly what we need to carry out our calling. What an amazing promise!

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, thank you for giving us everything we need to carry out our callings. Help us to look to you for strength as we seek to tell others about you and live lives that reflect the faith we have. 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

  • If you haven’t already, read Exodus 3:1-4. How did God speak to Moses?
  • Why didn’t Moses want to go and talk to Pharaoh?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Think of something that you can’t get done on your own. Who can you ask to help you accomplish this job?
  • God said, “I will be with you.” Take a moment to think and then share a way you will rely on that promise of God this week.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Moses heard God’s voice through a burning bush. How do you hear God’s voice today?
  • God sent Moses’ brother Aaron along with him to help Moses and speak for him. Name someone in your life who can help you in the same way. How specifically do they help you?

 

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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Help in Doing Good – Family Devotion – March 21, 2022

Read: Luke 13:1-9

Then [Jesus] told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
Luke 13:6-9

Help in Doing Good

 

Family Devotion – March 21, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 13:6-9

See series: Devotions

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

Theo was mad. Everything was great—he and his best friend Anton had been happily playing. But then Anton took Theo’s toy and wouldn’t give it back. So Theo went and told his mom. He wanted her to tell Anton to give the toy back. He wanted his mom to be just as mad has he was.

Instead, Theo’s mom explained that Anton didn’t have brothers and sisters like Theo, so Anton needed practice in learning how to share. Rather than getting mad at Anton, Theo’s mom suggested that through his actions, he be patient and show Anton how to share.

Just like Anton, there’s something that everybody isn’t good at. But it’s something much more serious than sharing toys. Because of sin, none of us are good at obeying God. None of us are good at living like God tells us to live. On our own, we’re just like the tree that Jesus talks about in today’s reading—none of us are good at producing spiritual fruit.

There’s a struggle that happens inside us every day, a struggle between our naughty side and the nice, new person we are in Christ. The apostle Paul sums up this struggle: “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19). How terrible! Is there any possible way to win that struggle and do good?

Left on our own, we will always lose that struggle between good and evil on this side of heaven. Anton needed help learning how to share. The tree in today’s reading needed help in producing fruit. When it comes to living like Christians, we need help too.

Where does that help come from? It comes from Jesus. He crushed everything wrong with us and made everything right between us and God. He showed us through his words and actions how to obey God. It comes from God’s Word, where God speaks to us and strengthens our faith. And it comes from everybody who helps you better understand God’s Word: faithful pastors, loving teachers, and patient parents.

One more thing: don’t be confused about why we do good. We don’t do good to make God like us more or to avoid being punished. We do good because we love God. We appreciate everything he’s done for us. Now, we want to do what God asks of us!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being so patient with us as we seek to obey God. Forgive us when we don’t. Encourage us to always look to you for how to live. 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 can help us do good?
  • Where can we learn more about how to obey God?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why can’t we perfectly obey God on our own?
  • What’s one way you could have acted differently today in order to better obey God?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Even though you will always struggle with your sinful nature, why don’t you have to worry that God will lose patience with your struggle?
  • Jesus’ story talked about a tree in danger of getting cut down because there was no fruit. What does spiritual fruit look like in your life? Why is it so important?

 

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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No Shortcuts – Family Devotion – March 18, 2022

Read: Luke 13:31-33

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!”
Luke 13:31-33

No Shortcuts

 

Family Devotion – March 18, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 13:31-33

See series: Devotions

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

There is a saying about shortcuts that goes, “shortcuts aren’t always.” It means this: that sometimes we think we are saving time by taking a shortcut, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Ask a child who decided to shove everything under their bed when told to clean their room. Once their parents discovered the “shortcut,” not only did they have to finish cleaning their room, they also had to clean the bathroom and the dishes. What seemed like a shortcut wasn’t one at all.

In our reading for today, Jesus was teaching and preaching in an area ruled by Herod Antipas. While he was there, some Pharisees told Jesus that Herod wanted to kill him and that he should leave the area. Whether they knew it or not, the Pharisees were offering Jesus a shortcut to avoid his mission of traveling to Jerusalem to suffer and die for the sins of all people.

It is hard to even think about, but can you imagine if Jesus accepted their offer of a shortcut? It would have been devastating for us. Due to our sinful nature, we have no way to save ourselves. On our own we have no hope for the future, and our path through this life here on earth could end only in eternal destruction.

Praise be to God that Jesus in his perfect determination didn’t even flinch. He knew there was no shortcut to the painful path he was on, so he pressed on. While the road to his death would not be easy, he knew his journey wouldn’t end on the cross. Three days later he would reach his goal by rising from the dead and winning for us the eternal victory over sin, death, and the devil.

All this Jesus did for us not because we have earned or deserved it, but because of his amazing love for us. Even more, he has worked in our hearts the gift of faith so that we may receive the blessings of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with him in heaven.

As we journey with Jesus to the cross during this season of Lent, we can’t help but be sad that it was our sins that caused him to suffer and die. At the same time, we can’t help but marvel at his willingness to avoid any shortcuts to rescue us!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Savior, what wondrous love you showed us by taking the long and hard journey to the cross. We thank you for your willingness to avoid any shortcuts, so that through the gift of faith, we might live with you forever in 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

  • How are the naughty things we do a “shortcut”?
  • How did Jesus save you from your sins?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why was Jesus willing to suffer and die on the cross for you?
  • How can you show your gratitude to Jesus for his amazing love?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Think of a time you tried to take a shortcut and it didn’t work out like you planned.
  • Why was it so important that Jesus never took a shortcut in his plan to save us?

 

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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Heaven Is My Home – Family Devotion – March 16, 2022

Read: Philippians 3:17-4:1

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
Philippians 3:20-4:1

Heaven Is My Home

 

Family Devotion – March 16, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 3:20-4:1

See series: Devotions

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

For college basketball fans, this is the most exciting time of the year: March Madness. By the morning of March 17, a field of 64 teams will be set and the games will begin. Can you imagine what it would be like if you knew before the tournament started that your favorite team was going to win it all? Their best player could be injured, and they could be down by 20 points at halftime, but it wouldn’t matter because you knew for certain they would be crowned the champions in the end.

Today Paul is confident we can have something much more important than winning a basketball tournament. It’s citizenship in heaven. Most countries insist that you give up your former citizenship before taking up a new one. As Christians we have two places we call home. While we live on earth, our future home is in heaven. This means our homes and time here on earth are just momentary because our true home is in heaven where we will live forever.

We can be sure of our home in heaven because Jesus carried his cross to save us from our sins and gave us the gift of faith. Even though we suffer challenges because of our faith, we are wise to listen to Paul’s encouragement to “stand firm in the Lord.”

There is no easy way to avoid these challenges. Crosses will be a part of life while in our home on earth. We can find joy in them because we know that Jesus is working them for our good. He uses them to draw us closer to his side and to turn our focus away from the things of this world and back to him.

We can find contentment in any situation because we know that when Jesus returns, he will take us to be with him in heaven. Our bodies will be transformed, and there will be no more pain or suffering. Until we receive our crown in heaven, we ask Jesus to give us the strength and determination to take up our cross and follow him.

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we ask that you give us the strength to stand firm as we face crosses here on earth. Thank you for being willing to die on the cross to save us from our sins so that one day we might receive our crown in 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 do you like most about your home?
  • Where will you live forever one day because of Jesus?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What city and state are you a citizen of?
  • What does Paul mean when he says we are citizens of heaven?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Give an example of a cross that you might face as a citizen on earth.
  • How does knowing Jesus already won you victory in heaven help you deal with the crosses you face on earth?

 

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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The Iron Prophet – Family Devotion – March 14, 2022

Read: Jeremiah 26:8-15

Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”
Jeremiah 26:12-15

The Iron Prophet

 

Family Devotion – March 14, 2022

Devotion based on Jeremiah 26:12-15

See series: Devotions

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

Do you ever wish you had a cool nickname like Alexander the Great, Ninja, or The Rock? Today we read about an Old Testament prophet named Jeremiah. Prophets were people selected by God to speak his messages. Jeremiah’s nickname was “the weeping prophet” because he was sad that the people of Judah would not listen to his message from God.

Jeremiah’s message for his people was that they should repent and turn from their evil ways, or their city and temple would be demolished. The people didn’t like to hear this. They wanted Jeremiah to be put to death. It would have been easy for Jeremiah to change his message or just leave. Instead, even facing the threat of death, he spoke the truth of God’s Word because he cared so much for his people. He wanted them to be saved. This determination led him to receive another nickname, “the iron prophet.”

We are blessed to have pastors, teachers, and staff ministers who have been called by God to teach us the truth of God’s Word. There are times when their message is hard for us to hear. Like the people of Judah, we might be upset when they tell us that we are sinners who need to repent. Like Jeremiah, they don’t avoid preaching the law, because they want us to know the truth. They care about our spiritual life. They realize that unchecked sin has eternal consequences.

When they preach the law, they simply mirror the message of Jesus who never took shortcuts around the truth. Jesus never took the easy way out. That’s why he went all the way to the cross to save us from our sins. Jesus made up his mind to win for us the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life with him in heaven. That’s determination!

The people who teach us the truth of God’s Word are just as determined. They care so much about us that they will not take shortcuts. May we gladly hear and obey the message they bring to us!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for the people in our lives who teach us the truth of your Word. Help us to gladly listen to them, even when their message is hard for us to hear. Most importantly we thank you for giving your life to save us from our sins. 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 do we call the book that teaches us about Jesus?
  • Name two people (not your parents) who teach you about Jesus.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • God’s Word contains law and gospel. What does the law show us? What does the gospel show us?
  • Give a reason why it’s important that we are taught both the law and gospel from the Bible?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why is Jeremiah called the “weeping” prophet? Why is Jeremiah called the “iron” prophet?
  • Evaluate yourself: Are you more “weeping” or made of “iron?” Why is it important to be both?

 

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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A Battle for the Ages – Family Devotion – March 11, 2022

Read: Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil… Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” …Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” …Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished all this tempting he left him until an opportune time.
Luke 4:1,2,4,8,12,13

A Battle for the Ages

 

Family Devotion – March 11, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 4:1,2,4,8,12,13

See series: Devotions

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

There was a time in the United States where boxing was one of the most famous sports. Your grandparents and parents could probably tell you about some of the greatest boxing matches: Ray Robinson vs. Jake LaMotta in 1951, Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier in 1974, and Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson in in 1997. These were epic battles that were all over the news.

In our reading for today we see Jesus, our perfect champion, in a battle for the ages against the devil. Knowing that Jesus is weak from 40 days in the wilderness without food, the devil strikes first. He tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread. Jesus sidesteps the attack with the Word. Next, Satan tempts Jesus to worship him. Jesus counterpunches with the Word. Finally, the devil foolishly tempts Jesus to jump off the temple and trust that angels will save him. Jesus knocks down the devil and defeats him with the Word.

This wouldn’t be the last time that Jesus and the devil would battle. An epic battle would take place on the cross. Jesus would deliver a knockout blow that the devil still hasn’t recovered from to this day!

The 40-day season of Lent provides Christians an opportunity to reflect on our battles and the crushing consequences of sin. Lent calls out the importance of repentance—to turn away from sin. This section of Scripture lays out the weapons given us to fight temptation: Jesus Christ and his Word.

When we are tempted to disobey our parents and teachers, the Bible guides us to respect those in authority. The Bible directs us to love our neighbor even when we find that to be difficult with certain people. Acts of obedience when we are tempted are not done so that we can earn special favor with God. They are ways of showing our thanks to Jesus, our champion. He fought for us. He lived a perfect life for us. He won for us!

Lent may feel a little dark and gloomy, but it is also a season of great hope. These 40 days give us time at church and at home to double-down on hearing God’s Word, to fight against temptations from the devil. Then, at the completion of our 40-day journey, we will celebrate the sweet victory of our true champion as redeemed and forgiven children of God!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Savior, you have set the example for us as we face temptations. Help us to be regular students of your Word and lead us to live our lives in a way that brings you 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

  • Who tempted Jesus to sin in the wilderness?
  • Did Jesus listen to the devil? Did Jesus ever sin?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • In what three ways did the devil tempt Jesus to sin in our reading?
  • What can we learn from Jesus’ response to each of these temptations?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why did the devil work so hard to get Jesus to sin?
  • Think of one specific way during Lent that you and your family can show thanks and gratitude to Jesus for doing everything needed for us to be saved.

 

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 Understands – Family Devotion – March 9, 2022

Read: Hebrews 4:14-16

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus Understands

 

Family Devotion – March 9, 2022

Devotion based on Hebrews 4:14-16

See series: Devotions

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

Grace would never forget the night her dad came home and told the family he had taken a new job and they were moving to Chicago. The first couple of months in her new home had been a challenge. She was having a hard time making new friends and getting used to how different everything was. Her parents and teachers kept telling her it would get easier, but she had her doubts.

Then one day Grace was paired up with a classmate for a school project. As they were talking, her partner told her she had just moved to Chicago last year. She explained that at first it was hard to adjust to a new city and school, but over time things were a lot better. “What a relief,” Grace thought, “there is someone who actually knows what I am going through.”

There is relief in being around someone who understands the challenges we face—like moving to a new a city, trying a new activity for the first time, getting glasses, or dealing with an unexpected setback.

What about those temptations we face which others don’t know we struggle with? The temptation to gossip about others, or the temptation to cheat at school, or the temptation to watch shows or videos we know we shouldn’t. These temptations can make us feel crushed and alone, with nowhere to turn.

We can find comfort and peace in knowing that Jesus completely understands what we are going through and that he cares greatly for us. While living here on earth, he experienced temptation in every way just like us.

While Jesus understands our struggles, there is one big difference between him and us. We all too often fall into sin when we are tempted. On the other hand, even though Jesus was tempted more than we can imagine, he never sinned, not even once.

During our life here on earth, we will face temptations day after day, and many times we will fail. That’s why it is important to be in God’s Word day after day. It gives us the strength to stand up to temptation and points us to God’s grace. It also helps to surround yourself with other Christians who can encourage you in your struggles and remind you of God’s forgiveness.

Remember, you are never alone. Jesus is always with you, and he did everything needed for you to be with him forever one day in heaven.

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, forgive us for the times we fall into sin when we are tempted. Give us the strength to follow your example to say no to sin and to find peace in your forgiveness. 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

  • Take a moment to tell at least two problems that you face.
  • Now name at least two people that you know can help you with your problems.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What are a couple of temptations that you struggle with?
  • Why is it so important that even though he was tempted Jesus never sinned?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why do you think it is hard for people to talk with others about temptations or sins that they struggle with?
  • How does knowing Jesus was tempted in every way just like you bring comfort?

 

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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