A Wrong Relationship Made Right – June 14, 2020

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Colossians 1:21,22

A Wrong Relationship Made Right


Daily Devotion – June 14, 2020

Devotion based on Colossians 1:21,22

See series: Devotions

How would you rate your relationship with God on a scale of 1 to 10? How would GOD rate it? Many people never bother to ask God what he has to say about his relationship with them. They think it is their prerogative to determine whether their relationship with God is good, bad, or ugly. Some think everything is okay between them and God. Others think God is out to get them and wants nothing good for them.

What does GOD have to say? First, he tells us that our evil behavior alienated us from him. God cannot and will not accept sin. We have sinned. Our evil behavior made us God’s enemies. We don’t want to hear this, but whether we want to hear it or not is irrelevant. God has declared it to be true.

But God does not want to be our enemy. He loves us. So he sent his Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for our sins. All of our evil behavior was washed away by Jesus’ blood on the cross. Now God sees us as holy, sinless, perfect people. We are no longer God’s enemies. We have been reconciled to him.

Now, how would you rate your relationship with God on a scale of 1 to 10? Thank God, that through Jesus, he has taken you from a real 0 to a 10!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know that without your help I would be alienated from God because of my sins. I can never thank you enough for reconciling me to my Maker. Give me peace and joy this day, knowing that I am no longer God’s enemy but his beloved and forgiven child. 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 the Anxious – June 13, 2020

The God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11

To the Anxious


Daily Devotion – June 13, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 13:11

See series: Devotions

Scott Stossel is a highly respected journalist. He is a graduate of Harvard. His abilities and work ethic have brought him to the point where he now serves as editor of The Atlantic magazine. Those who work with him have often observed how he is able to display a calm demeanor, especially in times of crisis.

It came as quite a shock to many of his colleagues, therefore, when Stossel wrote a book entitled, My Age of Anxiety. In his book, Stossel confesses that extreme anxiety often grips him. He writes, “On ordinary days, doing ordinary things—reading a book, lying in bed, talking on the phone, sitting in a meeting, playing tennis—I have thousands of times been stricken by a pervasive sense of…dread.”

After the book’s release, it became clear that Stossel was not alone. My Age of Anxiety spent weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Its popularity only confirmed what others were saying. Psychology Today has called anxiety “one of our modern plagues.” A recent report estimates that some 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, with almost 7 million suffering a level of anxiety characterized by “persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things.”

For many of us, this is not news. For many of you, severe anxiety—anxiety over past regrets, present problems, future outcomes—threatens to grip you every day.

What to do with such worry? What to do with such dread and so much fear?

First of all, confess to the Lord. Confess to the Lord that severe anxiety is a temptation into which you can often fall. Remember that Jesus died for your every sin—including your sins of worry. Take a deep breath. Bask in his forgiveness.

Then, rest on his promises. “The God of…peace will be with you,” Paul wrote. In Psalm 139, David reminds us that our God of peace is in front of us, behind us, around us. His right hand “holds [us] fast.”

When anxious thoughts trouble you deeply, look intently to your Savior God, who is your peace permanently.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, so often I give in to anxiety. Forgive me. Wash me in your blood. Surround me in your peace. Empower me to trust in you, 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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A Day of Rest – June 12, 2020

By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Genesis 2:2,3

A Day of Rest


Daily Devotion – June 12, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 2:2,3

See series: Devotions

The universe had been created in a week. What a week! Oceans were filled. Planets were established in orbit. Thousands and thousands of species of plants and animals had been spoken into existence. The light switches of countless stars had been flipped on. Mankind had been carefully crafted out of the dust of the ground.

After a week like that, we would all need a break—maybe some time on the couch or a nap in our hammock outside. God rested too, though not for reasons we might think. Our almighty God was not worn out. He wasn’t looking to put his feet up. He did not need a moment to regain his strength. Rather, he rested because he wanted to establish a pattern. God rested because he knew we would need it.

That is why he blessed the seventh day and made it holy. He knew that we were going to need a spiritual rest. After each week of being hounded by the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, God knew we would need refreshment. So, he set aside a day out of his week to set the pattern. He intended that we would follow his lead. Our God blessed the seventh day for our good. He wants us to worship and rest in his Word. He wants the message of forgiveness to bring strength and assurance to our troubled hearts in this weary world.

Resist the temptation to tell yourself that you’re fine not being in church. Fight the idea that you don’t need to be in God’s house regularly. There, God meets with us to feed our souls with his Word, nourishes us, and gives us strength for the coming week. There, we hear the wonderful news that our sins are forgiven in Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear God, forgive me for the times I have neglected you and your Word. Help me to seek the rest that only you can provide. Bless me and my family as we make time to be in your house. 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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Created by God – June 11, 2020

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them.
Genesis 1:27

Created by God


Daily Devotion – June 11, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:27

See series: Devotions

What a blessing it is to be created by God! And how humbling it is to realize how far short we have fallen from the perfect creatures he intended us to be. The Bible tells us we were created in God’s image and describes that image as perfect, holy, and righteous. And as we look in the mirror, we realize that no longer describes us.

When we look at the mirror of God’s commandments, perfection is not what stares back at us. When we consider what God wills for us to do, what do we find when we look at our lives? Sure, there are some outward signs of morality as we are kind to people, and we volunteer for things in our community. But underneath the surface, what do we see? Perhaps some hateful, unkind thoughts toward a sibling or coworker. Terrible language is thrown around as we work or mutter under our breath. Then there are the things that lurk in our hearts that we don’t like to acknowledge: greed, lust, selfishness, and anger. These things come out all too often in our words and actions as well. God’s image? Not so much.

That’s when we need to look to Jesus. In him, we find everything we are not: kindness, selflessness, generosity, contentment, a complete lack of pride and ego. Our Savior lived a perfect life in our place. He did everything that you and I have failed to do. He also avoided every sin and temptation that we fall into. Jesus is our perfect Savior and supplies everything that we lack.

And by the miracle of the cross, when God looks at us, he sees Jesus in our place. Through faith in him, Jesus’ righteousness is now our righteousness. His victory is our victory. Jesus has restored us and brought us back to God. He ensured that we will go to heaven, where we will live forever with that image of God fully restored!

Prayer:
Dear Savior, forgive me for all my sins. Thank you for living a perfect life in my place and earning salvation for me. Help me to know that in you, God sees me as righteous. Help me to live as his child today. 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 New Day – June 10, 2020

And there was evening, and there was morning.
Genesis 1:31

A New Day


Daily Devotion – June 10, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:31

See series: Devotions

As we read through Genesis chapter one, we are greeted with this comforting refrain. “And there was evening, and there was morning.” So much happened in that first week, but there was one constant: each day was a new day.

That’s a relief, isn’t it? With so much happening in our world—so much that seems to threaten the very existence of the planet—don’t we need to hear that same comforting refrain? “And there was evening, and there was morning.”

Make no mistake, each day can be difficult. Days can be filled with pandemics, cancer treatments, and bouts of depressions. Days can be filled with angry customers, job losses, and bill collectors. Days can be filled with disappointment, frustration, and exhaustion. In fact, it has been like that throughout history. A look back will show us that there have been many pandemics, wars, and economic downturns. History is full of people just like us—people who struggle with all kinds of things.

But do you know what else history is full of? God keeping his promises. As each century passes by, there is one constant: “And there was evening, and there was morning.” God continues to be in control. He continues to watch over his people, and he continues to keep his promises. He will continue to give us what we need for each day and bless us with a new day—until the day he brings us home to heaven.

God has proved his faithfulness to you by sending Jesus as your Savior. True to his word, he has forgiven you, saved you, and given you eternal life. With each passing day, he will keep his promises to you in Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, heavenly Father, thank you for the comforting reminder that you will bless me each day. With each new day, help me to trust you more and more. 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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Perfect – June 9, 2020

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1:31

Perfect


Daily Devotion – June 9, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:31

See series: Devotions

Can you even imagine what perfection looks like? We often speak of having the perfect wedding, the perfect gift, or the perfect vacation. But let’s be honest, we have no idea what perfection really looks like. Especially now. A virus continues to bring our world to its knees. Sin continues to turn people against each other, whether they are husband and wife, Democrat and Republican, boss and employee. All around our world is breaking down. Death and decay show up everywhere.

It wasn’t always like that. At the end of six days, as God looked around at the beautiful and wonderful creation he had made, he could only come to one conclusion: “Perfect!” There was no sin to be found. And with no sin, there were none of its effects—no disease or death. Creation was not breaking down. People were not at odds with each other. Everything was in perfect harmony.

What would God say now as he looks down and sees all of this? Certainly, none of us would expect him to proclaim: “And God saw that it was very good.” But there is good news. God wanted us to have that perfection we have lost through sin. God had a way to fix what was broken, and it was “perfect.”

That way to perfection is Jesus. He came to live a perfect life in our place and to die an innocent death for us. Through his life, death, and resurrection, you and I now have a way out of this sinful world and a way to get back to the perfect life of harmony with God in a place he has provided for us. The way to this perfect heaven is through faith in Jesus. Our Savior will guide us through life in this sinful world, and in the end, will take us home to heaven. And once there, we will all look around and say, “Perfect!”

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the victory you have won for me. Help me to know and believe that in you, I have the answer to this sinful world. In you, I have eternal life in heaven. Give me patience and trust as I wait for the day when you will take me home. 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 Speaks with Authority – June 8, 2020

Then God said, “. . . and it was so.”
Genesis 1:29,30

God Speaks with Authority


Daily Devotion – June 8, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:29,30

See series: Devotions

We crave words that come with authority. We seek definitive answers. We want assurance, comfort, and confidence. And all those things are so hard to find in this world! The doctor speaks, not with authority, but with percentages, as he gives the odds of how successful a procedure might be. The weatherman speaks, not with authority, but with educated guesses, as he attempts to describe what the weather will be like so you can plan your weekend. The friend speaks, not with authority, but with good intentions, as she says she hopes you get better soon.

God’s Word is different. Genesis chapter one reminds us again and again that when God speaks, things happen. God speaks, and his word is fulfilled—every time. God doesn’t give us percentages, educated guesses, or wishful thinking. He gives us concrete, dependable truth. What a comfort that is! What a refreshing change of pace that is in this ever-changing world!

That is especially helpful when it comes to our eternal future. Because of our sins, we were all lost and destined for an eternity of separation from God and his blessings. We needed to be saved and could not pin our hopes on someone else’s best guess. Playing the percentages was not going to give us any relief. All our friend’s good intentions could not wish us into heaven. God’s Word steps in and provides assurance and reliability: “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God promised to send his Son, Jesus, to take our sins away by dying in our place. And just as we see in Genesis chapter one, every time God speaks, things happen.

As promised, God sent Jesus to be our Savior. To earn our salvation and to guarantee our eternal future as we put our trust in him. When it comes to eternal life in heaven, God speaks with authority. His promises are true. Put your trust in his Word.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for speaking with authority and giving me confidence. Help me to know and believe that in Jesus, I have eternal 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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God Is Always With You – June 7, 2020

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14

God Is Always With You


Daily Devotion – June 7, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 13:14

See series: Devotions

It’s not easy getting up in the morning knowing that if you make the slightest mistake at work, your boss is going to jump down your throat in front of everybody. It’s not easy getting up in the morning wondering if today is the day your boyfriend is going to leave you because he’s fallen in love with someone else. It’s not easy getting up in the morning, dreading another lonely day. (Looks like it’s going to be another Lean Cuisine in front of the TV tonight.) It’s not easy getting up in the morning fearing your medical test results, your ADHD son’s future, or whether or not you’ll have enough money for this month’s groceries, gas, and mortgage.

It may not be easy to get up in the morning, but God gives you every reason to get up. Your boss may point out your every failure, but Jesus gives you his grace and forgives your every sin. Your significant other may dump you but God the Father promises his eternal love. You might not feel like you have any real friends, but the Holy Spirit gives you his fellowship and friendship 24/7. You may have numerous fears regarding your health, family, and finances, but God blesses you with a peace that is beyond all understanding. In our Scripture verse today, the Apostle Paul reminds you that you are truly blessed. Here it is again: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.”

Blessed with the grace, love, and fellowship of God, you can get up every morning knowing that God is always with you.

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for assuring me of your continual presence in my life. No matter what the circumstances, I can count on your grace, love, and fellowship. 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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Spirit in Abundance – June 6, 2020

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
Joel 2:28,29

Spirit in Abundance


Daily Devotion – June 6, 2020

Devotion based on Joel 2:28,29

See series: Devotions

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out. The gathered disciples had flames over their heads and were able to speak and communicate in languages they had never learned. What the prophet Joel had foreseen came true in a very powerful display.

Perhaps you’re longing for the same kind of outpouring. You wish that you could have such visible and tangible signs to know God is keeping his promise. Yet, what Joel saw, what God promised, is happening every single day.

In the Old Testament, there was a certain group of people—the prophets—who received an extra measure of the Spirit, an outpouring, where God revealed his Word to them. The prophets’ role was to take that special revelation and share it with the people. In these verses, Joel saw a time when the role of a prophet would change. The Lord God revealed there would come a time when he would pour out his Spirit not just on the prophets, but on all people.

But you haven’t seen visions or received dreams from God, and neither have I. So how is God doing this today? God pours out his Spirit through his Word, the Bible.

For it’s in the Bible that we learn about our Savior, Jesus. It’s in the Bible that we hear all that Jesus has done for us. It’s in the Bible that we learn that this good news is our privilege to share. Every time the words of the Bible are shared, God’s Spirit is being poured out in abundance.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, continue to pour out your Holy Spirit so that men and women everywhere may share the good news of Jesus, our 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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Devoted to the Word – June 5, 2020

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42

Devoted to the Word


Daily Devotion – June 5, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:42

See series: Devotions

The members of the Jerusalem church had heard the apostle Peter proclaim the good news that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, was the promised Messiah and their Savior. Through God’s Word, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, who convicted them of their sin and convinced them of their Savior. Their sins were forgiven. Heaven was their home. Their hearts were filled with joy.

We are told, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” The Word of God was their delight. It was the one thing they needed. It was more precious to them “than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:72). It was their dearest treasure. Therefore, they not only held it in the highest regard, but they also put it into practice. They lived in the joy of the gospel. In their worship, fellowship, witnessing, praying, love, sharing, and offerings, they thanked God for the blessing of his Word.

God’s Word has not changed. It is still the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. The way of salvation has not changed. Jesus Christ is the only Savior this world will ever have. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Scripture continues to be the only true source for direction in this life and hope for eternity. Where repentant, blood-bought souls gather around the Word of God, regard it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it–there the power of the Holy Spirit will be present to lead us into all truth and the joy of the gospel.

Prayer:
Lord, help me to be devoted to the hearing of your Word, to fellowship with your people, and to prayer that is pleasing in your ears. 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 Change of Heart – June 4, 2020

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2:37,38

A Change of Heart


Daily Devotion – June 4, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:37,38

See series: Devotions

“Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Luke 23:18). On Good Friday, the hateful crowds chanted those words to Pilate. Fifty days later, they had had a change of heart. Now they were terrified. They wished they never had cried out for Jesus’ death.

God’s Word caused the people of the Pentecost crowd to change their hearts. The Holy Spirit, through Peter’s words, had changed the people’s attitudes about Jesus. Now they realized he was the Son of God, and they were guilty of condemning him to death. “What shall we do?” they pleaded. Is there some way we can appease God?

Our natural, sinful hostility may not be as blatant as that of the angry crowd on Good Friday. But make no mistake about it. It is just as real, just as damnable. The critical questioning of how God rules our lives, the lack of complete trust in his care, the thoughts of gaining independence from God—all these are signs that in us lives the same sinful flesh that lived in the people who killed Jesus.

God gives us a change of heart through the good news that Jesus’ death is the payment for sin that we needed. He appeased the wrath of God. Our guilt is removed. We are led to trust Jesus as our living Savior and honor him as our gracious Lord. And with hearts changed by the power of God’s Word, we strive to glorify and serve Jesus in all we do.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am sorry for the sins I have committed against you. Have mercy on me. For your sake, forgive me and grant me a new heart committed to following your will for 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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Christ Lives to Reign – June 3, 2020

“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. . . . Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
Acts 2:32,36

Christ Lives to Reign


Daily Devotion – June 3, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:32,36

See series: Devotions

King Cyrus of Persia, King David of Judah, Caesar Augustus of Rome—these are three of the countless people who have ruled over the centuries. Some kings and kingdoms lasted for generations; some were short-lived. As different as they were from each other, they all had one thing in common—they did not last.

How uncertain life would be if all we had to lean on were these passing kings and kingdoms? Our immortal souls need something more. How eagerly, then, we listen to the words of the apostle Peter! He tells us of a far greater King. This King is the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter tells us of a far greater kingdom. Jesus’ kingdom will last for eternity.

It didn’t always seem this way, though. Jesus’ enemies plotted for years to kill Jesus. Finally, they carried out their plans and crucified him. Above his bloody head hung the inscription: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37).

Yet Jesus was different. Years before he died, he said, “Destroy this temple [this body of mine], and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19). On Easter Sunday, he did just that. His disciples ran to an empty grave. He had risen. He was still King, and his kingdom was still intact.

Today let Peter’s words give you strength. Be assured of this: your King lives to reign. He the Lord of your heart. He is your eternal source of forgiveness and hope.

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for reminding me today that you are my king and are ruling all things. Use this truth to comfort and calm 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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An Important Job to Do – June 2, 2020

“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”
Acts 2:23

An Important Job to Do


Daily Devotion – June 2, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:23

See series: Devotions

The world is full of different jobs. Each comes with different requirements and descriptions. When looking for a job, people will want to find one they are suited for and that they will enjoy doing. Some jobs require special skills or abilities to perform them properly.

Jesus’ Father gave him a unique job. He was sent to serve as the Savior of the world. Though innocent, he was condemned to death and crucified. But all this happened according to God’s purpose and foreknowledge. God used the horrible determination of wicked people for his own wonderful purpose—to save us from our sins.

This is good news for us because, as God’s creatures, we have a job of our own to do. We were created by our Father to glorify and honor him with godly living. However, we fail miserably at this job. Having failed, we deserve to suffer what God’s justice says our sins deserve. But, instead of giving us what our sins deserve, our merciful God saves us through the sufferings and death of his own Son on the cross.

We now have a new purpose in our lives. Our number-one job is to glorify and honor Jesus, who willingly died on the cross for us. We live to thank God, who gave us forgiveness and eternal hope.

God bless you in doing your job for him today!

Prayer:
Lord, help me today to do the job you have given me—to glorify and honor 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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A Different Language – June 1, 2020

“How is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?”
Acts 2:8

A Different Language


Daily Devotion – June 1, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:8

See series: Devotions

Learning a foreign language is a long process and hard work. If you have ever tried it, you know. But a long time ago, on the day of Pentecost, a miraculous thing happened. The Holy Spirit’s power came upon the Apostles, giving them the ability to speak fluently and instantly in languages they had never learned. Amazing!

There was another time in the Bible that languages played a prominent role. People plotted to defy God’s plan to have them spread out over the whole earth and populate it. They began to build a great tower as a symbol of their power and as a rallying point to hold them together. But for their own good, the Lord interrupted their efforts, confused their languages, and put an end to their defiance. (See Genesis 11:1-9.)

Contrast that with what happened on Pentecost. This time languages did not play a role in God’s anger over a defiant people, but rather in his merciful love for all. People from at least 15 different countries all heard the wonders of God in their own native languages. Instead of using language to separate these people, God endowed his disciples with a gift that drew the people together.

Pentecost demonstrated that “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Despite all their differences, these 15 groups of people were very similar—they were all sinners. In languages they could understand, God communicated to them the good news that their sins were paid for by Jesus’ death.

Perhaps we will meet someone today who speaks a different language. If so, our first reaction might be: How different this person is from us. Remembering Pentecost, however, let us think this way: How similar this person is to us—someone who needs Jesus and someone for whom the Lord Jesus lived, died, and rose again.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for demonstrating your mercy and power on the day of Pentecost. Give me a heart that sees every person’s need to know about your mercy and your 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 Perplexing Work of the Spirit – May 31, 2020

Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:12

The Perplexing Work of the Spirit


Daily Devotion – May 31, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:12

See series: Devotions

The crowd didn’t know what to think.

Picture it this way: You are in this crowd. You are a member of the Jewish faith. You have traveled a great distance to reach Jerusalem, a place where the language is different from your own. You are there to celebrate the annual Jewish festival of Pentecost. Suddenly, in this crowd of people, you hear something that grabs your attention. You hear the voice of a man speaking to you in your own language. What’s confusing is that all the people around you—no matter what language they speak—are experiencing the same thing. At that moment, in that slice of time, you don’t know what to think.

On that day of Pentecost, that was the perplexing work of the Holy Spirit. On that day, the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples of Jesus to speak in languages they had never studied. He did this to proclaim a message that everyone there needed to understand. He did this to proclaim Jesus Christ.

The work of the Holy Spirit is still perplexing.

Go to any place where the good news of Jesus is clearly present. Why do people take the time to come? Why do people go to the trouble? Why do people often plan their calendars around the opportunity to soak up the message of Jesus Christ with others?

It’s all because of the perplexing work of the Holy Spirit.

In the eyes of the world, nothing so plain as the gospel should be so powerful or so life-changing. Nothing so plain as the gospel should have such an impact on so many souls.

But that’s the thing about the message of full forgiveness through faith in Christ. It’s the very tool the Holy Spirit uses to change hearts forever.

However, don’t be perplexed by the perplexing work of the Holy Spirit. Instead, rejoice in it.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, you are a worker of miracles. You use the message of the gospel to bring us to Christ and keep us in Christ. Empower us to marvel in thankfulness for what you 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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Give Glory to God – May 30, 2020

[Jesus said] “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
John 17:4

Give Glory to God


Daily Devotion – May 30, 2020

Devotion based on John 17:4

See series: Devotions

When our favorite team enjoys success, isn’t it great how we get to share in that glory, even though we didn’t earn or deserve it? “Hey, Mike, your Brewers are really having a great season. You guys are playing some great ball. Way to go!” We are eager to return that undeserved and unearned glory to our team by cheering for them and telling others about their victories and successes.

Our God is glorious and awesome! He is the Creator and Preserver of the universe. Most glorious of all, he is the Savior of all mankind. There is nobody like him.

He has graciously allowed us to share in the glory of his love by bringing us to trust and rely in him, even though at one time, we were dead in our sins and unbelief. We didn’t earn his love and surely didn’t deserve it. Amazing grace!

Jesus gave glory to his heavenly Father by his death on the cross. Jesus’ death, while bearing the sins of the world, has reconciled God and sinners together. The doors to heaven and eternal life are open for all. That means they are open for you, too!

Strive to give God glory every day as you live for him and seek to do his will for your life. As the Bible says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for bringing glory to the Father by dying for my sins. Thank you also for leading me to trust in you. Help me to glorify your name by all that I say and do. In your 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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Jesus Prays for You – May 29, 2020

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
John 17:1-3

Jesus Prays for You


Daily Devotion – May 29, 2020

Devotion based on John 17:1-3

See series: Devotions

My prayers contain a lot of different people and things that I love. They are about the things that I think about the most and the things for which I am overwhelmingly grateful.

Did you know that the night before his death, you were a part of Jesus’ prayer? That’s right. With everything else on his mind as he prepared to die for the sins of the world . . . you were on his mind. You were on his mind because what he was about to do he did for you. He knew he needed strength to endure the intense suffering necessary to secure your salvation. So, he asked his heavenly Father to give him that strength. He also prayed that you would learn about what he had done for you and that you would come to believe that your sins are forgiven because of what he did.

It is always nice to hear that someone is praying for you. When you share a challenge you are facing–an illness, a loss, a concern—and a friend or family member says, “I’m praying for you.” It shows they care, and it’s a comforting thing to know. And it is comforting to think of God listening to and answering their prayers.

Now think of Jesus praying for you nearly two thousand years ago. Isn’t it remarkable? Whatever illness, loss, or concern you are facing, take comfort knowing that Jesus is aware of it, and cares enough to pray for you.

Prayer:
Righteous Father, thank you for glorifying Jesus through his death and resurrection. Help me to know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 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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An Eternal Perspective – May 28, 2020

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17,18

An Eternal Perspective


Daily Devotion – May 28, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:17,18

See series: Devotions

Imagine a regular day. If you are awake for 17 hours of that day, that means you have a little over a thousand minutes awake. Imagine for one minute of that day, something bad happened. Your car wouldn’t start. You got into a fight with a friend. You felt pain in part of your body. Then after that minute, nothing bad happened. In fact, for every minute of the rest of that day, only great things happened. You were able to eat all your favorite foods. You spent your time with people you love. Everything worked the way it was supposed to.

At the end of this day, how would you describe it? When you thought back, what would you focus on? Would you think about that single bad minute? Probably not. Instead, you probably couldn’t stop talking about the other thousand minutes and all the great things that happened. In fact, maybe even that single bad minute wouldn’t seem so bad in light of everything else.

So far, 2020 doesn’t seem to be a great year for a lot of us. There may be some real problems you are working through and some sadness that you feel. God wants you to find hope in the certainty that these troubles are only momentary. He wants you to give it an eternal perspective. The temporary troubles of 2020 cannot compare with the never-ending years of perfect joy every follower of Jesus will experience in heaven.

Your troubles are real, but God reminds you that from a perspective of eternity, they are light and momentary. Your time with Jesus will be perfect and forever. Fix your eyes on that eternity.

Prayer:
Eternal God, help me to focus not on my earthly troubles but on the eternity I will have with 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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Minimize Your Anxiety – May 27, 2020

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Minimize Your Anxiety


Daily Devotion – May 27, 2020

Devotion based on 1 Peter 5:7

See series: Devotions

Minimalism is sweeping the world right now. From buying tiny homes to decluttering their homes, people are getting rid of their stuff. One expert, in particular, Marie Kondo, has sold millions of books, has her own TV show, and has made countless appearances speaking on the joys of minimizing and getting rid of things you don’t need. She encourages people to hold an object and if it doesn’t “spark joy” in their life, they should get rid of it.

What if you could practice minimalism not just with your stuff but with everything in your life?

Long before tiny homes or Marie Kondo, God was encouraging his people to practice minimalism—not physical minimalism but spiritual minimalism. Specifically, he told his people to get rid of anything that made them anxious–anything that kept them awake at night. God wanted his people to declutter all those things that made them wring their hands with worry.

In God’s minimalism, we don’t just take stuff and throw it away. While that may work for that old ski equipment, it doesn’t work for those things that make us anxious. Instead, God invites us to cast those anxieties onto him. He allows us to take those things that make us anxious, give them to him, and let him take care of it. Instead of worrying, God says we can trust him to arrange everything for us.

We can cast our anxieties on God because we know that he cares for us. Not just that he cares about us but that he cares for us. He guides us, watches over us, and provides for us. We can give God anything that makes us anxious because he is actively working all things in our lives to make sure that we are cared for.

What is causing you to worry today? What doesn’t “spark joy” in your life? Give it to God because he cares for you.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, help me to give to you everything that makes me anxious that I may rest in your care. 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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No Surprise – May 26, 2020

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 4:12,13

No Surprise


Daily Devotion – May 26, 2020

Devotion based on 1 Peter 4:12,13

See series: Devotions

Many things can surprise us in this life. An unexpected home or car repair bill may surprise us. The underdog coming back to win the game may surprise us. A phone call or message from a friend we have not spoken to in a very long time may surprise us.

One thing that should never surprise us, though, is that Christians will suffer in this life.

Many people don’t understand this. They think that Christians shouldn’t suffer if God is watching out for them. But, the Bible makes it clear that Christians will indeed suffer in this life.

Christians suffer because they participate with Christ. They belong to him and want to be like him. They follow where he goes and where Christ went, he found suffering. He was ridiculed, ostracized, tortured, and even killed.

However, this isn’t where Christ’s story ends. He rose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and is with God the Father in perfection forever. And he promises the same to every one of his followers. So, just as Christians should not be surprised that they sometimes suffer in this life just as Christ suffered in this life, Christians shouldn’t be surprised that they will one day be glorified just as Christ’s glory will one day be revealed.

Do not be surprised when suffering comes your way, dear Christian. Take comfort and look forward to the day when you will experience the glory that will be yours through your Savior.

Prayer:
Holy Father, while I know suffering will come in this life, help me to see it as a participation in the life of Christ. 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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Wrong Direction – May 25, 2020

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”
Acts 1:6-8

Wrong Direction


Daily Devotion – May 25, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 1:6-8

See series: Devotions

They had seen his glory like no one else, and yet they still couldn’t get their earthly troubles out of their minds. They heard him preach as no one had ever preached. They saw him perform miracles like no one else ever had. They even saw him conquer death. And yet, in one of the last moments they had with him, their concern seemed to be their own earthly problem—they wanted to know when Israel might be a great nation again. They had the right Jesus, but their concerns were looking in the wrong direction.

Jesus didn’t leave them looking in the wrong direction. He told them that those earthly concerns belonged to the Father. He reminded them that they would have something better than a restored kingdom, they would have the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit, they would have the gift of faith to take the Good News of Jesus to not just Israel, but to the ends of the earth.

It’s easy for us to have the right Jesus but the wrong direction. This happens when we focus more on what matters to us than what matters to God. This happens when we care more about our own lives than the lives of others. This happens when we put more energy into our lives on earth than we do into our lives in heaven. Like the disciples, we may have the right Jesus, but we focus our lives in the wrong direction.

But by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus still reminds us today what is truly important. He points us heavenward and reminds us of our mission. He helps us to focus our efforts not on what is temporary but on what is eternal.

He gives us the right Jesus and points us in the right direction.

Prayer:
Gracious God, when I look in the wrong direction, gently restore me and remind me of what is truly important, the work you empower 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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God is on Your Side – May 24, 2020

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 24, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 1:15

See series: Devotions

On the day of his ascension into heaven, Jesus told the disciples they would be witnesses concerning him, and 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. Wow! It sounds like an impossible task for the gospel to go so far with such a small group!

And yet, who is our God? Our God is the almighty One, the Maker of heaven and earth! Our God is the One who rules the winds and waves! Our 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’s who our God is!

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

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

And now it’s that all-powerful God, the God who can accomplish the impossible, who’s on your side.

And by the way, what did those 120 believers accomplish? Well, by the end of their lives, the Word had permeated Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and had been taken to Asia Minor, North Africa, and Europe. Was it impossible? Not with God on their 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 all 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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Live as Strangers – May 23, 2020

“Live your lives as strangers here.”
1 Peter 1:17

Live as Strangers


Daily Devotion – May 23, 2020

Devotion based on 1 Peter 1:17

See series: Devotions

Live as strangers? It sounds like pretty shoddy advice when you first read it. You mean we shouldn’t make friends? We shouldn’t care about our family? We should be apathetic about others and not get involved in our community? It can’t mean those things, because Jesus wants people to care about each other in a big way. He even wants us to love our enemies.

The idea of living our lives as strangers in this world, then, has to mean something else. And when you take a look at how Jesus and his disciples lived their lives on this earth, you pick up a pretty good sense of what this verse means. To live as strangers here means to live our lives knowing that our real home is somewhere else.

You and I forget this all the time, of course. And because we do, we get crazy with fear. We fear that if our life here does not meet our expectations and become a big success story, then our life is a failure. And you know what? For forgetting that our true home is in heaven, for living our lives for the here and now, we deserve that fear and a whole lot worse.

But Jesus’ life and death have washed us clean of those failures. And once again, he calls upon us to remember that our life here is not about making our mark. It’s about walking with him in faith. And so, live here as a stranger. For Jesus is coming soon to take you home.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for washing away all of my sins on the cross. Forgive me for the times I am fearful about this life and forget about true life in heaven. Remind me always of my heavenly home. 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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One More Sight – May 22, 2020

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

One More Sight


Daily Devotion – May 22, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 1:10,11

See series: Devotions

The question seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? “Why are we standing here staring up into the sky? Are you kidding? Did you not see what we just saw? Of course, we’re going to be staring into the sky, because that was amazing!”

But then came the exciting announcement. “He’s coming back, you know. And he’s coming back in the same way you saw him go into heaven!”

And just how had they seen him go into heaven?

He had gone up as the powerful one, the one who could simply cause himself to lift off the earth and go up into the sky.

He had gone up with his hands raised in blessing. They could be sure that when he returned, he would not come in terror but to bless his people.

He had gone up showing them his nail-scarred hands, reminding them that their sins were forgiven. They could be sure that when he returned, those same nail-scarred hands would welcome them home to heaven.

The ascension was the last sight that Jesus’ disciples got of him. And in a way, it’s the last time we “see” him, too.

And maybe there’s one more reason that Jesus left us with this sight of him; so that we would hunger for his return! For us believers, Jesus’ return will be wonderful! Oh yes, he’s coming back powerfully, those hands are going to be up, blessing us! Because those hands bear the nail marks, the proof that you are forgiven, that your eternal home is in heaven. That’s what we will see!

Yeah, I guess I can kind of “get” why Jesus ascended the way he did. What a sight!

Wow! What a sight that will be!

Prayer:
O Savior, remind me of your ascension that I might eagerly await that day when you return to take me to heaven. 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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Still There – May 21, 2020

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Acts 1:9

Still There


Daily Devotion – May 21, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 1:9

See series: Devotions

I would assume that most of us have had the experience of watching a jet airliner flying across the sky. Eventually, to our eyes anyway, it gets so small that we can’t see it anymore. It’s not really gone; we just can’t see it anymore.

So perhaps we would have expected that to happen to Jesus when he ascended into heaven, he’d get so “small” that his disciples couldn’t see him anymore. But, that’s not how he chose to do it. Instead, he chose to have a cloud come and cover him. The cloud hid him from their sight.

Was Jesus perhaps trying to remind his disciples that he hadn’t left them? After all, he had promised, “Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20). Perhaps being hidden by the cloud was a gentle reminder of that. “No, I’ve not left you. I’m just hidden from your eyes, so you can’t see me. But, I’m still here!”

Can you imagine how much that might have helped the disciples in the days ahead? When they were taken captive and held in prison, experiencing the various persecutions they faced, being rejected so often by so many. I’m guessing it might have felt lonely on many occasions. I can only imagine how this sight of Jesus—that the cloud covered him, merely hiding him from their eyes—might have helped. They weren’t alone. They were never alone! Jesus was always there, “behind the cloud,” with both his power and his love.

And, you’re never alone either. Oh, you can’t see him; he is hidden from you just as he was for the disciples. But his promise to you is just as powerful as it was for the disciples. He is with you always! And someday you will see him, realizing that he had never left you, never forsaken you.

Wow! What a sight!

Prayer:
O Savior, remind me that, tho’ you may be hidden from me now, you are with me always, to the very end of the age. 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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Power – May 20, 2020

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, . . .
Acts 1:9

Power


Daily Devotion – May 20, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 1:9

See series: Devotions

I’ve tried and tried to illustrate Jesus’ rising up into the sky, but I can’t. No matter how hard I try to jump, I only get a couple of feet off the ground, and then I come hurtling directly back down. (Okay, I actually only get a few inches off the ground, but the result is the same; I very quickly end up back on the ground.)

To state the obvious, I can’t just cause myself to lift up off the ground and rise up into the sky. I can’t because I’m a mere mortal who doesn’t have the power to do that.

But Jesus could do that. And, Jesus did do that. And he did it in full view of his disciples. Can you imagine how their jaws must have dropped as they watched this take place? What power Jesus has!

And can you imagine how much that reminder would have helped them in the future? Oh so often, the disciples were going to face difficulty and trouble. Perhaps it often looked to them and others as if they were struggling, even “losing.” They were weak, sinful mortals, no different than you and me.

But not the Jesus whom they served. He could lift himself right off of the earth and go up into the sky! The Jesus they served was powerful. In fact, he was not only powerful but all-powerful. He’d shown them before, but he showed it to them yet again the last time they saw him.

And today he has once again “shown” that power to you.

Wow! What a sight!

Prayer:
O Savior, remind me that you are the all-powerful Savior, ruling all things for the good of your people, a people of whom I am a part! 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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Blessing – May 19, 2020

He lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Luke 24:50,51

Blessing


Daily Devotion – May 19, 2020

Devotion based on Luke 24:50,51

See series: Devotions

Jesus’ ascension had to be at least somewhat difficult for the disciples. They had spent three amazing years with Jesus! And now it was becoming clear that Jesus’ presence with them was going to be changing. While he had promised to be with them always, he wouldn’t be sitting down to have a meal with them, walking the roads with them, or chatting with them any longer. That had to be a bit difficult.

But that was nothing compared to what was coming. Very soon they would be persecuted and imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus. Eventually, eleven of the twelve would die as martyrs because they believed and told people that Jesus was the Savior. The disciples were about to face some very difficult days.

And so what did Jesus do? He lifted up his hands and blessed them. Did you notice the detail? It doesn’t say that he blessed them and then left them. It says, “While he was blessing them, he left them…” Those hands of Jesus were up in blessing, and they remained up in blessing!

Remember, this was the last time the disciples saw Jesus. This sight would stick in their minds. So when the disciples faced imprisonment, persecution, even martyrdom, they could picture Jesus blessing them.

And sure, the disciples might have had a hard time understanding how the things that happened to them could be a blessing. But it didn’t matter if they could figure it out. They had that wonderful sight of Jesus’ hands still up as he left them! He was blessing them, and he always would!

He is still blessing his people, including you. Picture this the next time you are being persecuted and picked on for your faith in him. Picture this the next time you are facing any danger or difficulty. Picture your ascended Lord, hands up, blessing you.

Wow! What a sight!

Prayer:
O Savior, remind me that you are always blessing me and that you always 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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The Last Sight – May 18, 2020

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Luke 24:50,51

The Last Sight


Daily Devotion – May 18, 2020

Devotion based on Luke 24:50,51

See series: Devotions

I was at my high school reunion. As I was registering someone behind me said, “Hi Tom.” I turned around, and I had no idea who it was. I must have gotten a wildly comical look on my face because my classmate said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” And I had to say, with great embarrassment, “I’m sorry, I’m not recognizing you.”

You see, I was remembering her the way she had looked when we graduated. But after a few decades, her appearance had changed, as had everyone else’s attending the reunion.

We remember people the way they looked the last time we saw them. Jesus knows this. So, he made sure the last time his disciples saw him, it was a sight to remember.

As Jesus was about to ascend into heaven, he lifted up his hands and blessed his disciples. What would the disciples have seen on those hands? Since Jesus had kept the nail scars on his hands for at least a week after his resurrection (cf. John 20:24-29), it seems reasonable that those scars were still there. Scars which reminded the disciples that Jesus had died and risen. And what had Jesus accomplished with his death and resurrection? Forgiveness. Forgiveness for those disciples, forgiveness for you and me. Did Jesus want his disciples to remember that? Does Jesus want you and me to remember that? Of course. So, it makes perfect sense that Jesus made his nail-scarred hands a key part of the last sight Jesus gave us of himself.

Picture this the next time your sins trouble you, the next time guilt rises in your heart. Picture those nail-scarred hands and remember that you are forgiven.

Wow! What a sight!

Prayer:
O Savior, when my conscience attacks me because of my sins, remind of me of your nail-scarred hands, that I might know for sure my sins are forgiven. 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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Devoted to the Word of God – May 17, 2020

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42

Devoted to the Word of God


Daily Devotion – May 17, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:42

See series: Devotions

The members of the Jerusalem church had heard the apostle Peter proclaim the good news that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, was the promised Messiah and their Savior. Through God’s Word they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, who convicted them of their sin and convinced them of their Savior. Their sins were forgiven. Heaven was their home. Their hearts were filled with joy.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” The Word of God was their delight. It was the one thing they needed. It was their dearest treasure. Therefore, they not only held it in the highest regard, but they also put it into practice. They lived in the joy of the gospel. In their worship, fellowship, witnessing, praying, love, sharing, and offerings, they thanked God for the blessing of his Word.

God’s Word has not changed. It is still the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. The way of salvation has not changed. Jesus Christ is the only Savior this world will ever have. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The Bible continues to be the only true source for direction in this life and hope for eternity. Where repentant, blood-bought souls gather around the Word of God, regard it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it, there the power of the Holy Spirit will be present to lead us into all truth and the joy of the gospel.

Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word.

Prayer:
Jesus, bring me into a close relationship with you. Accomplish the will of your heavenly Father in me by your almighty Word and help me be devoted to you. Guide me and encourage me with your promises. 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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Christ is Your Glue – November 25, 2017

[God the Father] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians 1:13-20

Christ is Your Glue


Daily Devotion – November 25, 2017

Devotion based on Colossians 1:13-20

See series: Devotions

Your body is made up of 100 trillion microscopic things called “cells.” Cells are the basic unit of life, the foundation of every living thing. And the glue that literally holds those 100 trillion cells together is called laminin. Laminins are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of your body to the next cell. Without laminins, you would literally fall apart. The coolest thing about laminins is what they look like. The glue that holds you together, the foundation upon which your body is built, comes in the shape of a cross.

In speaking about Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul had this to say: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Cross-shaped laminins literally hold your body together, and the eternal life that Jesus Christ purchased for you when he died on the cross in your place is the foundation of your faith, the glue that holds your entire life together. No longer do you need to worry about where you will spend eternity—Jesus has made things peaceful between you and God now and forever. Jesus has freed you from being a slave to sin and now empowers you to say “no” to its temptations. And when we fail to say “no” to sin, Jesus is ready with his forgiveness to lift us back up and empower us to live as his children.

There is no need to worry about your life now or ever because Jesus, both true God and true man, is not only your Savior, but also your King. He is in control of your life. He is going to hold you together in every way.

Prayer:
Christ my King, I know you will never let me down. You will hold my life together in every way. When I forget about that, forgive me. And then lead me through the precious promises of your Word to trust that with you holding me together I can handle anything now and forever. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

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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