Adopted – June 2, 2021

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
Romans 8:15-17

Adopted


Daily Devotion – June 2, 2021

Devotion based on Romans 8:15-17

See series: Devotions

Zinnia is adopted. Her parents did not give birth to her. But legally, they are her parents, and she is their daughter. In fact, she is as much her parents’ daughter as any of her parents’ other children are. And even though she shares no genes with any of the other children in her family, she is their sister, and they are her siblings. Legally, there is no difference between Zinnia and any of her siblings. She has the same rights as any of her parents’ other children. Her parents love her the same as they love all their other children. And when her parents die, she will be just as much an heir as any of her siblings will be.

Zinnia’s adoption beautifully illustrates the relationship that all who believe in Jesus have with their triune God. When we were born, we were not God’s children. Instead, we were children of the devil. That meant we were outside of God’s family. We were separated from all the blessings that come from being a member of God’s family. And on our own, we had no hope of ever becoming members of God’s family.

But all that changes when God the Holy Spirit brings a person to faith in Jesus. When the Holy Spirit leads someone to trust in Jesus as their Savior, God adopts that person into his family. Through faith in Jesus, they become God’s children, and God becomes their Father. As God’s children, they now have Jesus as their brother. And as Jesus’ siblings, they are now just as much heirs of God as Jesus himself is.

What a wonderful promise the Bible makes. Rejoice and take comfort in it this day.

Prayer:
O triune God, help me always appreciate your willingness to adopt sinful children like myself into your family. Amen.

Daily 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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Overwhelmed – June 1, 2021

“Woe to me!” [Isaiah] cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Isaiah 6:5-7

Overwhelmed


Daily Devotion – June 1, 2021

Devotion based on Isaiah 6:5-7

See series: Devotions

Isaiah was completely overwhelmed when he saw the holy God. But it wasn’t just God’s all-surpassing greatness that overwhelmed him. He also was overwhelmed by the greatness of his own sin.

In the bright light of God’s transcendent holiness, the extent of Isaiah’s sinfulness was painfully apparent. There was no hiding it. There was no excusing it. Isaiah knew what he deserved from the holy God because of his sins. He knew that he deserved to die and fully expected that he would.

But then one of the angels went to the altar, the place of sacrifice in the temple, and took from it a live coal. He flew to Isaiah, touched his mouth with the coal, and said to him, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Sinful Isaiah could not remove his sins from himself. However, the holy God could. And he did. He bridged the gap between himself and Isaiah and removed from Isaiah all his sins.

In the bright light of God’s transcendent holiness, the extent of our sinfulness is also unavoidably obvious. There is no way we can hide it. There is no way we can excuse it. Like Isaiah, we deserve to die, not just physically but eternally in the hell God has prepared for those whose sins separate them from him.

But God sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to the altar of the cross to sacrifice himself for all our sins. The blood Jesus shed on the cross has now touched not only our lips but our heads and hands and feet and souls. Our guilt has been taken away. Our sin has been paid for. In Jesus, the holy God has bridged the gap between himself and sinful us. In Jesus, the triune God has removed from us all our sins.

Prayer:
O triune God, I praise you that in Jesus you have removed from me all my sins. Amen.

Daily 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 Triune God Is Holy – May 31, 2021

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
Isaiah 6:1-4

The Triune God Is Holy


Daily Devotion – May 31, 2021

Devotion based on Isaiah 6:1-4

See series: Devotions

Entering a church is meant to be a comforting experience. But imagine that one Sunday, you approach a church and see that the entire building seems to be shaking as if it were experiencing an earthquake. Hesitantly you open the front door and are immediately enveloped in clouds of smoke. At the front of the church, you see God himself seated on a lofty throne. The train of his robe fills the entire sanctuary. Around him fly six-winged angels, who themselves are so overcome by God’s greatness that they’re using one pair of wings to cover their faces and another to cover their feet. And in your ears resounds this chorus from the angels: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

How would you feel if you experienced something like this? When the prophet Isaiah had this experience, he felt completely overwhelmed. He was overwhelmed by God’s holiness.

To be holy means to be completely set apart. It means to be transcendent. As we witness God’s revelation of himself to Isaiah, we can’t help but see his holiness. God is on a level all his own in every possible way. No one comes close to matching his power. No one can ever begin to approach his glory. Everything about him is perfect. Even the angels, as glorious as they are, reverently avert their eyes when confronted with the holy God.

All this leads us to approach our holy God with similar reverence. We may not see our holy God with our physical eyes each time we enter a church. But he still is seated on his high and lofty throne. He still is transcendent and set apart. The angels in heaven still are shouting his praises. And we join our voices to theirs, exalting our holy God.

Prayer:
O holy triune God, I praise you for your greatness. Amen.

Daily 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 Heroic Deed – May 30, 2021

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:12,13

A Heroic Deed


Daily Devotion – May 30, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:12,13

See series: Devotions

Battlefield bravery—a soldier gives up his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. We hear of medals being awarded for such behavior. The soldier is part of a team, bonded by common goals and motivated by respect and love for his comrades. Such acts are rare events in our world.

The soldiers whose lives were saved remember the heroic deed the rest of their lives. Wouldn’t we do the same?

Someone did die to save our lives—someone by the name of Jesus Christ! In our case, though, there were two significant differences that take the sacrifice far beyond anything else that has taken place here on earth. Jesus died for all the people who ever lived on earth. Everyone was a sinner; all had broken God’s commands. Each of us by our nature was not a friend of Jesus. We were the enemy. What kind of love is it that would have Jesus die for his enemies?

And what about the effect of Jesus’ death for us? He did not die to lengthen our life here on earth. By his death, Jesus gave us eternal life. He turned us from enemies into friends. Jesus took our sins on himself so that we can spend eternity with him in heaven. To that end, we look forward. For here and now, we hear his command: Love each other as I have loved you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me this day to be willing to selflessly love the people in my life the way you selflessly loved me when you paid for my sins on the cross. Amen.

Daily 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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Breaking A Heart of Stone – May 29, 2021

Create in me a pure heart, O God, . . . A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psalm 51:10,17

Breaking A Heart of Stone


Daily Devotion – May 29, 2021

Devotion based on Psalm 51:10,17

See series: Devotions

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. So goes the saying. And so it went with King David. One day his heart turned in lust to the wife of another man, and David fell hard. Not only did he commit adultery, but he also tried to cover up his sin with another sin—murder. Then he carried on as though nothing had happened, which also added to his guilt.

Looking back on his state of impenitence, David later wrote: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3,4).

The knowledge of his sin and punishment deserved from God weighed heavily on David’s spirit. But God was merciful to him and broke his heart of stone. The Lord sent his prophet Nathan to call David to repentance, and through that call, he changed David’s heart again.

Like David, we need to have our sin-hardened hearts broken each day as we repent of our sins. And we flee to God for his mercy, his unfailing love, and his great compassion. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God loves us and forgives us daily.

Prayer:
Let us pray with David: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Amen. (Psalm 51:10,12)

Daily 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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Ordinary People – May 28, 2021

Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?”
Acts 2:7

Ordinary People


Daily Devotion – May 28, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 2:7

See series: Devotions

The Bible tells us about a very special day shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven called Pentecost. On that day, the Holy Spirit of God gave Jesus’ followers the ability to speak in languages they had never learned so that they could tell the thousands of visitors in Jerusalem all about Jesus and what he had done. When they did, the Bible says that the people who heard them speaking were amazed. They asked, “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?” These were not college-educated, multi-lingual, highly-skilled orators. They were blue-collar, callous-handed, working-class men. They were fishermen, like James and John. They were tax collectors, like Matthew. They were quick to talk and act but sometimes slow to think, like Peter. They were normal people. They had flaws and fears just like you and me.

Isn’t this comforting to know? God can do amazing things through ordinary people. People like you. It may not be speaking in a language you have never studied. But it might be speaking a word of encouragement to a co-worker, or a word of warning to a wayward teenager, or a word of comfort to a friend.

Why would God use someone like you to do something so important? Certainly not because you are such a deserving messenger. Just like Jesus’ disciples, you are sinful and flawed. But, just like Jesus’ disciples, you have a God who loves you and sent his Son to save you from your sins. That same God can now use you to serve him and the people he has brought into your life. Aren’t you utterly amazed?

Prayer:
Dear Lord, give me a heart that loves all people, as you love all people. Use me, an ordinary person, to serve the people you have brought into my life. Amen.

Daily 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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Help Me Lord – May 27, 2021

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Acts 2:21

Help Me Lord


Daily Devotion – May 27, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 2:21

See series: Devotions

The operator answers: 9-1-1, What’s your emergency? When people dial 9-1-1, they are calling for help. “Someone broke into my home! My house is on fire! There’s a bad accident on the freeway! I don’t know what to do. I can’t fix this. Please, come and help!”

But, whom do you call when you need spiritual help? When you are thinking, “I can’t do this alone, Lord. My guilt is too big. I’ve made a mess of my life. I’ve made so many mistakes—how can I possibly stand before you, O Lord, when my life is over? I need you, Lord. Please, come and help!”

There is only one person you need to call on when you need spiritual help—only one person who can help when you need spiritual help. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, your guilt is overwhelming but remember, Jesus paid for your every sin on the cross.

Yes, you’ve made a mess of things, at nearly every turn; but remember, Jesus was perfect at every turn and in every moment of his life. He did that for you.

No, you can’t possibly stand before the Lord when your life draws to a close, not in the filthy rags of your own accomplishments or morality; but remember, Jesus paid your debt! He canceled your sin! He made you right with God!

When you next find yourself struggling spiritually, when you know you need help, remember today’s Bible reading, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Prayer:
O Holy Spirit, come to me with your Word of comfort. Help me to see Jesus as my only Savior and to love him with all my heart. Amen.

Daily 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 Work of the Spirit – May 26, 2021

[Jesus said] “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:26

The Work of the Spirit


Daily Devotion – May 26, 2021

Devotion based on John 14:26

See series: Devotions

The Bible teaches that there is only one God but that he exists as three separate persons. It is a profound mystery we can never fully comprehend. The Bible calls these three persons the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

In our Bible reading for today, God the Son promised that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to bless his people. So just what would the Holy Spirit do?

He wouldn’t die on the cross; Jesus had already done that. Instead, the Holy Spirit would use that cross to convict the hearts of men, women, and children—this is what your sins have done! And he would use that same cross to console and comfort—this is what the Son has done for you! He’s paid your debt!

The Holy Spirit wouldn’t go from town-to-town preaching and baptizing; Jesus had already commissioned his disciples to do that. Instead, the Holy Spirit would be the power behind every word of truth the disciples would speak and write. The Holy Spirit would work through and in every baptism and every sermon.

The Holy Spirit wouldn’t change water into wine or feed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and fish. Jesus had done that. The Holy Spirit would instead perform different kinds of miracles. He would give new life to those dead in sin. He’d supply trust and faith where there had previously been unbelief and doubt. He would impart comfort and hope where there had been shame and despair.

What would the Holy Spirit do? Exactly what he does today. Whenever and wherever God’s Word is proclaimed, the Holy Spirit is regularly and repeatedly delivering love and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit does exactly what Jesus said he would—he is reminding us of everything Jesus has said and done.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, keep my eyes focused on Jesus; help me to know him better. Amen.

Daily 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 Wind Still Blows – May 25, 2021

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. . . . All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:2,4

The Wind Still Blows


Daily Devotion – May 25, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 2:2,4

See series: Devotions

In the hours after Jesus’ death, his closest followers were laying low, hiding behind locked doors. They were afraid, doubting, discouraged, and defeated. Then Jesus appeared to them. They were overjoyed but still not understanding everything completely. They needed extra teaching and tutoring. So Jesus promised to send a teacher, the Holy Spirit. That promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.

Now filled with the Holy Spirit, those disciples who once cowered were preaching in public. Those slow-to-understand students had become the teachers and, as a result of their teaching the gospel, 3,000 people believed that day. Those disciples who had haphazardly scattered when Jesus was arrested weeks earlier, now had become the very leaders, who in an organized fashion, scattered missionaries to share the gospel and save countless souls throughout the world.

But here’s a nightmarish thought: Imagine if that wind never blew that day and the Holy Spirit never came to teach and tutor those disciples. Imagine if the disciples stayed huddled in their room. Doubting, discouraged, and defeated. Imagine if those 3,000 people never heard the good news about Jesus and those missionaries were never sent to the far corners of the world.

Thank God that’s not what happened. Thank God the wind did blow, and the Holy Spirit did work powerfully on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit still works powerfully whenever and wherever the Word of God is proclaimed.

When your sins press hard and life’s challenges press even harder, go to where the wind blows. In other words, open up the Bible and read. Attend a worship service and listen to the preaching of the Word. The Holy Spirit will be there too. He’ll be teaching and tutoring you, just as he did the disciples.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, whenever I read your Holy Word, fill me with understanding. Strengthen my faith. Make me strong to do your will. Amen.

Daily 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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Life Changing Moments – May 24, 2021

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. . . . All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:2,4

Life Changing Moments


Daily Devotion – May 24, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 2:2,4

See series: Devotions

Big, life-changing events can happen in a moment. Most tornadoes, for instance, last less than ten minutes; but in those short moments, a lot can happen. On May 22, 2011, at 5:34 P.M. a tornado touched down just west of Joplin, Missouri. Thirty-eight minutes later 8,000 buildings were destroyed, 1,000 people were injured, and 161 lives were lost.

Some of us know what it’s like to lose just about everything. In a moment, the flames, floods, or fierce winds can take away our possessions. In a moment, a doctor can click on that bright X-ray panel and our life can change. In a moment, that seemingly harmless temptation can snap its jaws around us like a bear trap and before you know it, we’re getting comfortable with attitudes, using words, or walking down paths no child of God ever should.

Bad, destructive things can happen in a moment. Good, beautiful things can happen too. On that first Pentecost, it happened very suddenly. There was a sound of a violent wind and the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. They in turn began telling others about the wonders of God and within moments, many other people were also filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has used some special people and special moments in our lives to introduce us to Jesus and enable us to put our trust in him. What a moment it is when the sign of the cross is made on the head and heart when a child or adult is baptized into God’s family. What a moment it is when a youngster sits on grandma’s lap and hears about the Savior’s love. What a moment it is when a weary soul comes to Jesus for rest, when the sin-laden conscience is assured that Jesus has taken away all sin.

Even as you read or listen to this devotion, the Holy Spirit is working in your heart to calm and comfort you. What a wonderful moment!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, as I approach this day, help me to value every moment you give me. Amen.

Daily 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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Promise of Peace – May 23, 2021

[Jesus said] “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:25-27

Promise of Peace


Daily Devotion – May 23, 2021

Devotion based on John 14:25-27

See series: Devotions

The words of a loved one can cause anxiety. Let’s say someone close to you says something like, “I am leaving soon. I am going to suffer, and I am going to die. Here are some specific things I want you to do.” Do you think you might have a little anxiety?

Jesus said those things to his disciples. He told them he was leaving. He told them he was going to suffer and die. And he told them that they would have a very specific job, repeating the things that he had told them. The disciples had anxiety; their hearts were troubled.

But Jesus did not just cause anxiety. He also relieved it. He told the disciples that after he was gone, the Holy Spirit would prompt them to remember what he told them—with no mistakes. After the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, the disciples would be able to preach and teach and write the New Testament of the Bible confidently, knowing that the Holy Spirit was making sure that every word was correct.

Jesus also relieved anxiety by telling his disciples that his suffering and death would bring peace and confidence. He would not remain dead. He would rise from the dead, proving that everything he said was true and showing that God continues to be in charge of this world.

God’s love for you in Christ Jesus gives you peace and takes away fear. You can also speak words that take away anxiety for your loved ones. Because of the peace that you have in Jesus, you are able to speak words of forgiveness to them. Because you know that the Bible is true, you can speak the truth to them in love.

When your heart is troubled, when you feel anxious, Jesus promises you peace.

Prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Amen.

Daily 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 On Your Side – May 22, 2021

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty).
Acts 1:15

God Is On Your Side


Daily Devotion – May 22, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 1:15

See series: Devotions

On the day of his ascension into heaven, Jesus told the disciples that they would be witnesses concerning him and that they were to do so in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

We learn from today’s Bible verse that right after Jesus’ ascension, the number of believers was 120. It sounds like an impossible task for the good news about Jesus to go so far with such a small group.

But the Bible assures us that God is the almighty One, the Maker of heaven and earth. God is the One who rules the winds and waves. God is the God who parted the Red Sea, who turned water into wine, who fed thousands with just a few loaves and fish. That is who God is!

How often we forget, doubt, or fail to appreciate this. We find ourselves fretting and worrying, getting stressed and anxious. Why? Have we forgotten that God is all-powerful? And even more importantly, have we forgotten that God loves us?

Remember that the same powerful God who could do all those amazing things loved us enough to go to the cross for us, to win forgiveness for us. Jesus, the true God, died for you. You are forgiven and loved—loved and forgiven by the all-powerful Ruler of all things.

And now it is that all-powerful God, the God who can accomplish the impossible, who is on your side!

Prayer:
O Almighty God, remind me that you are the all-powerful One. Use your power in the way that’s best for me and for all of your people. In Jesus’ saving name I pray. Amen.

Daily 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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Forgiveness – May 21, 2021

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Acts 7:59,60

Forgiveness


Daily Devotion – May 21, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 7:59,60

See series: Devotions

Reginald Denny was a delivery driver. One day his normal route through Los Angeles was flooded with rioters. He stopped his 18-wheeler so that he wouldn’t hit any people. But that’s when the trouble started for him. Rioters pulled him out of his semi, beating him to the point of unconsciousness and leaving him so badly damaged that he needed years of rehabilitation just to walk again.

Witnesses were able to identify the people who did this to him. The incident went to trial, but all the charges were dropped, except one felony count against one of the attackers who was given credit for time already served. After hearing that his attackers would go free, Reginald Denny went over to the mother of one of his attackers, reached out his arms, and hugged her. A few months later, Reginald was a guest on a talk show, where he looked one of his attackers in the eye and forgave him. His attackers destroyed so much of his life. Yet, he wanted them to know that he did not hold it against them.

Stephen wanted his attackers to know the same thing. His dying words were a prayer that God would forgive the men who used stones to destroy his body and life.

And why would he want his attackers to hear such a thing? Because that’s what Jesus had said to those who crucified him. “Father, forgive them,” Jesus prayed, as he carried the weight of the whole world’s sins and died, giving every sinner, even those who pounded the nails in, the right to walk through life knowing they are forgiven.

You are forgiven.

Whatever regrets refuse to leave your mind, whatever you did that fills your heart with guilt, whatever line you crossed, whomever you hurt, or whenever you chose not to help—you are forgiven.

This is why Stephen died at peace and faced death with confidence. He knew he was eternally protected with the same forgiveness Jesus won for you.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of undeserved forgiveness in Jesus. Amen.

Daily 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 Impact of Faith – May 20, 2021

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at [Stephen], dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 7:57,58

The Impact of Faith


Daily Devotion – May 20, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 7:57,58

See series: Devotions

I wonder if Stephen was surprised when he saw Saul walk into heaven.

Saul was the name of a young man who was there when Stephen was killed for his faith. He didn’t try to stop what was happening. He approved of it. He held the coats of those who were throwing stones at Stephen and later hunted for other Christians he believed deserved persecution for their faith. As Stephen closed his eyes on earth for the last time, this young man named Saul was someone who wanted nothing to do with Jesus and someone we may have even voted as ‘least likely to be in heaven one day.’

Yet, this Saul is the same man who eventually became a disciple of Jesus, helped establish Christian churches throughout the world, and wrote 13 books in the Bible. Many today know him not as Saul but as the apostle Paul. It was a direct confrontation with Jesus that finally opened Saul’s eyes of faith. But as Saul looked back on the day Stephen died, he no doubt remembered a powerful example of what faith looks like. It is difficult to imagine that Stephen’s witness did not make a difference in Saul’s life, even if Stephen never saw that difference during his life on earth.

That’s the way it is with a Christian’s life of faith. Whether they know it or not, their life makes an impact on those around them. Perhaps you can think of a Christian whose life of faith impacted you. That life was lived the way it was because that Christian knew the love, joy, and forgiveness only Jesus can provide. It is a love, joy, and forgiveness that he provides for you, too. He promises it. And you can be sure he will keep his promise to every one of his followers.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, grant me a faith that trusts your promises so that my life might be a blessing to others. Amen.

Daily 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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Showing Us Reality – May 19, 2021

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
Acts 7:54-56

Showing Us Reality


Daily Devotion – May 19, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 7:54-56

See series: Devotions

The world can sometimes be a pretty harsh place for people who love Jesus. Christian beliefs are being challenged seemingly every day in courtrooms, classrooms, and communities. You may have members of your own family who would prefer never to talk about religion. Maybe some have even stopped going to larger family gatherings because they’re afraid they will be asked to answer questions about their faith, or lack thereof. In some places in the world today, Christians lose their lives when they openly confess their faith. It’s not always easy to follow Jesus.

Maybe that’s why God recorded what happened to Stephen. In Acts chapter 7, Stephen had just confessed his Christian faith in front of a large group of people. But rather than applaud his confession, they reacted in a very hostile way, even eventually throwing stones at Stephen and killing him. But before he died, the Bible tells us that Stephen looked up to heaven and saw something that gave Stephen sufficient strength to endure the horrible things that were happening to him.

Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God, ready to welcome him home to the heaven Jesus won for Stephen through his perfect life and innocent death. There are any number of words you might use to describe what Stephen saw that day: Amazing. Glorious. Comforting. But one word we can certainly use to describe what he saw is this: Reality. Stephen saw reality. He was allowed to see, in a special way, what is happening every moment of every day.

The risen Jesus, who is more powerful than death, the devil, and sin, sees all the challenges his people face on account of their faith; and he is right now ruling over all of it, making sure that none of it will take them away from the place in heaven he has already prepared for them.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, may the reality that you are ruling all things give me confidence to follow you no matter what I face. Amen.

Daily 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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Giving Us His Joy – May 18, 2021

[Jesus said] I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.
John 17:13

Giving Us His Joy


Daily Devotion – May 18, 2021

Devotion based on John 17:13

See series: Devotions

If someone were to ask you for a list of things that drain you of joy, you might say any number of things: My job is hard. No one appreciates the work I do. The government seems to treat its citizens unfairly. Those in power don’t seem to care about the little people. My family ignores my needs. My pain is hard to endure, and on and on and on. Several things can drain a person of joy, which is why it’s good that Jesus prayed about your joy.

In John chapter 17, he prayed that you would “have the full measure of my joy.” But notice that he didn’t pray you would receive “the full measure of joy.” Instead, he prayed that you would receive “the full measure of my joy.”

Jesus’ joy didn’t come from what others did or did not do to him or by how pleasant a life he experienced. It came entirely from what he could do to love others. We see that as Jesus continued to love the world even when his job as Savior of the world was hard—when he was never appreciated to the extent that he should have been, when his government unfairly condemned his innocent life to death by crucifixion, and when his people often still ignore his commands.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,” Jesus once said to his disciples. He found joy in using his life to do whatever was necessary to forgive our sins, prepare a place for us in heaven, and assure us that no person, experience, or sin will ever be able to take it away from us.

May the Lord answer Jesus’ prayer in your life today. May you find joy in serving those around you.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, help me to live with the joy of Jesus each day. Amen.

Daily 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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Keeping Us Close to God – May 17, 2021

[Jesus said] Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
John 17:11

Keeping Us Close to God


Daily Devotion – May 17, 2021

Devotion based on John 17:11

See series: Devotions

There’s an old Looney Tunes cartoon involving two dogs—Chester and Spike. Chester was a small, jumpy, scrawny puppy. He would easily lose in an alley fight with almost any other animal. Yet Chester was always confident as he walked through life. Why? Because he was never far from his friend Spike. Spike was a big, strong bulldog. As long as Spike was close, Chester felt safe, knowing his big friend would always be there for him in his time of need.

There are times when we might feel like Spike—strong enough to face any challenge life throws at us. But I think we more often know how it feels to be Chester—vulnerable and weak to the many challenges we meet each day in our families, on our job, and maybe especially in our hearts.

Jesus knows this about us. It’s why he offered the prayer he did in John chapter 17. Jesus prayed that your Father in heaven would keep you safe by being for you what Spike was to Chester.

And he will. Your Father in heaven accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for sins on the cross. So there is nothing standing between you and your God. He is right beside you so that you can walk through life as the fictional Chester did—confident that you will always be cared for in your times of need.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, watch over and protect me by your almighty power. Amen.

Daily 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 Heavenly Father Protects You – May 16 2021

[Jesus said] I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
John 17:14,15

The Heavenly Father Protects You


Daily Devotion – May 16 2021

Devotion based on John 17:14,15

See series: Devotions

“Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is.” So wrote C.S. Lewis in his famous book, Mere Christianity. He was correct. This world is not our home. Heaven is our home. Jesus knew this better than anyone. Jesus knew from personal experience how difficult it is for God’s people to live in a world ravaged by sin and under constant attack by Satan. That is why Jesus prayed for his disciples the night before he went to his death. He knew his disciples would face temptation and persecution and poverty and imprisonment.

Knowing this, we might expect Jesus to pray for his disciples to be delivered from this world. Why not just ask the Father to whisk them right to heaven so they could avoid all the evil and opposition that the devil throws against Jesus’ followers? The reason Jesus prayed as he did was that he had work for his disciples to do. They would take the good news of forgiveness and eternal life to the ends of the earth. So, rather than ask the Father to take them out of this world, Jesus prayed that his Father protect them.

Jesus asks his Father to do the same for all of his followers, including you. He knows about every temptation you are facing. He knows about every trial you are undergoing. He knows about every trouble you are enduring. He knows that temptations, trials, and troubles are part of living in this sin-filled world. But he does not ask his Father to take you out of this world. There is work for you to do. You have people to love and serve. You have God’s good news to share. Your heavenly Father will answer Jesus’ prayer. He will give you strength to do this work and protect you from the devil until your Father DOES, in his time, take you home to heaven.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I humbly ask you to protect me from the evil one that I may carry out the important work you have given me to do. Amen.

Daily 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 Friend In Jesus – May 15, 2021

Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:13-15

A Friend In Jesus


Daily Devotion – May 15, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:13-15

See series: Devotions

It is always interesting to watch teenagers try to find their place among their peers. There is that constant struggle of determining whether they are part of the ‘in’ group, or if they are on the outside. If they are a part of the group, they have the inside scoop on everything important that is happening. If they are not, the important news and happenings of their world pass right around them.

As Jesus spoke to his disciples, he called them friends. He didn’t leave them wondering whether they were in the know or not. As friends, they had the inside scoop. Everything Jesus learned from his Father he made known to his friends. He revealed that he is the Son of God. He explained that he came to seek and save the lost. He even foretold how he would save them. He said, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise” (Mark 9:31).

Just as Jesus made it clear where his disciples stood, so Jesus doesn’t leave his followers today wondering if they are part of the group. He also calls them his friends. He gives them the inside scoop. As they sit down to read his Word, the Bible, they hear everything that Jesus learned from his Father and made known to his disciples. They also can hear Jesus explain who he is, the reason he came, and how he saved the world from eternal death by dying for it.

Friend, listen to Jesus. Learn from him. Trust that what he says is true. And discover all the comfort of being called a friend of Jesus.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, thank you for revealing all of the truths about you and for being willing to call even a sinner like me your friend. Amen.

Daily 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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For the Church – May 14, 2021

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Ephesians 1:22,23

For the Church


Daily Devotion – May 14, 2021

Devotion based on Ephesians 1:22,23

See series: Devotions

When bosses go away for a while, you assume that they are relaxing somewhere on a sandy beach, or at least doing whatever it is you think bosses do when they go on vacation. Are they thinking about you, the workers? You doubt it.

What is Jesus doing right now? He’s not appearing to people the way he did for those forty days after he rose from the dead. Instead, he ascended into heaven, and the Bible says that he is getting a place ready for his followers there. What a nice thing for the boss to be doing!

But that’s not all he’s doing. In case you ever doubted that someone who sacrificed himself on a cross could actually be the boss, the Bible says that God the Father declared him still to be in charge of everything for the sake of the church.

This shouldn’t surprise us. The church has important work to do, speaking the Word of God, and Jesus is interested in that work. But you might not realize who the church is. When you believe in Jesus, you are the church. And Jesus is interested in everything you do.

In fact, he is arranging things just for you. He is in charge of everything so he can make sure you are okay. He is using what you do to make sure that other people are okay. Because of Jesus’ great mercy, he is forgiving and loving you, inspiring you to forgive and love other people.

The boss will be back soon. In the meantime, he is helping you keep up the good work.

Prayer:
Now to him who is able, according to the power that is at work within us, to do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

Daily 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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In the Same Way – May 13, 2021

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:10,11

In the Same Way


Daily Devotion – May 13, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 1:10,11

See series: Devotions

Today the Christian Church remembers how Jesus ascended into heaven forty days after he rose from the dead. He had appeared to over 500 people during those forty days, and it was clear that he was alive. Would he keep appearing to them? It was a legitimate question on the minds of the people who saw Jesus ascend into the sky until a cloud hid him from their sight.

Two angels addressed what was on their minds. They said that Jesus had gone to heaven. And there would be no doubt about how he would return. It would not be in secret. It would not be to redo what he had already done.

When Jesus returns, it will be judgment day. He will appear in the sky quite visibly. Angels will accompany him. Souls from heaven will accompany him. Their bodies will rise from the dead, glorified, and the souls will reoccupy those glorified bodies. Those who are still alive will be gathered by the angels from around the world and brought to the place where Jesus is visibly returning.

You will be there. You will know it is judgment day. Jesus will return in the same way that those people saw him go into heaven. You can trust that at that moment, God will keep the promise the angel made, the one that says, “whoever believes in him will have eternal life.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when you return for judgment day, let me see you with joy as my Savior. Amen.

Daily 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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Repentance and Forgiveness – May 12, 2021

Repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:47

Repentance and Forgiveness


Daily Devotion – May 12, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 24:47

See series: Devotions

How do the speakers at a high school and college graduation boil down everything that happened during those years of education into something that captures all of it and holds the attention of the crowd? Many of them do not even try. They tell a few jokes, maybe a story, and then go for a memorable sentence general enough that most graduates can apply it to their lives.

When Jesus was about to ascend into heaven, he had his turn to boil down three years of education for his disciples into something that could apply to every one of their lives from that time forward. Here’s what he told them: repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations.

Repentance was necessary for every one of them, and it was necessary for every person to whom they would speak. Repentance is sorrow for sin and trust in God’s promises, and it is just as necessary for the nations today as it was back then.

Forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus is the key message of Christians. Nothing is more important. When the name of Jesus is put on something, it belongs to him, and he has put it on people from nations all around the world. They belong to him, and they have forgiveness of sins from him.

This has been a crazy school year. All around the world, graduation speakers are trying to summarize it. But you don’t have to be graduating this year to appreciate something that can be applied to every life as most important: repentance and forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, as I continue on the path of life, give me repentance and forgiveness of sins through faith in your name. Amen.

Daily 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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Love One Another – May 11, 2021

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11

Love One Another


Daily Devotion – May 11, 2021

Devotion based on 1 John 4:11

See series: Devotions

Dig down deep enough, and we can find something unlovable about anyone. Sometimes we don’t have to dig too far. It’s obvious. How can we ever find the strength to love people who are difficult to love?

Dear friends, God loves us. He knows unlovable things about each of us, and he still loves us so much that he sent his one and only Son to be our Savior. When we are feeling unlovable or unloved, we can return to that comfort. God still loves us, and his opinion counts more than any other in the universe.

Dear friends, God also loves those other people. He sent his Son for them as well. Taking his opinion into account, we realize that it’s pretty bad if we withhold our love from people God loves. So we take the confidence we have from being loved by God and make ourselves vulnerable to love the people he has put into our lives.

Because we are frail humans, we may struggle with the proper way to express our love in any given situation. But it’s worth the struggle to figure out the best ways to demonstrate our love for one another. When we fail, it’s an appropriate act of love to apologize and ask for forgiveness. When others fail and apologize, it is an act of love to forgive them.

We love them because he first loved us. Whenever we are not feeling it, return to that truth, and pray for strength.

Prayer:
Lord God, strengthen my love for you and for others, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Daily 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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This Is Love – May 10, 2021

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

This Is Love


Daily Devotion – May 10, 2021

Devotion based on 1 John 4:10

See series: Devotions

People want to know what love is. Teenagers want to know if their strong feelings for another person are puppy love, infatuation, or the real thing. People who have been burned in relationships wonder whether they were ever actually in love. On one day, the memes about love resonate, and the next day they ring hollow.

Do you want to know what real love is? Take a look at the attitudes and actions of God.

God loves you. He wants you to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. He is committed to the best for you. He knows the real you, the times you have disappointed him. He knows your weaknesses and failings. That doesn’t stop him from loving you.

While you were still a sinner, Jesus died for you. His death was a sacrifice because he didn’t have to do it. The Son of God could have continued living in glory for eternity. Instead, he took on a human body and a human soul, then suffered hell so that you wouldn’t have to. He let that body and soul separate in death, paying the complete price for your sins.

Some people want the best for you and are committed to you, but no one else has done what God has done for you. Even your gratitude and love for God are not the best example of love.

This is love: God loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Now you know what love is. But people don’t just want to know love. They want to experience it. In Jesus, you have experienced it, and you can heal from every harmful human relationship that has fallen short of perfect love.

Prayer:
Jesus, you are all compassion, pure love without boundaries. Enter my trembling heart and make me confident in your continuous perfect love. Amen.

Daily 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 Special Plan For You – May 9, 2021

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. . . . Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:13-18,23,24

A Special Plan For You


Daily Devotion – May 9, 2021

Devotion based on Psalm 139:13-18,23,24

See series: Devotions

Our Bible passage for today gives us some remarkably comforting information. For example, it assures you that you are not a random accident of evolution. No, God personally knit you together in your mother’s womb. The end result is something fantastic, unique, and special.

As a special creation of God, God assures you that he knows the exact amount of days you will live on this earth. During your life, God has a specific plan mapped out just for YOU. When you stray from the plan, God pulls you back. And when you stray again, God does not leave you. He stays with you. He uses his Word to correct and comfort you.

Together with the writer of today’s Bible reading, you can say: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, help me to treasure the physical life you have given to me as a gift. Even more so, help me to treasure the spiritual and eternal life you give to me as a gift through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Daily 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 Grace of God – May 8, 20 2021

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us, so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
Psalm 67:1,2

The Grace of God


Daily Devotion – May 8, 20 2021

Devotion based on Psalm 67:1,2

See series: Devotions

Everywhere on the internet, there are those fake ads where someone pretends that they have received a free phone or computer because the company has made a mistake. If you foolishly click on the link, you will always find out that it’s a scam. No company would give away valuable merchandise that you haven’t paid for, right?

But God has given away something more valuable than a phone or a computer, and you haven’t paid for it. God has given away salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life in heaven. We haven’t paid anything for these valuable gifts. In fact, we don’t deserve them, and we can’t do anything to pay for them. Instead, Jesus paid for them by shedding his innocent blood and dying for us on the cross. Because we don’t deserve the love of Jesus, we call God gracious. Because the gifts of God bring us many good things in our lives of faith, we say that he blesses us.

Why would God do that for us, especially when we don’t deserve it? Is he making a mistake?

God doesn’t make mistakes. He knows what he is doing. One of the reasons he blesses us is so that his ways might be known on earth. If people realized that there really were sweet deals on the internet, getting something valuable for nothing, they would be sharing those deals immediately with family and friends.

In the same way, when we realize the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, we find ways to post it and tell it and pass it on—across the street, across the internet, and across the world.

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 249)
God of mercy, God of grace, show the brightness of your face. Shine upon us, Savior, shine; fill your Church with light divine, and your saving health extend to the earth’s remotest end. Amen.

Daily 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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To God Be the Glory – May 7, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . You are the branches. . . . This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:1,5,8

To God Be the Glory


Daily Devotion – May 7, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:1,5,8

See series: Devotions

Everyone has a “born on” date. And we all have an “expiration” date. Everything in between is summed up with a “dash.” The question is, what do we do with the “dash” between those dates? What are we supposed to do with our lives?

Look to plant life for the answer. A vine produces grapes. A flower blooms. A stalk sprouts ears of corn. But it is the gardener who makes it happen. He chooses the seed and gives it life by planting it in good soil. He makes it grow and flourish by watering it and weeding around it. So, when a plant is fruitful, the glory belongs to the gardener.

This is the way for God’s people. From eternity he chose us to be his own. Through faith in his Son, our Savior, he gives us life. By his word, he causes us to grow and flourish in line with his will. So, when we are fruitful, it is because God is at work in us for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

So, what do we do with the dash? What are we supposed to do with our lives? We don’t all bear the same fruits, but we all have the same Father. He loves us. He gives us life and the ability to produce.

“So, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and giving me life in your Son. Help me to glorify you in all that I think, and say, and do. Amen.

Daily 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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It Will Be Done – May 6, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the vine; you are the branches. . . . If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
John 15:5,7

It Will Be Done


Daily Devotion – May 6, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:5,7

See series: Devotions

Ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Wow, that is one incredible promise! But what does it mean? It sounds like Jesus is some kind of genie in a jar. Do you want to be wealthy, healthy, lucky in love, successful? Ask for whatever you wish, and “Poof!” Jesus will grant it.

If that were true, then everyone would be a follower of Jesus.

So, does that mean Jesus is a liar? Of course not! Look closely at the promise Jesus makes to us. He says he is the vine, and his people are the branches. A branch doesn’t wish to become a butterfly. Neither do Jesus’ followers wish to be anything other than like Jesus.

Rooted in Jesus by faith and nourished by his Word, Jesus’ people grow in the grace and knowledge of him. They know that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again to set them free from sin and death and to set them free to thrive as God intends.

May this be true of you. Rather than praying “my will be done,” may your prayer be, “Heavenly Father, thy will be done.” And God’s answer will always be “Yes,” in Christ.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, accomplish in me the works that you have prepared in advance for me to do. Amen.

Daily 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 Fruit Filled Life – May 5, 2021

[Jesus said] “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:4,5

A Fruit Filled Life


Daily Devotion – May 5, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:4,5

See series: Devotions

In technologically advanced cultures, people take much for granted. But there are still some remote places in the world where people don’t even have access to electricity.

The story is told of a man from such a place. He travels to a modern city and is amazed by all the electric lights. What a blessing these would be to his village! So, he took what little money he had and bought a bag full of bulbs and a light switch.

Back home, he excitedly hung the bulbs around his yard and on the front of his home. Puzzled, the other villagers asked him what he was doing. “Wait until dark, and you will see,” he replied.

When evening came, he flipped the switch, but nothing happened. No one had told him that without a connection to electricity, light bulbs are useless.

Without a connection to Jesus, we can’t do the good that God created us to do. But when God connects a person to Jesus by faith, the power of his forgiving love flows through them, enabling them to do what is pleasing to God.

Do you want to live a more God-pleasing life? The key is Jesus. Connect to Jesus through his Word. He will empower you to produce those God-pleasing fruits.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, keep me connected to Jesus through your Word so that I live a life that pleases you. Amen.

Daily 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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Pruning Love – May 4, 2021

[Jesus said] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”
John 15:1-3

Pruning Love


Daily Devotion – May 4, 2021

Devotion based on John 15:1-3

See series: Devotions

Some people have a “green thumb.” I do not. My wife once gave me some cacti from Arizona. They could survive in the desert’s arid atmosphere but not under my artless attention.

That’s why I’m amazed by anyone who can not only keep plants alive but make them bigger or more beautiful. Have you ever seen those prize pumpkins at a county fair that weigh over 300 pounds? How do they do that? They direct all the nutrition to one or two blossoms rather than the whole plant.

God is such a skillful gardener. He wants us to produce the fruit of love in us. So, he connects us to Jesus, the true vine who gives us life. And he prunes away things that hurt our connection to Jesus, the vine.

The pruning process is often painful, but God isn’t punishing us. Jesus has already made you pure in the sight of God through faith in his holy, precious blood. Through his Word, the Bible, God is directing the flow of his grace so that the fruits of love we produce are more than mediocre—they are magnificent.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for planting me in the vine by your gospel of grace. Help me accept whatever pruning I need so that my life better displays your splendor. Amen.

Daily 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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