You Are Light in the Lord – March 16, 2020

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:8-10

You Are Light in the Lord


Daily Devotion – March 16, 2020

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:8-10

See series: Devotions

To be “in the dark” means that you are unaware of the truth about something. And if someone “sheds some light” on the subject, that means they helped you to understand what you didn’t know before.

But for the Christians in the city of Ephesus, the apostle Paul extended the metaphor to the extreme. Paul told those believers that in their past not only were they in the dark about God and his will for their lives, but they were the darkness! They had so deeply swallowed the lies of godlessness and the empty temptations of this world that they became a corrupting influence in the lives of others as well.

All of us were born in the same darkness of sin and unbelief. None of us came into this world knowing the truth about God’s love for us. And our sinful human nature actively works to try to keep us in that spiritual darkness. When we follow those self-destructive patterns in our lives, we can cause others around us to stumble too.

But the light of Christ shines brightly to scatter the darkness. Jesus Christ came to reveal the truth about God, about ourselves, and about how we have been made right with God through the sacrifice of his Son. The Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts through this good news and leads us to rejoice in what it means for us.

Just as those in the dark are darkness to others, so those in the light of Christ also become a source of light. Christians have learned what kind of living pleases God: a life full of love and compassion for others, a life that seeks to serve God and our neighbor, a life that revolves around the truth of our Savior, Jesus. When we walk according to the light of the Bible, our actions and attitudes serve as beacons for others, calling them to know the will of God for their lives and how true spiritual light is found in Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, shine in my heart with your love that I may reflect it always. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Light Up Your World – March 15, 2020

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:8-14

Light Up Your World


Daily Devotion – March 15, 2020

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:8-14

See series: Devotions

Remember those miners in Chile who were trapped underground for 69 days back in 2010? Picture them before the first small drill broke through: running out of food, water, and light as batteries died… trapped in darkness so deep in the earth. It might be fun to visit and explore a cave, but it must be terrifying to be trapped in the dark, totally dependent upon someone else to rescue you.

Imagine being caught in an even worse never-ending darkness! That’s the darkness of being separated from God, of being trapped in sin and captive to eternal death. It is the darkness into which all of us were born, the Bible tells us.

But Jesus broke through that dense darkness with the bright light of salvation which he accomplished by his suffering and death for us all. Through his Word, God has called us out of the darkness of unbelief into the wonderful light of faith in Jesus. God has turned us from darkness into being “light in the Lord.”

Now he calls upon us to live in that light, to let our faith shine. In thanks to Jesus for rescuing us from the darkness of hell, we let the brightness of Christ shine through us and expose the darkness around us. Jesus has made us beacons of light to those still in spiritual darkness. For his sake, we will seek to live in ways that please our God, being as good, decent, and honest as we possibly can. And light up the world with the good news of Jesus.

As his believers, it’s time to shine!

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for bringing the light of heaven into my life through your perfect life, death, and resurrection! Shine through me so that I can light up the world around me! Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Someone Is Watching – March 14, 2020

The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:7,8

Someone Is Watching


Daily Devotion – March 14, 2020

Devotion based on Psalm 121:7,8

See series: Devotions

Someone is always watching you. Are you okay with that?

Many facilities, both public and private, are equipped with video surveillance systems. They see, and may even record, where and when you come in and go out. They watch what you are doing and how you are doing it. Are you okay with that?

As you use your mobile phone and data plan or surf the internet, where you go and what you do may be tracked and recorded for future reference and analysis. Websites track your patterns and habits. Retailers note when, how, where, and what you shop for.

Your cell phone use and your cell signal can be monitored. The methods and the technology for watching where you go and what you do continue to evolve. Are you okay with that?

Sometimes we don’t realize that things like video surveillance and online tracking are taking place. At other times we realize it is happening, but don’t give it much thought. Here’s a truth worth thinking about—all the time: The Lord is watching over your coming and going. He is watching over you right now, at every moment, all the time.

Whether you realize it or not, whether you think about it or not, the Lord is watching over your life. The God of faithful love is watching over you and keeping you from harm. The God who loves you does not slumber nor sleep. He is always looking to bless you.

What a wonderful comfort! While you are awake and when you are sleeping, when you are coming and when you are going, no matter where you are or what you are doing, the Lord is watching over you. The Maker of heaven and earth who has made you his child in Christ is there to help you every step of the way.

I’m absolutely okay with that. I hope you are too.

Prayer: (Christian Worship – A Lutheran Hymnal: 584)
Lord, bless and keep me as your own;
Lord, look in kindness from your throne;
Lord, let your favor rest on me,
And give me peace eternally. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Hard to Have Faith – March 13, 2020

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.
Genesis 12:1-4

Hard to Have Faith


Daily Devotion – March 13, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 12:1-4

See series: Devotions

People sometimes become frustrated with God because they don’t feel their faith is working in the way it should.

“I tried going to church and doing the right things. But life is still really hard, and God doesn’t seem to be changing anything.”

“I tried not to worry and to stop trying to control everything, but it seems that only left me with fewer answers and more questions. It’s not working, and I don’t think it should be so hard to follow him.” But sometimes it is. And if it ever is for you, then look at Abram.

Abram received many wonderful promises from God but saw precious few of those promises fulfilled during his lifetime. Abram’s family didn’t take possession of the land God promised him until 430 years later. Abram was long dead by then. And this “great nation” that he would make Abram to be; when Abram died, had exactly one son and two 15-year-old grandchildren; none of whom were the Savior of the world, which is exactly what God was talking about when he said that “all people on earth will be blessed through [him].”

Abram would never see, during his life on earth, most of the blessings God promised him. Yet he still went where God commanded him, even when it was hard because he trusted God to keep his word.

You can trust his word too. Even when things aren’t going the way you would like, even when God seems slow in keeping his promises to you, you can trust he will. After all, he kept his greatest promise when he sent his Son into the world to save you from your sins. If he was willing to keep that promise, you can be sure he will keep all the rest.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, strengthen my faith in you by keeping me focused on your faithfulness to me in Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Remarkable Promises – March 12, 2020

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. … Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
Romans 4:5,16,17

Remarkable Promises


Daily Devotion – March 12, 2020

Devotion based on Romans 4:5,16,17

See series: Devotions

Consider some of the promises Abraham believed in, as repeated by the Apostle Paul in the book of Romans. Paul called Abraham’s God the “God who justifies the wicked.” To justify means to declare “not guilty.” And if God saw the wicked things Abraham did and called him not guilty of them, then Abraham had the right to walk through life believing that God was never going to punish him for anything.

Paul said that Abraham’s God is the one who “gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are,” which means that Abraham had the right to look at death and expect life. He had the right to look at situations that aren’t good and expect that good will still come from them.

Paul also said that these promises are “guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring,” and he defines Abraham’s offspring not as those who are of the same bloodline as him, but as anyone who has the same faith Abraham did.

If you believe in the same God Abraham did, it means that whenever death claims your body, it won’t be the end since your God brings life from death. And since he calls things that are not as though they are, then you also have the right to look at situations that are not good and believe that some good will still come from them.

And remember, all of these promises are “guaranteed.” They were guaranteed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, who perfectly fulfilled every promise God made about him.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, help me to hold on to your remarkable promises so that I stand firm in my faith. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Gift – March 11, 2020

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
Romans 4:4,5

A Gift


Daily Devotion – March 11, 2020

Devotion based on Romans 4:4,5

See series: Devotions

There is a difference between a gift and an obligation.

If you have a job and put in your required hours, your boss has an obligation to give you a paycheck. The paycheck is earned. But a gift is given under no obligation. The recipient did not earn it.

This is the point the Bible makes about Abraham. God was not obligated to bless him. Abraham was “ungodly” in many of the same ways we are. He was imperfect, sinned, and fell short of doing all that God requires. God was under no obligation to bless Abraham, and he is under no obligation to bless us.

And yet he did bless Abraham. He gave him great wealth and fame. He made him the father of a great nation. And, most importantly, he made him the ancestor of Jesus, the Savior of the world.

God has done the same for us. Although he is under no obligation to bless us, he has. He has given us food and clothing and shelter, friends and family, and most importantly, someone to save us from our sins.

And now he simply says, “Trust me. Trust that all you have comes from me. Trust that I will provide all that you need for your body and soul. Trust that your sins are forgiven through Jesus and eternal life is yours.”

We did not earn any of these blessings. God was not obligated to give them. But he has, and he does. They are all his free gifts.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Jesus Knows Your Thirst – March 10, 2020

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
John 4:6,7

Jesus Knows Your Thirst


Daily Devotion – March 10, 2020

Devotion based on John 4:6,7

See series: Devotions

In today’s Bible reading, we are told about Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at the well outside of the town in which she lived. It was just the two of them. No one else was there and it’s easy to understand why.

It was noon—not the typical time to get water from the town well. You see, to get water from the well, you had to carry your bucket from home, hope there was enough water in the 100-foot deep well, lower your bucket, lift it back up, and carry the heavy load home. This was not a job you wanted to do at the hottest time of the day!

But it is what this woman did because that was easier than going to the well when it was crowded with people, people who knew the kind of life she had lived, the kind of life she was now living. Everyone knew she was living a life of sin, which is why Jesus offered her a glass of spiritual water. He knew she was thirsty. Not for water but for forgiveness.

We are too. There are certain things about our lives and certain desires that creep into our hearts we would prefer to keep hidden from everyone. But just as Jesus knew this woman’s sin, he also already knows each of ours.

And he offers us the refreshing gift of forgiveness. Just as the woman didn’t ask Jesus for water that day, neither did we ask Jesus to offer his perfect life as the sacrifice to pay for all of our sins. Yet that’s exactly what he did.

Whatever sin in your past is parching your soul, find refreshment in the fact that it is already forgiven.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, you know my heart and are aware of every sin. Let me never forget the gift of forgiveness already won for me by Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Refreshment for Your Soul – March 9, 2020

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13,14

Refreshment for Your Soul


Daily Devotion – March 9, 2020

Devotion based on John 4:13,14

See series: Devotions

Did you know there is a condition you can have that makes it impossible not to be thirsty? It’s called polydipsia. If you have polydipsia, you will feel thirsty most or all of the time, and will not be able to quench your thirst, no matter how much you drink. Polydipsia affects roughly 10 million Americans.

The spiritual form of polydipsia affects many more. “Polydipsia of the soul” isn’t a real medical diagnosis. Yet many individuals in the world feel less than satisfied in their souls. They feel unfulfilled, disgruntled, angry, unhappy, or guilty—believing that something or someone needs to change for them to feel satisfied again.

Jesus met a woman like this one day by a well of water, and he made her a remarkable promise. “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” But Jesus wasn’t talking about physical water. He was talking about spiritual water. He wanted her to see the significant man standing right in front of her. He wanted her to see the Savior who refreshes guilty souls with the assurance of forgiveness, the God who refreshes tired hearts with the joy of knowing they have a Father in heaven who loves them, and the Friend who refreshes weary souls with the truth that heaven has already been won for them on the cross.

Come to Jesus. Satisfy your soul on his everlasting love and his gracious promises. Come, and you will find refreshment for your soul.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, satisfy our broken souls with all that you graciously give us through our Lord Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Gift from God – March 8, 2020

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
Romans 4:4,5

A Gift from God


Daily Devotion – March 8, 2020

Devotion based on Romans 4:4,5

See series: Devotions

Everyone who has a job looks forward to payday. After putting in all those hours of work, you receive your paycheck. It is something that is owed to you. You and your employer came to the agreement that you would work for an amount of time and, in return, your employer would give you an amount of money.

In this section of Paul’s letter to the Romans, he uses that same picture. If you work, you are owed something. However, he shows us that, when it comes to salvation and heaven, it is not something that we are owed, but comes as a gift from God.

Paul says elsewhere in this letter, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We deserve to be punished by God for all eternity because of our sins. This includes every single time we have had thoughts that were wrong or said things that we shouldn’t have. If you want to talk about something we are owed, this is it! We deserve eternal death.

However, as Paul points out, when we are brought to believe in Jesus as our Savior, then we are in a right relationship with God. Even this faith that we have is not our own doing. We cannot choose to believe in Jesus. This only comes through the work of the Holy Spirit as we hear God’s Word.

God owes us nothing. Yet, he gives us everything. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God does not give us what we deserve!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for not giving me what I deserve. Thank you for giving me what Jesus earned for me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Sacrificial Lamb – March 7, 2020

Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and the wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
Genesis 22:7,8

The Sacrificial Lamb


Daily Devotion – March 7, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 22:7,8

See series: Devotions

The words must have pierced Abraham’s soul. Isaac didn’t mean to wound his father, and under most circumstances, his question wouldn’t have been wounding words. But these were not normal circumstances. God asked a father to offer his only son as an offering to him. It was a test. God wanted to see whom Abraham loved more—his child or his Lord.

Children can ask questions that get to the point and leave adults fumbling for an answer. That’s Isaac on that day with his father. He loved and trusted his dear father so much! With honest eyes and a gentle voice, he asked, “Father, where’s the lamb?”

What would Abraham tell his son? Out of love for his dear son, he couldn’t bluntly say, “Isaac, you’re the lamb this time.” He couldn’t lie and say, “I don’t know.” What would he say, and how would he say it? Holding his son close to him and the Lord’s promises even closer, Abraham breathed deeply and declared, “God himself will provide.”

That’s exactly what happened. God himself provided an offering that day—and the offering was not Isaac. Once God knew he had Abraham’s full trust, the Lord provided an animal instead of Isaac for the sacrifice.

That day pointed ahead to another day when another Father would offer his one and only Son as a sacrifice. His Son’s name is Jesus whose sacrifice on the cross paid for all sin. Don’t underestimate the Father’s love—and the Son’s trust—that you find on the cross! Don’t ever wonder if God loves you. He provided his own Son, the perfect Lamb of God, as an offering. He was willing to give up his Son so he would have you forever.

Prayer:
Thank you, O my Father, for giving your Son as a sacrifice in my place. Enrich me with a greater understanding of your love, love that spared not your own Son, but delivered him up on the cross for me and all people. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Be Ready for Battle – March 6, 2020

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Matthew 4:3

Be Ready for Battle


Daily Devotion – March 6, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 4:3

See series: Devotions

The devil had Jesus right where he wanted him, or so it would seem. Matthew calls the devil, “the tempter.” That word tells us that Satan was intent on doing evil to Jesus. He wanted to lead Jesus to sin and rob the world of the Savior. Satan was attacking Jesus but he was really declaring war on all of us. His goal is to take away our salvation. If Jesus was not perfectly sinless, he could not give us his perfection. Make no mistake, Satan intended to destroy us that day. He was not playing around.

He is still not playing around today. Do we always realize that the stakes are so high? We often get caught up in life and forget just how serious the situation is. We aren’t always ready to fight temptation. We often don’t give a second thought to how Satan might attack us today. This lack of preparedness gets us into trouble. Too often we fall into sin simply because we are not ready for battle.

How important it is, then, for us to focus on Jesus who has already done battle with Satan and won. Jesus has been where we are. He faced every temptation the devil threw at him. But there is a big difference between Jesus and us. The Bible says, “…we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Our Savior never once caved in to Satan’s pressure. Never once gave into the devil’s temptations or was unprepared. He perfectly fought the battle. He was victorious, for us.

Jesus has given us victory over Satan. The devil can no longer harm us as we trust in Jesus. Satan’s plans to destroy our souls have been defeated by our Savior. In Jesus, we are forgiven and saved. In Jesus, we now have the tools to fend off Satan’s attacks. With faith in Jesus and depending on his Word, we can be ready for whatever Satan throws our way.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the victory over sin and the devil. Help me to trust you and to rely on your Word. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Remember Jesus – March 5, 2020

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Matthew 4:1,2

Remember Jesus


Daily Devotion – March 5, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 4:1,2

See series: Devotions

Sometimes in life, we are just overmatched. Our opponent or enemy is just too strong, too big, too much for us to handle. The Alamo is certainly one such example. Fewer than 200 men stood fighting against an army of 1,500. They knew they were overmatched and could not win. They knew no reinforcements were coming.

It certainly seems like Jesus was overmatched in his battle against the devil. For one thing, he was in the wilderness—a place where he was isolated. Nobody was coming to his aid. There would be no reinforcements. He was on his own. He was on Satan’s turf. And while he was out there, he was fasting. Physically, he was drained.

You know how that feels, don’t you—to be spiritually overmatched? You feel like you are on your own and the devil keeps on coming. He tempts you with doubt: “If God really loved you, why did he let this happen to you?” “Doesn’t God want you to be happy? He must not really mean what he says in his Word. Go ahead, live the way you want.” And he keeps coming. Temptation after temptation.

Like the Texans at the Alamo, you can’t win. You may fight for a little while, but in the end, you are overrun by the devil’s temptations and defeated. You have lost too many battles and have fallen into sin over the same old familiar temptations.

“Remember the Alamo!” That was the rallying cry in the war following the famous battle. Our rallying cry is different: Remember Jesus! He went to battle for you. He crushed the devil and defeated all your enemies. Through his death on the cross, he forgives your sins and gives you the gift of heaven. He also gives you the weapons to defeat the devil in your daily life.

Thank God for sending Jesus. And get to know his Word, so that you can say no to temptation and remain on the way to heaven.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for defeating Satan for me. Equip me with your Word that I may fight temptation in your name. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Blame Game – March 4, 2020

The man said, “The woman you put here with me―she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Genesis 3:12

The Blame Game


Daily Devotion – March 4, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 3:12

See series: Devotions

The first man created by God had disobeyed him. He had eaten fruit God had forbidden. When God gave him an opportunity to confess what he had done, Adam said, “The woman you put here with me―she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” That’s not exactly a confession, is it? Sure, Adam begrudgingly admitted the sin. But he was also quick to blame both Eve and God for putting him in that situation.

I suppose we want to shake our heads at Adam’s attempt to blame his wife and his God for his own sin. But then we remember we aren’t any different. We too have played the blame game. As children, we point the finger at our sibling and shout: “He made me do it!” As adults, we blame society for our loose morals. We blame work and our social life for not getting to church. We blame the coworker’s attitude for our harsh thoughts and words in the workplace. We blame our busy lives for not spending enough time in God’s Word. We blame our upbringing for the sinful choices we continue to make. God calls out, “Where are you?” And, unfortunately, we are too often lost in sin and blaming others for it.

Would it surprise you to find out that God played his own version of the blame game? No, he didn’t blame someone else for what he had done wrong. He blamed someone else for what WE have done wrong. The Bible says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God blamed Jesus for all our sins so that we could be forgiven and saved. On the cross, Jesus suffered the punishment our sins deserve and through him, we have eternal life.

Because of Jesus, you and I stand blameless before God.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for taking my place on the cross and paying for my sin. Help me to always take ownership of my sin and to trust in you for forgiveness. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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No Need to Hide – March 3, 2020

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:8

No Need to Hide


Daily Devotion – March 3, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 3:8

See series: Devotions

“Come out; come out, wherever you are!” Anyone who has ever played hide-and-seek has heard someone shout those words. Who would ever have imagined God saying those words in the Garden of Eden? But then again, this wasn’t a game, was it? Adam and Eve weren’t playing a fun game of hide-and-seek. They weren’t having any fun at all.

Something had gone terribly wrong in that perfect place of paradise. Adam and Eve had sinned. They had broken their relationship with God and had gone their own way and they knew it was a terrible mistake. Something that had once given them great joy now sent them running for the trees. Accustomed to walking and talking with God in the garden, Adam and Eve now felt guilt and fear and they hid from God.

Where are you hiding? Are you hiding from God at work? Maybe by working so many hours, you don’t have time to pray or confess to God. Where are you hiding? On a website? In the gym? During sleepless nights? What is it that you don’t want to bring out into the light of day? Secret thoughts or desires…selfish behavior…lack of love toward God. Sadly, like Adam, you and I are often not looking for God―even though he is waiting right there for us!

Note the love and grace of God. “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” God’s love caused him to seek and to find the sinner who was hiding. In love, God seeks us out too. He invites us to come to him. God sent Jesus to die in our place on the cross and to remove everything that would make us hide. In Jesus, our sins are forever washed away. We are clean. We don’t need to hide. We can come to our Father in heaven and know that in Jesus, we are safe.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for seeking me out. Thank you for forgiveness in Jesus. Help me to run to you, trusting in your love for me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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God Repairs What We Destroy – March 2, 2020

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 3:15

God Repairs What We Destroy


Daily Devotion – March 2, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 3:15

See series: Devotions

“You ruined it!” Even if you were not in the room to see what happened, you could feel the despair, anguish, and hurt in those words. The older brother was building a city out of Lego bricks. He worked hard and spent a lot of time putting the finishing touches on his creation. Finally, he was done. He looked over his handiwork and saw that it was good. No sooner had he finished and was looking forward to enjoying his work, his little sibling came crashing into the room and leveled everything. Lego bricks crashed down all around him and just like that, his creation was destroyed.

“You ruined it!” One imagines the Creator saying those same anguished words. God had created a perfect world. He had spent six days getting everything just right, so that, in his own words, “everything was very good.” And in one instant, it was ruined. Adam and Eve destroyed the paradise God had made for them. When they disobeyed their loving Maker, they ruined their relationship with him, with one another, and with the world he had fashioned for them.

We do it too. How many relationships have we ruined through rude, harmful behavior? How many opportunities have we ruined through offensive words that we spoke? How many chances to serve God have we ruined through selfish attitudes and excuses?

How does God respond? As we read in Genesis 3, it is very telling what God DOESN’T do. He doesn’t fly off the handle and let loose with angry words. He doesn’t punish them with lightning bolts from heaven. He doesn’t even disown them.

Instead, God shows himself to be our compassionate Father. Genesis 3 highlights the love of God in the face of sin and rebellion. God patiently sought out Adam and Eve and invited them to repent. He lovingly forgave their sins. He promised to send a Savior who would one day come and defeat Satan and give his people the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. He does the same thing for you and me. In Jesus, God forgives our sins and repairs what we have destroyed. In Jesus, we have eternal life!

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for your forgiveness. Help me to look forward to eternal life in heaven with you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Our Substitute – March 1. 2020

Just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Romans 5:19

Our Substitute


Daily Devotion – March 1. 2020

Devotion based on Romans 5:19

See series: Devotions

A basketball player got hurt in the big game. There was no way he could make a meaningful contribution to the outcome, much less finish the game. The coach had to send in a substitute. It ended up being a good move because the substitute ended up winning the game for the team.

We have all heard stories like this. In some ways, it is the same thing that happened to all people. We all needed a substitute—not to win the big game, but to save us from our sin. You see, we have all inherited sin from the first man who ever sinned, a man named Adam. This is what our Bible reading for today refers to as “the disobedience of the one man.” His disobedience made all of us disobedient. And this disobedience ruins our relationship with our holy heavenly Father.

We could never save ourselves, no matter how hard we tried. In order to save ourselves, we would need to be perfect every single day of our lives. The trouble is that we are not perfect.

Because we couldn’t do it, God sent a substitute, Jesus Christ. He was perfect, in every way. This is part of what our Bible reading refers to as “the obedience of the one man.” Jesus lived as our Substitute, doing what we could not do. More than that, he willingly went to the cross to suffer and die to pay for our sins. Again, he was acting as our substitute, because he was punished in our place. In addition, Jesus rose from the dead, showing that he had won the victory. He shares that victory with us. Heaven is waiting for those who have been brought to believe in Jesus as their Savior.

We thank our God for sending in the substitute, Jesus Christ, for through him we have the victory.

Prayer:
Jesus, my perfect substitute, thank you for the victory you won for me. May my victory cry always be about your love, grace, and mercy. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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An Eyewitness Account – February 29, 2020

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2 Peter 1:16

An Eyewitness Account


Daily Devotion – February 29, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Peter 1:16

See series: Devotions

When a person is put on the stand in a courtroom, she is not allowed to speculate. She cannot guess what she thinks might have happened. Nor is she allowed to let her opinions color her answers. She can only tell what she has actually seen and heard.

There are many fantastic stories about Jesus Christ. We hear of him walking on water. There is the report that he fed thousands with just a few fish and a couple of loaves of bread. He healed the sick. We even hear about Jesus raising people from the dead, including himself! How are we to take these things? Did they really happen?

The answer is “Yes.” We know that they happened because God moved the men, who were eyewitnesses to these things, to write them down for us. We find the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

More importantly, there we find the reason that Jesus came to this earth. He came to be our Savior. We have the eyewitness accounts of how Jesus fulfilled his Father’s will in our place. We read the account of Jesus’ suffering and death, knowing that he did this to take the punishment that we deserved. And we read those eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ rising from the dead, showing us that victory has been won.

Thankfully, the men who wrote the accounts of what Jesus has done for us were not just giving their opinions. They were giving us the facts about what they witnessed. And we can be certain that what they have written is reliable.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for causing those who witnessed what you did for me to record what you did for me so that I can be certain of your love for me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Help Right Now – February 28, 2020

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:1,2

Help Right Now


Daily Devotion – February 28, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 6:1,2

See series: Devotions

Don’t you just hate it when you try to help, and the person is like, “No, no, never mind, thanks anyway, I’ll be fine?” You know they are not fine, and you know they could really use the help. You hate to watch them keep failing. It’s frustrating. You wish the best for them, and something in them keeps them from realizing it. What is it? Pride? Ignorance? Fear?

You must recognize that God wants to help you, right? He wants the best for you, and because he made you, he knows what is best for you, even when you don’t realize it. You keep trying to say that everything is all right, but God knows that everything is not all right. He knows that better than you do!

And God’s help is not the kind of help that works only in the future. He is helpful right now! His forgiveness of your sins counts right now. His promises of relief from anxiety are designed to take immediate effect. His calming presence and protection are right here, right now. You don’t have to go somewhere else to receive them.

You might think that you do not deserve these good things. You’re right! You don’t! That’s why God calls them grace, which is things that you do not deserve. He’s giving them to you anyway. Right now—that’s the point.

So don’t delay. Go to God in prayer and thank him for blessing you. Take a deep sigh of relief. Now is the time of God’s favor. Now is the day of salvation.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Take away my anxiety and give me peace. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Reconciled – February 27, 2020

We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:20,21

Reconciled


Daily Devotion – February 27, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 5:20,21

See series: Devotions

Yesterday, Christians around the world began to observe the season of Lent. What is Lent about?

During the time of Lent, Christians take time to review the suffering that Jesus went through during the time of his ministry a couple of thousand years ago, all the way up to his death.

You might think that sounds morbid, but Christians have an individual interest in that suffering of Jesus. You see, the Bible teaches that when Jesus suffered, he had done nothing to deserve it. His life had been perfect, and people should have honored him for that. Instead, they caused him to suffer. His suffering even went as far as suffering hell when he died on the cross.

All of that suffering was for other people. You can even say that suffering was the suffering that we deserve to go through, but never will because Jesus did.

In a breathtaking leap of compassion, God said, “Jesus did not deserve to suffer, but because he did, I count that suffering for you. And the perfect life that Jesus lived—I count that as yours. He took your suffering. You take his perfection, and that’s your ticket to heaven.”

Jesus never sinned. Instead, he took the punishment for our sins. Jesus lived a perfect life. Instead of taking the reward he deserved for that, heaven, he suffered hell, and gives us heaven.

That’s why the apostle Paul encourages us in our Bible reading for today to be reconciled to God. The perfect life of Jesus, the righteousness of God, is a gift to everyone who believes in Jesus. That’s how we are reconciled, and that’s what we are reminded of during the season of Lent.

Prayer:
Lord God, reconcile me to you so that I share the righteousness of Jesus, my Savior. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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God Have Mercy On Me – February 26, 2020

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:9-14

God Have Mercy On Me


Daily Devotion – February 26, 2020

Devotion based on Luke 18:9-14

See series: Devotions

I am not confident of my own righteousness.

I do a lot of good things, and I belong to organizations that do a lot of good things. I like to think that God likes me and thinks I’m a pretty good guy.

But then I look at what it takes to please a perfect God. I hear that not only my actions but my thoughts have to be right all the time, and I begin to doubt myself. And then I think about times when I could have done good things but didn’t get around to doing them, and I just shake my head. How could God like me when I have messed up so many times and in so many ways?

Jesus told the story about someone who was confident in his own righteousness, and who was apparently a pretty good guy. But that’s not the person Jesus commended. Instead, he commended the person who said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

That’s the person I want to be, and that’s actually the person I am. I am a sinner. I realize this, and I throw myself on the mercy of God. I trust that he has declared me to be righteous through the life and death of Jesus, and that’s all I need. I go home today right with God, humbled and exalted.

Prayer:
God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Review You Can Trust – February 25, 2020

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:16-21

A Review You Can Trust


Daily Devotion – February 25, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Peter 1:16-21

See series: Devotions

How do you know you can trust online reviews? Sometimes when you read them, you wonder whether the owners of the business wrote their own evaluations. Could any place really be that good?

Peter was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus, and he wanted you to know that you could trust him when he wrote about it. After all, he saw what he saw, and he wrote precisely what he saw. But he also wanted you to know that you could trust everything written in the Bible, not just what he wrote. So he tried to explain what it was like to write with the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It’s fascinating to think of writing in your own language but having every word verified by the Holy Spirit. What an amazing thing! You see why Peter says that you would do well to pay attention to the words of the Bible. The words of the Bible are God’s words. Therefore, they are true―every one of them.

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is your Savior. The Bible says so, and that news brings light to every part of your life. That’s a review you can trust.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, thank you for speaking directly to me in the words of the Bible. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Eyewitness Testimony – February 24, 2020

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
Matthew 17:1-8

Eyewitness Testimony


Daily Devotion – February 24, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 17:1-8

See series: Devotions

When you’re going on a trip, it’s nice to listen to someone who has experienced that trip already. Online reviews can steer you in the right direction for things like hotels and restaurants. Or, they can steer you away from sketchy places.

When you are going through life on your trip to heaven, it is helpful to hear from people who have experienced that trip already. Peter, James, and John are such people. They are now in heaven, but we can learn from what they experienced on their way there. For example, we know from the Bible that they experienced some very difficult times―trials and temptations and persecutions.

Jesus knew what was in store for them. So, he gave them a special gift. He gave them a glimpse of heaven. He took them to the top of a mountain and revealed his glory to them. They even saw Moses and Elijah―men who were already in heaven. When Peter, James, and John faced challenges later in their lives, they could be comforted and encouraged remembering what they witnessed on that mountain, knowing that one day they would join Moses and Elijah in heaven.

You can have the same comfort and encouragement. Although you were not physically present on that special mountain. You do have Matthew’s description of it. You can know that, through faith in Jesus, you will one day experience the glories of heaven with Moses and Elijah, with Peter, James, and John. Remember this when you are going through tough times. Others have gone through tough times ahead of you. But now they are basking in the heavenly home Jesus is preparing for you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, guide me to your glory in life everlasting. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Moses and Elijah and Jesus – February 23, 2020

Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Matthew 17:3

Moses and Elijah and Jesus


Daily Devotion – February 23, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 17:3

See series: Devotions

One day Jesus went up a mountain with some of his disciples and revealed his glory to them. He began shining as bright as snow in the sunlight. As this was happening, he was visited by Moses and Elijah. These were two important people in the Old Testament. It was to Moses that God gave his Law on Mount Sinai. Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament. These two men represented God’s plan and promise to send a Savior into the world.

Now Moses and Elijah stood with Jesus on the mountain. They talked about Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. Moses and Elijah clearly understood the purpose for Jesus’ approaching passion and crucifixion. Moses had been appointed by God to lead Israel out of their slavery in Egypt to the promised land of Canaan, so Jesus was the God-appointed Savior who would lead a new exodus from the slavery of sin to the promised land of heaven.

The lives and work of Moses and Elijah pointed ahead to the Savior that God promised to send for the world. Jesus came as God planned and fulfilled all that was written about him in the Old Testament. And this same Jesus cares for, lived for, and died for you. He has freed you from the eternal bondage of your sin, from hell itself. Through Jesus, you can count completely on God’s faithful promise to take you to be with him in heaven.

Prayer:
Jesus, I praise you for coming to fulfill God’s promise of saving the world from sin and eternal death. Renew in me daily an appreciation for the forgiveness of sins and sure hope of heaven I have through you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Touching the Untouchable – February 22, 2020

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
Mark 1:40-42

Touching the Untouchable


Daily Devotion – February 22, 2020

Devotion based on Mark 1:40-42

See series: Devotions

Imagine the life of a leper in Jesus’ day. Imagine the pain. Imagine the rejection. Imagine having no physical contact with another human being for years. No hugs, no pats on the back, not even a handshake. Imagine being untouchable.

Until one day when, with nothing to lose, you crawl on your knees to a rabbi named Jesus. You have heard of his power. You have heard of his kindness. Maybe, just maybe, he will save you from this life of loneliness. Trembling, you look up into the kindest eyes you have ever seen and say, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

What will he do? Will he scream at you to get away from him? No, he doesn’t. As if in slow motion, the man reaches down and touches you. Touches you! With that one touch, this rabbi reveals his concern for you, his care for you, his acceptance of you, his love for you.

We are not so different from that leprous man. We are also infected with a horrible disease. Our disease does not show on our skin. It shows in our lives. It shows in our lust, greed, selfishness, and hatred. To a holy God, our sins make us look as wretched as that leper. We kneel before God with the scabs and sores of sin covering our souls.

But Jesus is willing to touch the untouchable. Instead of screaming at us to get away from him, he reached down and touched us. He left his heavenly home and became one of us. He touched us when no one else would. He touched us in order to do what no one else could. With nails through his hands and feet, with a crown of thorns on his head, he looked down at us and said, “Be clean!”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me enough to touch me when I was untouchable. Thank you for making me clean. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Dangerous Guest – February 21, 2020

[Jesus said] “I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”
Matthew 5:22

Dangerous Guest


Daily Devotion – February 21, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 5:22

See series: Devotions

Emory University conducted a study on the effects of holding a grudge. When you hold a grudge, that grudge can impact your physiology. For instance, a grudge can create problems for your immune system and metabolism. It can skew organ function. A grudge can elevate your blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. It can be a breeding ground for anxiety and depression. A separate study has even suggested that holding a grudge can contribute to Type 2 diabetes.

In short, holding a grudge is no good. As an article in Psychology Today says, “Holding a grudge is lighting ourselves on fire and expecting the other person to die of smoke inhalation.”

It’s one thing to tell ourselves not to hold a grudge. It’s quite another thing never to do it. The sad fact is that it doesn’t take much to hold a grudge. It doesn’t need to be like Captain Ahab screaming at Moby Dick. A grudge can be very quiet. It can hide behind a gracious smile. It can be a polite but stubborn resentment that just refuses to leave.

And this is when my soul can drift into a dark place. When I allow this polite but stubborn guest to remain in my heart, over time it can begin to poison me. It can begin to infect my view of others and pollute my outlook on life. Worst of all, it can begin to contaminate my appreciation for what Jesus Christ has done to forgive the likes of me.

That’s why the Lord Jesus speaks to our grudges with such urgency. They threaten our relationships with others, yes. But they also threaten our relationship with him.

Listen to Jesus. He’s calling us to repentance. Be washed clean of the grudges. Be cleansed in the blood from Jesus’ cross. Be filled with his Spirit. And be at peace.

Prayer:
My little resentments, Lord Jesus, are not so little. Forgive me. Refresh my love for others with your love for me. Amen.

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