No More Slavery – July 21, 2019

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

No More Slavery


Daily Devotion – July 21, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 5:1

See series: Devotions

Robert Downey, Jr. is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. He’s the star of the blockbuster Iron Man movies. He received an Academy Award nomination for his film portrayal of Charlie Chaplin. He has a reputation for a strong work ethic and for being a loyal friend.

He also knows something about slavery and freedom.

For years, Downey was a slave to drug abuse. There was a cycle to his slavery. When things got out of control, he would check himself into rehab. For a time he would be clean and sober. But then he would return to the chains of his addiction. He started getting fired by directors and producers. But the cycle of slavery remained. He started getting into trouble with the law. But the cycle of slavery remained. Then he spent 12 months in a state prison. But the cycle of slavery remained.

Then it happened. He says he was at a restaurant and it finally dawned on him that, this time, he didn’t want to go back to all the awful things that his addiction had brought him. He went out to his car and threw all his drugs into the ocean. From that time forward, Robert Downey, Jr. has remained free.

Is there a cycle of slavery in your life? Is there an old pet sin that just keeps pulling you back? Perhaps it’s weekend benders. Perhaps it’s a gossiping tongue. Perhaps it’s your viewing habits on cable or online. Perhaps it’s your tendency to drift away from God’s house.

Whatever it is, don’t look for the answer inside yourself. Instead, look to the One who died and rose to set you free. Taste the sweetness of freedom and forgiveness you have in Jesus Christ. Remember the peace and security you possess in him. Turn your back on the old chains of sin. Your Savior has come. He has thrown them into the sea.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, by your forgiveness, fill me with your Spirit. Move me to see the freedom I have in you. Empower me to turn my back on my ancient chains. 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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Unity in Diversity – July 20, 2019

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:26-29

Unity in Diversity


Daily Devotion – July 20, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 3:26-29

See series: Devotions

Most schools have a certain dress code, and some even require children to wear school uniforms. The purpose of this is to create an atmosphere of equality and to keep children from competing with one another to see who can dress the most stylishly and expensively. While dress codes and school uniforms might be a good thing, it is impossible to remove everything that makes us different. Some people are tall; others are short. Some are better in school, and others are better in sports. Some are wealthy; others are poor. Some are powerful and influential, and many are everyday working-class citizens. These differences can create tension and even animosity in our lives. The poor envy the rich. The powerful often take advantage of those with less power, and those with less power sometimes complain and grumble against their leaders.

Thankfully, when it comes to our status before God, all of these differences are dissolved in Christ. In fact, our baptisms are kind of like our spiritual uniform. Just think about that for a moment. Since all of us were born into this world with a sinful nature and hostile to God, we were all the same before baptism. We all desperately needed baptism to wash us clean of our sins. Through the water of baptism connected with the Word of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we were clothed with Christ.

Because of baptism we all wear the same clothes, the clothes of our righteous Savior, Jesus Christ. This is our uniform, but even more than that, this guarantees our relationship with God. We are his children. While there might be many things that make us different, we are all the same through faith in Christ. We are all God’s dear children. All diversity is removed in this perfect unity.

Prayer:
Dear God, help me to remember my baptism every day of my life and to rejoice in the fact that because of your dear promises to me, I am your own dear child. 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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Cross Carrying Christians – July 19, 2019

[Jesus said] “Whoever wants to be my disciple must . . . take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Luke 9:23,24

Cross Carrying Christians


Daily Devotion – July 19, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 9:23,24

See series: Devotions

Is it all worth it? Is the triumph to come worth all of the trouble we face now? Is the crown of life in store for us worth the crosses that we will have to bear for confessing Christ?

Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must . . . take up their cross daily and follow me.” The cross Christ calls us to bear includes everything we endure because of our faithfulness to Christ and his Word.

It is the opportunities we miss out on in this world because we put God first in our lives.

It is the way our conscience won’t leave us alone until we find peace in our Savior’s blood shed on the cross.

It is the rejection and the ridicule we face for believing and confessing that God’s Word is changeless truth in a world that is constantly reshaping truth to fit its own desires.

It is the broken relationships and the divided families that result when those we love deny some or all of the truth of God’s Word.

It is heartache for a world and, no doubt, for people we know, who increasingly deny God’s truth.

Carrying such crosses is not an option. It is not avoidable. And we can’t do it alone. The strength to bear our crosses comes only from Christ, who carried his cross up Calvary to die for us and for every sinner.

The weight of his cross was more than we could ever imagine. It was the weight of the guilt of the whole world’s sins. But he bore that weight willingly. He lifted its burden off of you and me and was crushed under its heavy load. Because he carried that cross, we are free from guilt and free to live forever with him who rose from the dead after he atoned for each and every one of our sins.

Whenever we confess Christ as Savior, the cross comes along with it. The cross of Christ, through which he overcame sin and death for us. And the cross we bear with the strength he provides, as we follow him through this life to eternal life.

Prayer:
Savior, who bore the cross for me, help me bear my crosses as I follow 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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Self Denial – July 18, 2019

[Jesus said] “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves . . . For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Luke 9:23,24

Self Denial


Daily Devotion – July 18, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 9:23,24

See series: Devotions

Are you someone who has tried self-denial?

Maybe it was for the sake of losing weight or athletic endeavors—you denied yourself certain foods or extra sleep, or leisure time to exercise or train.

Maybe it was for the sake of loved ones—you didn’t do or eat certain things because you knew it would leave out someone else who couldn’t do those things.

Maybe it was for spiritual or discipline reasons. Fasting has long been used as an act of repentance or to sharpen mental and spiritual focus.

But the kind of self-denial Jesus expects of his disciples is a little different. To deny myself is to do the exact opposite of what my sinful nature wants to do. My sinful nature wants me to put myself first and serve myself and do only what’s best for me. Denying myself means never putting myself first.

But, my sinful nature objects, if you don’t put yourself first, who will watch out for you? If you deny yourself, who will take care of you? You have to put yourself first, at least some of the time.

But Jesus invites us to trust him. He says, “I denied myself to come and be your Savior. I put my Father’s will first as I served you in my life and my death so that the greatest thing you need is already yours. You are a child of God and an heir of eternal life!”

“And if I’ve given you that, you can be sure I will care for you in every other need you have. Because I love you perfectly, you can trust me enough to put God first in your life and to love others more than yourself.”

Self-denial is never easy. It is a constant struggle. It is a daily battle. Praise God that his Son was willing to deny himself for us. And turn to him daily for forgiveness and strength to deny ourselves as we serve him every day.

Prayer:
Prayer:
Dear Jesus, my self-sacrificing Savior, forgive my selfishness and give me strength to deny myself for you every 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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Disgraced for Christ – July 17, 2019

By faith Moses . . . regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt.
Hebrews 11:24,26

Disgraced for Christ


Daily Devotion – July 17, 2019

Devotion based on Hebrews 11:24,26

See series: Devotions

We live in a world that is increasingly anti-Christian. The truths that God speaks in his Word seem to face greater hostility every day.

Christian college students are ridiculed by peers and professors. They are mocked for believing that the world was created by God in six 24-hour days. They are marginalized for believing that the Bible is a reliable source for any truth at all.

Christians are labeled as out-of-touch and unloving for believing and promoting God’s design for marriage, family, and home.

Christian children and their parents face pressure to fill their lives with activities that leave no time for God’s Word.

For the sake of Christ, Christians are ridiculed, disgraced, and marginalized. In some places, they are forced to give up their jobs, their freedom, and even their lives for the sake of confessing the Christ of the Bible.

When Moses faced disgrace for the sake of Christ, he regarded that disgrace “as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt.” It sounds strange, doesn’t it? Who considers disgrace to be something valuable?

But think about this. Christ himself left behind heaven to be mistreated on earth. He gave up the pleasures of life in paradise to endure disgrace and death in our sinful world.

Christ endured that disgrace for our sake and in our place. Christ died for our tendency to turn our backs on him and his truth in order to avoid the disgrace of the world. Then Christ was raised to life to give us the hope and certainty that life waits for us after death too—a life of peace and pleasure, harmony and happiness, treasure and triumph.

Christ did all of that because he knew what life was like without sin and sorrow, disease and death. And he wanted us to have that. He wanted to deliver us from our slavery to disobedience to enjoy the freedom of life with him forever.

Because Christ suffered disgrace for us, we gladly and willingly endure disgrace for his sake, knowing the perfect love we see in his suffering and the freedom we have through him for this life and for eternity.

Prayer:
Thank you for enduring disgrace for me. Lead me to willingly endure disgrace for your sake. 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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Faith Looks Ahead – July 16, 2019

By faith Moses . . . regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
Hebrews 11:24,26

Faith Looks Ahead


Daily Devotion – July 16, 2019

Devotion based on Hebrews 11:24,26

See series: Devotions

Athletes endure grueling training regimens and endless hours of practice, hoping to make the team, get the scholarship, or perform at the highest level. Students work hard and spend tens of thousands of dollars to earn a degree, hoping for a rewarding career in a certain field. Parents give up so much to raise their children, hoping to help them live a healthy and productive life. We are willing to pay a great price if we think the end result is worth it.

Moses chose to live as a child of God. His choice came with a cost. It meant giving up the easy life in Egypt’s royal palace. It meant being mistreated as a slave with his fellow Israelites. It meant enduring disgrace and hardship—perhaps for the rest of his life.

But Moses “regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Moses knew the promises of God. He knew that God promised a way out of this world of sorrow and shame. God promised an eternal reward in heaven, free from pain and problems. God promised that he would give up his own life to give us eternal life with him.

Clinging to the promises of God, Moses set his sights on the far greater blessings to come. That’s what faith does. Faith looks forward. Faith in God’s promises sees what lies in the future and lives to lay hold of those priceless blessings.

Faith comes at a cost. It requires giving up whatever threatens our faith and God’s blessings. That may mean we have less money, fewer friends, and a harder life. It may mean ridicule and persecution because we follow Jesus, but what a small price to pay for the priceless rewards that Jesus has won for us.

Faith looks ahead and lives each day, focused on the eternal rewards that Jesus bought for us with his life. Faith looks ahead and lives each day, willing to give up whatever it takes to lay hold of those priceless treasures.

Prayer:
God, give me faith to live my life, looking ahead to your eternal blessings. 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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Remember Who You Are – July 15, 2019

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
Hebrews 11:24,25

Remember Who You Are


Daily Devotion – July 15, 2019

Devotion based on Hebrews 11:24,25

See series: Devotions

Moses could have been very confused about who he was. He was born in Egypt, but his parents were Israelites. At the time, the Egyptians had made the Israelites their slaves. They forced them into hard physical labor to tear them down and demoralize them.

But, through a remarkable turn of events recorded in Exodus 1–2, Moses was spared that. Instead of living as a slave, he was raised in the royal palace by the daughter of the Egyptian king. He received a royal education and the finest of everything.

Who was Moses? Was he an Israelite? Was he an Egyptian? You could say he was both. You could also say that, in being both, he was neither one.

Do you ever have that feeling? You don’t really know who you are. You don’t feel like you fit in anywhere. You feel disconnected, lost, alone, confused.

As Moses looked at his life, he didn’t find his identity in his place in the palace of Egypt. He didn’t find it in his citizenship in the nation of Israel. Our text says, “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God.”

Moses knew that he was a child of God. He was part of God’s family, a citizen of God’s kingdom. By faith, he knew he was loved by God. He knew God could deliver him from physical slavery in Egypt. But more importantly, he knew God had promised to deliver him from slavery to sin and death. And that identity was more important to him than anything.

If you come to confess Jesus as your Savior, then you too are a child of God. If you have been baptized in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then God has placed his name on you, marking you as his own.

So, whether you are feeling connected or confused, accepted or all alone, remember who you are as a forgiven, loved child of God and a citizen of heaven. Cling to that identity. Treasure it. Celebrate it. Live it.

Prayer:
Loving God, lead me to find my true identity in you each 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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Perfect Love – July 14, 2019

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”
Zechariah 13:9

Perfect Love


Daily Devotion – July 14, 2019

Devotion based on Zechariah 13:9

See series: Devotions

I have good news for you: you are in the midst of a very possessive relationship. Usually, that would sound like a bad thing. Many in this world try to “possess” the attention and affection of others—that is, to control and manipulate others for their own selfish purposes. But the possessive relationship that you are in and that I am referring to is a very good thing—it is your relationship with God.

Listen to his words from Zechariah 13:9, “I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” God is proud to possess you—to call you part of his people. Why? Because his Son, Jesus removed all of your sin and guilt by his death on the cross. You are washed clean and welcomed into God’s family. God is proud to call you his own.

And what is God’s motive in possessing you? Not to burden you with control, but to bless you with compassion. Not to restrict you with fury, but to release you from fear. Not to suffocate you with limits, but to strengthen you in every season of life. Not to use you for selfish gain, but to selflessly give you all things.

You belong to him. He belongs to you. Praise him and be at peace, for you are possessed by his perfect love!

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for possessing me and looking after my every concern! Through faith in you my worries melt away and I am showered with your blessings. The greatest blessing you have given me is your Son who died for me and took away my sins. Help me to always live as your possession! 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 Trip – July 13, 2019

I do not set aside the grace of God.
Galatians 2:21

The Trip


Daily Devotion – July 13, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 2:21

See series: Devotions

Not long ago, a Christian author by the name of Timothy Jones and his wife, Rayann, decided to take their family to Disney World. The trip would include their newly-adopted, 8-year-old daughter. The trip would also become a picture of God’s grace.

Before her adoption into the Jones family, the 8-year-old girl had come to believe that anyone’s love for her depended entirely upon her own, personal behavior. In her mind, if she didn’t behave well enough, no one would love her. Eight years of this had driven her into a quiet despair when it came to the idea of fitting into a family.

And so, when her new mom and dad announced that the family would be going to Disney World, the 8-year-old reacted in a disturbing way. She began to misbehave. Each time, however, her new mom and dad would exercise patient discipline. They would see to it that each episode was resolved, and they would assure their daughter that they loved her. Then they would move on.

Not long before the family was to leave on their trip, the daughter misbehaved yet again. As her new dad placed her on his lap to talk to her, she said, “I know what you’re going to do. You’re not going to take me to Disney World, are you?”

Her new father’s response was a pivot point. He asked her, “Is this trip something we’re doing as a family?” She nodded yes. “Are you part of this family?” Again, she nodded yes. “Then you’re going with us,” he said.

Fast forward to the end of their first day at Disney World. A different little girl has emerged. Her episodes of rebellion have faded. At bedtime, she unburdens herself with words few in number but packed with meaning. “Daddy,” she says, “I finally got to go to Disney World. But it wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.”

It wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.

Through faith in Jesus as our Savior, that is the security you and I possess in God’s forgiveness. We are not forgiven because we are good; we are forgiven because we are his.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, my whole relationship with you rests entirely upon your grace for me through faith in your Son. I am yours. You are mine. Thank you. Amen.

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

[Jesus said] “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Luke 7:47

A Fragrant Faith


Daily Devotion – July 12, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:47

See series: Devotions

Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to dinner. Jesus accepted. He entered Simon’s home and took his place at the table.

Among the attendees was a woman who had lived a sinful life. When she heard that Jesus was at Simon’s house, she grabbed an expensive jar filled with expensive perfume. Somehow, she found her way into Simon’s house. In front of all the guests, she knelt at Jesus’s feet and began to weep. As her tears wet his feet, she dried them with her hair and covered them with kisses. Then she anointed Jesus’s feet with the costly perfume.

Simon was appalled. If Jesus was a holy man, he wouldn’t let this sinner touch him.

Knowing what was on Simon’s mind, Jesus told him a story. Two men were deeply in debt to a third man. One owed a year and a half worth of wages. The other owed two months of wages. Neither of them could repay their debt, so the third man canceled the debt of both. Then Jesus asked, “Simon, which man would be the most thankful?”

Simon grudgingly admitted, “The one with the greater debt forgiven.”

Jesus then pointed to the woman and praised her fragrant faith. While Simon assumed he had little to be forgiven, the woman knew she owed Jesus a great debt. When Jesus forgave her, she poured out her heart in thanks for his extravagant love. Simon, on the other hand, expressed little love toward Jesus.

If we, like Simon, think we don’t need Jesus’ forgiveness, we are fooling ourselves and denying the truth. But if we admit our sins, Jesus fully and freely forgives us and cleanses us from our moral decay.

How then will we respond? A fragrant faith admits that we are beggars, hands over our debt to Jesus, and leaves that life behind.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you have forgiven me so much. Help me to love much. 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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We Can All Identify – July 11, 2019

Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11

We Can All Identify


Daily Devotion – July 11, 2019

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

See series: Devotions

A young man sat in church as a first-time guest. The pastor read these words of Paul, then asked for anyone who had these sins in their background to stand. At first, no one did. Then, after some hesitation, most everyone got to their feet. The young man thought, “These are my kind of people.”

Another young man stood in church as a guest speaker. He shared his story of sinful rebellion, God’s relentless pursuit, his eventual repentance and restoration, and his daily wrestle with sin. Then, someone asked him how he labeled himself. The young man replied, “I am a redeemed child of God.”

There is no difference between any of us. We can all point to a sin on Paul’s list that wants to master us. We can all say, “That was me.” We may have embraced that sin at one time, but we no longer identify with it. We are looking at that sin in the rear-view mirror. It may be closer than we would like, but by the grace of God and a life of daily repentance, it is behind us.

For we were washed. Certain household bleach may claim to remove 99.9 percent of germs. But in baptism, Christ cleanses us of 100 percent of our sin.

We were sanctified. Like the boy in the bubble, God’s protecting grace surrounds us. He sets us apart from everything that looks to disqualify us from inheriting eternal life.

We were justified. The devastating evidence of our wrongdoing is all around us. Yet because of Jesus, God sees past our sin. He focuses on his Son’s sinless life and sacrificial death on the cross and declares that we are not guilty.

You are not your sin. You are a redeemed child of God, an heir of eternal life!

Prayer:
Gracious God, thank you for my new identity in Christ. Help me daily to leave my past behind and press on toward the prize to which you have called 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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Freedom in Christ – July 10, 2019

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Galatians 2:19-21

Freedom in Christ


Daily Devotion – July 10, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 2:19-21

See series: Devotions

Positioned prominently above the gates of Auschwitz, a sign greeted the Jewish prisoners as they entered the camp. Arbeit Macht Frei: “Work Sets You Free.” It was an empty promise. They worked themselves to exhaustion, but the only escape they found was in death.

Arbeit Macht Frei is an ideal that sounds reasonable, even appealing. If we do the right things, we will have freedom and approval. But no amount of work will add up to the standard of glory that God expects from us. The only payment we receive for our efforts is death.

Jesus Christ has set us free from our dead-end existence. For us, he labored flawlessly under his Father’s law. For our salvation, he paid for our guilt on the cross with his sinless life. By faith in Christ, we are free from the law’s demands and empty promises. Rather than our own works setting us free from God’s anger, it is Jesus’ work that sets us free.

Remember this when your guilt is getting the better of you. Remember that the hard work of getting your soul to heaven has already been done, by Jesus. Then, like St. Paul, spend your life living for the one who has paid the price for your entrance through the pearly gate of heaven!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me believe that all you did, suffered, and endured you did to rescue me and set me free. In the hope of your resurrection, teach me to live in the freedom I have 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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The God of Second Chances – July 9, 2019

The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors.
2 Chronicles 33:10-13

The God of Second Chances


Daily Devotion – July 9, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Chronicles 33:10-13

See series: Devotions

Would you put a tweenager in charge of your life? An entire nation?

Manasseh was twelve when he became the king of Israel. He did a poor job. Like a rebellious preteen, Manasseh was going to be different from his father. His father abolished pagan worship; Manasseh reinstated it.

What should God do? First, he tried to reason with Manasseh. When that failed, God didn’t give up. He used tough love on the king, allowing him to be taken as a prisoner to far off Babylon. Manasseh humbled himself before God and prayed for deliverance. God heard Manasseh and gave him a second chance.

You don’t have to be a tweenager to behave like one. We don’t always do things the way our Father wants. We worship our own modern-day idols. We fall into today’s culturally acceptable sins. We ignore God’s wisdom and counsel. The issue is not how big or small our sin-debt is. The issue is, we can’t repay it.

What should God do? Should he give us a second chance? That’s not what we deserve, but that’s what he does. He is the God of free and faithful grace. Because Jesus was an obedient Son who laid down his life for our sins, God’s mercy is always new.

As we live humbly before God, confessing our guilt, and trusting in Jesus Christ as our Savior, he delivers us. He gives us better than we deserve. Rather than death, he gives us life. Rather than hell, he gives us heaven. Rather than his fury, he forgives us and gives us a second chance—over and over.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I am sorry for my sins and for Jesus’s sake, I pray: Lord, give me a second chance. 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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Confession is Good for the Soul – July 8, 2019

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.”
2 Samuel 12:13,14

Confession is Good for the Soul


Daily Devotion – July 8, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Samuel 12:13,14

See series: Devotions

David was a man after God’s own heart. But one late afternoon, David decided to follow his own heart rather than God’s.

From the palace rooftop, David caught sight of Uriah’s wife, the beautiful Bathsheba. He coveted her, called her to his palace, coerced her into bed, and got her pregnant. Panicked, David tried to cover up his affair. First, he buried it under a lie. Then, he buried Uriah so he could marry Bathsheba. David thought he was free, but for a year he was a prisoner of his own guilt.

That’s when God sent Nathan to David. Nathan told David a story. There were two men, one rich and the other poor. The poor man owned a single lamb that he treasured like a daughter. The rich man had hundreds of sheep and cattle. One day, a guest dropped in at the rich man’s house for dinner. Not wanting to give up one of his livestock, the rich man stole the poor man’s lamb, slaughtered it, and served it to his guest.

David was furious. He demanded to know the identity of the man who had destroyed another man’s family. He deserved to die.

Nathan replied, “You are the man.” Hard words. Honest words. Humbling words. God’s tough love set David free. Heartbroken, he confessed his guilt. And the Lord had compassion on him. Because of God’s promised Savior, Jesus Christ, David found spiritual freedom. The innocent Lamb of God, slaughtered in place of the many, brings spiritual freedom to every man, woman, and child held in bondage to sin.

That’s all of us. We don’t like to admit sin. We don’t want our guilt exposed. We bottle it up, bury it, and build walls around it. We think we are protecting ourselves. In reality, we are prisoners of our own making.

Confession is good for the soul. It’s the door to freedom. It gives us access to God’s love and forgiveness in Christ.

Prayer:
O God, I recognize my rebellion against you. I know that I began life full of sin. Purify me from my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart. And, restore to me the joy of your salvation. 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 Right Path – July 7, 2019

“So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. . . . I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Galatians 2:16,20,21

The Right Path


Daily Devotion – July 7, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 2:16,20,21

See series: Devotions

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is told that to get to the Emerald City she must follow the Yellow Brick Road. It’s the only path to the great and powerful Oz. There were obstacles: a wicked witch, flying monkeys, scary woods, fields of poppies. But to leave that path meant never reaching Oz, and never getting home.

We’re faced with a similar situation. God’s Word shows us the only path to heaven: Jesus Christ. It’s the good news that we’re forgiven, crucified with Christ, new men and women because Jesus lived and died in our place. There’s no “good work” that we can do to cause this all to happen or make ourselves right with God. The path to heaven, though, is littered with obstacles: false teachers and teachings; our own sinful natures that lead us to try things that we hope will get us right with God; human reason telling us that there must be something we can do, to name a few. But we must stay on the true path.

Have you been straying from the path? Have you fallen asleep in the poppy fields of your own good works? Paul says if you have, then Jesus’ death means nothing! Adding works to God’s plan rejects God’s love and empties the cross of power. But there is hope in the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, who was crucified for you!

Because of Christ, we can stop asking, “What must I do?” By faith, we ask God to see Christ instead of ourselves. This is reality: we have died to sin and the law, with Christ. Here is the center of our life—our constant comfort, joy, and hope—Jesus Christ. Him for me!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me recognize the immense gift of grace that you have dropped in my lap, through faith—eternal life, freely bought and paid for by your blood, 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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Train Ride – June 6, 2019

The gospel . . . is not of human origin.
Galatians 1:11

Train Ride


Daily Devotion – June 6, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 1:11

See series: Devotions

In September of 1876, a Civil War veteran by the name of Lew Wallace was on a train headed for Indianapolis, Indiana. He was going there to attend a soldiers’ reunion, to catch up with old comrades. On the train, Lew got into an extended discussion with a man who happened to be a prominent atheist in America.

The conversation left a deep impression on Lew. Through the years he had never taken much interest in religious matters. But now, this atheist—Robert Ingersoll—had argued against Jesus and Christianity with such fervor that Lew felt compelled to study the story of Jesus on his own.

As he researched and read, a remarkable thing happened. As the story of Jesus spoke to Lew, he came to realize this was not a story at all. Rather than some made-up tale, this was an actual account of real events. Even more so, Lew came to see how this account demonstrated that Jesus was, in truth, the very Son of God. Most importantly, through the printed word in his Bible, Lew came to faith in Jesus as his Savior from sin.

In addition, Lew’s study led to something else. He decided to write a novel set in Judea during the first century A.D. The novel is about a bitter and angry man who encounters someone the likes of whom he has never met before. He entitled his novel, Ben-Hur. The book exploded into a best-seller. Well into the twentieth century, it became the basis for the Oscar-winning film by the same name. Without reservation both the book and film declare that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Savior of the world.

All this from a train ride.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, drive me to the pages of your Word. Refresh me in the reality of who you are. Empower me by your Spirit to proclaim that you are the Son of God, the Savior of all. 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 Win Win Situation – July 5, 2019

[David said] “To you, LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: ‘What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help.’”
Psalm 30:8-10

A Win Win Situation


Daily Devotion – July 5, 2019

Devotion based on Psalm 30:8-10

See series: Devotions

Death can make us feel like the ultimate losers. As David puts it, “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit?” It seems as if going into the grave is the ultimate loss.

And for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior, that’s true. When they die, they are separated from God and all of his blessings forever. That’s the ultimate, eternal loss.

But when believers in Jesus die, they go to heaven! That’s the ultimate victory! So, for the believer, what looks to be “loss” becomes the ultimate “win.”

Does this mean that this life is unimportant? Not at all! In Psalm 30, David asks, “Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?” Well, to the human eye, no: dead people don’t praise God here, dead people don’t proclaim God’s faithfulness here. People who are alive do that. And that makes this life oh-so-valuable.

And so, for the believer in Jesus, it’s always a win-win. If I die, I go to heaven. That’s the ultimate victory. But if God chooses to extend my life here, that’s winning too, because I get the chance to know him better, and the chance to tell others about him.

It’s a win-win!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, remind me that you’ve blessed me with a win-win situation. Lead me to take advantage of my time on this side of eternity to bring blessings to others! Then take me home to heaven, giving me the ultimate victory. 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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Where is God – July 4, 2019

They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”
Luke 7:16

Where is God


Daily Devotion – July 4, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:16

See series: Devotions

“Where is God?” I wonder if the mother may have asked this question, or something similar, when her child died. Obviously, we don’t know, but it’s the type of question we humans ask. “Does God really care for me?” “If God is really love, why does he allow bad things to happen?” Maybe we don’t ask it out loud, but perhaps those sorts of ideas hover on the periphery of our thoughts.

So, where is God? This text reminds us that God came to this earth. Yes, he really, physically, actually came to this earth. Because he did so, he really understands our challenges, our joys, our struggles, our hopes and dreams. And why did he come? God came to help his people. God came to help you!

And so, be filled with awe. God cared so much about you that he came to this earth. He was willing to eat our food, breathe our air, joy our joys, sorrow our sorrows, and die our death—all to give us the spiritual, eternal help we needed. God has come to help his people! God has come to help you!

Prayer:
Remind me, O God, that you came to help me, and that you continue to help me. In Jesus’ name. 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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Crazy Talk – July 3, 2019

Then [Jesus] went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Luke 7:14,15

Crazy Talk


Daily Devotion – July 3, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:14,15

See series: Devotions

“Young man I say to you, get up.” What do you suppose went through people’s heads when Jesus said this? I wonder if it went something like this: “What? He’s talking to a dead man! And he’s telling him to get up? What kind of nonsense is this?” Might there even have been some anger? After all, wouldn’t this have sounded borderline cruel for the grieving mother?

Now, what do you suppose went through people’s heads when the young man sat up and began to talk. Oh my! Imagine how their thinking must have changed when they realized Jesus had the power to make this happen! This wasn’t crazy talk; this was power talk!

Our God has a habit of saying things which, to our sinful reason, sound “crazy.” He says, “Take and eat, this is my body . . . take and drink, this is my blood.” It sounds crazy—but it’s true because God has the power to make it happen. To think that in baptism God miraculously works faith in the heart, even in the heart of an infant, sounds crazy. But it happens, because God has the power to make it happen. The idea that God can really make ALL things work together for good sounds crazy. But God has the power to make it happen.

So thank God! Even when what God says sounds “crazy” to our sinful ears, God has the power to make it happen!

Prayer:
God, lead me to listen to and trust your powerful, empowering words. 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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Do Not Cry – July 2, 2019

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Luke 7:11-13

Do Not Cry


Daily Devotion – July 2, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:11-13

See series: Devotions

Don’t cry! Are you kidding me? The young man was dead. He was his mother’s only son. She was a widow. This was heartbreaking.

To more fully appreciate the sadness of this event, in Jesus’ day there was no social safety net. In general, widows were taken care of by their children. We don’t know if there were daughters, but the feel of the text seems to be that this was an only child. And Jesus says, “Don’t cry.” Wow! It almost seems harsh, doesn’t it?

Is it okay for us to cry, particularly in regard to the death of a loved one? Sure, it is. Even Jesus wept at the grave of his good friend, Lazarus. Death is—and will always remain—the wages of sin. Death forces us to see the reality of sin oh-so-clearly, including the reality of our own sin, and how much we deserve God’s judgment. Yes, that can lead us to cry.

And yet Jesus’ words can apply to us, too. Yes, Jesus can say to us, “don’t cry.” Why? Because he cares for us. Because ultimately life is in his hands. And, most importantly, because he has the ultimate answer to death—his resurrection and the promise of the resurrection of those who follow him.

So, yes, cry when death separates you from a loved one. But then hear Jesus say with a gentle, caring smile, “Don’t cry, my dear child, don’t cry.”

Prayer:
O Savior, dry my tears! 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 Aching Heart – July 1, 2019

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Luke 7:11-13

An Aching Heart


Daily Devotion – July 1, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:11-13

See series: Devotions

Have you ever felt so sad about something that your stomach churned, that your insides hurt? I’d guess most of us have had that feeling somewhere along the way.

That’s the thought of the Greek word translated, “his heart went out to her.” In other words, as Jesus viewed this funeral procession, his stomach churned, his insides ached. He cared that much!

And don’t forget the reality: Jesus is God. And so, we are led to an amazing truth—God cares for us humans in an amazingly powerful way. God cares for us humans so much that his insides can hurt as he sees our hurts.

It is absolutely true that God is all-powerful. It is totally true that God rules all things, that he is far superior to anything and everything in the universe!

But it is also true that our God has a heart which cares oh-so-deeply for us humans. What an amazing combination! We have a God who is all-powerful… and who cares for you and me. Take comfort in this truth this day.

Prayer:
Remind me, O God, that your heart aches 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 Castle – June 30, 2019

For you have heard of my previous way of life . . . , how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.
Galatians 1:13

The Castle


Daily Devotion – June 30, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 1:13

See series: Devotions

Christian writer Greg Elder grew up along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. As a boy he used to spend long hours building intricate sand castles on the beach. However, one year he encountered trouble. For several days in a row, local bullies came by and used their bare feet to kick down whatever sand castle he was building.

Finally, this young boy had had enough. He decided to try an experiment. He started to build a sand castle as before, only this time he included cinder blocks and chunks of concrete as part of the base.

Once again, the local bullies showed up. Once again, they raised their bare feet to kick down his castle. This time, however, their tender feet collided with something that was not going to budge. As a result, several young men limped away in pain, they retired from the castle-kicking business, and little Greg Elder’s castle remained standing.

There are times when it seems as though Christianity is like a sand castle that all kinds of feet are trying to kick down. There’s the foot of our secular society, false doctrine, and cynics. And there’s the foot of our own sinful priorities.

Before the Apostle Paul came to faith in Jesus, kicking down the castle of Christianity was what he lived to do. As he did so, he thought he was being successful. But he soon discovered that the base of the castle was never going to budge because the base of the castle was Jesus Christ.

As you and I encounter the feet of those forces that are trying to kick down the castle of Christianity, don’t be afraid. Those tender feet are no match for the rock of our salvation. The same One who washed us clean at the cross is the One who lives and rules and will not be kicked into submission by anything. The castle of Christianity will stand.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, on you, the solid rock, I stand. When the troubles of life come, remind me that I have nothing to fear when I remain 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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Sight Unseen – June 29, 2019

[Jesus] was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
Luke 7:6,7

Sight Unseen


Daily Devotion – June 29, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:6,7

See series: Devotions

It is unnerving when the power fails. Suddenly darkness becomes an all-encompassing blanket. What was once a friendly and familiar space is now filled with hidden dangers. Everything becomes a trap ready to catch its unsuspecting prey. Finally, when light and sight return, the anxiety ends. It isn’t until one has experienced “blindness” that sight is truly appreciated.

Still, there is one instance where the opposite is true. In spiritual matters, sight may have to be ignored. This was clearly demonstrated in the case of the Roman military officer who is referenced in our Bible passage today. Here was a man who took Jesus at his word. In fact, he trusted him to heal his servant without even having Jesus come to his house. He simply trusted Jesus would do what was best—sight unseen.

We do well to model our faith after this centurion’s—putting our trust completely in Jesus’ promise and his power. Trusting in his promise and power to forgive our sins. Trusting in his promise and power to help in every time of need. Trusting in his promise and power to do whatever is best for us. Trusting in his promise and power to give us eternal life.

Although we have not seen the fulfillment of these things, we can believe that they are true because Jesus has promised them, and he has the power to fulfill his every promise. What wonderful realities we can know are true—sight unseen!

Prayer:
O precious Spirit, you have brought me to faith in Jesus. Remove any weakness or uncertainty, so that I can live every day trusting in Jesus’ promises and in his power. 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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Blessed Is the One Who Perseveres – June 28, 2019

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

Blessed Is the One Who Perseveres


Daily Devotion – June 28, 2019

Devotion based on James 1:12

See series: Devotions

“Do you intend to continue steadfast in this teaching and to endure all things, even death, rather than fall away from it?”

Ginny knew the question was coming. On the last day of Bible Information Class, Pastor Schroeder had talked to them about the adult confirmation ceremony. She and a handful of others would stand before the congregation and confess their faith according to the Apostles Creed. There would be some other questions by the pastor, with pre-rehearsed answers that she and the others would give. And then they would be welcomed into membership at St. James Lutheran Church. Ginny had been looking forward to this for weeks now.

But that one question—wow! Hearing it now in front of everyone, Ginny’s heart leapt into her throat.

She was so grateful to have found the gospel, to know that God loved her enough to send his own Son to take her place. Through faith in Christ she knew her sins were forgiven, and eternal life was hers. But would she always believe so firmly as she did at this moment?

“To endure all things, even death rather than fall away from it . . .” She couldn’t help but wonder what kinds of trials would be in store for her as a Christian. What tricks would Satan use against her? Which of her personal weaknesses might lead to her downfall?

But Ginny had learned from the Bible that God’s many promises included his assurance that he would hold his dear ones close to himself. Through the gospel, the Holy Spirit would strengthen and keep her with all the other believers in the true faith. Yes, temptations would come throughout her life, but she could count on Christ to be with her through his Word and sacraments. Heaven was her home. With that in mind, did she intend to continue steadfast in this teaching and to endure all things, even death, rather than fall away from it?

Ginny heard herself saying with the others, “I do, and ask God to help me.”

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, keep my faith strong through your Word, so that I might not lose your gift of eternal life in Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Great Equalizer – June 27, 2019

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
James 1:9,10

The Great Equalizer


Daily Devotion – June 27, 2019

Devotion based on James 1:9,10

See series: Devotions

From her seat in the pew, Ginny watched the members of St. James Lutheran Church file up before the altar in groups of eight on each side. She was only a few weeks from completing the Bible Information Class and couldn’t wait to take her place next to the others.

This Sunday what caught Ginny’s eye were two men who happened to go up for Communion at the same time, kneeling next to each other at the altar rail. One was a distinguished-looking gentleman wearing a suit and tie. “Doc Greg,” they called him. She had also seen his name in the church bulletin on the list of those volunteering to help with VBS this summer. The man next to the doctor was wearing a faded denim jacket and jeans. Before the service that morning he had introduced himself to her as “Sammy.” He told Ginny that he had first visited St. James Church a few years back because of their food pantry when their family was struggling financially. But they kept coming, he told her with a grin, because here they had found Jesus, the Bread of Life. Now these two men knelt shoulder to shoulder at the Lord’s altar.

In terms of wealth, education, and social status, Christians can be quite different from each other. But the Lord’s Table is a great equalizer. Those who are in a higher position in the eyes of the world are reminded as they approach that they are no less sinful than anyone else. They too will one day die and face their Maker. This is why God commands us all to repent, humbling ourselves before a just and holy God. But the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament also point to the humble sacrifice he made for all people. Even the lowliest in this world are assured of God’s grace and love for them. In Christ Jesus, their disobedience has been paid for and their sins forgiven. All who humbly trust in Christ for salvation will rise to live with him forever when he returns to earth in glory.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, teach me to follow you in humble but confident joy in all circumstances of life. 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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