Do Not Miss the Boat – November 13, 2019

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 1:8

Do Not Miss the Boat


Daily Devotion – November 13, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Thessalonians 1:8

See series: Devotions

Many Christians have heard, and perhaps have even told, the fictional story of the man who finds himself on a deserted island. He prays asking God to save him. A boat suddenly appears, and the captain invites the castaway to safety. But he refuses the offer because he’s waiting for God to save him. When a rescue helicopter and airplane pilot issue the same invitation, both times the man refuses. He’s waiting for God to save him. When the man inevitably dies, he is heard complaining that God didn’t save him, to which the Almighty replies, “What do you mean? I sent a boat, a helicopter, and an airplane. What more did you want?”

The story is a bit corny but also insightful because it teaches an important biblical truth. God saves through means.

What does that mean? It means that God doesn’t normally save people in flashy, miraculous ways. Instead, he saves us through the gospel, the good news of salvation communicated by ordinary people through his ordinary Word and simple sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. No lightning. No thunder. Not even a boat, helicopter, or airplane! Just simple means of grace—Word, water, bread, and wine—all vehicles of his saving love. If you’re waiting for something else, don’t hold your breath. Nothing else is coming.

But what more could we want or need? In his Word, God assures us of his perfect and unconditional love and forgiveness in Jesus (John 3:16). In baptism he washes us with water and his Word, making us holy and perfect in his sight, “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). Through the Lord’s Supper, he feeds our faith under bread and wine with the body and blood Jesus offered on the cross “for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). These are God’s rescue vehicles, sent in abundance to ensure our salvation, now and forever.

So, don’t miss the boat—the boat of God’s Word and sacraments. They are here to save you.

Prayer:
Jesus, open my eyes to recognize the work of your everlasting 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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Worth the Wait – November 12, 2019

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
2 Thessalonians 1:6,7

Worth the Wait


Daily Devotion – November 12, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Thessalonians 1:6,7

See series: Devotions

Most of us hate to wait. Patience is going out of style in our fast-paced world. We want it all, and we want it now.

But some things are worth the wait, aren’t they? Like that newborn baby that takes nine months to grow in mommy’s belly. A pregnant mother might have days when she wants that baby out—now! But when she finally holds her little baby in her arms, she has to admit it was worth the wait.

That’s also true of God’s salvation and his judgment, both of which will be seen in their final, perfect form on the day Jesus returns from heaven.

If you are suffering like the people to whom Saint Paul was writing, that day can’t come soon enough. They were suffering unfairly, not because of what they had done but because of who they were: simple Christians who had placed their faith in Jesus’ saving love. Nothing more. Paul promised them that someday God would “give relief to you who are troubled.” But for now, they needed to wait.

We sometimes suffer unjustly, too. We wonder where God is with his salvation and judgment. Doesn’t he see? Isn’t he just? Won’t he rescue me?

God’s reasons for waiting aren’t always clear. But this much we know, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Did you notice who God is waiting for? He’s waiting for you and me! The good news is “he is patient with you” and with me. He doesn’t want to see anyone perish. He “wants all people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4).

But that often means we need to wait because to God’s way of thinking, saving people from sin and death forever through Jesus is worth the wait.

Prayer:
Jesus, help me patiently endure the wait for your perfect salvation and judgment, as I cling forever to your saving promises. 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 Full Story – November 11, 2019

All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
2 Thessalonians 1:5

The Full Story


Daily Devotion – November 11, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Thessalonians 1:5

See series: Devotions

Things aren’t always what they seem. The Antiques Roadshow proves it.

If you’ve ever watched that show, you’ll know that people often bring an item that looks like junk for appraisal. I wouldn’t give them a dime for it, but the expert tells the owner, “You could expect to fetch at least $20,000 for this at auction.”

Often these appraisals are not based on the intrinsic value of the object itself. No one needs a $20,000 flower vase! Instead, the value is found in the object’s story: Where and when it was made, who owned it, etc. In order to know something’s value, you need to know the story behind it.

That’s also true when it comes to God’s judgment. People are tempted to make snap judgments about his judgment. They conclude his judgment is unfair, unloving, and unconcerned for those who stand under it. But they don’t know the full story.

Consider a comparison from everyday life. When a concerned father promises to punish his son if he does something dangerous, it has nothing to do with craving revenge. The father takes no joy in the thought of having to hand down punishment. Instead, his words proceed from a loving heart. On the outside, he may seem unfair, unloving, and unconcerned. But that’s because you don’t know the full story. The father loves his son and wants to keep him safe.

So it is with God’s judgment—even his promise of eternal punishment—springs from a heart of love and concern for sinners. He wants to get our attention because, the truth is, he also “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). He sent his Son to be “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He desires mercy, not sacrifice (Matthew 9:13). In his heart of hearts, he is our loving Savior, not a cold-hearted judge. And that is the full story.

Prayer:
Jesus, help me recognize your love even in your judgment. 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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Be Still – November 10, 2019

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:10,11

Be Still


Daily Devotion – November 10, 2019

Devotion based on Psalm 46:10,11

See series: Devotions

I was studying in my dorm room at the seminary when one of my roommates walked in with a stunned look on his face. He asked if I could drive him to the hospital. He explained that his fiancée had been in a car accident. She and her younger sister had been driving to the hospital to visit their father who was dying of cancer when the accident occurred. Her sister did not survive. It is difficult to imagine a more tragic situation.

After a few hours at the hospital, I dropped my friend off at his future in-laws’ house. He was exhausted. I will never forget what he said to me. “Be still, and know that I am God.” The Holy Spirit had brought these powerful words from Psalm 46 to his mind in the hour of his greatest need. He could not possibly imagine why the Lord would have allowed such a tragedy to occur. He was completely powerless to fix it or make it all better for his fiancée and her family. All he could do is be still…and remember that God was in control.

What a difficult thing to do! We are so convinced that we are in control of our lives, that we are masters of our own fates. But…we…are…not. There is only One who is in control. There is only One who is God. And we are not he.

But that is alright. It is better than alright. It is a sigh of relief to our anxious hearts. Who better to be in control than the One who loved us enough to give his one and only Son to live and die for our sins? Who better to be in control than the One who conquered death when he rose from the grave?

Whatever burdens your heart this day, whatever causes you anxiety or worry or stress—be still, and know that the LORD Almighty is God. And he loves you; he forgives you; he cares about you. And he is all the God you will ever need.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, when I begin to believe that I am the master of my own fate, remind me that my times are in your hands. Give me the courage to be still and know that you are God. 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 Forgives and Forgets – November 9, 2019

“No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Jeremiah 31:34

God Forgives and Forgets


Daily Devotion – November 9, 2019

Devotion based on Jeremiah 31:34

See series: Devotions

Are you forgetting things more than you used to? Do you find yourself staring at someone you’ve known for years but, for the life of you, you can’t remember her name? Do you walk into a room and then wonder what you came there to do? We all forget from time to time, some of us more and some less, but forgetting is a reality of the human condition.

Forgetting is not, however, a reality of God’s condition. God cannot forget because God is all-knowing. God knows everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen. This is what makes Jeremiah 31:34 so amazing. God promises that he will both forgive and forget our sins. In other words, he will treat us as if we had never committed a single sin. He can do this because Jesus already paid the price of all sins by his death for us.

Whatever sin is troubling you, whatever guilt is burdening you, whatever memory is haunting you, forget it. Leave it behind. Leave it at the foot of the cross where it belongs. Go into your day free and filled with joy because God forgives and forgets.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus thank you for erasing my sin from God’s mind. Let my life today reflect how thankful I am for this great 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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Pointing People to the Truth – November 8, 2019

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31,32

Pointing People to the Truth


Daily Devotion – November 8, 2019

Devotion based on John 8:31,32

See series: Devotions

Every January 20th we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a great social reformer who exposed the wickedness of racism by leading the United States to more fully express its founding principles of equal rights for all humans.

Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was named after another great reformer? The original Martin Luther was a pastor in Germany who lived about 500 years ago. Martin Luther reformed the church by exposing the false teachings that had crept into the church and returning God’s people to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith.

Every October 31st we remember the day when Martin Luther began the movement to reform the church by publishing a document called the 95 theses. These theses, or statements, uncovered the corruption in the church, pointing people back to the Bible as the true authority for all our teaching and practices.

Martin Luther was a courageous leader who stood up for God’s truth no matter what the consequences. We still need courageous leaders who will point people to God’s truth. Jesus told us that if we hold to his teaching then we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. The truth about Jesus’ forgiveness sets us free from guilt and shame. This frees us to serve others, giving our lives true meaning and purpose.

You may not think of yourself as a courageous leader. But, like Martin Luther, you can point people to Jesus and his truth. And you can be sure that the truth will set those people free.

Prayer:
Lord God, use me to point people to the truth so that the truth might set them free. 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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Why We Worship – November 7, 2019

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. . . . For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Jeremiah 31:31,34

Why We Worship


Daily Devotion – November 7, 2019

Devotion based on Jeremiah 31:31,34

See series: Devotions

Why should we go to church? Everything we get at church we can get online, right? I can Google great sermons. I can put together the perfect playlist of worship songs. So why should I go to a building, when I can get all the biblical information I could ever want on the internet?

That is a legitimate question. You can get all sorts of great biblical information online. But attending a worship service is much more than gaining information. At worship, you will be surrounded by fellow Christians. It might just be the only time during the week that you are not in the minority. The value of this cannot be overestimated. We become like those with whom we gather.

Worship is also where God confirms his covenant with us. The heart of this agreement is found in the book of Jeremiah, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” God upheld his side of the agreement by sending Jesus to pay for all our sins. We are reminded of this every time we worship as the pastor announces that our sins are forgiven. What a blessing! It is no wonder we want to be in worship so that we can hear those sweet words.

It is true that there are plenty of great spiritual resources online. But God has designed our weekly gatherings to deliver his forgiveness uniquely through worship. So where are you going to worship this week?

Prayer:
Lord God, thank you for the gift of the Church. Lead me to gather with other believers so that I might receive your forgiveness and be strengthened to live 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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From the Heart – November 6, 2019

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Jeremiah 31:33

From the Heart


Daily Devotion – November 6, 2019

Devotion based on Jeremiah 31:33

See series: Devotions

Going to the pool used to be quite stressful for me. I felt like I spent all my time reminding my kids of the pool rules. I’d yell, “Stop running by the pool! You are going to get hurt.” They would walk for a moment, but sure enough, the next time they got out of the pool they would run to the other side.

It’s much better now. My kids are older and they seem to understand that if they run, they can slip and fall and hurt themselves. They don’t need external reminders because they internally understand the reasons for the rules.

In a certain sense, this is what it means to be a New Testament Christian. Before Jesus came, the Old Testament believers behaved like my young children. They needed lots of rules and reminders. And even when God sent special prophets to point them back to the written code of God’s law, they still slipped back into their old rebellious ways.

But the prophet Jeremiah looked forward to the day when God would do something new. The prophet spoke of a day when the Lord would establish a new covenant with his people. He would write his laws in their minds and their hearts. God’s people would no longer need all the rules and reminders to follow him because they would be his mature sons and daughters.

Jeremiah’s words have come true. Jesus has come and made us right with God. He sends his Holy Spirit to us so that we might follow him internally, from the heart.

Call upon the Holy Spirit to show you Jesus and the power of his love. Ask him to lead you in the process of maturing in your faith, so you would follow him.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, live in me that I might live as a mature follower of Jesus. Write God’s precious laws on my heart and give me the desire and strength to follow them. 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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Division – November 5, 2019

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:22-24

Division


Daily Devotion – November 5, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 3:22-24

See series: Devotions

The United States seems to be more divided than ever. We are divided politically, socially, racially, and economically. All this division has made us hostile and judgmental. Just turn on your TV, look at your Facebook feed, or read the editorial column in your local newspaper, and you will hear angry voices defaming their opponents.

How does God’s Word respond to all this division?

God responds by clumping all the different groups into one group. He says, “There is no difference . . . all have sinned.” God does not divide people based on their politics, social views, race, or finances. He puts everyone into one category. All are sinners.

At first, that might seem depressing. You might be thinking, “There is nobody who does good, not even one, really?”

But keep reading.

The writer of these words, the Apostle Paul, continues, “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” When Jesus died, he died for the sins of the whole world. All humanity has been declared “not guilty” in Jesus. Not everyone believes they need his forgiveness or have his forgiveness. But, because Jesus accomplished it, his forgiveness is there for them.

If we embraced what God says, our world could be a much better place. If we believed that all people are sinners, including ourselves, we wouldn’t look down on other people. If we believed that God had mercy on them all in Jesus, then we might begin to have mercy on them as well.

So, when you find yourself adding to this world’s hostility and division, remember that you are no different than anyone else. You are a sinner just like them. When you struggle to care for someone with opposing views, love them with the same love that Jesus showed you on the cross. After all, we are all equally sinners and equally saved.

Prayer:
Lord God, forgive me for the times I was judgmental and looked down on others. Lead me to love others just as you have loved me in Jesus Christ. 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 New Covenant – November 4, 2019

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.”
Jeremiah 31:31

A New Covenant


Daily Devotion – November 4, 2019

Devotion based on Jeremiah 31:31

See series: Devotions

The Bible can be hard to read for many reasons. For one thing, it sometimes contains unfamiliar words. One of those words that keeps coming up in the Bible is “covenant.”

So, what is a covenant? And why does it matter?

A covenant is an agreement between two individuals or groups. It’s like a legal contract where both groups sign on the dotted line and promise to uphold their end of the deal.

The surprising message of the Bible is that God made a covenant with his people. He wanted to partner with them.

In the second book of the Bible, God made a covenant with the nation of Israel. He agreed to bless them and make them into a great nation while they agreed to obey his laws. Unfortunately, the Israelites broke their side of the agreement almost immediately and the nation unraveled like a runaway ball of yarn.

We can relate. We have made promises to follow what God says. We said we were going to love him and love people. But almost immediately we found ourselves breaking our promises.

That’s why we need to hear the comforting words of the prophet Jeremiah. He said that God was going to make a new covenant with his people. It wasn’t going to be like the old covenant, where the people promised to hold up their end of the agreement.

No, this time, God was going to make a covenant where he fulfilled all the requirements of all his laws. That’s what the story of Jesus is all about. Jesus came into this world to fulfill all of God’s commands on our behalf. Then he died to receive the punishment we deserve for breaking God’s covenant. This new covenant is a one-sided covenant. God simply forgives our sins for Jesus’ sake, period. What a gift! What a God!

Prayer:
Lord God, thank you for your new covenant and for the peace and forgiveness it gives. 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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Wrong Turn – November 3, 2019

No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Romans 3:20

Wrong Turn


Daily Devotion – November 3, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 3:20

See series: Devotions

The name of Leopold Loyka is not a household name. Nevertheless, Leopold Loyka is the man who made one of the most consequential wrong turns in human history.

Leopold was a chauffeur and a prestigious one at that. His job was to serve as the official driver for a high-ranking official from Austria, a man by the name of Franz Ferdinand. In June of 1914, Ferdinand decided to visit Sarajevo, a city that harbored hostility toward Austrian rule. As Leopold drove the car through the city with Ferdinand as his passenger, he made a wrong turn. When he stopped to correct his mistake, it so happened that he passed directly in front of a man who very much wanted to see Franz Ferdinand dead. The man seized his chance and shot Ferdinand to death.

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria was the spark that started World War I. World War I, in turn, set the stage for World War II. In all, 77 million people perished. And it all began with a wrong turn.

There is another wrong turn in human history that has even greater consequences. It is the false assumption that we can make our own way into God’s favor. It is the false assumption that we can chart our own course into a right relationship with God. Such thinking is not only wrong-headed and self-absorbed; such thinking also has consequences that are fatal, and eternal.

Enter Jesus. Jesus did far more than chart a safe course. He created a path where none had existed. The path was himself. He alone was the way. As our substitute, he lived and died on our behalf. Through faith in him, God’s favor is ours, forgiveness is ours, peace is ours, life is ours. And not just for a while, but forever.

Through faith in Jesus, we will one day arrive safe and sound in our heavenly home.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, forgive all of the wrong turns in my life—all of the times I have turned away from you. Turn me again and again toward you until I see you face to face in the heaven you are preparing 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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Suffering for the Gospel – November 2, 2019

[J]oin with me in suffering for the gospel.
2 Timothy 1:8

Suffering for the Gospel


Daily Devotion – November 2, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 1:8

See series: Devotions

Tour guides in Rome will describe what the Apostle Paul’s dungeon was like—the dungeon he lived in as he awaited execution. Many think that it was like an empty cistern in the ground, with only a hole in the top for light.

So picture Paul at the bottom of that dungeon. He’s alone. He’s cold. He knows he is going to die. Then the Holy Spirit moves him to write one final letter, a letter to his friend Timothy. From the darkness of that pit, the living and enduring Word of God comes to Timothy. And across the miles and centuries, that same Word comes to you and me.

Among the many extraordinary things that Paul includes in his last letter is this: “Join me in suffering for the gospel.” As Paul considered all that the Lord Jesus had done for him, he was gladly willing to suffer for the sake of standing up for the Good News of Christ.

You and I live in a society that, to a great degree, has gotten used to avoiding pain and inconvenience at all costs. For this reason, it’s easy for us to go on automatic pilot and avoid standing up for the gospel if doing so involves any discomfort or trouble. Such abandonment of our Lord is wrong. It’s sin. And deep down we know it.

So look to Jesus again. Come to him in repentance. Be washed clean in his blood. Then, as a forgiven child of God, recognize the opportunities you have every day to join with the Apostle Paul. Perhaps it is remaining faithful and Christlike during a difficult stretch in your marriage. Perhaps it is refusing to fill your conversation with complaints about your physical aches and pains. Or perhaps it is accepting ridicule because you are open about your Christian faith.

Just remember. In light of what Jesus has done for you, suffering for the gospel is not a burden. It is a sweet privilege.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, in you I am forgiven. In you I have life. Empower me to endure any trouble for the sake of serving as a witness 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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Teach Believe Love – November 1, 2019

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13

Teach Believe Love


Daily Devotion – November 1, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 1:13

See series: Devotions

It’s a great blessing to have Christians in your life who know the pattern of sound Christian teaching and who pass it on. Some of what the Bible says matches your conscience, but most of it does not come naturally. It has to be taught and learned, and nothing is more valuable. For example, when someone teaches and shows you how to make forgiveness in Jesus a main focus of your life, you appreciate it because of the tremendous comfort it brings.

You also appreciate it when Christians in your life demonstrate their faith in Jesus. It’s especially helpful to see them in action during the difficult times. They are sure of the promises of God even when it’s not easy to see how God will keep those promises. The confidence of believers is reassuring when everyone else seems to be panicking.

Along with passing along Christian teaching and demonstrating faith in Jesus, we are also blessed when our fellow Christians demonstrate the love God has placed in their hearts. Nothing makes life more pleasant than people who love you. Christians in your life reflect the love of Christ Jesus and love you even when you don’t deserve it. You can teach the truths of the Lord, and you can believe his promises, but those two very valuable things ring hollow to other people if you do not demonstrate love to them.

Christians around the world celebrate November 1st as All Saints Day, remembering all of the people who lived Christian lives and died in the faith. What is the best way to honor them?

Teach. Believe. Love.

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 551)
For all the saints who from their labors rest, all who their faith before the world confessed, your name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia! 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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You Will Suffer – October 31, 2019

Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
2 Timothy 1:8,9

You Will Suffer


Daily Devotion – October 31, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 1:8,9

See series: Devotions

It’s Reformation Day! Other holidays are being celebrated today around the world, but for the next few moments, we will concentrate on Reformation Day.

October 31st is the day over 500 years ago when a German man named Martin Luther nailed a sheet of paper to a church door in the city of Wittenberg. The piece of paper invited people to debate what the Bible said about a number of religious topics.

Some of the positions that Martin Luther took in that invitation to debate were not real popular. He talked about repentance and forgiveness through faith in Jesus rather than through traditions of the church. He noted that some religious leaders of his day offered a false peace, while real peace was found only through Jesus. He said that God saved us because of grace, not because of our own good works. He insisted that God wants us to live holy everyday lives, and we don’t need to have a special position in the church to do that.

Holding to those truths of the Bible got Martin Luther excommunicated from his church and declared an outlaw by his government. But he was not ashamed of the gospel. He continued to teach and preach what the Bible said, and people around the world called for reform of the church. That’s why it’s Reformation Day!

Will you suffer today if you insist that Jesus is the only way to heaven? People are going to call you intolerant. Will you suffer if you insist that holiness comes through faith in Jesus and not through the traditions of a church? There are people injured and dying today somewhere in the world because they dare to confess that.

Do not be ashamed of those who suffer. Join with them in confessing the truth. You’ll suffer, but God will provide his power, and it will be worth it.

Prayer:
Lord God, be my mighty fortress when I suffer for speaking your truth. 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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Keep on Forgiving – October 30, 2019

[Jesus said] “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Luke 17:3,4

Keep on Forgiving


Daily Devotion – October 30, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 17:3,4

See series: Devotions

The key to a Christian life is so simple and yet so difficult. People are going to sin against you. They are going to treat you poorly, they are going to think of themselves before you, and they will be oblivious that they have done anything wrong. What do you do then? Jesus says to lovingly rebuke them.

You are going to treat others poorly—sometimes obliviously, and sometimes, you have to admit, on purpose—because you are thinking of yourself. What do you do when they call you out? Repent. Tell them that you are sorry for what you have done.

When you rebuke people—calling them out—and they respond by saying, “I’m sorry” or “I repent,” what is your next step? Forgive them! It’s so hard. You want to teach them a lesson, and you don’t want to get hurt again, but Jesus is very clear here. “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

How do you forgive them when it gets difficult? Think about how God has forgiven you even when you don’t deserve it. God does that because of what Jesus Christ has done, and that’s the same place you get your strength. Think about what Jesus Christ has done—for you and the other person—and forgive that person because of Jesus.

It’s so simple! It’s so difficult. But it is the key to living a Christian life. God bless your efforts to forgive others as you have been forgiven.

Prayer:
Dear Father, forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. 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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Revealed by the Resurrection – October 29, 2019

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
2 Timothy 1:9,10

Revealed by the Resurrection


Daily Devotion – October 29, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 1:9,10

See series: Devotions

God always planned to love us even when we didn’t deserve it. He called that “grace,” and even before he created the world, he knew how he was going to square that grace with his perfect justice. He was going to do that through the work of Christ Jesus.

Jesus lived an absolutely perfect life, which no other human being had been able to do. But instead of taking the heaven that he deserved, he took the death and hell that we deserve. He gave eternal life in heaven to everyone who believes in him, plain and simple. We call that grace because we don’t deserve it.

God told his people about this grace for thousands of years after the creation of the world. But it was not until Jesus’ appeared that God’s plan was fully revealed. Jesus destroyed death by coming back from it, and he promises that everyone who believes in him will do the same. The good news that we will not stay dead, but instead will rise again, body and soul, is called the gospel.

Anyone can make promises, but by rising from the dead, Jesus showed that God could deliver on his promise. Now you can be confident that you will rise too. It’s not a mystery any more what happens after death. The truth has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior.

Prayer:
Lord God, we praise you for your grace, given us in Christ 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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Really No Choice at All – October 28, 2019

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

Really No Choice at All


Daily Devotion – October 28, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 6:23

See series: Devotions

Let’s say your employer gives you a choice. At the end of the week, you can receive what you have earned, or you can receive something that your employer has chosen as a gift instead. Which do you choose?

You might be tempted to take what you earned. After all, you have earned it. But then you remember that your employer told you to get a project done, and you aren’t even close to finished. Suddenly you’re not so sure that it’s smart to take what you have earned.

But will your employer’s gift be any better? It depends on who your employer is, doesn’t it? If you trust that the gift will be something good because your employer is good, you’re more likely to go that direction. If you’re not sure you can trust your employer, you will be suspicious of the gift.

God says that without him at the end of life you will be paid for what you have done, and since you have sinned, the wage you receive will be death. When God mentions death, he’s not just talking about the separation of soul and body. He’s talking about eternal separation from him.

But God has a gift for you. That gift is eternal life with him in heaven. You have that gift only through Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus earned that gift for you by living a perfect life—without sin—and then taking the punishment for your sin when he died. Through faith in Jesus, you have his perfect life credited to your account. It’s a gift, and it comes with the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life in heaven.

Thank God he has promised not to give us what our sins have earned. Thank him that he has chosen instead to give us the gift of eternal life.

Prayer:
Lord God, thank you for the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 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 Lord is Near – October 27, 2019

The LORD is my light and salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

The Lord is Near


Daily Devotion -October 27, 2019

Devotion based on Psalm 27:1

See series: Devotions

A man was walking down a very dark and unfamiliar road late at night. His car had broken down and he decided that he would go for help. Clouds blocked any light from the sky. It was pitch black.

As he walked, he gingerly took each step hoping to stay on the road. Suddenly, he slipped off the edge and found himself falling. Certain that he was falling to his death somewhere below, he desperately reached out for something to break his fall. His hand found a bush growing from the side the hill and he hung on for dear life.

His calls for help were in vain. His arms grew weaker by the moment. He was tired and afraid. As his grasp slipped and he began to fall, he thought he was going to die. A moment later, however, his feet landed on the soft grass below. Safety had been only inches away. If only he had let go sooner! He could have avoided all that effort, stress, and fear.

As we face the troubles and dangers of life, we often forget that help is close by. But “the LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18). Worried about your sins? Afraid of death? Concerned about the future? Don’t be. Your Lord and Savior is always there for you. Don’t be afraid! Just let go! Put your trust in the Lord!

Prayer:
In this world, I am constantly surrounded by dangers. But with you at my side, Lord, I need never be afraid. Teach me to turn my troubles and cares over to you. You are my help and my 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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Contentment – October 26, 2019

If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:8

Contentment


Daily Devotion – October 26, 2019

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6:8

See series: Devotions

There’s an old story from India about a man by the name of Ali. Ali had a huge acreage full of orchards and crops. He was deeply satisfied and content with his farm. That all changed, however, when the possibility of owning a diamond mine overpowered him. Ali sold his farm and used the money to explore areas considered to have great potential for diamonds. Eventually, he spent himself into poverty, and in despair, he took his own life.

Years later, the new owner of Ali’s former farm was leading an animal to the farm’s brook for a drink. As he stood there, he saw something shimmering in the water. Diamonds. The man had just discovered what came to be known as the diamond mine of Golcanda, one of the most famous diamond mines in history.

The tentacles of our sinful nature can often get us to think and act like Ali. We don’t know the treasure we already possess. We search elsewhere. But our searching only leads us away from the one place we never should have left.

Thank God that our treasure is not some shiny rock in a stream. Thank God that our treasure is our living and active Savior from sin—someone who pursues us when we stray, brings us to repentance, washes us clean, and takes us home.

Some food, some clothing, and the treasure of Jesus Christ. What else do we need?

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you are my treasure. You are my life. Forgive my sins of dissatisfaction. Fill me to the brim with contentment. 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 Amazing Message – October 25, 2019

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets.’”
Luke 16:29

An Amazing Message


Daily Devotion – October 25, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 16:29

See series: Devotions

Richard was homeless. He would stand on the side of the street holding a sign that said: “Laid off 2 long, anything helps.” One day, a woman named Kenyada stopped to talk with Richard. He told her that he lost his job and would just like enough money to get his phone turned back on so places he had applied for a job would have a way of reaching him. Kenyada drove him to the store and paid his cell phone bill for the next two months. When Richard’s phone was charged and turned on, he saw that he had a message. It was a job offer. It was a wonderful day for Richard. And the message that made it so wonderful was there the whole time, just waiting for him to discover it.

In the story Jesus told about a rich man who went to hell and a poor man who went to heaven, Abraham told the rich man where his still-living brothers could find an amazing message—the message of God’s love for them and his will for their lives. It was a message that would tell them how they could avoid ending up in the terrible eternity their brother was experiencing. The message could be found in the words of the Bible.

The poor man in Jesus’ story knew all about that message. Although his life had been filled with suffering and pain, the Bible told him that his Lord promised him an eternal life without any suffering or pain. And that is precisely what the Lord gave him when his life ended.

The Bible has the same message for you. Through faith in Jesus—the one who delivered you from your sins and promises you heaven—you can look forward to an eternity of peace and joy. If you ever find yourself doubting it, go back to the Bible and read his promises once again. The message of his love and forgiveness is always ready and waiting for you there.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for all that you have graciously given me through Jesus. Give me a faith that trusts all that you tell me about him in your word. 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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Repent – October 24, 2019

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “No, Father Abraham, he said, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”
Luke 16:29,30

Repent


Daily Devotion – October 24, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 16:29,30

See series: Devotions

There is a place in Mexico called the Crystal Cave. It’s an underground cave that has crystals that are up to thirty-six feet long and worth up to twenty-one thousand dollars per pound. This means that this cave is worth more than most countries in the world today. It’s a pretty valuable place. But there’s something you should know about the crystal cave before you decide to walk in. It’s one hundred thirty-six degrees Fahrenheit inside, which means you can die from the heat in as little as fifteen minutes. Once you see the cave, you can’t get too attached to it. You need to turn around and walk away before it’s too late.

In a sense, that cave illustrates what it means to repent. To repent means to turn around and walk away from our sins. Just as it is vital to turn around and walk out of the Crystal Cave before it’s too late, it is vital that we turn and walk away from our sins before it’s too late.

But repentance means more than turning away from our sins. It also means to turn toward our Savior. It means trusting that Jesus has done everything necessary to earn forgiveness for our sins. And it means relying on him for eternal life.

Sadly, the rich man in Jesus’ story failed to repent before his life ended. May the same not be true for us. As we hear and read God’s Word in the Bible, may it help us to see our sins, turn from them, and trust in our Savior so that we might arrive one day in a paradise even more marvelous than a cave full of crystals.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am sorry my heart so often craves earthly treasures that I know I will lose one day. Have mercy on me and help me to treasure the forgiveness you have already given 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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God Is Paying Attention – October 23, 2019

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus.”
Luke 16:19,20

God Is Paying Attention


Daily Devotion – October 23, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 16:19,20

See series: Devotions

A teacher once gave her students the assignment of drawing a picture. “If you could be anything in the world,” she said, “what would you be?” As she was going through the pictures, she came across one that surprised her. One little boy had drawn a picture of a cell phone. She thought that was strange, so she called him to her desk and asked why he wanted to be a cell phone. “Because if I were a cell phone,” he said, “then my mommy and daddy would pay attention to me. They would hold me and talk to me, and they would even be excited if I accidentally interrupted them.” This little boy was feeling overlooked in his own home.

The account of the rich man and Lazarus reminds us that God does not want his redeemed children to feel the same way. We find that reminder when we consider something we know about the beggar and something we don’t know about the rich man.

We know the name of the beggar. His name was Lazarus.

We are never told the name of the rich man. He is simply called the “rich man.” Jesus identified him by how the man chose to identify himself—by his earthly wealth.

But Lazarus found his identity and comfort in something else. While his body was hurting on earth, his soul found rest in his loving God and in the promise that God would not overlook him when it came time to welcome his children home.

Your loving God will not overlook you either. He knows you by name. He proved his love by the sacrifice of his Son for your sins. Because of this, you can trust that when your time in this world comes to an end, he will call you home to heaven.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for seeing my need for a Savior and for meeting that need. May my soul forever find rest in the assurance that you know me by 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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God Cares – October 22, 2019

(Jesus told his disciples), “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered in sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table . . . The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.”
Luke 16:19-22

God Cares


Daily Devotion – October 22, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 16:19-22

See series: Devotions

Lazarus went to heaven after he died. But his life here was anything but heaven on earth. And everyone could see how much he was suffering. He was poor, hungry, and covered in sores. He was not a pretty sight.

Are you suffering as you travel through this life? If you are, do the people around you know? Or, are your sufferings far less visible than those of Lazarus? When someone asks how you’re doing, do you say “fine” even when you’re not? Do you hope that’s enough to compel them to move on to their next conversation so that they never get the chance to hear how lonely you often feel; how guilty you feel about something you’ve done wrong; how busy you keep yourself so you don’t have time to think about parts of your life that are broken; or how strongly you believe that, if your life was as fully exposed in front of everyone, you wouldn’t blame anyone for running away in the other direction?

Whatever you might be suffering, and no matter how hidden your suffering might be, know that Jesus knows all about it. And he does not run away from you. Instead, he points you to a cross where his sacrifice guaranteed that one day, like Lazarus, your soul will be carried to paradise.

May the promise of paradise in the next life provide peace in the midst of suffering in this life.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, you gave up so much, even your own life, to build paradise for me in heaven. Help me to be patient as I wait for the day my own eyes will see it. 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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Live the Good Life – October 21, 2019

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’”
Luke 16:19-25

Live the Good Life


Daily Devotion – October 21, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 16:19-25

See series: Devotions

A few years ago, a dog in China made headlines. His owner, the son of a Chinese billionaire, bought him eight brand-new, recently released cell phones. This means Coco’s owner spent about $9,500 to buy his dog cell phones she will never use.

Coco is the kind of dog the rich man we read about in Luke 16 may have had. He wasn’t missing a whole lot of anything. He spared no expense and could get anything.

Lazarus, on the other hand, had a constantly empty stomach, was dirt poor, was covered in sores and his best friends were the dogs who came to lick his wounds.

Whose life would you rather have? You can only answer that question properly when you consider how each of their lives ended.

Despite his great wealth on earth, the rich man ended up in “Hades, where he was in torment” and “agony.”

But Lazarus was “comforted” after he died because perfect comfort in heaven is exactly what Jesus promises all who believe in him.

During their lives on earth, it looked as though the rich man had everything and Lazarus had nothing. But, in reality, it was the other way around. Because Lazarus had a relationship with the true God, he had everything—including eternal life in heaven—while the rich man had nothing and spent his eternity separated from God and all of his blessings.

Whether you are rich or poor in this life, knowing and trusting in Jesus your Savior means you have everything, including eternal life in heaven. May this encourage you to stay close to him here until you are with him in the hereafter.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, may my whole life always focus entirely on you and your love 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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A Sure Anchor – October 20, 2019

Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.
Psalm 146:5,6

A Sure Anchor


Daily Devotion – October 20, 2019

Devotion based on Psalm 146:5,6

See series: Devotions

How would you like to take a trip down Niagara Falls?

The mighty Niagara River plummets some 180 feet at the Falls. Yet farther upstream the river’s current flows gently and boats are able to navigate. Anyone who floats lazily from the gentle upstream waters toward the falls will notice a sign that says, “Do you have an anchor?”

It’s a rather interesting illustration of life. You can be floating along gently, everything going swimmingly when you are suddenly plunged into the choppy rapids of problems or pain. Perhaps you even shoot over the falls of a major life crisis. You find yourself broken and alone.

This is when it is so important to have an anchor—someone or something to hold on to. In your loving God, you have just that. The writer of Psalm 146 says, “Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.” You are blessed because he is the maker of heaven and earth. He has the power to deliver you from whatever has caused you to crash. Hold on to him for dear life!

Prayer:
Lord God, you are my anchor, my hope in every adversity. Thank you for your promise to remain faithful to all your promises. Use those promises to comfort me when I crash. 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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