While He Is Away – May 23, 2019

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:33,34

While He Is Away


Daily Devotion – May 23, 2019

Devotion based on John 13:33,34

See series: Devotions

“There is a list of chores on the refrigerator,” says mom to the kids as she rushes out of the house on the way to work. “I expect them to be finished when I get home.” Although she is not with her children that day, her instructions are.

Jesus knew he was going away. He was soon going to return to his rightful place at his Father’s side in heaven. He wanted his disciples to know what he wanted them to be doing while he was away. He wanted them to love one another.

It would not be easy. Jesus’ disciples were sinful men—men filled with selfishness and pride, both of which are the enemies of love.

It is still not easy. Jesus’ disciples, including you and me, are still filled with selfishness and pride. Our selfishness screams at us to serve our own needs rather than others. Our pride proclaims that we are better than those around us and so they don’t deserve our love.

But then we look at Jesus. We see him hanging on a cross our sins deserve. We see him serving those who didn’t deserve a lick of his love. And, witnessing what he has done to save us from our sins and serving us in spite of those sins, we are transformed. We are empowered to serve selflessly—even those who do not deserve it. And, suddenly, we find ourselves carrying out his command, doing what he wants us to be doing while he is away—loving one another.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your selfless sacrifice and service. May they be my motivation to carry out your command. Let me love those you bring into my life this day. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Not So New Assignment – May 22, 2019

“A new command I give you: Love one another.”
John 13:34

A Not So New Assignment


Daily Devotion – May 22, 2019

Devotion based on John 13:34

See series: Devotions

Back in the old days, there was a TV show called Mission Impossible. Each episode would introduce a new assignment given to the main character on a recording. It was top secret. The recording would self-destruct after revealing the assignment. If anything went sideways, the shadowy figures who had given the assignment would disavow any knowledge of it.

The night before his death, Jesus gave his disciples a new assignment. Unlike those on Mission Impossible, this assignment isn’t a secret. It is his assignment for all of his people of all time— “Love one another!”

“But,” you might be thinking: “That’s not new. God has always wanted his people to love others.” True. When Jesus said this command was new, he meant it was being renewed. It needed to be renewed because it had been so obscured by the religious establishment of his day. They had turned their relationship with God into a system of works—doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, in order to make themselves right with God.

But we can never be right with God by trying to do the right thing or keep the commands of God. As sinners, we fall short. We stumble and fail.

Jesus came to renew, refresh, recreate, and restore our relationship with God. Jesus lived a human life, but new and improved—not sinful, but sinless; not imperfect, but perfect; not stumbling, failing, or falling, but succeeding perfectly in his life before God. Through faith in Jesus and what he has so perfectly done, we are restored to a right relationship with God. A new and improved relationship with God.

In this newly refurbished and restored relationship with God, we trust in him, not our own goodness. We look to serve him, not ourselves. Our goal is to love others, even at our own expense.

It is the same old command: love one another. But we take on this assignment as if it’s brand new. Because in Jesus, we are brand new.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for restoring my relationship with God by doing perfectly what I could not do. Continue to renew me, refresh me, restore me, that I may follow your new command in new life, with new strength. Amen.

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

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

House Rules


Daily Devotion – May 21, 2019

Devotion based on John 13:34

See series: Devotions

Every house needs house rules: a set of agreed upon rules for how people living in the house behave. For example, many families adopt the rule: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Jesus gives us the main house rule for living in his family of faith: “Love one another.” A simple rule. A good rule. It isn’t a complex set of instructions or a complicated flowchart to follow. It simply commands believers: love one another.

If only it were that simple. If only we could just hear Jesus say it, and then do it. If only our hearts and lives would simply be governed by love. If only we would lay ourselves down for each other. Unfortunately, we often love ourselves more than we love one another.

But thankfully, Jesus has broken the power of selfishness and self-centeredness. Jesus lovingly put thoughts of self aside and laid down his life for our benefit. Jesus took all our sin and guilt on himself and removed it forever when he went to the cross.

Imagine that! There is someone whose entire reason for living was to benefit you! To help you! To save you! There is someone that loves you and cares about you even more than you love or care about yourself!

With your sin and guilt taken care of, you are free to focus on loving others. You are free to love others as Jesus loves you. You are free to follow Jesus’ house rule: Love one another.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, set me free from my sinful self-love and self-centered attitudes. By your selfless love in your life and death, forgive me and help me to trust you for all my needs. Move me to focus on lovingly filling the needs of others. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The House That Love Built – May 20, 2019

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

The House That Love Built


Daily Devotion – May 20, 2019

Devotion based on John 13:34

See series: Devotions

When I was younger, I remember visiting McDonald’s and seeing a little plastic coin bin on the counter. It said, “The house that love built.” The coins would go to support the Ronald McDonald house. Love for those people, in the form of coins given, built a house for those young cancer patients and their families to stay in during treatments.

It’s not hard to love cancer patients and their families. Those are clearly people who need love, help, and support. But what about people who aren’t so lovable? What about us? We like to think of ourselves as pretty lovable. But truth be told, we do not love God as he commands. And, we do not love others as ourselves. Because of our sinful attitudes and actions, we are neither loving nor lovable.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We are the recipients of something better than coins. We get to live in the house that love built—not a physical building, but a spiritual home where we live by faith. When we were lost in sin, Jesus found us and brought us home. When we were in trouble with God, Jesus took our sins away and forgave us. When we were dead in sin, Jesus loved us, welcomed us into his family, and gave us a loving home.

Now, Jesus tells us, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Remembering Jesus’ sacrifice for you, sacrifice your own wishes and desires in order to love and serve those around you today. It will show the world that, thanks to Jesus, you live in the spiritual house that love built.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for your rich, selfless love. You loved me when I was unlovable. You gave me a loving home, where I have forgiveness from you. Teach me to love as you have loved me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Victory – May 19, 2019

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:3-5

The Victory


Daily Devotion – May 19, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 21:3-5

See series: Devotions

Individuals with dark hearts set off explosions that kill, maim, and injure dozens of people. Flooding destroys farmland and cripples a local economy. A distracted driver loses control and runs down a young student. Sometimes it seems that everywhere we turn we find destruction and heartache in our world.

What a beautiful comfort it is to know that one day that will all change. One day our all-powerful and living Savior will make everything new.

Right now, sin, death, and the devil have a firm hold on this world. We see the effects of their devastating attacks all around us. The war is fierce, and at times it certainly seems as though evil is winning. In the end, however, Jesus is victorious.

In fact, the victory has already been won. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, Satan’s power to accuse and condemn us was destroyed. His accusations are empty because our sin has been removed by the blood of Jesus. When he rose from the grave, he destroyed the power of death.

In the end, the victory Jesus won will be fully experienced by all who believe in him. In heaven, all of the evils of this world will not even be a distant memory—they will be gone forever.

We can persevere through all the hardships of this world with our eyes focused on Jesus. He has won the victory for us, and one day, he will make everything new.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, lift my eyes from the pain of this world to see the victory you have won for me. Help me to look forward with eager anticipation to the glory of my heavenly home where everything will be made new. Amen.

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

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:27,28

God Knows Who You Are


Daily Devotion – May 18, 2019

Devotion based on John 10:27,28

See series: Devotions

If you have ever had to be picked up from an airport or train station, you know that weird feeling as you walk out of the terminal into the crowd of people who are all there waiting for someone. You quickly scan the room as you search for the person who knows you. You are counting on them being there and so, for a moment, you hope that they didn’t forget, got stuck in traffic, or just didn’t show up. And there is a feeling of relief and joy when you finally make eye contact with the one person in the crowd who knows you, who is there to pick you up, and take you where you need to go.

It is easy to look at the crowds of people who make up our life and wonder, does anyone know us? Sometimes it seems that even our own close friends don’t know us, and our own family doesn’t understand us.

The good news is that as we look through the crowds of this life, we see one person who does know us—Jesus Christ. He knows who we are, and he knows our fears. He knows our strengths, and he knows our sins. He knows our past, and he knows our future.

The really good news is that, even though he knows us, he still loves us. Jesus laid down his life for us that we may have eternal life. He died and lives again to show us the full extent of his love for us. He invites us to hear his voice and to follow him.

The best part is that he has a plan to pick you up and take you where you need to go. He promises that no one will snatch you out of his hand and you will have an eternal life that will never perish.

Jesus knows you and he will take you home.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for your Son Jesus who knows me, who saved me, and who gives me eternal life. Give me faith and confidence in Jesus and help me to hear his voice and to follow him. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Lamb is My Shepherd – May 17, 2019

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Revelation 7:17

The Lamb is My Shepherd


Daily Devotion – May 17, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:17

See series: Devotions

The headlines on Easter Sunday were a harsh reminder of life in this sinful world.

Half a world away, in Sri Lanka, over 300 people died or were injured by bombs detonated by an extremist Islamic group. Moments before the blasts, the Sunday school children of Zion Church in Batticaloa all professed their undying faith in Jesus Christ.

On the same day, newspapers ran an article about the death of the Christian faith. According to a recent poll, church membership in the United States has hit an all-time low.

Do such stories surprise us? As the psalmist says, even the best of our days is struggle and sorrow. We have all had our hearts broken or our dreams shattered. It’s a good reminder for us not to build our hopes on them.

Don’t dream about what your life on earth could be; and don’t despair of what it isn’t. Put your hope in the Lamb and focus on where he is leading you. Look at the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He went uncomplaining forth to death to open the way to eternal life. In view of the joy set before him, he endured the cross, disregarded its shame, and sat down on God’s throne.

From there, the Lamb shepherds us through death to life. He leads us to the living water of Word and sacrament and invites us to drink deeply. He connects us to his death and resurrection in baptism’s water so we too may live. He gives us forgiveness in the Lord’s Supper to assure us that we shall not perish but have eternal life.

This life will inevitably bring broken hearts and shattered dreams. But because the Lamb is your Shepherd, you can leave your water bottles and tissue boxes here on earth. He is leading you to a paradise where sin and all its problems are a thing of the past.

Prayer:
Christ be my Savior in calm as in strife; death cannot hold me, for he is the life. Nor darkness nor doubting nor sin and its stain can touch my salvation: with Jesus I reign. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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What Heaven Is Not – May 16, 2019

Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.”
Revelation 7:15,16

What Heaven Is Not


Daily Devotion – May 16, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:15,16

See series: Devotions

In 2010, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Alex Malarkey became a best-selling book. Malarkey later disavowed his work, admitting that his heavenly experience was a lie.

Despite the story’s fiction, such books remain popular. People want assurance that there is something more, something better after they die. In the last 20 years, a handful of books have been written on people’s personal afterlife experiences. However, you need only trust one account of heaven—the Bible’s.

In the New Testament, two witnesses of heaven testify to its reality. The apostles, Paul and John, were blessed to see it for themselves. Interestingly, Paul who wrote so much of the New Testament, could only say that heaven was beyond words. And John mostly tells us what heaven is not, rather than what heaven is.

If all we know is an earthly existence affected by sin in every way, how else do you describe an eternity without it?

On earth, sin causes us to separate ourselves from each other. We are suspicious of those who live beyond our borders, who speak other languages, and have a different skin color. In heaven, those dividing walls don’t exist. God brings together a multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language.

The world is filled with sinful rebels. We do what we want and say what we want to get what we want. In heaven, selfishness doesn’t exist. God changes hearts so that every desire is to do his will, day and night.

On earth, we cannot stop the devastation of nature. Fire, water, wind, and earth continue to destroy lives. In heaven, God has put an end to hunger, thirst, and natural disaster.

Look past your differences, your selfishness, and those who scheme against you. Look past the problems of this world that you cannot control.

Look up and see the Lamb, who is seated on his throne.

Prayer:
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world. Have mercy on me and bring me at last to my heavenly home. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Blanched in Blood – May 15, 2019

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:13-15a

Blanched in Blood


Daily Devotion – May 15, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:13-15a

See series: Devotions

At first, we thought it was pink-eye. But the medication that the vet provided didn’t help. Our pet’s condition worsened. We took her back to the clinic. She had an ulcer on her eye. More medication. More time. There was no improvement.

We returned to the clinic. The only option was surgery. If we did nothing, she could die. We scheduled the procedure for a week’s time. Meanwhile, the vet gave us a new medication. A serum that she had made from our pet’s blood. We were to put it on the ulcer three times a day.

Seven days later, I took her in for the surgery. Three hours had passed when we received a phone call. It was the surgeon. “I’m not sure how this is possible,” he said, “but your dog’s eye is fine. I have no need to perform the procedure.” The ulcer was gone. Cleansed by the blood.

By nature, we are all born with a spiritual ulcer—sin. It makes us blind to the God of salvation. It makes us hostile to the God of love. It makes us dead before the God of the living. Nothing in this world can provide an adequate remedy. There is nothing we can do. All our scrubbing, all our striving cannot get rid of the stain of sin. We may try, but the result is always the same—death.

But we are not without hope. John’s vision of heaven shows us that there is another way. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His blood has the power to purify us. His blood alone undoes the damage and heals the disease of sin.

Whatever your troubles, whatever your trials, whatever your temptations here on earth, trust in Jesus. Heaven is filled with those who have overcome because they have been washed in his blood.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I have sinned against you. Forgive me, cleanse me from all guilt, and deliver through all tribulation by the blood of your beloved Son, my Savior. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Glory to God – May 14, 2019

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
Revelation 7:11,12

Glory to God


Daily Devotion – May 14, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:11,12

See series: Devotions

“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” English poet, Alexander Pope, penned that phrase in his poem, An Essay on Criticism. Since 1711, it has been reused by the likes of President Abraham Lincoln, Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, Indian social reformer B. R. Ambedkar, and Diane from Cheers.

The phrase refers to naïve people who attempt what experienced people avoid. By nature, that’s us. We rush into sin, ignoring the wisdom of others who have been there, seen the results, and don’t dare to try it themselves.

The angels were there with God when he lit the darkness with stars. They saw what happened when Lucifer revolted against God. And now they joyfully serve God. No one knows God better than they. But their closeness to God does not breed casualness. They fall on their faces and give all the praise, glory, and honor that God is owed.

What about us? Are we too casual with God? Do we seek glory for ourselves rather than give all glory to God? Do we demand from God that my will be done rather than humbly submit to “Thy will be done?” Do we view God’s grace as an excuse to keep behaving badly? Do we equate God’s patience with acceptance of our immoral behavior?

God, forgive us for our foolishness! And he does. The voice of our Good Shepherd calls to us each day in his Word: I give you eternal life, and you shall never perish.

Praise him—the Light of the World—who calls us out of darkness. Glorify him—the Lamb of God—who takes away the sin of the world. Trust him—the Wisdom of God—who chose you to belong to him before the creation of the world. Give thanks to him—the Mighty God—who vanquished sin, death, and the power of the devil. Honor him—the Living Water—who revives our thirsty souls.

Prayer:
Lord, keep me from rushing in where angels fear to tread. Grant that my life may echo their praise instead. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Salvation Belongs to Our God – May 13, 2019

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. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:9,10

Salvation Belongs to Our God


Daily Devotion – May 13, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:9,10

See series: Devotions

At the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus rode into Jerusalem. He was seated on the back of a borrowed donkey. He was on his way to establish himself as King of kings and Lord of all. Crowds of Jews went before and after him. They also were headed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. They placed palm branches and their traveling cloaks at Jesus’ feet. With raised voices they plead, “Save us now!”

At the beginning of Jesus’s glorious reign, John views Jesus again. He is surrounded by a great multitude. However, now Jesus isn’t going anywhere. He is seated on his throne in the heavenly Jerusalem. He has established himself as King—the Lamb who vanquished sin by laying down his life for the world and conquered death by taking his life up again.

The crowd that surrounds him isn’t going anywhere either. Their traveling days are done. These aren’t just Jewish nationals. They are people of every corner of earth, every skin color, and every language. With raised voices they proclaim: “Salvation belongs to our God.”

Are you struggling? Do you need help? You can count on Jesus. Because he is true God and true Man who died and rose again, he provides healing and hope for all who trust in him. Walk with him during your earthly life. Follow the path that he has laid out for you in his Word. When that way gets tough, plea for his help and trust his deliverance.

Your King heals diseases, feeds the hungry, raises the dead, and forgives sin. Just remember: his kingdom is not of this world, and this world isn’t your home. You are simply traveling through. From earth to eternity. From tribulation to triumph. From cross to crown. From grace to glory. Heaven is your goal. And it is worth it!

Prayer:
Lead me, O Lamb of God. I follow you. When my road gets rough, hear my plea. And accept my praise, when you deliver me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Peace that God Gives – May 12, 2019

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Revelation 7:17c

The Peace that God Gives


Daily Devotion – May 12, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 7:17c

See series: Devotions

It’s nighttime. Outside there are only peaceful nighttime sounds. But inside the young family’s house it is anything but peaceful. A tiny baby is crying—crying so loudly that everyone in the household is awake. The parents make every effort to calm the child down, to silence his crying and put an end to his tears. If only they knew the reason why he was crying, they would remove the source of pain or displeasure and wipe away his tears.

What a relief it is when a tiny baby stops crying and drifts off into peaceful sleep. Whatever was bothering him isn’t bothering him anymore.

Our Scripture reading for today speaks of a time when there will be no tears and when whatever tears were being shed will be wiped away. It speaks of heaven, where there will be no pain, no cause for fear, no reason for sorrow, and not even a reason for repentance There we will have the perfect peace that comes from the fact that all our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.

But as Christians we don’t need to wait for a future time and place to have lives filled with peace. Such lives are ours already, as followers of the Jesus. We may still wince in pain, but God is our help. We may tremble in fear, but God is our strength. Life sometimes hurts, but God is our comfort. We still sin, but Jesus is our Savior.

In this world we shed tears and may do so right up until our dying day. But though tears flow from our eyes, peace fills our hearts. It is the peace that God gives. It is the peace that comes from knowing Jesus: the helper of the helpless, the worker of miracles, the payment for our sins. God comforts us when we cry, and he will wipe away our tears.

Prayer:
Jesus, keep my focus on you as my Savior, and fill me with the peace of forgiveness for my sins that I might live in the sure hope of heaven. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Soar through Life like an Eagle – May 11, 2019

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Soar through Life like an Eagle


Daily Devotion – May 11, 2019

Devotion based on Isaiah 40:31

See series: Devotions

Life can get pretty heavy at times. A person can begin to feel like an overburdened pack mule plodding along with the weight of the world on your shoulders. Perhaps you can picture the packages you are carrying. There is the package of overdue bills on one side and strained relationships on the other. There is the package of worries at work and overdue projects at home. You may be carrying the package of meeting the endless needs of your young children or caring for an aging parent. On top of all these there can be chronic illness or clinical depression. And, as if all of these are not heavy enough, there is the guilt of thoughtless words you have said and kind deeds you did not do. You struggle from one day to the next with no relief and the weight is getting heavier and heavier. Plod…plod…plod…

Now, listen to God’s Word: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” God in heaven knows all about your burdens—your work and worry and guilt. He can carry the loads of life, whatever they are. He is the almighty Lord who never tires or grows weary. Rather than relying on your own wisdom or strength to see you through, put your hope in the Lord. He lifts your burdens off your back and frees you so that instead of plodding like a pack mule, you soar through life like an eagle.

Prayer:
Father, forgive me for how often I rely on my own wisdom and strength. My hope is in you. Today I hand over my heavy burdens to you, knowing that you are able to carry them far better than I can. Grant me the faith to spend this day soaring like the eagles. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Not an Easy Life – May 10, 2019

But the Lord said to Ananias . . . “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Acts 9:15,16

Not an Easy Life


Daily Devotion – May 10, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:15,16

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We don’t know much about Saul’s life before he took his eventful journey to Damascus. However, it seems safe to say that if Saul’s life had not changed so drastically in Damascus, his life could have been rather easy by human standards. In Jewish society, he had every advantage imaginable. Even in Roman society, he had much going for him since he was a Roman citizen.

Yet, Saul’s life after becoming a Christian was anything but easy. By his own account, Saul was whipped on five separate occasions. Three times he was beaten with rods. Wherever he went, his life was threatened. He often went without food, clothing, and shelter. Finally, he spent his last days in a Roman dungeon before being executed for his faith in Jesus. These are the kinds of things that God was talking about when he told Ananias that he would show Saul “how much he must suffer for my name.”

It may not seem fair that those who follow Jesus can expect to face difficulties in life that they wouldn’t face if they weren’t Christians. Our human logic tells us that following Jesus should make our lives easier, not harder. The reality, though, is that being a friend of Jesus means being an enemy of Satan and all his allies in this sinful world. And Satan and his allies are not known for making the lives of their enemies easy.

This, however, is no reason to become discouraged. As Jesus told his disciples on the night before he died, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus, through his life, death, and resurrection, has totally defeated Satan and all his allies. This means that we who have been joined to him in baptism also have totally defeated Satan and all his allies. Saul understood this and later wrote, “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Through faith in Jesus, we have the same confidence. When we trust in Jesus, we are strong, no matter how hard life may become.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when life becomes hard, help me always to rely on you for my confidence and strength. Amen.

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

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.
Acts 9:17,18

An Astounding Miracle


Daily Devotion – May 9, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:17-18

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When Ananias arrived at the house where Saul was staying, the Lord enabled him to be a part of two astounding miracles. The first, of course, was the restoration of Saul’s sight. Yet, immediately after that miracle another miracle took place. This second miracle may not be as obvious at first. But in many ways, it is by far the more astounding of the two. The second miracle took place when Saul was baptized.

If you have ever witnessed a baptism, you know that on the surface it looks like anything but an astounding miracle. Water is poured over someone’s head in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And when it’s all over, the only thing that looks different is that the person who’s been baptized is wetter than he or she was before.

But through that washing with water and the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is performing an astounding miracle. Later in his life, Saul (who by then had changed his name to Paul) described this miracle in a letter to the Christians in Rome: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3,4).

That is the astounding miracle that happened when Saul was baptized. In his baptism, Saul died, was buried, and rose again with Jesus. Everything that Jesus did for Saul’s salvation became Saul’s own. And that same miracle has happened to each of us who has been baptized. When we were baptized—we died with Jesus, we were buried with Jesus, we rose again with Jesus. And everything that Jesus did for our salvation became ours. That, without a doubt, makes our baptism a most astounding miracle.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I praise you for joining me to yourself in the miracle of Baptism. May I always grow in my appreciation of this precious gift. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Loving Our Neighbor – May 8, 2019

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”
Acts 9:10-15

Loving Our Neighbor


Daily Devotion – May 8, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:10-15

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Ananias knew who Saul was. He knew all that Saul had done in Jerusalem to arrest and condemn Christians to death. He knew that Saul had now come to Damascus, with the authority of the chief priests, to do the same thing. And so, Ananias was uneasy, to say the least, when the Lord told him to go to Saul and restore his sight.

Would any of us have reacted any differently than Ananias did? How easy is it for us to show love (or even kindness) to someone who has shown nothing but hatred toward us? How much easier would it be to just write that person off as someone who’s not worthy of our love?

But the Lord didn’t give Ananias the option of just writing Saul off as dangerous and not worthy of love. God had plans for Saul. Even more than that, God loved Saul. Therefore, God also wanted Ananias to love Saul. And with God’s love living in him, Ananias would be able to love Saul, even as God loved him.

Loving our neighbor is not always easy, especially when that neighbor has not shown love to us. Yet our neighbor’s lack of love does not excuse us from loving them. Regardless of who they are, God still loves them. Therefore, he also wants us to love them. And as God’s love lives in us, we also will be able to love all our neighbors, just as God in Christ has loved each of us.

Prayer:
Lord, let your love overflow through me to all those who are around me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Divine Confrontation – May 7, 2019

As [Saul] 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?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 9:3-6

A Divine Confrontation


Daily Devotion – May 7, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:3-6

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What would it take to turn Saul, the persecutor of Christians, into a Christian? Would it take a convincing debate with a prominent Christian teacher? Would Saul have to put in a lot of work researching Christianity so that he on his own could conclude that Christianity was true? I dare say that neither of those approaches would have worked in Saul’s case. He was absolutely convinced that what he believed was the truth and that Christianity was wrong. No amount of debate or research on its own could have changed Saul from a persecutor of Christians into a Christian.

The only thing that could turn Saul into a Christian was a divine confrontation. When Saul got close to Damascus, Jesus himself appeared to Saul in a flash of light and spoke to him. He confronted Saul with the reality that he truly was the Son of God. He confronted Saul with the reality of Saul’s rebellion against him. He confronted Saul with the reality of his resurrection from the dead. And in this divine confrontation, the Holy Spirit worked in Saul’s heart and brought him to faith in Jesus. Nothing short of such a divine confrontation—and nothing else besides—could have made Saul a Christian.

All who have been brought to faith in Jesus have experienced a similar, if less outwardly dramatic, divine confrontation. Through his Word in the Bible, through the water and Word of Baptism, Jesus confronted us with himself. He confronted us with the reality of who he is as the Son of God. He confronted us with his life, his death, and his resurrection, through which he rescued us from all our sins. In this divine confrontation, God the Holy Spirit worked in our hearts and brought us to faith in Jesus. Nothing short of such a divine confrontation—and nothing else besides—could have caused us to believe in Jesus as our Savior.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I praise you for confronting me with yourself and all that you have done for me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Most Unlikely of Converts – May 6, 2019

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:1,2

The Most Unlikely of Converts


Daily Devotion – May 6, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 9:1,2

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Saul of Tarsus was not a Christian. Nor did he want to be a Christian. In fact, Saul firmly believed that it was his God-given task in life to root out and destroy as many Christians as possible. To him, these “followers of the Way,” as they were called, were nothing more than heretics who had been deluded by that charlatan Jesus of Nazareth. And he was willing to go to any length, including traveling several hundred miles from Jerusalem to Damascus, in order to get rid of them.

It is hard to imagine anyone less likely to become a Christian than Saul of Tarsus. And yet, as we will see in our daily devotions this week, Saul not only became a Christian but also one of the greatest Christian missionaries of all time. Saul of Tarsus, who once dedicated his life to destroying Christians and Christianity, eventually dedicated his life to spreading the faith that he had worked so hard to destroy.

Why would God even want to bring someone like Saul into his Church? Actually, why would God want to bring any of us into his Church? Were any of us any more likely to become a Christian than Saul was? While we may not have traveled hundreds of miles to persecute Christians, the Bible makes it very clear that all of us were from birth naturally hostile to God. That natural hostility toward God made us just as unlikely to be brought into God’s family as Saul of Tarsus was.

And yet, in spite of who we were on our own and all we had done against him, God still wanted each of us to be brought into his family of believers. Just as he did for Saul, God loved us and reached out to us. And by his grace, he brought us, who along with Saul were the most unlikely of converts, to saving faith in him.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing me, the most unlikely of converts, to faith in you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Fisher of Men – May 5, 2019

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. . . . So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
John 21:7,8,11

Fisher of Men


Daily Devotion – May 5, 2019

Devotion based on John 21:7,8,11

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When I was a kid, I loved to go fishing. No matter how small the fish, I wanted to keep it just so I could pull up to the dock and show mom and dad how many fish I caught. Dad once warned me that I was going to catch every fish in the lake! “Naw, that’s impossible, dad. There are too many!” Of all those baskets of fish, I don’t think I ever came home with 153, let alone, all large ones. I could never do that.

Now, I’m older, I don’t take the time to fish like that anymore. But God has called me to be a fisher of men, women, and children, young and old, big and small. I fish for them by telling them about Jesus, their Savior. With every person who comes to trust in him, it’s plain to see another miracle of the Lord. With each person I see the Lord’s mighty power working in their hearts and lives. It’s exciting to see the Holy Spirit catch them. It’s fun to share with them that Jesus has cleaned them up perfectly. It makes me want to go back out fishing again.

As you go about your day, see the people around you. The Lord has brought them to you. Share with them the good news of Easter. Share with them the joy and excitement you have in knowing that Jesus your Savior lives. Invite them to come and hear more with you at church. Impossible? No, for Jesus is the Lord, and he is still doing miracles every day. Go fishing and see the power of the Lord!

Prayer:
Use me, Lord Jesus, to catch more people for you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Peace Be With You – May 4, 2019

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:19

Peace Be With You


Daily Devotion – May 4, 2019

Devotion based on John 20:19

See series: Devotions

We tend to think peace is something that happens when you finally have nothing to do. You’ve finished your “to do list.” Your work is finished. Ah, peace and quiet. While there is something peaceful about it, this kind of peace pales in comparison to the peace Jesus gives us. For one thing, tomorrow that “to do list” will appear again.

When Jesus appeared to his disciples alive on Easter evening, he declared peace to his disciples. They no longer needed to worry—about their future or their fate. Jesus’ resurrection assured them of his power, and his power to provide eternal life for all who follow him. There was nothing left for them to do. His perfect life and his innocent death paid the price for their sins.

So sit back tonight when your work is done for the day and ponder this peace Jesus gives you. Share the joy of this peace with others who are close to you. Bless them with the same peace Jesus gives you. “Peace be with you as you rest tonight.” Ah, that’s real peace—knowing that Jesus is your Savior, knowing that all is done, and knowing that one day you too will be with Jesus in heaven.

Prayer:
Jesus, fill my heart with your peace that I may always live in the sure hope of heaven. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Trust is the Goal – May 3, 2019

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30,31

Trust is the Goal


Daily Devotion – May 3, 2019

Devotion based on John 20:30,31

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When memoirs and behind-the-scenes tell-all’s about famous and powerful people are released, people can’t wait to discover the secrets of these incredible people. Perhaps they’re looking for scandalous details or digging to find their keys to success.

God gives us many details about Jesus’ life and ministry in the gospels (the books in the Bible called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). I strongly encourage you to read them. They’re beautiful, powerful, and life-changing.

But I warn you, while the Bible is the most read book on the planet, God doesn’t tell us everything we’d like to know. Nor is he obligated to answer every little question that pops into our heads.

God considers the information in this book incredibly important. He gives us a glimpse of himself. He opens our eyes to see some of his sacred secrets. The Bible tells us who God is, who we are, and about where we’re going.

God doesn’t tell us everything we’d LIKE to know, but he does tell us everything we NEED to know: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ—the Son of God—and that by believing, you may have life in his name.”

God doesn’t tell us everything we’d like to know. On this side of the grave, he never will. But for here and now he’s told who we are, and who he is, and what he’s done for us so we can be his again, and what that means for us in this life, and what that means for us in the next life. He does tell us everything we need to know.

And that’s enough.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for giving me exactly what I need. Increase my trust in this truth as you take care of my daily needs and as I read the Bible. Give me new life and eternal life in your name. Amen.

This week’s devotion focus on John 20:19-31 as we take a closer look at “Resurrection Trust.”

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Trust is a Blessing – May 2, 2019

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:26-29

Trust is a Blessing


Daily Devotion – May 2, 2019

Devotion based on John 20:26-29

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On Easter Sunday, believers around the world love to joyfully sing this truth, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.” But not Thomas. Thomas would have sang, “I don’t know, and I won’t believe My Redeemer Lives.” His fears and doubts got in the way. A week later, Thomas saw Jesus alive for himself. Jesus told Thomas: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

The trouble Thomas had is the trouble that followers of the Lord have had ever since. It’s hard to just believe and trust! There’s something way down deep inside us that urges us to seek proof and to believe only what makes sense to our minds. The Lord has told us over and over again not to worry—but we do! He tells us not to be afraid because he is always with us—but what scares you at the moment? The Lord tell us not to doubt or question his ways, but every time a senseless act of evil or sudden hardship happens in our lives, we wonder, “Is God in control?”

Like Thomas, you need an encounter with the living Lord! You need evidence that your sins are forgiven? You want assurance that God still loves you? You need proof that God’s promises are true for you?

Every day, approach Jesus who daily says, “Peace be with you!” Put your hand over his pierced side. Feel his hands and his feet. Taste and see that the Lord is alive and good, powerful to save, and abundant in love and mercy. He asks us to believe without seeing the future and to trust his plan for our life.

Prayer:
Jesus, we humbly and wholeheartedly believe you to be our Lord and God! Thank you for being so trustworthy and faithful to all your promises. Strengthen my weak faith to trust in you always. Because today, I KNOW that my Redeemer lives! Amen.

This week’s devotion focus on John 20:19-31 as we take a closer look at “Resurrection Trust.”

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Trust and Forgiveness – May 1, 2019

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
John 20:21-23

Trust and Forgiveness


Daily Devotion – May 1, 2019

Devotion based on John 20:21-23

See series: Devotions

A father is about to hand the keys to his 16-year-old for the very first time. After last-minute instructions about buckling up and checking the rear-view mirror, he hands over the keys with a bit of reluctant hesitation. Why? He knows keys come with power and require responsibility.

A living Jesus confidently tossed a set of keys to his disciples. “It’s all yours,” he says, “I give you the keys to my kingdom.” There are earthly keys to a car, house, shed, boat, or bank vault. The keys Jesus gives are just as real, yet so powerful, they open and close heaven itself.

Heaven doesn’t have doors of wood or metal, but Jesus has the opening and closing of heaven in mind when he hands off two keys with these instructions, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” One key locks. The other unlocks. One key opens the door of heaven to the person hurt and devastated by the consequences of their own wrongdoing. That person then looks to Jesus and cries, “Lord have mercy on me!” The other key locks the door to a person still tied to their wrongdoings because they are not sorry for their sins. That person never looked to Jesus and asked for forgiveness.

What a powerful set of keys given us by a resurrected, all-powerful Savior! You have Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, too. Every time you say, “I forgive you,” you are speaking Jesus’ words and believing that Jesus untied you from your sins. His death paid for your freedom! His resurrection proves you are truly forgiven! And should you ever be forced to lock up forgiveness, may love for that person be your only motive—a serious warning, a sincere, loving call to repentance

Handle the keys of the kingdom carefully, my friends! Forgiveness is a spiritual power that brings spiritual consequences. Never forget the amazing mercy and grace of God who chose to forgive our sins in his Son and never tires of saying, “Peace be with you!”

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for unlocking heaven’s door! Help me be mindful of the power that comes with these keys. No matter how big my sin, your forgiveness is bigger. Increase my trust in the forgiveness only you can and do give. Amen.

This week’s devotion focus on John 20:19-31 as we take a closer look at “Resurrection Trust.”

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

After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
John 20:20

Trust and Joy


Daily Devotion – April 30, 2019

Devotion based on John 20:20

See series: Devotions

Emotions are contagious. You’ve probably noticed this as you’ve journeyed through life. Someone “woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” They walk into a room and quickly sour the mood of everyone there. Meanwhile, another person bubbles with happiness. You find yourself feeling happy too. Why? Because emotions are contagious. Studies show this same thing. Moods can move through rooms, homes, organizations, and even cities.

Jesus’ followers were filled with sadness and fear. They had run away from Jesus in his hour of need. Jesus had been killed and buried. You can imagine the depressing mood in that room—shared and intensified by their mutual loss and guilt.

Suddenly the mood changed for the disciples, their tear-filled eyes saw Jesus. The one who had been dead was alive! The one they had run away from had come to them. Jesus was there, alive! What else could they feel except joy!

For you and me, joy starts with seeing Jesus. The sight of freshly-pierced, nail-scarred hands and feet show us who he is and what he’s done to cover sin’s cost. It’s not until you see that—not a teacher with wounds, or a man with wounds, but to know that GOD had wounds for you! Such a sight melts our hearts! Now we know our sin, guilt, and shame have been taken away. With that good news, what else can we feel except joy!

The disciples would not stay cooped up in that room behind locked doors. They would share their joy with friends and neighbors near and far away. May Jesus fill your heart and life with nothing but joy today! Share that joy!

Prayer:
Jesus, many things in my life try to rob me of the joy you give me. No matter what hardships I experience, Increase my trust and joy in you. Bless me with the opportunities and the heart to share your joy with others. Amen.

This week’s devotion focus on John 20:19-31 as we take a closer look at “Resurrection Trust.”

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Trust and Peace – April 29, 2019

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:19

Trust and Peace


Daily Devotion – April 29, 2019

Devotion based on John 20:19

See series: Devotions

Fear rattles your heart. I don’t know the particular things that scare you. But fear has this unsettling ability to change our plans and keep us awake at night.

Jesus’ disciples were afraid. Their leader and close friend died. He was the one they hoped would be the long-promised Savior. Their hope died with him. Afraid, they wondered, “Are we next?” Fear rattled their hearts as they hid behind the locked door.

But they couldn’t hide from Jesus. He knew exactly where they were and how they were feeling. Suddenly, Jesus stood among them. Their friend, their Savior, their Lord—he was alive! Their reasons for fear melted like snow on a hot spring day.

Jesus said to them: “Peace be with you!” Jesus didn’t just wish peace for them. Jesus proclaimed and gave peace to his formerly fear-filled friends. Only he could give the kind of peace which quieted their souls and strengthened their faith. Because Jesus said, “Peace be with you,” it changed everything! His resurrection guaranteed his peace can be trusted.

Jesus now gives this peace to you. He wants you to know the kind of peace which quiets the soul and removes fear. No matter how the circumstances of your life may change, Jesus’ resurrection and the peace he gives does not change. When the peace of God enters our hearts, the storms of life are not removed, but the presence of the risen Christ removes our fear of them.

Jesus lives! Trust and enjoy his peace!

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for showing so clearly and repeatedly that you rose from the grave. Increase my trust in you. Increase the peace that you can and do give to me. Amen.

This week’s devotion focus on John 20:19-31 as we take a closer look at “Resurrection Trust.”

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

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